Tag: Glasgow

27
Oct

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 6: Building Relationships)

Clients How To Guide

We’re not just talking about secret handshakes here — having a sustainable relationship with a client solidifies the aspect of trust and results in many more seamless projects.

Here are some top tips to going the extra mile…

  • Memory Game — Note any interesting points about the client that you can bring up in conversation, i.e. they have mentioned that they are hiring within the company, ask how the hiring process is going and show that you are genuinely interested in their business. Remember names; we will be interacting with many different clients so knowing exactly who you will be speaking to may seem like common sense, but it is something that can have a big effect on client confidence in yourself and the team.
  • Make An Appearance — Jump at the chance to meet the client face to face. The difference this makes to the relationship is big, clients will feel much more comfortable talking to you in the future after your first encounter.
  • Match Their Energy — Are they excited? Copy this behaviour, and then some; if a client is excited about a project, match their excitement, plus 1. This goes for if they are quieter too; don’t bounce around the room with excitement if the client is more introverted — match their tone of voice plus 1 in order to build trust and rapport.
  • Our Business — Treat their business as your own; learn about the product/service beforehand and show a genuine interest in what they do. Not only will this bring your passion forward for the client to see, but it makes it easier to work on a project you have an interest in.

Remember that when it comes to relationships, it takes two to tango.

Now that we’re done scratching one another’s backs, we’re well on our way to working harmoniously with our clients. What a journey! Try to remember these little tips and your passion for graphic design will shine through in every project you star in.

It’s been a pleasure,

Client How To Guide

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

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.
20
Oct

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 5: Going The Extra Mile)

Clients How To Guide

Doing the thinking for the client is wonderful for your relationship; additional content can really make their job easier.

Here are some top tips to going the extra mile…

  • Stop & Think — Sometimes, doing the thinking for the client can earn you a lot of brownie points. This lets your passion shine through for the project.
  • Never Over-Promise — The trust you have with your client will be hurt and they made look at you in a more negative light — understand what you can deliver and make sure it’s on time.
  • Additional Material — Supplying the client with additional material that can show them potential directions for the future and will maintain a positive relationship. If there is any area you can improve on with regards to making the process easier for the client then it should be implemented. For example, providing clients with not only the print format for some of their work but also a digital RGB version that has been cropped to social media sizes.

Take these tips into account and you will leave the competition in the dust.

Next week we will be looking at building brilliant relationships with clients.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

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.
13
Oct

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 4: Communications)

Clients How To Guide

Lack of communication is a big no-no. Having clear communication channels with your client’s ensures that both parties are heading in the right direction.

Here are some top tips to keeping in contact…

Emails

  • Make it very clear what your intentions are in the email; clarity is key to communication.
  • Always summarise and reiterate what a client is looking for.
  • Triple check spelling; especially when it comes to names/subject.
  • Communicate in a professional manner, but do not shy away from expressing your excitement on projects and work.

Phonecalls

  • A lot of clients are comfortable speaking over the phone, it adds a more human element and the clients are more likely to express their true opinions in this form of communication.
  • Phone calls are for less formal/time constrained situations — emails give you important information that is written in text that we can refer back to.
  • If the client has made a lot of points, it can be very helpful to send them a summarised email of the conversation via email after the conversation
    for clarification.

So let’s be sensible when sending emails or answering the phone; make it so that your granny could understand you. You never know, she might be your next client…

Next week we will be looking going the extra mile, adding that cherry on top design sundae.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

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.>

06
Oct

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 3: Meetings)

Clients How To Guide

What’s more important than the precious moments you get to spend with your client, one-on-one, excitedly discussing the direction of the project? You guessed it — nothing (apart from the boss’s birthday).

Fast-paced and full of ideas; your meetings should aim to clarify with clients and gather crucial information.

Here are some top tips for hosting a top meeting…

  • Timing is Key  No one likes to be late to a meeting, let alone turn up on a wrong day! Be very clear with your clients when deciding on a meeting time/place, no more awkward moments of confusion. If you can scope out what your client is looking to achieve in the meeting as well — even better!
  • Ideas, Not Problems — Extra brownie points for those who can sketch on the spot. Transferring the client’s words to paper in a visual form is a fantastic way to get the client excited about the project and gain their trust.
  • Small Ideas Sheet = Big Success — By creating a small ideas sheet and taking it to potential clients it shows that you are prepared and know what you are talking about. Having already thought out the client’s ideas and solving problems beforehand lets the client know that we’re serious about their business and are already invested in what they do. These sheets should be loose, giving the presenter a point of reference, maybe some initial sketches; essentially a conversation starter.

In conclusion; meetings should be your best friend! A brilliant time to get some juicy information from your clients, maybe even a bit of gossip if you’re lucky. Next week we’ll have a look at communications; the connection with your clients that keep you on the right path.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

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.

29
Sep

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 2: Presentations)

Clients How To Guide

 

We shall start our clients journey with presentations — something that can turn even the most confident designer into a shrivelling, sweaty mess.

But do not fret, there are ways to bypass the instinctive flight option.

Here are some top tips to holding a killer presentation…

  • Practise Consistency — No two presentations are the same, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep them consistent.
  • Preparation Is Key — We use different layouts for different stages of presentations. Winning a pitch is, of course, important to us, so being prepared is a key part of that. Concept presentations should be slightly more refined, clearly outlining our thought process behind each concept in a concise manner. If the wording is too long, the concept isn’t strong enough to be explained in a couple of sentences. These presentations include initial sketches, maybe some illustrator mock ups and strong reference material.
  • Know Your Audience — If you are designing for someone with particular taste, you should tailor the entire process to their mindset, including presentations. Some clients are decision makers and like to have the important stuff bullet pointed. Others like to get into the detail; design accordingly.
  • Final Presentations — These should be much more honed in on a specific idea, showing slight variations on the chosen concept. Again, make these changes as clear as possible so that the client’s job of choosing one is made simpler. We want the entire process to be as easy as possible for the client, in turn making it easier for the team.

Next week we will be having a look at meetings (actually talking to someone face-to-face, imagine that?!).

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

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.

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:

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).

staff_170502_0542

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 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.

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

Recoat_1

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.