news & views

Below are articles of general interest, items of news and clippings of content relevant to our design philosophy and industry. Turquoise Creative is a creative design agency based in Crawley, West Sussex, which specialise in Brand Design, Creative Design and Web Design. We are a team of talented people who are passionate about what we do.

Moodboards: the most important step in the Branding Process

Some designers employ moodboards in their process, some don’t. Personally I’m a huge fan and here’s why I think that creating a moodboard is the most important step in the branding process.

What is a moodboard and why do I need one?

A moodboard is like a collage containing a variety of images, text, and other objects that define your brand and communicate your brand identity. It is a useful guide in developing a brand project, like your website. Whether you’re just launching your business or rethinking your existing brand, a moodboard is a valuable tool.

Why are moodboards important?

Moodboards are the first visualisation of a client’s vision

Turquoise Creative visualise their client’s visions. Many business owners and entrepreneurs find a disconnect between the vision they have in their heads and how they present it. This is especially true if they’re not naturally visual people.

This is when the moodboard comes into its own. Moodboards can help focus on the vision and begin turning it into something visual. The moodboard isn’t a final deliverable; like logos, colours or typefaces. However, it does means that the client can experience the joy of seeing their vision created.

Our clients are always buzzing after seeing the moodboard for the first time. This because they can finally see their dream becoming a reality. And it’s the first step to their audience falling in love with their visual identity too!

Setting up the visual direction for the brand.

Creating a moodboard at the beginning of the design removes barriers since a lot of the work has already been done! Maybe the colour palette was nailed in the moodboard and just needs some refinement; there might have been some inspirations for logos in there too.

If the moodboard is done well, it sets up the visual direction for the brand from the very beginning of the design process. This ensures that the following work is seamless and stays cohesive with the essence of the brand.

Moodboards show that the designer has listened and understood the client

I always start out the branding process with a conversation with my client, either in person or on a call. It is here when I ask a variety of questions about them, their business, audience, aims and objectives, inspiration and likes and dislikes. This conversation is all about getting to know them and listening to their vision and goals for their business.

When I present the moodboard for the very first time it is an exciting time. My interpretation of my client’s vision, is a vital moment where the client can see whether I have listened to what they said and understood it.

If the moodboard doesn’t represent what the client has discussed, it’s a pretty clear indication to them that the designer hasn’t listened, or has but doesn’t have the appropriate understanding of them and their business that is required to create an effective visual identity. That’s definitely not an ideal way to start a relationship with any client.

However, if the designer does nail it, it sets them off on a great foot with their client, as they’ll know that they heard them and understood their vision and goals well.

Moodboards are great references throughout the branding process

When it’s time to choose a colour palette, create logos or select typefaces, the moodboard serves as a great reference point throughout the process. Both the client and the designer can refer back to the moodboard for ideas, inspiration and to ensure that the designs stay true to the brands vision.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is TC-logo-cropped.png

At Turquoise Creative we take the time to get to know your business. This helps us to create a look and feel that will appeal to the kinds of customers you’d love to reach.

We understand that your brand could have a personal, emotional attachment and we want to help tell that story while reflecting your true values. Our brand designs are proven to stand the test of time through careful planning, creativity, management and strategy.

Whether you are looking for a brand design agency to build and maintain your brand or just need a little advice or guidance, we are more than happy to help.

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know where we can help. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how we can build a brand that truly reflects your business.


These ads make you think of McDonald’s with just 5 words and 5 colours

Leo Burnett’s campaign doesn’t feature the ‘Golden Arches’ or even the word McDonald’s – but you instantly know who it’s for.

The latest billboard campaign for McDonald’s is as stripped back as it gets. There are no images of burgers, customers, restaurants or glowing warm logos in the rain – just a few words on a plain background.

McDonald's

Each of the three out-of-home ads features only a stacked list of the makeup of one of McDonald’s iconic offerings: the Big Mac, McMuffin and Filet-O-Fish.

The messaging is equally simple. It isn’t introducing ‘healthy’ options, a new burger, offer or competition – or putting the idea of McDonalds as comfort food in your mind. It’s just designed to catch your eye, bring a moment of delight at the recognition of what you’re seeing and make you think of picking up a McDonalds on the way home or stopping during a long journey.

The campaign was created by Leo Burnett under creative director Pete Heyes, with typography by David Schwen

McDonald's
1x1 pixel
McDonald's
1x1 pixel
McDonald's

By Digital Arts Staff | on January 29, 2020


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is TC-logo-cropped.png

At Turquoise Creative we take the time to get to know your business. This helps us to create a look and feel that will appeal to the kinds of customers you’d love to reach.

We understand that your brand could have a personal, emotional attachment and we want to help tell that story while reflecting your true values. Our brand designs are proven to stand the test of time through careful planning, creativity, management and strategy.

Whether you are looking for a brand design agency to build and maintain your brand or just need a little advice or guidance, we are more than happy to help.

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know where we can help. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how we can build a brand that truly reflects your business.


9 Reasons to use a Brand Design Agency

A good brand design agency is more than just outsourcing the design of your company logo and branding. The success with a design agency partnership is driven by your design agency taking a holistic view of your business. While considering all of your branding touchpoints; such as marketing material, website and communication systems.

A good brand design agency will work on devising a design strategy to attract your ideal customers. They will take the process completely off your hands, leaving you free to do what you do best: run your business.

We have taken a moment to identify the key areas that we feel separate us from the competition, we strive to work with clients over the long term, understand the business motivations and ethos while focusing on the following elements. We feel these areas are where a design agency can add real, tangible value to your business.


Brand Strategy

It is important to plan your branding strategy, it is common to position a sales or marketing strategy, but who thinks about branding and design strategies?

We do, design agencies, that’s who. 

Your sales and marketing efforts can be driving all the necessary business interest but if they don’t find your brand appealing, it’s can all fall apart at the first interaction. Getting the right look and feel to everything you are putting out, along with a plan for how, when and why this will be implemented, is essential to the overall marketing success.


Brand Consistency

Being consistent in business is, for many the key to long-standing client relationships. If your service offering is of consistent quality with a close eye on attention to detail, are you reflecting those same values with the consistency of your brand? Brand consistency is about more than ensuring everything you put out is the same colour and has the same logo. If you have the exact same shades of all the colours you use, in addition to a wide variety of small details being the same throughout the branding, it will create a professional image and make your brand more easily recognisable. This is also an important consideration when exploring your tone of voice and company ethos.


Brand Audit

At Turquoise Creative we encourage all of our clients to really take a moment to explore exactly what they want their brand to convey. Our Brand Audit is designed to ask you the questions that you had potentially overlooked when building your brand.

Does your brand have a story?

Is it appealing to exactly the sort of customers you want it to?

What is your choice of colours saying about your business?

Is your logo effective?

Our brand audits are free, we find them to be an amazing talking point for initial introductions and are always happy to talk to any business that is taking their brand seriously.


Rebranding

It is very common for clients to approach us saying their branding is missing “Something”, the overall concept has a history and is generally well-received but does not reflect how their business has evolved since its conception.

This is especially common for a business going through a prolonged growth. It is likely that that the brand was part of the initial business set up and not given the attention it now deserves. Turquoise Creative can undertake all that work for you to create a new brand that truly reflects your business, while retaining your company’s identity.

Advertising

Expert Knowledge

Turquoise Creative is founded on decades of experience and countless successful projects. It is this expertise that is the fundamental reason we are able to offer the quality design service we do. A design agency is able to offer you the experience of working with brand designers that grow brands. We have spent years getting to know businesses to find the perfect branding and design solutions for websites, printed materials, social media, etc. to get brands recognised and to appeal to the right kind of customer.


Fresh Ideas

It’s very common for business owners to feel they are too close to their business. As a result, they have set ideas about how it should be represented to the outside world. This can limit a company’s branding making it seem old fashioned or not quite an accurate reflection on the entire company. It can be very useful to have an outside eye cast over it to bring in new ideas to reach new customers. The right design agency will bring a range of ideas and trends that could have been previously ignored.


Complete Service

This is an important one for us.

Using a design agency gives businesses the true peace of mind knowing that they have one central point to manage all of their branding.

Working across multiple partners and managing a logo, a colour scheme, a website, printed and online promotional material while keeping the branding consistent sounds like awfully hard work to us.

We have the capability to do all of this for you, keep your brand consistent, eliminate errors and ensure the highest possible quality.


Storytellers

Your brand should be more than your choice of colour and font. Your brand should reflect your companies’ values, its place in the industry and its history. Your design agency should be able to build this story into the branding and give you the tools needed to tell your story.

Exhibition design

Future-Proofing

A good design agency has years of experience and has seen several brands win and lose. It is this experience that allows them to ensure you have a really good brand that has room to grow. Successful brands manage to move with the times and still remain consistent. If you’ve built a good brand reputation, the last thing you want to do is to have to completely change your brand to stop it looking dated. We can create brands with the ability to morph, grow and move with the times.



At Turquoise Creative we take the time to get to know your business. This helps us to create a look and feel that will appeal to the kinds of customers you’d love to reach.

We understand that your brand could have a personal, emotional attachment and we want to help tell that story while reflecting your true values. Our brand designs are proven to stand the test of time through careful planning, creativity, management and strategy.

Whether you are looking for a brand design agency to build and maintain your brand or just need a little advice or guidance, we are more than happy to help.

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know where we can help. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how we can build a brand that truly reflects your business.


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How COVID-19 prompted a return of the Poster

The return of the poster. Creatives around the world have been producing posters in response to the Covid-19 crisis. In the past few months, posters have become an important tool for sharing information and lifting people’s spirits.

The coronavirus has inspired a wave of creative projects – from short films to poems and digital artworks. But in the past few weeks, it seems the poster has become the go-to format for creatives responding to the crisis.

Designers around the world

Designers and illustrators in cities from Leeds to London, New York and Amsterdam have all been creating posters to raise awareness of social distancing advice and pay tribute to key workers. As a result, designers have created some witty, imaginative and heartfelt designs.

In the UK, street art project In Good Company has been bringing some much-needed positivity to public spaces. Designing colourful posters thanking NHS staff and other essential workers. The initiative started in Leeds. It has since been rolled out to other cities.

Over the past few weeks, In Good Company founder Laura Wellington has worked with designers including Morag Myerscough, Rebecca Strickson and Studio Build to create posters for billboards and outdoor ad sites.

In Good Company

Posters are also available to purchase from In Good Company’s  In Good Company website and proceeds from sales will be split between charities chosen by participating artists. It is good to see the return of the poster.

Above and lead image (top): Morag Myerscough’s posters on display in Leeds. Photos: In Good Company

Article by Rachael Steven (Creative Review)


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Why brochures still work for your business

By Steve Oakes

Do you think brochures aren’t relevant anymore?

Well, think again.

For companies that have a lot to say, brochures are the perfect tool.

Customers love having something to hold and flick through the pages while reflecting in their own time.

Here are 4 more reasons why I think businesses must include brochures in their marketing mix.

BROCHURES ARE COST EFFECTIVE

PRINT HANGS AROUND

MAXIMISE FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT

ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS


So why do brochures work?

I believe, brochures that are designed and produced well, are one of the most important marketing tools for your business.
Moreover, the company brochure is just as vital to your business as your most basic marketing tool – like your business card.

So I have identified 4 key brochures and what I believe should be achieved by each.

The Corporate brochure

The corporate brochure sells the credibility and capability of your company to establish trust with your prospective customers and clients.

DNA Logistics


A corporate brochure enables you to project your credentials in a positive way while outlining the benefits to anyone using your company. It must highlight your strengths and deal with any queries that a prospective client may have.

It should leave your prospect with a lasting impression of your company and a desire to know more about it.

The Sales brochure

Sales brochures sell the benefits your prospective customers will experience if they choose your product.

Harley Davidson

Providing a focus on a single product or brand and the variety of options is the role of the sales brochure. It ‘shows and tells’ your prospective customer why they need it and the benefits they will have in buying from you rather than your competition.

A sales brochure should leave your prospect with a lasting positive impression of your product and a desire to know more about it.

Product or service directories

Now onto product brochures. These brochures put your portfolio online with an easy to use format so that your customers know what products or services you sell.

Directories must provide the reference material your customer needs to know when making a purchasing decision.

It should be a comprehensive technical manual detailing your main product or service specifications and include any diagrams, photos, etc that help your prospect to choose the right product or service.

Most important of all it needs to be designed with your customer in mind – how will they want to use it, what ways do they want to search for product or service.

Financial reports

I like designing these type of brochures. Financial reports project a positive image to stakeholders and potential investors.

They are often a legal requirement but have the power to present your company in a positive manner even if the content isn’t such good news. They can project your aims and ambitions and reflect the image of the company you want to be.

The statistical information can be presented in an interesting and graphical manner so that the dynamics of what you are about are delivered in a consistent message on every page.

Therefore, it must provide the reader with an understanding of your company’s current position and sell the destination that you seek to achieve.

Why you can’t mix and match these brochure types

Mixing and matching, in my opinion, is a No, No. When companies try to combine different functions with a ‘one brochure fits all’, they often end up with a confusing brochure that is difficult to read. If it isn’t being read then it can’t do its job!

If this must be done then an acceptable combination is the corporate folder brochure. This works best if the folder carries corporate information on the inside of the folder while focusing on selling products or services in the inserts.

How and when to use your brochure to gain the maximum impact

I think there is a couple of options here. You can use your brochure as an introductory mailer. This will need a powerful sales letter to accompany it.

A ‘leave behind’ following your sales meeting. Even if you have mailed out a copy in advance of your meeting, it is always a good idea to leave another copy as a reminder.

So the key to the successful use of your brochure is planning and research. Find out what works and why!

1) Research the competition. Get hold of your competitor’s brochures, pick out the points and techniques which you feel best to communicate the sales message you have.

2) Determine your budget – this will depend on:

Quality and Quantity

Quality & Quantity

This can be based upon the quality of the brochure your competition has produced. If your prospective client has to present their research to a higher authority how would you want your brochure to compare?

The quantity should be based upon how many you will realistically use within a year.

3) Determine what you want your brochure to achieve. Listed above are the four main types of brochures.  However, there are many kinds of brochures and their look and feel are completely determined by the job they must do. Keep your brochure focused on the main points of the message you want.

So what’s next?

Now you’ve seen the value brochures can bring to your business, it’s time to put them to work!

I can recommend ways for you to use brochures to your advantage in your business’s marketing mix. I can create the designs and produce an outstanding brochure that I am confident will help your business achieve its goals.

Call me on 01293 886805 or email me at steve@turquoise-creative.co.uk today.


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The enduring appeal of board games

Monopoly Board

“We’re in a golden age of design”

The enduring appeal of board games. Prioritising audiences, design and innovative game mechanics, modern tabletop gaming has surged in popularity in recent years, and the current coronavirus lockdown is only bolstering this trend.

In the week ending 21 March 2020, sales of board games were up 240% in the UK, compared to the same week in 2019.

This surge in popularity coincided with a country preparing for quarantine. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced stricter lockdown measures just days later on 23 March. Faced with the growing suspicion that the decision was imminent, it seems many Britains turned to more low-tech forms of entertainment in preparation.

But as many fans will tell you, board games were enjoying a boost in popularity long before COVID-19 hit, and have long held the attention of designers. Whether that’s Pentagram’s Angus Hyland, the graphic design students behind the Period Game or the professional readers of Design Week.

“Ask anyone in the industry and they’ll say we are in a golden age of board game design,” says Jonathan Hicks, founder and lead designer at board game publisher Maven Games. “Sales have been growing steadily year on year for some time now.”

According to Hicks, the reason behind this is simple: “It’s the same reason why video games are so much better now – we’ve got better technology and a better understanding of what is fun to play.”

Blockbuster, from Big Potato
Blockbuster, from Big Potato

The downfall of traditional “roll and move” board games

With a sounder understanding of the craft, the board game industry has diversified and developed into a market worth around $7.2 billion (around £5.7 billion) worldwide. But with more options available than ever, Hicks says there are still just two main ways that modern board game designers approach the task of creating new products.

The first sees designers work foremost with a theme, building gameplay, boards and pieces to fit the story. This happens in particular with games made from popular films, books or series. The second involves designers building a story around game mechanics.

“Modern games are generally much better at incorporating interesting mechanics,” he says. “The traditional ‘roll and move’ mechanic, like you’d see in Monopoly, for example, is hackneyed and old-fashioned and designers are definitely moving beyond that.”

With an emphasis on interesting ways to play games, Hicks says the mark of a good game is the “quality of the choices” that designers gave players. Having to make decisions and work with others around the board presents a more engaging experience, he says.

Doughnut Dash, from The Dark Imp
Doughnut Dash, from The Dark Imp

Complexity vs. wide appeal

But in wanting to innovate gameplay, designers are faced with a choice between complexity and wider appeal. For “heavier” offerings, Hicks explains, it can take players anywhere up to 45 minutes just to learn the rules, and another two or three hours to play the game.

This is understandably daunting for new players, he says, which is why games tend to be designed with attention paid to their “weight” – light, medium or heavy. As a lifelong fan of board games, Hicks confesses he is a fan of heavier games. But for those aren’t, the industry has developed alternatives.

Becky McKinlay works at Big Potato Games, one of the UK’s most prolific “party game” publishers. She explains that the audience for this kind of tabletop game experience is vastly different to those looking for something heavier and that designers adjust accordingly to these expectations.

“When someone buys a party game, they’re not looking for a 3-hour, multi-layered game experience,” she says. “They’re looking for a game they can learn quickly, play for as long as they want, and have a few laughs while they’re doing it.”

Bearing this in mind, she says Big Potato games are designed with simple rules, but enough variability so players can have different experiences with the same game. And where heavier board games often come with more intricate illustrations and pieces, party-style games are intended to be easily digestible, often relying more on bold, colourful design and pop culture themes.

“When you put a game in from of [people] that doesn’t look threatening and has an easy-to-learn rulebook, you can make the experience a lot less scary,” she adds.

Gnome Grown, from The Dark Imp
Gnome Grown, from The Dark Imp

The catalyst no one expected

Be it the popular party game Cards Against Humanity or the “cooperative horror game experience” Kingdom Death: Monster, it is impossible to speak about the modern board game industry without acknowledging the impact of crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

An undeniable catalyst for the state of the industry today, some popular prospective titles on Kickstarter can attract multi-million-pound investments from those who like the look of what’s on offer.

“It was something people didn’t really expect, but some games just aren’t commercially viable in the traditional sense but do really well on Kickstarter,” he says, giving examples of games with hundreds of pieces, which can be both expensive to buy and sell and simply too large sometimes to put on a store shelf.

“But now, it isn’t just indie publishers that rely on Kickstarter, but plenty of the bigger companies too,” says Hicks. And it is this practice, he says, that has boosted the standard of quality of modern board games throughout the industry.

Through stretch goals – the milestones put in place by creators once the initial funding target has been reached – Hicks explains that board game designers are able to refine their offering, without laying out money beforehand.

“Designers advertise that if they reach a stretch goal, they will use the money to add in new figurines, or up the grade of materials, and interested people pledge because of it,” he says. “As a result, the quality of miniatures, dice, cards and games themselves is higher throughout the industry, even if products haven’t been crowdfunded, because of the benchmark set by Kickstarter games.”

What Came First?, from Big Potato Games
What Came First?, from Big Potato Games

The psychology of board games

In all areas of the industry, board games are enjoying a boost. As to why that is, especially when so many other forms of entertainment are geared toward digital, is all to do with a “shift in social attitudes” that is increasingly seeing people reject tech in social spaces, according to McKinlay.

This idea is echoed by board game designer Ellie Dix, who is also director of The Dark Imp, an organisation that looks to reconnect families through gaming.

Dix is a lifelong fan of board games, but came into the industry in a professional capacity after a career in education – and she rates highly the impact that board games can have on individuals’ ability to socialise.

“The psychology of it is simple enough: when you play, you don’t have to talk about anything other than what is going on within the limits of the game,” she says. “And that takes the pressure off people who struggle with socialising.”

And where the rules, story and mechanics can help establish a mental realm in which to play. Dix says the tactility of pieces, cards, boards and figurines helps create a physical connection to the game at hand and the people involved.

“I’m sure that the vast majority of people would never want to be without the wealth of technology that we have access to today,” she says. “But at some point, many become tired of screens and the world of the internet – and board games can be a real solution to that.”

The Buzzle Box, from The Dark Imp
The Buzzle Box, from The Dark Imp

The article was written by Molly Long April 16, 2020

Business stationery design

Turquoise Creative design business stationery: letterheads, business cards and compliment slips.

Business stationery

Professionally designed business stationery gives the right impression to your clients and customers. Turquoise Creative are experts in business stationery design. Many businesses go to the trouble of designing a logo but then don’t apply the same look and feel to their stationery.

Staying on-brand with your stationery

Your stationery is yet another part of your companies branding and letterheads, business cards and compliment slips say more than you think about your business. 

So your business stays on-brand it is important they are designed by professionals designers and look great. In this digital age, cleverly designed business stationery can set you apart and increase brand recall.

Business cards

So off you go to Vistaprint to get your cards printed cheaply. They’ll do, but they feel a little cheap!! With these cards do you feel it makes your business look cheap too? If you’re a start-up business this may seem a good idea and cost-effective but it can have a negative impact on how your business is perceived.

At Turquoise Creative, we insist that our clients move away from cheap or even FREE business card template designs and print. We encourage them to think about how their business cards could be memorable and different. More importantly, making sure their business cards reflect their branding and messaging.

So if you’re an Accountant, how does the look and feel of your business card reflect your business? Is it printed on coated, uncoated or recycled stock? Does it reflect your brand values? Does it communicate your brand messaging? That might sound rather a lot for a rectangular card to do, but it is all possible when designed properly.

Letterheads and compliment slips

These are used for everything – from letters to invoices and tenders. Always avoid just placing the logo and address on a letterhead design think about ways to convey your businesses messages and values as well. To create a bespoke and professional finish to your stationery consider these: The paper, lamination, spot UV and additional print finishes.

We all use email every day to communicate. But nothing quite beats a well designed, well-printed letterhead to make your business stand-out.

Business stationery

Consider bespoke business stationery that’s cost-effective

Digital print is sufficient for a businesses day-to-day needs. A piece of quality digital print (Indigo Press) will look fantastic and compare to Litho printing (Heidelberg Press). Digital printing now makes short-run business stationery printing affordable.

Business stationery becomes very important when used by salespeople. Meeting and greeting existing and potential clients on a regular basis requires corporate stationery that really makes a memorable impression. Turquoise Creative can help you with the design of your letterheads, business cards and your business stationery printing.

Stationery that people will take about

It might only be one small part of your branding (and you might not even use them that often) but when you do, they should wow the recipient!


Contact us for a FREE Brand Audit

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know what you need. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how your brand can work for you during these challenging times.


Royal Bank of Scotland £20 note

Royal Bank of Scotland's £20 note

Royal Bank of Scotland’s £20 note is designed to celebrate nature and culture

The Royal Bank of Scotland has launched the latest of its Fabric of Nature banknotes, featuring a design that aims to provide a more “unusual” representation of the nation.

The £20 notes are the third in the series developed by a team of Scottish creatives comprising Edinburgh design agency Nile, Glasgow studio O Street and currency specialist De La Rue.

Each aspect of the design, from the typography to the illustrated animals and bespoke-designed textile backgrounds, represents something meaningful to the people of Scotland.

Royal Bank of Scotland's £20 note

Nile conducted a thorough investigation to find out what the Scottish public would like to see on their banknotes, with over one thousand users contributing their opinions through co-design sessions and online communities.

“The idea of creating stories that are a bit more unusual and avoiding pictures of thistles and men with beards was a key finding from the research,” O Street co-founder David Freer told Dezeen.

“The theme of nature and the cultural elements that surround it emerged as something that people in Scotland are particularly proud of,” he added.

The Fabric of Nature theme

The Fabric of Nature concept was developed and realised through a collaborative process involving other creative agencies including GravenTimorous Beasties and Stuco.

Glasgow-based Timorous Beasties illustrated the red squirrels featured on the back of the note. They also created a pattern featuring Scotland’s infamous biting insects called midges that is visible under ultraviolet light.

O Street worked on the overall layout for the note and collaborated with the design team at De La Rue to ensure it conformed to the exacting security criteria demanded of currency.

“A banknote is an opportunity to communicate to a huge audience, so it’s a really enormous responsibility,” said Freer.

“Normally with graphic design, even if you’re creating a logo or a brand, it’s maybe going to be around for 10 or 15 years,” he added, “but a banknote is going to be in everyone’s pocket for 30 or 40 years, so you’ve got to get it right.”

Royal Bank of Scotland's £20 note

The project was initiated following the Bank of England’s decision to switch from paper to polymer notes in 2016, which resulted in a change in ATMs and other infrastructure used to process cash.

Unchanged for 30 years

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s banknotes had remained unchanged for 30 years, so the bank appointed Nile to develop a series of notes that celebrates the best of Scottish culture and heritage.

Royal Bank of Scotland's £20 note

The £5 note was the first from the series to launch in 2016, followed by the £10 note in 2017, with the new £20 note being released into circulation on 5 March 2020.

The “Fabric of Nature” theme is explored through the creatures depicted on the various notes.

The mackerel on the £5 represent the sea, the otters on the £10 the coast, and the squirrels the forest. The design of the £50 note will include a bird for the air.

Royal Bank of Scotland's £20 note

As with the rest of the notes in the series, the £20 note features a woman from Scotland’s past who the designers felt has been overlooked.

In this case, the portrait is of entrepreneur and patron Kate Cranston, who commissioned Charles Rennie Mackintosh to create her famous Glasgow tea rooms in the late 19th century.

Other bespoke details incorporated into the design include the exclusive tweed pattern. This was created for the background by textile designers Alistair McDade and Elspeth Anderson. The native flora used to dye Scottish tweed that was illustrated by Stuart Kerr of design studio Stuco.

“This is something that people will be living with and looking at for years so it’s important that there’s a depth of story in there,” Freer explained.

“There’s a big trend for immediacy in a lot of design today but this is an example of slow design,” he added. “People will hopefully still be discovering new details within these notes in ten years’ time.”

The Bank of England’s latest £20 notes launched in 2019 feature David Chipperfield’s Turner Contemporary gallery and a portrait of artist J M W Turner, while Norway’s 50 and 500 kroner banknotes feature pixellated images of the country’s coastline designed by architecture studio Snøhetta.

The article was written by Alyn Griffiths | 27 March 2020


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Branding through a Crisis

Branding through a Crisis

The unpredictable impact of COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on businesses all over the world. The lack of social interaction has really changed the way a lot of businesses navigate and poses a lot of new challenges.

Businesses are going to have to adapt and build new communication channels to meet the change in demand. Your brand and its perception in the marketplace has never been more important, but what can you do?


Maintain awareness and keeping your brand alive

During this economic downturn, it is vital that you keep the awareness of your business and brand alive. You need to adjust to the current climate. Research shows that your brand is key to your business communication and function. It is important that you work to maintain your brand and show business resilience during difficult times.

Branding through a Crisis

Time to review, don’t hide away

Businesses need to adapt by focussing on building their brand awareness through information and communication channels. In this current pandemic, new online searches will be prominent, and businesses should react to create content to target those searches. Consider what content and messaging you’re highlighting. It is appropriate, timely and relevant for the current climate.


Despite this global crisis use your time wisely to review the following:

Your Brand

Look to see if your brand is still as fresh as the day you set it up. Is the businesses name still relevant and up-to-date? Consider evolving the font within your logo or tweaking the colour palette to become more modern can re-invigorate the business and give staff a renewed sense of purpose.

Your Social Media Channels

Is your brand consistent across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram? Do your graphics reflect your business message?

Your Website

Review how your website is performing? Can it be improved? Is the content up-to-date and relevant? Is your website being found and is the metadata up-to-date? Online sales are on the increase so make sure your website isn’t left behind. 

Your E-Marketing

Trigger your e-marketing without overloading your customer’s inbox with sales emails. Communicate your plans for the future, keep them engaged and how they can get in touch if you’re working remotely. 

New Channels or New Technology

Consider new technology to assist your business like YouTube. Give your customers advice online. Hold virtual meetings via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime. Now is a good time to explore all options.

Branding through a Crisis

We cannot predict the future, but we must embrace the challenge and stay as creative as possible.  If you are looking for help with your brand, online graphics and digital communication, we are here to help.


Contact us for a FREE Brand Audit

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know what you need. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how your brand can work for you during these challenging times.


Other articles relevant to :

How to conduct a Brand Audit

If your brand was a cup of coffee what type of coffee would it be?

Imagine stepping into your favourite coffee shop, where a welcome smile awaits and the familiar aroma reminds you this is the place where you are delighted to spend the next ½ an hour simply relaxing.

You know the coffee experience will be perfect, just as you like it because it always is.  The smooth, rich flavour sets you up for the rest of the day. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be back again and again and again.

Coffee beans

But, life’s not always full of the perfect coffee experience, is it?

Along the way, you’re subjected to dishwater masquerading as coffee. At least you have a suspicion it’s going to be dire, so you can choose to refuse. Unlike the cup of coffee that’s full of promise, but the first bitter sip sends your taste buds into a frenzy of disappointment.

Just as your expectations are set from the ambience of the coffee shop, the design of the cup, the look, smell and taste of your chosen latte, cappuccino or espresso, so do your customers have an expectation as they familiarise themselves and interact with your brand.

Where along the coffee scale does your brand sit?

It’s a serious question to consider. Depending on how eye-catching, inspiring and dependable the interactions your prospects and customers have with your brand will determine how successful your business is.

How do you know where your brand is on the coffee scale?

The answer: A Brand Audit

Conducting a brand audit is a worthwhile exercise. There are many benefits to gain. You can:

  • Double-check that your brand accurately reflects the business as it is today (not how it was when you first started out)
  • Determine how outsiders perceive of your brand (it may be different from what you think)
  • Make small adjustments to correct misalignments and avoid misunderstandings
  • See how you stand up against your competitors. What do they do well? How can you counteract that?
  • Check that your brand will take the business into the future
  • Ensure your brand encourages loyalty from your customers
  • Retain and attract the best employees

Gather the evidence

The first steps of a brand audit are to gather and list the evidence.

Start with the obvious:

  • All tangible marketing materials including business cards, flyers, brochures, letterhead
  • Your business plan
  • Your business story
  • Brand guidelines (colours, fonts)
  • Website including a list of all domains
  • Signage

Then the less obvious:

  • Keywords
  • Email signature
  • Invoices
  • Vehicles (wrapped, clean)
  • How is your telephone answered and what is your voice message?
  • What is displayed when you pop up on the Internet? Check your Google account and online directories you registered with many years ago.

A useful way to build this list is to think about all the touchpoints a prospect has from first becoming aware of your business through to when they become a customer and a returning loyal customer.

Review your list

Having gathered the evidence, the next step is to review. You may scatter the hard copy marketing material on a table. What does it say? Dishwater or strong and robust? Is it consistent?

When was the content on your website last updated? Does it reflect an accurate image of the business? Are all other online instances consistent?

How do your employees perceive your brand? Ask your customers too, if you can?

Write a brief report of your findings. The framework of a SWOT analysis could be helpful here.

You may be quite attached to your brand, after all, it’s your baby, but it’s important to keep an open mind throughout the review.  This is when a third party’s opinion will be most useful. Of course, you can do a DIY brand audit, but when you consider the benefits that this review brings to the business the opinion and advice of a brand specialist completes the job properly.

We invite you to take the Brand/Coffee test?

By now you’ve probably realised we are just as passionate about our coffee as we are about creating desirable brands.

If you’re serious about creating a strong and trusted brand that will stand your business in good stead over the coming years, get in touch and let’s arrange a chat over a nice cup of coffee.


Contact us for a FREE Brand Audit

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know what you need. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how your brand can work for you during these challenging times.


We designed the brand REVOOLA Mind & Body

REVOOLA Mind & Body Fitness App
REVOOLA Mind & Body Fitness App

REVOOLA Mind & Body is a highly sophisticated and interactive Mind & Body Fitness App to help everyone be at their best, every day.

Mind & Body – We believe that both mind & bodywork in harmony; never one without the other. So, enhancing ‘fitness’ and wellbeing is always about understanding and working with both elements.

REVOOLA – A wellbeing app that helps you be at your best every day. Your choice of on-demand mindfulness and body fitness classes and activities to suit you. You decide the time and place. Find out more revoola.com

Mindfulness

REVOOLA Mind & Body Fitness App

Be more relaxed and focused. Be more energised. Be happier. Be the best You. Every day.

In our busy lives, it’s so important to effectively relax, de-stress and re-energise. With effective relaxation comes much better quality sleep to help us tackle every day at our best. We have developed a dashboard – My Overview – that helps you track and manage your mindfulness activities. Be at your best, every day.

Body Fitness

Your way – Do what you want, when you want. There’s no need to book or schedule a class or activity, as there’s unlimited space. It starts when you’re ready.

REVOOLA Mind & Body Fitness App

Schedule a challenge – Select a class or activity. Schedule the time that suits. Invite friends to join the class or activity at the same time.

Friends – Invite and connect with friends in Revoola for mind and body fitness classes. It’s rewarding in many ways.

My Overview – Your dashboard helps you track and manage your mind and body fitness activities.

REVOOLA Mind & Body Fitness App

Free trial. No contracts. No payment details required. Download now.

What Turquoise Creative did for REVOOLA


Turquoise Creative was appointed to create the brand and develop all marketing channels. Working with REVOOLA has been a pleasure and to see the brand come to life is very exciting!

Take a look at the REVOOLA portfolio page to read more about what they do and see examples of our work – https://www.turquoise-creative.co.uk/portfolio/revoola
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