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Mission, vision and descriptors

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Mission, vision and descriptors

In this article i set out what a mission, vision statement does, how an organisation can use a descriptor and what a lift speech is. We help organisations establish these as the bedrock of their brand values. This article is an edited piece from my forthcoming book, know your onions: corporate identity.

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Design miscellany M–Z

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Design miscellany M–Z

This then is the second and last in our series of ‘Design miscellany’ series, from M–Z. Nothing more than random comments, explanations and observations to inform and hopefully entertain.

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Luxury branding

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Luxury branding

Working with luxury brands and services requires a shift in communication mind set. You are no longer required to speak to the masses, but to the few. Often your market is more demanding and harder to impress. You must understand what is important to them and your aim is to communicate the product or services in a light that makes it a 'must have'

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Design miscellany A–L

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Design miscellany A–L

This is the first of two emails in our ‘Design miscellany’ series. This is a collection of terms, comments and miscellany in alphabetical order with no other rhyme or reason other than to inform and entertain.

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Style guides

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Style guides

Designers and clients have mixed views on the benefits of having a style guide for an organisation's communications collateral. Why's that? Well exponents love 'em because they bring order out of potential chaos, helping to reign in the potential 'home-made' designers from trying to include kittens and clipart in publications. Detractors see a style guides as a restriction of creativity and a draconian, corporate bible, that does not fit their needs and hinders their expression. Thing is, a good style guide should remove all of these reservations and provide a platform for creativity and consistency – so that everybody is a happy bunny. What does a style guide do? What makes them good? What makes them bad? Read on...

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April fools!

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April fools!

Happy April fools day, a couple of days ago. Seriously, the e-newsletter is no joke. In this issue we look at brand, marketing and design mistakes and the fools that made them.

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Ubiquitous and overlooked

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Ubiquitous and overlooked

Logos: they're everywhere – you see them but don't always notice them. They help us recognise big brands like Nike and Shell, but what about those more workman-like marks that are stuck on the bottom of our kettles or sewn into our jumpers? Let's have a look at some of those ubiquitous logos and their hidden beauty.
 

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10 New Year design resolutions

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10 New Year design resolutions

Happy New Year, unless you are Chinese of course, in which case I'm a tad early. This newsletter is a tongue-in-cheek look at typical client requests made to designers and why a client might want to think again. :-)

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Words don't come easy to me

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Words don't come easy to me

F.R. David's song has a point about copywriting. Writing good copy, editing and getting your tone and content right isn't easy. And let's face it: I'd never proport to be an expert. I've written the odd tome and boy-oh-boy it's tough. But in doing so, there are a few things that I've picked up along the way which I'd like to share. Words certainly don't come easy to me.

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Santa, holly and snow

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Santa, holly and snow

Is it that time already?
Some people love it, some loathe it – a lot of people don't believe in it. But here it is. Christmas comes but once a year and of all the religious festivals this dominates the western world. This e-bite is an 'extra' – a Christmas bonus, if you like. Let's put on our design hats...ho, ho, ho... and enter the design world of clichés.

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Branding strategies; mission, vision and values

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Branding strategies; mission, vision and values

As part of a brand positioning and strategy we are often asked to write or review the organisations 'mission statements'. These bits of copy do a number of 'jobs' and should help the organisation communicate with the outside world as well as their own staff. Here then are a few pointers that should help you when thinking about putting together a set or texts.

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Branding, love it or hate it

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Branding, love it or hate it

Branding is an emotive subject, no matter if it is a rebrand, launch of a new brand or just communicating brand values. We all have an opinion. Brand, what does that mean? What on earth does a sub-brand mean? Can you brand under an existing brand and still have a brand? Oh my life, what is brand hierarchy? What is evolution and what is revolution in terms of brand?

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Iconic album covers

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Iconic album covers

The allure of creative freedom, public recognition and the joy of walking into a record shop anywhere in the country and seeing your own work, makes album cover design a graphic designers dream job. The days of the 12" double gate fold album offered a huge landscape for designers, now the reality is often a condensed digital download icon. The forerunner to Navig8, The Design Corps was established in the music industry back in the 90s. Let's look at the world's most iconic album covers and the designers behind them.

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A look at colour

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A look at colour

Colour plays a huge part in every aspect of design and can arouse strong opinions from clients and designers alike. Colours are often chosen on personal taste or some spurious theory. A client of ours once rejected a suggested colour pallet because it reminded him of the new curtains his wife had just bought, and he hated them. Let's look at good use of colour and how to get it right.

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Drinks marketing

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Drinks marketing

Sometimes you get a dream client. Something you'd just love to work on. In my case, this is the historic and global brand Barbadillo. I'm a Manzanilla drinker myself. It's a very dry sherry, made in a tiny area of Spain. Having visited the winery (Bodega) in the interests of research – I changed my view of what a drink's brand is and what it takes to make something unique. Let's look at the best.

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The Dark Horse

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The Dark Horse

I’m not sure whether Display Advertising has been referred to as the Dark Horse of PPC before. With its comparatively low clickthrough rate when pitted against its more conventional Search cousin, you’d be forgiven for thinking Display might be a waste of money. 

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