thinking space

Thinking space is where we get to rant and rave about issues relating to the design, branding and creative industries both locally and abroad. Our aim is to develop a strong, balanced voice for the UK design industry. And probably most of all, to amuse you…

Online advertising – 6 common approaches

Online advertising and the digital landscape has changed not only how your customers interact with you and your business directly, but also how the brand message and external perception of your company and its function. It is vital to correctly represent your business in the messaging you deliver and the method you use to deliver them.

Search Advertising

Search Advertising

Search advertising has long been the foundation of online advertising. Search Ads are placed on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, they are typically given better placements at the top or side of the results page of keywords.

Google is by far the stand-alone leader of search and although typically more expensive than their competition it is for good reason. Google drive results that are easily tracked and expandable across a multitude of different technologies. The key factor in estimating cost when running a search is the performance, leading to the assumption that if the price is high, it is for a reason. Search allows you to target people who are showing a specific interest in set terms online.

The right campaign starts with the right keywords, get these right and your search campaign is destined for great things. The shorter and broader the search term the more likely you are of being outbid, try targeting long terms and unique keywords for success with your online advertising.

Display Advertising

Display Advertising

Display advertising most commonly refers to the banner adverts audiences see when they visit a website from a desktop computer or laptop. Online advertising creatives are carefully created to attract an audience to click on the banner and navigate to a specific page determined by the advertiser. The advert can include text, images, graphic, video and audio, the limitation of what can run are determined by the website owner or publisher.

It is possible to approach websites directly and individually agree on online advertising pricing and creative types, however, there are now large networks of publishers that allow you to target multiple publishers with a similar context at the same time.

There are countless opportunities to work with networks, each offering their own insight into data, volumes, context and various other parameters for advertisers to target. Tread carefully, with large volumes of automated traffic comes the potential to quickly burn through a budget, plan well and check everything when loading your campaigns.

Email Marketing

Email is an effective tool for engaging with new customers but even more effective at continuing a dialogue with your current clients. If you are emailing a new email pool to prospect and seek new business, there are several things to consider.

Email Marketing

Consider the legal elements of the email addresses you are targeting. The necessary permissions must be gained from you or the company that is providing the email address to target. The conversion rate is another key factor, not everyone will open or read the email. Most will delete, very few will interact.

With that in mind, it is important to ensure you have a database of emails that is large enough to achieve the number of conversions you need. Tracking and attribution are vital for understanding what has worked and who is engaging in your message. Several platforms offer an email tracking service which allows you to track and monitor the engagement with your email campaign.

Social Advertising

Advertising on social media is one of the newest and most important places to be advertising online. Social platforms are the new digital hubs where people spend countless hours staying on top of their social media feeds.

People are evolving communities and social groups and speaking openly about topics, businesses and services. If you can tap into this correctly, display an appropriate message it can be a key driver of new business.

Social Advertising

What makes social media stand out as an advertising medium is the level of data it is able to collect. Users of social media sites share a lot of information around their likes, dislikes and location. As well as these users typically share a lot of personal and demographic information which can all be targeted by advertisers. If you know your audience well, you can target highly focused groups of potential customers.

Mobile Advertising

Mobile Advertising

The evolution of mobile as a legitimate advertising medium has been prominent since the launch of the iPhone in 2007. The function and purpose of the mobile phone entirely changed and opened endless possibilities for a mobile-driven society. With this came advertising, for most developers, the only feasible route to fund and pay for the development of the apps and services.

Mobile advertising needs to be considered and managed as a separate entity entirely. The targeting and technical capabilities are very different from what you might find in search or display. The data that can be monitored as well as the location of the user can all be uniquely identified and shared. Due to the speed and fluidity of change within mobile more advertisers are turning to programmatic and RTB to facilitate their purchase of media.

Programmatic & RTB

While often paired, Programmatic and Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is different. Programmatic describes the automated purchase of advertising space from publishers, often there is a large technology platform designed to enable the sale and purchase of advertising. Depending on the platform and their unique understanding of their supply you should have numerous options to target and guarantee media spend when required.

Programmatic & RTB

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) evolved from programmatic platforms where the speed of decisions became ever more important. RTB allows advertisers to bid on ad impressions on an individual basis rather than groups of impressions at a fixed CPM.

The technology quickly became capable of decoding data communicated from the consumer’s browser, app or video player and offering that as information to advertisers for them to make a better-informed decision on price and method of target.

RTB is now a large complex landscape with huge technology companies offering their own way of automating and understanding traffic in real-time.

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.

Colour Turquoise

The meaning of the colour turquoise is open communication and clarity of thought.

Turquoise is a blend of the colour blue and the colour green and has cool and calming attributes. The colour turquoise is associated with meanings of refreshing, feminine, calming, sophisticated, energy, wisdom, serenity, wholeness, creativity, emotional balance, good luck, spiritual grounding, friendship, love, joy, tranquillity, patience, intuition, and loyalty. Colour Turquoise.

Colour Turquoise

Tints of turquoise colour have a sweet feminine feel. Darker shades of turquoise, such as teal have a more sophisticated feel. Variations of turquoise, which often is used to represent water, also is referred to as aqua and aquamarine.

Turquoise is a valuable mineral that is often used for jewellery, especially in the American Southwest and the Middle East. Turquoise is one of the oldest protection amulets and in many ancient cultures was a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Turquoise was associated with connections to the spiritual world, psychic sensitivity, and protection from harm and negative energy.

The Gemstone
The turquoise gemstone is the symbol of friendship and brings peace to the home and good fortune to the owner. The turquoise stone is believed to carry with it great truth and wisdom inside it. The turquoise gemstone is a stone that represents self-realisation and is an aid in analytical thinking as well as creative energy.

The name turquoise means “Turkish Stone” as it came to Europe from Turkey. The best quality turquoise comes from Iran. Today, the majority of the turquoise gemstones come from the United States and Mexico.

The colour turquoise has healing properties that affect the mind and the body. Turquoise is believed to help neutralise over acidity, increase growth and muscular strength, and alleviate gout, stomach problems, viral infections, rheumatism. Turquoise also is believed to be an anti-inflammatory that also helps to enhance communication skills, and calms the mind and body.

Too much turquoise can cause one to become over analytical, fussy, and egocentric, allowing one to let logic guide decision-making. Too little turquoise can cause one to become secretive, closed off, confused, sneaky, and even paranoid.

Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the colour turquoise: teal, ultramarine, blue-green, aqua, aquamarine.

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Autumn colours

Autumn colours for those of you living in the Northern Hemisphere, are the first sign of autumn have already started. The afternoon light has moved to more golden tones, the air is chillier, and branches are tinged with new hues and spiders webs. This is the season full of colour, apples, conkers, and a carpet of crunchy leaves.

colour of autumn

As the temperature falls, enjoy the warmth of the autumn colours with our guide to Britain’s spectacular woodlands, arboretums and waterways.

The images here are inspired by the colour palette of autumn.

Why do leaves change colour and fall in Autumn?
colour of autumn
colour of autumn
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I Can’t Believe This !!!

I Can’t Believe This Is One Photograph. We all know Adobe Photoshop, and we all know that no photo nowadays can be guaranteed to be in its original form. The image below is a perfect example of this.

Believe it

That’s four separate images edited into one right? It’s obviously photoshopped, and a poor one at that, let’s be honest!

Were you fooled like I was? At first glance you would think it is, but a closer inspection reveals that this is indeed a meticulously crafted photograph (singular) by Austrian photographer Bela Borsodi.

The conceptual image was taken for the album cover, Terrain by VLP.

Below you can see a different angle of the setup.

Believe it 2

If you still don’t believe us, check out the video below to watch the process take place.

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How to make your brand desirable

How to make your brand desirable

Apple and its sub-brand iPhone are the two most desirable brands in the World.

The top echelons of the 2013 Brand Desire listing, are a varied mix of products, services and categories. Within it, Ferrari revs it up at position 3. Tiffany sparkles with affordable luxury at number 4. Marmite full of British heritage is at number 5. Calpol climbs into position 13 with a caring touch.

How to make your brand desirable

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that brands are valuable assets, but what makes them desirable? Is it the unique balance of energy, substance and connection, qualities that have a profound effect on how the brand makes the consumer think, feel and act.

Desirable brands make us think, feel and act differently to ‘non-desirable’ or ‘neutral’ brands.

Through a study of 60,000 consumers across multiple categories and brands, the Brand Desire Index compiles Brand Desire Scores for each brand in the study. A score of 100 means a brand has average desirability, over 100 and a brand is doing well and under 100 doing badly.

At the heart of this desire and success are energy, substance and connection, the ‘Triangle of Impact’. Validated by 3 years worth of Brand Desire data, this formula shows 3 primary determinants or characteristics of a brand’s ability for not just greatest desire but greatest commercial impact. This is where brands like iPad, Apple, iTunes, Amazon, Fairtrade and Marmite – which have all been listed in the study’s top 20 for the 2nd year running – continue to tick the right boxes.

Energy is a measure of how the brand is energising the organisation towards success, having an ambition that is genuine and viable in the sense that it is rooted in the reality of the business they are in. The tangible proof of that energy isn’t just about producing a great product or service but continuously re-evaluating and innovating to ensure the brand has a real role in people’s lives.

Calpol, listed as the 13th most desirable brand in the UK, is an example of the importance of energy. The over the counter medicines category is not known for a brand with big energetic purpose, however, Calpol has carved out an appeal around helping consumers to ‘care for their little one’. It is not just a pain relief analgesic for under eight-year-olds, which is typically how the category would talk, it has gone for a much more emotive energy that really connects with the target consumer and is a real proof of the triangle principle.

So if you are a brand owner, the question which you may find you are asking yourself is – ‘is your brand desirable?’.

If you have any doubt, maybe you should give Turquoise Creative a call sometime soon?

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Facebook redesigns its ‘Like’ button

Love it or hate it, we all use it – and now it looks totally different!
Check out the new design here…


It might be small, but the Facebook Like button is stared at by more people around the world than pretty much anything we can think of – it gets multiple billions of views daily across Facebook itself and the websites that use it, including this very blog. And now, for the first time, it’s been redesigned.

So go to our Facebook page and press the LIKE button.

And we’re not talking a minor tweak. The new design (above) is a fully fledged makeover, dropping the famous thumbs up of the old design (below) in favour of the ‘f’ logo and introducing solid new Helvetica lettering.


If you’ve embedded the ‘Like’ button on your own site, then don’t stress – you don’t have to do anything. You’ll be automatically upgraded as part of the new button rollout, Facebook says.


Facebook is also pairing its Like and Share buttons (see above) in the hope that website builders will include both. There’s still no word on the much-called-for ‘Dislike’ button though.

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Typography tutorial

At Turquoise Creative we love typography and we thought you might be interested in learning some typography principles yourself.

When designing layouts and adjusting type, it is important to understand the basics of working with text, line spacing, and letter spacing. This article briefly covers leading, kerning, tracking for you to consider on your next piece of work.

When working with a paragraph, or just more than one line of type, leading is the distance between the baselines in the paragraph. A baseline is the imaginary guideline that type sits on. The standard proportion of leading to type size is typically 120%. So if the type size is 20 point, then the most standard leading would be 24 point.


Kerning is an adjustment of space between two specific letters. The idea of kerning is to create a consistent rhythm of space within a group of letters and to create an appearance of even spacing between letters. Fonts have exact amounts of spacing between letter combinations already built into it, which is called Metric Kerning. Type takes on Metric Kerning as a default. As type gets larger and closer to a headline size, those letter combinations, or kerning pairs, don’t work as well. If a selection of type is changed to Optical Kerning, InDesign (or whichever program is being used) will adjust the kerning automatically. However, most designers don’t find this is as useful as using Manual Kerning.

Manual Kerning – One helpful way to look at kerning is imagining that each space between kerning pairs is filled with liquid, and the same amount of liquid should put poured into each space.


Kerning should not be confused with tracking, which refers to uniform spacing between all of the letters in a group of text. By increasing tracking in a word, line of text, or paragraph, a designer can create a more open and airy element.


In blocks of text or paragraph, tracking is usually only increased by a small amount, because the legibility can become difficult. In that case it is used more subtly and sometimes to fill space. And using negative tracking can be used sparingly to help create a shorter line of text. In smaller amounts of text or single lines, tracking can be increased in greater amounts and can often help the font take on an entirely different design quality.

These typography principles of leading, kerning, and tracking can be seen in our portfolio. If you think your marketing material could benefit from a make-over please call Turquoise Creative.

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What brand makes you feel happy?

The Guardian’s recent ‘Mood Of The Nation’ survey showed us that more than half of consumers in the UK can name a brand that makes them happy. The survey polled a nationally representative sample of 2,141 UK residents. High percentages of those surveyed outlined very clear expectations that consumers are placing on businesses, including:

• 79% believe that a company should “know and respect its customers”
• 64% “communicating a clear set of values”
• 62% demanding transparency

Also a very healthy 67% of British consumers surveyed were able to name a brand that makes them happy, names like Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Amazon and John Lewis at the top of the list. Brands like these are able to elicit feelings of wellbeing in the minds of consumers through their ability to ‘activate happiness’ – which leads to higher levels of consumer engagement, because of course; happy consumers are spending consumers.

So if you are a brand owner, the question which you may find you are asking yourself is – ‘does my brand make people happy?’.

If you have any doubt, maybe you should give Turquoise Creative a call sometime soon?
Because, after all, brands are what make us feel happy.

Source: The Guardian

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Today marks the first day of autumn!

To celebrate, we’re sharing our autumn colour scheme.
What colours are in your autumn colour palette?