Why GDPR Good

Stop Panicking: Why GDPR is Actually a Good Move

By now, we’ve all heard of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which is taking effect on May 25, 2018 – and we’ve all witnessed or personally experienced some amount of panic in relation to the new law.

But…have you ever stopped to consider that GDPR might actually be a good move that will have some really positive impacts on marketing, and business in general?

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Get to Know the Digital Style Team: Creative Director, Jesse

It’s important to get to know who you are working with, whether it’s fellow employees, a partner, or an agency. You want to make sure that you have a team that’s on your side and whose goals are in line with yours. Most of all, you want to make sure they will do everything to help your company succeed.

We decided to do a monthly Featured Employee so our readers can get to know our family a little better. You’ll get a sense of our experience, design styles, and personalities so that you can feel a little closer to the team that wants to help your company flourish.

Our first featured employee is our newest team member and creative director, Jesse. Since he’s new to the office, we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to get to get to know him better too.

1. What was your very first job?

A tour guide at a commercial cave in rural Pennsylvania at 15 (See Woodward Cave—the big one!)

2. What degree(s) do you have, and from which institutes and fields of study?

BS in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (I attended before it was part of the for-profit Art Institutes system. Last manually-operated elevator in Pittsburgh). I’ve also taken tons of UCSD extension programs since the late ‘90s for everything from front-end development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) to Adobe InDesign.

3. What do you think is one of the most significant changes that you’ve seen since you started working in your industry?

I think awareness of design as a whole has been massively elevated with the advent of mobile (everyone carries an operating system in their pocket, so usability expectations have been raised across the board).

I’m also fascinated by the way corporate identity reveals happen now. Logo updates and rebrands used to be the domain of logo nerds, but social media has magnified the whole process. Even minor brand extensions are now dissected in open forums, where designers and the companies they serve are exposed directly to the praise and hostility of designers and laypeople alike. It’s a great educational opportunity.

4. What excites you most about the digital marketing world?

The internet continues to evolve. Increasingly niche subcultures (with unique needs and aspirations) are finding their voices. I’m excited to see the manifestation of the (sometimes great, sometimes creepy) ability to target users based on their implicit interests, and how expectations around online privacy evolve.

5. What do you do when you are not at work?

I indulge in TV, both high- and low-brow, and try to keep my wife and son entertained.

6. Do you have any hobbies?

I read every day (I alternate between fiction and nonfiction), run (training for my fourteenth and fifteenth marathons, in May and October, respectively).

7. What thing(s) are you obsessed with?

I’m a huge logo nerd. I love clinically modern architecture. I’m fascinated with design trends all around—it’s interesting to see old trends revived and combined in novel ways (just like clockwork, we’re somehow now romanticizing the ‘00s).

8. What’s one thing about yourself that would surprise people?

I own over seventy pairs of shoes. I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop since version 2.0 (Shipped on multiple floppy disks. Pre-dated layers. One undo.). As a child, I had numerous polydactyl cats as pets.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Strive to be original.

GDPR Email Permission

GDPR: The Email Permission Reckoning Is Here


• You must be compliant by May 25, 2018, or face fines of up to 4% of your global revenue
• It doesn’t matter if your business isn’t in the EU
• Consent is not assumed and must be given under-informed circumstances

Marketers have long tried to balance the quality vs. quantity issue for their databases. As email software and technology has evolved and allowed for better targeting, marketers have had to continuously defend their decisions to leave chunks of email addresses off of their lists.

That fight is over, though, as there is a new law that updates the regulations around customer privacy and will determine how marketers are able to build and manage their databases.

Effective May 25, 2018, a new data protection regulation in the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), brings the focus to the protection of personal data in the age of technology. This new law replaces how marketers were required to handle data under the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive (DPD) and shifts the responsibility and obligation of data management to businesses. Gone are the days when marketers can pre-check that “sign me up for emails” box.

GDPR regulates how companies process the personal data they have, including how they collect it, how they store it, and how they use it. The law is enforceable in all EU states, and also covers all EU individuals; regardless of the physical location of the business. GDPR has a broad definition of ‘personal data,’ meant to protect individuals, and expands to include any data that can identify an individual. The new regulations also cover how companies must handle security and data breach notifications.

Previously, companies could assume consent to contact customers and leads based on actions that individuals took; those days are gone. Companies now carry the burden of being transparent and obvious in gaining consent and must actually gain consent – silence is no longer considered consent.

GDPR reckons the ‘silence’ part of consent by stating that individuals have the right to be forgotten if they are inactive and do not clearly consent to continuing to receive communications.

GDPR also gives power back to individuals by allowing them to obtain a copy of the data that is collected about them. The power is given to the individual here, as they can request to know what data a business has collected about them and can also request that that data be deleted.

Under GDPR, companies will not be able to charge customers for obtaining this data (there are exceptions that can be made if excessive costs can be proved). Businesses will be required to respond to requests within 30 days; again, exceptions can be made, and companies can refuse requests if they can prove that the request is unfounded or excessive.

Even so, each company must have policies in place that determine why, when, and how it will refuse these requests and will also have the burden of demonstrating when requests meet the criteria in those policies.

Companies that do not comply with the new regulations may be fined up to 4% of their global revenue. While this new law might seem intimidating, it can actually help businesses get true statistics on their marketing efforts and increase both their ROI and sales. Fear not, you will survive this reckoning.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our GDPR series where we will explore how to calm the data loss panic and why this change will be good for databases.

DISCLAIMER: This website is neither a magnum opus on EU data privacy nor legal advice for your company to use in complying with EU data privacy laws like the GDPR. Instead, it provides background information to help you better understand how Digital Style has addressed some important legal points. This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney applies the law to your specific circumstances, so we insist that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy. In a nutshell, you may not rely on this paper as legal advice, nor as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding.

User Experience 101

Best User Experience Design Practices – Digital Style

Marketers can’t escape hearing about website best practices, including a lot of terminologies that are better suited for their designers and developers. One term that is casually tossed around is “user experience,” also known as simply UX.

This might sound like a simple concept, but it is actually very complex and involves several customer touchpoints. Before diving head first into all things UX, here’s a crash course on some of the basic concepts you should know about UX.

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color of the year

5 Ways to Incorporate Pantone Color Of The Year In Your Website

Each year, Pantone releases the color of the year, and it has widespread commercial implications. The color influences interior design, fashion, digital designs, and so much more.

Sometimes, the color of the year will be something that directly connects to your brand. At those times, incorporating it into your web design will be a no-brainer.

Other times, the selected color will pose what seems like an impossible challenge to your marketing team. The 2018 color of the year, Ultra Violet, has been one of those times for many brands. This strong purple color was met with some panic; purples often invoke a yay or nay response, with little middle ground.

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