Malcolm Cochrane | Design Highlights 2017

All this month we’ve been taking a look back and celebrating the wonderful achievements of our creative team in 2017. We kicked the month off in fine style with some of the excellent works of our Reiss, we then featured Laura, followed by Marek. As the month draws to a close, we’d like to end our series by acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of Malcolm Cochrane — a photographer that we have worked with many, many times over the years.

Whether he was working on factory shots, intimate portrait images, or something a little more creative, Malcolm was always able to deliver photographs that told a story, had an enduring quality, and a sensitivity which regularly delighted. Pretty much another member of our creative team, we all loved working with Malcolm in 2017 and we can’t wait to work further with him in 2018.

These are Malcolm Cochrane’s highlights with the loft in 2017…


Iona of Bridge of Weir

One of Malcolm’s greatest strengths is his ability to capture people and one of the best examples of this was with his capturing of Iona from Bridge Of Weir Leather. Iona is one of 10 leather production and manufacturing apprentices undertaking a 2-year course with Scottish Leather Group. As part of her apprenticeship, Iona will undertake many different roles within the factory. This effortless shot by Malcolm excellent captures Iona in front of the leather she has dedicated her career to learning about.


Anthony of Tradeprint

Tradeprint are one of the largest print suppliers in the country providing an unparalleled level of quality and service. ‘The People Behind the Print’ was the campaign we co-created with them, highlighting the magnificent people in their team. People that really add value to the client relationships, the process, and what they are looking to achieve.

Malcolm beautifully captured the entire team with a range of poses showing off the different sides of their characters. Subtle lighting, bold compositions, and a real variety of expressions truly brought these magnificent photographs to life. They became the focal point of a wonderful campaign.


THE LOFT ‘Master Plan’

The loft have worked with Malcolm on many, many shoots and we have been privileged to have him photograph us many times. In the summer of 2017, Malcolm did this lovely little overhead shot of the loft team drawing out their master-plan for the future. A fun shot where he beautifully captures the energy of a dramatic scene from a wonderfully interesting angle. Another great image from what is an ever-growing collection.



One of the great things about working with Malcolm is some of the brilliant off-camera moments he captures. A recent shoot with the great folk from Young Enterprise Scotland is about to spawn some brilliant new professional photos which are going to be used for a new publication. In between the serious stuff, Malcolm caught this fun image of Lucy, Geoff, and Christiana from Young Enterprise Scotland trying on their hats — complete with the YES tartan colours.

This concludes Malcolm’s design highlights with the loft in 2017 and the end of the series. We’ve loved every minute of reliving these highlights and are massively, massively grateful for the entire contribution made by everybody in 2017.

We look forward to seeing what everybody does in 2018.


Marek Brol | Design Highlights 2017


That was the name we gave the incredibly talented Marek Brol.

As January draws towards a close, we are using the rest of the month to celebrate the creative achievements of our team. Marek Brol joined us in March of 2017 and it’s to safe to say that we were bowled over by his desire, creativity, and intensity. Marek did many wonderful things for the loft before sadly departing back to his homeland towards the end of the year. Although Marek’s no longer with us in the studio, the memory of a wonderful person, lots of great times, and some staggeringly beautiful work remain with us. Acts of creativity that we are truly grateful for. We can’t wait to see what Marek does next, but in the meantime, these are his highlights of 2017:

SOCEX 2017 Brochure

1. SOCEX 2017

The first thing Marek did for us at the loft was the beautiful SOCEX 2017 brochure. A person who loves the symbolic and meaningful, Marek got his teeth into the project with a drive which immediately impressed us. He thoughtfully and intelligently built on the SOCEX visual framework which had been established with previous publications but he breathed new life into it with a serious of super-dramatic backdrop images on various pages, eye-catching colour scheme, and an impactful front cover. The cover shows a menacing hooded figure against a backdrop of several of the conference themes constructed as a mosaic. Instant Impact! Marek, as with all our projects, was ably supported by the team, but this one really does have his personality all over it.

Hot Desk Campaign


One of Marek’s greatest talents was his ability to use bold creative ideas to bring just about any subject to life. The loft last year was offering hot-desk spaces in its large South Block studio and one of the greatest challenges was the presentation of a space which would be originally sparse and empty until used. Marek, along with his colleagues, beautifully used the idea of putting props such as your ‘laptop, photo, and creative family’ into a beautiful descriptive drawing, complete with annotations, which truly brings the scene to life while selling that all important element of ‘individuality,’ so important to creatives. The campaign was a huge success, with enquiries being received to this day, we believe, due in no small part to Marek’s wonderful illustration skills.

Fedrigoni 365

3. Fedrigoni 365

Fedrigoni is one of the world’s most celebrated, famous, and successful paper manufacturers. Designers from all over the world aspire to use Fedrigoni in the projects they work on. In 2017, they had the idea to create a book which celebrates some of the UK’s most prominent designers and design studios, giving each of them a date of the year to creatively represent. Safe-to-say, we were absolutely thrilled and honoured to be given the opportunity. The 27th of May was the date they chose for us. The only condition of the brief was that we had to use black paper, silver ink, and the number had to look like the date being represented. As always, we wanted to give the illustration some meaning and found that the 27th of May is a celebration of ‘Japanese Navy Forces Day.’ The full team put forth ideas and Marek eventually took it on, beautifully illustrating a ship with the hull creating the number ‘7’ and the number ‘2’ being represented as a swan. As it says in the book, “A coincidence of the natural form of the sea, resulting in two contrasting elements unified.” We’re all delighted with the final result.

Arcman Billboard

4. Arcman Sub-Brands

Real design sensitivity is one of the hardest things to achieve as a designer; the understanding of those nuanced details which can make all the difference when creating things. Marek has a rare sensitivity which belies his younger years and this was never shown to greater extent than with his creation of the Arcman sub-brands. He created a full range of icons for Arcman, bringing each of their services to life — welding, fabrication, installation, etc… Each of the different icons show the person doing their craft, but where these particular figures shine is in the dynamism of the poses, the drama of the light-shade, and the careful interpretation of the details such as the sparks of the welder. Real design sensitivity indeed. This wonderful concept image where the welder is working on the letter ‘A’ is beautiful, memorable, and truly eye-catching. An image, which eventually spawned a full series, was used endlessly with different communications by the brand as the year came towards a close and most importantly something that was loved by everybody.

A fitting end to a wonderful year — we wish Marek the very best of luck and can’t wait to see what he does in 2018.


Laura Campbell | Design Highlights 2017

Last week we were delighted to kick off our series in celebrating the achievements of our creative team in 2017. We started with Reiss McLeod and this week we are delighted to be taking a look back at the exceptional work of his ‘partner-in-crime’ Laura Campbell.

Laura Campbell, a graduate of ‘Gray’s School of Art’ in Aberdeen, joined our team in March 2017 and what an incredible year she has had. Laura quickly became a go-too person for creative ideas, managing the ever-intricate print process and finally adding some much-needed video to the loft’s social media presence. Such was her deftness with social media that the young lady, we once thought was quiet, became our ‘Director of Noise.’ A role she has led with absolute distinction since.

Laura is multi-talented – a person who is comfortable at all stages of the design process, a keen developer/illustrator and somebody who the clients often rave about, she is one of the most trusted members of our team and is also great fun to be around too.

These are Laura Campbell’ highlights of 2017.


1. Tradeprint ‘People Behind The Print’

One of Laura’s biggest successes of 2017 was her fantastic work on the ‘People Behind Print’ campaign for Tradeprint. Tradeprint is one of the country’s largest providers of online print where their team helps large companies, organisations and agencies with their printing requirements. They have incredible geographical reach, an extremely wide variety of products and most importantly their print coaches – Laura very skilfully acknowledged the value of the ‘print coaches’ in a commoditised market flooded with competition.

She built on this by creating a range of beautiful concepts with the print coaches being at the heart of the campaign, they were captured with simple portraits, expressive poses and then some beautifully creative mixed-media collages using Tradeprints own stock. The concepts were all Laura’s while working with Tradeprint brand Director James Barrett Bunnage and photographer Malcolm Cochrane on a range of materials spanning print advertisements, social media posts and beautiful landing page micro-sites. One for each of the print coaches. Top work indeed…

VRU Scotland

2. VRU Scotland ‘Street & Arrow’ Display Stand

Laura, with her cohort Reiss, played a pivotal part in the development of this unique and very special display-stand created for VRU Scotland’s ‘Street & Arrow.’ ‘Street & Arrow’ is a programme led by The Violence Reduction Unit to help people make the transition from leading lives of crime back into employment. As part of a wider creative project and the opportunity to do something different for a trade show, Laura captured the chance to bring this incredibly interesting piece of work to life. Created in record-quick time, you will see the transition of the individual from criminal to worker in the artwork, the spray-painting of the characters carefully produced on actual chipboard and Reiss and Laura celebrating a remarkable day’s work. All carried out from the warehouse of a good friend. Not your typical trade-show stand. Not your typical day at the studio but a wonderful result.

Scottish Leather Group

3. Scottish Leather Group Sustainability Report 2017

This was the second Sustainability Report we created for Scottish Leather Group after a successful 2016. The team were asked to take the concept of sustainability forward and Laura duly obliged. Her concept of ‘using less ink’ with the text, graphics and mainly the images of the brochure was seen as very fitting for a document celebrating some remarkable achievements by the company regarding its sustainability. The image of leather off-cuts on the brochure shows this concept to beautiful effect – once again with the exceptional photography of Malcolm Cochrane.

Geckotech Calendar

4. Geckotech Calendar

One of Laura’s biggest achievements of 2017 was the design of the 2018 Geckotech Calendar. Geckotech Solutions are a company which supplies clients with access engineering solutions including industrial rope access, confined space entry and the installation of temporary working platforms. She worked closely with Nancy Pearson from Geckotech Solutions and Ruth McFarlane of Exactaprint where she selected the most eye-catching images available, sensitively developed them with a ‘Black & White’ theme with very dramatic orange accents and once again managed a very intricate print process. The final calendars were wonderfully received by the client, their clients and all involved. Yet another exceptional outcome for our Laura.

Research Scotland Infographics

5. Research Scotland Report on the 14:19 Fund

Infographics have been round a long-time, starting with everything from the pie and bar charts used in office packages on original PCs, they became more widely popular in recent years to tell longer, more complicated and intricate stories in an easier, friendlier and more digestible way. They are seen everywhere today from business plans to product instructions to the communication of complicated financial information. At the loft we have been very much at the heart of the development of the infographic and how they are evolving, particularly with motion graphics. Laura took the original infographic concept and gave it a new lease of life with the combination of high-impact visual photography to create images of tremendous effect. The infographics Laura created for Research Scotland’s reporting of ‘Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund’ are some of the freshest and most exciting that we’ve seen and been involved in a long time.

It’s safe to say that it’s been an absolutely incredible year for Laura and we could easily have created another week’s worth of materials.

Looking forward to seeing what she creates in 2018!


Reiss McLeod | Design Highlights 2017

2017 was a big year for Reiss. After a summer internship and a year of working part-time, Reiss became a full-time member of the loft team once he finished his studies in July. Anybody that knows Reiss knows he is an incredibly talented guy with exceptional basic skills, an uncanny ability to generate ideas out of no-where and he’s a great wordsmith too. His puns are quite the thing of legend in the studio.

As expected Reiss eased into his new role and quickly became a pivotal part of the team adding the role of ‘Director of Client Happiness’ to his design responsibilities. Already an exceptional creative-thinker and problem solver, he added some real weight to his development skills throughout the year culminating in several exceptional pieces of creative work which we’d love to celebrate.

Although we always work as a team at the loft, we wanted to take a moment to value individual contributions to creative projects and Reiss really delivered tremendously in 2017, these were some of his highlights.


1. Cashback Infographic for Inspiring Scotland

Quite possibly the highlight of the year for Reiss was his interpretation of the positive information for ‘Cashback for Communities’ for Inspiring Scotland. The programme involves taking the proceeds of crime and re-investing it back into local communities for young people — £20,000,000 has been re-invested into improving life opportunities since 2014. The programme is led by the Scottish Government alongside Inspiring Scotland and Reiss took an incredibly large amount of information and alongside his cohort Laura developed a beautiful illustration-infographic hybrid depicting a wonderful tale of the programme. The interpretation of the individual mini-stories where Cashback has made a difference in the community is a real highlight. The infographic has been such a success that it adorns the walls of the offices at Inspiring Scotland as well as The Scottish Government.

SOCEX - Financial Crime Conference

2. SOCEX Financial Crime Conference Brochure

The loft has worked with the event organisers for The Serious & Organised Crime Exchange (SOCEX) since 2015 and have since created a number of set-piece conference brochures. Reiss took the lead with the latest instalment — The 2017 Financial Crime Conference in November. Reiss built on the visual frameworks of previous brochures but where his creativity really shone through is with the imaginative, purposeful and almost iconic design of the front cover which cleverly shows two people exchanging ideas – ideas that are all emblematic of themes being dealt with by the conference. A beautiful, abstract and fitting depiction for the newly formed financial conference. We can’t wait for the 2018 events…

Arcman-Making Christmas Campaign

3. Arcman Winter Campaign Image

Our Reiss is an accomplished wordsmith and real creative thinker. Never was this more beautifully brought to life than with his campaign image and advert for the winter edition of print magazine ‘Urban Realm.’  Building on the Christmas theme – Reiss cleverly realised that the ad created for Arcman was going to be seen just as much in January as December so beautifully saw past the obvious Christmas theme and instead brought the sentiment of ‘getting back to wor’k to life. A Christmas calendar with the various services of Arcman as windows remain in place but are all secondary to those strong words ‘The Holidays are over. Let’s Get To Work.”  In-keeping with the company values and a real success.

Client Top 5 FAQs

4. Introducing ‘the pigs’

Reiss has an absolutely wonderful imagination and a real ability to creatively communicate information. Part of his role as ‘Director of Client Happiness’ is to share best-practices with others in the team. His creative ability was on full-display when he introduced a series of odd-looking creatures to us as his way to demonstrate his ideas for ‘Client Happiness.’ These little creatures which we affectionately christened ‘the pigs’ have since found their way into many parts of the loft’s brand presentation in 2017.

Arcman-Making Metal Work

5. ‘MAKING METAL WORK’ for Arcman

Once again Arcman were looking for a series of print ads for the Urban Realm annual, something which would demonstrate the high-energy nature of their service, commitment to clients and desire for excellence. Reiss came up with a rather simple concept but one which really shone. He mixed the excellent photography of Malcolm Cochrane with an exceptionally well-selected typeface to bring the vibrancy of the Arcman message to life for print, digital and everything in between… The campaign advert was so widely liked by the company founder Jamie Doak that it proudly adorns his I-Phone and is mounted on the front of the Arcman workshops.

Reiss was a huge part of the loft’s success in 2017 and we can’t wait to see what ideas, graphics and even puns he has up his sleeve for 2018.



‘Soaring Spirits’

Spirit’s an interesting concept – intangible, unquantifiable, easier to feel than properly articulate. Every now and then you can experience it at its strongest – a football match where your team score at the last minute, a gig where your favourite band just kill it on stage and tonight at the Kelvingrove where the kids from MCR Pathways have just wowed us with an amazing music and drama performance.

For those that aren’t in the know, ‘Young Glasgow Talent by MCR Pathways’ is an organisation that helps young people unlock their talent. The organisation teams up with schools and provides mentors to students, some of whom, have had the most ridiculously difficult starts to life. The organisation has an exceptional record (over 700 young people supported, 15 schools participating, 800 plus mentors and 1321 volunteers registered – and all in a very short space of time.)

Tonight was the Creative Showcase, we had the great and good of Glasgow out in their many, we had the launch of a painting by the world class Gerard M Burns and it was all hosted in the most magnificent of settings – The Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

However, all of that pales into insignificance when compared to the soaring spirits of the young people who thrilled, entertained and moved us from the stage tonight.

Where do you start?

The evening was kicked off with an incredibly moving drama performance of the students just oh-so gently reminding us a little of what they had been through before kicking into a wonderfully moving cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are.’

We were treated to the story of Gerard Burn’s painting and how some of the students had contributed to its creation – the painting itself really is something.

And the evening was concluded by the incredible Mya, a 14 years-old singer-songwriter who confessed on stage that she suffers from autism and anxiety, but whose renditions of ‘Firefly’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ left the audience absolutely stunned of the sheer potency of a 14-year old voice.

What amazing things can happen when talent is unlocked!

She mentioned she was looking to get her Facebook fanbase over 1000 and if you happen to be reading – check out

It’s definitely worth a like.

Individual talent aside, what is even more impressive is the spirit and togetherness of the young people – there was an incredibly moving moment at the end of Mya’s performance when her friends from the organisation just gate-crashed the stage, clapping, singing and all wildly encouraging us to share in the most joyous of moments.

We all did.

What’s more, the spirit of the young people is matched by each and every person in the MCR Pathways team. Whether it’s Claire O’Hara urging the audience to leave the safety of their seats to embrace the magic of the young people by standing closer to the stage. Iain MacRitchie, the founder absolutely making sure the Gerard M Burns Painting could be photographed and sent to the Herald before 730PM to make the deadline for Page-3 tomorrow. Or Robin Dewar, the IT manager who just went out in the cold Glasgow rain to get me a laptop to write this with my phone out of juice.

To a person, each and every-one of them care so much, give it everything they’ve got and exemplify this ‘soaring spirit’ themselves.

Whether you are a person interested in mentoring, an employer who wants to provide a talent taster work-experience or just somebody looking to get a little more involved – this is an organisation that’s worth knowing and supporting.

‘Soaring Spirits’ each and every one of them.

Check out for more info…



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.


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.


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.

the loft’s Design Process

We strive to create beautiful bespoke pieces of work that help bring your brands to life — this is something that takes time, energy, and structure. The design process varies for a lot of agencies; some have very strict rules which must be followed, whereas others have no structure whatsoever. At the loft, we’re probably somewhere in between.

Your own personal design process will be as distinct as the end result, so we have engineered a loose framework that resembles a simple project. Not only is the design process effective and efficient, it’s something that should be a lot of fun.

1. Meetings

1. Initial Meeting

If you have that initial spark of an idea, we would love to hear it. It’s all about taking time to work out exactly what you would like to achieve. The best way to get the ball rolling is by setting up that first meeting to discuss all of the potential directions we can take the project. We will discuss the main aims, intended outcomes, and pinpoint exactly what it is that gives your idea energy.  Whether that’s a visit to our studio or over a cup of coffee at the local cafe, all projects begin with a simple, friendly chat.

2. Core

2. Getting to the core

Now it’s time for the design team to sit down and really their heads together. Finding out and conquering a challenge, understanding an incredibly complex system, bringing out the best in something or someone… every single client we have worked with has had their own unique problem to solve. By summarising the brief we can boil down the project to its core and figure out what the true object is we are to overcome.

3. Concept

3. Concept Presentation

Now it’s time to have some fun! We love to generate tonnes of great ideas, ranging from things that tick all of the briefs boxes to more, let’s say, abstract thoughts. Working with yourself, we can capture some real jewels of creativity in these sessions. Concepts let us summarise our thoughts and highlight the potential directions that the project can take. It’s important to show where ideas come from so displaying them in a presentation makes the process a lot more exciting and visually digestible. Initial sketches is an integral part of the loft’s design process as we can work hard and fast without wasting time on ideas that have no traction. This will be supported by research visuals possibly some basic computer mockups. During these meetings, we like to hone in on a select few ideas so that we can put a lot of energy into. Whether it is home or away, they are great fun to take a step into the future and see what is possible.

5. Development

4. Development Stage

The idea is starting to take shape, building more and more momentum. During this stage we hone in on selected concepts, tearing them apart, playing with various sizes, colours, and compositions. This is where controlled chaos lies and the visuals begin to appear. We will usually require some content from yourself (be that body copy, logos, or images).

4. Dev Presentation

5. Development Presentation

We welcome you back to our studio to exhibit the latest developments in the project. Now is time to be harsh and focus on the finer details — an exciting time for both parties as that initial spark of an idea starts to really come to life.

6. Further Dev copy

6. Further Development

It’s time to finalise the design and lock in the core message. Taking on board all feedback and using it to bring the designs from good to great. This stage requires a very delicate touch — jewellers would be jealous.

7. Design Presentation

7. Final Design Presentation

This is the design as we envision it, all details taken into consideration and work that we are very proud of. An ideal time to thoroughly analyse the design and flag up any final amends before the files are prepared in post-production.

8. File Prep

8. Amendments & File Prep

Any final tweaks that were flagged up in the previous presentation are to be carried out, signing off the overall design. We then move onto prepping the files for their specific format, whether that be print, digital, or other.

9. SignOff

9. Final Sign Off

And alas we reach the bittersweet end of our design adventure. This is concluded by the hand over of all deliverables and additional material that has been created. This project may have come to a close, but our door is always open — we love sitting down for that next coffee.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.


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.


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.


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.

the loft’s Design Glossary: Binding

Baffled by design terms? Pulling your hair out trying to decipher this secret language your designer is using? Not to worry, help is here. Every week, we will be compiling some of our most frequently used design terms and putting them into more digestible terms. Starting off with the thing that holds it all together — Binding:

Binding refers to the process of combining all the printed, individual sheets together to form a finished book/brochure. Depending on the type of document you are making, the number of pages the document and/or the finish you are looking to achieve all will help to determine the type of binding you will need to use.

 Saddle-stitched binding

Fast, inexpensive and widely available, saddle stitching is one of the most commonly used types of binding. Printed, folded spreads are bound together by stapling them down the fold. This binding is perfect for magazines, reports, brochures and catalogues. However, it can only be used in documents with a low page count in order to maintain the bindings longevity. Here are some examples of saddle-stitched binding in action:



Perfect bound binding

Perfect Bound
The perfect finish for your document. Perfect bound, while more expensive, offers a high-quality finish to any document. Creating a spine that can be printed, this form of binding binds the cover to the inside pages using a strong yet flexible thermal glue. Best for reports, brochures, magazines, paperback books and catalogues that have a high page count. However, if perfect bound is the finish you are looking for, make sure to leave an extra day or two for binding. Here are some examples of perfect bound binding:



Spiral Bound Binding

Spiral Bound
Need your document to lie flat? Then this is the binding for you. Spiral bound is the most adaptive of bindings, it can be used for low or high page counts and is readily available. Printed pages are bound together using a spiral-shaped piece of metal or plastic which allows the pages to open freely and allows for the document to remain open with ease. Best for binding reports, sales presentations, proposals, directories, cookbooks, instructional books and maintenance manuals. Here are some examples of spiral bound binding in action:



Case bound binding

Case Bound
Case bound, also known as hard back,  is a form of binding that most people will be familiar with. Case bound books are built to last which makes them the ideal candidate for commemorative books, fiction/non-fiction books. This is the most expensive and timely option but if you are looking for strength and longevity, then this is the perfect binding solution. Here are some examples of case binding:


Of course, there are other, more bespoke, types of binding which can help to add a little bit of extra personality to your document. From stab stitching which can add a decorative, handcrafted feel to screw post binding and loop stitched binding which are great alternatives to standard binding techniques.


Next week, we will be deciphering the wonderful world of type.

Laura, Designer & Director of Noise


Miss Noisy! The team’s very own socialite and one who masters every situation she finds herself. Laura is the lady for every occasion. She has a formidable array of skills as a creative, diplomat, agony aunt, blogger, Tweeter, art-director, team player and our own favourite — noisemaker. A more perfect dinner companion, you will be hard-pressed to find.


Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 4: Communications)

Clients How To Guide

Lack of communication is a big no-no. Having clear communication channels with your client’s ensures that both parties are heading in the right direction.

Here are some top tips to keeping in contact…


  • Make it very clear what your intentions are in the email; clarity is key to communication.
  • Always summarise and reiterate what a client is looking for.
  • Triple check spelling; especially when it comes to names/subject.
  • Communicate in a professional manner, but do not shy away from expressing your excitement on projects and work.


  • A lot of clients are comfortable speaking over the phone, it adds a more human element and the clients are more likely to express their true opinions in this form of communication.
  • Phone calls are for less formal/time constrained situations — emails give you important information that is written in text that we can refer back to.
  • If the client has made a lot of points, it can be very helpful to send them a summarised email of the conversation via email after the conversation
    for clarification.

So let’s be sensible when sending emails or answering the phone; make it so that your granny could understand you. You never know, she might be your next client…

Next week we will be looking going the extra mile, adding that cherry on top design sundae.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.


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.>