Tag: design agency

14
Nov

Undercover Billionaire

Very little matches the sheer thrill, excitement and emotion of start-up entrepreneurship – backing yourself to do something special, taking a chance on a new product/service, winning those first customers, creating teams with little or no experience, building systems, exploring new paths, finding their limitations – all done at pace, usually done with a fluctuating bank balance and fluctuating sleep patterns too. I have a serious respect for anybody who has been able to build a business from nothing into something sustainable and of scale- which leads me to Undercover Billionaire.

Undercover Billionaire is a programme which explores all of the above and so much more. Released in the United States by Discovery, where they send an entrepreneur to an unknown place, take away their identity, their contacts, their wealth, etc and give them an old phone, a truck and $100. They have to take on an alias name and are tasked with creating a $1,000,000 business in just 90 days. This second season sees three incredible entrepreneurs take up the challenge – tech investor Monique Idlett, real-estate developer and designer Elaine Culotti and The Founder of the 10X Movement – Grant Cardone.

Safe-to-say, it is a brilliant watch, I don’t spend much time in front of the TV but I’ve already been through this series a couple of times. There is just so much to learn from three entrepreneurs who are well past the start-up phases of their careers do what they do best – the sophisticated-yet-genuine way that Monique is able to build relationships with others, her ability to plan and create value too, the just awe-inspiring drive, determination and can-do attitude of Elaine Culotti who also possesses something rare and special in the way she puts together teams of people who just love her despite her pushing them all to their absolute limits. Finally, Grant Cardone, the reason I got into the show in the first place, Mr10X’s salesmanship is definitely something to admire as well as his infectious enthusiasm and ability to deliver. Without giving too much away, all three of them achieve something spectacular not only with the businesses they build but the relationships they create throughout the process.

We’ve had entrepreneurship programmes on the telly for a while now but there is definitely something quite special about Undercover Billionaire. All three of these outstanding individuals are tasked with the challenge to see ‘if the American Dream is still alive and well in the 21st century.’

What you see is that although they each have unique talents – there is nothing there that can’t be learned and done by any/all of us – Undercover Billionaire, well worth a watch…

Benedetto

Useful Links

Watch Undercover Billionaire >>>

Monique Idlett >>>

Elaine Culotti>>>

Grant Cardone >>>

<<< The Loft’s Entrepreneurial Approach

 

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft – A Design & Branding Agency based in the heart of 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.

<<< To see more of the loft’s brand solutions 

For more information on brand-building by Benedetto >>>

28
Oct

New Design & Branding Projects P3

Part 3 of a new series showcasing some of our exciting Design & Branding projects launched  in the last few years…

Practical Steps to Better Mental Health

One of the clients we’ve found most fulfilling to work with over the last few years is the TRC Group, an organisation which provides integrated therapeutic support to individuals in both London and Edinburgh. With a new website launched just before lockdown in early 2020 – their large, experienced and diverse therapeutic team began creating short posts to help people with the emotional toll of lockdown.

Posts included relaxation techniques, coping mechanisms and other free tools/techniques/thought-pieces to help people better cope with everything that was going on. Useful at the best of times times, priceless during the several phases of lockdown we’ve had during the last 18 months.

We were more than happy to work with the TRC Group to help them put together all of this outstanding content into its own digital library with collated blog posts, resource centre and press articles.

https://trcgroup.org.uk/library>>> for more info.

A tremendous function that I’m sure we can all gain some value from…

 

A More Connected Scotland

‘Technology as an enabler’

‘A vehicle for providing fresh opportunities’

‘Creating ways and means to improve the quality of life for the people of Scotland – all of Scotland.’

These were just some of the ideas that we were asked to communicate when creating an infographic for Seric Systems several years back.

Our magnificent team put together a wonderful visual of a Scotland re-created as nodes and links, imaginatively including several icons to communicate important ideas such as diversity and inclusion, all underpinned with the stunning blue brand colour of Seric Systems.

Thrilled to recently see this infographic still being used many years after it was originally designed, slightly re-purposed on this slide-presentation for SmartSTEMs, as well as Seric, with the sister’s charity’s stunning brand wings now included.

 

Welcome to Glasgow

Delighted to welcome friends from Norway, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Denmark, Singapore, Germany, Australia, China, Canada, USA, Indonesia and so many other nations to Glasgow…

In the next couple of weeks the city of Glasgow will be proudly welcoming delegates from all over the world for COP26. As a proud Glasgow-based company we were thrilled to be given this opportunity to help our friends at the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce extend the international hand of friendship with this special COP26 graphical skyline – each of the participating countries recognised with one of their country’s most famous landmarks mixed in with traditional Scottish elements, icons of sustainability and our very own Nessie making a guest appearance…

We hope all involved enjoy their stay and once again, a very warm welcome to Glasgow…

If you’d like to find out more about our Design & Branding services contact us to find out more…

Benedetto

 

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft – A Design & Branding Agency based in the heart of 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.

<<< To see more of the loft’s brand solutions 

For more information on brand-building by Benedetto >>>

28
Oct

New Design & Branding Projects P2

The second part of a new series showcasing new Design & Branding projects launched by the loft in the last few years..

 

Edinburgh Marketing

Multiplying The Reach Of Scotland’s Capital

Greater investment, a larger digital footprint, a more globalised presence, effective actions designed to support more people living in Edinburgh, studying in Edinburgh, working in Edinburgh and investing in Edinburgh. These were just some of the many stories that Edinburgh Marketing wanted to communicate when creating an infographic to showcase the impact of their agency over the previous decade or so.

A last minute-project created in double-quick time – we kept it super-simple letting the words, numbers and stats speak for themselves, each metric re-created using the ’This is Edinburgh’ brand colours, wrapped around a tight gridded structure and finished off with a Seth Godin inspired outline of the city re-created with its citizens – present and future.

A super-fast piece created to represent the great work of a great agency.

 

Impactful Introductions

One of the client’s we’ve absolutely loved working with over the last few months is PMA Recruitment Services. A new-start recruitment company which specialises in the construction sector. They believe in positive, personalised and sustainable recruiting – and as we’ve recently found out – making impactful introductions too.

We’ve been thrilled to help them make a splash with an incredibly bold new identity, some stunning letter-pressed business cards (more about these later) and this beautiful new website complete with this most impactful of introductory images.

If a pictures does speak a thousand words then this one really is priceless – beautifully captured while the PMA team were on-site, walking towards their work and messing around by the ever-aware Stuart Nicol (Nobody was watching him.) A beautiful photographic introduction to the company as well as the website.

PMA Recruitment Services have only been in business for a matter of months so far and are already moving incredibly quickly, we are sure you’re going to hear plenty more about them in the future, this is just the start. Check out their site >>>

RESOLVELOCK

Resolvelock is a new locksmith service coming soon to Glasgow, Scotland and eventually the rest of the UK.

Their mission – to deliver the most responsive, agile and lightning fast locksmith service possible in the space that they operate.

We absolutely love branding at the loft and this project just reminded us at every stage why. We worked tirelessly with their team to create an identity which reflected all of their values, we used every tool possible to enhance our designs and we agonised over even the finest details to ensure that the finish was of the highest standard possible.

Bolder fonts selected, typeface weights ramped up, characters brought closer together, little cues of the service brought in, all overlaid with the most intelligent of vector motion patterns – each and every cue designed to make the logo look like it’s moving even as it sits stationary on it’s card.

And of course – the acid green, all of this given an almighty additional shot with the acid green colour, beautifully contrasted with jet-black as can be seen from these business card mock-ups.

Each and every detail, each and every action being used used to create a powerful brand identity for what promises to be an exceptionally exciting start-up – we wish them luck…

If you’d like to find out more about our Design & Branding services contact us…

Benedetto

 

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft – A Design & Branding Agency based in the heart of 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.

<<< To see more of the loft’s brand solutions 

For more information on brand-building by Benedetto >>>

 

26
Oct

A More Connected Scotland!

A More Connected Scotland!

‘Technology as an enabler’

‘A vehicle for providing fresh opportunities’

‘Creating ways and means to improve the quality of life for the people of Scotland – all of Scotland.’

These were just some of the ideas that we were asked to communicate when creating an infographic for Seric Systems several years back.

Our magnificent team put together a wonderful visual of a Scotland re-created as nodes and links, imaginatively including several icons to communicate important ideas such as diversity and inclusion, all underpinned with the stunning blue brand colour of Seric Systems.

Thrilled to recently see this infographic still being used many years after it was originally designed, slightly re-purposed on this slide-presentation for SmartSTEMs, as well as Seric, with the sister’s charity’s stunning brand wings now included.

Benedetto

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft.

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.

<<< To see more of the loft’s portfolio 

Find Out More About Benedetto >>> 

 

24
Oct

Practical Steps to Better Mental Health

One of the clients we’ve found most fulfilling to work with over the last few years is the TRC Group, an organisation which provides integrated therapeutic support to individuals in both London and Edinburgh. With a new website launched just before lockdown in early 2020 – their large, experienced and diverse therapeutic team began creating short posts to help people with the emotional toll of lockdown.

Posts included relaxation techniques, coping mechanisms and other free tools/techniques/thought-pieces to help people better cope with everything that was going on. Useful at the best of times times, priceless during the several phases of lockdown we’ve had during the last 18 months.

We were more than happy to work with the TRC Group to help them put together all of this outstanding content into its own digital library with collated blog posts, resource centre and press articles.

https://trcgroup.org.uk/library>>> for more info. A tremendous function that I’m sure we can all gain some value from…

Benedetto

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft.

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.

<<< To see more of the loft’s portfolio 

Find Out More About Benedetto >>> 

 

17
Feb

Exponential Impact with Hero Content

Why ‘Hero Content’ can multiply the effectiveness of your brand and marketing actions.

With marketing and branding activities – we’re always looking for actions that make the biggest impact for the least effort – E-Mail Campaigns, Videos, Podcasting, Blogging, Print, Old-Fashioned Advertising, etc, etc. Each of these will help us to persuade more people to do business with us, each of these can be honed to deliver outstanding results over time, each has their own specific types of benefit.

However, over the years at the loft, we’ve found that to deliver real and lasting impact – it is less a question of what but how.

We’ve learned that to create lasting change – what you produce must be able to hold somebody’s attention, should be high-quality and be something that lasts too. ‘Hero-Content’ might be a new phrase to many but creating it may be one of the biggest game-changers for any one of your marketing efforts.

Hero-Content is a higher quality of communication that can be used in a range of different places, in a range of different ways, it can be scaled up, used repeatedly and is endlessly flexible. It tends to be super high-impact, created by a specialist and can be anything from a high-quality infographic to a short 30-second video sound-bite to an effective ad. It can even be a paragraph of text successfully describing your company’s top products or services.

The advantages to your company’s marketing are many, however the real benefits of hero-content to rapidly-growing companies are more personal – having fresh, creative and high-quality creative on-file will save your Marketing Director many a sleepless night with tight deadlines looming fast. (The bi-product of any successful and rapidly-growing company.) It removes the pressure from creatives under tight time constraints and if used properly will give a level of brand consistency and professionalism that can only be advantageous to your company’s creative efforts.

Over the years, we’ve created high-quality hero-content for a number of companies – high impact infographics which industrial companies have used in brochures, websites and even sales powerpoints, abstract sub-brand identities for software companies, photographic imagery for professional firms, etc. Over the years, we’ve been an ‘On-Demand Agency’ with many rapidly growing companies and we’ve learned much about creating and using hero-content first-hand.

Here are a few things we’ve learned..

– We recommend creating hero-content as part of a bigger brand/marketing project – a company re-brand, a website, a brochure or formal campaign.

– It really should be done by a specialist freelancer or agency. Please make sure you agree to have full access to all creative outputs afterwards.

– Once you have agreement on a style that works – it is best to get as many variations from your agency/freelancer as possible – like most innovation projects – the first example takes the longest time to create. Afterwards, with a formula in place, it gets easier and quicker.

– And finally – although we’ve created lots of amazing stuff over many years to tight deadlines at the loft, beautiful creative that is still used many years after it was first produced. It really is best to take a tiny step back and give your freelancer/agency a little more time to get this spot on.

The results will be compounded, I promise…

To see more examples of ‘Hero Content’ as created by the loft.

Check out…

Altia-ABM, A Creative Partnership >>> 

Scottish Leather Group, Celebrating Sustainability >>> 

As always, if you would like a hand then please don’t hesitate to contact us>>>.

For more information on ‘Hero-Content’ >>>

 

29
Aug

Dr Iain MacRitchie, MCR Pathways and the LOFTCAST Video Podcast Production

Some of you may or may not know but the loft released its first ever video podcast production last month called loftcast, yes we like that title too. The loftcast is a brand new series designed to help individuals with big goals, ambitions and aspirations fulfil them by sharing the experiences of other high-impact people. Those who have seen it, done it and are now ready to talk about it. The first in our series seen us interview Dr Iain MacRitchie, a hugely successful commercial entrepreneur who is helping disadvantaged young people through his charity MCR Pathways. They really don’t come much more high-impact!

You can see the full interview on YouTube at http://theloft.video/loftcast

However, for those of you that are a little in a hurry check out these smaller clips of the interview.

Enjoy!

Benedetto

 

1. Introduction
Introducing a leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Iain has delivered over £500 Million in shareholder value, overseen a 6-fold increase in company profits and received international acclaim for the 18+ organisations he’s worked with. All of which, he states, pales into insignificance compared to the ‘challenge of a lifetime’ in supporting disadvantaged young people to realise their potential despite circumstances. 2000 young people supported so far with a plan to reach 5000.

 

 

 

 

2. MCR Pathways
Introducing MCR Pathways, a transformational programme supporting young people through the education system to make sure their talent defines them and not their circumstances.

 

 

 

 

3. A Journey From Commercial To Social Entrepreneur
From making money to making a difference, how a restless journey of goal-setting, being on the edge of the comfort zone and an ultimate search for satisfaction has led Iain to doing what he does today.

 

 

 

 

4. Creating Positive Change
How success is down to persuasion – persuading others that a change is the right thing to do and coming out your own head to understand, help and eventually lead others to success.

 

 

 

 

5. Being Comfortable With Failure
How thinking, dwelling and eventually boxing-off failure, or the fear of the unknown, in your mind can lead to freedom.

 

 

 

 

6. From A Mindset Of Failure To Success
From defining the best version of something to understanding where you are now and creating the steps in-between can lead to real transformations.

 

 

 

 

7. Removing Uncertainty
How uncertainty takes the wind out of everything and the importance of understanding – then removing it – for the success of your venture. All starting with a thought-process.

 

 

 

 

8. Creating The Best Version of Something
How there are sparks in everybody and the right combination of Motivation, Commitment and Resilience – can lead a person to become the best version of themselves.

 

 

 

 

9. Turnaround Professional Of The Year to Bust! (ALMOST)
How an unforgettable evening for Iain at the Savoy London, with 2 major award wins, almost went sour.

 

 

 

 

10. MCR – Motivation, Commitment and Resilience
How connecting Motivation, Commitment and Resilience can become the chemistry of change and propel individuals, teams and organisations to real and lasting change.

 

 

 

 

11. Bridging Vision With Reality
What do we want it to be? What is it right now? And what do we do in between?

 

 

 

 

12. Transformational Impact of MCR Pathways Mentoring
From 48.8% of young people progressing to University, College or University over a three-year period to 83%. Ridiculously effective but with simplicity at its heart.

 

 

 

 

13. Creating Sustainable Change
How spending time with those that need it and applying MCR principles has led to a more sustainable form of change – both in organisations and with young people.

 

 

 

 

14. Liam’s Story
From 4 years behind at school to a degree, job, home ownership and now mentoring others alongside his new wife – The Ripple Effect.

 

 

 

 

15. Realising Potential Despite Circumstances
How giving individuals the way, the choice and support can lead to freedom.

 

 

 

 

16. Testing Yourself & Challenging Habits
You don’t know what you’re capable off until you’re on the edges of your comfort zone.

 

 

 

 

17. The Future Of MCR Pathways
How Iain wants every single young person, close to the care-system or with social work involvement, to have MCR Mentoring as a right. And for the model to be introduced in every Western economy too. Dead Easy!

 

 

 

 

18. The Future For Iain
How sharing MCR’s techniques wherever they can be applied – institutions, organisations and even countries – gives us a glimpse into Iain’s future.

Thanks for taking the time to watch Iain. If you enjoyed our first video podcast production then, why not check out our second…  ‘Brian Williamson, Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.’ >>> 

 

09
Mar

The Power Of ‘A Quick Sketch’

20 odd years ago, it was the romance of hearing about the then Alfa Romeo Head of Design, Walter Da Silva using his menu to sketch the design of a new car to a journalist in a Milan restaurant that sealed my love for the creative process. It made me want to become a designer and more importantly realise the power of a sketch. Something that has remained with me ever since.

Anybody that has worked with the loft in recent years will know that the one thing we do is sketch – quite a lot actually. Thumbnails of details on a post-it note, story-boarding an infographic on the back of an envelope, at times we even provide clients with hand-drawn sketch sheets to present ideas with their proposal.

Why??

Well firstly, it puts the person back in control of the process. In the days with more and more machine input – we believe in the richness, inspiration and creativity of the individual first and software tools second.

Secondly, it’s just faster. When timelines are getting squeezed – sketches allow you to explore more ideas quicker – taking a few minutes to draw something can also save hours of going down a wrong route with the computer.

Thirdly, they are usually more inspirational, more raw and crucially more open to interpretation. This is important at the early stage of the process when you’re wanting to get on the front foot with your ideas without too many restrictions that can kill creativity.

Fourth, they can give an invaluable insight to clients to help them visualise what you’ll create for well in advance.

Finally they democratise the creative process – anybody can have an idea and sketch it. Even if it is a bit rough at first. We’ve had work-experience students, clients, MD’s even accountants all make significant contributions to a creative project with some swipes of a pen on a scrap sheet of paper.

Want to accelerate, strengthen and enrich the creative process? Go back a step and go for a quick sketch.

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.