Words may inspire, but only action creates change

Words may inspire, but only action creates change”

– we love this saying from one of our sources of constant inspiration, Simon Sinek.

As a design studio we know that words are important. But we know that action actually means more.

And this guides our decisions every day.


When we were set up by our founder, Michael, we put making a positive impact right at the heart of our approach.

But these were not just words. 

During the first 12 months that we have been running, we have been able to support the following good causes:

1. Friends of Benenden Grange

We have developed a new logo and branding guide for the Friends of Benenden Grange for free.

2. Friends of Five Acre Wood School

We designed and printed 500 leaflets for the Friends of Five Acre Wood School summer fayre raffle for free. As well as donating a prize.

3. Space 2 Be Me (formerly M4S)

We have entered into a medium term project with Space 2 Be Me including significant discounts (the majority ‘at cost’) on the development of a website, marketing plan, photography and lots more.


And today we have launched our latest project for a good cause.

Roebuck Community Action Group

Our local village of Harrietsham in Kent is pretty awesome.

Unlike some villages it still has a ‘soul’ shaped around the hearts of the community – the shop, the post office, the Indian restaurant and the pub.

Sadly, the pub has recently been put up for sale.

But the villagers are stepping up.

The Roebuck Community Action Group has been established to look into the feasibility of making the pub a community asset.

As a village resource, we have supported the Action Group with the free development of:

  • a logo and branding
  • a website
  • an e-mail domain

Find out more at
www.roebuck.community


Want to know more?

Visit our Corporate Social Responsibility page.

How many pages should our website have?

This is a question we get asked a lot.

And our answer is always the same – it depends.

Content over pages

We believe that the key thing is actually your content. Some people and organisations have a lot to share, others only have a little.

As a minimum though, we recommend that every website has the following:

  1. ‘About you’ description
  2. Contact details
  3. List of your services, products, activities, etc.

It is possible to capture everything you need on one page. But if you have more to say, then you will need more.

Our rule

So, we say –

  • A minimum of one page

  • A maximum of, well, there is no maximum

minimum.png

Get in touch

Do you think we can help you? If so, get in touch.

 


Photo by ShareGrid on Unsplash

Breaking the silence

We know, it’s been, like, ages since you’ve heard from us.

Part of us is very sorry. We hate the silence.

But another part of us is also a little glad.

The radio silence is due to one thing – time. We’ve been swamped over the past few months busy crafting in our small studio to make a positive impact with a range of new companies.

Here’s a summary of what we’ve been up to:

Friends of Benenden Grange

  • We’ve started work with the Friends of Benenden Grange to develop their first logo
  • The logo will link with our work on the logo for The Grange

Konkers

  • We’ve starting working with Adam to set up his new gardening and landscaping company, Konkers
  • This has included –
    • designing the full branding (logo, colour palette, typography)
    • setting up his e-mail domain
    • designing and building his new website
  • More on this soon…

Pro-Active Bromley

  • We’ve started working Pro-Active Bromley to design and launch their new website, with an e-mail domain
  • Here’s a look at the ‘soft launch’ before they do their full launch shortly – www.proactivebromley.org.uk

Space 2 Be Me

  • We’ve continued our partnership with Space 2 Be Me
  • Check out our website design for them at www.space2beme.org.uk

The Grange

  • We’ve just kicked of our second project with Sarah
  • This time we’re building their new website…more soon!

Others

We’ve also been providing support and advice to some new partners – which was can’t talk about at this stage.

What’s more, our founder has also committed us to learn how to design, build and launch an app for our Three Smiles product


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The story of our logo

When we develop a brand we understand your brand is you. It’s often the first thing that people will see and experience about you.

And that’s true for us too.

When we created our own logo we wanted to develop something which told people about us.

We use the power of creativity to make futures better today.

That’s why we exist. And that’s what we wanted our logo to reflect.

What’s in a shape?

We understand that the shape of a logo have a significant affect on how an individual reacts to it and the organisation it represents.

Circles, ovals and ellipses, for example, tend to project a positive emotional message. Using a circle in a logo can suggest community, friendship, love, relationships and unity.

Everything that we stand for – so we adopted a circle shape.

Circles

What’s in a font?

We also know that the choice of font has a significant impact on people.

Script fonts tend to be seen as care free and having a creative outlook. They are used to express creativity and emotions.

More of what we stand for – so we adopted a script font. In particular, we adopted a script font called Shadows Into Light.

Text

Shadows Into Light is a clean, neat handwriting font which has a feminine feel with nice rounded edges and curves. It is perfect for adding a personalised touch – again, more things at our heart.

What’s in a colour?

The final element that can have an impact on people is colour.

Humans love colour.

Colour also plays a key role in logos. Colours convey messages, evoke emotions, and add brilliance to everyday things.

And this is where we designed a logo which gives us flexibility and allows our creativity to shine through. We adopted two main colours – black and white.

Simplicity. It’s what we love!

  • White is generally associated with purity, cleanliness, simplicity and naiveté
  • Black is a colour with a split personality. On the one hand it implies power and sophistication, but on the other hand it is associated with villainy and death [not something we stand for…!]

This is our logo:

But that’s where our creativity came in.

Our logo is actually designed as almost a blank template or canvas. This gives us great flexibility in how we use it, especially how we can combine our colours.

We can create different colours for particular projects or needs. Here are few we have created:

But we didn’t stop there. 

Our logo was also designed to allow us to tweak, stretch and add to it as we need to.

For example, we often tweak our logo for particular events, such as Children in Need, World Aids Day and Christmas:

Through all our use of our logo, we keep the fundamentals the same – hey, its us – but we use our creativity to tell a story.


Like what you see?

Get in touch with us today.

Doing our thing to help end it

This World AIDS Day we will be joining the fight to end the negative impact of HIV.

To help us live and breathe OUR WHY, we will donate 100% of our profits for every order made on Friday 1 December 2017 to the National AIDS Trust.


LET’S END IT

End isolation
End stigma
End HIV transmission

You’ve helped us fight HIV. Now, let’s end it. This World AIDS Day join the fight to end the negative impact of HIV.

This year in the UK there have been the first significant reductions in HIV diagnoses for gay men in London, thanks to frequent testing, rapid treatment and PrEP. Let’s grow this success so that it includes everybody at risk, across the UK.

But our fight is not just about the virus. For the more than 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK, ignorance and discrimination can still limit opportunities, preventing them from living full and happy lives. HIV means you are more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to have poor mental health.

This is an exciting turning point. But we need a new burst of energy to end stigma, end HIV transmission and end the isolation experienced by people living with HIV, for good.


BurningLeaf_WADheading (1).png

So, set yourself a reminder to check out our services and put your order in on the big day!


The small print:

Burning Leaf Creatives will donate 100% of their profits on every order made between 00:00-23:59 on Friday 1 December 2017 to NAT (National AIDS Trust).

For the avoidance of doubt, profit is defined as –

[Fee for order] minus [cost of materials, cost of staffing & tax] equals [profit]


NAT (National Aids Trust) is dedicated to transforming the UK’s responses to HIV. They champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change—shaping attitudes, challenging injustice , and changing lives. 

World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Find out more at www.worldaidsday.org/fundraising.

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Our Black Friday Deal – 0% off

You may have noticed that today is Black Friday.

In case you didn’t know, Black Friday is a major shopping day which originated in the United States. It grew in the States as it is the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, Thanksgiving, so it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

It has become a huge shopping event which sees people all over the world getting discounted products as retailers slash prices. On Black Friday, shops’ prices plummet for 24 hours in an attempt to get people to buy their goods and services in the run-up to Christmas.

In the UK, Black Friday has grown into something huge over the past few years with more and more companies joining the rush to offer significant savings. In our own e-mail boxes this morning we have seen a range of different savings offered, varying from 20% to 70% off products.

We are proud to announce our Black Friday deal today – 0% off.

That’s right, 0%.

But, why?

Our business model is built on the relationships we form with our customers as we support them to deliver their vision and use their passion to achieve their dreams.

We don’t believe that you can do that through a 24 hour sale.

We believe that sets up the relationship in a different way – expectations and thoughts are focused on the savings we are offering rather than the impact and difference that we can have. This then distracts from the building of our relationship with our customers.

Our approach

Instead, we focus on rewarding the loyalty of customers, on strengthening our relationships with them and on making a positive impact on the world as we provide our services in a humancentric way.

That’s why we offer our customers a discount on any future work they order from us. We also provide a discount to anybody who they personally recommend to us. No caps, no limits.

Its all part of our relational business approach.

The other discounts we offer include:

  • a discount to local organisations who are based within 3 miles of us so that we can help develop and enhance the local economy and so we can have a positive impact on our local community
  • a discount to non-profit making groups, clubs and organisations so that we can support them to have an impact on the world

We have also developed a Corporate Social Responsibility programme to support us to live, breathe and be our WHY.

So, on this Black Friday, please get in touch with us if you would like to take advantage of our 0% off Black Friday deal. Just quote ‘Relationships Over Savings’.

Get in touch

BlackFriday

Focusing on the specifics

We know the importance of hitting the ground running when you start a new project.

We also know that sometimes enthusiasm can get in the way of clarity at this point. Hey, we’ve all been there. We excited by the new project and we just want to start.

But then we often hit the buffers.

Expectations can be different for he different people involved.

There may been concerns around potentials issues or risks.

The resources allocated to the project may seem different to both sides.

That’s why we created a simple one side of A4 Project Profiler to bring clarity and focus to what a project looks like.

And to help us live our MOONSHOT, we have made our tool available for you, for free – download it below:

ProjectProfilerV2

Download the Project Profiler template:

PROJECT PROFILER TEMPLATE

 


This Project Profiler was inspired by the Kickoff Kit, a product of SYPartners – www.sypartners.com.

Project A New Digital Platform for Health and Wellbeing

At the end of summer 2017, our founder, Michael Watts, spent some time with two consultants, Richard Hills and Mark Methven, looking at what a digital platform for health, social care and general wellbeing would look like in the future.

The idea was to scope out how local authorities and their health partners can work together to harness the power and flexibility of digital tools to:

  1. achieve better life outcomes for residents
  2. improve the early intervention and prevention model
  3. support better integration
  4. achieve efficiencies in money and staffing
  5. build a better model of support around the individual to improve their wellbeing

After a couple of hours the three of them had come up with an initial 10 points. Over the a few weeks this was reshaped into 8 recommendations+.

The initial plan was to develop a document setting out the 8 points to be shared.

And that was when we got involved.

The more we reflected on it, the more we felt that a static document was not what was required to share a vision around what a digital platform should look like in the future. We felt that a vision for a new digital platform needed to be communicated via a digital platform.

We needed to design a platform which:

  1. looked modern and current
  2. ‘walked the walk’
  3. shared the vision clearly and simply
  4. was interactive for the user
  5. was based around the vision of the 3 authors

Read through our approach below to see how we worked with Richard and Mark to pull this together.


Brand design

One of the complications of this project was something that we hit right at the beginning – how do we brand it?

The authors work for organisations heavily involved in the field of health and wellbeing; however, as the recommendations were the personal view of the authors and not necessarily the policy or view of their employers, we decided that we needed to create a bespoke, stand alone brand.

We felt that this would also give it control over its brand voice. It also gave us total control and freedom to create a brand which lived and breathed the project.

Colour scheme

We played with a few different colour schemes. Some seemed to harsh. Some seemed to masculine. Some seemed to ‘techie’.

After much planning and thinking, we felt that the brand needed softer colours. Something which appealed beyond the typical tech world and something that the workforce across health and social care could resonate with.

We settled on a colour scheme of pinks and greys (both light and dark).

We chose this as pink conveys a feeling of universal love for oneself and others. It is associated with caring, compassion and tenderness – something that we wanted to emphasise through a project which could be seen as just for a tech audience, when in fact, it was designed to shift thinking across the whole workforce, which is predominantly female.

This is the colour scheme that we settled on:

ANewDigital_BrandBoard_colourscheme

Font scheme

Once we had a brand colour scheme, we started to consider what font scheme would suit the ‘brand voice’ that we wanted.

We wanted something fresh, different and something which did not feel like a local authority or health care style.

We also wanted something that was personalised and would stand out.

After much deliberating, and much testing, we settled on the following font scheme –

  1. we went for a logo font which was unique and not typically digital, Crushed.
  2. we mixed this with a header font of Robot Condensed
  3. along with a body font of Roboto

ANewDigital_BrandBoard_font

Logo design

We spent quite a while sketching ideas for a logo which achieved our goal of supporting the digital platform but which was also welcome, friendly and visually engaging to non-techie people.

We did some research of trends and didn’t really find anything that we liked.

After playing around with different formats and styles, we came up with the final logo design –

DigitalLogo

By turning the O in Platform into a mouse we were able to reflect the digital element but keep it friendly and resonate with the general public.

We also used the ‘O mouse’ as the site icon –

DigitalLogo_iconwhite

Icon design

To reflect the brand voice more, and achieve our aim of engaging with non-techie people, we designed a range of digital icons which mixed a friendly digital tool with care and support.

We wanted the icons to be clean, simple and easy to understand.

These are some of the icons which we used –

We also developed a suite of images for page headings, author bios, and more:


Website design

For the website we decided very early on that it had to be:

  1. simple to navigate
  2. clean and clear
  3. visually appealing and ‘breathing’ the brand voice

We designed a simple navigation which was shaped around the eight recommendations but which also told the story of the project along with details about the authors.

The structure we developed was –

  1. Home
  2. Recommendations
    • One page per recommendation
    • The conclusion
  3. Downloads
    • The full briefing
    • Poster of the recommendations
    • PowerPoint presentation
    • Social media images
  4. About the authors
    • Including a disclaimer about the recommendations
  5. Get in touch

On all of the recommendation pages we embedded a simple feedback form so that people who are reading the content can engage with the authors and share their thoughts and ideas.

This is very much stage 1 of the website. We are currently working with the authors to develop stage 2 which will be to develop a ‘case studies’ section where we can promote examples of next practice*.


Product design

As part of the project we also developed a suite of non-website products to accompany the site.

These included:

1 – The full briefing
A PDF of the entire thought piece which can be downloaded, printed off and shared –

anewdigitalplatform-1

2 – Poster of the recommendations
A PDF poster providing a summary of the 8 recommendations which can be downloaded, printed off and shared –

anewdigitalplatform-2

3 – PowerPoint presentation
A PowerPoint presentation (we know that the majority of the audience use Microsoft based software) of the entire thought piece which can be presented or downloaded, printed off and shared –

4 – Social media images
A suite of social media images for people to share across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn –


OUR WORK IN ACTION

You can view the website and the recommendations at

www.anewdigitalplatform.com


* Next practice is a commitment to a process not an end product. Its about moving from ‘best practice’ to ‘next practice’ by acknowledging that the best solutions come from development and refinement, and seeking continuous improvement. It is a process of development that never stops.


Disclaimer:

+ PLEASE NOTE:
The recommendations and opinions expressed in this thought piece are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of iMPOWER or the London Borough of Bromley

Crafting for now and the future

As we leave Halloween behind and start to count down towards Christmas, we are busy in our crafting studios working on a range of projects.


Aim High Agency

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Last week we pressed ‘go’ on our newest website for a new business venture, Aim High Agency.

We created them a simple to use website which fits the vision of the company’s founder, Mike.

We are still writing up our casestudy on this, so in the meantime, check out their new website at www.aim-highchefs.co.uk.


A New Digital Platform for Health and Wellbeing

Copy of DigitalLogo

Our founder met with Richard Hills and Mark Methven, from iMPOWER, to discuss how Local Authority digital platforms could be enhanced to offer residents more dynamic and personalised local health and wellbeing services.

From the discussion, Richard, Mark and Michael identified eight recommendations for improving Local Authorities’ online presence.

To help Richard, Mark and Michael share these with, & to influence, others, we:

  • Created a brand for the work
  • Crafted a brand voice and style
  • Built a website
  • Developed a set of downloads, including social media images

You can experience it yourself by visiting www.anewdigitalplatform.com.


Space 2 Be Me

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We have continued on our partnership with Space 2 Be Me.

After our work to design, develop and launch their new website (see www.space2beme.org.uk), we have:

  • Continued our photography sessions for their marketing and promotional materials
  • Started a 3 month marketing campaign targeting their key audiences
  • Identified how we will work with them to implement online membership applications and event bookings

More on the different elements of this soon.

Visit www.space2beme.org.uk.


Can we help you?

If you think our creative approach can help you, get in touch.

 

Image from:
www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-orange-ceramic-mug-633483

Project Clydfan

For this project we worked with Derek and Ailsa to redesign their existing website for their holiday rental cottage, as well as to develop them a strong brand which would make them stand out in a crowded market place.

Derek and Ailsa approached us and asked us to take a look at their current business website as they felt that it was dated, not mobile friendly and did not represent the beauty and quality of their holiday cottage.  They wanted a bright, vibrant website which made the best use of their surrounding areas, alongside the history of their Grade II listed former miners cottage.

They also wanted a brand that was strong, unique and professional, and which reflected the history of their cottage. The brand needed to be appealing to their customers whilst also standing out in what is a very crowded market place.

Read through our approach below to see how we worked with Derek and Ailsa to firstly design their new branding and then how we used this to redesign, build and launch Derek and Ailsa a new business website.

– – –

Understanding Derek and Ailsa

Whenever we work on a project, we like to get to know the people that we are working with. We feel that is important to understand who they are, what they stand for, and what they want from the project. Especially when we are working with the owners of a small business, like Derek and Ailsa, we have learnt that their company tends to reflect their own personality and style, and so it is important for us to get to know them better.

So, we did what we always do, we sat down to talk to Derek and Ailsa, to understand who they are, to understand what Clydfan Cottage is about – it’s WHY – and to learn from them about what they wanted from their new brand. Through the wonders of Skype we were able to do this quickly and easily.

– – –

Brand design

Research

To kickoff this project, we began by taking our time to look at their existing branding. We wanted to understand the existing user experience of booking a stay at Clydfan.

What we found was an almost non-existent brand. There was no clear message that said “this is Clydfan – this is our brand, this is us”.

The consistent points that we noticed was the use of photos of the property – both internally and externally. There was no clear logo or style, nor a clear branding colour scheme. 

New branding

Colour scheme

The first thing that we started with was a colour scheme. This would direct the rest of the branding scheme and ‘brand voice’.

Having looked at the current branding on the website the thing that caught our eye was the colour of the cottage – it was the only property of that colour on the street so we used that as a starting point.

We then liked the way the green contrasted, yet sat comfortably with, the slate grey of the tiles on the cottage roof – so we added the slate grey in to the mix.

Part of our belief is that white is an essential part of any colour scheme – so we added that in to.

During our conversations with Derek and Ailsa, Ailsa shared her preference for a pink colour that we had used on a previous project – so we added that to the mix. With direct input from Ailsa we then tweaked the type of pink we used and ended up with a more neon version.

We settled on the colour scheme below which we sent to Derek and Ailsa to agree –

ClydfanCottage_ColourPalette

Font scheme

Once we had a brand colour scheme, we started to consider what font scheme would suit the ‘brand voice’ that Derek and Ailsa wanted.

We looked at their existing font style and then looked at how we could use that inspiration to develop them a scheme that was more appropriate for the brand and for the cottage itself. We wanted something that mixed the history of the cottage – it is Grade II listed – with a font that was more flowing and represented the closeness of the cottage to the river (in our view it is one of the unique selling points of the cottage).

After much deliberating, and much testing, we settled on the following font scheme –

CLYDFN_FONT

Logo design

After we had received agreement from Derek and Ailsa on the colour scheme and the font scheme, we looked at how we could bring those together into a logo design that was strong, unique and professional, and which reflected the history of the cottage and its uniqueness.

Derek and Ailsa had some ideas of what they wanted – they wanted to reflect the river, the al fresco dining (table and chairs in the garden which overlooks the river) and the cottage itself. 

We come up with a number of concept ideas to give Derek and Ailsa some food for thought –

Some of these were liked by Derek and Ailsa, and some went straight into the bin. But they served their purpose, they helped us narrow down what they wanted. They learnt that the table and chairs looked more like a cafe, so that went. We kept the cottage image idea as that grew on them.

As we were working on the logo we were also working on the new website design, and in particular, the photos for the website – and there in one of the photos was something that became our inspiration, the Clydfan sign outside the front door. It was a plain sign of the name of the cottage on a piece of slate, see below:

856667_10152399518733289_333704483_o

What we liked about this sign was its mix of simplicity, its timeless feel and how it represented the cottage  – the slate, the straight lines and the link back to the mining industry. The font on the sign also linked very closely with the font scheme which we had chosen – it was like it was meant to be.

By mixing this with what we learnt from the previous exercise, and the wishes of Derek and Ailsa, we came up with the final logo design –

ClydfanCottage_logo_primary

We also created a number of secondary logo formats –

These were all then provided to Derek and Ailsa in a number of formats – png, jpeg, svg and eps – and, as per our approach, the logo is theirs to own forever.

– – –

Website design

Research

The other part of the project was to redevelop the existing Clydfan Cottage website. 

We began by taking our time to look through the existing website. We wanted to understand the existing user experience with a critical eye.

This is what we found –

Clydfan_old

One of the first things that we noticed was that it looked a little dated. It also wasn’t mobile friendly. Additionally the branding was a little muddled, and some of the photos were very blurry and pixelated. In essence, it wasn’t doing the cottage justice.

So these points became our simple guidelines for the new website –

1/ It needs to be designed using the new branding with a clear ‘brand voice’

2/ It needs to clearly showcase the unique selling points of the cottage

3/ It needs to be easier to navigate

4/ It needs to have more of a ‘wow’ factor when you opened it

5/ It needs to clearly promote testimonials from previous customers

The new site

For the new site we came up with a simple, initial structure, and then through input from Derek and Ailsa, we expanded this to the following 6 core options, wth a couple of pages which float off of the main structure –

1/ about

2/ photos

3/ book

4/ the local area

5/ reviews

6/ contact

We also added the contact details and a ‘Make a booking’ link into the footer of every page along with =the site map and a map of the cottage location, and links to their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

We also made the site bright, vibrant, and consistent on the ‘brand voice’. It is also mobile friendly and SEO friendly.

It makes the best use of the cottage’s unique selling point – its location overlooking the river. We built in bright, large and colourful photos of the cottage and its surrounding areas throughout the site. In addition, we also embedded videos that Derek and Ailsa had taken of the local area.

One of the key elements of this project was to make the most of the history of their Grade II listed former miners cottage. Alongside adding in details about its history into the text and title of the website, we also included a large historic photo of the cottage from either the 1800’s or very early 1900’s.

We also wanted to make it easier for customers to give their reviews within the website. Currently customers are encouraged to use Trip Advisor; however, Derek and Ailsa wanted to move away from this, so we built a ‘How was your stay’ form directly into the website. We also built a form for people to submit questions if they are not already covered within the frequently asked questions page to help Derek and Ailsa understand the questions that their customers, and potential customers, have.

This site was also the first site which we were not going to host. Therefore, the website was designed to be hosted by a different company that Derek and Ailsa had previously used.

We also had to build in the external booking system that Derek and Ailsa used.

ProjectClydfan

You can view the new Clydfan Cottage website at

www.clydfan-cottage.co.uk

– – –

View a gallery of our work with Derek and Ailsa