Brands in 2016 - this time it's personal!
Everyone at Creating Media wishes you a Happy New Year! And with a shiny new year, it means we are looking forward to exciting new trends in design and marketing for the coming year...
It has been an ongoing trend for several years – brands have been becoming more and more personal. 2016 will be the year that all brands will be expected to be more focused on a personalised, friendly brand experience for all users.
Some great examples of brand utilising great personalisation are the famous Coca Cola named bottles – it’s touching an individual out there and giving them a...
The Illustration Awakens - Star Wars the Force Awakens Illustrative Designs
One of the things we love, just as much as the work we do, is Star Wars. Being fans since young and the inspiration and ideas it gave us, we especially love the illustrations shown on the Design Taxi blog counting down the release of the new Star Wars film which we are all looking forward to going to see. Except Michelle, she’s not a fan, but does enjoy the graphics!
In our free time we enjoy some good old fashioned lightsabre battles, especially in the dark with our light up lightsabres. It makes for a wonderful light show! We do get the...
WWF - more than pandas?
Undeniably one of the most iconic logos in the world, WWF’s panda is instantly recognisable. Since WWF started in 1961 it has used the panda as it’s mascot, and has only been through minimal refinements since.
However, WWF have faced a little criticism over the years for the apparent focus on Pandas – understandably they are the most popular animal out the various sponsorship opportunities that WWF offer. There are hundreds of endangered animals in the world, and while not all may be as cute distinctive as a panda it doesn’t mean that they are less deserving of sponsorship or aid.
Enter designer Yana Makarevich...
Creating Media work - Long Barn Rose Range
We have been running social media campaigns for our client Long Barn for a while, but have recently had the pleasure of taking over their graphic design as well.
Long Barn are fantastic business near Winchester in Hampshire. At the heart of Long Barn is a well-established lavender farm, however the business has grown into so much more than that. From the lavender they create beautiful cosmetic products and delicious food, which they sell at their centre alongside quality plants and gifts. There is also a café on-site, and the Creating Media team have spent many taxing days of work soaking...
Creating Media work - The Lychgate Guesthouse
One of our recent websites to go live was for local guesthouse, The Lychgate. We love working with local clients, and The Lychgate is based just down the road in Caldicot. They have a cosy guesthouse with well-appointed rooms, in a great location just opposite the entrance to the castle.
Janice, the owner of The Lychgate, loved the previous websites we have created for other guesthouses and holiday cottages, such as Pentre Tai Farm and Corner House Mathry. Just like those other two examples, we also designed a hand-drawn logo and provided a photography shoot as part of the web design package.
Colours to watch out for later this year
You may have heard of Pantone – the international standard of colour which we spoke about in our recent blog on design terms worth learning.
What you may not realise is that Pantone constantly track the trends in popular colours, and make predictions for what colours will be popular in coming months and years. They do this by polling designers across the worlds of fashion, industrial and graphic design to discover what their current go-to palettes are. By looking at the trends across a range of top designers, they can see where the market will be going in a few months time.
Google's Mobilegeddon - the 10 things you need to know
You might have heard a lot recently about changes to Google which affect how they rank sites which are not mobile-friendly. Many people are calling these recent updates ‘mobilegeddon’ and claiming that anyone without a mobile site is about to lose any traffic they may be receiving from Google search – sounds pretty scary right? Actually, there is a lot of scaremongering happening, and the affect to most people is probably much smaller than you might think.
Here are 10 points to help you understand the recent Google changes.
What is responsive web design?
Responsive web design is fast becoming the new standard...
We are HUGE fans of Design Taxi at Creating Media. So much inspiration, so many smart people and a place where EVERYTHING is clever and smart. A site inspired and for designers, Design Taxi always brings a little light relief on a busy day.
This is a blog from them all about the power of suggestion and negative space.
You can read the article in situ right here…
Stop by soon on the blog for more design inspiration! Or give us a follow on Twitter where the posts are sometimes a bit random. You have been warned!
The Language of Colour
Colour is a very emotive design tool, and our reactions to many colours are deeply rooted in our psyche and culture so it’s important to choose your brand colours carefully. There is a reason that bright, warning red is used for road signs and hospital wards are painted a soothing pastel green or blue!
As well as considering what you want your brand colour to say about you, you also have to consider how the supporting colours in your scheme work together – this is where you need to consider a colour wheel. A general rule of thumb is that colours...
Creating Media client work - Lodge Farm Kitchen website
One of Creating Media’s latest websites to go live is Lodge Farm Kitchen. Take a look at this brilliant new high-quality ready meal site designed through our sister company Umami!
The process started, as ever, by discussing what was important to the client. Lodge Farm Kitchen has had fantastic growth since they started in 2009, and have recently moved into a brand new purpose built factory and had an updated logo and packaging redesign to fit their new market position. They were in need of a new website to match this fresh new image, and aimed at targeting trade customers rather than direct to the...
5 bits of design jargon worth learning
Here at Creating Media we know that the design world has its own share of jargon and specialised terms the same as any other industry. While most of it is put into plain terms when we talk with clients there are just some terms that are worth knowing if you are discussing design… Below we give you a 5-point roadmap to blagging your way through a conversation about design!
Logo design vs branding
Logo design is an aspect of branding, but not the entire process. Brand is everything that customers experience about your company, from the colours chosen, to your brand values,...
Creating Media client work - Speciality Desserts
Our sister company Umami were thrilled before Christmas to produce the new website for Speciality Desserts – a dessert manufacturer serving the foodservice sector. Take a look at www.specialitydesserts.co.uk
We started the process, as always, by liaising with Ann Tysoe (Head of Sales) and other key team members at Speciality Desserts to establish what was important to achieve with the new site. Speciality Desserts had not refreshed their old website for a while, and felt it was decidedly not foodie feeling. It was also built in flash, meaning the site was accesible from a wide range of modern devices (including all apple iPhones, iPads...
Top website design trends to look out for in 2015
We are drawing nearer to the end of the year and have started looking forward to 2015 – just to celebrate this forward thinking we have just found a gorgeous infographic detailing all the website trends that will be on the rise next year. Many of these we already recommend to our clients and have already provided many single-page websites, flat designs and clean layouts. Below are a few excepts from the infographic – or take a look at the full infographic over on our Pinterest. If you want any of these trends on your website then make sure you get in...
Gorgeous Harry Potter book redesigns
Being in my early 20s, I am absolutely of the generation that was Harry-Potter barmy as children. I remember racing my friends to finish the new instalments of the series when they came out, and all the other general Potter madness that seemed to prevail in the late 90s and early 00s. Those sorts of childhood favourite books always remain special, and the Harry Potter books definitely still have a very unique place in my heart.
So I absolutely adore these new design concepts by Hungarian student Kincso Nagy of each of the 7 Harry Potter books. They feature geometric, abstract...
Have you met Monty yet? Our thoughts on the John Lewis Christmas Ad
November has started, which means that even if you hate to admit it, the Christmas season is unavoidably upon us. Nothing heralds this better than the launch of the new John Lewis advert – which has become more of a harbinger of glad tidings and festive spirit than the notorious ‘Holidays are Coming’ Coca Cola ad that inevitably gets trotted out every year.
I will put my cards on the table right now, and say that I love Christmas. However I don’t normally like the John Lewis Christmas advert that much as I find it all a bit contrived. The first...
Ways to stay creative!
We ADORE this infographic about how to stay creative. We love the illustrative style and great typography of the image, as well as the fabulous advice.
Creativity is a strange beast that we deal with every day in our world, and we find that when things become a little stale a change of scenery can really help – some of the most productive team brainstorms we have held have been off-site at places like St Pierre or Sawyers Bar & Grill (our lovely clients!). Putting some music on can also help stretch the creative muscles, and get fresh ideas flowing.
Take a look...
The Bay Horse Speaks website wins an industry award!
We’re thrilled that one of our favourite clients, The Bay Horse Speaks, have recently come second in the International website awards for her industry, the EAHAE Website Award 2014. The award is voted for by members of the EAHAE, based on several aspects including intuitive appearance.
We’re thrilled to have created an award-winning website for one of our clients (especially as the awards were truly worldwide – the other winners were from Russia and Canada!) – read all about the full process of the website design here.
How cool are we? Creating Media discuss the CoolBrands list
As lovers of all things brand we were very excited to see the list of this year’s official ‘Cool Brands’. The brands in the list are decided by 2000 consumers, and a panel of 37 key influencers (which this year’s included models Sophie Dahl and Jodie Kidd and fashion designer Julien Macdonald). The brands are marked on their style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness.
When looking at the list, you can definitely see the influence of desirability and style in the raft of high-end luxury lifestyle brands (Dom Perignon, Aston Martin, Bang & Olufson, Selfridges, Liberty, Chanel, Alexander McQueen and...
Creating Media work - Usk Show 2014
Here at Creating Media we love building great ongoing relationships with our clients. This year we have been thrilled to be working with Usk Show again. Last year we designed their new logo and website, and this year we have built on that by designing the whole range of printed materials ready for this years show.
We managed to upgrade their print to full-colour double sided throughout, and add a decent smattering of design flair to keep everything on-brand, for just a few pound more than they have paid in previous years for simple black-only one-sided print. Faye, the Usk Show secretary,...
Creating Media work - Estuary Oils
At Creating Media, we have recently been working with Andrew Mould at Estuary Oils to help with the launch of his company, in all aspects of branding, marketing, web, design and print.
The process started some time ago, with a logo design. The design took inspiration from the bold and simple logos of well-known oil companies like Chevron, Shell and Texaco, with their widespread use of primary colours and bold shapes – easily recognisable from a distance.
We then moved on to website concepts, using the bold colours, lots of great images and easily visible contact details. Take a look at the...
Creating Media Team's favourite brands - Victoria's Choice
Victoria’s Choice – Lush
At Creating Media we always say that brand is more than just logo – it is the values that a company chooses and the whole experience their customers have. In my opinion, no brand does this more comprehensively than Lush Cosmetics. They have strong ethics for a cosmetics company, and carry these throughout their product range.
No product in any of their shops is sold if it is over 3 months old (they donate t
hem out for free after this to neighbouring shops, staff, friends and family.), no products or ingredients are tested on animals, all products are...
Creating Media work - Four Stars Tack Shop
Recently we helped a client launch an online business, by creating the logo, business cards and e-commerce website for the Four Stars Tack Shop.
We designed the logo based on a photo of one of the business partners, Julie, riding her horse. Our illustrator experimented with a few different styles for the horse, as well different placements and styles for the stars we wanted to include.
Once we had settled on the final logo we designed and printed the business cards, as well as getting a holding page up to a tight deadline as the Four Stars team were going to a...
Kickstarter favourites - LIX 3D Drawing Pen
At Creating Media we love a good nerdy gadget – and we ADORE this Kickstarter project for a 3D printing pen. We have been keeping an eye on the latest developments in 3D printing technology, and this one really is an awesome step forward. Of course, we saw the previous incarnations of 3D printing pens but they didn’t appeal as they were large, clunky and noisy. The next step on is this project from LIX – a real sized pen that plugs into a USB socket to heat plastic and let you draw in mid-air.
It really needs to be seen to...
Under the Hood of a Great Design Agency
Everyone knows that the Creating Media team love the company Mini… But what exactly goes on in the engine room of a great design agency?
Creating Media Work - 7's HR & Training
We are really happy to announce that today sees the new brand re-launch of 7’s HR & Training!
We have been thrilled to work with Stephanie of 7’s HR on the design of the new brand, and have been involved heavily since the early stages of the rebrand. We have also introduced her to another one of our clients which has already resulted in paid work for her – we love making connections and building local business! We were initially going to design the logo, but one of Stephanie’s clients are also a graphic design agency who had offered to create...
Fantastic Lego book scenes!
Here in the Creating Media office we are big fans of both lovely books (anyone who has visited us can vouch for the wall of books!) and fantastic Lego – design genius!
That’s why we loved finding the little Lego scenes created by Waterstone’s this week – depicting famous scenes from literature!
As a big fan of both the books and TV series, I particularly loved the spoilerific ‘Red Wedding’ scene from the Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones series. And the Pride and Prejudice scene is particularly clever for how it creates a semi-submerged Mr Darcy! That’s the fantastic thing about Lego...
Creating Media Work - The Bay Horse Speaks is live!
We blogged in November about the beginning of the Bay Horse Speaks design suite – and we are thrilled to say that the project is now complete and the website has gone live!
As mentioned in the last blog, the project started with a logo based on Emma’s own horse, Hermi. We then moved on to the stationery suite, including business cards and letterheads. We presented Emma with a few different options, then went to print with her favourites.
The next stage was a banner for her to use at networking events and business shows – this was particularly important as Emma runs her...
New Year round up - A good 2013, a great 2014!
2013 has been a fantastic year for Creating Media, with lots of new clients and connections to create lovely new work for! Our sister company Umami was also nominated for an Excellence in Marketing Monmouthshire Business Award, though lost out to worthy competitors Hicks Logistics – there’s always this year though!
Our favourite projects are always the ones where we take a new startup, or an established company in need of a refresh, and work from the ground up to create a new brand. This can cover logo design, website design, and printed marketing materials such as business cards, signage, banner stands, stationery, flyers and...
Creating Media Work - Purple Shoots
Creating Media are just in the process of finalising a very exciting project for Purple Shoots – a new start-up. Purple Shoots have an angel investor, and are loaning out small amounts of the money to start-up businesses across South Wales, as well as offering business mentoring to really get the businesses on their feet.
It was such a great idea, and Karen, the brains behind the business, and Bob Shepherd, her business partner, were so fantastic to work with and passionate about the project that we really couldn’t wait to get cracking!
We began, as usual, with the logo design, establishing the visual direction for...
Kickstarter Favourites - Mobile Safe Case
This week in the Creating Media office we have been loving the Mobile Safe Case. Although the product seems to be mostly aimed at travellers from the project outline, we think it’s generally a fantastic product for anyone with lots of memory (or SIM) cards floating about – they really do always seem to get lost, particularly as they are getting continually smaller.
As a creative agency we have lots of memory cards – from cameras, phones and more. They are always getting lost and mixed up, so a secure case to carry them in is just genius, particularly with the sticky, grippy pad...
Creating Media Work - Breweld
Creating Media have been working on the new website for Breweld. Breweld are wonderful local business – highly specialised welders for the food and drink industry, particularly creating brewhouse set-ups and bottling plants.
We took the idea of the welding sparks to make the background of the site, and then used what is known as a ‘fixed’ background, allowing the content to scroll while the background image stays still. We used a classy white-on-black theme, which works really well with the sleek images of shiny metalwork and welding.
During the course of the project, the client got very busy with new contracts, and...
Creating Media Work - The Bay Horse Speaks Logo & Banner Stand
Creating Media are currently in the process of designing a new visual brand for The Bay Horse Speaks, a business offering horse-led development courses for teams and individuals.
We created the logo by drawing Emma’s own horse, Hermione, who is a bay-coloured horse (hence the business name). For brand colours we used the ‘bay horse’ shade of brown, and British Racing Green, as it is a complementary colour that instantly represents speed and teamwork.
We then went on to design a banner stand for The Bay Horse Speaks – take a look below at the design next to the client’s picture of it erected...
Kickstarter Favourites - Chipolo
This week in the Creating Media office we have discovered a kickstarter that is absolutely perfect for us –Chipolo.
Every time anyone is off out to a client meeting, or milk run to the shops, or of out to post one of our lovely marketing cards, there is the same reaction ‘where are the keys?’. The keys to the Creating Media Mini are constantly going walkabout, and with this device we would be able to attach a little funky keyring and use a mobile app to ‘zone in’ on them, or even make them sound a horn. (The photo used on...
Creating Media's Kickstarter Favourites - Jolly Clothing
Each week we’ll be blogging about some of our favourite kickstarter projects out there.
Crowdfunding is a fantastic idea that’s really been taking off recently, where supporters pledge amounts of money to help innovative new ideas get off the ground. It’s great, because you’d pay that money to buy the product in the shops anyway, so it’s just paying in advance. There are always bigger and smaller amounts too – thank-you cards, bulk packs and exclusive gifts, to encourage people to give whatever they can. Often projects are highly design-led, such as innovative or creative new products (very Dragons Den) so...
Creating Media Work - Chantler Teas
Creating Media have recently created the new logo and packaging design for the fantastic Chantler Teas in Abergavenny.
Chantler Teas and Creating Media were recommended to work together by Business Wales, when they felt that their quickly growing business was in need of a professional facelift to match its new market space and allow them to grow further.
We began the process by going for a meeting (complete with a cup of lovely loose leaf tea) where we dicussed want Elizabeth and Barry at Chantler Teas wanted from the logo – something that would appeal to their wide range of drinkers but steer clear of...
Creating Media Work - Classic Ironworks
Creating Media have been working on the website for Classic Ironworks for the last few months, and are very happy to announce that today the site has gone live at www.classicironworks.co.uk.
Classic Ironworks are a fantastic specialised engineering company from Somerset, and have carried out work on staircases, verandas and balconies across Bristol, Bath and the South West.
The website has a brushed metal style background, representing the metalwork carried out by the skilled team, and an eye-catching blue and orange colour theme. The blue was already present in the Classic Ironworks logo, and the orange was added as a contrasting highlight for the...
The divorce of Lloyds and TSB - who got custody of the pointy-nosed children?
It’s now been a month since one of the biggest high-street banks, Lloyds TSB, was forced by an EU ruling to split into two companies – Lloyds and TSB.
We have been watching this closely as a design agency, very interested to see what each branch does with their branding. None of us were really fans of the old branding – the bizarre pointy-nosed family felt a little patronising and childish, not particularly want you want from a bank.
TSB have reclaimed their logo from before they were swallowed up by Lloyds in 1995, but with an updated edge. A sans-serif font...
Creating Media design work - Julie Kelly HR
At Creating Media we love getting to know a new client and creating a suite of design for their business. We recently had the pleasure of working with Julie Kelly, a HR specialist who needed a new professional edge to her branding to match her growing client base.
We started by creating the logo – we worked with concepts including jigsaw puzzle pieces and cogs to symbolise the HR element that Julie could bring to businesses, but we eventually settled on a neutral, yet professional, ‘lozenge’ style logo that Julie can use for a range of services of she expands – simply by editing a...
Usk Show Stand
So after a week we have finally recovered from Usk Show – Who came to visit our lovely Creating Mediastand? For anyone who missed it, take a look at the photo and tell us what you think!
Apple iPhone - what's next?
So I hope I’m not the only one finding the new Apple iPhones unveiled this morning a little… underwhelming. With the leaps and bounds forward in Android technology (for example, the Nokia Lumia’s nighttime camera, and unveiling of the new Android KitKat version to be coming soon) and the rumours flying around about potential Apple innovations in the run-up to the launch, a reskinned OS, pretty colours on the cases and a fingerprint sensor just aren’t enough to get anyone in the office excited.
I think Apple have placed themselves in a strange position – they have released a ‘budget’ version...
Unveiling the brand new face for Creating Media!
Today is a very exciting day for us here in the Creating Media office, as we are officially launching our brand new website and visual brand!
We regularly carry out the ‘brand refresh’ treatment for our clients, but it has been long overdue on our own business! The Mini, a huge part of the old brand, had become tired and tatty, so we had removed the distinctive vinyl covering. Our website had grown and grown with time, until it was a bit of a confusing beast to navigate. In general we were badly in need of a dose of our own medicine!
A slight rant on the new Nintendo design...
So yesterday gaming giant Nintendo announced the new ‘2DS’ – a budget version of the already popular 3DS, but without the 3D effects. Personally I was a bit confused by the entire concept – the only difference from the established DS is that a) it can play 3DS games (but without the 3D effects that many of them use as a gimmick) and b) it is utterly HIDEOUS. I’m sorry, but from a design point of view, how did this ever get past the army of committees in Nintendo HQ?
Look at it. Go on, look at it. Would you pay...
How to choose a web designer
We have recently published a blog on what to do if you’re getting ready to create a website – but today we’re going to look at the process before you come to choose a web designer. A lot of this can be transferred to choosing any sort of designer – for your logo or brochure design for example, but I will be focussing mainly on web design, as it’s often a confusing and jargon-riddled process for anyone who doesn’t know their CMS from their CSS.
The first thing you need to think about is why are you getting a website in the first...
Step-by-step guide to what you need for a website
So you’re considering changing your website and need to know what you need to do next? While us web designers can take care of the creative visuals, design elements and complicated code to make sure you have a great website, there are certain things that we need you to take care of such as copywriting and domain access. They are often simple things that just get forgotten about, but very often end up slowing down projects.
Below is a simple step-by-step guide to work through, which will make the project go as fast as possible.
Ensure your logo is fit for purpose.
What's the fracking problem?
Here at the office we’ve been ogling this lovely website this morning – it’s like a huge, interactive infographic all about the dangers of fracking.
It’s all done in a beautiful, contemporary graphic style, using blocks of simple colours and quite a limited palette. This keeps it fresh and engaging, despite being quite a technical and boring subject.
As you scroll up and down the website little icons ‘stick’ to the top of your view, giving the main facts in little bitesize chunks, a great way to remind you of what you’ve read and cement the facts.
The best part is that all this style...
Monmouth Comprehensive School Website
Monmouth Comprehensive School approached Creating Media along with several other local companies, to choose a new designer to create a new expansive website for the school. They chose to replace their existing monnoodle website, as they felt it was too plain and outdated.
Thier key goals for the new website was that it could be controlled by them, by an easy to use Content Management System (CMS) that would require little training for the team to pick up. Creating Media also wanted to make the site aesthetically pleasing by the inclusion of a slider that is based on the school aims.
The site has various...
Usk Show, Monmouthshire Rebrand and Website
We are really excited to announce our latest website going live – for the local Farmer’s Club annual event Usk Show.
We were chosen out of 4 local designers who pitched to the committee to completely rebrand the Usk Show – like many agricultural shows they were very behind the times in terms of branding and online presence.
We created a gorgeous logo for them incorporating the show marquee, a tree and little figures to represent the various aspects of the show – a family day out as well as competition for sheep, cattle and horses. The theme also contains some lovely colourful...
Two Very Different Architecture Awards
Here at Creating Media we are passionate about all kinds of design – so we’ve been looking at the World Architecture Festival Architecture Awards, and its slightly less glamorous cousin the Carbuncle Cup.
From looking at the Architecture Festival nominated pictures on the BBC website it’s obvious that not everything is everyone’s cup of tea, but I personally love the Vietnamese cafe and Danish aquarium – I love the way that they incorporate very organic feeling shapes and design elements. The wood in the cafe in particular is just gorgeous; it would be like having dinner in the middle of a jungle with those...
5 pros and 5 cons of Design Industry Regulation
Time and again the same argument comes up – is design industry regulation a good idea? As a design company we are always trying to conduct ourselves in the professional way our clients expect, however not all designers are as conscientious. With no professional accreditation required, or recognised industry bodies it can be a minefield for clients to know whether the designer they are sizing up is what they say.
You could say there are many pros to design industry regulation:
It sets parameters for both parties to follow
There would be a set pricing structure based on instinct, overheads and approximations