Tag: branding

31
Oct

Talent Alert

They do say variety is the spice of life – something we know all too well at the loft.

One-Stop Shop, Full-Service Agency, Multi-Disciplinary Design….

How about ‘Composite Service Propositions’ – for those of you that want to be a wee-bit fancier with the words?

Whatever the terminology, we do like complex and intricate creative challenges and we’re just so happy to be able to offer so many different things to so many wonderful people in lots and lots of different sectors.

All the obvious things too – graphic design, website design, branding, etc.

But also more interesting and obscure items – ‘Brand DNA’ ‘Accelerate’ and even ‘Brand Love’

I mean who wouldn’t want to create some love for their brand?

Despite all the business chat, we mainly wanted a reason to show off our lovely new service icons and to create a wee Talent Alert for the exceptional work of Chloé Davenport, a newly graduated student from The City Of Glasgow College.

Amazing work Chloé!!

We’ve already seen what you’ve sketched out next for us – which we also can’t wait to share…

So it’s ‘Back-To-Work’ for us. Creativity knows no bounds…

Benedetto

28
Jun

Resurgence, Interview With Award Winner, Entrepreneur and Investor, Brian Williamson.


‘Resurgence’ is the new video podcast for entrepreneurs, business owners and organisational leaders that are looking to thrive, not just survive, at the end of the current crisis. In this series, we are bringing you interviews with some of our top business and organisational leaders and looking at what they’ve done so far, how they are preparing for the future and how they are looking to turn this crisis into something positive for the people they serve.

In our latest interview, we talk to award-winning entrepreneur, investor and current chairman of 4icg Brian Williamson. In an incredibly wide-ranging interview, Brian goes into business pivots, gap-funding, talking to investors, post-work environments, re-imagining business propositions, leading during challenging times and how calm seas never made a good sailor. In his talk ’necessity, the mother of all invention’ he explains how the current crisis can potentially be the starting point of something great for entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders. A great 35 minute watch for anybody looking to thrive.

The series is brought to you by Glasgow-based design and branding agency – the loft.
Important Messages

These are some of the key messages from the interview.

Necessity is the mother of all invention

Narrow The Chasm – when looking for gap funding

Present the light at the end of the tunnel when talking to banks.

Your exec summary has to set someone on fire.

Investors don’t have time to read 38 pages – but they may do – if the exec summary is exciting enough.

The exec summary should be the most exciting part to read and rest of plan is validation of that summary.

People want to be fired up by the business opportunity and the person’s passion.

You have to be objective driven with remote working.

Involve employees with the objective of the business and how they fit in.

We want the output, but we tend to measure the input.

Being output driven is where we want to be. We’ll have more output-focussed minds which is what we want.

We’ve been trained to being input managers.

You’re really solving your customer’s problem or helping them to grasp an opportunity. You have to put yourself in their shoes.

You have to understand the challenges of the market.

If you can understand the market, you can shape a solution.

You need to understand the market and that means finding out what people want.

There is nothing better than 10,000 people telling you what they want.

Calm seas never made a skilled sailor.

I’ve been through 5 recessions and many company challenges, in each one, I’ve come out stronger on the other side. There is a great amount of learning to come from this.

Out of the crisis comes solutions – to new problems.

Your business can be part of that solution.

That’s where the opportunity lies – there are more problems than we can shake a stick at right now.

Interview tic-toc

0 Mins | Introduction of LOFCAST and Brian Williamson by Benedetto

2 Mins | Working from home, 2-3 times greater productivity. Geting used to issues with businesses and support. Whats coming out the other end?

3 Mins | Incredible 4icg Pivot – fast action, 24/7 response, morphing premises to safe working environments, shielding vulnerable people (Incredible speed.)

5 mins | Importance of extending cash runways to de-stress yourself and establishing control. How long can I last and create choices.

7 mins | Asking for increased credit terms.

8:30 Mins | Rotating staff to make ‘furlough’ more effective.

10 mins | Success in apply for CIBLs Loans, keep the bank informed of what you’re doing during bad times and present GAP funding appropriately. (Narrow The Chasm.)

11:30 Mins | Banks are reasonable people, but present light at the end of the tunnel

13 Mins | Present the business plan as a story, vision is all-important, it has to be exciting. 14 Mins, Summary has to be exciting with business plans, regardless of the current climate.

14:30 mins | Importance of telling the story in technical and human manner. People waant to be fired up by business opportunity and person’s passion for the business.

16 mins | Other big moves – implementing remote working for other companies. Being objective driven when managing staff. Harder but possibly more effective.

17 mins | Radicalised thinking post-virus, working with London investors chasing him as opposed to him chasing them, speed of movement is now truly remarkable.

18:30 mins | 4icg’s 4-day work-week, negotiating terms with unions in the past, importance of genuine productivity,

19:30 mins | Empowering employees in where they fit in and to communicating the difference they can make.

20 mins | Importance of focussing on output as opposed to the input. Importance of being output driven

21 mins | Are we really being productive or just being busy? Input managers and possibilities of being more output-focussed.

22 mins | 4icg’s legendary pivot for small business’s looking to digitise their offering, back to basic principes – you’re basically solving your customer’s problem.

23 mins | Understanding the market and shaping a solution, how restaurants have successfully pivoted,

24 mins | Helping restaurants re-bound after COVID-19, 4icg’s new product offering

25 mins | Advice to pubs/restaurants and travel agents – planning when the future is so uncertain.

27 mins | Likelihood of more localised holidays for citizens, people want to travel somewhere with their own transport,

28 mins | Travel industry needs to understand the client’s needs now, package holidays,

30 mins | Updated safety and security for health and beauty salons,

31 mins | Making clients feel comfortable, Peer-to-peer learning with the IOD.

32:30 mins | Roosevelt quote – calm seas never made a skilled sailor, being through 5 recessions and challenging times with clients, comes out stronger every time.

33 mins | Always come out stronger on the other side, reflect on what’s happening in society, hackathons to stimulate creative thinking, innovative products to deal with COVD challenges.

34:30 mins | Your business can become a solution to that problem.

35 mins | Ideal environment to find creative solutions to these problems.

25
Jun

Resurgence, a Video Interview with International Business Leader, Entrepreneur and Storyteller, Bob Keiller



‘Resurgence’ is the new video podcast for entrepreneurs, business owners and organisational leaders that are looking to thrive, not just survive, at the end of the crisis. In this series we are bringing you interviews with some of our top business/organisational leaders and looking at what they’ve done so far, how they are preparing for the future and mainly how they are looking to turn this crisis into something positive for the future.

In our latest interview, we talk to experienced international business leader, entrepreneur and storyteller Bob Keiller. Bob gives an absolute tour-de-force on the importance of values, purpose and knowing your organisations ‘Why.’ He shares his thoughts about innovation, why it is so important at this time and gives some practical suggestions about how you can make that happen. Finally, he makes a call to businesses to be bold and ask themselves, what else can you do? An absolute must-watch for leader of organisations of any size – with a little extra something in there for charities. Comes in at a lovely and compact 20 minutes too.

Throughout the interview, Bob refers to The Lens Perspective>>>

Important Messages

These are some of the key messages from the interview.

In some ways we can do more

Wisdom comes from experience – none of us have experienced this before.

Your first obligation is to survive.

Look at simple things like credit management, cashflow and customers. Do what you need to do to survive

It’s a good opportunity to go back to basics and reaffirm your why and your how.

You can always change the what, but understanding the why and how of your business is really important.

Innovate – no point in thinking things will get back to normal – it might but it might not!

What skills have we got, what talents have we got, what resources have we got, what knowledges and experiences have we got and what can we do??

We need to test things, we need to try things

As the leader of the business, you won’t have all the answers, but the best place to find a lot of the answers is from the team

Remember what we’re all about, remember what we are doing this for?

Let’s concentrate where we started the journey and where are we headed?

It’s dead easy to read a book but doing it is what really matters.

Culturally – how do we step up the environment that people bring forward ideas that we can collectively develop together.

What else can you do?

We’re not in the business of knowing the answers but we sure are going to go out and find what the options are.

Getting your message across has always been a key aspect of business.

Interview tic-toc

0 – 1:30 Minutes | Intro of Bob Keiller.

3 Mins | What’s Bob Keiller been up-to? Speaking to lots of people, trying to help, had to re-package training sessions into smaller modules (2-hrs, etc.)

4:30 Mins | Different context with this one, very little certainty, some sectors have been harmed badly.

5 mins | Advice is simple – first obligation is to survice, face the difficult decisions, do what you need to survive.

5:30 mins | Good opportunity to get back to basics to re-affirm your why and how.

6 mins | Sometimes running a business is like flying a plane, time to take stock and check what kind of condition it is in.

6:30 mins | Innovate, things might or might not get back to normal, mode of thinking what skills, resources, talents you’ve got and what can you do – rather what can’t you do. This can open up opportunities.

7 mins | Importance of trying things and testing. Importance of innovation and leadership. Harvesting potential answers from the team and use that as a primary source of answers.

8 mins | Values, danger of charities is that they sometimes lack focus and occasionally become more diluted.

9 mins | Importance of getting back to main purpose of the business – what are we doing this for? Who are we doing this for? Getting back to the core purpose.

10 mins | Getting back to the core purpose and values,

11 mins | To pivot or not to pivot, some businesses that have seen a huge increase in business.

12 mins | What else can a company be doing in terms of innovation? Can services be provided in a different way, importance of selling and marketing.

13 mins | Getting services out there and telling a compelling story is important.

13:30 mins | Useful resources for businesses having to innovate for the first time.

14 mins | ‘The lens organisation’ pulling out proposals and craft a few number into business opportunities and prototype with limited resources and time.

15 mins | Culturally – how do we step up the environment that people bring forward ideas that we can collectively prototype and test. Contact the Lens team to find out better how to do this?

16 mins | How would Bob run a sports club, etc?

17:30 mins | David Lloyd gym’s innovation in the past during crisis.

19 mins | Final thoughts, importance of communication, how do you get the message across?

20 mins | Most marketing and comms is pretty ineffective right now. Time to get better at communicating what you’re doing, etc.

11
Jun

Resurgence, a video interview with MCR Pathways Founder, Iain MacRitchie.

‘Resurgence’ is the new video podcast for entrepreneurs, business owners and organisational leaders that are looking to thrive, not just survive, at the end of the crisis. In this series we are bringing you interviews with some of our top business/organisational leaders and looking at what they’ve done so far, how they are preparing for the future and mainly how they are looking to turn this crisis into something positive for the future.

The first of our interviews is with Dr Iain MacRitchie, Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the incredible MCR Pathway programme. In this wide-ranging interview – Iain gives some wonderful guidance for leaders in how to best look after themselves/their teams, why knowing your purpose, vision & mission has never been more important and also the steps MCR Pathways are taking to turn this crisis into a form of lasting change that will help them realise their vision to help every care-experienced and disadvantaged young person in the country gets the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as every other young person.

Important Messages

These are some of the key messages from the interview.

We’re in the same storm but we’re experiencing it in different ways.

Take care of the staff – there is nothing we can’t overcome – we are going to get through this.

Most importantly for us, we kept the focus of the main reason we exist – we need to support the young people.

When facing a crisis, being very calm is an absolute prerequisite – which is hard – crisis brings adrenaline.

You have to get calmer in crisis and really deal with your adrenaline.

Take care of yourself first and foremost, you can’t take care of anybody else – if you haven’t taken care of yourself.

As a leader, you have to take leadership, you have to be the one that pushes. It’s a constant communication, it’s constant.

Get yourself in order, be decisive and then do stuff!!

Make stuff happen but take care of people along the way – they will have challenges along the way.

Let’s make sure everybody is included and nobody is left behind.

We’ve done things in timescales that were unheard off!!

One of the things I love about this – is that it does show that we can respond to need, it does show that we can take care of those that need to be taken care off.

There are things we can now build on – there is absolutely zero excuse for leaving anybody behind.

Every organisation I’ve worked with from 5 people to 5000 people have a challenge to stay focussed.

When doing scenario planning – what is the purpose of your organisation?

Every organisation from 5000 to 5 people – have a challenge to stay focussed.

Either opportunism to chase a sale or chase an opportunity – may not be a bad thing – but it starts to dilute, starts to distract, starts to take you away.

Go back to the beginning – what is the purpose of your organisation – and if you can’t answer that in 1-2 sentences, then you’ve not got the right answer. It can and should be a sentence.

Scenario Planning starts off with absolute focus – what is the focus of your organisation
What’s the purpose of the organisation? What is the focus? What does success look like? What is it trying to achieve?

As soon as you can’t remember something – it becomes irrelevant.

What is the big hairy goal – what do I want it to be and where do I sit in that particular equation? Businesses that fail lose direction and go off-track.

Clarity of need should be in the front of business leader’s mind all the time.

Need first and foremost and think about ways to deliver against that and then communicate it to death.

Everything is going to change – that is opportunity – for me to do it all much better and faster – because there is no resistance anymore.

We have a fantastic opportunity to get it right for society in general but also for the economy

Those that are communicating, those that are out there, are doing great

For those in a rush, we’ve taken the entire interview and broken down for you to go directly to the parts that most interest you…

Interview tic-toc

0 mins | Introduction of series and Dr Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways – supporting over 2000 disadvantaged young people in the country.

1 mins | Dealing with lockdown – sometimes feels like we are two different people at times.

2 mins | Consideration that some of us have it much easier than others, Iain admits to being in a privileged position, but heart goes out to those that are locked down and suffering to a greater extent.

3 mins | Steps taken with MCR Pathways – scenario planning in early February, the consideration of schools closing, get people ready to work from home, clearing the building. Taking practical steps but most importantly prepare people’s mindsets for what was about to happen.

4 mins | Importance of communication to staff, trying to give some form of certainty, the de-stability of facing uncertainty for any team or organisation

5 mins | Communicating to so many different stakeholders, respecting the privacy, inventing a brand-new process, keeping in mind the reason the organisation exists – supporting the young people, moving to a way to communicate virtually.

6 mins | The importance of being calm, of managing adrenaline.

7 mins | Back to basics – how can we reach the young people now the schools are closed? Virtual mentoring in a safe way, asking young people how best to carry on the relationships. Not able to switch to virtual overnight, encouraging mentors and young people to exchange messages (done in the traditional forum of letters called Pen-pal,)

8 mins | Calmness, planning and then going on the persuasion, having to change views on what was possible, the team did a great job on being calm, working towards milestones, had 2-3 weeks to get infrastructure in place, the single objective of reaching young people.

9 mins | Advice for managers and leaders in staying calm – dealing with your energy levels, deal with your body before you deal with your brain, be as relaxed as possible, Iain would blast exercise bike to burn off some excess energy. Mentions to respect the body and the mind.

10 mins | Make sure you pause, reflect, absorb and think – give yourself time to think. Iain works in three times zones – P1 felt like a sprint, no point in burning out, virus isn’t going away any time soon, so must adapt accordingly.

11 mins | Taking time to reflect – what may this look like next month or in 3-4 months’ time, can’t think long term yet, thinking then planning, importance of writing it out down.

12 mins | Writing down objectives, putting together a framework and then sharing that with the team, not an absolute law but a framework. Get the collective engaged and involved in the plan. Iain is an originator of an idea but needs team to buy-in and believe it, ideally to the same level that he does.

13 mins | Underestimating the difference in environment with this crisis, giving people more time to absorb what’s going on – even with themselves, get yourself in order, be decisive and do stuff.

14 mins | Don’t get bogged down in scenario planning, MCR are acting right now in 2 weeks blocks, week time intervals were too tight – months too long, all about reaching the young people, creating an engagement programme which encourages them to continue developing themselves.

16 mins | Some kids don’t have broadband access at home, or devices either, raised funds to bring people online, scenarios quickly identified this isn’t going to change any time soon.

17 mins | Making the current proposition – a permanent part of their offering, constructing time zones in your mind are critical to help your brain think of the now but in the context of the future.

18 mins | People might need time out, supporting over 2300 young people each week – managing to re-engage with over 1300 young people with virtual mentoring quickly, had to work through a lot of regulations, restrictions and barriers but cut through and quickly!!

20 mins | Iain loves how this situations has shown how we can respond to need, that it does show that there are no excuses for anybody being left behind or being able to respond or being able to be taken care off, scenario planning on way out of the crisis.

21 mins | More detail on scenario planning, every organisation Iain has worked with from 5 people to 5000 people have a challenge to stay focussed, opportunism to chase a sale or chase an opportunity takes you down an angle – but starts to dilute, distract or take you away. Go back to the beginning – what is the purpose of your organisation? And if you can’t answer that in 1-2 sentences, then you’ve not got the right answer.

22 mins | MCR Pathway – we are about engaging the young people so that they feel more confident, certain and hopeful about their futures, reaching the young people to give them the support, young people should feel comfortable and secure in that mentoring relationship.

23 mins, common denominator of all organisations should be – what is the purpose of the organisation – what are we trying to achieve? what is the focus? What does success look like? MCR Pathways vision/mission is that they don’t want there to be any difference in education outcomes, job choices or life changes of our most disadvantaged young people relative to others. Have to face into the reality with 3 different mindsets.

24 mins | 3 scenarios in mind – best case/worst case – and how can I deliver on my purpose against those two? Scenarios should be 3, get into your imagination, how can we realise our best case?

25 mins | Hopes of a summer programme for young people with physical mentoring – but preparing for more likely scenario of more lockdowns, schools still aren’t fully back, etc.

26 mins | Both scenarios are planned in some detail – and look/adjust between the two.

27 mins | Don’t want to create a lot of uncertainty around the team, scenario planning does involve a smaller group of people, it is more intense.

28 mins | Clarity of purpose – nailing the purpose down, do whatever it takes to get revenue, revenue comes first!

29 mins | Get yourself in a survival position. Get cashflow, get headroom, get whatever it takes to protect a core of your organisation.

30 mins | What’s your vision for the organisation, what is your big goal? What’s your Mission? Get clear on your vision and your mission then get the mechanics right on the framework to achieve that.

31 mins | What is the big hairy goal – what do I want it to be and where do I sit in that particular equation? Businesses that fail lose direction and go off-track. Business is really simple.

32 mins | Survive first, choices second. Advice to marketeers and communications?

33 mins | Get to what is the needed. What need does your organisation fill? Difference between those in stable household and those that are not. Clarity of need should be in the front of your mind all the time!

34 mins | Many of those in trouble still have customers with needs, pandemic has not changed need, every organisation that survives the pandemic is going to be needed once things return to normal or the ‘new-normal.’ Need is the first thing to keep in mind.

35 mins | Mentoring works, it’s not changing we just have to deliver it in a different way, do everything possible to support those young people when they are locked down, the memory that mentors do care is a profound one to young disadvantaged people, businesses must communicate to customers.

36 mins | Need first and foremost and think about ways to deliver against that and communicate it to death, MCR is fighting to survive just like everybody else, importance of MCR Values – Motivation, Commitment and Resilience.

37 mins | Why can’t we be ahead of the game? Why can’t we be first? Resilience – this is not a sprint, this is a marathon, MCR values are currency to deal with change – imposed on us by the virus.

38 mins | No human being likes change, we like habits or certainty, we have no choice but to change, everything is going to change, country has just borrowed £300 Billion which has huge implications, everything is going to change, however there is an opportunity to do it all much better.

39 mins | Half-full mindset is going to fight the half-empty’s down the track, there is opportunity, going to play a different game in dealing with inequalities, we’ve been able to deal with stuff in a shorter space of time which just wasn’t possible before.

40 mins | This is brand new and that is very good in that respect, we have the chance to get it right for inequality, those things are intertwined.

41 mins | Opportunities with the new economy and get it working for everybody, let’s get going.

42 mins | Companies that have started to communicate well have impressed Iain, local shops have done a great job as well as courier services and front-line workers.

43 mins | Some third-sector organisations have done a phenomenal job.

44 mins | Community/local based organisations that have stood up and responded to demand have been heroic, care workers as well as those delivering essential services, couriers.

45 mins | Sections of public institutions have performed magnificently; the good news is that we know exactly what this country needs to do and should do.

46 mins | Get to the front of the queue and MCR it!

15
May

Marching Forward

For great times to return, we realise that we have to do all we can to make them great right now.

This is why ‘Marching Forward’ is our new mantra at the loft.

24
Feb

Design With Soul – more than a tagline, a way of life…

Good afternoon beautiful people!!

We’ve just started the process of getting our design and branding portfolio in order for 2020 which (and we’re not kidding) means going back a couple of years to start getting some of those lovely, lovely creative projects organised and ready to present – this is just a snapshot and rest assured, we’re just scratching the surface. #WatchThisSpace #DesignWithSoul #PowerOfIdeas #Inspiration #Collaboration #VisualDrama #MakingMagicHappenEverySingleDay #theloft

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

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

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

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

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

 

27
Apr

7 Years, happy birthday the loft…

It’s kind of unbelievable to think, but on the 27th of April 2012, I got the Companies House certificates e-mailed from our accountant and the loft was officially born.

7 years ago today.

It’s been an incredible journey and if somebody had told me what the future would hold, I would have thought they were absolutely mad! So I wanted to take a moment and celebrate the 7 best things about the journey so far. Here they are, in no particular order..

1. Friendships

Some say you shouldn’t mix business with friendship. I honestly don’t think you can have a business which doesn’t have true friendship at the heart of it – particularly in the services sector. I’m truly humbled and honoured with the friendships we have made in the last seven years – clients, partners, suppliers, some of our old staff and even people we’ve just happened to meet along the way. We’ve had friends lend us office space when we didn’t have a home, we’ve been paid early at times by people who wanted to help and we’ve been the beneficiaries of some great advice too.

To give an example of just how amazing our friends are… A few weeks ago, I was discussing a challenge we were having with a lawyer friend and old client. In addition to some good advice, he ended our coffee meeting by asking ‘what’s your mailing address?’ and one day later I received the absolutely amazing ‘Shoe Dog,’ the biography of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike in the post – an Amazon Prime gift. The most incredible gesture from a wonderful person and we’ve been blessed to have experienced so many of these in the last 7 years. People really are good, full stop.

2. Mentors

Mentors are great, they provide inspiration and a pathway to a better tomorrow and I’ve been so lucky over the years with the ones I’ve had. Lots of people have mentored me in some small way but I’ve also been fortunate to have three ‘kind of’ official mentors too. All three are business owners, all are incredibly successful and titans in their own ways. I can’t tell you how much wisdom, support and great ideas I’ve had from all three of them.

3. Values

There is nothing better than making a living from just being yourself and I’m so proud that the loft has an abundance of great values and lived them to the max too. Everything from pushing the limits of what is possible, to giving great ideas energy to grow, to doing more than you’re paid for, to treating clients like partners not customers, giving something back, finding the beautiful in the seemingly mundane and taking ‘Action’ at every opportunity. There are just so many and we’re at our very best when we live them in the truest way possible.

4. Great Work

We have done some staggeringly good work over the years, and again it goes way beyond what I’m personally capable off, something thats been truly satisfying. Branding projects packed with meaning to infographics that are almost works of art to brochures that are so inviting that you have to read what’s inside. Soooo many great projects and we invest so much time, effort and energy to painstakingly get it right time and time again and without this it just wouldn’t be worth doing. ‘Design With Soul’ IS more than a tag-line, IT IS a way of life.

5. Learning & Limits

You don’t really learn anything until you jump in and test your limits and boy have we jumped in at times. Some times we’ve got hurt, some times it’s been sore but each time we’ve gained something of incredible value. The kind of experience school can’t teach and money can’t buy.

6. Teamwork

We’ve been fortunate to work with some outstanding creatives – both in the team and also contractors and it is their contribution which really should be celebrated. Each of them have given and developed thousands of ideas, some of them absolutely mind-blowing and it is their energy that has helped our hundreds of clients over the past 7 years to achieve their outcomes using design and branding. They are the giants whose shoulders we stand on to make us taller as a company, a creative provider and as a brand.

7. Gratitude

This whole post is a little bit of an acceptance speech but it is worth mentioning again. I am just so grateful to the people that have helped, and you know who you are. But I am even more grateful to have had this experience, it has truly been a blessing. Every day I wake up – sometimes insanely early, sometimes with virtually no sleep, sometimes running on empty – but I just absolutely love what I do. I really love it in a way that words can’t describe. Helping people bring brilliant ideas to life is the most rewarding profession in the world and I’ll happily do it until the day I die.

Or at least for another 7 years.

Happy birthday the loft…

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

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

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

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

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

 

04
Mar

In Celebration of Great Mood Boards

At the loft, if there’s a part of the creative process we truly believe in, it’s the creation of mood-boards. We love mood-boards because they take us to a different place mentally, they give them an almost infinite source of creative ideas and they also help to guide in the process further down the line.

This week we were having a chat about mood-boards in the studio and stumbled across a few crackers..

Both were for car-design projects and both are absolutely brilliant.

Industrial-Mood-Board

The ‘INDUSTRIAL’ board by Kevin Roy shows old abandoned factories and warehouses as the main inspiration. What’s so brilliant about this board is the way the images aren’t just industrial but have been treated in an industrial way too. Mainly black and white with flashes of colour, some of them are horribly low-quality and the line-tracing is rough too but all that adds to the desired emotion being chased by the designer. Ken goes further by experimenting with typefaces that are similar in style too as well as inserting the bold ‘YELLOW and BLACK’ striped caution signs. Finally, the acid-feel of the album cover on the top-right of the page completes an outstanding board.

Art-Deco-Moodboard-720x405-2

The ‘ART-DECO’ board by Nick Turner (https://bit.ly/2MgJN6l) is equally as impressive. We have a beautiful exploration of shapes, patterns and rich colours which are all key to the ‘ART-DECO’ look. We have subtle nods to Futurism and Art Nouveau in there as well but what’s really lovely is the subtle vector lines over the top of the entire board.

Both are amazing mood-boards and what makes them so good is that they completely describe the themes they are covering in the purest, most expressive and honest way possible.

For us, inspiration is vital to any creative action, it’s what makes it all worthwhile. If a mood-board’s job is to inspire, then both of these would give any designer of any type the richest source of inspiration to get going.

Bravo!

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.

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.

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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.
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.