‘Grand designs’ for 2018

Summer is just around the corner and, here at Utter Creatives, we’re feeling bright, breezy and optimistic about warm sunshine and all the other fantastic things that lie ahead for the rest of the year. And that’s because, we’re only just over three months into 2018, but what an absolutely amazing year it’s been already!

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Success is in the air, not just with the real creative buzz that’s been happening in our design agency but for our clients, old and new, as well. We’ve started working with some new clients who needed a new brand to support a new business strategy. Whether your business is starting out as a new venture, or whether you have an established business that has developed or changed direction, your brand and visual identity are of crucial importance. First impressions of your brand can either quickly create strong impact of a modern, professional, energetic, dynamic, successful organisation or indelible feelings of an outdated or amateur business. Don’t forget brand tell a story – your story – so make sure you do everything you can, and work with the right people, to make it a good one!

 

So, it’s not just about the look, it’s about the feel too. The language you use, your style of talking and what you say about yourself all influence the way that your customers talk about you. Finding the right tone is essential for successfully expressing an organisation’s identity. That’s why we’ve been asked to work on some branding and editorial projects for our clients, and we can’t wait to show these off to you over the coming weeks. So watch, or should I say listen, to this space…

 

From one off projects for new clients to working on larger ongoing projects for our established clients, we’re working together on some ‘grand designs’.

 

And talking of grand designs, our growing success has led us to take up a new office in a beautiful Grade II listed building in the cultural heart of Lancaster. With its striking Doric columns, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the city centre. And that’s another reason we’re feeling absolutely grand!

Why you need a brand not just a logo

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Your brand represents who you are, what you stand for and how you behave. In a digital age you aren’t competing with local businesses anymore, you’re in fact competing on a national and sometimes global scale.

Unfortunately a lot of businesses seem to think that their branding is just a logo. However relaying solely on a logo as the face of your business is never going to get your company message and its values across to your audience.  Think about brands such as O2, the brand design is more focused around the imagery they use (i.e. the bubbles, photography, the water and the colour blue) as oppose to the actual logo its self. So O2 can use their branding on marketing materials, and their audience would know that it was them without their logo even being present – this is how branding helps to tell the story of your business.  This is what branding is all about.

Many businesses are bought and sold on the strength of their brand. Likewise consumers buy from a company because of the way the brand makes them feel.  At the core, branding is an emotional experience. The thing about brands is that people love them. A strong brand will always be referred and will more than likely ensure customer loyalty. However those without a strong brand or memorability, most likely won’t; this is because people don’t often talk about brands they can’t remember.

Utter Creatives sponsors Unique Kidz & Co

In 2009, Denise Armer and Jane Halpin faced the same issue: both were mothers of a child with a disability, left unable to find suitable day-care. Thus, they decided to take matters into their own hands – by founding Unique Kidz and Co. Since then, the small project has grown into a reputable charity, today offering childcare, holiday-clubs, weekend trips and many other activities to over 130 children with unique abilities.

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Now, Utter Creatives is supporting these efforts as a corporate sponsor, helping Unique Kidz and Co with their branding and design work. For Dee Darcy, director of Utter Creatives, the work of the charity was close to her heart: Dee’s nephew, whom was diagnosed with autism, attended some of the support groups in their early days. Learning first hand about how much the charity helped him and other children, how it allowed them to partake in everyday social activities, that had previously been unimaginable, is what convinced her get involved:
“Seeing the impact, Unique Kidz and Co. has had on my nephew and other children, I knew that I wanted to help – and luckily, my experience with design and branding were a perfect match for the needs of Unique Kidz and Co.”

Marketing and branding are often an overlooked area within the charitable sector due to the costs involved, especially on a local level. When reaching out to their audience, it is essential to outline mission, values and professionalism of the work. Whether measured by public recognition or access rates, there is a host of advantages if charities have help with their brand image. In this spirit, Utter Creatives is aiming to improve the general overall look of Unique Kidz and Co. By modernising the existing graphics, yet keeping their playful, colourful and youthful appeal, the hope is to represent the charities caring, professional and lively sides in every element of the visual communication. This way, Utter Creatives hopes to have a real impact on the charity and its beneficiaries.

What are the best times to post on Facebook?

 

2000px-facebook-reversed-svgWhen it comes to social media marketing, timing is everything.  Your main goal with a Facebook business page is to send posts when people are around to see them. And a larger audience means more opportunities to boost engagement, drive traffic, and gain potential new followers and customers. So when is the best time to post?

 

It all comes down to your audience and who you’re trying to target, your marketing goals, and your content. But while there is no perfect time to post, there are resources that can help you find the best times.

 

On Facebook, a post reaches 75% of its potential engagement in five hours.  However because of the complicated News Feed algorithm, getting your timing right on Facebook isn’t always easy.

 

We have personally found that the best times to post on Facebook is between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (people are on their dinner breaks) and after 5pm when they are at home. And on Saturday and Sunday between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.

A report from Social Media management tool Hootsuite found that – there was much lower engagement on the weekend, but there is a spike in click-throughs on posts published between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.

 

That being said, you should test and track results using engagement data gleaned from your own Facebook’s Page Insights. Use these times as a starting point, but always be testing and measuring results to find what works best for you and your business.

Why Businesses need Branding

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When people think of branding, the words ‘logo’ and ‘design’ often spring to mind, however, this is a major misconception. Undoubtedly, a company’s logo and design plays a vital part in the branding of a business, but the potential of branding is far from limited to these two words.

 
Branding allows a company to stand out from the crowd, which is an obvious advantage for a start up business. In 2015, over 600,000 start up businesses were registered as new companies, and as the number gets higher and higher, the competition to stand out grows. However, with the assistance from a professional designer, branding can allow your business to catch the eye of your target audience, make a modern image related to you and, distinguish you as a company which not only cares about its appearance but about its customers too.

 
Using the right colour scheme, typeface, stationary and detailing plays an important role in branding. When branding is coordinated and clear, it gives the message that your business is organised and reliable. You want your brand to be recognisable, and so keeping things simplistic is key. The importance of coordination in your brand is essential when it comes to giving out a memorable impression of your business, so ensure that you keep to a certain theme without being narrow minded – it’s just as crucial to be consistent as it is to be current.

 
Branding tells a story about your business, which in return reflects the personality and values of your company. This is necessary if you want to establish a relationship with your customers. If they can understand your business from the branding you use, customers are more likely to trust, rely and choose you over your competitors.

Why are Wireframes Important?

If you have not heard of  wireframes before, then in basic terms they are a very simply layout of a web page that includes no colour, no imagery and, in some cases, no text. They can be sketched out or done digitally, either way it is very important to create these skeletons for a future website design.

 
When a designer first starts a web design project, they will look at the list of features and content that needs to be included in the site. This helps the designer to create a visual hierarchy with those elements on the websites page. It also helps for clients because once they have viewed the wireframes they are able to tell which elements are more important than the others.

 
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Furthermore wireframes determine the layout with the user experience (UX) in mind. By leaving the creative design elements like the colour, imagery, and other details, until later on, you can focus on the layout and functionality of each element on the page to ensure the structure needed for the best user experience is created.

Utter Creatives Ltd