Hat trick! Three nominations for the Solutions Awards 2017!

Solutions Awards 2017

I am incredibly proud to say that we have been nominated in a fantastic THREE categories for our work this past year in the print industry’s Solutions Awards 2017 – which come up in November.

The nominations are for two major projects – the Shine Winners Book which we completed back in June and the Scarfes Bar menu for Rosewood London which was introduced back in the Spring after several months work.

I am going to write in more depth about on our work for Shine – particularly from a paper specification and environmental perspective – next week, but this post focusses on a new introduction to our work for Scarfes Bar which hopefully gives some interesting in-depth background about the design process we went through.


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How to make YouTube work for your SME

How to make YouTube work for your SME

‘The Incredibles’ is one of my favourite films. You could even tell watching it how much fun the film-makers were having. The combination of a cracking story and the smart style of animation used makes me think of a weird tautology: mid-century digital. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour this weekend. The reason I mention it in the context of YouTube and business social media is because it appeals to everyone. It’s the classic example of a movie parents love as much as their children.

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How to make Google Plus work for your SME


I remember when Google+ was launched, well into the all-encompassing supremacy of Facebook, and wondering why on earth Google was bothering. It felt like such a huge, rather pointless exercise; the creation of an internet white elephant. Why does the world need a duplicate social network when so many people were embedded elsewhere? I’m still not sure there’s a good answer to that question, but to their credit, Google have pursued the endeavor with their significant corporate heft behind it, with Head of Social David Besbris saying recently, ‘we’re in social – like we’re in everything at Google – for the long haul.’ With this continued effort, a number of interesting results have played out.

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How to make Instagram work for your SME

At turns compulsive, engrossing and impossible to ignore (or is that just me?), Instagram is arguably the best truly social media in the world today. Instagram has taken photo sharing, the element of Facebook people love best, and built a distinctive, instantly-recognisable suite of tools to improve image quality, then make them public. In so doing, Instagram has created a genuine community around ‘where you are’ and ‘what you’re doing’.

On the face of it, Instagram is the simplest offering imaginable: posting photos of friends or views isn’t exactly revolutionary. However what makes it successful is its informal, ‘soft’ yet persistent influence. A number of apparently simple features combine potently: the gradual growth in users’ followers; the number of likes they receive from a huge global audience; the way that hashtags create an immediate subsection of the app across topics and interests, and the different tones and themes of sophisticated users’ feeds.

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How to make Pinterest work for your SME

For me, Pinterest is different. Different from the frenetic pace of other social media where amid a constant bombardment of opinion, invective and news, a business who wants to showcase new products or visual work can find their voice rather lost. By contrast, opening up a Pinterest page for a new project is rather like shutting a door on a crazy world and steadily building a story about something fresh and emerging. It’s particularly useful for building inspiration, as well as showcasing gorgeous photography of your work, or working process.

… let’s first talk about inspiration.
Collating visual stimuli for my graphic design work has been a mainstay of a consistently familiar creative process which begun at art school. For many years this would be done by raking through design books and magazines, tearing, cutting, copying and building ‘mood boards’ on huge sheets of foamboard. Particularly useful for corporate identity projects, these messy heaps of cut up paper would gradually be pulled together into coherent themes which would in turn inspire something totally fresh. The good news (for trees everywhere) is that the entire process can now happen online, without scissors and spraymount, harvesting the seemingly inexhaustible visual resources of the web.

… secondly, showcasing your work, in depth, from every angle.
In the photography of your work, whether a standalone product or creative project such as a new piece of artwork, a vibrant poster for your business or a story about a new activity you’re undertaking, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll produce just one image. More likely it’s going to be many, almost certainly built over time. By contrast, other social media increasingly favours the single image: most Facebook posts these days on a smartphone dicate this. However Pinterest suggests a different, more comprehensive process, potentially looking at your work, explaining its purpose, use, or a range of iterations. Essentially it allows you to curate a complete visual story from beginning to end.

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New print design: Shine Awards 2015

We’ve been involved in the Shine School Media Awards for around a year and a half now.

Back in January 2014, I met with the chair and lead print sponsor and talked about things we could do for the awards and that led to a logo, print brochure for the award winners and in January this year, a new website.

It’s been a lovely project to be involved with, not least because the team behind the project are so enthusiastic about embracing fresh ideas and keeping as up to date as possible. The entrants are mostly in their mid-teens, so probably about as savvy as you can get in terms of consuming and producing digital media, so it has been a fascinating exercise keeping up with them and finding out how they responded to the event.

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