Tag: Digital Design


Your website, a birds-eye view

One of the things we love doing most at the loft is creating a new website for a client. It’s the type of project that gives us so many different ways to flex our creative muscles – whether it is creating an engaging user-experience, having the opportunity to work on photography, copywriting and graphic design all at the same time or just building a new digital home for clients.

One of the biggest challenges for any client is just working out where to start with their website project? You know you need to do it. You know what you have is a bit out-of-date. You know that there is so much to be done.

But where do you start? How do you know what to update? What to invest budget in? What is fine from the old site? What should stay? What should go?

Well at the loft, we always start with some tightly defined questions and a birds-eye view (quite literally) of everything.

This is our guide to help you get started.

1. Goals

We say this at the beginning of every loft project. What do we want to achieve? Do we want our customers to know more about out some of the things we do? Do we want to tell people about something our team has done that we’re proud off? Do we want to showcase a new product? A new service? Half of our team has changed and the website doesn’t reflect this – how can we sort that?
Consider all of the different options and look to become crystal clear with what you want to achieve. Great questions give great solutions. The clearer this bit, the easier the process will be.

2. You first

Many people will start by looking at the competition and want to copy a layout or structures or particular detail – we advise doing the opposite for two reasons. Firstly, the best website you can build is one that shows what is great about you and your organisation – not your competition. The other website you may be looking to mimic has been optimised for them not you. Secondly and from a more practical point of view – good practice for modern websites is that they are built content-first, structure second. Start with content.

3. User-Profiles

This part is optional but it can be good practice to create user-profiles for each of the different types of people who’ll use your site – they could include staff members, new clients that know about what you do, new clients that don’t know about what you do, existing customers looking for more information, etc.. For some, this might not be needed (we don’t do this for our own site), but it might be worth some brief thought. Just by thinking about it and writing some stuff down – you will give yourself more ideas about what you want to achieve.

4. Content, content, content

This is critical. We need to list it all down – case-studies, blog posts, staff bios, staff images, customer testimonials, accreditations, partners, service information, service images, event information, office in Glasgow, office in London, partner agencies, etc – list it all down in one place where you can look over it. This is where you can see why we love post-it notes so much. Post-it notes and a big board or wall space is great, but use whatever you’re comfortable with – this is where you want to look over the entire scene. Just being able to do this and stand back will give you a feeling of control over what you are doing.

Then… List everything you have, what you don’t have, what you have but might want to update – you can even have fun and colour co-ordinate different segments.

We love post-it notes as they allow you to be looser and get everything down in one-place! But if you want to be a real pro – you can use platforms such as Dynomapper (https://dynomapper.com) or Slickplan (https://slickplan.com/).

Both of them do the same things and have some very cool features such as the ability to share your map with your team and suppliers remotely, properly co-ordinate content and if you already have a large site – create a draft sitemap and use that as a starting point.

Again, these are cool platforms and cheap too but do whatever you feel comfortable with. Some designers in our studio will use these, I personally, still like the big-board and post-its – each to their own.

5. Categorise
Once you have your list – Now is the time to do some work. Group each of the individual bits of content together – start with the easy stuff.

Group the team members together, the services, the videos, copy and images for the case studies. Group, group, group!

Play with this…

You may find some groups are too busy and need to be divided further.

Some too sparse and need to be brought together.

Each of these actions will help you to categorise your content and voila, you are starting to create a proper layout for your new site.

It’s also helpful as…

i) You’ll be able to tell which pages are ready to be placed into your final layout. Those will be the groups where everything fits together, the content is uniform and it all just makes sense.

ii) You’ll be able to tell which pages are going to require more divisions – those will be the groups of content where there are just too many things going on and they don’t make any sense.

iii) You’ll be able to identify which content is missing or needs updated – whether it is staff bios, new product information or just some new product images.

6. Difficult Calls

Throughout all this – you’ll be able to isolate areas where difficult choices have to be made?

Do you organise your services as stand-alone modules or do you package them for different client groups?

Where do you put your case –studies – all in one index page or do you have them as extensions to certain services?

A big one – what goes on the home page? What should be the first thing a visitor sees?

Is that visitor one user-type or are there multiple user-types to cater too?

At this stage, it is a good idea to re-visit your site goals and these should provide you with context for each of those decisions. Once again, the beauty about using something dynamic to arrange the process is that you can experiment with different layouts – and we very much recommend experimenting with different layouts.

7. Be the User

We already mentioned user-profiles – put yourself in the shoes of the people that will be visiting your site. Think about their individual journeys and how they will interact with the site – then adjust accordingly.

8. Crucial budget

One of the best reasons for having a global view of your information layout is that you are able to assess which content is going to require further investment? Pragmatic decisions always have to be made.

By looking at your layout, understanding your content and assessing your goals – you can decide where energy and budget should go?

Is it on revised photography of the team?
Professional copy for the case studies?
New headline images of the product or service being used?
Graphics to showcase important benefits?

You may not be able to do everything you want but by having it all in front of you – you’re better able to make informed decisions and prioritise where to invest crucial time, energy and budget.

9. Other Vitals

Everybody is different but these are just good-practice.

Is there a ‘Call-To-Action’ on every single page?
Is there any content on your site which is more than 3 clicks away?
Is there any glaring omissions? (Now may be the time to have a quick glance at your competitor’s sites.)

10. A Great Start

By creating your own site map or information layout, you’ll be approaching your agency with a more informed viewpoint – you’ll have a stronger base for discussion and be able to give a more accurate brief. Something that will allow for a more seamless, higher value and mutually beneficial website-project. Any good agency will appreciate the effort.

The exercise we have just mentioned is one we do all the time at the loft – we carry it out for websites, info-graphics and videos. Whether it is a big board with post-it notes or a some more sophisticated digital solution – it should give you a clear reference point, a knowledge on where to invest your project budget and a great tool to brief your agency. Have fun and we wish you luck.

As always if you need any advice…

contact the loft >>>



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 of the loft, a design and branding studio based 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.


Social Media, A Practical Guide

Social media is quite possibly be the most important part of a company’s brand presence nowadays. Getting likes, being seen and having people engage with you can radically transform your company’s marketing success. A coherent, joined-up and ideas-led social presence will help you attract more clients, staff that share your values and new supporters from all over the world. This is the power of social media.

At the loft, we love social media. We love sharing details of our work, the way we help our clients and also some of the interesting things we get up-too in our studio. We use social media a lot and have therefore picked up some gems that we apply regularly and despite there being many more technical guides online we thought we’d put our feet right in the shoes of those that post on social media to share 10 quick ways to optimise your social posts.

1. Start with the Underlying Message

Before posting, always think… ‘What am I trying to say?’ This is important. Every post says something, consciously or sub-consciously, about your brand. What are we trying to say about ourselves or what we value with the post? We are helpful? We are qualified? We have more experience? Our service is faster?

Marketing is the communication and sharing of values and culture in an interesting way. Make sure what you are sharing displays the values you want it too.

2. A Positive Extension of those Values

As a rule of thumb, the majority of social posts should be sharing something positive! It should be something which people want to read. You have the opportunity to present the best side of your company, your products, your services, your team. Whether it is a client testimonial, something altruistic your team has done in the community or just sharing a very positive benefit of one of your services – more positive posts get more likes and therefore capture the attention of others.

However, more than being positive, consider whether what you are saying aligns with the culture your company is promoting. Doing this will help you be more authentic. Fun posts for fun companies, highly technical posts for highly technical companies, posts about ‘innovation in sustainability’ for companies that value ‘sustainability’ and are innovative around this area. Find the value or the idea and build your post around it. The really great companies do this very well on Social Media.

Everyday Athlete, Glasgow are great at showing their values with every single post.

Everyday Athlete, Glasgow are great at showing their values with every single post.

3. People Love People

Human stories tend to be particularly popular. Celebrating technical attributes or showing thought leadership are both good directions to pursue with social media but human stories such as celebrating ‘service landmarks,’ ‘new-starts,’ or just the good work your team does tend to be more appreciated on social media. Even the most technical companies will have service benefits that apply to human-beings. The more able you are to present the human side of even a highly technical subject – the more likely you are of engaging people with your social posts.

John from Scottish Leather Group was celebrating more than 41 years of Service and Social Media definitely appreciated it.

John from Scottish Leather Group was celebrating more than 41 years of Service and Social Media definitely appreciated it.

4. Image Tells a Story

Make sure the image you use really tells a story about the post itself. This is important.  If you are posting about a particular product, is that product in the foreground of the photo? Does it stand out? If you are posting about an event you are hosting, does the image reflect the nature of the event? One further thing – a more professional, polished image has value, but a slightly rougher image which tells the right story has a greater chance of being understood and properly appreciated by your online audience.

5. Use your Polish Strategically

Despite this, a little polish is definitely going to help. Your posts will grab more attention. Whether it’s some info-graphics to bring a statistic to life, more professional photography of your team members or some video graphics to illustrate a story. Content that has been presented with more care and attention does stand a greater chance of helping you to engage with others. It is worth getting a designer, photographer or videographer to bring some of your content to life for important posts.

However, the real value is in thinking past one post! If you are going to engage a professional – think how you can extend the value of their service? For example, if you hire a photographer to capture the investment your company has made in a new assembly line  – then while the photographer is on site – get multiple images which shows different facilities in a little more detail and instead of a single post – create a small campaign from these 6-8 images. This will help you get a better return on investment and a full campaign worth of content as opposed to one individual post.

Leverage the time you have with a professional photographer, copywriter, animator or designer to create as much quality content as possible. These shots were little additions provided by our photographer Malcolm when photographing the entire team.

Leverage the time you have with a professional photographer, copywriter, animator or designer to create as much quality content as possible. These shots were little additions provided by our photographer Malcolm when photographing the entire team.

6. Use the Loft Social Cheat Sheet

At the end of the day, a lot of this is trial and error – but there are some rules you can use to your advantage. To really help you maximise your posts – we have created a quick cheat sheet which shows the best times, to post, optimal image sizes and character counts. Download this sheet and the information will provide a further boost to your social posts.

The loft social cheat sheet definitely provides a bit of method to successful posting.

The loft social cheat sheet definitely provides a bit of method to successful posting.

7. Headlines should be to the point

If you read our cheat sheet, you will notice that the first few lines of any social post are far and away the most important in grabbing people’s attention. There are definitely some points to be gained by writing a title that everybody understands straight away. Different brands will communicate in different ways but in the absence of any doubt – simple language works best. Understanding over flair.

8. Use all the channels

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc… There are so many different channels now, and it is important to pick the one that works for you. Tools like LinkedIn work well for Business2Business audiences. Instagram or Facebook works better for Business2Consumer audiences. Some are more targeted than others.

However, in all honesty, we recommend using all of the channels all of the time. Once you have picked the right image and drafted the right message – you have very little to lose by taking the time to post in all the channels. Plus, it is interesting how often more light-hearted, authentic, less technical posts are liked on LinkedIn and how often the crowd on Instagram will appreciate something a little more content-rich. Just remember to use the correct-sized images as stretched images tend not to do favours for anybody.  You will get this information from our cheat sheet 🙂

Aggregate softwares such as Hoot-Suite can occasionally be helpful here too.

Technical content can work on B2C channels and light-hearted content can work on B2B channels - give it a go!

Technical content can work on B2C channels and light-hearted content can work on B2B channels – give it a go!

9. Maximise your Content

On that note about maximising all of the channels – make sure you re-use your content too. We spoke earlier on about investing in images, graphics, videos, etc. Once you have these assets, stretch them as far and wide as possible! Get them on your website, use them for your newsletter campaigns. If necessary – use them for print documents such as your annual report or other brochures. This will give you a much greater return for any investment on your marketing outlay.

10. Repeat

Once again, you have invested the time and energy to create content, got a great image and written a strong post. Your postings may be as successful as you want, they may not be. However, you do have the opportunity to have a few more goes. So many people will have missed your post first time round – don’t be shy and give them another opportunity to engage. You may even wish to hone your posts a little – to see if you can make it stronger 2nd and 3rd times round. You have very little to lose and much to gain.

A bit of a whistle-stop tour in how to optimise your social posts – you will find many more technical posts online but we hope that the guide above gives you a practical guide on where to start.

As always if you need any advice…

contact the loft >>>



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 of the loft, a design and branding studio based 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.


Professional Service Websites – 7 Tips

Where to start when building that website for your firm can be a bit daunting. We thought, we’d take a moment out of our day and see if we can help? 

These are 7 tips to help those who are considering how to build their next professional services website or those who simply want to refresh what they currently have.


Many traditional website designers used to create layouts, structures and then create content to fit. We suggest the opposite – create the content first- and create a responsive structure to suit. The reason being is that content list can be a bit daunting and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start? The list may include – staff bios, service benefits, specific methodologies, images, news items, etc. It may include information on culture, values, vision, etc. Get all the information down in one place – post-it notes, scrap sheets of paper, etc. Anywhere, you can look over it all in one go.

Then work out what’s important? Prioritise which bits of content you want to emphasise? These are the bits where you use professional photography, copywriting or even video. By starting with content, you build a more user-friendly site and are more in control of the areas of your company that draw the most attention. Another really great tip is to use leverage and use the images, videos or articles (content) to share on Social Media channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter – obviously a critical part of your digital presence.


Professional services are all about people and relationships – your website should be big on this. Bring your people to life online, this usually means – great images of your staff, personal stories, anecdotes, anything that builds the human story. Some like technical but most don’t so keep specialist information in a separate place to more general information.

The simple act of creating a simple clean layout with just the right amount of information that a client needs to know is an effective way to build a good professional site.


Not just a website one, but definitely one that will enhance any Business Development activities – the client testimonial sheet. Many professional firms are wary about publishing testimonials, especially on their website, in fear of having their clients poached. We believe that showing others that you do a good job is more than worth the risk.

The most significant improvement to our sales process has been the introduction of a ‘client and testimonial sheet.’ More testimonials gives you greater credibility. You cannot have too many of these. Have them on your website but also a simple doc or PDF file to E-Mail to show new people that you are trying to do business with can be helpful.

We don’t believe you can really have enough testimonials.


Most organisations will have services that are similar if not completely identical to their competitors. Whether it is advising on selling a business, providing an insurance specification or creating a will – we nearly all do the same things on paper. However, ‘it’s not what you do but the way that you do it.’ Being able to talk authentically about the differences demonstrate greater value-add and will help you stand out compared to others.


As a follow-up to the last tip. Your website should have a basic message, theme or a range of ideas that differentiate you in the marketplace. 95% of professional service firms rightly say that client-service is at the heart of their offering – this is a good message – but when everybody says the same thing, you may want to consider going a little further.

How do you serve those clients better than everybody else? Are you faster? More dynamic? More friendly? More precise? Do you have more specialised knowledge? More useful partnerships? A joined-Up Approach? Obsessed about the detail? Pick a couple of ideas and tell a few stories either with your web-copy or images that will help to emphasise and bring these ideas to life.


A very, very simple one but something which can be neglected at times. It is YOUR duty to ensure that the person looking at your content can reach you easily. This means contact details in all the right places – on the home-sliders, on the menu, an easily-accessible contact-page, a good quality enquiry form, social media links or numbers directly to partners. You decide what that line between ‘accessible’ and ‘desperate’ is but it should never be a chore to contact any organisation. Otherwise you don’t deserve the business.


Professional services are all about reputation and relationships. The majority of your clients will have come through referrals.

Try wherever possible and with whatever means to tell a story – even a short one about the kind of service you provide? There are so many tools out there such as video which allow you to introduce a little more of the human side of yourself. Take a chance and get yourself out there. You’ll be one of the few that do and fortune favours the brave.

If you’d like some help – contact us >>>



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 of the loft, a design and branding studio based 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.



It’s been a busy time recently and as we get busier and busier with new projects and more successful outcomes – some have been asking about the way we work in the loft and how a small agency which focusses almost exclusively on design manages to grow in the days of more ‘digital solutions.’

So I thought I’d share 10 ideas of the ways we work in the loft – working this way in the last year has fuelled our growth, brought client wins and an awful lot of nice things being said about our work.

They are more about attitudes than the actual mechanics of design but they are our 10 gems about… ‘designing with soul’

1.       ACTION

There is literally no problem that can’t be solved with positive action. This idea is our guiding principle in the studio. A high energy and productive studio brimming with ideas will always have enough momentum to create great solutions and hone solutions to perfection. Every time we think we are hitting a creative brick wall or are torn between two solutions that don’t seem quite right – we develop them both and throw in another 3 for good measure. This loose-ness and care-free abandon removes the creative shackles and almost always produces great solutions.

Action means you have momentum. In design terms at least, it is better to be 80% down the wrong road than to not have started. We find that some people fail 5 times and still find the right solution before others have barely even started to get going so we put the word ‘ACTION!’ at the heart of our way of working.


This principle has as much to do about mentality as it does about practice. Making tomorrow happen today or ‘beginning with the end in mind’ means having faith in ourselves to deliver an outstanding solution to our design challenge, one that makes our client happy as well as ourselves. It means keeping faith in our work throughout the entire process, regardless whether progress is fast or slow.

It means favouring results over methods.

We avoid spending huge amounts of time changing our minds, running into creative cul-de-sacs, when we already have viable design solutions which can be completed with just a little refinement and honing. We contextualise our design solutions, standing where the client stands as soon as possible to help us gain better insights and achieve superior results.

Also, getting to a solution quicker is to the benefit of everybody and we use any time left to create stronger details. When speaking of time, it is just another resource, and when in short supply, we are amazed at how much more creative we become. We work fast in the loft, we road-test ideas quickly, we learn quickly, we fail quickly, this concentration of knowledge and energy always leads to better thought-through design solutions that are usually created in double-quick time. You can also feel the energy and immediacy in the work. Doubling the amount of time on a creative project seldom gives you a solution which is twice as good.


This may seem far and away like the most obvious principle, but it is amazing the amount of time that studios fall foul of this – ourselves included. We are all guilty of giving the client what we think they want and not what they actually want. The reason this principle is so important is that so much time can be saved going down blind allies – we save as much as 30/40% of branding or graphical solutions by asking the right questions and really listening to what a client wants at the beginning.

More importantly, the more bespoke and personal we make a design solution the more valuable we know our service becomes. The greater the challenge, the narrower the window of design constraints, the greater the opportunity for us to really test our creative mettles. We know that the client is not always right and they should be challenged at times, neither are we alway right. We always look to educate and inform, particularly at the beginning of a process. However, we believe once a designer has their parameters, the difference between the amateurs and the pros is that the true pros always deliver regardless of how limited a brief may be! We love being pushed into tight corners as it allows us to come up with even more imaginative solutions.


Every single project we do begins with words, not images and absolutely not images of competitors work, or benchmarking. A brand, a piece of graphical work, a piece of digital work should arouse various thoughts/feelings in the people engages with it. Those words/thoughts/feelings or even stories are always the starting point for any project for us. They provide a much greater scope for imaginative thoughts and ideas. A canvas with much greater potential. We risk cutting off too much of what we can create if we limit our imaginations at the very first hurdle.

Interestingly most projects we work on start with various messages or a set of words which will be imperfect themselves, as we hone our graphical solutions, we become more able to hone the words themselves. Imagine a see-saw between words and images. As we progress into our designs – the images counter the message and vice versa with both becoming accurate.


Inspirations are absolutely everything to us. We see it as our duty to seek out the interesting – to find those abstract shapes, patterns, marks, textures, lines colours and understand why they arouse certain emotions in us. In the studio, we always begin with mood-boards – those inspiration images are everything to us.

The beauty we find in those mood-boards is pivotal to successful design solutions. When our work runs off-course, it is nearly always because we haven’t found or remained true to the beauty of those initial inspirations. Occasionally, finding the true beauty in that inspiration is where the real work in a project is – understanding if it’s the negative space in a composition, the symmetry of a shape, a particular arrangement of colour or the drama of a certain pose – these are all things that we examine when working with our inspirations. Once we raise our awareness of why something works, we take that knowledge and apply it to every technical element of the entire project.


This is a really important principle. We all have sky high standards, want to do our best and create something outstanding. We never try to do this in one go. The simplest, most effective design solutions that we have created, usually come from thousands of sketches and ideas that have been communicated, mulled over, rejected, re-brought in, analysed, mixed with others, etc…

Having read Jonathan Ive’s book and analysing all of the beautiful, simple and minimal Apple products; we know they are products that are not borne of a designer having one big idea but the manifestations of thousands, if not tens of thousands of thoughts, ideas and decisions made and culminated into beautiful pieces of design. This is why we see it as of the utmost importance that we put our ideas down quickly – very quickly. Then build from the bottom-up, each time, doing just enough to get us to the next stage. Every studio will be different but we work with…

words>inspirations>concept work>development work>final solution.

This involve testing out lots and lots of potential solutions along the way. We don’t perfect our initial concepts in one go, we build from the bottom up in levels, the difference is that we keep building new levels of excellence into our solutions – more honed proportions, even more eye-catching details, greater refinements.

Individual taste of our designers can plays a part in this – sometimes a desire to deduce a design to its simplest core components, sometimes it is to add greater sub-stories into a solution or sometimes just exploring a particular theme in greater depth.

Two quick tips with this principle…

We see it as incredibly important to be positive and constructive, especially during the early stages – we only see the good in our own work, we build on the good and ignore what isn’t working 100%. We see too many designers draw a couple of sketches and try and take them to a close in one go – a bit like a boxer trying to knock out the other fighter with one big punch. It seldom happens. We only see the good – the inspirational, the beautiful, the interesting – this gives us energy and encouragement to drive forward and build in the next stage. We are always looking to create, grow and build on the positive and ignore the negative. The perfectionist part or the deductive part of design for us comes only after a very lengthy creative part, usually at the end when we have a number of solutions to choose from, we never try to close with our first or even our third sketches.

One other little tip that we use in the studio is that we do 30 second sketches, sometimes even 15 second sketches. Nothing cuts through the logical barriers we put in front of ourselves by having to sketch an idea in 15 seconds. It is a wonderful process; we are constantly amazed at the quality and richness of ideas that can be generated from this simple step. It also helps us to become more intuitive as designers. Intuition alongside imagination are mental muscles that we believe every designer has an interest in developing.


Everybody will design differently but we are very much advocates of a high tempo, high-energy, inspiration-led design process. As mentioned, many of the most beautiful forms of minimalist designs did not come from a single idea that was perfected as a sketch but as the results of fast thinking, fast generation of ideas and decisiveness by the designer or design leader managing the process. We never treat a thought, idea, sketch or even development as precious; they are simply the building block to a ‘next-stage.’ As stated, we tend to have a lot of ‘next-stages’ which leads to better and better design solution. We make up our minds quickly and seldom change them. We see decisiveness as so important as a designer, we believe we can make just about any visual idea work with a truly committed decision and lots of persistence. In the loft, we make our minds up quickly, intuitively, and then we persist, persist, persist with a certain path or idea, almost to the point that it hurts. We see a truly great design as usually just a slight tweak away, and many of our greatest efforts only clicked at the very last moments. However, on the odd occasion when we haven’t been able to make an idea work, when we have taken a design so far down a wrong road, it is only by pushing it so far in a mistaken direction that we have gained absolute clarity about where we have fell short and why another concept may work better. The type of clarity you can’t get if you don’t travel along the path in the first place.


As we progress with a project, the greater is the temptation to start looking around for other ideas or inspiration. The head-shifting Meerkat syndrome. We believe this has fatal consequences in the quality of our solutions – we lose the original purity of thought or inspiration by looking at others. Occasionally clients will ask for benchmarking activities and it is something that we look at like other studios. However, we believe designers should not be looking at other designs for inspirations unless they are very much in-line with the inspiration/idea/theme/story being explored throughout their own projects. We believe great design is nearly always about purity of expression. We believe that the answer to any problems with a piece of visual design can be found by looking more closely at our own inspirations, ideas, themes and stories, getting to know them better and faithfully exploring them for more creative solutions not lumping elements from other designs onto our own.


To ensure that our designs have real purity – we take them apart and put them back together again. We reduce them to their core components on the wall or on our art-boards, we hone them, analyse them and ensure that there is a real consistency there piece-by-piece. Every piece of design, when reduced to its core components should have a common language running through them that is in line with original inspirations. We print our logos big in the studio then cut them into individual parts to ensure that the radiuses are all consistent, that the relationship between lines are correct, to ensure that every individual part is as consistent as it should be. We look at them in the mirror, we turn them upside down, we look at them big and small, we look at them as black and whites and as negatives. Every part of the process allows us to learn something more and be creative in a further way. This is the rigour and technical discipline that is necessary to create outstanding solutions.


In the studio, or during work times, a designer must really give their all but we believe it’s so important to have a great life outside of it. Design is a joyful activity. We never live for the work, we instead treat it as work. We believe professional designers must own their projects not the other way around, we know if we are overly precious, it owns us and not the other way around. If a designer is overly precious about their work – they will not take risks with it and he/she has to take risks. They will become tired of it quicker and this lack of enthusiasm will be reflected in the final solution.

We believe a designer needs balance. So much of what we do is about inspiration. If a designer is inspired – they will batter through their work at twice the speed anyway and this immediacy also enhances the final solution. We see inspiration as a little bit like a sand egg-timer. The more inspired an environment feels – the more the designers will work but the less it will feel like work. They will be in the zone, expressing themselves in their love of what they do. The less inspired they feel – the more turgid, ponderous the work will become, the hours become longer and this is then reflected in the final solutions. But worst, it becomes part of the work/life balance.

We have no time for this image of the miserable creative who puts his entire life on the line for their work allowing all other areas of their lives to suffer. We are professional designers, we must love what we do and to love it means not to suffocate ourselves with our love of what we do or our ambitions of what we want to achieve. Yes there will be times when you will have to work harder and longer but on the most part 7-8 hours a day is more than sufficient.

Proposal logos Sextant + constellation

Even a huge amount of work goes into design proposals that eventually become rejected. We have a dustbin of work never used, that would be the envy of many…


Every project begins with words suggesting thoughts and feelings that should be aroused when you engage with the design solution.


Rooting out the true inspiration for The Woman’s Enterprise Info-graphic was pivotal in getting this design right.


Starting with a wide-open imagination and building in phases allows you to quickly build great solutions.


Real exploration of the story behind the design allowed us to use Nashira to take the Bridge2Business brand to new heights…


Nothing cuts through the fuzzy thinking more than 15-30-60 second sketches

Loft Logo

Our own logo required absolute persistence with the concept. Only an 11th hour tweak to stagger the lines created the dynamic imbalance allowing the entire composition to come together.

Big, small, upside down, colour, no-colour, every project is a step into the unknown and learning as much about your design will help you reach a great final solution.

Big, small, upside down, colour, no-colour, every project is a step into the unknown and learning as much about your design will help you reach a great final solution.


It is so important to enjoy what you do…

Leven 1

Love your clients and what they stand for!

Loft Love

Be proud of what you do…


And always celebrate the journey…

These 10 ideas only work for us at our energetic, inspired and productive best and this only happens if we are happy outside of our work going in and that means owning our work and not letting it own us. This is so important as many in the creative industries fall into this trap.

On a final and more positive note, many have spoke of the demise of design and communication as part of todays creative landscape and it is true that the majority of agencies growing in this area are digital companies but there are newer, more exciting opportunities for the type of designers who will find the above information interesting.

Alongside areas in new digital mediums, communication is becoming more and more prominent for companies/individuals who need to engage with ever more distracted and busier customers, staff, shareholders, board members, etc than ever before. In the last year, I have spoken to clients who are looking for what we do to illustrate their business plans, to present investment information to funders, to present information in a court of law.

For those that can provide delightful solutions to complex communication problems, there are likely to be no limits in what we can do. I hope you’ve enjoyed glimpsing into the loft studio as much as I have enjoyed sharing it.



Benedetto is a designer and founder of the loft – a specialist design studio based in Glasgow.

The loft takes the true essence of what organisations do and with his team brings those stories to life with a coherence, simplicity and delightfulness that helps companies to create outstanding brand communications.

‘Design with Soul’ is more than a company tag-line to Benedetto, it is a way of life.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role. 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.