Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Rounding Up August

In it to win it

We mentioned the up and coming Charlie Hutton Hockey Festival on 5th September in our last enews, with its raffle and silent auction of epic proportions. Any fans of U2, Arsenal, Chelsea & Spurs, World Cup Rugby, Raymond Weil watches, Polo or a short break to Cornwall should certainly take a look at what’s on offer here and email a bid to silentauction@tothepoint.co.uk before 6pm on 4th September. You can also see the raffle prizes on the same link and can purchase tickets at the event or email gill@tothepoint.co.ukAs in past years, all proceeds will be going to the RNLI. 

Ferrolic Fluid Digital Wizardy

We do like to get out from time to time researching various innovative techniques. When it comes to display graphics and digital installations, there’s a lot of fun technology out there. We haven’t seen anything quite as amazing as Ferrolic’s fluid digital clocks in a long time.

Using ferric fluid in a glass frame, set on top of an array of ‘magnetic pixels’, this absolutely stunning display perfectly marries digital graphics with natural movement. The project is in early development stage, but we can’t wait to see what they do with it next.

End of days for Adobe Flash

Once the ‘saviour of the internet’ and now looking more like the dusty old TV in your Grandma’s living room, Adobe Flash has been ‘on the way out’ for quite some time. It now appears that its days are truly numbered. Google’s Chrome Browser will officially start ‘pausing’ flash content in September, forcing viewers to activate the content manually. Firefox has also started to block the flash plugin over security concerns and Amazon has banned flash advertising from its online ad platform see the story here.

So aside from the odd desktop app or game here and there, it seems that Flash’s Goose is finally cooked.

Don’t panic though. If you REALLY need to keep your dusty flash content online there are ways and means of converting it. Or a certain design agency could reboot your web offering with SEO friendly, engaging HTML5 content, proving that rich media online is more alive than ever before.

Heart Skipped a Beat

Ahead of the London Design Festival French artist Charles Pétillon has created a wonderful spectacle in the Covent Garden Market Building. The installation is called Heartbeat, 100,000 giant white balloons stretching over 52 meters gently pulse with a white light. The beating heart symbolises the history, energy and dynamism of Covent Garden. The installation runs until 27th September so still plenty of time to check it out, but make sure you go when it's a little darker as Katie (one of our Account Managers) tells us it's much more spectacular.

The Oné and Only

You may remember our branding work with Echo Brand Design back in 2013 for New Zealand start up Concept Cube. Well their initial project of producing New Zealand’s first 100% Blue Agave Tequila has been a resounding success. Renamed by the creative team as ONÉ, the packaging has won a gold award in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. What makes it even better is we have our very own bottle of this limited edition production run to sample! We would offer to share but it's only 1 of 450 and… well we don't want to.

Looking Forward

September has arrived, so here are a few design related things to look out for, courtesy of our friends over at Design Week. Also September will see Better Bankside host a Design Festival to celebrate all the creative agencies in the area with some studios opening up and taking guests! To find out more take a look here.

Ship shape branding

We often talk about the importance of strong branding, and ask if your materials are recognisable if you remove your logo. Take Apple for instance, remove their logo and you can still spot them at a hundred paces. As much as we might like to believe, it isn’t because they’re a mega-company who spare no expense with advertising, it’s because they have a clear and strong view of their brand and they ensure it’s consistent across everything.

This is a conversation we had recently with our client Union Maritime, a shipping company managing large vessels in Nigeria, when we started to work with them on a brand refresh and web redesign.

Establishing a strong brand isn’t something that happens overnight (if only life was that easy!), so the hard work is still going on. However a major project for building the brand was the website, as this was to be a major tool for them.

The team at Union Maritime wanted an easy to update, and relatively low-maintenance site, so we opted for Wordpress. The design of the site reinforces their branding through the strong use of their corporate colour palette, and using the blue and grey blocks from their logo to create different elements such as the tables on the fleet pages. Click here to see the website in all its glory.

During our journey with them we’ve also looked at their PowerPoint presentation and are currently working on their email signatures. So from here it should be plain sailing, the key is to maintain consistency.

A New Newsroom

We’ve worked with News UK family for a few years now, starting with the Newsprinters branding and quirky interior graphics, our personal favourite is the “never-ending” corridor, (any “sticklers for false advertising” out there should know it does actually end, but only after a whopping 200m!). To the branding and interiors for their new logistics division, News Logistics, right up to the interiors for the Technology and Operations teams on the 6th floor of the head offices in The Place (right next door to The Shard).

And this time we’ve been helping the News Logistics team on the Technology and Operations floor, as we were set the challenge of combining the News Logistics branding with the style set for the 6th floor, which uses lines and pixels to communicate the idea of individual teams that connect to form the bigger picture.

The end result effectively gives the News Logistics team their own personality without deviating from the floors style. We also used a product called Wall-a-Peel to make sure the vinyl can be removed easily if they ever need to be updated.

The team at News Logistics loves the final result, which of course makes us very happy indeed!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Rounding Up July

Big news!

We've recently started working with accountancy and payroll giants Sage in partnership with Tetris and JLL. In light of their recent brand evolution they've asked us to enhance and bring more of their brand personality to their working environment, starting with their Newcastle HQ.

The team at Sage are bringing the SME companies they work with, and the lifestyle aspect of their brand to the fore, so expect to see some exciting things from us over the coming months as the ideas bubble away! We've been immersing ourselves in their culture and their summit in New Orleans this week has been a great place to pick up some business tips ourselves. Opening talks with Deepak Chopra and Colin Powell were inspirational. If you can't wait to see what we come up with for their working environment, then head over to our website (here) to see some of the ways we've added personality to the offices of some of our other clients.

Thames Clippers

This month we've been continuing our work with MBNA Thames Clippers (see our previous work here), this time tackling their signage to simplify the information, evaluate the brand messaging and implement the new TFL Oyster system.

The new signage also needs to offer a cohesive solution from the docks to the ships (Clippers if you want to get technical) that lets people know where they can tap in and out, or use their travel cards on the MBNA Thames Clipper service. We've already done a few trips and supplied a report of our findings so things are underway. Working with Thames Clippers has reminded us that the river is such a nice way to travel, especially on a sunny day!

Hockey Festival raffle.

Every year Whitgift School host the Charlie Hutton Hockey Festival in remembrance of Simon and Gill's son Charlie, and to help raise money for the RNLI. It's not your average hockey festival, with a glittering raffle, a scrumptious hog roast and, our personal favourite, Old Boys vs. All Stars (some fit dads and a few England Celebs!).

Each year the raffle prizes get more epic and this year is no exception. There is also going to be a silent bid (Sh!). We are waiting to confirm details of two of the items but Sam Hutton is offering a 1 hour set at your party or an event in or around the M25 (to hear Sam's music click here).

More details on this and the raffle prizes to be won will soon be posted on the CHHF website here. The winners of the raffle and silent bid will be announced at the Hockey Festival prize giving.

If you'd like to donate a prize, buy raffle tickets or put in a silent bid then please email or call Simon (simonhutton@tothepoint.co.uk).

This year the festival is on 5th September, starting at 10am with prizes announced at the end of the day, usually around 5pm.

Lady Bird exhibition

If you are feeling like a taste of nostalgia with a literary twist then the Lady Bird exhibition may be for you. Many of us still remember the brilliant illustrations bringing the stories to life and now the work of freelance illustrators responsible is on show for the world, and our younger team members to see/reminisce. The public program runs until mid September, so there's plenty of time to head down to the House of Illustration, check out the details here.

Slide to decide

Of course, we can't do an enews without mentioning the current exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, just a stones throw from TTP HQ. Carsten Holler: 'Decision' is the artists largest UK survey show to date, and it's more than just the slides you can see from the riverside.

Holler tries to turn our world upside-down and see the world from a new perspective, whether it is soaring above the traffic or on a pair of roaming robotic beds…! Our Account Manager Charlie paid the show a visit and gave it a pretty solid thumbs up, so we're all going to heed her advice to experience it ourselves and you should too! Full details here.


The combination of modern technology and materials nearly as old as time can often yield spectacular results. New York Studio Breakfast has created a screen for fashion brand Forever 21. However this screen has a bit of a twist, it uses over 6,000 spools of thread and over 200,000 moving parts to display Instagram pictures on the Forever 21 feed. The results are a wonder to behold.

To have a look at it in action click here. This reminds us of some work we had commissioned recently for a client using flip dots to display images, information or whatever you want really. The dots can even mirror someones actions in realtime using a camera. Take a look at some of the tests we conducted here (and yes it was as fun as it looks)! If you need us we will be trying to do the Thriller dance in front of the flip dots.

Have you heard…

How do you promote a business without shouting? Well, you create a whispering campaign of course, which is what we’ve been working on with Turley recently.

You may recognise Turley from our enews story on their full rebrand last year, if you can’t cast your mind back that far here’s a little refresher.

Planning specialists Turley have traditionally been modest about publicising their achievements, despite having plenty of things to shout about! Unlike most of their competitors Turley are known for their creative approach to the planning process, providing flexibility and above all having a team that people love to work with. They’re often known as ‘the industry’s best kept secret’.

After avoiding the limelight for so long, they decided it was time to quietly tell the world a little more about themselves. As well as deep experience, Turley’s personality is at the core of everything they do. A big, loud campaign would have fallen on deaf ears, so we created “Have you heard…” the world’s quietest campaign (although we still need World Record Breakers to confirm this fact).

“Have you heard…” gives Turley the flexibility to adapt the tag line depending on the topic. The first use has been to communicate the opening of their new office in Reading, but it could be used to let people know about projects, areas of the business or upcoming events, to name just a few.

The quirky line creates intrigue, and suggests latest news which can feed nicely into social media with #haveyouheard and #justheard. The overall conversational tone reflects that personal touch Turley have become famous for.

“After we decided to build the “Have you heard” campaign, TTP went away and came up with a number of visual concepts which we could go to market with. We’re really pleased with the initial results, and are looking forward to taking the concept further with new materials over the coming months.” 
Ben Walker, Marketing Manager at Turley

The right tone and content are key to being heard in the mass of daily communications, it’s not necessarily about shouting the loudest. Instead the focus should be on your personality and what your audience wants to hear. If campaigns or collateral don’t reflect your core brand, it will only leave your audience confused and wont achieve the results you want. If you’re loud, be loud and big, but if you’re more reserved, then that should follow through in your marketing. Whether you want to shout, sing, paint the town red or whisper, we’ll help you get to the point.

An Ace up our sleeve

Over the past few months we’ve been working with the team at ACE Circulation to create a refreshed identity and website that was able to keep up with their growing needs.

ACE are a trade association who bring together executives from all areas of the newspaper and magazine industry, from publishing and distribution, to wholesale and retail. The original identity and website wasn’t reflecting their 60+ years of knowledge and experience in the best light, so not only did we need to bring the functionality up to date but we had to give the look a shake up as well.

Their new site needed to be able to manage online event bookings, invoicing and payment and include a jobs database and login space for members. All this along with full responsive layout, analytics and a CMS that was easy to update…not much then!

We recommended Wordpress as the best CMS for them. It's flexible and robust nature meant it would handle their specific needs with ease, whilst being easy for them to maintain and update.

The new look and feel is much brighter, more contemporary and reflects the community base on which ACE prides itself. The paired back colour palette gives a more professional feel, whilst the burst of yellow helps to highlight key information and give the design a little edge.

We worked on the identity and web page designs at the same time so that the site really does reflect the new brand look and feel.

The site is now fully functioning and handling everything ACE and their members can throw at it, from blog posts about drinks on the roof of The Sun to celebrate the launch (we were there for the stunning views) to their up and coming Ping Pong Challenge (they’re a company after our own heart). With Wordpress, the site can now grow as they need it to, so this only marks the start of things for this ACE website!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The home of design

Over the last few months we’ve been spending a lot of time in trendy Fitzrovia and dodging tourists on Oxford Street, all in the name of design of course. We were invited back to Derwent London to work on the marketing materials for their property Holden House, a Grade II listed building whose office entrance is nestled on Rathbone Place, for its up and coming return to the market.

Each unit could be taken as a whole or split down to provide multiple spaces, spanning across floors if required. We needed to ensure the marketing materials showed the flexibility of the space, as well as selling the spaces and the building itself.

When we viewed the building’s floor plans, the shapes of each unit, and the way they could overlap to create new units, caught our attention and formed the basis of the final concept. We used these irregular shapes to create intersecting forms that shift and play with empty space.

We designed a quirky brochure, featuring die cut coloured stock, where the shapes overlap and reveal imagery and text as you read, evoking the sense of discovery that can be felt when walking through the building itself.

The website takes the idea of a traditional longform site and turns it on its head (well, its side to be precise!). As you scroll, the shapes shift and roll over one another. Continue scrolling and images are revealed as you explore the site. Some clever coding from our Head of Digital, James, means that each section of the site has a unique URL. As the site has no traditional pages it was important to create a way users could share or bookmark key areas such as the map or contact page.

The property flew off the shelves like hot cakes and is now fully let, and sadly no longer requiring the promotional website. Don’t worry though! The site lives on and you can still view the quirky side scrolling design on our demo site here.

Next step is to install the wayfinding for the building, which also follows the irregular shape theme, and will help ensure the new tenants, and their guests, can find their way around the labyrinth of Holden House, so watch this space.

Ideas that travel

June not only saw the arrival of the great British summer but it also saw an equally exciting event occur, the launch of the second Imagine Festival by the Transport Systems Catapult!

The Imagine Festival invites the greatest minds in transport to discuss how we can move people and goods around the country in a smarter way than we currently do. This strive towards clever journeys, or Intelligent Mobility, has an estimated worth of £900 billion per year by 2025 (and it’s trying to make driverless cars real, which we find even more exciting!).
This year we worked on the event program along with the VIP invite and a handful of other scene setting goodies. The team had collected some great photography of visitors in the midst of debate and enjoying the festival from the previous year, so these were used throughout the program. The strong use of photography was something that hadn’t featured in materials for the TSC until this point, however as the company grows so does their image library and the ability to add new dimensions to the brand.

The VIP invite uses the large IM and infographic (developed by us as a campaign brand to offer a visual explanation of Transport Systems and Intelligent Mobility), with a blue foil to highlight the graphic.

Imagine Festival also saw the launch of TSC’s new one-stop-data-shop website, imdata.co.uk, designed by our Head of Digital James, and featured in last months enews.

Hot on the heels of the Imagine Festival was also the Barriers to Innovation in Transport for Smart Infrastructure (Barrier to Innovation to its friends). We worked on the program for this event as well, creating a look and feel that felt independent from the Imagine Festival but still used the IM campaign ingredients.

 All in all it’s been a pretty busy month for the TSC and TTP teams, but it’s all been worth it. The event was a huge success, with speakers from Network Rail, Department for Transport, Arup and many more, and once again Twitter was buzzing with #imaginefest. We look forward to next year's!

June Roundup

KPing it real

If you have been looking out on Twitter you may have noticed that we are now working with KP Snacks alongside Tetris. We have been tasked with creating visual themes and implementing the KP Snacks brand throughout their new Slough office.

Our first presentation went down a treat and the team are looking forward to getting stuck into the next stage. As you can see from the photo, our request for some "research" samples was granted in spectacular style!

Design Week Top 100

We are delighted to announce that we made it into the Design Week Top 100! TTP have slotted in at a solid 82 and couldn't be happier. We're all going to raise a glass and pat ourselves on the back at some point this week, but first we must finish all of that award winning work!

Getting Bizzie with Lizzie

This month has seen the arrival of designer Lizzie. Lizzie studied 3D: Product and Furniture Design BA (Hons) at Northumbria University. Lizzie continued her studies here for an extra year and completed a Masters degree in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation (MA), before moving to New York to study Graphic Design at Shillington College.

Lizzie's diverse background allows her to push the boundaries whilst still being realistic about what is possible. Fun Fact! Her greatest achievement to date is completing a rubik’s cube in under three minutes!

Join Us

Not content with one new member to the TTP family, we're also on the look out for another! We're looking for a Senior Account Manager with a flair for interiors, branding and digital. They'll be heading up our Account Management team (they really are a lovely bunch) and working on a real mix of projects. If you think you might know someone who could fit the bill then they can find out a little more here.

Crystal What?

Immersive events seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment, and in a Power-To-The-People extravaganza the Crystal Maze has reached its crowd funding goal of £500,000. Personally we can’t wait to step into the Aztek zone and leave Simon in jail because we can't spare a crystal!

If you'd rather kick back and enjoy the experience instead of scrabbling for crystals, then Secret Cinema offers an interactive cinema experience ranging from Star Wars to The Grand Budapest Hotel.

There is also the elusive and super secret You Me Bum Bum Train, where individual passengers are catapulted into unimaginable situations. Sadly tickets sold out in two seconds flat, but you can still be a part of the experience by volunteering here! Or if you fancy an outdoors sing-a-long then you could always hit up Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in Regents Park… And for those who are after a more general guide, Eventbrite have just created a what to do in London this July Calendar!

No pen required!

Our wacom advocate Sarah has taken a shine to the most recent Adobe product. Continuing the recent family of Adobe tablet apps aimed at designers and artworkers is the latest release; Adobe Comp.

Adobe market Comp CC as ‘Real Layouts, Real Fast’, so you can ‘Design ideas on your iPad as smoothly and easily as drawing on paper.’ There’s a range of features built in to help you achieve your layout dreams. Intuitive drawing takes your fingertip gestures and builds them into solid shapes. Font libraries are provided courtesy of Typekit, and the app even has share capabilities so you can collaborate with colleagues before exporting to InDesign or Illustrator

Sounds promising so far.. but is it any good?

In the same way buying a digital camera doesn’t make you an instant photographer, using Comp CC won’t transform you into a fully fledged graphic designer. It won’t replace your sketchbook, or design for you. It merely acts as a bridge between drawing and desktop publishing.

More than a fad, after giving it a week long test, Adobe Comp CC is here to stay, in my life at least. It’s a great tool to streamline my time especially out the office, maximising those empty hours wasted commuting. No longer will I read tales of Jeremy Clarkson in the Metro. Now I can digitise my sketches, all from my fingertips… no pen required!

Monday, 1 June 2015

May Roundup

Through the keyhole

Sadly this festival has come to an end, but if you enjoy independent art exhibitions and you happen to also enjoy snooping around someone else’s house, then the Dulwich Festival Artist Open House is a win win and you should diarise it for next year. Click here for the open house website. This year our friend Carl Ison has been showing off his wares. You can still see Carl’s work on his site www.boxedin.london. Carl creates 3D box frame installations that can tell a multitude of stories from the nostalgic to the narrative of today, through his photography, typography, graphic awareness and content created or supplied. 

Design industry election

The big news of the month (perhaps the year if you discount Kim Kardashian giving birth to a compass) was the general election. So now we've had our new government for a few weeks, what does it mean on a specific level for us as an agency and the design community in general? Check out this informative article, it will arm you with a few cheeky factlets to whip out at the pub and wow your audience. You can thank us later. See the article in Design Week

Insert Title Here

<Insert witty and interesting story here>
Templates, especially Word and PowerPoint, can get a bit of a bad rap for stifling creativity and creating generic design, but it’s not all bad. Most design briefs still require bespoke design with creativity, however day-to-day internal pieces can be enhanced, cleaned-up and made easier to use with simple templates. They can be designed to reflect your brand, so that consistency can be maintained from top to bottom. To find out about some of the Word and PowerPoint templates we've been creating for property to financial clients and beyond just get in touch.

Borley vs Bracknell

The scene is set, the runners ready, the course is pristine. Just the starting gun and 13.1 miles separate 1,000 hopefuls from a shot at immortality. Little did the other athletes know that our very own Charlie Borley was lurking quietly confident behind the start line, with a trance like expression over her face. In the end there was blood (not so much) sweat and tears (from the other runners) as Charlie breezed across the finish line. The event was sponsored by The Pancreatic Cancer Research Group who are conducting research to help reduce the damage pancreatic cancer is causing. Visit pcrf.co.uk

Tough Mudder

We’d heard about it on the grape vine, we’d seen the odd promotional email, but now our glorious leader Mr Simon Hutton has paid for the privilege to watch his son Tom partake. A sunny day in Henley and a full cooked breakfast (hate those partially cooked ones) at ‘Bills’ set him up for the challenge of watching the devotees take part in this half marathon, crossed with an muddy assault course, hybrid. All survived unscathed, but it’s not a challenge any of us are rushing to tackle… just yet!! Team building anyone?

Tour de Croydon

Tomorrow will see the cycling elite descend upon Croydon. The unique Pearl Izumi Tour Series is coming into its seventh round and the competition is heating up. The South London Borough is making its series debut, hosting both the men's and women's events. So if you are a cycling nut then this is the event for you! We know our friends at Croydon BID will be getting excited! Maybe you will see us down there, cheering on Bradley Wiggins and co!