Using video to capture your ideal customers

In the past 30 days, more online video content has been uploaded to the web than the past 30 years of TV content. This is a staggering statistic and one that highlights just how important online video is as a marketing tool in today’s society. It’s not hard to see why – video is an easy-to-digest format and it gives consumers eyes a break from reading scrolls of text that may ultimately lose their attention.

The popularity of online video in the food & drink sector

Buzzfeed’s Tasty Facebook page only launched in July 2015, but since then it has amassed over 96 million fans and it has revolutionised overhead video for the food and drink industry. Take one of their most popular videos “Sliders four ways” for example. This has been viewed over 209 million times.

In the past 30 days, more online video content has been uploaded to the web than the past 30 years of TV content 

Tasty’s videos last from 30 seconds to two minutes and their fast pace and quick visual steps help viewers watch them right until the very end. The videos tap into current trends as well as users’ interests. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text (Source: Forbes, 2018). The combination of brevity, simplicity and relevance makes Tasty’s videos highly shareable and this has significantly contributed to the success of the page. Sharing the content helps the page reach a wider audience and this in turn encourages the company to create further videos.

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text 

Many famous chefs and high-profile food producers are following this trend and creating short recipe or process videos to share across social media. Companies such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencer are now filming recipe videos to inspire potential customers by showing them simple meal ideas that they can create at home using their products

So how do you transfer viewers into clients?

Online brand video must be unique, engaging and straight to the point – 33% of viewers will stop watching after 30 seconds and 45% will leave after one minute if they aren’t interested in what they see (Source: Forbes). People want to learn something that they don’t already know, for example, “how-to” searches on YouTube are up 70% year over year (according to data released by Google). This could range from teaching a tasty new recipe to showing your manufacturing process. We always make sure that we spend a great deal of time on the storyboarding phase, so that the timeline of the video is well planned and the message gets across clearly. The final few seconds of the video should always be dedicated to incorporating your contact info and a call to action telling viewers their next step.

Using the right equipment

Video equipment has evolved so much in recent years and is much more readily available. Companies can now get professional video content without having to hire an entire film crew. Smaller more affordable cameras, stabilisers, light and audio as well as things like drones mean it’s much easier to capture captivating, cinematic video on a smaller budget

33% of viewers will stop watching after 30 seconds and 45% will leave after one minute if they aren’t interested in what they see 

Not only has the equipment changed but so has the speed in which video has to be produced. No longer can you spend months upon months painstakingly editing footage – by the time you’ve done this your competitor has already hosted multiple live videos, completed several social video marketing campaigns and raised customer retention. Advances in editing software, processing speeds and file transfers mean we can turnaround quality videos quickly, ensuring your content is being shared to the world at right time.

One of the biggest strengths of video marketing is that it’s highly visual and auditory, which means it’s easier for many users to remember than its text-based counterpart. If your brand sticks in a customers mind then this can translate into more sales and leads for your company.


The Good and Bad of Advertising

Earlier this week Cadbury had to withdraw an advertising campaign, which urged children to dig for treasure after archaeologists said it encouraged people to break the law (view the full story here).

This isn’t the first time an ad campaign has had to be pulled due to a badly thought out idea. We’ve scoured the internet to find some of our favourite examples of engaging advertisements and also some of the biggest mistakes, which ended up crossing the boundaries of good taste and design.

Vehicle Livery

The Good

  • Copenhagen Zoo
    This memorable wrap created by Y&R, Denmark for Copenhagen Zoo is guaranteed to grab people’s attention and get them talking. It shows a giant constrictor snake squeezing the complete Copenhagen citybus.
  • National Geographic Channel
    Sticking with the animal theme, this bus features shark jaws printed on double doors that appear to swallow up any passenger that steps inside. Where many others would see the door as a restriction, this particular designer has not only creatively incorporated it, but made it a key feature of the design.
  • FedEx
    Entitled the “Always first truck”, this clever design was created by Miami Ad School, Germany for FedEx. The concept behind it is to show that they are always ahead of their competitor, DHL. It’s  brilliantly executed and if you look closely you can still see the Fedex truck through the DHL truck’s windows.
The Bad
  • Unknown
    The designer of this advert failed to take into account that vehicles have moveable features (we’re talking doors and windows!) that once adjusted can make a professional design look not quite so professional anymore.
  • Starbucks
    The global coffee chain were left red faced after the sliding door on their van sent out a completely different message than they had intended. Somebody took a photograph and before you know it, the picture had gone viral for the world to see. This just goes to prove that as a designer you have to think of every eventuality to make sure you are never caught out.

Print Design

The Good

  • Belgian League of Alhzeimer
    This newspaper ad shows the ink dissolving or being brushed away, much like the memory of those living with Alzheimer’s Disease. The caption simply reads: Today 85 000 Belgians won’t remember what they read in their newspaper. Let’s support them.

  • Band-Aid
    Good advertising is all about simplicity and strong imagery. This ad campaign for Band-Aid Flexible Fabric shows how their plaster will stay on even after you transform into The Hulk. It also gives the message that even the strongest, most indestructible characters need plasters every now and then.

  • Moms Demand Action
    This powerful ad uses shock tactics to get its point across. The advertisement is questioning the logic which bans chocolate eggs to protect the safety and health of the kids, but does not do anything about ownership of something as deadly as assault weapons. It is a conversation starter and by using innocent children in the ad it resonates with many parents and inspires them to take action.
The Bad

  • Match.com
    In 2016 the dating site found itself in hot water after an advert placed in the London Underground left many commuters with a bitter taste in their mouth. “If you don’t like your imperfections, someone else will.” the text read, on top of an image of a woman with red hair and freckles. The wording of the ad had caused hostility on Twitter from redheads and non-redheads alike and Match.com were forced to issue an apology

  • Pepsi
    A co-promotion between Pepsi’s Hong Kong division and Japanese clothing maker A Bathing Ape started out with promise. However, by using Pepsi’s typeface the Aape “A” ended up looking a whole lot like an “R.” So Aape became Rape. Ooops!

  • Dunkin’ Donuts
    Dunkin’ Donuts has apologised after it ran an advertisement in Thailand featuring a woman in “blackface” make-up. The advert, which was used to promote the donut giant’s “charcoal donut”, was called “bizarre and racist” by a leading human rights group.

So what have we learnt from these examples? Firstly, a great deal of thought has to go into the design, from thinking about the functionality to making sure that the message is clear and can’t be misconstrued. For advertising to be effective it has to resonate with consumers by ringing true and delivering a meaningful message.

Every project should be checked and then double-checked. Getting a fresh pair of eyes on the design can also help to give a new perspective and spot any errors that may have been missed. Following good design principles means that projects can confidently be sent to print without any nasty repercussions.


The Psychology of Colour

Understanding the psychology of colour can be a valuable asset for designers and business owners when it comes to selecting the right palette for their brand. Colour is all around us, and different shades and hues can effect consumers emotions which may have an impact on how they perceive your company. The emotional effect of colours differ from person to person based on gender, cultural context and neurological variances. Below we’ve listed some general pointers which might help you pick the best colour for your brand.

Blue

Blue is a very popular choice for a brand colour. It represents stability, harmony, peace, calm and trust. Because of these reasons it is found in an abundance of different industries from tech companies to the banking sector. It is also the colour the NHS chose to use in their logo. Blue is thought to put people at ease as it reminds them of the sky and the ocean. Conversely, blue can also carry some negative connotations and can be seen as quite cold if used incorrectly.

Green

This is associated with growth, health and nature. It is a relaxing colour that is easy on the eye and is used heavily among “healthy brands” from pharmaceuticals to organic food. There is a wide variation between the shades with deeper greens being associated with affluence and lighter greens with serenity. Negative associations that come along with green can include envy and greed.

Red

Using red in your branding can capture attention. It is associated with excitement, passion, energy, and action. On the flip side, red can also be linked to danger and possibly even anger. After all red is the colour of stop signs. Red is often used in call to actions or in sale icons, as the powerful shade helps draw consumers eyes towards it. This colour also encourages appetite and is therefore frequently used by fast food chains.

Yellow

When you think of yellow, you might recount bright summer days and sunshine. It evokes feelings of happiness and optimism. A little touch of yellow can help your audience associate your brand with something positive. Much like how red has been proven to increase heart rate and increase appetite, yellow has a similar effect. Together they are the most popular colours for fast food restaurants because they evoke the tastebuds and appetite. However, some shades of yellow can look dirty, while tints can challenge the eyesight, so it is important to select the right palette.

Orange

Orange represents creativity, adventure, enthusiasm and success. Due to how fresh it looks, you will see it in a lot of food and drink branding. Because orange is associated with fun and vibrancy, it is well suited to youthful, energetic brands and possibly less so for traditional or more corporate brands. There is usually a strong positive or negative reaction to orange – you either love it or you hate it (we absolutely love it!)

Purple

In colour psychology, purple is seen as a royal colour. It evokes thoughts of power, nobility, luxury and wisdom. Purple is said to be one of the hardest colours for the human eye to pick out. Perhaps this is why it’s not a particularly common colour within branding, although several larger ‘luxury’ confectionery brands do utilise this colour to their advantage.

Pink

Pink is a delicate colour which has connotations of compassion, sweetness, playfulness and love. It tends to be used in cosmetics, fashion, beauty and romance. Combining it with darker colours can give it more sophistication and strength.

Brown

Brown is an earthy colour and can relate to comfort, security and a down to earth nature. It is organic and wholesome, simple and honest. It may not be everyones’ favourite colour, however it is still used frequently in marketing. Coffee and chocolate companies often use it in their packaging because it compliments their product.

The best colour combinations are ones that reflect your brands personality. By using colours strategically it can help you to attract customers and connect with them.


How to Write the Perfect Creative Brief

Writing a detailed and accurate creative brief can greatly speed up the creative process. It eliminates any time spent on guesswork and allows us, the designers, to understand the clients objectives as well as allowing the client to understand the design aspects better. To find out what makes a fantastic creative brief, we’ve listed some pointers below. 

1. Tell us about yourself

First of all we want to learn all about your company so that we can understand your background and your goals for the future. What are your USP’s (unique selling points) that make you stand out from the crowd? Tell us about your vision, set of values or mission statement. If you have Brand Guidelines then please share them with us so that we can have a read through and make sure that we adhere to them.

2. What is the message you want to deliver?

What would you like to achieve with this project?  Are you trying to deliver a completely new message to your audience or reinforce what you already stand for? Once we are clear about what your message is we can then translate this into every aspect of the design.

3. Who is your target audience?

Now that we’ve found out all about you, we want to know who your target audience are. This is so we can tailor the design towards their specific needs. Are they young or old? Male or female? Fun or serious? Corporate or non-corporate?

4. Competitor Analysis

Who are your biggest competitors in the marketplace at the moment? It’s always worthwhile doing some research into similar brands to find out how they are portraying themselves and to allow us to see what we are up against. Feel free to include if there is anything you admire about your competitor’s approach or alternatively what you would like to steer clear of. We want to create a fresh design for you that is powerful, original and stands out from the crowd.

5. Who will we be working with on the project?

Knowing each of the different people we will come into contact with during the project can be extremely helpful for us. Is there a marketing team we will be working with, or will it just be one single person who will be dealing with the project? If it is multiple people we are dealing with, then knowing who to approach during different stages of the project will save everybody a lot of time and cut out any back and forth. For example who is responsible for supplying the content? And who is responsible for signing off the project?

6. Anything you have seen that you like?

If you have ideas in your head of how you envisage the design looking then we would love you to share them with us. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to know how the final design is going to look (after all, that’s what we’re here for!) but if there’s certain styles that you like, colours you want incorporated or fonts that you prefer, then please feel free to share them with us either via images, sketches or links to websites etc. You can use Pinterest to create a mood board of things that inspire you and then you can share this board with us, so we can see exactly what you are thinking. Perhaps you have designs you have done in the past and you would like them to follow a similar format. This isn’t a problem, as we can replicate and enhance the design so it falls in line with the same style that has been done previously.

7. Project specifics

There may be things from the get-go that you are clear need to be included. For example if we are designing a brochure for you, you may know the size and orientation it needs to be. There may be certain logos, elements or information that you want included in specific places. Drawing a flat plan can often help in these instances – so you can allocate exactly where you want certain details to be.

8. Content

This is  obviously a vital part of the project. Captivating copy and stand out imagery is really going to attract potential customers. Let us know if there is anything we can help with –  we can supply copywriters and we have our own sub-division, Thyme, which specialises in commercial photography for the food and drinks industry. We also have access to stock imagery that we can use throughout the design.

9. Key deadlines

Every project has a timescale that we need to adhere to. However you may have other deadlines along the way, such as board presentations or meetings. If you let us know any dates in advance then we can manage our time accordingly to make sure that we hit every target that is asked from us.

10. Budget

It’s worth making sure that the budget is clearly detailed from the beginning so that you know exactly what you’ll be getting for your money and whether your ideas are feasible.

As you can see, a detailed brief can make the design stage faster, better, and a lot more effective. We hope this blog has helped you to understand the process a little bit better. 


Christmas Planning

Try as you might, there’s no avoiding it, Christmas is just around the corner and early preparation is essential in order to get the most out of your marketing material. So, if you haven’t already, now is the time to start thinking about the best way to promote your business over the festive period. We’ve listed a few pointers to help you along your merry way…

Give yourself plenty of time

Design agencies can get very busy around this time of year, so make sure you are booked in well in advance. You have to allow for the fact that lots of printing companies take a rest over the holidays. For example, we ask our customers to get their last orders in to us before the 18th December, and don’t forget to factor in approx 10 days lead-time for all printing jobs. Bear in mind how hectic the Royal Mail becomes during this period so make sure you have everything printed and ready to post ahead of schedule. This includes not only everything you need for Christmas but anything you need ready for the New Year such as new stationery or 2019 calendars.

Marketing Material

Pick a theme and try to weave this throughout all your advertising. You could choose to go for a more nostalgic Christmas era or opt for a modern, abstract design. There’s always a big temptation at this time of year to rely heavily on reds and greens as your main colour scheme but this doesn’t have to be the case. Try and use your brand colours as much as possible. A chic Christmas, for example, can feature black and gold. Consider different printing techniques such as foiling and Spot UV as these can really add an extra dimension to the final product.

Send greeting cards

This is the ideal time to thank your existing customer base for their loyalty by sending them a Christmas card, it is the season of goodwill after all! Don’t be duped into thinking that your card has to be A5 size or square (although these do look very smart) we love to encourage you to think outside the box. We offer all sorts of different types of sizes and folding options, whether it is tri-fold, accordion, gatefold or more. Maybe you would like your card to fold out into a poster, advertising your business, or alternatively for it to be DL size in order to hold a gift voucher neatly inside. The envelope can be printed on as well to create a bigger impact when it lands on your customer’s doorstep.

Photography

Using the same photos that you use in your advertising all year round can be a tad boring and unoriginal. Customer’s love to be inspired with a feast of festive images to get them into the spirit. We’ve worked at enough Christmas photoshoots over the years to know exactly how lighting, styling, props and backgrounds can all be combined to give a flavour of the season. It’s always great fun to be creative with the composition and styling. We love these final image (see below) masterfully created for Donald Russell’s christmas campaign.

Video

Lastly, having an effective video at your disposal is an excellent form of advertising and communication that you can use both on your website and across your social media platforms. Do you have a Christmas recipe that you would like to share? Sleek video’s like these can really capture people’s attention and are a great way of getting your name out there.

As you can see, there are many ways you can use the season to your advantage and all that is required is a little pre-planning. So don’t delay, get in touch with us today and you can rest assured that your Christmas campaign will be taken care of in plenty of time. Then when December does roll in, all that will be left to do is put your feet up and enjoy a mulled wine, or two, or three…


Using FTP

To maintain a smooth and professional working relationship, we make sure all our clients are kept up-to-date throughout the design process and we welcome any feedback or adjustments they would like made to the artwork.

To keep this flow of communication going, it often requires us sending over numerous drafts that could potentially clog up email inboxes, or may contain artwork that is too large to send as email attachments.

Our solution is to use File Transfer Protocol (known commonly by its acronymn FTP) in order to transfer files between computers on a network.

Getting Started

To establish an FTP connection you have two options. You can download an FTP client or you can use your web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and their associated plugin.

We find that the quickest and most flexible way is the first option – using an FTP client. There are many available to download on the internet such as Fetch (www.fetchsoftworks.com) or Filezilla (www.filezilla-project.org).

After downloading the application to your computer you then log in using a private username and password which we supply you with. Once you have logged in you can navigate the server’s folder structure, and exchange files.  You view the files as if you are browsing on your own computer – it’s extremely simple and user friendly. To upload files you usually just need to drag and drop the files you want to upload into the correct folders. Most FTP clients are very easy to get to grips with and allow for you to upload multiple files at once.

Increased Security

We host all the files on our dedicated Creative Storm server. This might be considered safer than using third party applications such as Dropbox or Yousendit where we would be unable to guarantee the copyright, security, service or speed. Our server is a VPS (Virtual Private Server) which means that we have full control if things go wrong and we will be able to rectify problems as quickly as possible.

Note – It is good practise to always set up SFTP sites. The “S” stands for secure and adds a layer of encryption which again increases security.

Versatile for various tasks

If a client doesn’t need to see multiple browsable folders then we are able to simplify the process even further by creating a unique URL link for the client to access a specific file or folder. We send this web link via email and all the client has to do is click on it and the file will instantly start downloading to their computer – this could take a few seconds or possibly minutes to download, depending on Internet speed. The file will then open automatically – It’s as simple as that!

FTP is a great versatile tool and is also used during web development in order to edit and transfer files within a specified website.

We’ve been using FTP for many years now and have found it to be the most efficient way of sending files both large and small. Downloading and installing an FTP Client isn’t difficult and it grants you more power and control over the process.

We hope you have found this blog useful and if there is anything you are unsure of please let us know in the comments section below or email us at hello@creative-storm.co.uk.


Packaging Trends

Packaging, when done correctly, is the best form of advertisement for your product and can really make it stand out from the competition. We’ve taken a look at five of our favourite packaging trends to show you, not only what we’re doing, but what other designers are doing across the globe to make your product appeal to the masses.

1. Responsible packaging
There has been a significant increase recently in the awareness of sustainability in packaging design. Designers, and their clients, are recognising the need to invest in more environmentally friendly materials and production techniques if they are going to appeal to the increasing environmentally conscious consumer.

Saltwater Brewery in Florida teamed up with New York advertising agency We Believers, who came up with the ingenious idea of creating biodegradable beer pack rings, made from wheat and barley waste – natural by-products of the beer-making process. The packaging starts to disintegrate within two hours of being in the ocean, which prevents fish or other sea animals getting stuck in the rings.

2. Clean, Minimal Design
Everybody is familiar with the term “Less is more” but when it comes to packaging this can be difficult to achieve. This is particularly the case on food and drink packaging, as there is often a lot of information that is required to be included by law. The end result can be a crowded design that has lost its visual appeal. Using lots of white space, clean typography, striking imagery and sticking to a limited colour palette can all help contribute to a minimal look. Simple design shouldn’t look lazy or unfinished but instead the message should be clear and powerful, just like these labels we created for Berry Good.

3. Bold Colours
Bold colours have been a key trend of packaging this year. Using vibrant colours can really make your product stand out on a shelf or on an online gallery of product images. These label designs we created for Succulento use African patterns and vivid colours, which instantly give the product character and perfectly complement the tagline “the joy of food”.

Another project we worked on was the pouch design for Kwans Kitchen Stir Fry Kits. Again we weren’t shy on using bold colours. Using different colours meant that each product now had it’s own identity and could work equally well alone as well as side by side on the shelf.

4. Using the product to clever effect in your packaging
As designers, there are many things you can take inspiration from when creating unique packaging. Perhaps one of the most obvious things, is the product itself. If your product has an interesting shape or a defining feature, why not let this do the selling for you. We love Belarusian graphic designer Angelina Pischikova‘s clever design for CS Light Bulbs with the shape of the bulbs fitting perfectly into the silhouettes of insect’s bodies.

A great example of combining both minimalism with creative design, is Panasonic’s clever packaging for their RP-HJE 130 headphones. This was  developed by Berlin company  Scholz & Friends . A simple music note was created out of the product and it was placed in a clear box with only the product’s name and tagline visible on the front.

5. Go Vintage

Vintage design is very popular and it instantly gives your product a strong identity that harks back to a bygone era. Beverage bottle branding company Stranger & Stranger designed this limited edition liquor that features a stunning detailed label with over 500 words emblazoned on it. The bottle came wrapped in an equally intricate newspaper design which finished the piece of perfectly.

Packaging has an important role to play in the marketing process. It has to not only look the part but also be functional and protective. Getting all three of these right can really help in getting your product to fly off the shelves. 


Design Jargon

Here at Creative Storm we use a few technical terms that have quickly established themselves as part of our working day vocabulary. However, we’re aware that if you’re not in the creative industry then words like “Kerning” and “Sans serif” may leave you scratching your head and wondering what on earth we’re on about! With that in mind we’ve compiled a handy glossary of some of our most frequently used terms to hopefully enlighten you…

CMYK
This refers to the four inks used in colour printing – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). Before sending anything to print, the document needs to be checked over to ensure all colours and images are CMYK.

RGB
This stands for Red, Green and Blue. This is the colour mode typically used to display images on a digital screen.

PANTONE
The ‘Pantone Matching System’ is a standardised system of colours used for printing. Every Pantone shade has it’s own reference number so a consistent colour match can be guaranteed when printing.

KERNING
This is the process of adjusting the space between two characters in your type. This gives the designer more control so they can ensure there is proportional spacing between each letter.

TRACKING
This is the amount of space between the entire word or groups of words rather than individual letters.

LEADING
Leading is the space between the baseline of one line of type and the baseline of the next line of type. Increasing the leading will space out the lines of text further and decreasing the leading will bring them closer together.

SERIF
A typeface with small decorative strokes or flicks (referred to as ‘serifs’) found at the end of horizontal and vertical lines.

SANS SERIF
Sans means “without”. This is a more modern looking typeface without the decorative strokes (‘serifs’).

RESOLUTION
Image resolution is the detail an image holds. Ideally, images should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the size they’ll be printed at. Low-resolution images used on digital platforms need to just be 72 ppi (pixels per inch).

FTP
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a way to transfer files across the internet from one computer to another.  You will need to provide a server address, a user name, and a password before you can upload and download files. You can either download an ftp client or you can connect to an ftp on your web browser, where you normally enter a URL.

Adobe Acrobat
This is a software program which allows you to view, create, manipulate, print and manage PDF files. One of the most beneficial features of Adobe Acrobat Reader is the “sticky notes” feature where you can add notes onto certain points of the document. This is an extremely useful tool between the client and designer as you can see any corrections they would like made.

VECTOR
A vector graphic is a computer-made image that is made up of points, lines, and curves that are based upon mathematical equations, rather than pixels. This means it can be enlarged without loss of quality and so is ideal for use in logos etc.

LOREM IPSUM
The dummy text that designers use to populate a document so that clients can visualise how the design looks with text. It also helps to determine a word count.

BLEED
Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe a document where images or elements touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge. When a document has bleed, it must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down so that there is no white border around it.

ALIGNMENT
The lining up of objects or text to make sure that everything looks balanced and even. There are also four common types of typographical alignment – centre, left, right, and justified.

OPACITY
This is the level of transparency that an element in the design has. The lower the opacity, the more transparent it becomes.

We hope you found this blog useful. If there are any other terms you would like us to explain then feel free to ask in the comments below.


How to make your website stand out

The World Wide Web contains over 4 billion pages. That’s a lot of traffic! This is why it’s important now, more than ever, that you create a totally unique site that ticks all three boxes of being user-friendly, visually stimulating and informative.

1. FUNCTIONALITY

Choosing the right web host is one of the first, and crucially one of the most important, steps you have to make. Try not to be seduced by the lowest price as it may not necessarily be the best option for your business. There could also be hidden costs along the way that you end up incurring. Research your web host first of all – what are their customer service department like? Do they have online chat where you can speak to somebody and get instant support? This could be invaluable in the early stages. Not securing a good host could mean you are left with a slow loading site that is likely to frustrate and turn away any potential customers.

Also of paramount importance is ensuring that your site is built to be fully “responsive” i.e. it adapts and views correctly on computers, tablets and smartphones. Once your site is up and running, take the time to check this out for yourself and make sure it displays correctly across a range of devices and browsers.

2. DESIGN

As soon as somebody lands on your website you only have seconds to grab their attention and keep them interested before they click off and carry on browsing. A nice clean design with an easy to navigate layout and structure will encourage people to explore your site further. Assuming you have a strong brand in the first place you can use the same colours throughout the various pages.

In order to make your webpage truly unique you have to inject some personality into it while at the same time making sure your brand identity is being portrayed in the correct manner. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have an “About us” section where you introduce your company, ethos and your staff. Have fun being creative with your staff member bios.

3. SINGLE PAGE OR MULTI PAGE?

The advantages of a single (scrolling) page website is that they are clean, simple and can display information in a comprehensive manner – there are no endless clicks that can end up confusing or irritating users. Check out the site we recently completed for Catch Energy
www.catchenergy.com

 

If however you have a broad range of services/products/information to get across then a multi page site will probably best fulfil your needs. This website we designed for online magazine Fearless Femme is a perfect example of this www.fearlessfemme.co.uk. We can include more keywords on each page, which in turn helps the web page to get pushed further up the google rankings. 

 

4. CONTENT

Make sure your content is current, fresh and updated on a regular basis. If it is not updated regularly, visitors won’t feel the need to revisit the site. You could try including a blog section on your page where you cover important topics in your sector. Social media plays a key role in networking nowadays so icons for these should be displayed clearly along with any contact details or calls to action

It’s true that getting yourself noticed may be the hardest part – but after following these steps you can rest assured that once people do notice you they will remember you for all the right reasons.

 


Digital vs Litho

When it comes to sending your project to print there are two different routes for you to consider  – Offset Lithography Printing (usually referred to as Litho) or Digital Printing. For a complete novice it can be hard to determine which is best suited to your job and budget. So, to help make things a little easier, we’ve listed the benefits of each technique below.

Litho Printing

This is the traditional method of printing. The inked image is transferred from a printing plate to a rubber blanket and then the image is transferred again to the paper. Because of this complicated and time consuming set up, Litho Printing is best suited for larger runs and has a longer turnaround time.

So what are the benefits?

  • Litho Printing offers a greater flexibility, allowing you to print on a diverse range of papers and card stocks
  • Once the plates have been made, actually creating the prints is fairly simple and cost effective for long-run print jobs (such as leaflets or brochures)
  • Printing is not limited to four-colour process and special or spot inks can be included which can greatly enhance the artwork. If you are using specific Pantone colours you can expect a more accurate colour match
  • Litho Printing is much better for large areas of solid single colour. The colour comes out smoother and with a higher quality

Digital Printing

This is the more modern type of printing as it eliminates the need for a printing plate. It is usually done on methods such as laser or ink-jet printers. This type of printing technique is more suited to fast turnaround time print and lower volumes.

So what are the benefits?

  • Much shorter turnaround time, so ideal for jobs that you need done quickly
  • If you are just looking for a small print run then this will probably be the cheapest option for you
  • Digital printing is ideal for personalised direct mail campaigns due to variable data printing. This is the process when information is taken from a database or external file and text and graphics can be changed on each piece. So, for example, you can change the address on an envelope or the name on a letter.
  • Digital is more environmentally friendly than its counterparts as there are no pre-press stages between the digital document file and the final print. This means that there is no need for film plates or photo chemicals.

We offer both types of these printing styles and have had excellent results with each of them. It’s simply a case of looking at your requirements and finding the best fit for the job.