Tag: web design

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.

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

Why research is vital in Graphic design

A lot of people think that graphic designers head straight to a computer when starting a new design. However this is not the case. To create a great design we must first have a great idea, but to get that idea there must be research and brainstorming first (and also a lot of doodling). Here is the first stage of a branding project that we did –

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As you can see its important to get as much information (visually) together before beginning designing. Ideas don’t come out of thin air (unless you are having a very lucky day), so getting research together helps you define key aspects for a graphic design project. You need information like – Who are the target market? Who are the competitors? What is the industry like as a whole? Research and development can sometimes be the most time consuming part of a project, however without this vital stage of the design process you would be left with not a lot of inspiration. By carrying out in depth research on for your project (whether its a branding project, print project, campaign or a digital design) you and your client will reap the rewards of the time spent on it.

 

 

Coffee House Branding by Utter Creatives

The new visual identification of ”The Lodge Coffee House” (which is based in Windermere) has used a number of different branding/design elements, such as illustration, print, and digital design. The Coffee House wanted to portray the feel of Vintage/Victorian, due to their Lake District location, but also due to the fact they are located within an old Victorian house, built in 1842. Furthermore they also offer ‘quintessential english afternoon teas. 

All of this was taken into consideration when designing the branding; from the font used, right through to the patterns, images and colours.

You can visit the website directly here.

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BEING A DESIGNER & THE CREATIVE PROCESS

Having a creative job has its ups and downs and like with any job some days being a designer is stressful, however the fun of getting to design far outweighs any negatives. So much so that I wanted to write my next article about it and why I love the creative process. This will also give any clients a good understanding of what happens before we present our designs/ideas.

The creative process for me is a series of steps that is repeated every time I am about to create something new for a client – or as a personal project. And it always starts with research!

Research

This obviously starts at the initial client meeting. Here I ask questions like – What kind of message/client/brand/product is this and what are you trying to communicate? Who is the target audience? Are they interested, or is it a “hard sell”? What are we trying to tell the audience? Is there a clear message? Who are the competitors?

The next step in the research process is to look for inspiration – what relates to the design style that the client wants. Does it make sense? By the end of the research stage I hope to have notes, images, thoughts in my head or even combination of these. This is the part of the process that’s crucial, without research you are setting yourself up for failure.

Brainstorming

The next stage is brainstorming ideas. Sketching them out and seeing if they work as designs, do they have potential for development? The more ideas you come up with the better the project will be. Never go with your first idea you might come back to it at a later stage, but you also might miss a gem if you stop before you have even started. There should be as much variation as possible between different possible solutions to allow for future refinement of ideas.

Development

Once I have a few ideas I then develop them to make them better, there is always things you can do to a idea/design to make it better. Also by leaving each piece just slightly unfinished, I can ensure that the development of the design will continue once I have presented the design to a client and beyond these initial comps.

Refinement

Refining my ideas always happens after the client has been presented with the initial design. Here I take what my client likes and refine until we have the finished piece of work.

As you can see there is a lot more to the design process than most people think. However it doesn’t just stop there either. I often find myself switching between each stage, so when I am in the development stage I could also still be researching. This is what I love about the design process, you never really know where your ideas will take you.

WRITTEN BY DEE HINKSMAN – UTTER CREATIVES CREATIVE DIRECTOR