We came across this little beauty the other day, and I just had to share it with you. The Book of Guinness Advertising maps the advertising of the Guinness brand, which began in 1928 and looks at the ways in which the advertising has changed in a way which echoes social and political developments. From the immortal line ‘Guinness is good for you’ (can you imagine an alcohol brand saying that now?!) to ‘Guiness for strength’ (accompanied by ‘dig for victory’ images, it’s really fascinating to see the evolution of this world famous brand. You’d never get away with half of the stuff in the adverts on these pages nowadays, but it’s wonderful to see the rather charming innocence of advertising in an age where brands were able to do their thing.
Category Archives: Creative Design
We speak to lots of clients who understand the importance of a great brand, but feel overwhelmed by the prospect of tackling the tricky business of their brand identity head on. Not to worry – I’ve got 5 tips for you to help improve your brand. You’ll find that you need help from a professional for a couple of them, but the rest you can do yourself.
1. Know your market. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Make a list of your existing clients who truly value what you do and are prepared to pay what you charge. What do they have in common? You need to engage with more people who fit this profile, so get to grips with why they choose you over your competitor, and what it is that they really love about your business.
2. Understand your niche. What is it that you do which makes you stand out from your competitors? Is it your approach, a unique feature to your service or your product that makes you more valued by your clients? If your niche isn’t immediate;y obvious then get brainstorming – you need to find a way of making your business different from your competitors in a meaningful way to your clients. Without a niche, you’ll be competing on price and pot luck – and that’s not a happy place to be.
3. Think about your personality. If your brand were a person, how would they behave? Would they be chatty and informal or serious and authoritative? The right tone of voice will engage the people you want to do business with, so make sure that your style reflects the personality of your brand.
4. Add value at every turn. The more value you offer, the less price matters. Fact. Map out ways you can provide more – that might be in the form of fact sheets, seminars, or tips to help clients make the most of your product. Go that extra mile wherever possible’ it’ll pay off.
5. Ensure that every communication is delivered with flair. It must be engaging and inspirational, and make clients really want to work with you. This is the point at which slick design comes into its own – well considered design will add value to your brand and reinforce your key messages through careful use of colour, pattern and typography. This is the bit we absolutely love!
Take a moment with a cup of tea and reflect upon how you can implement these changes in your business. Do let me know how you get on!
Data Sanctuary is owned by Ben Crawford, a thoroughly lovely chap and genuine computer guru. Ben approached us to work our magic on his branding, which we’ve had a lot of fun with so far! We’ve whittled down the various developments to two possibilities, and Ben and I would really love your feedback to help make the final decision on which concept makes the cut. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to ask you to make a judgement without knowing a bit more, so here’s the story so far:
Data Sanctuary has been trading for some time already, but now is the time to give it a real push to become a serious offering in the IT and data security market. With a number of competitors at both ends of the scale (sole traders ranging to companies with several employees), Data Sanctuary stand out due to Ben’s positive and personable attitude. Unlike competitors who often have grumpy and monosyllabic engineers, Ben is patient, professional and great with people (trust me – I asked him tonnes of questions and he didn’t get grumpy once!). The branding for Data Sanctuary needs to be warm, approachable and just a little bit quirky.
The Target Market
Both domestic and commercial customers – Data Sanctuary is well positioned to work with both. Commercial customers should ideally have no more than approximately 20 clients – so we’re working very much with the small business/ start-up market where Ben has experience and a proven track record already.
And now we’re down to these two designs:
So it’s over to you – do you prefer Concept 1 (the birds), or Concept 2 (the power circuit)? We’d really appreciate your help!
These days, it’s all about adding value; doing whatever you can to stand head and shoulders above your competitors
Hoad’s Children’s Shoe Shop are renowned for being the local authority on children’s shoes – their specialist fitting service instantly makes them more valued to parents than your average high street shoe shop. And of course, the day that a parent takes their little one into Hoad’s for their very first ‘proper’ pair of shoes is a very special one – a sign that their precious baby is growing up. To commemorate this, Hoad’s give their customers with a photo of that first pair of shoes, presented in a lovely keepsake folder. Isn’t that a lovely idea?
To help measure and improve their customer service, we’ve created a small feedback card too for customers to share their thoughts. A simple thing, but so crucial to ensure you’re offering the very best service that you can.
The Hoad’s brand is a great example of how a brand can be styled differently for various demographics. The look and feel of the main store is very different, and quite rightly so (remember the work we did with them to promote their fashion event?) – the playful, child-like feel of the typography used in this folder would be totally wrong for their adult customers. Nonetheless, the essence of the Hoad’s brand is always consistent, and that’s absolutely fundamental in building a powerful brand.
Last Saturday, the Vine Gardens played host to the very first Sevenoaks Food Fair, organised by the utterly unflappable Helen Cook. It was a really fun event; loads of delicious food, lots of really lovely stalls and wonderful people. I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Kelly Holmes, who gave an exclusive interview in the Sevenoaks Foodie magazine (designed and produced by us at Ditto) and who very kindly signed a copy of the Foodie magazine for us. Helen’s next event is at Christmas, and judging by the fantastic response she got to Saturday’s event, it’ll be one for the diary.
We’ve been chained to our desk over the last few days, working with the wonderful Helen Cook to get the first edition of the Sevenoaks Foodie magazine off the ground. Helen has worked wonders with gathering editorial and some really wonderful content (including an exclusive interview with Dame Kelly Holmes) in a very short space of time, and it’s a real testament to her dedication and determination that this magazine has gone to print on schedule.
From our end, this magazine represents a brand new project, so it was no small task to design the magazine from scratch within 3 weeks while simultaneously managing a number of projects for other clients too. It just goes to show what can be done when the right people work together! The magazine is launched to tie in with the Kentish Food Fair, taking place on the Vine Gardens next Saturday 14th September. There’s an impressive range of exhibitors, all selling fantastic local food produce, many of whom are featured in the magazine. It’ll be available around Sevenoaks next week, so do keep an eye out for it!
Hoads need little introduction if you’re local to Sevenoaks. Established in 1898, this family business has been a firm fixture of Sevenoaks’ High Street for quite some time. I’ve a huge amount of respect for the keenness that James and Jonty have to evolve their business, and was really excited to learn that the Adult store on the High Street is soon to host a free fashion event. This is definitely one for the diary – there’s champagne on arrival, a stylist on hand all evening (they’ve teamed up with a local boutique, who will be advising guests on the key Autumn/Winter trends), a goodie bag for each guest and 10% off any purchases on the evening.
This is a new venture for Hoads, and we needed to help them really make a splash and generate a buzz to get people excited. We’ve created a range of collateral including in-store posters, invitations, a magazine advert and e-shot graphics.
This is going to be a really fantastic event, and an excellent asset to Hoads who, as an independent High Street retailer would make Mary Portas proud! It’s been wonderful to plan the marketing aspect of the event with Hoads (although Nicola and I may have got just a tad carried away in our brain storm session – sorry James!), and I’m really looking forward to the event. I hope to see you there!
PS – to book your free place, email email@example.com. The more, the merrier!
We started working with the lovely chaps at Tree Craft a little while ago, so it’s shameful really that they’re only just getting their first mention on the blog now.
Tree Craft are a firm of environmental arborists (or tree surgeons, to you and me). They place a heavy emphasis on ensuring that their work is environmentally conscious, and they work hard to preserve our valuable ecology. As well as the domestic work that they do to enhance clients’ gardens, the guys take on corporate contracts too. With this in mind, we’ve developed a brand identity for them that appeals to the domestic market but can hold it’s weight, with confidence, in the corporate sector too.
We’ve given the brand a total Ditto-style makeover, and have considered every element of their visual identity – right down to the type of paper we use on printed brochures, flyers and business cards. Given the company’s strong environmentally friendly ethos, we always use recycled material for printed items. As well as being gorgeously tactile and contemporary, it reinforces an earthy, nature-friendly brand. The colour palette includes cool blues, neutral brown and zesty greens, communicating a trustworthy and balanced brand personality with the bright greens injecting life and vibrance.
As someone who works in the design trade, I’m constantly fascinated by those who have unique artistic abilities.
Dan showed me this video yesterday of Joby Carter, a traditional sign writer who produces the most incredible Victorian fairground style work. His passion for what he does is amazing, and his work is just beautiful. I urge you to watch the whole video, it really is breathtaking.
Hot off the press is this lively, colourful and playful design that Ditto have produced to promote a Summer family fun day. Although the design itself is bright, breezy and attention-grabbing with all those gorgeous bright colours, it has a slightly sombre undertone. Taking place on Saturday 20th July at Brasted Pavillion, this event aims to raise money in the memory of a very young girl who sadly lost her life to a rare mitochondrial disease, with all funds will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital, who cared for little Anna during her illness. It sounds like the day is going to be an absolute blast, so do go if you can!