Category Archives: Design

Colour Me Happy

By Kelly Wright

Colour psychology is a big consideration for marketers when hoping to influence consumers. Everyone has a favourite colour but a new quiz claims to be able to work out your personality type based on how you respond to a series of hue combinations.

Take the quiz to find out what your colour choices say about you.

Colours play an important role in branding. One study shows that 90 percent of snap brand judgements can be based on colour alone while another confirms that colours greatly influence brand perception and purchasing intent.

So what does orange say about us? Well, it means we’re friendly, optimistic and vibrant. We like to stand out from the crowd and we’re not afraid to try something different. We love a challenge, and get great satisfaction from helping others. We are people people who thrive on human social contact, so get in touch with us today – we’d love to meet you!

How to spare your audience ‘Death by PowerPoint’

By Kelly Gerrish

Most people who’ve had to endure a long corporate PowerPoint presentation will know the feeling – boredom, followed by frustration and a sinking realisation that you’ll never get that time back.

A lot of presentations fail to hit the mark with stereotyped imagery that adds nothing to the narrative – with cogs, jigsaw pieces, thumbs up, handshakes and archery targets among the worst offenders. You want your presentation to stand out, but using the same old tired imagery is a sure fire way of blending into the background.

 
_87164208_thumbsup

 
The PowerPoint presentation has become synonymous with dull. Despite this, Microsoft’s software still dominates the market with an estimated 1.2 billion users worldwide and millions of presentations made each day using the software.

With PowerPoint clearly here to stay, what can we do to leave our audiences feeling a little less like braindead zombies?

According to scientists, the smartphone age has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer. Creating audience engagement is vital if you want to keep people invested. Most presentations gradually numb an audience with monologue style delivery. Creating an interactive presentation with group exercises to get people involved will keep your audience engaged and prevent them from nodding off.
Some organisations may not have a choice about whether to use slides in a presentation.

However, when there is an option, get creative. How could you deliver without a PowerPoint, or use it in a very limited or unusual way? If you want your message to stand out, challenge yourself to tell your story through photos, music, demos, and videos.

Whether you need some creative flair with a PowerPoint presentation or are looking for a different way to make your message stand out, we’re always here to help. Get in touch to see how we can bring your story to life.

New Year, New Look

There’s something different about right on the line in 2016. It’s the same faces, but not as you know us…

Our design studio have been hard at work to give us a bit of a facelift, showcasing a few different styles along the way.

We love our new look – can you guess who is who?

team

Get in touch with us to see how we could reinvent your look for 2016.

Creative Review

By Kelly Gerrish

As a creative agency, we’re well versed in the creative review process.

Many companies take a “too many cooks” approach when assessing creative. Everyone has an opinion, and these are often subjective. If you try to accommodate everyone’s individual opinions, you can easily lose sight of what’s really important – why you’re doing it in the first place. The end audience should be at the forefront of every creative review, but it sometimes get drowned out by the noise of differing stakeholder opinions.

Setting the parameters of the creative review are just as important as the creative itself. The most talented design team in the world will deliver mediocre work if you don’t carefully manage the review stage.

Combining a vague creative brief with a large review team can be a recipe for disaster.

This parody video shows the dynamic of having too many creative reviewers in the kitchen.

Why We Love Infographics

By Kelly Gerrish

In the last few years infographics have become one of the most popular forms of online content. Google searches on the word alone increased by 800% between 2010 and 2012. But why are they so popular?

Information overload
The always available nature of social media means people are constantly receiving, analysing, sharing and creating new information. In fact, the amount of information that we create and store doubles every two years, making it increasingly difficult for things to grab and retain our attention. No one has the time or desire to read through reams of plain text to try and understand it.  Information needs to be presented in a unique and memorable way. Infographics allow information to be displayed in a concise and visually appealing package, so people can digest your content before you start to lose their attention.

Decreasing attention spans
The average human being has an attention span of just seven seconds – one second less than the much maligned goldfish. 90% of the information that our brains receive is processed visually, making it more likely to stay in our long-term memory. With the constant hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s little wonder we are drawn to infographics – visual information captures our attention far better than written text.

Easy to share
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this has never been truer than with infographics. In fact, people are 44% more likely to interact with a brand who posts images on social media. If you want your audience to share content with their networks, interesting infographics give them something to tweet about. Viral marketing gives great visibility, boosting brand awareness.
This great infographic shows just why our brains crave this kind of visual presentation.

Do you use infographics in your business? Share your personal favourites with us below.

Scottish Vote Could Flag Change

By Kelly Gerrish

Used in all manner of ways to proclaim our Britishness, the Union Flag as we know it could be about to change.

It might sound unlikely but this could be the case should Scotland vote “yes” when the referendum question is put to them on September 18: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” If that were to happen, the iconic red, white and blue Union Flag we all know would effectively become obsolete. Think Ginger Spice’s Union Jack dress without the blue.

The British flag can be traced back to the union of Scotland and England in 1606 when King James VI of Scotland became James II of England. The union of the two realms was marked symbolically by merging the English and Scottish flags. So the red cross of St George was placed on the Saltire of Scotland, the St Andrew’s cross of white diagonals on a blue background.

Following the union of Britain and Ireland in 1801, the St Patrick’s cross of Ireland, red diagonals on a white background, were further blended into the mix.

But if the union is dissolved by a “yes” vote in the referendum, where does that leave the Union Flag? The College of Arms, the official register for coats of arms, has said that technically, the British flag would not have to change if the queen remained the head of state of an independent Scotland. But given what it represents would no longer exist, the British flag might be re-designed to remove the Scottish element. And surely if Scotland comes out of the flag, Wales would have to be added in. The global impact this could have is immeasurable, when you consider the other countries who feature our red, white and blue on their own national flag (Australia and New Zealand to name just two) and the ensigns flown by vessels and aircraft of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories.

The Flag Institute has been inundated with proposed redesigns, with some suggesting that the red Welsh dragon should be added, or the black-and-yellow flag of the Welsh patron saint, St. David.

With this in mind, we have designed our own new Union Flag, adding elements of the Welsh national flag – the field of green and white that lies behind the red dragon. Let us know what you think or send us your own.

union_flag_sans_scotland

Free Fonts

By Richard Ellis

If you looked for a free font ten years ago, all you could find were novelty sci-fi letterforms, Halloween ghosts in the shape of the alphabet and flaming comic book lettering that would be more likely to burn your retina than win a pitch.

When you were lucky enough to find a more practical typeface, characters would be missing, the kerning would be so bad you could park a bus between the letters and standard font weights such as bold and italic would be non-existent or only available for a fee.

That’s all changed over the last few years with the arrival of open sourced web font projects sponsored by companies such as Adobe and Google. These are largely of a good quality, with many fonts designed by prestigious designers. The sheer number of Google fonts can make it a real task to shift through them all, so here’s a handy list of some of the best.

There’s also a vibrant community of typography designers who submit their work to online directories for free commercial use.

Abduzeedo publishes free fonts every Friday. Many of them would look great on posters, displays or t-shirts.

losttype.com is a great place to find fonts. They can be downloaded for free, or you can support the design community by making a donation for each one that you use.

exljbris.com hosts a small collection of well crafted free fonts by Jos Buivenga. Popular fonts include Anivers, Museo Sans and Diavlo.

fontsquirrel.com have an easy to use directory of decent quality hand-picked open source fonts.

But of course if you have your heart set on dancing robots, then you’ll be sure to find it on dafont.com.

Do you have any free resources you use? Let us know by commenting below.

Sound as a Pound

By Kelly Gerrish and David Flynn

The new 12-sided one pound coin based on the threepenny bit has been unveiled, said to be the hardest in the world to forge. The Royal Mint is introducing the new coin in 2017 to combat £45 million worth of faked £1 coins – 3% of those currently in circulation.

But what of the design?

Pound coin

Modelling the shape on the threepenny bit makes it distinctly British, bringing a hint of our tradition and history to today’s society. There are references to the Industrial Revolution through the use of the two different metals. The shape also gives the coin character – its jewel-like cut gives some geometric interest while invoking images of her Majesty’s crown. However the dual colour makes it look more than a little like the Euro, which seems a bit strange coming from our Eurosceptic government.

The new coin will pose some problems initially, not least because vending machines, parking meters, shopping trolleys and gym lockers will have to be replaced. But like all things, we will soon get used to it.

What do you think of the new design? Let us know by commenting below.

2014 Design Trend Predictions

By Kelly Gerrish and David Cornes

Feel like 2013 came and went in a blur of infographics and responsive web design? Before you blink and miss 2014, sit back and check out these top visual design trends we predict for the coming year.

1. Flat Design
Flat design in, 3D/skeuomorphism out, particularly in digital and app design. People associate flat design with being simple, clean, colourful, modern and trendy but the biggest challenge is making it individual. This great infographic will help you work out the best option for your project by showing the drawbacks and benefits of both.

2. Grid-Style Layouts
There is no doubt that the internet is becoming more image-driven, condensing everything into an easy-to-read format. You only have to look at the simplicity and popularity of sites like Pinterest to see how effective this is. With other social media sites adopting this layout style, it will soon be popular elsewhere.

3. Infographics
The infographic will continue to be big but will go a step further with online interactivity to really engage the user.

4. Simplicity
In an age of technological clutter, simplicity of design as well as messaging will be a powerful communication tool.

5. Keeping it Short
Long marketing videos will be replaced with short punchy social media style messaging. Research shows that marketers have approximately ten seconds to reel a customer in to want to buy. It must be something to do with our attention spans!

6. Big Imagery
Lots of small images create clutter and additional noise to cut through. Big imagery helps keep things simple and keep our attention.

7. Personal Portraits
Forming a human connection has become increasingly important through social media. Now we will see the personal portrait start to be included in more traditional forms of communication. Even a small photograph on your homepage or about page offers visitors a glimpse into who you are.

8. Colour of the year
Radiant Orchid reaches across the colour wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination. It’s already proved to be big in the fashion and interior worlds, so expect to see more influence in graphic design.

9. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax Scrolling occurs when a background image scrolls at a slower pace than the foreground images, creating a parallax effect. Popular with developers over the last couple of years, it’s now going to be even more accessible to designers through apps like Adobe Muse. It creates a really engaging experience and is great for storytelling, so expect to see more.

10. Hand Drawn
Natural hand drawn illustration techniques and typography should continue to make an impact in 2014, especially off the back of the craft revival style we have seen over the last few years. This technique injects a more human feel into today’s slick digital designs.

Let us know what you think about our predictions by commenting below.