Importance of Design

Welcome to the Loft’s weekly news…

This week we contemplate why design is so important and mention some great people that we have got to know better this week.

Why Design is the most important part of a company’s success…

Well we would say that, wouldnt we? We are a design company. In my two and a half years in business, I have met marketing people, lawyers, accountants, HR people, branding experts, IT people etc, etc. Each of whom generally tend to say that the service that they offer is fundamental to a company’s success. Each and every one of them can justifiably say so. It is important that a company’s promotional materials look good, that they offer the correct customer service, that they are on top of the financial aspects. Well I would argue that they are all important. But I firmly believe that the intellectual facet of design is central to any business’s success.

Design is not about making your business cards look pretty. Real design is about so much more, it is about generating ideas. Ideas that will make products or services better for people, be it in terms of function, performance or aesthetics. These ideas will propel a company forward and inspire those in the organisation. Marketing and brand communication are all important but mere exponents of this creativity. The companies that truly succeed today have real design at the heart of their operations.

“Design is the fundamental soul of a man made creation”

It was Steve Jobs, legendary CEO of Apple who said this. Apple, the most succesful technology company in the world.

The reason I believe design is so fundamental to a company’s success is that designers are driven by passion. They are dreamers and have a vision for a better world – be it a prettier one or a more resourceful one or a greener one. Their passions and motives are about more than the company’s short term bottom line, it is about doing great things. And this vision or this ability to narrate is not the sole propriety of designers, it can be led by anyone. The term ‘designer’ per se can be as easily applicable to a company’s CEO as it can to the head of the graphic design division. It is just that this creative spirit is a more natural fit for designers.

It is these people of vision that endow a company with a culture. All great companies have cultures, they are living entities that stand for something. The reason design is so important is that once a company understands what its about, it can then creatively build its culture outwardly from this. This is what is meant when we speak of ‘strength of the brand,’ this is not a discussion of aesthetics but a more intellectual argument. Indeed, once the truth has been established, a context understood, a narrative developed. Companies can then use this narrative in every part of their business. It can shape every aspect of their development.

It is very easy for designers to speak about Apple or Audi when speaking about great design led companies. But I am going to use the example of ‘Innocent’ drinks. This is a great company, they have a culture, a narrative. ‘Pure, fresh and unadulterated.’ Everything from the stories of the two entrepeneurs who created the company to the company website, to the way they sell their products to ‘Fruit Towers’ help build an incredibly strong company. It is this sense of being that is allowing them to easily expand into new product areas such as yoghurts and veg pots. They have an inherent and easily comprehensible vision. This vision shapes all parts of their business, what’s more, it allows Innocent to inspire their own staff. Getting the best out of human capital – possibly the most important aspect of any company’s success. There is no aspect of a company’s model that will not be enhanced by design, choosing which products to develop, how to innovate, how to select staff, how to train staff, how to market the products, how to sell them, which events to promote.

Great design is what drives just about every great company with a great culture, think about it… Ferrari, Audi, Apple, Facebook, Google, IKEA. Its a long list. More than just being visually effective. Design is about seeing the bigger picture. It is the heartbeat of any succesful company and I would recommend any company big or small to think carefully about their narratives as the world is changing so quickly and those with the weakest philosophical arguments are those in the biggest danger.

PSYBT Elevator2

The follow up to the hugely succesful PSYBT Glasgow Elevator Event takes place on June the 8th, 6-8PM. The venue once again is Sloans Pub, Glasgow. If you are interested in business in anyway, then come along. It is a really enjoyable event. PSYBT as a company are led by some great individuals who will all be their – Jeff Horner, Gina Martin, Emma Fitzpatrick and Sarah Skase to name but a few. Check out the invite for more details…

Simon Murrison & Gilliland CA

On Tuesday, it gave me great pleasure to finally proper meet Simon Murrison of Gilliland Chartered Accountancy. Gilliland are one of Glasgow’s most reputable Chartered Accountancy firms where Simon is a partner. From talking to Simon, what struck me most about his approach was his absolute dedication to a personalised service. This is a man that awakes early and is in his office before most people(myself included) are out of their beds to make time for his clients. At Gilliland, they see their clients as potential partners and will look after your interests in all financial matters. From start-up to advanced growth, Simon embodies this attitude brilliantly. He is also an avid networker and definite people person, a rare breed in his profession in that he wants to see his clients as much as possible and is completely dedicated to high quality client service. Gilliland have very ambitious plans over the next couple of years and we wish them the best of luck. To find out more about Gilliland, check them out at


As I am sure most of you have noticed, we are big fans of Twintangibles. When it comes to Social Media, they are definitely top of their game, as has been highlighted by the fact that they helped bring and are co-hosting Social Media Week here in Glasgow in September. However, this is a brief note to promote ‘Social Media Unleashed 2’ The follow up to the hugely sucessful event from a few months ago. It promises to be a great event with lots of great presenters, to find out more, check out the following…

Optimistic Futurism

Finally, one of the reasons I am in design in the first place is in no small part to Seymour & Powell and their TV programmes in the nineties. Richard Seymour in particular is the perfect ambasador for all that is good about design. I have posted this film a few times but havent watched it in a while, I watched it again during the week. It is truly an inspirational talk from an inspirational designer and presenter. If you have a spare hour.

Enjoy and have a good week folks…


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Its been another interesting week at the Loft. We unveiled some new work, met some more interesting people and begun work on our next range of design services.

Thierrys Blog

I was really pleased that we officially completed the Blog for Hampshire based Wine importers ‘Thierry’s’ this week. Working directly with Pieter Rosenthal, we have built a blog that encompasses all of the great features of the modern-day web. A user-friendly Content Management System (updatable even from a smart phone,) social media feeds, social book-marking, video uploads and stylish graphics that are in line with Thierry’s current branding. We have also made use of several stylistic innovations such as customised fonts which lend further style to an online page.

Thierrys are one of those companies that have very quickly grasped the power of social media. At this week’s London International Wine Fair, they will be sponsoring the Access Zone and hosting several top wine producers to actually make new kinds of wine on-stage in front of an excited audience. They have placed a lot of importance to their blog in addition to tools such as Twitter and You Tube. Pieter Rosenthal, Thierry’s social media manager, has done a fantastic job already in populating their blog with excellent content. This week in particular will be very exciting as Pieter blogs and video logs of all the exciting things going on directly from the LIWF stage.

Check out the blog at

Or to find out more about Thierry’s…


It was a real pleasure to meet with fashion designer and entrepeneur Raschique Narwan, who came to the Loft this week to chat about her new brand. The wonderfully titled ‘Freakdem.’ Raschique has big plans for her brand and will definitely shake things up a bit with her new e-commerce site.

Team Singh

I had a great Skype chat this week with Ricky Singh of ‘Team Singh,’ in Ayrshire. Its always refreshing talking to people who are at the cutting edge of their sectors. Team Singh are no different. Ricky is absolutely obsessed with the most effective training methods out their. Not only does Team Singh provide an excellent training routine but they are also looking at innovative methods such as Tabata Training, PHA Training and HIIT training to help get that additional performance from their clients. They are truly at the sharp end of what they do. All in all, helping their clients to ‘train harder, train smarter.’ We hope to be welcoming Team Singh to the Loft soon for their Loft experience to look at ways to help build their brand as part of an ambitious growth plan.

To find out a bit more about Team Singh, check them out on Facebook…

or on their website…

Congratulations to Twintangibles

Another fantastic duo that have been really impressing me with their insights and vision are Tim and Daniela of Twintangibles. I wrote about them a couple of weeks ago and plan to write about them in more detail again soon. In the mean-time, it has been announced that Glasgow will be the UK’s official Social Media City along with Milan, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo and many more. A wonderful achievement for Glasgow. And a wonderful achievement for Twintangibles who will be co-hosting Social Media Week in Glasgow with 35 events arranged for the week.

To find out more about Social Media Week..

Twintangibles can be found on Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook etc etc, but its probably best to just check out their website..

Violence of The New

At the Loft, we are also obsessed with the cutting edge. This week has seen us begin work on ‘The Violence of The New’ project with our partners. The ‘Violence of the New’ is a response to the way the web is changing, we are very excited with initial progress and look forward to being able to offer very exciting new web-services to our clients that will help them implement their brand strategies with greater effectiveness. Watch this space…

New Premises

I did a quick check-up on the new Bothwell Street Complex this week with my friends from The Go-Group. I am happy to say that progress is going well. We now have walls and a better idea of what our new studio will look like. Although we are still at the stage where the builders are impressing with their artistic talents on the walls. Three weeks until we officially move into Suite 5, 35 Bothwell Street.

Bye Bye Gayle

Finally, it is with great sadness to say that Gayle from the Go-Group will not be joining us. Gayle has done a fantastic job for the Go-Group in the last four years running the John Logie Baird Awards amongst other things. She is also tough as nails and one of the most fiercely competitive ladies I have ever met. ‘Marathon? Pah!! No problem, I’ll do two and still make it to the gym the next day!’ There was sadness all round at her leaving night on Friday.

It was interesting to meet Gayle’s new boss Jordan Fleming of the Designate Group on Friday night. Despite the fact that he is a McLaren fan and swears too much. He does have a lot of interesting stuff to say about business/marketing and has a very interesting blog. Which can be found at

He is lucky to have inherited a tremendously hard worker and talented person like Gayle to his organisation. I wish both of them every luck on their journey

Here’s to another super exciting week.

Thanks for reading folks…


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Importance of Innovation!

Hi folks,

Its been quite a busy time here at the Loft, working on several projects for our new clients. At the same time, we are working very hard to put our ‘violence of the new’ project into practice. The one thing that this project will focus on is innovation. Building a more innovative web-presence for our clients. We’ll talk about both of these things in more detail next week.

Corinthian Communications Breakfast

Thursday morning was a busy one for most business people in Glasgow, in addition to voting in the Scottish election, there were two exceptional networking events in and around the city. The first one was a special extended ‘business banter’ at Esquires Coffee Shop. Prior to this, the Corinthian Club presented their second Communications breakfast in their stunning venue. The speaker, Hoss Gifford gave a really interesting talk on innovation. One of the things that I enjoyed about the presentation was the potential of great innovation. Innovation is neither safe nor easy. However, if done properly, can elevate something good into something great. Great innovation is both inspirational and potentially more rewarding. One of the great pieces he spoke about was the promotional video for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games which he had a part in. Its an exceptional piece of work, so please check it out…

The Corinthian also proved to be an exceptional venue for the occassion, it is a stunningly beautiful venue with great facilities and a great morning breakfast.

The event was fully packed with more than 100 people attending and the event being held in the Langley Suite. One of a myriad of outrageously designed rooms in a club that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To find out more about the Corinthian, please check out their website at

Or pay it a visit at…

The Corinthian
191 Ingram Street
Merchant City
Glasgow City Centre
G1 1DA

Jaguar C-X75 Hybrid Supercar

Whilst on the subject of innovation. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see a great company like Jaguar release a car like this… As a marque, I absolutely love Jaguar. Everything it is about, everything it stands for. In a manner similar to Alfa Romeo, it has something that is just special, something I cant quite put my finger on but know exists. It has a unique history, with incredible cars such as the D-Type and MKII. I did a university group project for Jaguar when I was at Coventry University titled ‘Creating Heritage For The Future,’ Jaguar were still a little in the doldrums stylistically. It has been brilliant to see their renaisance, led by Ian Callum, with great looking and modern cars such as the XK, XF and XJ.

The new XC-75, is a proper Jaguar because it is forward looking in terms of engineering and design concept. It has a revolutionary hybrid powertrain that will supposedly propel the car to 0-60 mph in about 3 seconds. It’s very much ‘form follows innovation.’ Costing a cool 1.3 million dollars and with only 250 being made. This car is a special car that can only enhance a great marque.

Another example of the powers of innovation.

Have a great week folks…


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