06 / 01 / 16

Refresh your business

2016 - New Year, new you?

Welcome to the New Year. January, traditionally a time for us to reflect on our past year’s behaviour and resolve to make positive lifestyle changes to reinvigorate us for the year ahead. The mouldy training shoes get an airing, we make empty promises to read more obscure Classic novels, the cork goes back in the bottle temporarily and we sign up for Weight Watchers. Easy.

What about our business though, are we happy with the bottom line? Has our business moved on but the brand is still stuck in the past? The market may be getting tougher and we need to reach a new audience but is the brand up to it or does it need revitalised? Like people, the company can start to look jaded, worn out and not feeling particularly energised.

Let's get fresh

Completely rebranding is not always a good option, it's expensive, time consuming and risky. Instead we can put a fresh face on the business with a brand refresh strategy. What's this?

16 / 11 / 15

#Paris 13NOV2015

After the terrible news from our close neighbours and friends across the Channel, I couldn’t not make a comment. I offer my sympathy to all who have suffered and my total respect to those who refuse to give into terrorism and stand tall above those who would choose to use this atrocity as an excuse for more racial hatred. I love the City and have a personal attachment to its people and culture going back a long way.

Images of Defiance

The swift response from the creative community has been particularly heartwarming. Within hours, social media channels were awash with defiant images of public buildings lit up in red, white and blue. Potent and moving.

One of the most shared images was a peace symbol integrated with the Eiffel Tower by a French graphic designer, Jean Jullien (currently living in London). A great example of a powerful graphic simply expressed, which has become an icon of global solidarity.

19 / 10 / 15

'Should I Stay or Should I Go?' Website design tips.

Every quarter there is a painful play reenacted as I watch my long suffering wife trying to navigate her way around the confusing HM Revenue and Customs site when uploading the company PAYE figures. What should be a quick process deteriorates into a frustrating, time consuming effort trying to second guess the convoluted system.

You don't need me to tell you but a website's design will make the visitor decide whether to stay, and take action or leave. It's not just the styling that's important though, any confusing elements will drive that next click to another site quicker than a…. er mouse.

This got me thinking about web design and sharing some simple hints and tips that you could use to improve your own site, advise your obstinate boss or rein in the overly creative urges of the designer you've just commissioned.

15 / 09 / 15

Back on Track

I don't normally kick off discussing politics but I was particularly inspired by the recent Corbyn leadership win and it's effect on the party membership. 'MORE than 15,000 people have joined Labour in the 24 hours since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader' the party said.

This reaction was not due to the spurious promises of radical new ideas, instead it was an endorsement of someone who outlined his traditional values with a vision and integrity that clearly chimed with the membership. For a party that had lost direction over the years it was a wake up call as the people voted to stand up again for what they believe in and reaffirm why they became party members in the first place.

02 / 07 / 15

Paper, Ink & Glue - a love story

Reading Book
As I lay in the comfort of my bed finishing the final chapters of Andy Miller’s ‘The year of reading dangerously’, an absolutely brilliant, witty and insightful journey through his ‘List of Betterment’ - 50 books he always meant to read or ‘claimed’ to have read. I came across one of the final quotes from the CEO of a well known publisher which, as a book lover, quite shocked me and inspired this little piece.

“In the future, no one will read Pride and Prejudice from cover to cover, they will just tap the screen, of the phone or tablet and find out more about the bits that interest them, the costumes or the recipes.”

15 / 05 / 15

Good looking and sharp too!

Benefits of working with a professional designer

I was contacted recently by an enthusiastic young man, a skilled tradesmen who’d put in many hours to gain valuable experience and now wanted to set up a new company with a vision for the future. Obviously he required a new identity to get things underway. He had approached a signage company, van livery was an important element of his business, and they ‘created’ a logo for his new vision. He was, not surprisingly, underwhelmed by the result but savvy enough to realise that, good sign makers as they were, they weren’t designers. He understood the importance of a strong cohesive identity and was willing to invest in it. I was impressed, not everyone get’s it.

There are several DIY approaches with predictable results: