Tuesday, 3 February 2015

New for News UK

The long sunny days of August seem a distant memory as we march our way through January amidst rumours of sleet and snow, however August for us marked the start of an exciting new project with the Technology and Operations team at News UK.

Technology and Operations were looking to inject some of their personality into their new space on the 6th floor of 1 London Bridge, which sits directly opposite the Shard and is part of the same London Bridge Renzo Piano Scheme.

Each team within Technology and Operations relate to different sectors of News UK’s business; ranging from digital, print, customer management and logistics, and prior to their move to 1 London Bridge they operated as silos. There was a desire for a more responsive, dynamic and communicative environment that encouraged the exchange of ideas. This gave us the hard task of creating something that could help unify the teams without loosing their independence.

The concept is grounded with the humble pixel and line. These two devices work hard to convey the technology involved in the teams, and also their collaboration. A pixel can work alone or be one part of the bigger picture, equally a line can work alone or to connect any number of people, things, places or anything you like!

To keep a sense of identity each team (there are ten in total) was associated a colour; which was applied to one of the pillars within their workspace, and a meeting room that would reflect their core message or USP. Through a series of meetings, doodles and brainstorming sessions we got to know each of the teams and how they wanted to be represented – from the customer focused CMP team to the process driven Infrastructure team. When combined the whole floor would tell a visitor the story of Technology and Operations and what they offer.

The coloured team pillars not only offered effective signposting, but also broke up the repetition and neutrality of the floor to provide a little bit of colour and personality to the work place environment.

The project is split into two stages, the first was the application of the concept to signage, pillars and meeting room exteriors to instantly provide a visual identity that held the floor together and complemented the modern interior office space with all its restrictions and many, many pillars. The second stage will look at the individual teams meeting rooms, and how their core message can be expressed.

Stage 1 is now complete and we’re poised ready for the start of stage 2. The feedback so far has been very positive from both the teams and those at higher levels, and has had the initial desired effect of creating a core concept that integrates the teams and provides a sense of identity to the floor. Stage 1 was very much about glass manifestations and vinyls whereas stage 2 will be more about bespoke artworks and installations, watch this space!

Hoarding good ideas

It only takes a quick look across the London horizon line to spot all the cranes reshaping our city, foundations go down and the structures go up all hidden behind the humble hoarding, a regularly over looked piece of the marketing materials.

Of course we don’t want to tar all hoardings with the same brush, however they don’t always reach their full potential. This canvas should be actively considered as a key part of the marketing, embodying the scheme as much as the other collateral does. 

The hoardings used for the regeneration in the Kings Cross area earn the gold star for hoardings in our books as they’re used to show exhibitions at local galleries, to provide nice areas to sit and enjoy your Metro (can any one think of any development sites that offer that?!) and there’s even a viewing tower for the extra nosey.
Our hoardings for The Francis Crick Institute are used as a chance to engage people in the work of Francis Crick and what the institute will do in the future. For the launch during the Olympics we had “busking scientists” in the area to engage with people and take the hoardings that next step further.

It can also act as your voice to the community, keeping them informed and excited about the positive effect the build will have. Using a time line to show the progression, demonstrating the schemes green credentials through a living wall, or even be used as way finding for people during the works. On a more basic level they can be something aesthetically pleasing and engaging for someone to look at as they wait for the bus! 

Working with an experienced design team will help to ensure your hoardings work as hard as they can, capturing that extra audience and everyone that comes into contact with the scheme during it’s initial stages. From large Dibond hoardings covering an entire scheme in Worcester, to window graphics for a luxury development in Budapest, our range of work in this space proves we can really get to the essence of your scheme and ensure your hoardings are working to their full potential.

Don't Quote Me On It...

Have I Told You Lately...
That we luff you, with two f's. That's why we couldn't let the month of amouré pass us by without giving away some swoon worthy prints and gifts. Our love doesn't come free though, we're going to make you work for it with a romantically themed quote bank quiz (here). We'll choo-choo-choose the winners in a heart racing, butterfly inducing prize draw consisting of the top scoring entries. Now, if you need us we'll be looking for love in all the wrong places.

The Winners Circle
We've started the New Year with some exciting news, we won a 6 way tender to brand the exhibition and lab space for the The Francis Crick Institute! With an impressive building, award winning sculpture and of course the pioneering work that will be undertaken here, the pressure is on. Having working on their hoardings a few years ago it’s great to be invited to help with their interiors. Construction is well underway just outside King’s Cross Station, with our first site visit complete we’ve started off with some cracking concepts, so watch this space.

Technical Spectacles
Wearable tech is the future so we are told, although we still need a bit of convincing to actually wear these headpieces. Tech giants Microsoft and Google have both released their own version of the new technology. The long awaited Google Glass (that arrived without many people noticing) is being “re-evaluated” this month, and it's unclear how long Google will keep supporting the venture. Microsoft on the other hand are making giant leaps into the world of augmented reality. Their new Hololens headset blends the digital and the real world into a seamless unity. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the video and watch the innovation before your very eyes.

Gods Own Junk Yard 
The neon craze is in full swing, from shop signage to interior branding (some we’ve created for our clients featured here. Whilst walking through Soho last week we happened upon the pop up ‘Gods Own Junk Yard’, we say happened upon, it illuminates the street so it's hard to miss! Described as a wonderland of creativity, the late Chris Bacey’s iconic work started as signs for racy Soho sex shops but the collection grew and now the company boasts one of the largest collection of neon signs and are the oldest sign makers in London! The exhibition has ended but never fear you can still find their signs in their online, their Walthamstow shop and even in Selfridges!

And The Winners Are.....
The results from the quotebank quiz are in! After careful analysis of the scores we can announce that the winner of a day screen printing at Print Club London is another expert printer, Mr Smith. Who you may remember was featured as part of our enews a few months ago when we visited his letterpress studio! Runners up who will receive a limited edition quotebank quiz poster (some might think the better prize) are Jenni Dixon from CBRE, Lizzie Lockett from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Scott Hart from LHK Fine Wines.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Year Ye, Year Ye

2014 has been a busy 12 months for us here at tothepoint, and as we're coming to the year end, we wanted to look at the exciting work created for clients old and new. Click the titles to read the full stories!

New Year, New Capital
New Capital was the newest product from our client EFG Asset Management and in the New Year they asked us to create an impactful identity and website for their investors. It was essential that the identity reflected the strong research, data analysis and insight that inform the selection of each investment, and which sets this fund apart.

New Depths of Design
In February we dove into design with Rockpool Investments, refreshing their identity, website and printed materials to give them a more contemporary look, whilst building on the brand's existing foundation. We also developed a strapline and a series of icons to help better define them in a crowded market place.

Turley, Madly, Deeply
In March we won a three way pitch to rename and rebrand Turley (formerly Turley Associates), who are one of the UK's biggest planners - working with equally sizeable developers such as Land Securities and British Land. With client interviews and brand workshops at board director level it was a challenging undertaking but we think the results speak for themselves and Turley has had a great response to the new look.

Building a Brand for a Building
Derwent London specialise in office regeneration and investment, and the innovative and creative approach they bring to their work is certainly close to our hearts. Earlier this year we developed the name, identity and marketing material (including a new and unusual website) for Charlotte St Studios. This has been such a success that all the spaces are now let and the site is now out of the public domain. Watch this space though as it'll be on our site soon!

IMagine That!
Our work for Transport Systems Catapult all began with our work for the Imagine Festival where we designed the brand and website for the event. This led to the creation of the IM campaign to promote intelligent mobility. We worked on a number of projects from office exteriors and interiors to animations and merchandise, plus everything in-between.

Exceeding Excellence
Each year in June the CIPR celebrate and award the cream of the crop in public relations at their Excellence Awards dinner. Each year we work on the branding and collateral for the event, and this year we embraced the disco ball!

Thinking Logically
July flew past us, as we started working with News UK's News Logistics on their brand and interior workplace, with a turnaround time of 8 weeks from brief to completion. We managed to agree the naming as well as design, artwork, and install the new brand with interior graphics for their ‘News Logistics’ division, on time and on budget. It's fair to say that it was a busy couple of months!

Tickled Pink
Following on from refreshing their website earlier in the year, in August we saw our local area through rose tinted specs, and that’s a good thing! We helped Better Bankside refresh their brand and launch their 2015 BID campaign, which included their ballot proposal book, an invite, leaflet, roll banner…the list goes on! They were successful so they can keep up the good work (and adding that dashing shade) in our local area.

Making Waves
We gained our sea legs in September with Thames Clippers and their new partner MBNA. We implemented their new logo across various brand touchpoints, as well as evolving their guidelines to cover all the changes, which just goes to show that we don’t need to have designed the logo to apply it.

All Change!
TFL and Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) called for students to innovate bus travel for visually and hearing impaired people through their recently launched All Aboard Competition – you may have seen it on the 6 O’clock news!

The In Crowd
November we were in with the in crowd as EFGAM launched their In8 publication series. From the thought leadership approach of Invest to engaging and informative infographics that brought to life complex investment themes, we were involved throughout.

Words of Wisdom
Festivities have begun and some wise men (and women) at Croydon BID are encouraging party-goers to stay safe during the Christmas season with a range of posters and promotional items to 'Wise Up'!

These, along with many other projects, including lots of new exciting work on interiors, have been keeping us busy this year, which is why we 'love where we work' too. Plus there's a few wins we'll be talking to you about in January that we can't wait to get started!

We want to send a big thank you to all the clients and suppliers we've worked with in 2014 and look forward to developing these and new relationships in 2015! 

Words of Wisdom

Christmas is here (in case you hadn’t noticed) in all its merry mulled wine glory, and as spirits rise in Croydon, the Croydon Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership, are keen to to remind merry Croydon-ites how to stay safe on a night out and avoid letting Christmas cost them more than they think.

In the last two years the area of Croydon has blossomed thanks to the successful initiatives from Croydon BID, and the Christmas party season is no different with the launch of the recent Wise Up! campaign aimed at keeping the city centre safe and enjoyable for all.
The campaign centres around five core themes to help keep the fun times flowing whilst staying safe and planning ahead. Together with Croydon BID we decided to use bold headlines that reflect the internal monologue we're all guilty of having (how many times have you uttered the phrase "what's the worst that can happen?!"), juxtaposed with images that show the negative side of each theme or phrase - A wandering hand in a bag, the wary journey home or the room looking a little fuzzy after leaving your drink out of sight.

The poster campaign (which will be in 75 poster sites across Croydon, as well as in pubs and clubs) acts as a quick, sharp wake up call to remember the basics whilst you're out to ensure the night stays festively fabulous and that you get home safely....whatever time that may be!

So if you're planning on heading out in Croydon, keep your eyes peeled for our posters and leaflets, but most importantly wise up and stay safe!

The posters ready to go out at Croydon BID HQ

The quote bank (aka our 2015 calendar!)

As you can imagine in a busy studio such as ours, many priceless gems come out during day to day discussions. They’re mostly the things we wish we hadn't said...or, more importantly, things we wish hadn't been heard, although until now they've never left the studio. As with any supportive environment we thought it was only best these little diamonds were recorded and immortalised in our 2015 calendar.

From mispronunciations to the downright non-sensical, these are all genuine comments from the team (although some members contribute more than others...). We hope you enjoy them and this little insight into our world.

Feel free to join in and share your moments of enlightenment on Twitter with #thequotebank or here, where you can also play the quote bank quiz! Your mission, should you choose to accept it' is to guess who uttered ten famous quotes, in three minutes. If you finish top of the quiz we'll send you one of the quote bank limited edition prints. Furthermore tell us your favourite famous phrase and our expert quote judges will be awarding the funniest with two vouchers for a one-day screen printing workshop, so you can print your own quotes. Click here to play the quote bank quiz!

The quote bank calendars are being shipped out now, a little early Christmas present from us, to see you through 2015. If you don’t receive one, fear not, just drop us an email and we will do our best to send one to you.

Here's a sneak peak of what's to come...

Monday, 1 December 2014

Marble At Our Wall

If someone suggested a marble wall to you, you might think they'd lost their marbles. However to us, and our clients at DTZ, it sounded like a great idea for a feature wall for a recently refurbished building on Great Titchfield Street, London. The final eye catching lobby art contained 5,000 marbles, held in place by machined brushed steel and illuminated from behind by rows of LED’s.

We love a challenge and this piece gave us quite a few…Starting with sourcing 5,000 marbles in the same style and size in a variety of colours, obvious to us now, the House of Marbles (and a great place to shop for some stocking fillers!). Once we’d approved the samples we produced a simple cardboard test to show the client how they could be spaced in the steel frames. After some simple maths equations we were able to place our order and wait for the next shipment from Mexico… not everything is made in China.

We then began work on the technical aspect of the project, creating drawings and detailed plans for further prototypes. This stage included calculating the weight, supports, materials and installation logistics of the piece. Additional prototyping was an important part of the development as it threw up issues and allowed us to plan in detail the correct lighting and spacing for the final piece.

Working with a product designer and an engineer the final technical specs were produced and approved for production. The steel shell surrounding the entire piece was designed to give a clean but industrial feel while complimenting the steel surround of the lift and stair stringer. To allow easy access to the inner workings - the lights and wiring - the system was designed more like a door than a wall façade, using heavy duty industrial hinges so that the wall can be updated at any time.

The next hurdle was to fit the 3 metre high and 2 metre wide art installation between a lift, stairs and post boxes. The frame and door were a tight fit through the building and after a few teething problems the lights were switched on in time for Christmas. 

Apart for the visual impact, one of the other interesting aspects is the interactive element of the wall. Running your hands over it, feeling the marbles rotate, positioning the coloured ribbons in the marbles in different ways which interacts with the light passing through are all addictive. We just hope it doesn’t delay the staff too long on their way to and from work.

The In Crowd

In8 are now a series of eight publications used by EFGAM as a framework for conversations with investors. Before becoming In8 each publication existed in some guise, but were disparate, so the team was keen to bring the publications together in some way.

Initially the thought of not only understanding the complexity of global and regional approaches in the investment discretionary sector, but also turning it into a functional, engaging brand with digestible infographics that stood out from the competition, made our heads spin.

But, after plenty of swatting up (and some invaluable help from the EFGAM team) we created a unique and distinctive brand, that kept the information clear and relevant, with a visual tool kit that enabled the team to use a system across all eight In8 publications, both locally and globally.

Through a visual language of graphic devices and infographics the In8 brand moves away from cliché abstract imagery used by competitors to create clear, concise communication pieces, that informs and engages the audience (after all that is at the heart of what we do).

Evolved from the existing EFGAM honeycomb device, we created icons to differentiate the pieces that are used as quick reference points. They sit within the banner to notify the reader which theme the publication represents.

Following on from the investment theme icons, we created new chart styles to represent strategic and tactical information to convey the core investment approach of EFGAM. Using changes in colour and shape we were also able to communicate a large amount of information simply (and stylishly might we add!), to quickly allow the inhouse team and clients to interpret the content and difference in information so that they could evaluate and choose their approach more easily.

The eight publications each required different deliverables ranging from banners for Word documents and InDesign master templates to full implementation of materials. Once the tools were in place it was a case of working with the team to provide everything they would need to easily role the style out in house as and when required. This involved not only the templates themselves, but also guidelines to explain the style and its flexibility. As our client said the system is disciplined by nature, flexible by design. 

Mo Mews

'Tache Tales

As you may have spotted from our ‘tache updates the ‘tothepoint ticklers’ have completed their month long challenge in aid of men’s health. The men here have put up with strange looks, comical comparisons - Ned Flanders, Hulk Hogan and the cast of Blackadder to name a few - and an itchy upper lip for 30 days.

Thanks for all your support and funding. After a month we have raised a grand total of £305 If you would still like to donate, click here!

Green Giants

Following on from our branding of the News Logistics’ interiors we have created seven giant 1.2m pyramid signs hanging 50ft in the air. These define specific teams or areas within their huge warehouse. By creating instantly recognisable icons and using bold, clear type no one will need a map to locate each team here! Watch out for our other work for News UK at their new offices at The Place London Bridge.

Wedding Bells

A massive congratulations to our senior designer Sar-…sorry Mrs Callaghan! Aside from the invite (the hardest job any designer will ever be tasked with) Sarah was the most relaxed bride-to-be we’ve ever seen! She headed back last weekend to the West Country to tie the knot with new husband Chris. With the confetti barely settled the new Mrs C. is back with us for a short time before heading off to New Zealand on her honeymoon!

From Channel to Tape Tunnels

Our work with interiors often challenges us to create a space that represents the heart of the business. Unfortunately no brief has quite been suitable for an installation reflecting a mind/body organism… Luckily Tape Paris already has this covered! These translucent passageways are constructed purely of tape wrapped around concrete pillars through the gallery. So if you fancy hopping across the channel before January next year you can experience it in the flesh. Read further details here.

Flipping Fun

We've been sprucing up some old technology with some new technology with our new friends in the good old U S of A and while they've been enjoying thanksgiving we thought we'd give you a preview of some early experimentation... We're hoping this will turn into a major project for 2015 subject to planning but thought it might inspire others to chat to us about 'flipdots'... Watch this space... 

Digital Corner - Listen to yourself!

How much attention do you pay, to who's paying attention to you online? Read a few thoughts from us on how to get to grips with your online audience, and who's listening. 
Click here to find out more.