The Power Of ‘A Quick Sketch’

20 odd years ago, it was the romance of hearing about the then Alfa Romeo Head of Design, Walter Da Silva using his menu to sketch the design of a new car to a journalist in a Milan restaurant that sealed my love for the creative process. It made me want to become a designer and more importantly realise the power of a sketch. Something that has remained with me ever since.

Anybody that has worked with the loft in recent years will know that the one thing we do is sketch – quite a lot actually. Thumbnails of details on a post-it note, story-boarding an infographic on the back of an envelope, at times we even provide clients with hand-drawn sketch sheets to present ideas with their proposal.


Well firstly, it puts the person back in control of the process. In the days with more and more machine input – we believe in the richness, inspiration and creativity of the individual first and software tools second.

Secondly, it’s just faster. When timelines are getting squeezed – sketches allow you to explore more ideas quicker – taking a few minutes to draw something can also save hours of going down a wrong route with the computer.

Thirdly, they are usually more inspirational, more raw and crucially more open to interpretation. This is important at the early stage of the process when you’re wanting to get on the front foot with your ideas without too many restrictions that can kill creativity.

Fourth, they can give an invaluable insight to clients to help them visualise what you’ll create for well in advance.

Finally they democratise the creative process – anybody can have an idea and sketch it. Even if it is a bit rough at first. We’ve had work-experience students, clients, MD’s even accountants all make significant contributions to a creative project with some swipes of a pen on a scrap sheet of paper.

Want to accelerate, strengthen and enrich the creative process? Go back a step and go for a quick sketch.



Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen fast and in a big way.


Malcolm Cochrane | Design Highlights 2017

All this month we’ve been taking a look back and celebrating the wonderful achievements of our creative team in 2017. We kicked the month off in fine style with some of the excellent works of our Reiss, we then featured Laura, followed by Marek. As the month draws to a close, we’d like to end our series by acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of Malcolm Cochrane — a photographer that we have worked with many, many times over the years.

Whether he was working on factory shots, intimate portrait images, or something a little more creative, Malcolm was always able to deliver photographs that told a story, had an enduring quality, and a sensitivity which regularly delighted. Pretty much another member of our creative team, we all loved working with Malcolm in 2017 and we can’t wait to work further with him in 2018.

These are Malcolm Cochrane’s highlights with the loft in 2017…


Iona of Bridge of Weir

One of Malcolm’s greatest strengths is his ability to capture people and one of the best examples of this was with his capturing of Iona from Bridge Of Weir Leather. Iona is one of 10 leather production and manufacturing apprentices undertaking a 2-year course with Scottish Leather Group. As part of her apprenticeship, Iona will undertake many different roles within the factory. This effortless shot by Malcolm excellent captures Iona in front of the leather she has dedicated her career to learning about.


Anthony of Tradeprint

Tradeprint are one of the largest print suppliers in the country providing an unparalleled level of quality and service. ‘The People Behind the Print’ was the campaign we co-created with them, highlighting the magnificent people in their team. People that really add value to the client relationships, the process, and what they are looking to achieve.

Malcolm beautifully captured the entire team with a range of poses showing off the different sides of their characters. Subtle lighting, bold compositions, and a real variety of expressions truly brought these magnificent photographs to life. They became the focal point of a wonderful campaign.


THE LOFT ‘Master Plan’

The loft have worked with Malcolm on many, many shoots and we have been privileged to have him photograph us many times. In the summer of 2017, Malcolm did this lovely little overhead shot of the loft team drawing out their master-plan for the future. A fun shot where he beautifully captures the energy of a dramatic scene from a wonderfully interesting angle. Another great image from what is an ever-growing collection.



One of the great things about working with Malcolm is some of the brilliant off-camera moments he captures. A recent shoot with the great folk from Young Enterprise Scotland is about to spawn some brilliant new professional photos which are going to be used for a new publication. In between the serious stuff, Malcolm caught this fun image of Lucy, Geoff, and Christiana from Young Enterprise Scotland trying on their hats — complete with the YES tartan colours.

This concludes Malcolm’s design highlights with the loft in 2017 and the end of the series. We’ve loved every minute of reliving these highlights and are massively, massively grateful for the entire contribution made by everybody in 2017.

We look forward to seeing what everybody does in 2018.


Marek Brol | Design Highlights 2017


That was the name we gave the incredibly talented Marek Brol.

As January draws towards a close, we are using the rest of the month to celebrate the creative achievements of our team. Marek Brol joined us in March of 2017 and it’s to safe to say that we were bowled over by his desire, creativity, and intensity. Marek did many wonderful things for the loft before sadly departing back to his homeland towards the end of the year. Although Marek’s no longer with us in the studio, the memory of a wonderful person, lots of great times, and some staggeringly beautiful work remain with us. Acts of creativity that we are truly grateful for. We can’t wait to see what Marek does next, but in the meantime, these are his highlights of 2017:

SOCEX 2017 Brochure

1. SOCEX 2017

The first thing Marek did for us at the loft was the beautiful SOCEX 2017 brochure. A person who loves the symbolic and meaningful, Marek got his teeth into the project with a drive which immediately impressed us. He thoughtfully and intelligently built on the SOCEX visual framework which had been established with previous publications but he breathed new life into it with a serious of super-dramatic backdrop images on various pages, eye-catching colour scheme, and an impactful front cover. The cover shows a menacing hooded figure against a backdrop of several of the conference themes constructed as a mosaic. Instant Impact! Marek, as with all our projects, was ably supported by the team, but this one really does have his personality all over it.

Hot Desk Campaign


One of Marek’s greatest talents was his ability to use bold creative ideas to bring just about any subject to life. The loft last year was offering hot-desk spaces in its large South Block studio and one of the greatest challenges was the presentation of a space which would be originally sparse and empty until used. Marek, along with his colleagues, beautifully used the idea of putting props such as your ‘laptop, photo, and creative family’ into a beautiful descriptive drawing, complete with annotations, which truly brings the scene to life while selling that all important element of ‘individuality,’ so important to creatives. The campaign was a huge success, with enquiries being received to this day, we believe, due in no small part to Marek’s wonderful illustration skills.

Fedrigoni 365

3. Fedrigoni 365

Fedrigoni is one of the world’s most celebrated, famous, and successful paper manufacturers. Designers from all over the world aspire to use Fedrigoni in the projects they work on. In 2017, they had the idea to create a book which celebrates some of the UK’s most prominent designers and design studios, giving each of them a date of the year to creatively represent. Safe-to-say, we were absolutely thrilled and honoured to be given the opportunity. The 27th of May was the date they chose for us. The only condition of the brief was that we had to use black paper, silver ink, and the number had to look like the date being represented. As always, we wanted to give the illustration some meaning and found that the 27th of May is a celebration of ‘Japanese Navy Forces Day.’ The full team put forth ideas and Marek eventually took it on, beautifully illustrating a ship with the hull creating the number ‘7’ and the number ‘2’ being represented as a swan. As it says in the book, “A coincidence of the natural form of the sea, resulting in two contrasting elements unified.” We’re all delighted with the final result.

Arcman Billboard

4. Arcman Sub-Brands

Real design sensitivity is one of the hardest things to achieve as a designer; the understanding of those nuanced details which can make all the difference when creating things. Marek has a rare sensitivity which belies his younger years and this was never shown to greater extent than with his creation of the Arcman sub-brands. He created a full range of icons for Arcman, bringing each of their services to life — welding, fabrication, installation, etc… Each of the different icons show the person doing their craft, but where these particular figures shine is in the dynamism of the poses, the drama of the light-shade, and the careful interpretation of the details such as the sparks of the welder. Real design sensitivity indeed. This wonderful concept image where the welder is working on the letter ‘A’ is beautiful, memorable, and truly eye-catching. An image, which eventually spawned a full series, was used endlessly with different communications by the brand as the year came towards a close and most importantly something that was loved by everybody.

A fitting end to a wonderful year — we wish Marek the very best of luck and can’t wait to see what he does in 2018.


Laura Campbell | Design Highlights 2017

Last week we were delighted to kick off our series in celebrating the achievements of our creative team in 2017. We started with Reiss McLeod and this week we are delighted to be taking a look back at the exceptional work of his ‘partner-in-crime’ Laura Campbell.

Laura Campbell, a graduate of ‘Gray’s School of Art’ in Aberdeen, joined our team in March 2017 and what an incredible year she has had. Laura quickly became a go-too person for creative ideas, managing the ever-intricate print process and finally adding some much-needed video to the loft’s social media presence. Such was her deftness with social media that the young lady, we once thought was quiet, became our ‘Director of Noise.’ A role she has led with absolute distinction since.

Laura is multi-talented – a person who is comfortable at all stages of the design process, a keen developer/illustrator and somebody who the clients often rave about, she is one of the most trusted members of our team and is also great fun to be around too.

These are Laura Campbell’ highlights of 2017.


1. Tradeprint ‘People Behind The Print’

One of Laura’s biggest successes of 2017 was her fantastic work on the ‘People Behind Print’ campaign for Tradeprint. Tradeprint is one of the country’s largest providers of online print where their team helps large companies, organisations and agencies with their printing requirements. They have incredible geographical reach, an extremely wide variety of products and most importantly their print coaches – Laura very skilfully acknowledged the value of the ‘print coaches’ in a commoditised market flooded with competition.

She built on this by creating a range of beautiful concepts with the print coaches being at the heart of the campaign, they were captured with simple portraits, expressive poses and then some beautifully creative mixed-media collages using Tradeprints own stock. The concepts were all Laura’s while working with Tradeprint brand Director James Barrett Bunnage and photographer Malcolm Cochrane on a range of materials spanning print advertisements, social media posts and beautiful landing page micro-sites. One for each of the print coaches. Top work indeed…

VRU Scotland

2. VRU Scotland ‘Street & Arrow’ Display Stand

Laura, with her cohort Reiss, played a pivotal part in the development of this unique and very special display-stand created for VRU Scotland’s ‘Street & Arrow.’ ‘Street & Arrow’ is a programme led by The Violence Reduction Unit to help people make the transition from leading lives of crime back into employment. As part of a wider creative project and the opportunity to do something different for a trade show, Laura captured the chance to bring this incredibly interesting piece of work to life. Created in record-quick time, you will see the transition of the individual from criminal to worker in the artwork, the spray-painting of the characters carefully produced on actual chipboard and Reiss and Laura celebrating a remarkable day’s work. All carried out from the warehouse of a good friend. Not your typical trade-show stand. Not your typical day at the studio but a wonderful result.

Scottish Leather Group

3. Scottish Leather Group Sustainability Report 2017

This was the second Sustainability Report we created for Scottish Leather Group after a successful 2016. The team were asked to take the concept of sustainability forward and Laura duly obliged. Her concept of ‘using less ink’ with the text, graphics and mainly the images of the brochure was seen as very fitting for a document celebrating some remarkable achievements by the company regarding its sustainability. The image of leather off-cuts on the brochure shows this concept to beautiful effect – once again with the exceptional photography of Malcolm Cochrane.

Geckotech Calendar

4. Geckotech Calendar

One of Laura’s biggest achievements of 2017 was the design of the 2018 Geckotech Calendar. Geckotech Solutions are a company which supplies clients with access engineering solutions including industrial rope access, confined space entry and the installation of temporary working platforms. She worked closely with Nancy Pearson from Geckotech Solutions and Ruth McFarlane of Exactaprint where she selected the most eye-catching images available, sensitively developed them with a ‘Black & White’ theme with very dramatic orange accents and once again managed a very intricate print process. The final calendars were wonderfully received by the client, their clients and all involved. Yet another exceptional outcome for our Laura.

Research Scotland Infographics

5. Research Scotland Report on the 14:19 Fund

Infographics have been round a long-time, starting with everything from the pie and bar charts used in office packages on original PCs, they became more widely popular in recent years to tell longer, more complicated and intricate stories in an easier, friendlier and more digestible way. They are seen everywhere today from business plans to product instructions to the communication of complicated financial information. At the loft we have been very much at the heart of the development of the infographic and how they are evolving, particularly with motion graphics. Laura took the original infographic concept and gave it a new lease of life with the combination of high-impact visual photography to create images of tremendous effect. The infographics Laura created for Research Scotland’s reporting of ‘Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund’ are some of the freshest and most exciting that we’ve seen and been involved in a long time.

It’s safe to say that it’s been an absolutely incredible year for Laura and we could easily have created another week’s worth of materials.

Looking forward to seeing what she creates in 2018!


Reiss McLeod | Design Highlights 2017

2017 was a big year for Reiss. After a summer internship and a year of working part-time, Reiss became a full-time member of the loft team once he finished his studies in July. Anybody that knows Reiss knows he is an incredibly talented guy with exceptional basic skills, an uncanny ability to generate ideas out of no-where and he’s a great wordsmith too. His puns are quite the thing of legend in the studio.

As expected Reiss eased into his new role and quickly became a pivotal part of the team adding the role of ‘Director of Client Happiness’ to his design responsibilities. Already an exceptional creative-thinker and problem solver, he added some real weight to his development skills throughout the year culminating in several exceptional pieces of creative work which we’d love to celebrate.

Although we always work as a team at the loft, we wanted to take a moment to value individual contributions to creative projects and Reiss really delivered tremendously in 2017, these were some of his highlights.


1. Cashback Infographic for Inspiring Scotland

Quite possibly the highlight of the year for Reiss was his interpretation of the positive information for ‘Cashback for Communities’ for Inspiring Scotland. The programme involves taking the proceeds of crime and re-investing it back into local communities for young people — £20,000,000 has been re-invested into improving life opportunities since 2014. The programme is led by the Scottish Government alongside Inspiring Scotland and Reiss took an incredibly large amount of information and alongside his cohort Laura developed a beautiful illustration-infographic hybrid depicting a wonderful tale of the programme. The interpretation of the individual mini-stories where Cashback has made a difference in the community is a real highlight. The infographic has been such a success that it adorns the walls of the offices at Inspiring Scotland as well as The Scottish Government.

SOCEX - Financial Crime Conference

2. SOCEX Financial Crime Conference Brochure

The loft has worked with the event organisers for The Serious & Organised Crime Exchange (SOCEX) since 2015 and have since created a number of set-piece conference brochures. Reiss took the lead with the latest instalment — The 2017 Financial Crime Conference in November. Reiss built on the visual frameworks of previous brochures but where his creativity really shone through is with the imaginative, purposeful and almost iconic design of the front cover which cleverly shows two people exchanging ideas – ideas that are all emblematic of themes being dealt with by the conference. A beautiful, abstract and fitting depiction for the newly formed financial conference. We can’t wait for the 2018 events…

Arcman-Making Christmas Campaign

3. Arcman Winter Campaign Image

Our Reiss is an accomplished wordsmith and real creative thinker. Never was this more beautifully brought to life than with his campaign image and advert for the winter edition of print magazine ‘Urban Realm.’  Building on the Christmas theme – Reiss cleverly realised that the ad created for Arcman was going to be seen just as much in January as December so beautifully saw past the obvious Christmas theme and instead brought the sentiment of ‘getting back to wor’k to life. A Christmas calendar with the various services of Arcman as windows remain in place but are all secondary to those strong words ‘The Holidays are over. Let’s Get To Work.”  In-keeping with the company values and a real success.

Client Top 5 FAQs

4. Introducing ‘the pigs’

Reiss has an absolutely wonderful imagination and a real ability to creatively communicate information. Part of his role as ‘Director of Client Happiness’ is to share best-practices with others in the team. His creative ability was on full-display when he introduced a series of odd-looking creatures to us as his way to demonstrate his ideas for ‘Client Happiness.’ These little creatures which we affectionately christened ‘the pigs’ have since found their way into many parts of the loft’s brand presentation in 2017.

Arcman-Making Metal Work

5. ‘MAKING METAL WORK’ for Arcman

Once again Arcman were looking for a series of print ads for the Urban Realm annual, something which would demonstrate the high-energy nature of their service, commitment to clients and desire for excellence. Reiss came up with a rather simple concept but one which really shone. He mixed the excellent photography of Malcolm Cochrane with an exceptionally well-selected typeface to bring the vibrancy of the Arcman message to life for print, digital and everything in between… The campaign advert was so widely liked by the company founder Jamie Doak that it proudly adorns his I-Phone and is mounted on the front of the Arcman workshops.

Reiss was a huge part of the loft’s success in 2017 and we can’t wait to see what ideas, graphics and even puns he has up his sleeve for 2018.



‘Soaring Spirits’

Spirit’s an interesting concept – intangible, unquantifiable, easier to feel than properly articulate. Every now and then you can experience it at its strongest – a football match where your team score at the last minute, a gig where your favourite band just kill it on stage and tonight at the Kelvingrove where the kids from MCR Pathways have just wowed us with an amazing music and drama performance.

For those that aren’t in the know, ‘Young Glasgow Talent by MCR Pathways’ is an organisation that helps young people unlock their talent. The organisation teams up with schools and provides mentors to students, some of whom, have had the most ridiculously difficult starts to life. The organisation has an exceptional record (over 700 young people supported, 15 schools participating, 800 plus mentors and 1321 volunteers registered – and all in a very short space of time.)

Tonight was the Creative Showcase, we had the great and good of Glasgow out in their many, we had the launch of a painting by the world class Gerard M Burns and it was all hosted in the most magnificent of settings – The Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

However, all of that pales into insignificance when compared to the soaring spirits of the young people who thrilled, entertained and moved us from the stage tonight.

Where do you start?

The evening was kicked off with an incredibly moving drama performance of the students just oh-so gently reminding us a little of what they had been through before kicking into a wonderfully moving cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are.’

We were treated to the story of Gerard Burn’s painting and how some of the students had contributed to its creation – the painting itself really is something.

And the evening was concluded by the incredible Mya, a 14 years-old singer-songwriter who confessed on stage that she suffers from autism and anxiety, but whose renditions of ‘Firefly’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ left the audience absolutely stunned of the sheer potency of a 14-year old voice.

What amazing things can happen when talent is unlocked!

She mentioned she was looking to get her Facebook fanbase over 1000 and if you happen to be reading – check out

It’s definitely worth a like.

Individual talent aside, what is even more impressive is the spirit and togetherness of the young people – there was an incredibly moving moment at the end of Mya’s performance when her friends from the organisation just gate-crashed the stage, clapping, singing and all wildly encouraging us to share in the most joyous of moments.

We all did.

What’s more, the spirit of the young people is matched by each and every person in the MCR Pathways team. Whether it’s Claire O’Hara urging the audience to leave the safety of their seats to embrace the magic of the young people by standing closer to the stage. Iain MacRitchie, the founder absolutely making sure the Gerard M Burns Painting could be photographed and sent to the Herald before 730PM to make the deadline for Page-3 tomorrow. Or Robin Dewar, the IT manager who just went out in the cold Glasgow rain to get me a laptop to write this with my phone out of juice.

To a person, each and every-one of them care so much, give it everything they’ve got and exemplify this ‘soaring spirit’ themselves.

Whether you are a person interested in mentoring, an employer who wants to provide a talent taster work-experience or just somebody looking to get a little more involved – this is an organisation that’s worth knowing and supporting.

‘Soaring Spirits’ each and every one of them.

Check out for more info…



Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen fast and in a big way.


Great Brands Sell Ideas First…

Whatever line of business you’re in, people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.

I got a very useful reminder of that this week when helping some early-stage entrepreneurs. They had a great software solution and were looking for ways to generate more leads from their existing website.

Having initially bored them with some worthy but rather uninspiring solutions (contact forms with less fields,) it dawned on me that to really make a significant gain, to really make a dent with what they were doing, that the site itself had to sell the higher nature of what they were offering.

In this case – a tailored solution for a specific user-group, up-to-date programme with current legislations and exceptional value.

What a difference this simple shift in communication had. It never ceases to amaze me how effective a new home-page image, tag-line and corresponding graphics can be to a potential client.

What’s more the exercise of implementing these ideas is fun and energises everybody in the organisation itself.

In Napoleon Hill’s classic ‘Think and Grow Rich’ the author states that “All master salesmen know that ideas can be sold where merchandise cannot. Ordinary salesmen do not know this – that is why they are ordinary.”

Successful companies know this too – Coca Cola sells the hit of instant refreshment not carbonated soft-drinks, Sky TV sells the cutting-edge of in-house entertainment not just TV packages and great politicians sell the vision of a brighter tomorrow not specific plans and policies.

If you’re selling professional services – sell the friendliness of the service. Selling gym memberships – sell the intensity of the exercise. Even if you’re selling double-glazing, sell the strength and protection of the final product first not the properties of the glass.

Logical information only confirms decisions we’ve already got our hearts set on. But the heart’s got to be set on something in the first place.

If you want a brand that is going to generate a lot of new business – sell the idea first. If you want a hand then give us a shout.



Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen fast and in a big way.


Everything You Need – for Maximising Creative Budgets

At the loft, we treat clients budgets like they were our own and look to make them stretch as far as possible. So to best help you maximise your budget for creative projects, we’ve put this handy wee guide together.

Before we get started.

Creative companies bill for time so your final quote is only ever based on two things – (the numbers of hours for a project) x (the agency rate.)

This guide helps you maximise that time to maximise the value you receive.

Accurate Briefs Remove the Guesswork
An accurate brief removes a lot of the time spent on guessing. The quicker we can hone in on the tangible items of a project (number of website pages, style of infographics, types of print techniques required, etc,) the quicker we can focus on those solutions. If you want to know what goes into preparing a good brief check out this post >>>

Leverage Content
Re-using content over different formats is an excellent way to maximise value. For example, can that infographic being used in the corporate brochure also be used on the company website? Could it also be used in the next press release? Could it be put on the factory wall? Could it be divided into different elements and shared on social media? Always look for ways to get a 2nd/3rd/4th use out of absolutely everything.

Talking of social media, team images for the website can be re-formatted for LinkedIn profiles, copy for web-projects can be re-used as mini-campaigns, etc.

Creative Flow
Creatives work best when they are in ‘the flow.’ For those that really want to maximise the value of creative work — prepare as much stuff for your creative to do at one-sitting as you can and take advantage of the creative flow. This can be having all of your people together to get all of your photographs done on-site on the same day or having all of the information ready for your case-studies when sitting down with your copywriter or making sure that the designer working on your infographics has all of the information they need to tackle developments. An un-interrupted workflow really helps the people working on creative projects

Minimise Page Styles
This is a big one. One of the most time-consuming parts of creative projects is the additional effort invested in creating multiple page styles for projects like brochures or websites. Having pages with lots of different styles does make the final solutions more interesting but the creation of new frameworks is time-consuming. What’s more – lots of different page styles can confuse a viewer – it is the reason big brands have very consistent guides for brand communications. If you want to minimise costs for larger projects? Suggest to your creative company to ‘minimise the number of pages styles.’ They’ll know what you mean, respect your pragmatism and re-double their efforts on great content.

Piggy-back Off What’s Gone Before
All creative companies, even those providing the most bespoke of bespoke services, use general templates from what they have done before for brochures, websites and other large projects. As we said above, the creation of new templates is time-consuming and energy intensive, so if you are able to use a template that has already been created, developed and tested by your agency – there are massive savings to be had with no detriment to quality. You are switching the scope of the project from creating a new template to customising a template with obvious savings. How does that work in practise? Simply look at previous examples your agency has done before and ask them for ‘something like that’ and point out what you like.

Blink First
With budgets, blink first and lets us know where  you are comfortable – we can then more quickly make a decision in how best to help. You’ll be amazed at the amount a great company can do to stretch tight budgets.

Think Long-Term
The more you can give work to one freelancer or company — the more they are likely to reward you for your loyalty. This may be a better rate or even some free extras. Always best to think long-term.

And that’s a wrap. We hope that is helpful in allowing you to maximise whatever creative budget you have, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.



Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen and happen fast and in a big way. He wants things done yesterday and is relentlessly driven in his quest to make tomorrow better than today for his company, the people he serves and the wider community.


Everything You Need – for Website Projects

For many, just knowing where to start can be the biggest challenge with web-design projects – whether it is the content you’re going to require, where everything goes or how to link it all together. With that in mind, we’ve put together an easy-to-read comprehensive and fast-paced guide to help you fill in the gaps and make a strong start. All questions we’d ask prospective clients – this is everything you need for website projects.

1. What’s the purpose of your new site?
What’s your new website for? Could it be to communicate a change of direction for the company? Show a new brand position? Generate more sales? Introduce E-Commerce functionality? The clearer a picture we have of the end goal, the more we can help you find ways to achieve that goal.

2. Can you provide some info on your company?
Let’s talk about you a little. Some info on your organisation helps us get a feel for who you are and what you stand for.

Any of the following is helpful.

– What does your company do?
– What makes your company special compared to others?
– Does your company have any specific vision, mission or values?
– Any other info?

Company documents, links to your current website or social media pages all work.

3. Who’s the target audience?
Another big one. We want to ensure that your new site reaches the right people and engages them in the right way. What can you tell us about the people you are targeting?

Are they…

Take their time/Don’t have time to waste?
Are there any specific legibility issues to consider?
Anything else ?

If you’re targeting all of these people, this is fine – we can factor that in too.

4. Who’ll manage the website after we’re done?
Once the project ends, it is likely that somebody from your team will take over the reins.

We’d like to know the following about the person we hand over too.

– What would be their preferred platform to use (WordPress/Umbraco/Squarespace/Other?)
– Are they (Beginner/intermediate/advanced?)
– Is any training required after the site is built?

5. Tell us about the individual pages of your new site?
One of the first things we do with your site is put together a site structure – this will include pages, menu and any additional functionality.

What we need to know?

– How many pages?
– What goes on those pages – images/text/graphics/video?
– How will the pages link together?
– Any additional features you would like on those pages?

Features may include

– Social Media Share Buttons
– Contact Forms
– News/Social Feeds
– Video Snippets
– CTA (Call-To-Action) buttons.

Is there anything else you have in mind? Again don’t worry if you don’t have everything, include what you can and we can help with the rest.

6.  Content?
Our favourite subject – content. Nothing prevents web-projects from going live more than waiting on content (particularly written copy.)

What do we have and what do we need to create? (This can include any of the following.)

– Photographs of the people in the company/ main products/ services.
– Written copy to go on the site, this is likely to include about-us text, service text, etc…
– Graphics or infographics to highlight key statistics, customer data or product features/benefits.
– Any videos you have sitting on YouTube/Vimeo?

Like we said, the more you can provide the better. Once again, don’t worry too much about what you don’t have, we can provide ideas to help with those areas that you are missing.

7. Any SEO goals for your new site?
If you have SEO goals, let us know what they are and we can look at ways to implement these into the site.

That can include any of the following…

– Data from your previous website (such as a Google Analytics, Yoast or Crazy Egg Reports?)
– SEO actions already taken?
– Information on Keywords/Meta tags/Landing Pages?

And finally any tools or measures you would like to take with the new or revised site?

8. Do you have brand guidelines?
We are designers, what can we say. Another favourite of ours, if you have them, we want them.

9. Crucial Functionality & Anything We’ve Missed?
There is a whole host of other functional things to consider with a new website.

These can include any of the following…

– Do you have web-hosting?
– If you require web-hosting, are there any particular things we should provide? Additional Security? Database Protection? E-Mail Systems?
– Do you have access to your domain name? If not, where can we source this?
– Do you have a partner that can assist with the technical part of the project – an IT company, Web-Development Staff or Separate Web Hosting Company?
– Any cookie requirements/legal statements to go on the site?
– Anything else we may have failed to mention not included on this list?

10. Time and Budget?
How long do we have and how much do you have to spend?

Starting with time…

Looking past the ‘Go-Live’ date, are there other dates in-between? Website projects can take months or more, so if we’re creating content, we want to make this available to you even sooner for individual campaigns, social media or other purposes.

Regarding budget…

It helps to know this as early as possible. It allows us to properly spec the project with regards to content, selection of platform, training, etc… Usually a ballpark of where you feel comfortable with minimum-to-maximum spends is fine. We can take it from there.

If you have a budget to manage and are looking for ways to maximise that don’t worry we have a post on that too, check it out >>>

And that’s us. Whether you have everything on the list or not, don’t worry, we can help fill in the gaps and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions?



Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen and happen fast and in a big way. He wants things done yesterday and is relentlessly driven in his quest to make tomorrow better than today for his company, the people he serves and the wider community.


Everything You Need – for Brochure Design Projects

Whether it is creating a cool cover, selecting the paper samples or agonising over the print techniques, brochure design projects tend to be one of those things that a creative enjoys doing the most. When clients approach us with their briefs for brochure projects – there tend to be a lot of unanswered questions regarding things like structure, content and printing. We’ve put this handy wee guide together to help answer some of these questions.

1. What would you like to achieve with your new brochure?
Before we get to creative questions, this is a big one. What’s your new brochure actually for?

Could it be any of the following.

– Introduce the company to new customers?
– Introduce a new product or service to market?
– Highlight the value of that particular product, service or maybe even a process?
– Something more objective – generate more leads/sales?
– Anything else?

Any info on the above really helps us, or another creative company, understand your goals for the project.

2. Tell us about the company/product/service?
Depending on what you’re hoping to achieve, it’s important to also know about the company/product/service being represented. It can be anything from what does the company do? What is the product going to be known for in the marketplace? Or any other info which helps us to better understand what we’re bringing to life?

3 Who’s the target audience?
At the loft, we want to ensure that the right messages are presented to the right people in the right way. Some people prefer to read things that are short and sweet, some prefer friendly pictures and others enjoy poring over technical information. The more you can tell us about the intended audience, the more we can design a brochure that fits.

Can you tell us, is your audience.

– Young/Old?
– Male/Female?
– Fun/Serious?
– Take their time/Don’t have time to waste?
– Anything else we need to know that we haven’t mentioned?

Of course, if you want to engage with all of these types of people that is fine – we can design that in too.

4. What about the Basics?
Now, we need to know a little about the brochure itself.

Can you tell us any of the following.

– Landscape or portrait?
– Number of pages?
– What goes on each page – images/words/graphics/ information tables/ other?
– Any legibility issues to design-in?

Any of the above which helps to fill in the gaps to what kind of brochure you’re looking for is helpful.

5. Do you have content?
Graphics, text, photographs – you’re brochure is likely to contain all three.

What do you have, what do you need and what can we help with.

– Available photography/stock photography you like?
– Any infographics or other graphics?
– Information tables?
– Anything we may have missed?

6. How about written copy?
One of the most important things about any brochure is finding great words that bring it to life. Do you have copy or would you like us or another to help?

Let us know. 

– What you have?
– What you need?

We can help with the rest.

7. What would you like to do with printing?
Once all the hard work is done – you are going to have to print your lovely new brochure. There are a tonne of different options with paper and print techniques.

What we’d like to know…

– Do you prefer to work with a specific printer?
– How many examples will you need?
– Any favoured print samples/techniques?
– Any special  requirements for the covers?
– Anything we may have missed?

As always, if you have questions, let us know? We’re all print nuts in the studio and love to help clients with their print requirements, so don’t be shy.

8. Do you have brand guidelines?
It wouldn’t be a loft post if we didn’t mention brand guidelines. In the nicest way possible – if you have them, we want them.

9. What are the key deadlines?
Getting to the nitty-gritty, how long do we have? As with all creative projects, we are guessing you’ll have a big deadline and clear completion date. Thinking beyond the big one for a minute – are there any smaller milestones?

These may include.

– Press releases
– Board meetings
– Product launches
– Internal presentations
– Digital campaigns

If you have other stuff going on, let us know? Most brochure projects involve creating content, if we have this ready, we can make it available for you before the project is finished. Great for mini-campaigns, website updates, etc.

10. Budget?
Knowing a budget to work towards allows us to best decide on resources and plan effectively.

The following is helpful to kick-off with.

– Minimum-to-maximum budgets for the project?
– Any specific content budgets for printing/photography/copy/other?

If you are looking to maximise your creative budget, check out the following guide >>>

And that’s a wrap.

Whether you have everything on the list or not, don’t worry, we can help fill in the gaps. Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen and happen fast and in a big way. He wants things done yesterday and is relentlessly driven in his quest to make tomorrow better than today for his company, the people he serves and the wider community.