Tag: Glasgow

13
May

Doing The Right Thing.

Doing The Right Thing.

Everybody knows Glasgow folks have one hell of a social conscious. That people are the heart and soul of the city. That it’s a city with a unique spirit and most of all a city that cares..

MCR Pathways is one of Glasgow’s finest inventions, an outstanding charity that gives disadvantaged young people the chance to create a better life for themselves. They’ve knocked it out the park year after year after year after year after year. Thousands and thousands of young people with better, happier and more fulfilling lives making their own dent in the universe as a result.

Everybody overlooks things, everybody makes mistakes, unintended consequences, everybody is human.

Come on Glasgow, let’s do the right thing, let’s re-open the budget, look a bit harder, dig a bit deeper and explore how you can give one of your most successful social programmes its funding back.

It’s the common-sense thing to do.

It’s the Glaswegian thing to do.

It’s the right thing to do…

 

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 an outstanding team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many inspirational people in business.

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 P1

We are delighted to present a series of exciting and new Design & Branding projects created by the loft in the last few years..

 

A DECADE OF SUCCESS

Visual of Portal Security Timeline Infographic

We’ve been really delighted to be working with Declan, Michael and the rest of the wonderful folks at Portal Security for a number of years now…

A few weeks ago they celebrated their 10th birthday and what a 10 years it has been – innovative new products, set-piece client wins, offices in both Scotland & England, accreditations of excellence in their operations and a real attitude of giving back to the communities they serve through countless hours of charity work and so much more. All of this has been at the heart of this decade of success for the organisation..

Of course we were more than happy to wrap all of these outstanding achievements into this special timeline infographic (hey it’s what we do..) Ascending timeline showing the growth of the company, a special hybrid mix of photos, icons, words and most of all cloaked in the most Portal of Portal Blues..

Happy birthday folks….

THE LOFT

 

 ‘HELPING TO REDUCE VIOLENCE IN SOCIETY TODAY’

One of the projects that has given us the greatest satisfaction in recent times is our creative work with The Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. The SVRU are responsible for thoughtful, practical and ultimately effective actions reducing violence in our society today. They have made a significant difference over the last 15 years or so in Scotland and a similar body is now being set-up in London.

There is still much work still to do here in Scotland but one of the real successes of the SVRU has been the ultra-targeted method with which different projects are used to incrementally and effectively reduce different types of violence in our homes, streets & public places.

We were delighted to be given the opportunity to help this exceptional organisation bring these different programmes to life with these graffiti-inspired illustrations – Street & Arrow, Mentors in Violence Prevention, Navigator, Ask Support Care (ASC) and One Community.

Each illustration looking to summarise what these exceptional programmes does in the most imaginative and captivating ways possible.

 

 

 

We hope you like…

 

WORKING TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

‘Working towards a more sustainable future…’ Or ‘Andare avanti verso un futuro più sostenibile..’

We’ve been busy bees at the loft in the last couple of months creating new identities, websites, campaigns and in this case infographics…

One of the things we’ve been most proud off is this lovely little visual we created alongside Letizia Macri, the Vice President of the ESG European Institute in Rome, Italy. Letizia and the ESG’s vision is to help create a more sustainable, accountable and socially responsible form of commerce across Europe and beyond.

A lovely little project (and with strong Italian roots,) a great little project to be personally involved in…

Infographic is available in both Italian & English languages, but we thought we’d go for Italian for this particular post..

You can find out more about Letizia and the ESG at… https://esginstitute.it

A presto…

Infographic of a more sustainable future

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 >>> 

 

06
Dec

New Sisco Website

Delighted to introduce the new Sisco website…

Helping prisoners, who are ready, to successfully integrate back into society is incredibly challenging work. Mentoring, coaching, listening, inspiring, problem-solving, dealing with trauma, addiction, the pain of the past, the fear of the future, temporary failing and then persevering and doing it all multiple times just to make a little progress – this isn’t work for the faint-hearted.

So it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Natalie, Gary and some of the great folks at Sisco over the last 6 months. Funded by The Robertson Trust, Calma Group & The Weir Charitable Trust – Sisco is a small team of highly-motivated people who use all of the skills mentioned above and more to do great work helping prisoners begin the process of re-building their lives after jail.

You can check out more about what they do and the lovely new Sisco website we built with them at… https://sisco.org.uk/ or click here to check out the loft’s portfolio. 

13
Sep

Aillie & Jade, The Future In Good Hands..

It’s always great to work with new designers – they always offer super-interesting perspectives, new ideas and essentially make us think twice about what we’re doing and if we could do it much, much better. This week we had the pleasure to work with, not one but, two exceptionally talented young ladies – Aillie and Jade.

Aillie has just graduated from Glasgow Clyde College and Jade is in her final year at The City Of Glasgow College. Both did an absolutely phenomenal job this week bringing some great new energy to our currently digital studio, wowing us with some incredibly exciting ideas and helping us get on top of a rather heavy workload with just a little bit more flair.

Of course we’d love to share with you what they did, but all creative work is schtum for now as we show our clients first, but here are a couple of arty images from their folios…

We’ll definitely share their great work with you in the next couple of weeks.

The Future is in Good Hands…

Benedetto

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.

13
Mar

Celebrating the design talent of tomorrow…. 

This morning, we were absolutely delighted to once again support the young people of Glasgow, by hosting our 11th MCR Pathways Talent Taster. As always, we were bowled over by the incredible creativity, talent and skills of the students. As always, we shared plenty of laughs. And as always we finished in the afternoon feeling hopeful that we may have just played a part in helping to ignite a spark of potential in one or two of them.

These are some just some of the excellent works by Kiera, Maria, Daniel and Joel. A huge thank you to Jack and Jade – who were absolutely magnificent this morning too.

And finally for most of my friends in the creative sector – design, branding, video, etc… Young people are really, really interested in what we do so if you can spare some time, please help out and get involved too. Send us a message for more info or contact MCR Pathways

Thank you.

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