May 30th, 2011
Smile! You’re on TBS!

How do you revitalise a business without completely rebuilding it from the bottom up? Yep, a rebrand and luckily for us, TBS is around to give you the perfect example.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing exactly who we’re talking about. If we say an American TV channel famed for sitcom reruns and comedy movies hopefully it becomes clearer.

TBS’s ‘smile’ logo has been in use since 2004 but while the TV network has become a powerhouse of success, it seems their branding wasn’t quite keeping up with the times. Cue Ferroconcrete, a Los Angeles based branding and design agency.

They’ve taken the existing smile logo and morphed it into an animated brand identity with ‘mega personality’. Ferroconcrete credit the new smile logo with an ‘arsenal of expressions and gestures”. Apparently, “he waves, jumps, and bows as he charms, goofs and mimics’. Twinned with a vibrant colour range the result is a bold, fresh brand identity that really communicates what TBS is about.

Ferroncrete also know that no top  notch rebrand would be complete without a full complement of makeover tools. Integrating a new typeface, ‘Katarine’, gives the new brand a friendly accessibility combined with a contemporary feel. The overall effect is a huge personality – it’s fun, entertaining and stylish.

But enough about what we think – check out the article here: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/funny_smile.php

 

May 25th, 2011
Super Brands!

BBC Three aired another installment of Secrets of the Superbrands last night. With some fascinating insights into how fashion brands get us to buy their clothes.

Nike for instance, spends a whopping £1.8bn per year marketing what is already a genuine ‘superbrand’.

Then there’s Adidas, whose Gary Aspden (their global head of entertainment promotions) seems to have singlehandedly created incredible brand loyalty. How? By giving free stuff to upcoming “grime” stars who, now they’ve made it big, legitimately promote Adidas to the younger generation and wider fanbase.

Perhaps more significant were the findings of Professor Gemma Calvert of Neurosense.

It’s well known that great branding triggers emotive responses, but Calvert’s results went one step further. Her research entailed monitoring neurological reactions to cheap handbags versus expensive ones, with some interesting results.

Calvert showed that while cheap brands elicited no response, expensive brands triggered feelings associated with ‘reward, craving and addiction’ – all the activities found in the ‘pleasure centre’ of the brain.

Why is this significant? Because owning such objects sends a signal to others that we are genetically superior – we have accumulated enough material wealth to lavish thousands on high end fashion brands.

It’s not all smooth sailing for these super-brands though. Nike still finds itself fending off questions about their use of child labour in poor countries, while Burberry was forced to re-launch after its well recognised check pattern became mainstream for the masses.

Check out the article in full here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13502371

 

May 24th, 2011
5 Handy Hints and Tips to Get the most from your Website – Part II

Today’s blog is all about how to win clients and build profitability – not just by looking fantastic, but by working hard behind-the scenes. So take a look through and if you have any questions, give us a call!

Search Engine Optimisation

A blog is great for helping with SEO – keep it regularly updated with interesting, relevant articles and incorporate keywords for maximum effect! It’s these industry- specific words that help you rise organically when users look for your product or service. But beware of link farms – Google knows if you’re cheating. Take a look at this blog for some simple SEO tips courtesy of Hubspot: http://j.mp/ivtqY7.

Analytics

A fantastic tool for monitoring traffic, Google Analytics is free to download and provides you with a wealth of information! See where your users come from, evaluate how effective your marketing campaigns are and see how many hits you get month by month. With all this information on hand, you’ll learn exactly how to drive traffic to your site, and keep it there!

Eye Mapping

A clever technique dating all the way back to the 1800’s, eye mapping helps you understand where your users eye goes in the 7 seconds they spend on your home page! That’s right – just 7 seconds! Use eye mapping to give you a head start. Make sure your taglines hook, your logo impresses and your copy is captivating!

Converting traffic to sales

This is an easy one: if you look like you care about your business, your users will too. Make sure your website looks professional and appeals to your target market. Keep your copy concise and focus interest on your product or service. Want to know more? Check out these tips from BestRank: http://j.mp/kJn2mv

Don’t be Flash!

Google won’t read Flash so use it with care – too much on your site will mean you lose out on rankings. The right amount however, can really set you apart. In fact, we’re a bit partial to Flash ourselves – as you can see from the musical horse on our home page!

For some more free tips on how to maximise your online marketing take a look at this online article from The Telegraph: http://j.mp/j9jL3Y. It provides some great links to free advice and tools to keep your business a success!

If you’d like any further information, just give us a call on 07581 677 103 or drop us a line at hello@stripeyhorsecreative.com. We’re always happy to help!

 

May 23rd, 2011
Top Five Tips to getting the most from your website…

We’ve been pretty busy here at Stripeyhorse Creative, creating a branding package for an exciting new social enterprise and helping some Birmingham-based charities with their online marketing and print design. But we still found time to enjoy the Royal Wedding!

We also decided to put together some handy hints to help you dust the cobwebs from your online presence. Check whether you’re at the head of the pack, with the following top tips!

Image

The average user spends 7 seconds on your home page before clicking away. With such a short amount of time, it’s important to make sure your website creates a fantastic impression! Don’t be afraid of being bright, bold and different. More importantly, differentiate yourself from the competition!

Layout

How’s your website looking at a glance – is everything in the right place? An attractive, aesthetic layout means your site is easy on the eye and inviting. Combine colour, font and copy to create a dynamic user experience. And if you can help it, avoid pop up banners or too much flash – they’ll make your users click away in the blink of an eye!

Navigation

Make sure your site creates a great experience by maintaining excellent functionality. Have a visible, accessible navigation bar. Once you’ve succeeded in driving traffic to your site, don’t lose at the last hurdle because of broken links! These simple techniques will mean users can navigate your site with ease, paying attention to everything you offer!

Copywriting

Think about how the way you sound helps you connect with your target market. Is your tone of voice conversational or corporate? Which do you think users will respond most positively to? And always double check your spelling and grammar, especially on your home page!

Have a Blog!

Putting interesting articles or images on your blog will stimulate interest and help to drive traffic to your site! Linking your blog to other forms of social media will also help raise awareness and visibility. Incorporating keywords will aid organic SEO! In a nutshell, blogging is a supertool for your website!

Remember, your website should work as a tool, helping your business grow and become more profitable. If you have any questions give us a call or drop us an email.

Watch out for more juicy tips in our next blog, where we’ll be giving you advice to make sure your website is working as hard as it can for you and your business, from behind-the-scenes!

 

May 17th, 2011
Magazine Design

Pretty great resource for any editorial designers out there, or anyone just into great magazine graphics. Coverjunkie, a website dedicated to showcasing the best of creativity in the world of cover design. It does not show every cover in the world just the ones with well thought out design or amazing graphics.

Check out more magazine covers on the website: http://www.coverjunkie.com/

 

May 16th, 2011
Motion Graphics

Very nice motion graphics piece by Physalia. They are a motion-graphics and visual effects studio based in Barcelona, producing some really cool graphics. We love it and it certainly fits in line with the “Happy” theme!

Physalia have also worked with some big name brands including MTV, VW and Seat. Check out their website for more great work: http://physaliastudio.com/

Found via the website: http://uk.gizmodo.com

 

May 13th, 2011
Illustration / Art

The Art of Mike Mitchell, a freelance illustrator with a focus on pop culture. Located in Los Angeles, California he is most known for creating the “I’m with Coco” poster. We are big fans of his work here at Stripeyhorse Creative check out more of the great work on his personal website

 

May 12th, 2011
D*Face. Graphic painting

A great time-lapse video of D*Face creating a mural for his recent ‘Going Nowhere Fast’ exhibition.

Found via the website: http://alwaysreadthesmallprint.com

 

May 11th, 2011
When Big Brands get it Wrong


Everyone remembers the Pepsi Challenge, right? The taste test where blindfolded participants were asked to name their favourite cola, and Pepsi won? It was an episode that made every global brand sit up and pay attention.

In April 1985, Coke launched a new flavour. What’s so bad about that you might ask? Well, not much fundamentally. But their real mistake was scrapping the old one. And this is where brand loyalty really finds its legs. Americans were in uproar. Campaigns were launched and protestors took to the streets.

After some serious head scratching, Coke took a fresh look at the market research, and realised the error of their ways. They’d spent decades building up brand loyalty and associations. By taking away original Coke, they were taking away more than a product — consumers didn’t just like the taste, they’d bought into an ideology. 79 days later the original Coke was back in production.

Coke doesn’t have the monopoly on bad business decisions, however. Check out this article from BBC Two for more examples of when big brands get it wrong: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13285504 inspired by the new series, ‘Business Nightmares’.

This new foray into corporate clangers might be an education on what not to do in business but equally, it sends a pretty strong message about what to do after you’ve screwed up. Perhaps most significantly, it drives home the real power of branding. As one fan put it: “My oldest daughter is 22. Her first word was Coke. Her second word was Mommy”…

 

May 10th, 2011
Leaders of Branding

News out yesterday that Apple has recently become the most valuable brand, taken over from Google’s four years at the top spot. According to the BrandZ study of the global top 100 brands, the Apple brand is now worth £93bn, and has become the world’s most valuable technology company, overtaking Microsoft last year.

A good proportion of this revenue has come from the new consumer products Apple produces, which include the iPod, iPhone and iPad. These new products (which take advantage of iOS) are for the consumer on the move and, although they didn’t invent the tablet format, they seemed to have perfected it. The iPad has become the model that other manufacturers have been trying to emulate.

The Apple brand has increasingly become one of desire. “It’s doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire.” says Peter Walshe, global brands director of Millward Brown.

For further reading about the top 100 brands, including how McDonalds have manipulated their brand considerably over the past years in order to shift consumer perception, visit the website http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Found via twitter @orbstudio

Check out the Millward Brown website too.

 

May 9th, 2011
Motion Graphics.

We really love this new advert for the Bacardi brand by Johnny Kelly. He has worked with some big brand names in the past, including Google, which we posted on here before.

The concept of this advert is to encourage people to ditch technology and get together over a drink or two. We just love this, the music, the voice-over it just works together so well. Looking forward to see what he produces for other brands!

Via the website: http://alwaysreadthesmallprint.com

 

May 5th, 2011
Branding Books

Push Pop Press is a new publishing platform for iOS devices. It helps users develop books rich and deep in content, full of text, images, interactive graphics, sound and touch. It makes publishing easy to do, the user does not need to have knowledge of coding and software development. The first title to take advantage of the Push Pop Press software is Al Gore’s “Our Choice”, the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth.

Push Pop Press is a new brand which aims to bring a new dimension to the e-book platform, adding high-end graphics to the largely unadorned text. They will come up against some big name brand competition also, such as Adobe, who have a huge percent of the e-book and magazine platform. This new way of branding and creating books looks great. Full of interactivity and fun I am sure Push Pop Press will take off in a big way. Watch out for more titles on their website here: http://pushpoppress.com/

Buy it from iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com

Found via Twitter: @movingbrands @wired
Also on the website: http://www.wired.com

 

May 4th, 2011
Take 5 with HTML 5

You’ve probably guessed by now that we like HTML5 here at Stripeyhorse Creative. In older posts we’ve talked of its relative ease of use, given Jason Beaird a nod for his views on website design, and blogged about the new HTML5 branding and logo design.

Now we want to share the more experimental side of HTML5 and show you some really interesting projects by Hakim, a web developer and creative programmer. Hakim has worked with some big name brands including Google, BBC, Nintendo and Wacom. You really have to get onto his website to play with the experiments, but shown above is just two: Sketch and Keylight.

It would be great to see some real world application of these experiments. He even created the logo and branding for a Canadian media production company using HTML Canvas options. Some new and interesting things may start to appear in new brands and websites thanks to the introduction of HTML5.

For now, play with these experiments and more on his website.

 

May 3rd, 2011
Branding colour

Are you showing your true colours?

As brand experts, we think colour is pretty vital to how your business is viewed. Take a look at Coke, for example — that specific shade of red has been associated with the Coke brand for decades. To change it now would have far-reaching results, affecting brand recognition as well as brand loyalty. But why is it so important?

We came across this article on Idsgn about food colouring. It shows just how much colour can change how customers and clients view you and your business.

During an experiment, participants were given a well-known snack — one portion loaded with food colouring, the other without — but both with identical flavouring and ingredients. The outcome? Participants found the naked food tasted “bland” and wasn’t “much fun to eat”. According to Professor Brian Wansink from Cornell, even though the un-dyed food was identical in taste and texture, the lack of colouring meant “their fingers did not turn orange” and “their brains did not register much cheese flavour”.

So if colour can mentally affect how we taste, and our perception of how something should taste, just imagine what colour is doing for your brand. Is colour working for you or against? Are customers going to competitors simply because they prefer their brand colours over yours? The Twitter logo was green before it was blue (check it out below) – how has this change of colour affected their brand? Would you have signed up to their old website without their corporate brand blue? And what if Coke was no longer brown — would you still want to drink it?

For further reading about the colour used in food and how it can affect us, both emotionally and physically, check out the rest of the article here: http://idsgn.org/