Tag: design

20
Sep

Top 5 Frequently Asked Client Question’s

At the loft, we love welcoming clients into our design world. With that in mind, this week I thought I’d take some time to focus on some of the most frequently asked client questions — giving you an initial insight into our world.

What is graphic design?
Technically, it’s the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines or books. We see graphic design slightly differently. We see it as a way of effectively communicating your message to your target audience, finding the perfect balance between function and aesthetics. We see it as bringing ideas to life.

Why use a design studio in the first place?
Simply put, we make the whole process easier. From finding the most effective way to communicate your message to saving you time and money in the long run, creating finished pieces that are focused on the target audience, formatted correctly and ready to go to print or be used digitally.

How much will my design cost?
Costs can completely vary depending on the project. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one price fits all’ answer to this question. Typically, a branding project can cost anything from less than £1,000 (freelancer) to over £15,000 (large design studio) and anywhere in between. How much you spend on your project depends on a number of variables, most importantly being the longevity of the design. If you are a smaller start up company who is unsure of how your company will progress over the next year, it might be more cost effective to start with a freelancer or smaller design studio. To discuss a project and get a better idea of our costings, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How long will it take to complete my design work?
Again, this varies dependant on the project. We tackle anything from small one-day projects to bigger, year-long projects. For example, a website can take anything from a couple of weeks to a full six-month project, dependant on its variables. However, no matter the size of a project, we always complete our full design process — from gesture sketches to concept creation to development of the final outcomes and everything else in between. If you have a deadline you need to meet, we are more than happy to accommodate that.

What services do the loft offer?
We offer a range of services, each of which we love getting involved with. We offer graphic design, web design, brochure design, identity design, infographics, art direction, brand love (creating a brand that not only you love, but one that your team and customers will love too), video, packaging, complex 2 simple (creating solutions that help a company prepare their new products and services for the market) , campaigns and vision, mission and values. You can find out more about our full range of services here.

Laura, Designer & Director of Noise

Laura

 

Miss Noisy! The team’s very own socialite and one who masters every situation she finds herself. Laura is the lady for every occasion. She has a formidable array of skills as a creative, diplomat, agony aunt, blogger, Tweeter, art-director, team player and our own favourite — noisemaker. A more perfect dinner companion, you will be hard-pressed to find.

 

19
Sep

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

BB

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.

19
Sep

Everything You Need – for Website Projects

For many, just knowing where to start can be the biggest challenge with web-design projects. With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy wee checklist (everybody loves a list,) to fill in the gaps.

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

2. Can you provide 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 Facebook page 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…

Young/Old?
Male/Female?
Fun/Serious?
Take their time/Don’t have time to waste?
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.

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

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

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

What we need to know?

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

Features may include

– Social Media Share Buttons
– Contact Forms
– News/Social Feeds
– Video Snippets
– CTA (Call-To-Action) buttons.
– Anything else you may have in mind?

Again don’t worry if 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 or main products/services.
– Written copy to go on the site, 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.

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

We’d like to know about any of the following.

– Any 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 site?

8. Do you have brand guidelines?
We are designers, what can we say. Another favourite, 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 your new website.

They 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 throughout 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 as soon as possible.

Regarding budget…

it helps to know this as early as possible. It allows us to properly spec the project. Usually a ballpark of where you feel comfortable with minimum-to-maximum spends is fine. We can take it from there. If you’d like help on maximising project budgets, 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

BB

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.

19
Sep

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.

BB

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.

19
Sep

Everything You Need for Branding Projects

Branding is one of the most fun, interesting and effective things you can do as a company. The projects helps to bring people together, present a refreshed image to the world and demonstrate a real statement of intent to anybody that’s watching. If you are thinking of re-branding or creating a new brand, this is our guide to help you.

1. Why are you creating a new brand or re-branding?
Before starting the project, we’re keen to know, why are we creating this new identity in the first place?

– You have a new company message.
– Your company has been acquired or has merged.
– The company has changed its general direction.
– It’s just time to refresh the company image.

Or is there another reason we haven’t mentioned?

2. Identity or brand?
Are you creating an identity project that give an external face to your company, product or service or creating a proper brand which determines who you are and what you do? There are also many options in between.

Which of the following do you need?

– Values/ vision/ mission?
– USP/marketing message/ messaging for different stakeholders?
– Identity design?
– Stationary design?
– Brand guidelines?

Or are there other things we may haven’t mentioned like vehicle liveries, signage, merchandise, etc?

3. People Involved?
Who will we be interviewing to get thoughts on the current brand? Who do we work with day-to-day? Who are the key decision makers?

4. Info on the company?
Before we get to the project itself, let’s find out a little more about the company we’re branding.

Any of the following is useful.

– What does the company do?
– What’s the company story?
– What makes your company special compared to others or what is its competitive advantage?
– Any other info on the culture?

Any documents with any of the above or even just a link to your current website or social media pages work.

5. Target Audience?
Successful brands help to bring people together to strengthen existing or create new relationships with key stakeholders.

What we want to know is who are the stakeholders we’re looking to attract/build relationships with.

– Existing Customers?
– New Customers?
– Staff – New or Existing?
– Suppliers?
– Shareholders?
– Other Stakeholders?

6. Ideas being expressed?
What do you want your brand to express.

Is it any of the following. 

– The Founder’s story?
– Core Values?
– Company Vision?
– Mission Statement?
– USP or competitive advantage?
– Simple marketing message?

We don’t like to over complicate things at the loft so if it is just a simple message – that is fine too.

7. Tagline?
Talking of messages, does your company have a tag-line or any other language to describe itself or any of its offerings?

8. Where brand will the new brand be rolled out?
Once we have created this amazing new brand for you, we’d love to know where it will be rolled-out.

Will it be in any of the following places.

– Business Card?
– Corporate Stationary?
– Forms of signage?
– Online uses?
– Custom merchandise?
– Team uniforms?
– Other places?

9. Brand Guidelines?
All new brands come with a range of guidelines, this depends on the size of your company and what you do. When creating guidelines, we like to know, which of the following is useful.

– Typefaces?
– Colours?
– Photography Styles?
– Copywriting Tones?
– Rules for misuse?

1o. Deadlines and Budget?
Two of the most important things to know. How long do we have and how much do you have to spend?

Starting with your deadline, we simply need to know when do you need your new brand-identity as well as the different outputs?

Regarding budget, usually a ballpark of wherever you feel comfortable is fine. Give us a window of minimum-maximum spends, and we can take it from there. If you’d like help on maximising project budgets, we have a post on that too >>>

And that’s us 🙂

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

Benedetto

BB

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.

19
Sep

THE LOFT | Mixtape #1

the loft playlist

Trying to avoid radio stations, at the loft we’ve prepared a special treat for any designers who are interested in fresh music releases. This month we’ve targeted interesting, spatial sounds and electronic landscapes created by the most talented Australian musicians and more.

As people who treat music with huge respect, we’ve decided to introduce some scope of our subjective selection of tunes that we think are extraordinary. Full of intriguing and unexpected passages, our first playlist will give you some chills, auto reflective vibes and hopefully lots of fun. Breathe in and enjoy.

Marek – Designer & Director of Design Hacks & Productivity

marcus

Soulman! The artist of the group and a man who fuses intensity, control and imagination to incredible effect. Relentlessly thoughtful, creative and driven. Our Marek is the man who will go to the ends of the earth to find the true meaning of something. There is no problem that can’t be conquered. A designer with purpose, with vision but most of all — a designer with soul.

18
Sep

Everything You Need – for Writing a Creative Brief

When writing creative briefs, every hour spent in planning can save days throughout the project – time that can be used to give a more competitive quote or a more valuable service. At the loft, we want to help remove some of the guesswork for those of you writing creative briefs so we’ve compiled a wee 10-point checklist to help you out. This is everything you need – for writing a creative brief.

1. What would you like to achieve with the project?
A big one to kick things off. What are you trying to achieve with your new creative project? Do you know exactly what you would like to do or have some goals in mind?

Goals may include.

– We would like to increase the company sales or the sales of a various product or service.
– We want the people in our company to buy more into our brand values.
– We are looking to change the perceptions of our brand online.
– Any of the above or something else?

Understanding what you want to achieve lets us consider all the different ways to help you get there.

2. Company info?
Some info on your company helps to give us an idea of who you are and what you stand for.

Any of the following is helpful.

– What does the company do?
– What would be its competitive advantage in the marketplace?
– Does the company have a vision, set of values or a mission statement?
– Anything else you can possibly tell us about?

3. Audience?
We know who you are, now who would you like to speak too? The better we can understand the target audience the more we can create a targeted message to suit.

Tell us about the audience of the project, are they.

– Customers/Suppliers/Staff/ Other Stakeholders?
– Young/Old?
– Male/Female?
– Fun/Serious?
– Take their time/Don’t have time to waste?
– Anything else we may have not mentioned?

4. Message?
What would be the message you would like to communicate for the project?

The following are just a few suggestions.

– A general marketing message for the company or the company USP?
– The promotion of a specific product or service offering?
– A series of consumer benefits or features for that product?
– The communication of your core values ?

Understanding of the message, the messenger and the audience for a creative project are the fundamentals to the success of a creative project.

4. Who’s in the creative team?
Knowing each of the different people that we shall be working with and who to go too for different reasons is incredibly helpful.

For example, who is…

– Responsible for the content?
– Going to work through the fine details of the latter parts of the project?
– The person responsible for final decisions?

Are there any other third parties we need to know about? Print partners? IT people? Copywriters? Photographers?

5. Tangibles
Every project has unknown unknowns, known unknowns and stuff we definitely know (good luck getting your head around that.) Tell us about the stuff you Definitely Know – the tangibles.

For example…

– The size or orientation of a brochure.
– The number of pages on that brochure or website.
– Things that go on each page (images, text, graphics, social media bookmarks, etc.)
– Appropriate call-to-actions.
– Other features such as contact forms, social media links, etc.

Beginning with what you already know is a good place to start, we can help fill in the blanks.

6. Good examples?
We love to see what you have in mind for your project whether it is scrap-book cut-outs of work you like, links to relevant websites or some competitor benchmarking – it is really useful to see where your head is at with a creative project and we can build on that.

7. Brand Guidelines?
With brand guidelines, if you have them, we want them.

8. Content, Content, Content!
What is the one thing that stalls 90% of creative projects? Yep, you’ve guessed it, it’s the availability of written and image content. Written copy tends to be a particular stumbling block for brochures and websites. If you are struggling with copy — speak to us and we will be able to help you by either recommending a copywriter, helping you to write it ourselves or working with you in another way to source copy.

9. Key Deadlines?
An obvious but important one. Every project has a fixed deadline but knowing the times for other milestones, such as board presentations, internal reviews or other events can be helpful too. It means we can provide bits of copy or other relevant materials for a project before the actual final deadline.

10. Budget?
Let us know where you feel comfortable? Even having a ballpark allows us to properly spec your project. We can determine how ambitious we can be creatively and the more time we can spend on your project instead of speccing your project, is time that we can re-invest into the relationship.

We also have a separate guide in helping clients maximise their creative budgets, check it out here >>>

And that’s us. As we said above, we don’t need everything on the list above but the more you can let us know – the more able we are to deliver a spec, proposal and eventually a project that surpasses expectations. If you are looking for a hand, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Benedetto

BB

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.

24
Feb

The Journey of Discovery

Design is never a fixed path. It twists and bends, branching off into different areas and adapting to its surroundings. In this sense, there is no ‘right or wrong’ within design, but a gut feeling that tells you that you’re heading in the right direction.

We met Stan, the founder of a company called Disruptancy. It was a very successful business; expanding it’s client base, continually working on new ideas. But something struck me as peculiar; it had lasted 10 years without any form of branding.

As we live in the information age, branding plays a crucial part to any successful business, yet Stan’s seemed to defy logic on this part. How could a company hold up against it’s competition for 10 years without any recognisable marks that are tied to the title?

Disruptancy works business to business. Organisations come to Disruptancy for a number of reasons — but usually to employ disruptive practises and methodologies to scale or turnaround.

We felt it was important to get to know Stan as a person for this exercise, because you could almost say that he was the current branding of Disruptancy. A lot of his clients came directly to his company not because of advertising, but through word of mouth and a trustworthy founder. The branding would be very personal to Stan and represent his idea of what the company stands for.

We began mind-mapping from a select list of words Stan had used to summarise the business. The mind mapping lead us to some interesting themes:

Integration / The journey / Creative pathways / Fluid movement / Turnaround / Expansion /  Adaptation / Evolution / Growth of a business / Personalised service / Company code

This section of the design process is always energetic; a lot of very initial thoughts with accompanying pathways. No idea has been anchored down to the ground so there’s always a feeling of continual momentum and fluidity.

These words lead us onto research, pulling inspiration from numerous sources; sculpture, architecture, art, print design.

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To convey to companies ideas and legacy, this key was crucial to the success of the branding. As long as the idea had potential, it was pinned up on the wall. As the wall began to fill, it was becoming more and more apparent that the team was all on the same track.

Themes began to naturally emerge, so it was time to categorise them. We collected the initial research in to piles based on their similarities. These similarities weren’t necessarily simply aesthetic, it was more conceptual ideas that tied them together.

After collecting and arranging, we discussed again in detail what the company stood for, what message they wanted to show the world. A good technique for this is summarising the companies themes in as few a words as possible. This then led us on to creating specific names for each concept our research had brought to us.

Conceptualisation was made a lot easier due to our initial research and theme building stages. Any form of sketch that was created was then pinned up (as rough as it may be). In many cases, if I drew a sketch that I wasn’t happy with, another team member may find some inspiration in it, leading us onto greater ideas. We’ve found that it’s always a good idea to put up every idea you have, as small as it may seem.

D_Scan_1

The presentation is dependant on the brief; with this brief, we wanted to present our concepts in a way that highlighted particular traits of our clients company. We chose to recreate the ‘journey’ aspect, and pinned up our concept on the wall, linking them together with red string.

Now that the initial concepts had been created, we felt it was time to bring our client back in to the studio to show the journey so far. After a brief explanation of each concept, we asked and answered questions regarding the ideas. Keeping an open communication is key to a successful project, especially in the early stages.

There were a couple of concepts that really stood out to Stan, one of them being ‘The Möbius Strip’ concept. I explained to Stan that a Möbius Strip is a mathematical object that has one side and one edge, known as being non-orientable. It can be recreated by taking a thin piece of paper, writing it once in the middle, then gluing the ends together. If you take a pen and draw a line down the path, it will cover all faces of the strip, meaning it has one side.

mobius3

But how does this relate to Disruptancy? Well, there were multiple connections that I found between Stan’s company and the mathematical shape:

A strip winds and bends, yet only has one side and one edge
— Disruptancy adapts based on it’s clients, yet only has one objective

A literal 180 degree flip
— The company is flipped on it’s head, with a new outcome

Any object that travels down the strip will arrive at the starting point inverted
— Endless possibilities at the end of the process

Cutting the strip down the central axis results in a larger strip; the strip expands outward and has obtained extra twists
— By disrupting clients’ companies, a dramatic change has been made, only to result in the growth of the business

Stan could see potential in this concept, so we took it forward and began developing this idea. A very important part of this stage is not losing the core meaning of the concept by covering it in an aesthetic facade. Always ensure that the developed idea fits within the mould created by that spark that started the journey.

The comparison of these connections to the initial themes we had thought of was interesting. As the concept begins to take shape, each point that it expresses is refined and sharpened. There were no longer any unanswered questions about the brand, myself and the team could confidently answer any questions regarding the meaning of the logo, ensuring a very clear message is sent across.

The team were very happy with the final design, as we could all agree that it summarised what Disruptancy was all about in a simple mark.

Disruptancy_Logo_Black

I feel that myself and The Loft have learned from the entire process of creating Disruptancy’s branding. I know now not to through away any ideas, because even the most ridiculous will have depth to them. To be honest, it’s usually the most ridiculous that are the most successful. Always stay true to that concept as it is so easy to take it on another path. Working close with the client and building a trusted relationship is key too, is it gives you as a designer freedom to make decisions based on your training and knowledge. Always be abstract and creative, never stop pushing to create something you and the client are proud of.

REISS

Reiss is a multi-purpose designer with a broad range of skill-sets.
He loves being a part of any creative activity — whether it’s mapping out a user experience, getting his hands dirty with some copy or even re-building bits of his motorbike.
A born people-person, Reiss is never happier when showcasing ideas from his vividly wild imagination and working with clients to see them through to completion. Once an architect, he has a keen eye for conceptual ideas and never tires of learning new things.
12
Jul

A Golden Age for Designers

As I write this post, I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be a designer.

I am Benedetto Bordone and I run The Loft, a design and branding studio based in the heart of Glasgow. Like most of my peers, I have witnessed the down-sizing of the creative budget, the commoditisation of basic services and as a designer’s designer (I started my career as a 3D designer and not a graphic designer,) the reducing importance that design seems to be given at agency level in contrast to digital/development/marketing.

However, I remain more optimistic than ever about the future of design and this is why…

– Noise. We are bombarded every single day with more people trying to get our attention – whether it is via digital channels – E-Mail, Social Media, Search Engines or more traditional media outlets such as newspapers, radio or the television. Everybody wants our attention. The beauty about this for a creative is that although there may be no shortage of people offering commoditised services to make the noise – it is only those that are capable of making sounds worth listening too that people truly engage with. Those that can make the complex – simple, those that can make the intricate – beautiful, those that can make poetry from prose. The more commoditised and sub-standard communications on the market, the more the good stuff shines like a beacon. Why are we all so drawn to certain brands? Because there is a purity about the way they communicate and only the best know how to get this across. The more savvy clients in this smaller and joined-up world know this and are more than willing to pay for it.

– New Channels. Digital has already created an entire new ball-game and range of tools for designers to express themselves – Websites, E-Mail Campaigns, Social Media Content, apps, etc have all provided new opportunities. However, there are incredible cross-over opportunities on the horizon with new technologies such as 3D Printing, Augmented Reality, Artifical Intelligence – companies are going to soon be able to create a whole raft of products that bring their brands to life in ways that just weren’t possible before. The modern-day Polymath is going to be more and more critical in bridging the gap between technologies to communicate messages to new people in new ways. Going way beyond the company website, business card, company brochure, etc. There is an incredible range of opportunities here for those designers that wish to look just a little left-or-right of centre.

– Storytelling. A picture speaks a thousand words and most people don’t have time for a thousand words. Metaphorically speaking – give them a good paragraph and they may read the full text. Only the most skilled creatives can write that great paragraph. In the last 18 months we have had so many things land on our desks that sit squarely outside what you would expect for a design and branding agency. We have been asked to illustrate complex business plans, we have been asked to graphically create memorable sales systems, to bring life and make effective – flow charts and operational procedures. International legal firms have even discussed with us how we can use graphics and info-graphics to more effectively communicate their cases in court. For the open and prepared mind, there is a raft of new opportunities out there.

– Leadership. Designers can be the new leaders. For the designer that can be both creative yet commercially literate – there are huge opportunities. Brands now communicate over a huge number of different channels, almost relentlessly. The communications must be on-message, be true to the values of the organisation, be authentic and be worth seeing or being listened too as well as being relentlessly consistent. This is an incredibly important job and work that great designers, with their heightened intuitive faculties, are better equipped than anybody else to do. Sir Jonathan Ive is now “one of two of the most important people at the world’s most valuable company – Apple.” His presence extends way beyond that of the designs of the products; he is the ‘guardian of the brand’ and what it means to people. Many may not consider themselves in this way and Sir Jonathan Ive may be a man with very special abilities, however the opportunities are there for every creative and this role is going to become more widely available in the future.

Every industry or sector must go through periods of renewal and creative services, it seems ours is following that course, but for the designer that has a commitment to excellence, a positive attitude and retains a very open mind. If they unwaveringly focus on the people they are serving and concentrate a little more on the result and a little less on the method. I think they will eventually come to see that today we do indeed stand on the precipice of a golden age for design.

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness.”
Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is a designer and founder of the loft – a specialist design and branding studio based in Glasgow.

The loft takes the true essence of what organisations do and with his team brings those stories to life with a coherence, simplicity and delightfulness that helps companies to create outstanding brand communications.

‘Design with Soul’ is more than a company tag-line to Benedetto, it is a way of life.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role. He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

04
Apr

Role of Honour

One of the most interesting parts of being in business is the ‘dreaded’ elevator pitch. For those unfamiliar with the ritual… If you were to walk into an elevator and somebody were to ask about your business. Could you tell them about it in the time it takes for the elevator to go from the bottom floor to the top?

About 30 seconds to be precise.

I’ve spent years creating, chopping, changing and honing my elevator pitch to meet prospective clients when out and about…

But now…

Well I simply give people one of our very special business cards (you’ll hear more about them later…) and ask them to check out our portfolio online.

I generally don’t need to say anymore, our work speaks for itself…

You’ll find most of what we do on our website and Facebook pages but not everything. So here is a quick run-through of some of the other lovely things we’ve been working on recently…

 

Fridge Angels, branding & website

Fridge Angels Branding & Website b

Women’s Enterprise Scotland, infographic

Womans Enterprise Scotland Infographic b

 

Jim Henderson, Blog & Art direction

Jim at Shirlaws Blog b

 

Murphy Insurance, Website Design
Murphy Insurance b

Altia Solutions, Product Logos

Altia Sub-brand logos b

 

Altia Solutions, Updated Brand Identity
Altia Logo b

Every project, toasted with a glass of bubbly…

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.