Daily Deal Website Design Tips

We have been spending a lot of time lately reviewing daily deal site designs. We have had a lot of requests for custom deal branding for our daily deal software, Deal Current, and we wanted to share tips, sites for critique, and sites we have designed.

Groupon is one of the hottest internet companies on the web today and this is due to the fact they are a steward to their brand. We feel the foundation of a great company is brand design. The way you communicate each element of your brand through design determines the initial impression and lasting memory you leave with a customer.

Here are some tips:

  1. The brand initially starts with the name. Try not to use “Deal of the Day” or “Daily Deal”. Deal in the title is OK, but keep it short and simple.
  2. Try to have a mascot or at least an icon that people can associate your brand with.
  3. Keep the design simple. You don’t want to distract from the purpose of selling the deal.
  4. Make sure the deal title, main image, and buy button are the 3 most prominent focal points.

Here are some sites we found that we weren’t too fond of:

The next two are from the site Media Web Connect. They have created their software on a template system and the design customization capabilities are minimal. Also its hard to see the buy button on the sites and there doesn’t seem to be any guidance with design standards and color choice.

Media Web Connect Deal of the Day Design Media Web Connect Deal of the Day Design

The following two are from the site Tippr. Tippr runs their own daily deal site and is licensing their platform out to 3rd parties. We like their site, but their 3rd party sites seem to be the same template and brand. Usability is clear, but the design is pretty plain.

Tippr Daily Deal Site Design Tippr Deal of the Day Design

Here are some sites our clients designed on our platform that we love:

IDineDeals.com is from the Rewards Network. They implemented a very clean design with a clear focus on the offer each day.

Deal of the Day Design by Deal Current

Another one of our clients Morgan’s Deals implemented their brand with a great sense of style leaning towards the female demographic.

The design is clean and the messaging is clear. These are the key elements to a good e-commerce and daily deal site.

Deal Current Daily Deal Site Design

Another one of our favorites is by DiscoverSD here in San Diego. They call their program the Hookup and have an excellent sense of brand. Their program is a weekly deal and each week they feature the coming weeks deal upfront. This builds the momentum and ensures a strong day of sales each week.

Deal Current Deal of the Day Design

Frito Lay animation and advertising – with no chips!

Frito Lay has developed an interesting new campaign featuring 6 animated commercials with whimsical characters that are “Made for Each Other” –  just like chips and dip.  The first time I saw the “Little Bright Eyes” commercial, I instantly needed to know who created it. The commercials have no direct chip or snack reference, and this subtle advertising is making the them memorable and fun. All 6 commercials are designed by different companies, making each one unique. Love it.

Little Bright Eyes:



Love & Sockets:


Go to: The Inspiration Room to learn about the animators of each of these videos.


A collaboration of great minds, B-Reel & Goodby Silverstein & Partners have developed a new way to advertise snack food. Devoid of all chip grease and party dip reference,  madeforeathother.com is an interesting and interactive site that keeps you guessing. The designers created real miniature sets which were composited with 3D, 2D and hand-drawn elements that create a beautiful website. Even though the site isn’t always clear, it’s interesting enough to make you search and discover all for the games and videos embedded throughout. They won the FWA Site of the Day award on February 23rd. You can also watch the commercials and download the music that they play in the background. I love the idea of supporting the musician and I actually downloaded the Anya Marina CD (heard on the “Firesprite” commercial.) It’s one of my top fav’s right now.

So, Does this advertising make me want to buy chips and dip? Maybe not, but it makes me smile and its memorable! which means they may have succeeded…


Cut & Paste: Digital Design Tournament

cutandpasteCut & Paste is a design competition happening right before your eyes!

HOW IT WORKS: Designers apply, Cut & Paste reviews the entries and, based on the quality of the work, invites the top candidates to Test Rounds. After Test Rounds, a final selection of designers will be made for each competition: eight for 2D Design, four for 3D and Motion Design. All competitors will be announced online.

The designers compete in one fo  3 divisions: 2D, 3D and motion graphics and there are specific rules for each section. The 2D Design competition consists of 2 rounds, of 15 minutes each, the 3D is 2 rounds of 20 minutes each and the motion graphics is one long round of 8 hours. The final creation MUST be made from scratch. The competitors are provided with tools such as a Mac computer, a Wacom pad, a mouse, and the design programs. Finalists from each division are invited to compete in the global competition for the ULTIMATE title. Prizes range from Wacom pads, to ipods, to complete Apple workstations. Although the deadline for entries has passed, you can still attend this event for about $15 and see the contestants design before your eyes! Coming to a city near you. See the Cut & Paste tour schedule.

OH and a shout out to Seth, my favorite gymnasitcs teaching, trampoline loving, developer and sailor for mentioning this awesome event in our office. 🙂

Digitalthread: Ultimate design resource

Mel turned me on to this great website called Digitalthread. They are a great online resource for only the best web design firms, top freelance portfolios, and graphic design resources from online submissions and discovered web sites.  I can’t believe I been in the design world and not known about them! The site is clean and easy to navigate through. The three buttons on the top left side allow the user to choose from 3 different buckets: webdesign gallery, design companies and designresources. They’ve done a great job at categorizing the content that goes under each section.


I found so many cool and interesting websites with just a few clicks. Definitely browse through the site. Mel and I will be featuring a new portfolio and website each week. Stay tuned.

Best of 2008

So I’ve been searching for the best articles in 2008 and I found lots of lists and lists of lists. Here are the ones worth a click:

Best of 2008: A List of Design Lists – design:related

Best of CSS Design – Web Designer Wall

25 Fantastic Design Articles from 2008 – David Airey

10 Most Popular Web Videos of 2008 – Silicon Alley Insider

The Top 10 of Everything in 2008 – TIME

Inspired Inspirers : Sharing the passion for Design

untitled-1Inspired-Inspirers is a place for people who inspire the world to show us who inspires them.

Every 2 weeks a new issue is released showcasing 4 new inspirers from all over the world.

This is a neat place where designers are showcased and they in turn share who inspires them. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Spread it kids. – Mel

Creating Color by Russell Hampton

Designers often have certain elements that influence their particular style, expression, and creativity. They usually have that one element that they can always fall back on, in times when the white paper/screen is just too much to handle, they can always rely on their roots, what got them to the place they are today.

My element of choice is color. Sure it’s pretty to look at and all, but color is a language, a language that can speak volumes to an audience. It is a language that can mean so many different things in a variety of cultures. Color is the one thing that inspires me the most among the rest.

A classic example of color used today in our pop culture is exemplified by Sony. I have provided a few commercials by Sony that are absolutely breathtaking. They took the theme of color, and brought it to another level. No matter how many times I watch these videos, I always sit back in awe and get immersed in the pure joy color has to offer.

But be careful, color can also be tricky and work against you. Often times an audience can find certain colors offensive and just too much to look at. There has to be a fine medium within color, and it often takes time and patience. It is tricky because it is largely due to a preference of opinion. Designers often get stuck in familiar color schemes just because they “like the way they look” or “that’s my favorite color”. A successful designer has the capability to break away from their favorite color schemes, and can understand a target audience and the impact color can have with a particular message. Red can mean love, and it can also mean danger at the same time. You have to treat each color differently and understand its graphical impact within each individual setting.

A good exercise to expand your experience with color is to attempt to create a design piece by starting with colors you hate. You know, those colors you see and you go, ew, I can’t bare to look at it anymore. You will find that it is harder than it sounds, but more rewarding in the end. You will realize that even though it isn’t your favorite piece of work, you were given a problem, and you created a solution. That is graphic design in a nutshell: the process of creating a visual solution in order to convey an effective message to a target audience.

I have come across a designer named Teresa Nunez. I find her work to be pure joyful to look at, and I greatly admire the attention to detail she has put into many of her pieces. Not to mention her amazing skills with color. Check out some of these:

Teresa NunezTeresa NunezTeresa NunezTeresa Nunezspaceball-1

As you can see, color can make or break a design. Pay attention to it, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Research your audience, understand the interaction between certain colors and what emotion is shown. And just remember, the next time you are hitting a brick wall and can’t think anything creative, look no further than color. Because like I said, color is a language, just let it do all the talking.

Russell Hampton | www.russellhampton.net


*Make sure you check out Russell’s portfolio to get a little taste of how he uses the element of color in his own work. He is a very talented graphic artist and we are excited to have him share some of his secrets.*

If you are interested in guest blogging for us, please contact Mel@collarfree.com or Michelle@collarfree.com to learn how.

Illustration NOW: Amazing artists from around the world

Illustration Now is an amazing book my sister bought at Urban Outfitters a few years back. Edited by Julius Wiedmann, this comprehensive guide showcases 150 of today’s best commercial editorial illustrators from 50 countries. Each entry highlights examples of recent work and also includes artist’s contact info, awards, and work philosophy. I stole this book from my sister for design inspiration and everyday we lay it open to a new page, depending on our mood. This has definitely been a source of conversation in my house. Here are some of the artists that caught my eye.

Andreas Gefe
Location: Zurich, Switzerland :

Olaf Hajek
Location: Berlin, Germany

Aaron Jasinski
Location: WA, USA :

Joel Lardner
Location: England :

Location: Paris, France :

Tara McPherson
Location: NY, USA :

Stina Persson
Location: Stockholm, Sweden :

Maria Rendon
Location: CA, USA :

Kerry Roper
Location: London, UK :

Tadaomi Shibuya
Location: Yokohama, Japan :

Francois Supiot
Location: Paris, France :

Tatsuya Taniguchi
Location: Osaka, Japan :

Mike Thompson
Location: MD, USA :

Alison Casson
Location: CA, USA :

Warren Heise
Location: Alberta, Aanada :

Jody Hewgill
Location: Ontario, Canada :

Jason Cook Jacey
Location: London, England :

See more amazing artists in the Book: Illustration Now. Pick it up today!