Tag: The Loft

24
Jan

Marek Brol | Design Highlights 2017

‘Soulman!!’

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

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

SOCEX 2017 Brochure

1. SOCEX 2017

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

Hot Desk Campaign

2. YOUR CREATIVE SPACE

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

Fedrigoni 365

3. Fedrigoni 365

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

Arcman Billboard

4. Arcman Sub-Brands

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

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

08
Jan

Reiss McLeod | Design Highlights 2017

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

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

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

CashBack_HD-PNG

1. Cashback Infographic for Inspiring Scotland

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

SOCEX - Financial Crime Conference

2. SOCEX Financial Crime Conference Brochure

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

Arcman-Making Christmas Campaign

3. Arcman Winter Campaign Image

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

Client Top 5 FAQs

4. Introducing ‘the pigs’

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

Arcman-Making Metal Work

5. ‘MAKING METAL WORK’ for Arcman

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

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

 

27
Oct

‘Soaring Spirits’

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

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

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

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

Where do you start?

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

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

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

What amazing things can happen when talent is unlocked!

She mentioned she was looking to get her Facebook fanbase over 1000 and if you happen to be reading – check out https://www.facebook.com/MBmusicProductions/.

It’s definitely worth a like.

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

We all did.

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

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

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

‘Soaring Spirits’ each and every one of them.

Check out http://www.youngglasgowtalent.org for more info…

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 fast and in a big way.

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.>

08
Oct

Great Brands Sell Ideas First…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benedetto

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 fast and in a big way.

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.