Tag: Glasgow

20
Sep

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 1: Intro)

Clients How To Guide

Clients are at the heart of every project we create — an integral slice of the delicious design pie. So understanding them is massively important, especially when it makes both parties lives a lot easier.

Throughout my time working in a design studio, I have picked up some handy tips that I feel will help designers of any level. It’s super simple stuff, but it can be easy to forget. I give you, ‘Clients: A How-To Guide’.

I will be delivering this guide each week, focusing on different topics, including:

  • Presentations
  • Meetings
  • Communications
  • Going the Extra Mile
  • Building Relationships

The topics will delve deeper into some personal anecdotes and opinions I have on the matters. I look forward to seeing you next week.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness (yes, that’s an official title).

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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.
18
Sep

Everything You Need – for Writing a Creative Brief

When writing creative briefs. Every hour saved in planning can save days throughout the process – 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  so we’ve compiled a 10-point checklist to help you out.

1. What do you want to achieve with the project?
What are you trying to achieve with the creative project? Do you know exactly what you would like to do or do you have some goals in mind.

Goals may include.

– We would like to increase the sales of a various product or service.
– We want our company to buy into our brand values.
– We are looking to change the perceptions of our brand online.
– Anything else

Understanding what you want to achieve lets us consider the best way to help you get there.

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

Any of the following really helps.

– What does the company do?
– What is its competitive advantage in the marketplace?
– The company’s vision, values or mission statement?
– Anything else you can tell us?

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

Tell us about your audience, are they.

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

4. Message?
What’s the message you want to communicate?

It can be any of the following. 

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

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

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

Who is…

– Responsible for the content?
– Going to work through the fine details?
– The person responsible for the final decision?

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. (get your head around that.) Tell us about the stuff you DO 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.

We can help fill in the blanks.

6. Good examples?
We love to see what you have in mind for projects whether it is scrap-book cut outs of competitors work, links to relevant websites or just some things you have in mind – 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 stumbling block, particularly for brochures and websites. If you are struggling with copy — speak to us and we will be able to help 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 mean can be helpful too. It means we can provide bits of copy or other relevant materials for a project in the interim.

10. Budget?
Let us know where you feel comfortable? Even having a ballpark allows us to properly spec your project. It allows us to determine how ambitious we can be creatively. 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

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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.

21
Aug

The F-Word

‘A company that pushes the limits of Creativity, Quality and Service.’

These are the latest words we have picked to differentiate the loft from all the others in the tightly packed, multi-faceted and incredibly competitive, creative sector which we operate.

Just to break it down a bit…

We want creative concepts that stir the soul to get us pumped about what we are doing.

We know that quality is a non-negotiable

Finally, excellent service is the foundation to any successful business.

At the loft – we are absolutely obsessed about all three.

How do we achieve the optimal mix?
The secret lies in the F-Word and no not the one you are thinking off.
While some may be terrified of it and others do their best to completely avoid it.

At the loft, we wholeheartedly embrace the F-word.

Failure.

We are comfortable in its presence, we use it as an opportunity to learn and we treat it as rocket fuel to break down those creative brick walls we face on a daily basis.

For us, it is the first step to success.

Fail Fast, Fail Often, Fail your way to Success.

Its something you will hear a lot of in our studio, alongside the example of a rocket which is almost permanently of course as it fails its way to the moon.

A love of failure might seem counterproductive but the biggest problem most creatives face is the enormity of the initial brief.

It can be so overwhelming that procrastination reigns supreme – ‘lighter/ darker, coloured/ monotone, in-line/ staggered…’

Endless analysis is followed by very little action. People build such large walls in their own minds that they are stunted into in-action. So much so, that the scale of even the first task overwhelms them.

At the loft, we just don’t have time for that.

We want to reign supreme in not one but three different areas – who has time for procrastination?

We believe action is key – work fast, smaller actions, quick decisions, minimise guess work, face uncomfortable truths, de-risk the concepts. Each of these behaviours help us to get through a massive workload – we get through more in a day than some would get through in a week.

Oh and it leaves plenty of time for barbecues, parties, drinks and the other fun stuff we regularly enjoy.

What’s more and this is the best bit, working faster and with greater intensity may seem like harder work but actually the opposite is true.
Its energising.

Guesswork is tiring, procrastination robs us of momentum and playing it safe is the surest way to completely lose interest.

Whether it is the ‘Lean Start-Up’ philosophy, the E-Spark philosophy or the Silicone Valley philosophy – it is one that we wholeheartedly believe in and use every single day.

Want to start succeeding, time to start failing.

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.

The loft serves companies in every sector and is quite simply the best in the business at creating brands that capture the imagination.

In addition to his role with the loft, Benedetto is an avid supporter of young people into enterprise. Having been supported by organisations such as PSYBT and currently by E-Spark, he does all he can to support young entrepreneurs. He provides assistance to organisations such as Bridge2Business, Young Enterprise Scotland and acts as a mentor for young business owners with Entrepreneurial Scotland.

His support to the next generation doesn’t end there, Benedetto is a big supporter of MCR Pathways, an organisation which helps disadvantaged children secure better futures through mentoring. Alongside his team at the loft, he provides creative support to the organisation as well as specialist work experiences for the students in the studio.

A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen and happen fast and in a big way. He always 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.

27
Jul

Brand Builders Guide To: Glasgow

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This Will Ruin Everything
The Lighthouse
15th – 30th July

Not your normal art exhibition. “This Will Ruin Everything” marks Recoat’s 10th anniversary and in true form, they curated an exhibition that celebrates not only themselves but forty Sottish and international artists and designers from a wide range of creative practices, from architecture to digital art to painting. The phrase “This Will Ruin Everything” was a comment directed at Recoat during a mural project and it encompasses everything that Recoat is trying to achieve by opening up the debate around public art, its purpose, function and value. It’s one not to be missed!

Find out more here.

  

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Creative Brainstorm
The Corinthian Club — CEO / Muckle Media
3rd Aug
1pm – 5pm

Need some creative inspiration? Alongside networking, CEO and Muckle Media aim to inspire and equip you with the tools to think creatively when it comes to PR, social media and marketing. Starting with a networking lunch at 12.30pm, the creativity session starts at 1pm and involves working on a live brief and using Muckle Media’s approach to brainstorming to develop a creative ideas plan.   

Spaces are limited so get in there quick, register your interest here.

  

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After Hours Networking at Chaophraya
Chaophraya Glasgow — Chamber of Commerce
16th Aug
5.30pm – 7.30pm

Networking with a Thai twist! Glasgow Chamber of Commerce invites you to an evening of networking all while enjoying an exclusive preview of Chaophraya’s Christmas Menu, trying your hand at Thai cooking and getting behind the bar for some cocktail making. The perfect mix of networking, food and cocktails.

If this sounds like your type of networking event, you can register your interest here.

  

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How to Develop an International Commerce Strategy
Scottish Development International — Scottish Enterprise
30th Aug
9am – 1pm

Wanting to grow your business internationally? This workshop will give you tips and advice on how to develop your online strategy, giving insights into both digital trends and mobile technology.

So, if you want to learn how to integrate your online strategy with your wider marketing strategy then this is the workshop for you, find out more here.

  

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Boosting Your Brand with Social Media
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce — MadeBrave
5th Sept
9.30am – 12.30pm

This is the first in a three-part series of workshops from MadeBrave containing all you need to know about social media. Focusing on adding that human element which helps to create a deeper connection with your audience, this workshop will give you an insight into branding as a whole and how to showcase your brand on social media. It will also teach you how to develop creative and effective social media campaigns, how to plan your content and engage with your customers. 

You can get your tickets here.

  

Venturefest-Logo1Venturefest
Glasgow Science Centre
20th Sept

Venturefest is back for another year of innovating Scotland’s SMEs and ambitious early stage companies to grow and become more competitive. It connects SME business owners, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to create long lasting business connections. The day is filled with all useful tools, advice, funding and contacts you need to take your business to the next level.

Register here.

  

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Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics
Kelvingrove Art Gallery
1st Apr – 1st Oct

Ever dreamt of creating your own superhero or getting your photo taken with Superman? This exhibition showcases the largest collection of Frank Quitely’s incredible work to ever be displayed. Like a superhero himself, Frank Quitely is the alter ego of Glasgow born Vincent Deighan. Now a world renowned artist, the name goes hand in hand with iconic characters such as Superman, Batman and the X-Men — all of which you can see at Kelvingrove.

You can book tickets here.

To view our interactive map and have all the brand building events across Scotland at your fingertips, click here.

27
Jul

Brand Builders Guide To: Edinburgh

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Turing Fest
Edinburgh International Conference Centre
2nd – 3rd Aug

One for the digital community. While all the art events are kicking off over Edinburgh, this festival focuses on technology and hosts a diverse line up of 50 speakers from companies like Google, Skyscanner and Moz. Covering a whole variety of disciplines, the Turing Fest combines 4 conferences in 1. It is two days filled with insight and inspiration where you can meet like-minded peers in a relaxed, informal setting.

This year they are expecting at least 1,000 delegates to attend so we’d get in there quick, get your ticket here.

  

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Social Media for Beginners
Fringe Central — Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotland
6th Aug
11am

Learn all you need to know about social media and how to make it work best for you with this hour long workshop. This workshop will teach you how to go about promoting on social media, what the do’s and don’t are and which social channels are best for your business and how they work.

If you’re wanting to join the social media revolution, you can find out more here.

  

One-On-One Surgeries for Creative Artists
Fringe Central — ChrisGrady.Org
17 – 18th Aug

Looking to take the next step in your creative journey? Book in for a surgery with producer and coach, Chris Grady. Each session lasts 50 minutes and is on a one-to-one basis. You will explore where you are in your career/journey/project and where you would like to be. Grady will help you deal with challenges, set goals and unlock connections and networks that would be suited to your journey. These sessions are ideal for start-up companies or individual creatives working in Edinburgh.

To book a surgery, please email chris@chrisgrady.org.

  

CreativeMornings
Fringe Central — Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotland
25th Aug
10am

Looking for a monthly creative breakfast? Look no further, CreativeMornings is a free, monthly breakfast lecture that includes a 20-minute talk, coffee and breakfast. Each month focuses on a different theme, with August’s theme being genius. These monthly meetings give the participants time to network and meet other like-minded people within the creative community.

This month’s breakfast is also part of the Fringe Central Events Programme so we are sure it’s not one to be missed, you can get tickets here.

  

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E-commerce and Emarketplaces: The Opportunity
Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh Office
21st Sept
9am – 1pm

Learn how to trade online and grow your domestic and international sales with this practical workshop where you will gain access to expert tips and advice on the world of e-commerce. You will also find out about the opportunities that international trade can bring to your company and learn how to test your products and services through these marketplaces.

If you’d like to develop a strategic approach to your e-commerce website and digital channels then this is the workshop for you. Register your interest here.

  

To view our interactive map and have all the brand building events across Scotland at your fingertips, click here.

27
Jul

For Those Who Wish To Build Their Brand Further Afield

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Workplace Innovation and Scotland’s Digital Future
The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa — Scottish Enterprise
24th Aug
12pm – 4.30pm

With the digital age growing every day, this workshop will bring together business leaders, HR practitioners and expert researchers to share ideas on how to drive business performance through the digital and people-driven aspects of innovation. With three keynote speakers who will offer practical insights into maximising your employees’ innovative potential, this workshop aims to offer plenty of opportunities for networking and share advice.

With space for two people per company, you can register your interest here.

  

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Create Compelling Content for Social Media
The Moorings Hotel — Scottish Enterprise
20th Sept
1pm – 4pm

Producing content but not getting the engagement you crave? This workshop will help you determine the sort of content you should be producing for your social media platforms and will demystify what ‘compelling content’ actually is. As well as helping you to create initial content and explaining how to use it to your business’ advantage, they will also show you where you can source engaging content from, online tools for creating compelling content and how to understand your analytics.

Register here and learn how to take your social media to the next level.

  

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Online Marketplaces: Your Shop Window to the World
Business Gateway Dundee — Scottish Enterprise
27th Sept
9am – 1pm

Want to understand which online market would be the best for your business? This workshop aims to give you a clearer understanding of networking and marketing opportunities to engage with relevant e-marketplaces for your business. This workshop shows you the best places to engage with customers online which will help to increase your sales.

If this sounds like the workshop for you then you can find out more here.

  

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Producing Engaging Online Content (Intermediate) — DigitalBoost
The Hub, Aberdeen — Business Gateway
20th Sept
1pm – 4pm

Producing content but not getting the engagement you crave? This workshop will help you determine the sort of content you should be producing for your social media platforms and will demystify what ‘compelling content’ actually is. As well as helping you to create initial content and explaining how to use it to your business’ advantage, they will also show you where you can source engaging content from, online tools for creating compelling content and how to understand your analytics.

Register here and learn how to take your social media to the next level.

To view our interactive map and have all the brand building events across Scotland at your fingertips, click here.

27
Jul

Brand Building: the loft’s Top Tips

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Build an emotional connection with your customer

Show your brand’s personality, don’t become a faceless brand that your customers can’t connect with. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to physically share a photograph of your face, adopting a personality that will captivate your audience online will work wonders for your brand. Personally though, we are big advocates of sharing the face(s) behind our brand as this helps your customer feel more comfortable as they can put a face to the name.

 

Know your brand’s purpose

This involves getting to the real depth of your business and working out what is most important to your company, your brand values and what you can offer that stands out from the market. What are you striving to achieve with your brand? What would be your pitch if stuck in an elevator with a stranger? Asking yourself these questions will help provide clarity in defining your brand’s purpose.

 

Build long-term relationships with your clients

Building these long-term relationships with your customer is key to your businesses long-term success. Growing these relationships not only builds trust but it will help to increase your businesses exposure. Approaching every situation with a “how can I help?” attitude works wonders and shows customers that you are willing to go the extra mile to help them.

 

Be your brand’s biggest ambassador

If you don’t believe in your brand then why should anyone else? You know your brand the best so it is up to you to share your brand’s vision, mission and values with your customers. Write a list of 5-10 things about your company that you are proud of, this will not only help you see how much you have achieved but will also provide anecdotes for your next brand building event.

 

Make sure your brand’s tone of voice is consistent

This not only reinforces your brand’s personality but helps build the customers trust and loyalty if they continually know what to expect from yourself, your products and services. Be authentic, find a tone of voice that fits your company organically and you won’t have to worry about being consistent as it will come naturally.

 

27
Jul

Brand Building: How To Make The Most Of The Events

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Do your research

Before attending these events, get prepared. Do your research into the key speakers and attendees. If there are people you wish to make connections with at these events then doing some pre-event research is key. Looking at their online LinkedIn profiles for common interests and connections is a good place to start. See what they’ve been up to lately, this will provide conversation starters which will help to break the ice.

 

Set reasonable expectations

There is only so much you can take in at these events. Set specific goals that you want to achieve at that event and anything else is a bonus. Also, don’t spread yourself too thin, a few meaningful conversations are better and more memorable than quick conversations with lots of people.

 

Ask questions and soak up as much information as possible

You’re at these events to learn and gain vital information so remember to ask loads of questions and note down valuable information. Also asking questions allows you to build a rapport with other attendees that can lead to more key information that could help improve your business.

 

Help others connect

While creating connections for yourself is great, helping to connect others in your network that are better suited not only is a good deed but also helps to create more meaningful relationships.

 

Follow Up 

Following up with connections you made at these events can reaffirm that you are interested in working together etc. Doing this as soon as possible is key, wait too long and it can unintentionally convey disinterest. Even striking up a conversation with someone who was at the event on social media or thanking the people involved can lead to making unexpected connections.

 

23
Jun

ART DIRECTION

‘Arcman, making metal work’

The loft has worked with Arcman over a number of years and have helped them with many different parts of their brand development. To showcase the human element of their service and the specialised expertise of their team – we were asked to create a suite of art-directed photographs of their workshop and the people who work there daily. A beautiful suite of evocative black and white images showing their team in action was created. The images have been used for a range of different communications – website, social media, brochures, they even adorn the company’s office walls.

What The Client Said…

“We’ve been working with the loft for over three years and in that time they have helped us to develop our values, brand our company and assisted with a series of different communications. It’s always a pleasure to work with them and see what magic they will create next. The team are inspiring with their creative talents and how they put it all together to make sense. The photography works, in particular, have been a great help as they look fantastic and we have used them for a wide variety of activities. Highly recommended.”

Jamie Doak, Managing Director of Arcman Limited

Contact the loft >>>

23
Jun

CAMPAIGNS

‘Bridge2Business, celebrating the traits of an entrepreneur’

Shortly after developing the brand identity for Bridge2Business, we were asked to create a campaign which would help them to encourage young people into entrepreneurship whilst building on the original ‘celestial navigation’ theme of the brand. A campaign was created to celebrate each of the main traits of the entrepreneur – positivity, resilience, optimism, etc. We developed 7 in total. We brought each of these words to life in the night sky with a series of star constellations created from a completely custom-typeface. The campaign images were used throughout colleges, enterprise zones and also online.

What The Client Said…

“When we developed our ‘seven traits of entrepreneurs series’ we needed something that would help us tell our story, be easily recognisable as part of the Bridge2Business brand and in keeping with the overall feel of everything we had developed to date. The loft team were creative, communicative and passionate about our work – outcome a very happy client!”

Geoff Leask, CEO of Young Enterprise Scotland

Contact the loft >>>