On how far we’ve come, and celebrating success

Stuart McMahon sketches

Flicking through my notebook today, I came across a page with ‘GOALS’ very firmly written at the top, in capitals, and underlined. This is not like me – I don’t like goals and targets, and I have to be bullied into writing them. That’s not to say that I’m not ambitious, but that the idea of writing down my goals (and therefore having to really commit and be held accountable to them, rather than keeping them in my own head) scares the bajeezus out of me.

I digress. The page listed 6 specific targets that we set when working with our fabulous mentor, Fiona Humberstone, 5 months ago. On the list was a pledge to start speaking publicly about our work in 2015, a note about how much revenue I wanted to generate from our brand styling work, and a target for the number of new clients I wanted to attract every month. And you know what? We’ve achieved almost all of them.

I’ve been asked to speak at 3 events between now and November (two of which are next week – eeek!). We’re about 75% of the way there with my sales target (I’d allowed until May 2015 to reach this one, so daft did it seem), and we’re currently exceeding my goal for new client enquiries.

I can’t believe how far we’ve come as a team since May. It makes me slightly shivery to think that the goals I had to be pestered into committing to paper just 5 months ago are starting to become reality. The targets we all thought were fairly ridiculous are taking shape.

I’m so pleased to be able to share our progress with you lovely readers, who are so generous with your support. Our experience as a team over the last few months has just gone to show that if you really, really want something, you can definitely make it happen.

What a great note to finish Monday on!

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Filed under Thinking Big

Proud to Present: Brand Styling for Guy Barnes

Guy Barnes - vision board by Ditto Brand Stylists

Guy Barnes is a Tunbridge Wells based painter and decorator, working with both domestic and commercial customers. While the core of his services centres around painting, decorating and plastering, he take pride in being able to provide a more complete service – working alongside sub contractors, he’s able to provide clients with much more value. Guy Barnes is known for being reliable, punctual, thorough and working to a high standard, and came to Ditto for a brand identity which tells the world that you are strong, established and high quality.

Before we got started, Guy made the big decision to change the name of his business from ‘GB Decorating’ to ‘Guy Barnes’, which reflects a real shift in the way he wants the business to be perceived moving forwards. We spoke at some length about the pros and cons of this, but I really feel he made the right choice – using his full name sounds so much more confident, don’t you think?

Guy Barnes vision board

The season personality

Guy Barnes is an Autumn personality, with Winter subordinates. Autumn businesses are authentic, genuine and grounded. They’re personalities of substance; they’re grounded and have a strong moral compass. They’re hard workers and care very deeply about getting the job done properly. On the Winter side, there’s a strength and no-nonsense approach that’s really important to the new identity. Efficiency, quality and trust are very important to Winter personalities – they’re grounded, focussed and get the job done with minimal fuss.

The colour palette

The colour palette for Guy Barnes is confident and traditional, with a modern twist. The soft shades of pigeon and putty are given gravitas by the reassuring shades of blue, which provide an established, almost heritage feel. The blues communicate a strength, trust and capability which is perfect for the new brand direction.

The brand board

Guy Barnes logo design and Brand Styling by Ditto Creative


The primary logo for Guy Barnes is strong, confident and feels very established. I really love the secondary logo elements – absolutely perfect for social media, favicons and any situation where the whole logo would be a bit too much. The illustrations provide exactly the hand-rendered look that we wanted, which fits in with the Autumnal side of the brand personality perfectly. They really convey the care and attention that Guy and his team provide to their clients, and these beautiful illustrations will work beautifully as website icons.

The visualisation

Guy Barnes logo design and brand styling by Ditto Creative

Guy Barnes logo design and brand styling by Ditto Creative

Guy Barnes logo design and brand styling by Ditto Creative

We always consider the practicalities when we design a logo and style a brand – it’s all well and good to produce a design that looks stunning on screen, but it’s useless if it isn’t practical. With this in mind, we road-test our designs by putting together a range of visualisations – great for us, and really exciting for our clients. Don’t these look great?!

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Filed under Brand Styling, Powerful Branding, Proud to Present

Speaking event: 26th September, Sevenoaks

The Zed Music Cafe, Sevenoaks. Brand styling by Ditto Creative

September’s a busy month – as well as speaking at an Athena event on the 24th September, I’ll be joining Zoe Ashfield at the Breakfast Friends meeting on 26th September to talk about our approach to branding The Zed Music Cafe.

We’ll be sharing the story of the brand so far: how we used design to communicate powerfully and create an instinctive identity, and our approach to encapsulating brand personality through the brand styling. Zoe will also be talking about her journey as a young entrepreneur, embarking on her first business venture while still at university. Zoe is an engaging and passionate business woman who is working tirelessly to achieve her vision – she’s ambitious, focussed and incredibly inspirational. She’s an absolute pleasure to work with, so I’m delighted to have been asked to join her in talking about her brand.

If you can join us on the 26th, we’d love to see you! It’s an early start, but it’ll be well worth it. You can book at breakfastfriends.com.

See you there!

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Filed under Ditto News