AFA Advisory Blog

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Print and Graphic Design Approach


Your logo, graphic charter, print communication tools and advertising media convey your image and therefore have paramount importance. Our visual communication agency attaches great consideration for its conceptions in graphic design and desktop publishing, and follows a process that has proved its worth.

1) Brief between the visual communication agency and the client

We are convinced that every business is unique. On this basis, any process of graphic design must begin with a meeting to listen, discover your business, fully understand your marketing goals, learn more about your competitors, audit your current print advertising media and visual identity etc.

After auditing your overall communication strategy and analyzing your current situation, the field is marked out for us in order to work well our graphic design production, and possibly make the best choices about the formats and digital and offset printing processes.

2) Conceive and propose a graphic design

At this stage, our mission is to find creative and appropriate solutions. First, we brainstorm to generate original ideas that we then analyze from several angles, keeping only those that are most promising. In the end, one or more concepts are developed and submitted to the client to get his point of view and probably make changes if needed.

If you have a well-specified need and a more or less estimated budget, we will create you customized proposals, otherwise we can suggest several concepts that may possibly require different budgets.

3) Confirm the graphic model

To avoid mistakes, we work together to validate the progress of the graphic production and we make you participate in the project from start to finish.

From this perspective, our graphic studio expects from you to validate a proposed model, to move to the step of design achievement, otherwise we modify it as many times as is necessary to get your satisfaction.

It's worth mentioning that for pure computer graphics work, the final product can be considered delivered at this level:

  • desktop-publishing
  • graphic design
  • graphic charter and logo
  • multimedia: video editing, 3D modeling, flash animation, motion design etc.

On the contrary, other projects that require graphic design and its implementation on a medium, go through other steps such as printing, manufacturing, installation etc.

  • print communication tools: catalog, flyer, brochure, pamphlet, business card ...
  • POP/IOP and signage: banner, sticker, totem, roll-up, billboard, kakemono ...
  • advertising and promotional objects: calendar ...
  • cards and stationery
  • book and publishing
  • design and packaging printing
  • generation and printing the QR code (flash code)

Note that you can also call on another visual communication agency or choose to undertake yourself a part of the project, such as only entrusting the graphic design to us and taking over responsibility for printing or vice versa.

It's very flexible to work with us, indeed, we are seeking your satisfaction and a sustainable win-win relationship.

4) Plan

Once the graphic design is validated by you, we plan its technical achievement to control the whole creation process while respecting your constraints:

  • elaboration of a timetable
  • description of tasks and assigning roles to graphic designers and/or web designers
  • required budget

5) Realize and build the communication tools/materials

The aim is to give a physical form to the initial idea. Indeed, we realize the concept on a paper or any other form, and we support you in choosing the best mediums and processes of printing and technical production.

After a lot of work, impactful and consistent advertising tools and materials with your company's corporate identity emerge.

Together we are moving forward in the graphic production line in order to give life to the imagined concept on the good media and materials while staying loyal to your visual identity.

6) Follow-up

Your concept is finally achieved and it is at you disposable, it does not end there! You will definitely want to use it one way or another.

For this, we support you in your overall communication strategy by advising you on how:

- To enrich the initial concept with other ideas that follow the same logic in order to support the overall expected result.

- To share your print communication tools and your advertising materials by the mean of street marketing operations and distribution of flyers or samples.

- To promote your multimedia and graphic design (video editing, flash animation, motion design etc.) in the web.

- To assess the effectiveness and the generated impact after the use of a communication medium.

Do you have a graphic design project? Are you looking for talented web designers and graphic designers? Our graphic design studio uses his brush to shape your visual identity and give it original shapes and colors.

Trust us and let us imagine a relevant and unique conception to make a mark on your clients' minds and position permanently your image.

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Graphic Design and Print Solutions


The visual communications agency AFA brings thanks to its multidisciplinary expertise in graphic design and digital/offset printing a comprehensive and coherent response to all print and web communication issues.

The visual communication is your ally to create and maintain close and permanent contact with your clients and more generally to stay in touch with all your audiences. Graphic design coupled with print creates masterpieces that can bring out the beauty of your brand, and elevate it to the rank you hope.

What are your goals?

  • Identify yourself and present yourself to your audiences: customers, partners, suppliers ...
  • Provide your business with the right communication tools to better present your products.
  • Emphasize your values and affirm your character in order to reinforce your brand image and positioning.
  • Leave a lasting impression that sticks in the clients mind.
  • Prepare effective advertising tools for marketing actions.
  • Differentiate yourself from your competitors.
  • Conceive an idea with graphic design.
  • Materialize a graphic conception by printing it on a paper.
  • Create the prototype of your product.

Our graphic studio will accompany you to meet effectively similar needs, whatever your industry.

Our offer is as varied as wide and we put all our print and graphic production expertise to work for you. Our aim is to make dream your brand with a flexible and personalized service.

Desktop-publishing and graphic design

Graphic design is the starting point of each strong concept. We combine advanced technology with unbridled creativity to fully express your ideas by computer graphics.

Logo conception and graphic design

The logo is the emblem of your business, while the graphic charter is the central thread that shapes your visual identity. Both are extremely important, that is why it's imperative to work them flawlessly.

Most graphic designers and web designers remain limited to the purely aesthetic aspect, but the whole issue consists in choosing a correct graphical universe and reflecting the promise of the company and its values with a unique and recognizable concept.

Multimedia

If you want to further enrich your visual communication and make use of interactive formats, we offer:

  • Video editing to create your advertisements or video reportage (corporate videos, documentaries, video report).
  • 3D modeling to develop models, prototypes (e.g. booth) or complex presentations.
  • Flash animation to design your dynamic web banner.
  • Motion design to achieve interactive advertising.

Digital and offset printing

We have established close partnerships with several printers, each with his own expertise. This allows us to supervise efficiently the printing work by choosing the most suitable printer and receive certain benefits related to price, payment and printing schedule.

We provide you with valuable advice and direct you to the media, formats and printing processes that are optimized for your needs.

Your message or idea will be achieved optimally to engrave a positive and lasting impression in your clients mind.

Print communication tools

We design your different advertising tools and materials that are light and easily distributable to support your visual communication:

  • sales brochure
  • promotional flyer
  • catalog
  • corporate brochure
  • prospectus
  • product card (product sheet) and product brochure
  • booklet
  • advertising poster
  • leaflet
  • visit card (business card)
  • advertising pamphlet
  • advertising insert
  • all kinds of sheets and sales supports
  • etc.

POP/IOP and signage

To increase your visibility in space and to make your field marketing campaigns more successful, we offer several display advertising materials and communication tools:

  • banner
  • neon sign (illuminated sign)
  • kakemono
  • personalized tee shirt
  • mascot
  • advertising totem
  • billboard
  • roll-up
  • x-banner
  • stickers and self-adhesive materials (wallpapers, labels etc.)
  • poster and placard
  • sheet
  • light box
  • flag and flying banner
  • wall sign
  • animation stand (promotion boot)
  • etc.

Advertising and promotional items

To retain and reward customers, we direct you to the communication with promotional objects, and we support you in the selection and design of personalized goodies and gifts.

Unlike other disposable promotional items, gifts will be kept by customers if they are well crafted.

  • USB key
  • kraft bag
  • personalized pen
  • mousepad
  • personalized and printed T-shirt
  • personal and professional agenda
  • printable calendar bearing the brand name and logo
  • and why not a customized smartphone with your colors for a prestigious client

Stationery and cards

Everything must speak the same language and be uniform and consistent. Customize your card making and stationery to rhyme with your visual identity.

  • invitation card
  • postcard
  • complimentary slip
  • loyalty card
  • wish card
  • agenda
  • notebook
  • Headed paper
  • sleeves/boxes/covers of CD
  • flap folder
  • etc.

Book and edition

Are you looking to produce small series of luxurious or personalized book for important personalities? For example a book of photos, a hardcover annual report, a catalog to put in the waiting room, a guest book, a presentation folder etc.

We take responsibility in the graphic design of the book, and we help you in choosing the right paper, adequate printing processes and interesting hardcovers and bookbindings.

Print and graphic pack for startups

You have just started or you are about to start a business, we create your:

  • Visual identity (logo and graphical charter).
  • Scalable showcase website that you can subsequently extend and enhance with other features.
  • Cards and stationery.
  • Communication tools and advertising media.

Propel your business more easily thanks to well-founded web and visual communication.

Design and packaging printing

The packaging is not only used to protect and transport the products, but it is also a major communication tool, it may even form the first impression of the product.

We ensure you the creation of a singular package that is loyal to your image, in order to become noticeable and prominent in the showcases.

QR code generation and printing (flash code)

We generate a QR code that can be read by a smartphone. This flash code facilitates the execution of certain common tasks such as:

  • visiting a link
  • adding a contact in a directory
  • locating a store on a map
  • subscribing to a newsletter
  • etc.

The generated flash code will be displayed on your communication tools and advertising materials such as flyers, brochures, business cards, urban and street furniture, packaging, showcases etc.

More than ever! Give meaning to your brand message through a singular and coherent visual communication. Trust our artistic graphic studio to craft your graphic identity in an original and consistent way.

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AFA Design Studio


AFA is also a visual communications agency, which ensures digital and offset printing too. Our graphic design studio is based in Morocco, specifically in Casablanca. We carry all kinds of multimedia and graphic design work that may range from simple desktop publishing to 3D modeling, and including photo editing and retouching images, complex graphic design, communication through promotional objects and video editing.

We consider the infographic as a passion above all, and we adopt a particular approach which consists in making good use of technology and drawing from our imagination to reach the creative excellence in graphic production.

Computer graphics for the benefit of your visual identity

Before continuing, it is appropria1te to ask a few questions:

Why is the graphic design important?
How can visual communication benefit my business?

Do you know that:

  • 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual level.
  • Visual information is much easier and faster to be understood by the brain.
  • Visual retention by the brain is longer. Indeed, photographs and videos enable us to live experiences, engrave ideas in mind and facilitate immediate brand recognition in a confused world.
  • People remember more what they see than what they read or hear.
  • A website whose design is well done has more credibility.
  • Customers tend to share pictures and videos on social networks than other forms of publications.

These are findings on visual communication in general, but to get the most out of the graphic, it's imperative to choose colors and appropriate forms to achieve an original idea, then create a strong concept with a correct design, and finally reproduce the graphical conception on good paper and high print quality.

Indeed, not all graphic productions are the same in terms of impact. A rushed graphic design may even be counterproductive for the company. Imagine the impact that can have a business card that is poorly designed or which is created with poor quality paper.

The graphic identity conveys your brand image and positioning, increases your credibility and improves your overall awareness.

We seriously take into consideration its issues, for this, our visual communications agency supports and advises its clients in developing their communication tools and advertising media.

As far as we are concerned, the magic formula is to design a distinct visual identity, which must be loyal to your positioning, finally it must be wrapped in the same style and tone to keep overall consistency.

AFA your graphic designer and print consultant

We meet every need you can imagine:

  • logo design and graphic design for business
  • multimedia: photo and video editing, flash animation, 3D modeling etc.
  • communication tools: flyer, sales brochure, catalog, prospectus, pamphlet, billboard, booklet, leaflet, professional business card etc.
  • office stationery: papers, sleeves/boxes/covers of CD, personalized advertising notepad, flap folder, paper letterhead etc.
  • signage conception and installation
  • point-of-sale advertising (POS), out-store and in-store advertising, advertising display: banner, neon sign (illuminated sign), billboard, kakemono, animation stand (promotion booth), personalized tee shirt, advertising totem, roll-up, x-banner etc.
  • personalized gift for a partner
  • goodies and promotional items for customers: personal and professional calendar, printable calendar bearing the brand name and logo etc.
  • and many others

Our graphic studio provides you with its expertise to achieve your graphic design projects, whatever your industry and your communication needs.

Our team of graphic designers and web designers is on the lookout for the latest technological advances and graphic trends. Our technological and creative approach brings a relevant answer to your needs with strong concepts.

Make beautify your visual identity and give a new look to your brand!

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Web and Mobile Technologies


Like any web developer who have practiced the web development in its early stages, we also worked with outdated methodologies that made our work less safe, less effective and more difficult to maintain and evolve, but do not worry! It goes back many years.

Having learned this lesson and to make our web agency processes more qualitative, we improved our workflow over time.

Our experienced web developers are equipped with the most powerful weapons that are pertaining to the conception of websites and mobile applications:

Server technologies and languages

We generally use open source technologies namely the LAMP platform (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP), and we realized that PHP frameworks are of utmost importance for several reasons, indeed they allow us to:

  • Not reinvent the wheel.
  • Improve the teamwork.
  • Increase the maintenance and scalability.
  • Force the use of good practices.

From this perspective, we have chosen the PHP framework Symfony created by SensioLabs because it meets our needs. Note that we can also work with other frameworks (Laravel, CodeIgniter, Yii, CakePHP, Zend Framework, Silex).

We use the relational databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle) and NoSQL (MongoDB).

Finally, we opt for Node.js and/or Meteor.js for the creation of real-time web applications.

Technologies and clients languages

  • HTML5/CSS3 Integration
  • Bootstrap 3 and 4
  • CSS preprocessors: Less and Sass
  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • XUL

JavaScript libraries: jQuery and jQuery Ui.

JavaScript MVC Frameworks: AngularJS, but we can also use React, Backbone.js, Ember.js etc.

Mobile applications and video games development

We create fluid and powerful mobile applications that fully exploit the opportunities offered by the hardware using the native Android and iOS development.

To master the conception budget, accelerate the development and facilitate the maintenance, we use the IONIC framework for the "hybrid development" mode in order to create a cross-platform mobile application that can run on:

  • Android: Samsung smartphones and Galaxy Tab tablet
  • Apple: iPhone and iPad
  • Windows 8: Windows Phone, tablets Surface, Nokia etc.

Construct 2 (videogames development)

Web best practices

Optimization: Memcached, reverse proxy cache (Varnish), OPcache, CDN etc.

Quality assurance:

  • Unit and functional tests with Symfony/PHPUnit.
  • BDD Tests: Behat & Mink, PHPSpec.
  • Interaction tests with browsers: PhantomJS and Selenium.
  • Code documentation: PHPDoc.
  • SensioLabs Insight.
  • SonarQube.
  • Quality Assurance PHP tools: Dead Code Detector (DCD) Copy Paste Detector (CPD), PHP Mess Detector (PHPMD) Depend PHP, PHP Loc, PHP_CodeSniffer and other QA PHP tools etc.

Continuous Integration: Travis CI and Jenkins.

Deployment and automation: Vagrant & PuPHPet, Docker, Capifony, Phing, Gulp/Grunt, Yeoman etc.

Profiling: BlackFire, Xdebug and Webgrind, Symfony Profiler.

Programming Styles: SOLID, DRY, KISS, Grasp, Data-driven programming.

Dependencies and package manager: Bower and Composer.

Creating blogs and E-commerce websites, CMS and CRM

We use a wide range of CMS, CRM and e-commerce solutions. Each can be used for a particular case:

  • CMS: Drupal, Joomla and eZ Publish
  • online shopping website (online store): PrestaShop and Magento
  • blog: WordPress
  • CRM and Web Analytics: Sugar CRM, OroCRM and Piwik

Web services, API and social widgets

Technologies: REST, SOAP, WSDL etc.
Facebook API consumption: Facebook Share, Facebook Connect, Open Graph and social applications etc.
Google API consumption: Google+, Google Sign-In, OpenID Connect, Knowledge Graph, Google Maps etc.
Twitter API consumption: Twitter Share and Twitter Connect.

A flexible digital agency

If you have developed projects with other technologies or if you want to outsource to an offshore web agency in Morocco, but you demand that we implement your workflow, which you much value, do not hesitate to contact us, in effect:

  • We have the ability to assimilate very quickly other conception methodologies and thus comply with your needs.
  • We have freelance developers to supplement our expertise and enhance our instruments.

Here are other alternatives we can consider in case of demand from our customers:

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Python Django
  • JSP
  • ASP.NET
  • ASP.NET MVC

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Digital Approach


The creation of a web site or a mobile application must go through a rigorous process and follow a certain methodology, in order to avoid groping in the dark.

Our approach is not static. Indeed, it changes from one project to another according to its specificity, but in general, it follows certain recurring steps.

Please note that we are willing to adapt to your approach if you have one, and be on the same page as your project managers.

We are not stubborn but we keep proposing our ideas and recommendations when we deem it appropriate.

Our web agency can also operate on a "Scrum Agile Development" mode for certain projects when this is more suitable.

Here are the typical steps we go through:

1) Brief between the digital agency and the client

The purpose of this step is the discovery of the project objectives following the discussions with the client and an in-depth study of the context.

2) Thought and generation of ideas

We organize brainstorming sessions and if necessary individual interviews with potential users to define:

  • Target audiences (peronsas) and their expectations (scenarios).
  • The main features and micro-utilities that can be considered to enhance and optimize the user experience.

3) Estimated Plan

Define the budget and designate the necessary human resources to the project.
Conceive the execution schedule.

4) Prototyping (mockup)

  1. Specification of the taxonomy and the website tree.
  2. Zoning in order to define the major blocks.
  3. Conception of storyboards with sketches to map the interactions and features that will be implemented (user flows).
  4. Creation of a mockup website with a prototyping software or Bootstrap CSS framework to translate the storyboards into design.

At this stage, the created prototype is submitted to the customer's validation before starting the production of the web assets. This may result in an iterative process before making a final design.

5) Production of web assets

We start creating icons, images, videos, flash animations etc. which will be incorporated into the website or the mobile application, in accordance to your graphic and color code of your brand.

6) Front-end and back-end development

HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript Integration to implement the graphical interface and the necessary interactions, without forgetting to, pay special attention to ergonomics, accessibility, SEO, W3C standards, compatibility and adaptability of application with all media and devices (responsive design).

Server side development with a dynamic language (usually PHP using a framework like Symfony or other) and a database.

The generated resources that may differ from one project to another include:

  • XHTML pages or templates
  • CSS styles
  • JavaScript scripts
  • multimedia resources: icons, images, videos, flash animations etc.
  • source code of the server configuration files
  • database that contains the content of your website optimized for search engines etc.

The content may be cared for by yourself if you wish.

If a CMS is used, we deliver you the customized pack with potentially specific added developments (extensions etc.).

7) Deployment

Once the website is well tested in a production server and the acceptance testing phase is successfully accomplished, we proceed to its final deployment online to make it accessible to everyone.

In case of a mobile application, we promote it in the Google Play Store, Apple Store and Windows Store to make it available for download.

8) Training

To enable our customer to be master of his website, comprehensive training is provided to him to learn how to handle the administrator panel and thus be able to manage his web site in a completely autonomous and intuitive way.

9) Maintenance and evolution

We remain available for new missions to evolve your website or maintain it in case of need:

  • You did something wrong in your administration panel.
  • Someone on your team has corrupted the source code and the system has ceased to function naturally.
  • You want to extend the project by adding new features.
  • You look to further optimize the delivered solution (performance, SEO, ergonomics).

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Web and Mobile Solutions


Our web agency has invested enormously in the development and enrichment of skills, to form a palette of varied and powerful web services that allow achieving every possible need.

Websites and mobile applications

Our goal is to help you get the most out of the digital world to boost your business, thanks to our websites and mobile applications that are characterized by ergonomics, performance, security, scalability, and of course their capacity to meet your expectations and specifications.

To highlight your presence in the web, we suggest a wide range from a simple static showcase to an e-commerce site or mobile application, everyone can meet a specific need:

  • Showcase site to present your activity and exhibit the products of your company in the Internet.
  • Corporate website to relay your corporate and financial communications to partners, investors, shareholders, media and financial analysts.
  • Editorial site to share quality content all the time with your customers.
  • WordPress blog to publish your posts and receive feedback from your audience.
  • CMS site for dynamic content management.
  • Online store to increase your revenue and turnover.
  • And finally, the development of a mobile application to reach your mobile Internet users.

Web development

Do you have a specific need that requires an expert intervention and team with specialized skills?

Our digital agency will carefully check your demand to define detailed scope statement (budget, time, technical specifications etc.), then we start creating a custom solution to meet your requirements.

  • web business application (intranet, extranet, Website, CRM)
  • engineering and consulting in web development
  • web project management
  • custom web development
  • website maintenance: redesigning or adding functionality
  • web services

Web interfaces design

We create a sleek design and we wrap it with your own colors to accurately reflect your corporate identity and image.

We also conceive the website tree and navigation, and we build a responsive design site that adapts to various media and devices. In short, we take into consideration the ergonomics, usability, accessibility and interactivity to optimize the user experience.

  • web design and ergonomics
  • prototyping and HTML/CSS integration
  • information architecture to conceive the tree
  • user tests to get ideas/feedback about the web site usability
  • flash animation for more interactivity

Socialization

To engage and animate your customers, we can offer you the following solutions:

  • social application
  • advergames (JavaScript/HTML5 games, smartphones, flash, Facebook)
  • gamification to involve your website visitors and encourage them to stay longer

Our advantages

All our projects receive the following benefits:

  • web usability and intuitive navigation
  • W3C standards compliance
  • consideration of web accessibility to create an accessible site to people with disabilities
  • website responsive design that can adapt to all possible resolutions and devices (mobile, tablets and desktops)
  • search engine optimization (SEO) to generate free and sustainable natural traffic

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