Thursday, 2 October 2014

Fall for our roundup

Pomak and the Painter

Over the years we have built up good relationships with clients based overseas, such as New York, San Francisco, Dubai and a little closer to home in Ireland. At the beginning of September, one of our senior designers, Jem, flew over to Dublin to oversee the installation of an exciting new project. It called for us to use some old techniques and methods we had not used for some time. One of the highlights was using Dublin based signwriter, Colm O'Connor, who brought some of our icons and messaging to life on real wood. You can see him in action in the video Gentlemen of Letters.                                                                                                                                                                  
We are still trying to work out if Jem was more impressed with the painting or the pint of real Guinness before his flight home.

Totally Bricking It!

September 24 has seen the launch of ‘The Art of The Brick’ at Truman’s brewery - to put this plainly, it's an entire exhibition filled with lego sculptures! That's right, childhood dreams do come true.

Created by New York Artist Nathan Sawaya, the sculptures are bound to leave both children and adults in awe. The highlight has to be the 20ft dinosaur, but there are also some special London influence pieces.

Reasons to be Creative

At the beginning of this month, our very own Jem Pomak went to his very first design conference and learnt a very pertinent lesson:

"The running theme of Reasons to be Creative seemed to be “design what you know and love”, although that might have just been my dreamy-eyed first-conference-wander talking. One speaker in particular, James Victore hammered home how important it is to design boldly, saying “If it doesn’t move you, how can you expect it to move anyone else?”. It was just one little thing but it really hit home, as an agency we do design with passion but it's not something I'd consciously thought of before.".

Our picks from LDF

If this year's London Design Festival has been a bit overwhelming for you we have picked a couple of our favourites for you to have a look at.
If Dominic's self-driving car is anything to go by, the future is going to be a beautiful place! Wilcox predicts that by 2058 (very specific) it will be safer to ride in driverless vehicles than ones controlled by humans. Our client, Transport Systems Catapult agree, as they're currently trialling driverless pods.

Dan's latest installation draws inspiration from the sci-fi writer Phillip K Dick, who stated that endless clutter builds up in a persons life as ‘kipple’. Through Dan’s Studio there is a pathway defined by the absence of miscellaneous clutter. From afar, it would be easy to think that the items have been spray painted to achieve the effect, but look closer and the sheer scale of the project becomes clear.

A tricky start for the iPhone 6

With more competition than ever before, Apple-sceptics had a fun September. Initial reports that iOS8 had more bugs than usual were joined with complaints on-line that the new iPhone 6 was actually bending!

Many have been quick to jump on the Apple bashing wagon with the likes of LG being swift to take the mickey “Our phones don’t bend, they’re naturally curved :) #bendgate.” (However, if you are going to poke fun at iPhones, then using one to send the tweet is probably not the smartest move!)

This all highlights the importance of some serious testing before launching something, whether it's a bendable phone or a mis-interpreted logo!

The science underdogs

This week the world of Science has recognised some of the contributions made to mankind that make very little difference (even the underdog needs a bit of recognition).There are some truly cracking entries, but we've picked our top three:

1. Researchers who have studied the slipperiness of a banana skin
2. Pork strips stuffed into peoples noses to stop severe nosebleeds.
3. The men who dressed up as polar bears to study reindeers reactions (sadly we do not have an image for this one, that said our imagination does a pretty good job).

Luckily some of our science based clients are striving for slightly more ‘impact’ and ‘imovation’.

Challenge over but not out

Well, Sam completed his Challenge-Charlie 97 days of running with his final 12k along the banks of the Bosphorus with our MD, his Dad, desperate to complete it with him.

In a tremendous effort by Sam he has raised thousands of pounds for the Team Hutton Just Giving page from sales of the now iconic ‘Join Us’ T-shirt and donations. You may have seen some of our team out running in our shirts over the bridges along the Thames on a Wednesday after work (finishing with a well earned pint at the Mudlark!).

The last weekend park run on the 14th September will be a difficult one to forget, as Sam was joined by many of those who had run with him for one epic run (and picnic) in Battersea Park. What has been truly inspirational is the lasting effect these runs have had on people, transforming non-runners into runners. We certainly intend to keep it up, so if you fancy joining us let us know... we’ve even got some T-shirts left so you wont feel left out. To find out more about the actual Challenge and Sam’s 97 days of running, visit the website. Well done Sam - we’re all proud of you, and a little bit fitter!

Sorry, summer’s gone

Now that the summer has come to an end, illustrator Seth Armstrong’s feature ‘Book your Stay’ in Mr Porter reminds us of the hot days and holidays past, as we now wait for the wind and rain of Autumn. Armstrong paints some of the world’s most famous novels held up agains the background of the novel itself. The results are something to behold.

Tickled Pink

You may have noticed little splashes of magenta in our Enews and local area over the past couple of months. This has been our work for our local Business Improvement District (BID), Better Bankside’s 2015 ballot campaign. From a leave behind leaflet, a 2m high roller display to branding a bike, with the BID proposal brochure as the finale, we've been helping them to get their message out there.

The upcoming ballot has also provided the perfect catalyst for positive change and an evolution of the Better Bankside’s sub brands – Visit Bankside, Bankside Venues, Bankside*, Bankside Buzz and Bankside Urban Forest. Each subbrand has a strong identity and personality that was beginning to appear distant from the Better Bankside brand and at ballot time it is essential that people know what the BID has delivered.

We started with a joint audit and rationalisation of their identity and communications, creating a clear and consistent brand hierarchy for the group. This enables us to clearly communicate the offerings and structure of the BID for their 2015 campaign, whilst building on the recognition of the main Better Bankside identity.

‘Bankside’ acts as the main connection in both location and the titles. Highlighting this was a core principle with the new visual language. Our work introduces the range of offerings all under the Bankside ‘umbrella’ and helps both businesses and locals to recognise the breadth and success of work completed by the Better Bankside team.

It was key to keep the main Bankside logo unchanged, as their colour palette and slab font are established and widely recognised. By retaining these two key elements, the design relies on clear and sympathetic typography to reinforce the hierarchy and distinguish the sub brands from the main identity.

Each of the campaign pieces followed this theme of clear, concise communication (great minds think alike!) using their bold recognisable colour palette and making use of strong imagery.

At the same time we challenged the volume of communications and looked at simplifying these to shorter more succinct pieces that linked through to the websites we had previously designed. Creating one simplified e-newsletter was the vehicle for this strategy. The template was built so Better Bankside can now create, edit and send their enews quickly and efficiently in-house. Check out their monthly updates here.

The culmination of this work is the ballot brochure that is hot off the presses and winging its way to all the Better Bankside businesses… of which we are one. You’re doing a great job guys, you’ve got our vote!

Making Waves

Most of our clients keep our feet firmly on land, however recently we’ve taken to the high seas (well, the Thames…) to work with Thames Clippers and their newest partner MBNA.

Louise Errington, MBNA Thames Clippers’ Head of Marketing, had worked with us before joining Thames Clippers’ crew and so contacted us to help with rolling out their new logo, which was designed by MBNA’s inhouse team.

The ceremonial Champagne is still drying on the bow, but you may have already spotted the newly branded fleet on the river and the revamped pier signage. However, still to come are the river and commuter guides. A large amount of people use the Clippers to sail through the rush hour (thank you MBNA Thames Clippers for that pun) and so these guides will give them bite sized chunks of information about the service.

Katie and Jem enjoyed the launch event - Picture from
Along with implementing the logo across their marketing materials, we also created their brand guidelines to help the team with creating any new or day-to-day pieces.

We often find clients can be wary of approaching a branding and design agency to help implement an existing logo, not to mention creating brand guidelines. The perception being that these agencies will want to change the logo and start from scratch. Poppycock! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; and other such clichés as this particular project proves. (But if it is broke then we’ll let you know!)

There are benefits to a fresh pair of professional eyes for the implementation of an identity through to easy to use guidelines. Strong and memorable identities are far more than just the logo, so this is where the knowledge and attention to detail of those fresh eyes can really add value to your brand. Guidelines then go on to look at things that may not have been covered in the logo’s design, such as what happens when you need to place it on a coloured background, and what font do you use with it? Whether staff leave or you change your design agency, professional guidelines help ensure that a company can apply and implement their identity consistently across all brand touchpoints.

Collaborating with a creative team, like those at MBNA Thames Clippers, isn’t something that’s new to us (we are a friendly bunch after all). We’ve also worked with teams at Turley and The Technology Partnership, creating initial visuals and designs for the team to carry forward.

Hopefully our recent work with MBNA Thames Clippers proves the power of collaboration, and if you would like to create a dream team with us, why not get in touch?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Summer Snippets

A Cut Above the Rest

Simon visited the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern this month as one of over 200 Better Bankside levy payers, and it was always going to be something of a highlight. Watching films of Henri Matisse at work with colour and form demonstrated the gulf between being artistic and a true pioneering artist. We often say to young designers that true artists work for themselves and for self-expression, while designers help clients express their vision for their brand. However, more and more these days we see the inextricable link between art and design, where the work we do is often elevated by incorporating art into the creative expression of a brand. The show is a must see, so many thanks Better Bankside for the invite.

A Viral Lesson

The ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ is a viral campaign that has been unmissable since it began on July 29th clogging up everyone’s newsfeeds - Even Simon's gotten involved. Although pouring ice cold water over yourself isn't everyone's cup of tea, the campaign has so far raised £50 million for the ALS Association with 1.7 million contributors. Making it not only a success but also a lesson on this contagious form of campaign. See Linkedin's marketing lessons here.

Digital Indulgence

Some of us here at TTP recently visited The Barbican to see their ‘Digital Revolution’ 3 areas of pure digital indulgence. You’re taken on a nostaligc journey through time and a showcase of classic machines, games and software from the past 40 years. Once through here you get to the digital extravaganzas and the projects the past paved the way for, from Hollywood special effects to innovative use of online media. Just when you think you’re near the end, you turn another corner to be dazzled by something you didn’t expect. Fancy turning into a digital crow or seeing a giant godlike effigy of Will.I.Am complete with clockwork orchestra? Then this is for you.

Bring Back Neon

This month we’ve created a neon sign for one of our clients, suggesting that ‘Italian’s tweet better’. One of a few neon signs we’re working on at the moment, it seems the retro style is coming back. Forming one of many design pieces created to add a personal touch to their office spaces around the globe. Amongst tuts of disapproval from other offices, the illuminated sign has brought discussion as to who does tweet better. Do you think #italianstweetbetter and if not who does?


As part of our ongoing work with News UK we had a walk around the new News UK building (that's a tongue twister) ‘The Place’, and were blown away by their conversion of still photography into animated, stop motion imagery. It's called parallax and uses a little Photoshop wizardry with some After Effects skills to bring photos to life as slow motion shots. Examples of parallax shown here have inspired us to get cracking and test it with some of our clients. Contact James or Simon for more info.

Snoopers Paradise

If you're prone to a little curtain twitching, then we recommend getting yourself to one of Open House's 750 open houses available to nosey around for free on 20th-21st September. With highlights such as restored Churches, award winning sustainable houses, an eco-village, London Underground HQ and even number 10 Downing Street, the event aims to promote public awareness and appreciation of the capital's building design and London architecture. An event not to be missed.

Rand Re-issued

Originally released in 1947, Paul Rand's 'Thoughts on Design' is finally being reissued. This is great news as used copies were changing hands for just under £170 on Amazon. Rand is widely recognised as one of the major influences in the history of graphic design. Written at the height of his career, and with a new foreword by design luminary Michael Bierut, this book is as relevant today as it was when first published. This classic treatise is an indispensable addition to the library of every designer, including us here at TTP.

The Tower of London Remembers

As you might be aware by now here at ttp our weekly runs in aid of Challenge Charlie take us along the banks of the Thames. As part of the route we’re witness to the Tower of London’s moat progressively filling with Paul Cummins’ ceramic poppies. By Nov 11th 16 acres will be filled with 888,246 poppies, representing every soldier that gave their life in WW1. The sheer scale of this project creates a powerful reminder of the tragedy. Each handmade poppy has been sculpted by artists, and you can see how they’re made here.

House of Vans

The tunnels under London Waterloo station have been transformed by Van’s and are now open to the public. The newly launched multi purpose venue has an indoor skate park, 850-capacity music venue, a 160-seat cinema and a gallery, as well as two bars and a café. This concept is tried and tested in Brooklyn and Van’s have brought it to London, working with the local community and stakeholders to cement its place on the London scene. It’s free for all and open Wednesday to Sunday. For details, see here.

Talking Statues

The clever people at Sing London have brought some warmth to some of London and Manchester's stone hearted residents. Scanning a QR code or typing in a web address sees the user receiving a call from one of the 25 statues across both cities (no app necessary for once!). So if looking popular in public places is your thing then this is right up your alley. The phone call has been recorded by voice actors and celebrities alike to give a whole new dimension to some of Britain's famous monuments. The project is running for a year so there is plenty of time to check out all 50! For  more information see here.

Personal Space

The workplace for many of us can seem like second home, but more importantly it's the physical space of your company and your brand. Whether an identity has recently been created or it’s well established, why does its branding tend to stop at the usual reception desk, website or brochure? With 20 years working closely with many companies we know that a brand should span every touch-point, whether it’s taking your number from your business card, getting directions from your website or stepping into your workspace for the first time. People should feel connected to your brand.

From an internal perspective, a branded workspace helps boost moral. After all, creating a stimulating and engaging environment is only going to have a positive effect on how people engage with their company and the work they do.

However, don’t be mistaken, adding personality to your workspace does take more than a motivational poster but that’s not to say it has to be a mammoth task or pull on resources. As with any branded material you produce you need to set your goals, your timeframe and your budget and go from there.

Working with an experienced design team will ensure you not only reach your goals, but they will also help guide you through the process as you go. With many of our clients we not only provide creative but also organise site visits to measure up, ensure health and safety is adhered to and installation is managed with as little hassle to daily working life as possible.

Our creative work has spanned from large format graphics covering two floors, to equally large wooden letterpress walls; and right down to the smaller details like branded glass H&S manifestations and wayfinding. Our breadth of clients, from those pioneering the change in Britain’s transport systems, to teams providing printed press to the masses and even social media champions, proves that we really can get to the crux of your brand and deliver a space that echoes your values and engages your staff and clients.

The images above are all items we've designed and produced for our clients, so why not take a look at some more of our workplace environments here.

Challenging Design

Cyber Security Challenge (CSC) aims to uncover hidden cyber security talent from across the UK through competitions, challenges and learning programs, and then work to develop their skill sets to help them enter the industry.

It’s an exciting world, and their work uncovers some immense talent (we attempted one of the competitions, and it’s fair to say we didn’t make the grade!). However, the complete redesign of their website was a challenge more up our alley.

CSC asked us to provide a dynamic new design, supported by a whole new CMS. To improve on their out of date and inflexible system we suggested Wordpress as the best platform. Due to its blogging past, many dismiss Wordpress as an inferior CMS option, however, don’t be fooled! It’s moved on leaps and bounds over the years, becoming the most popular platform in the world. With a global community of developers and resource, Wordpress is ever improving making it a powerful and future proof solution. And being selected by a company specialising in cyber security must give it some brownie points!

All design requires a good foundation, so at the start of this project we worked closely with CSC to define how they wanted to feature their content, along with identifying their target audiences and the journeys they’re likely to take on the site. From here we created a sitemap and a series of wireframes to define key areas of content.

Once we had a plan in place we were able to move on to the look and feel of the site, creating a homepage with a dynamic ‘magazine’ style, allowing different types of content (article, video etc) to be added helping to keep it looking fresh.

The final stage is the build, during this time we also fine tune aspects such as the responsive layout. Although this is addressed early on, it can’t be finalised until the site is constructed - for example the initial breakpoints were adjusted to better fit Google’s small Nexus 7 tablet screen size.

The site is then ready to be unleashed on the world, and is transferred over to the chosen hosting provider – in this case Skyscape who supply and manage incredibly secure website hosting – website security is an obvious requirement given the subject matter! Take a look at the site and let us know what you think.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Thinking logically

This month has flown by so fast at one point we were scared to blink! We started working with News UK around eight weeks ago when they first asked us to come in to discuss the structure and naming of their operations division. This aspect of News UK included the already successful Newsprinters brand, which we had created a few years earlier. Within a short space of time we managed to agree the naming as well as design, artwork, produce and install a new brand and interior graphics for their ‘News Logistics’ division.

Following initial talks and naming, we ran a full day workshop to help their team explore some of the key aims and aspirations for News Logistics prior to embarking on the branding. The workshop was a melting pot of ideas, exploring and defining a vision for the business, a mission statement, a set of values and how they wanted to be perceived both internally and to clients.

As a result of the day we were able to define some key themes that needed to shine through in the branding and a link back to Newsprinters was key. The best way to do this was to maintain the globe icon from Newsprinters and the impactful colour. Their knowledge and existing infrastructure is also key to their offering, with a focus on building strong, long term partnerships.

The brand uses various graphic devices, the most obvious being the use of A-B (suggesting what they do in the most simplest form), and A-Z (denoting the breadth of their offering).

More subtle is the use of the chevron, of course a symbol related with road travel. However scratch a little deeper and it suggests movement and forward motion, a company that isn’t standing still but looking to the future.

The idea of partnerships is shown through the wall graphics and also in the playful names of the meeting rooms (great and successful partnerships: Laurel and Hardy, Tom and Jerry to name a few) and the strapline that came out of the workshop; ‘Proud To Deliver’, features across various materials produced for the launch including some staff giveaways.

The space is now decked out with graphics and manifestations, and filled with News Logistics staff. The response has been fantastic, and their team are really pleased with their new home. It’s gone down so well we are now looking at livening up a few more spaces including their huge warehouse and beyond…

Fancy a Challenge?

You might have noticed that we’ve donned our running shoes of late; well it’s all been in the name of something called Challenge Charlie.

Challenge Charlie has been set up by Sam Hutton (the name’s no coincidence - he’s Gill and Simon’s lad) in honour of his younger brother Charlie who tragically died in a boating accident in 2012. Sam is challenging himself to run every day for 97 days, and he’s asking others to join him and get fit, as well as raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI).

Challenge Charlie started on the 16th June (Gill’s birthday) and will be continuing until 20th September – Charlie’s birthday. The run is mainly London based, from laps of Battersea Park to tourist dodging along the Thames, however Sam encourages anyone to carve out their own course and challenge themselves in Charlie’s memory.

Sam says: “We wanted to create something that everyone can take part in and to inspire others to take up the challenge by running and getting fit. Charlie stood for sport, he stood for health and he stood for fitness.

“Ever the competitive little brother and being a cheeky teenager, if Charlie was running with us, he would have sprinted past us shouting "Speed up bro's, call this running?!” So, what better way to honour his memory than to push ourselves through various sport and fitness challenges.”

The schedule has been carefully constructed by Sam based on Charlie’s life. Born in 1997 the entire distance adds up to 772km, which equates to 1km for every week Charlie lived his life. Equally, 97 days equates to 14 weeks, and each week starts with a 2km run on the Monday and culminates on Sunday with 14km. That's1 km for each of the 14 years he lived.

Sam and Tom (Charlie’s other big brother) have been working hard showing their appreciation for the RNLI – an extraordinary charity run by ordinary people – for their efforts on that tragic day. The dynamic duo started with the BUPA Great South Run in October 2012 and the challenges have grown from there, with the London Marathon, a half Ironman and swimming the 14km from Henley to Marlow to name a few! Collectively Team Hutton has raised almost £20,000 and with no signs of stopping, their good work will only continue.

So Sam, Team Hutton and TTP challenge you to Challenge Charlie, dust off those running shoes, buy the t-shirt and get out there! You’re more than welcome to join us on one of our runs, just drop Katie an email and she can give you all the details. And don’t worry; you can see the grass grow when we run (to quote Sam!).