Sarah Ward

Agency speak. Direct.

Minimal rebrand

by Sarah Ward on 29th February 2016

What does the year 2016 hold for the world of design? It certainly seems less is most definitely more in the world of branding – minimalism and clean cut logos are the way forward. But could this ‘no fuss’ approach end up damaging a brand, giving it a lack of personality and failing to connect with the audience? Many companies are backing away from photographic elements in their logos, using a more simplified, stripped-back look, hoping to make theirs stand out from the many brands vying for our attention.

Here at Satellite, we’re of the train of thought that nothing can be that simple especially when you’re right in the thick of it. There needs to be a balance between simplicity and ensuring your target customers can still identify with you as a brand, both in the present and for some time into the future. Add on top of that the heritage of the existing brand and whether you ought to protect that with the refreshed logo, there is certainly much more to consider than fonts and colours!

We’ve selected a few brands you might know who have attempted minimalism with their logos with varying results, here’s our take on it…

Brand refresh Diet Coke

Turner Duckworth produced this packaging for Diet Coke a few years ago by cropping and enlarging the logo. This creates a clean, modern style – proving the brand is such a powerhouse, it doesn’t need to show the full logo for consumers to know exactly what it is.

Brand Refresh The Body Shop

The Bodyshop rebrand has stripped back the logo over the years to be less organic and more modern. The bottom logo is as it appears on the website – but does this communicate the brands heritage and natural ingredients? We give this a ‘could do better’.

Pepsi rebrand

This Pepsi rebrand wasn’t very warmly received within the design world – it will always be compared to rival Coke, but the circle icon has been warped into a ‘cheeky smile’ which is less recognisable and possibly weakens the brand.

PG Tips rebrand

PG Tips have cleaned up their logo by keeping a flat texture, whilst creating an overlapping technique with the two letters to form a tea leaf shape – the monkey icon has also been added which manages to blend both heritage and humour for a touch more personality.

Channel 4 rebrand

A recent rebrand which seems to have divided opinion with its complete deconstruction of a well-known and iconic logo is Channel 4. After a quick straw poll around the office, the feeling is that we’re all for this brave move which seems to have given them a versatile logo that can be used in discrete ways across a number of their diverse offerings which will hopefully stand the test of time. We’re pretty sure there will be non-believers amongst you but if you’re interested in finding out more about this particular brand story, our friends over at Creative Review provide a good insight – http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/september/channel-4-rebrands-with-help-from-jonathan-glazer-and-neville-brody/

Here are some examples of our own contributions to the ‘minimalist’ branding club…

Simple estate agent branding

Castles Estate agents knew they wanted to keep their logo but also felt the need for a refresh. Bringing in a new font and a more stylised flag shape cleaned it up and gave the logo more space.

Preserving the correct medical ‘snake’ icon within the logo gives the nod to the company’s heritage whilst using a sans serif font makes for a more modern and clinical style. An overall cleaner and bolder logo will help this brand to stand the test of time.

rebrand technology company

Here we use a more industrial typeface and remove the railway-specific graphic in favour of communicating more clearly what the present day Senceive are all about. The addition of a very short strapline completes the minimalist logo for this technology brand.

Whilst we may have used a similar layout for this logo – a fresher green and sans serif font creates a less dated look, both bold and striking to reflect the pioneering technology used at the practice.

As always, we’re here to help, for branding or any other questions please contact Satellite Creative on 01442 827768 or email us at hello@satellitecreative.com

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Sarah WardMinimal rebrand

Get your stache on this Movember

by Sarah Ward on 3rd November 2015

Movember is in full swing and the chaps at Satellite are putting their dignity on the line for a great cause!

Stache types on the faces of Satellite Creative this Movember

The Movember Foundation is a global charity committed to making men live happier, healthier lives and focusses on conditions such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

Last Movember we raised a great £170 but this year Satellite hope to reach a target of at least £200 so every donation would be very much appreciated – and if we are scheduled in for a meeting, please excuse the dishevelled, unkept facial hair!

Fancy donating? Head over to Movember Foundation’s Satellite Creative team page.

Progress of stache growth for Movember 2015
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Sarah WardGet your stache on this Movember

Fonts of all type knowledge

by Sarah Ward on 3rd November 2015

Fonts are at the very heart of everything we do – whether for print or web.

They are the building blocks in which words are displayed and constructed in our layouts and designs, and they come in an ever increasing range of styles. So what about the very basics? Here’s a beginners guide to the wonderful world of fonts and typefaces.

Choosing fonts - Serif or Sans serif

Serif V Sans serif

It really is a tough call! Serif fonts are a little easier on the eye, the little extensions on the letters help us scan through the copy for a faster read with big bulky paragraphs, especially in print. But then a sans serif is very useful for those punchy headlines and for the web -they are less fussy so less likely to look pixelated. So take care to choose the right font for the right reasons.

Font hierarchy graphic

Hierarchy

So you have been given a document full of copy with a few pictures and you need to create something exciting! Time to look at the copy in more detail – is there anything you can pull out to make the page look more interesting; a title, a quote or sub-headings to split up the different sections of your article. This will create an entry point and texture to engage the reader, inviting them to read more.

Fonts and leading

Leading

Does your page look dense and crowded? It might be time to add a little leading. Leading is the space between one line of text and the next – if it’s too tight your page becomes a solid, impenetrable block. By increasing the leading you separate the lines, making large blocks of copy easier to read. But beware! When using all CAPS too much space can create large gaps so a tighter leading is better.

Font selection

Want your logo to have the wow factor and stand out from all other competitors? It’s not just about the right icon or choosing a great colour palette, you also need to think really carefully about the font.

A font can give your logo personality and character to reflect your company values – are you a traditional or modern business, are you friendly and fun or do you want to be seen as corporate and professional?

We’ve picked a few well known brands below to show that choosing the wrong font can really change the perception of the brand to a customer.

Fonts in use well-known logos and how they might look in another (inappropriate) font.

Here’s what our font gurus think

Dylan at Satellite Creative
The Goudy font

Goudy is what I call a sexy font! Look at those serifs. I mean look. They were definitely inspired by the human form. And a very fine form it must have been too. Look at that capital ‘E’. The gentle curves within the lower horizontal stroke of the ‘E’ are mesmerising. Even the cap ‘L’ is a thing of beauty and that takes some doing (L is generally a bit of a duff letter visually). Mr Goudy certainly knew how to create a good font!

Dylan
Andy at Satellite Creative
The Gotham font

Gotham is fast becoming a modern classic. If you are looking for a sans serif font which is easy on the eye, Gotham has plenty to recommend it. Its softer, fuller, slightly expanded shapes create lines of text that flow effortlessly together. One of the key reasons for this, is that Gotham has a large ‘x’ height (the height of the lower case letter forms) and with its subsequent small ascenders and descenders, the sentences are streamlined with fewer vertical interruptions. And with weights from Thin to Ultra, plus Rounded and Condensed variations, (all of which maintain their integrity), give Gotham a flexibility – way in advance of its rivals.

Andy
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Sarah WardFonts of all type knowledge

Getting muddy for a good cause!

by Sarah Ward on 1st October 2015

Our active Account Director Viki took part in the Mud Pack II Challenge 2015 this weekend to raise money for Hospice Of St Francis (Berkhamsted). Viki ran around a 5 mile assault course at Ashridge House getting very muddy in the process, but there’s still time to give your support.

Viki will be getting muddy in the Mud Pack Challenge
The Hospice of St Francis logo

The Hospice of St Francis is a great charity, their dedicated work transforms the lives of patients living with life limiting illnesses and their families throughout West Herts and The Chilterns.

Donate to the cause

Donating to Viki’s JustGiving page is easy – just follow this link and click Donate:

http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/VikiBrockett

JustGiving sends your donation straight to Hospice Of St Francis (Berkhamsted) so it’s a quick and safe way to donate.

Thank you!

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Sarah WardGetting muddy for a good cause!

Adding a touch of magic to your presentations

by Sarah Ward on 10th September 2015

Death by PowerPoint, a definition: Dated clip art, confusing graphs, slides with too much text and a presenter who read the slides out loud. Are your PowerPoint presentations dull? Too much copy and not enough interest to hold your audience’s attention? Satellite believe in keeping things simple – take a look at our top tips and sprinkle a bit of magic on your next presentation.

Top tips for presentations

Contact Satellite Creative on 01442 827768 or email us at hello@satellitecreative.com if you’d like our help creating a lasting impression with your presentations.

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Sarah WardAdding a touch of magic to your presentations

A design graduate’s guide to making a great first impression

by Sarah Ward on 30th April 2015

The creative world can be a tough cookie to crack, so when the opportunity comes along you want to make sure you leave a lasting impression. Use this handy guide to help get your foot in the door.

  • 1. Review your portfolio:

    Quality not quantity: Only your top eight to ten projects should make it – you won’t have time to talk about any more.
    Best piece first: First impressions count and if you leave the best till last, it might never get seen.
    Show additional skills: Creative Suite skills are a given. What other skills can you bring to the party?

  • 2. Do your research:

    Prepare your questions: Have something to say. Asking questions shows you’ve taken time to research them.
    Be prepared for criticism: Take on board constructive criticism. You need broad shoulders and a thick skin to survive.
    Think commercially: Be aware that what makes a good college solution, may not hack it in the real world.

  • 3. Interview etiquette:

    Don’t be late: Time is what we sell. If you get held up, call – we’re in the communication business.
    Dress sense: Be smart. It’s all about presentation, but don’t wear a suit if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
    Listen, consider, answer: Don’t rush your answers. Relate them to your experience and portfolio if you can.

  • 4. Internships:

    Make an impression: Doing good work isn’t enough. Make yourself available, ask to be involved in projects.
    Make yourself indispensable: Become part of the team. Talk to everyone – artworker to MD.
    Little things count: Make the tea, even if you don’t drink it. In on time and don’t leave on the dot.

Satellite is currently looking for a Web Designer. For more details, check out our careers page.

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Sarah WardA design graduate’s guide to making a great first impression

50 shades of anything but grey

by Sarah Ward on 16th April 2015

Relating a brands colour to emotional response and persuasion can be a tricky business! It’s very subjective, down to personal preference and experience, whether you’re male or female – although blue just happens to be the favourite for both.

However, it’s all important stuff, people can make snap decisions about your business based on colour alone, which in turn, can affect whether they choose to buy your products or use your company. Colour within a logo can give your brand personality, but is it the right one for you?

Colour is a key component of any brand so generalities and perceived meaning should always be considered. We seem to have used the whole spectrum for the many brands we’ve created, so it’s interesting to see how others have intepreted the positive meaning of colour.

RED

LOVE
ENERGY
POWER
STRENGTH
HEAT

ORANGE

COURAGE
CONFIDENCE
FRIENDLINESS
SUCCESS
CREATIVITY

PINK

HEALTHY
HAPPY
SWEET
COMPASSION
PLAYFUL

PURPLE

ROYALTY
SPIRITUALITY
LUXURY
AMBITION
WEALTH

GREEN

FRESHNESS
ENVIRONMENT
NEW
HEALING
EARTH

BLUE

TRANQUILITY
SECURITY
INTEGRITY
TRUST
INTELLIGENCE

TURQUOISE

SPIRITUAL
HEALING
PROTECTION
SOPHISTICATED
ENERGY

BROWN

FRIENDLY
EARTH
OUTDOORS
LONGEVITY
CONSERVATIVE

GOLD

WEALTH
WISDOM
PROSPERITY
VALUABLE
TRADITIONAL

At Satellite we pride ourselves on matching the right brand to the right colour and making sure it conveys the best message to give a maximum brand stand out and impact.

If you’d like to discuss your brand, give us a call on 01442 827768 or email us at hello@satellitecreative.com

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Sarah Ward50 shades of anything but grey

Email Marketing Top Tips

by Sarah Ward on 20th March 2015

So you’ve a new message to get out there or a fantastic new product to boast about. You might even be offering something special. You’ll need a good email to get the response you seek.

What marketing departments really want to know amongst many things is that you’ve got the message. One of the more important metrics used to establish the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign is one known as the open rate – expressed as a percentage, how many people “view” or “open” the message.

Here we bring you a few tips and tricks to maximize your email open rate.

Email Marketing design Top Tips
  • 1. Email setup

    An email from “noreply@email.com” can look harsh, dismissive and easy to ignore. Why not credit the ‘from’ name to a real person or a department that is sending out the email.

  • 2. Subject lines

    Use this to your advantage. Your email ‘subject’ line should reflect your brand and engage your customers. Avoiding being bland and boring – unless that’s what you want to achieve!

  • 3. Personality

    Personalising an email is a great way to make the reader feel valued, and that the email has come from someone as opposed to a machine.

  • 4. Layout

    Good news. Your email has been opened. It now needs to do its job, which is to convey information and prompt a response. You may also have a journey set up that takes your reader to places of interest, even a purchase.

    This is where layout and design comes into play. One of the major advantages of using Satellite Creative is the years of design and layout experience we bring to good effective email designs.

  • 5. Be heard

    But don’t use SHOUTY CAPS. Get the message across without relying on the boldness of uppercase to drive the point home. We are seemingly increasingly more sensitive to such things these days.

  • 6. Be nice

    Sounds obvious. Send a welcome email to new customers. They’ve just registered with your company or submitted a request to join the newsletter. The reward from a nicely-crafted welcome email can be advantageous. Most customers will be expecting an instant response, with the likelihood of an opening rate of above 50%. You could simply say hello yet alternatively you could use the opportunity to engage with a relevant teaser such as an offer of something exclusive. As with everything, know your customers. Balance is the key.

  • 7. Click here

    Try to avoid CLICK HERE – these are bereft of any real thought. Your email will likely read better and get a better response if you use something more appealing, such as “OK, take me there” for example.

  • Keep going!

    Test test test. A/B Test. Litmus Test. Test again. Continuously. Try new things out to engage your readers. Make iterations gradually, refine your approach, get to know your audience and you’ll soon find it all coming together.

While we’ve only covered a small number of an otherwise exhaustive list of good practices (otherwise why would you need us?), bear in mind that there are many ways to increase your open-rates. Many of them are strategic yet most of them will be good old-fashioned common sense.

Email design is an art form and a skill and making one that works for you requires lots of care and judgement. And while making it look pretty (on as many devices as possible) is important, we never forget that it must also provide tangible results.

If you’d like a little help with your email marketing, give us a call on 01442 827768 or email us at hello@satellitecreative.com

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Sarah WardEmail Marketing Top Tips