animated images

Discover The Latest Marketing Design Tricks

Keeping Your Printed Content Contemporary

Brochures, advertising banners and product catalogues can rapidly look outdated unless you keep up with changing trends in design and style. This can give the subconscious impression that your business is outdated too, so it is important to keep your media and marketing materials looking fresh and contemporary.

Here, we have spoken to a leading provider of digital printing services to understand the most popular graphic design trends for 2018 that will help your content look cutting edge in the year ahead.

Hand drawn effects

Standing out from the crowd is more important than ever in the modern age, and is also harder to achieve. People look straight past stock images, and 2018 will be the year of custom, hand crafted illustrations. The beauty of it is that the possibilities are limitless and you are guaranteed a result that is absolutely unique.

Make the typography stand out

On the same theme, there are so many ways to play with fonts these days, there is no excuse for typography to look standardised and boring. Unusual typefaces are a good start, but you can take it a step further by having the lettering cropped, or subtly misaligned, to create a look that is all your own.

Be bold

Pastel shade might look great in your conservatory, but for attention-grabbing graphic design, bold is beautiful. Even in small splashes, bright images in statement colours like red and neon capture the eye. Don’t be shy, the bolder the better!

Metallic effects

Of course, there are some circumstances in which you want to steer clear of bold colours, for example when you need to create a sombre or serious effect. That doesn’t have to mean boring, however. Metallic elements add a wow factor without looking frivolous or childish.

Transitions and gradients

2017 saw a shift away from flat colours and a move towards gradients and transitioning. It produces some interesting effects, and you can expect this trend to increase over the coming year.

Beautiful-blonde young woman wearing sunglasses shorts green top and handbag standing on the street

Marketing For Fashion Designers

Your Four Keys To Success

When it comes to marketing for the fashion industry, there are a few steps you can take to stay ahead of your competitors.

Marketing is essential to the success of every business, and it’s right for a company owner to invest a lot into it. In the highly competitive fashion industry, a great marketing campaign is even more vital, and will give a designer an edge on their rivals. So where should a designer start? With just a few small changes, you could be seeing results in no time at all. Whether you are a newcomer or an established name in the industry, there is never a wrong time to give your marketing strategy an overhaul. So, let’s get started!

Paid media

First things first, think about your paid media. This is advertising that you take out, and it’s usually either online, in print, on the radio or on television. Whether you opt for all of those or just one is entirely up to you, but you need to plan carefully first. Think about the message of your fashion brand, and who you want to wear your clothes. Then target the sites, publications, radio stations and channels they favour. If you are advertising across multiple platforms, something to unify your campaigns would be great. A slogan would work, as well as a recognisable logo or colour scheme.

Beautiful woman white skirt high heels and jeans jacket sitting the bed on the rooftopImage models

Image models for hire are a great way of helping your fashion label to make a good impression. If you are planning to throw a launch party, then some gorgeous girls wearing some of your latest designs would be a fantastic addition to your guest list. As well as looking beautiful in your clothes, image models will also work the room and get guests talking, helping to create a buzzing atmosphere. When you want to make a good impression in person, then image models should be part of your party plan.

Social media

@shantigriffinSocial media is one of the most powerful tools a fashion designer can have at their disposal. With millions of users across sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you’ll be able to promote your fashion label to a huge audience. Instagram is particularly suited to those in the fashion industry, as the images do the talking. Take a look at some of the most successful fashion designers in the world and how they run their accounts for inspiration. Most social media sites are free to use too, so you’d be silly to not take advantage of all that it offers.


Last but not least are public relations. A celebrity wearing one of your designs could transform the fortunes of your fashion label overnight, so be sure to send some goodies to their management teams or P.O boxes. Personal appearances by you, the designer, can work wonders too. Many people struggle with whether to keep their PR efforts in-house or not. There’s no right or wrong decision, just do what feels right for you and your brand. If you do outsource, then be sure to liaise with your PR team on a regular basis.

Take the next step today

With so many tools and resources at your disposal now, putting together a really good marketing campaign is easier than it’s ever been. With image models available for all kinds of events too, you can add an extra, more personal layer to your marketing efforts. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to introduce your label to the world!

2018 Graphic Design Trends

How To Embrace The Hottest Stylistic Approaches To Graphics

Chaos and disruption are big themes in graphic design this year. Learn how to layer your images and use tricks such as colour channels to great effect.

If you want your visual communication to really ‘pop’ this year, then it’s important that you incorporate the latest styles into your creative images. Whether you’re putting together website images, marketing materials or album covers, there are various trends that are red-hot at the moment. By using some of them, you’ll send out a signal that your brand is relevant and hasn’t been left behind in 2017. Here are some techniques to try.

Embracing Typography

Graphic design isn’t all about the images – text is also key to keeping the audience engaged. There are a number of popular typography techniques to play around with this year. Cropped typography removes part of the letter, making it more challenging for the message to be delivered to the reader. A skillful Essex web design team must be able to erase just enough of the letter while keeping it readable, which is no easy feat.

Chaotic typography also approaches text in a similar way of forcing the eye to do a lot of work. Instead of sticking to the traditional rules of alignment, the text is placed haphazardly across the design to create a mish-mash which both attracts and excites the viewer.

Illustration Over Photography

In the past there has been clear competition between the use of photos or illustrations in graphic design. Both have their advantages; viewers are easily able to visualise themselves in photographs as the surroundings are often familiar, whereas illustration is effective because it can break the boundaries of reality and push creativity to the edge.

However, why choose one over the other when you can have both? Artists like Justin M Maller have been experimenting with a combination of both art forms, often using a photograph as the background and then layering a delicate illustration on top.

Asos glitched graphic design methodGlitch And Ruined Effects

Imperfection is central to this gritty style which has been adopted by big brands such as ASOS in their advertising campaigns. The glitch effect refers to a photo file that seemingly looks as if it has been corrupted, as parts of the picture will be sharp while others are pixelated and blurry. Horror movie enthusiasts will be familiar with this trend, as it has long been used as a popular after-effect in this genre.

Similar to the glitch effect, the ruined effect takes this one step further and has pieces of the image ripped, scraped or broken away to reveal a ruined version of the picture. This destructive trend is extremely fashionable in 2018.

Seeing Double

Graphic design loves to play with colours and techniques, and while it may be time to say goodbye to stylistic approaches such as duotone, this classic trick has evolved into double exposure duotone instead. The eye is immediately caught by the overlap of two different, but often similar images that are displayed using monochrome colours. By using colour channels, which are another big hit this year, the artist is able to achieve a shot that looks as if it’s depicting a time lapse.

spotify first

Double light is another variation of this theme. A simple composition has two sources of coloured light hitting it, which gives it a modern, edgy appearance.

If you’re looking to update your graphic designs, then the key is not to use all of the trends in each image. By combining one or two of the hottest techniques with basic design principles, you’ll attract attention for all the right reasons this year.

paper cups

Keep Promoting After The Event Is Over

The Hard Work has Only Just Begun

Just because your event is over doesn’t mean that you should stop promoting it. In fact, you should up your efforts.

Lots of work goes into planning a great corporate event. How then, do you keep people interested? The buzz of an event fades pretty quickly once it’s over, and if attendees frequent a lot of them, it’s going to be hard to make yours stick in their minds. So apart from creating an incredible atmosphere at your event and investing as much as possible into great speakers and resources, plan for when it’s all over. You need to put just as much effort into your post-event strategy so that you can keep those conversations going long after the doors have closed and everyone has headed home.

A feedback questionnaire

One of the most effective ways of keeping your guests interested after your event is asking them for feedback. Not only will you be getting valuable insight into their experience of your event, you can also continue to promote your brand or product (and encourage attendees to spread the word). The key is to leave a short amount of breathing room between the end of the event and your follow up questions. A week is a reasonable amount of time, as they aren’t likely to have forgotten too much.

Branded paper cups

Paper cups are another great way of promoting your event. Inviting your guests to take a hot drink as they leave is going to earn you serious kudos, and they’ll be taking something home with your branding on it. Printed paper cups will deliver your company’s message and raise brand awareness. You could also send some paper cups out along with other branded material in goody bags a short while after your event. That’s bound to impress!

Newsletters and blogs

Set up a newsletter or blog to keep your target audience interested after your event. Posting regular, quality content is one of the best ways of keeping your attendees engaged with your brand. Interviewing key speakers at your event, detailing the behind the scenes action or keeping people updated on the organisation of your next event are all good places to start. You should also encourage guest blog posts from speakers and guests detailing what they gained from attending your event.

Connect on social media

A good social media presence is vital in business. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with the people that you want to impress. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you have a huge audience waiting right there for you. Social media is a great way to show a more relaxed, informal side to your business, and this is what people connect with. So share some snaps, follow the right users, and use it to reach out to people who couldn’t attend your event too.

Set up a LinkedIn group

To stop everyone drifting apart once the event is over, create a LinkedIn group. The most famous networking website in the world can be a really effective tool in your post-event strategy. Promote your LinkedIn group during your event to ensure plenty of people join, and then after it’s over routinely promote blog posts and articles relating to your event. You can also invite members of the group to share their thoughts and expertise, further strengthening your relationship with them.

Keep that conversation going!

So there you have it – five simple ways you can carry on promoting your event even when it’s over. Having a solid plan before your event even begins is the best option, so that you can really hit the ground running in the days and weeks following. By continuing to work hard after the event is over, you’ll disguise yourselves from any competitors who have no clear strategy.

building the web

3 Ways To Drive More Website Leads

Use Web Design To Give Your Site Conversions A Boost

If you’re looking to get more out of the daily traffic that lands on your site, then take a look at your design layout and content to drive more leads.

Search engine optimisation and social media have become the foundation of any company’s approach to gaining a strong digital presence online. When used effectively, both can help a website acquire thousands or even millions of visitors. However, such traffic is arguably useless if you are unable to capture the attention of these users and convert them into leads or sales for your organisation. An effective web design can help you do just that. Here are some essentials to consider when trying to drive more website leads.

Call To Action (CTA)

Each page of your website should have a goal for your end user to meet. Are you trying to get site visitors to commit to a sale? Request a callback? Submit their contact details in return for a free download? Whatever your marketing goal is, be sure that it is obvious to your visitors. Include obvious CTA buttons that are easy to locate and offer clear guidance.

Clean Layout

Gone are the days of using fancy Flash features which slow down and irritate your users. Instead, site visitors want to obtain information rapidly. With this in mind, ensure that your layout is uncluttered and menus are intuitive and easy to navigate. Users should be able to find the info they’re looking for, ideally within 2 clicks. An award winning web design agency is essential for advising you on how to choose an effective layout for your business.

Compelling Copy

An attractive web design can only take you so far, the content of your site also speaks volumes about the professionalism and knowledge of your organisation. Pay attention to the headlines you use, which should aim to grab the attention of your audience. A copywriter will be able to assist you in putting across your message and establishing yourself as an authority within your industry. You might also want to include testimonials and positive client reviews which will help to solidify your reputation.

Whether you’re putting together a brand-new website, or are revamping the appearance and set-up of an existing one, always have your marketing goals in mind and remember the needs of the user when they’re visiting your site.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris Slams Deceptive Food Labelling

Understanding The Complexities Of Wording On Your Food Packaging

Chuck Norris has recently turned his attention to a matter that concerns all consumers – deciphering the truth behind the language of food labelling.

In the US, a shocking 130 billion pounds in weight of food gets thrown away each year. In a survey conducted by SSRS, it was discovered that 70% of people discard food because it is past its expiry date. Furthermore, this percentage of consumers consigned their expired produce to the garbage because they believed that eating it beyond the specified date would result in them becoming unwell.

The Purpose Of Expiration Dates

However, in a recent blog post, Chuck Norris explains that this is not the case. Foods don’t expire as such, instead they begin to lose their freshness and flavour after a certain period of time has elapsed. Therefore, brands choose to put expiration dates on their food labels in order to preserve the reputation of the produce and to ensure that consumers come back for more. Foods may certainly taste unpleasant after they’ve ‘gone off’, but it would be extremely unlikely that they could put a person’s health at risk.

Banning Expiration Dates

The laws regarding food labelling in the US are somewhat confusing. Some states have laws that insist on expiry dates being placed on meat and milk products. However, this isn’t officially required by federal law. Therefore, various authorities in the US food industry, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute are calling upon companies to scrap this labelling method and instead use phrases such as ‘Best if used by’ or simply, ‘Use by’.

These suggested labels are similar to those used in the UK. Our Food Standards Agency explains that the ‘Best before date’ refers to the quality of the food, meaning that its freshness and texture should be preserved up until this date. In comparison, a ‘Use by’ date in the UK, is not a suggestion but a safety precaution. You can also freeze food up until the ‘Use by’ date, which acts as a pause button when safely storing produce to be eaten at a later date.

Natural Foods

The use of language on food labels is also being scrutinised on both sides of the pond, particularly when it comes to the issue of supposedly ‘natural’ foods. What constitutes a natural product? Is it actually completely free from preservatives? The US Food and Drug Administration states that it does not object to “the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”  However, as the authority fails to formally identify the term, this means that it is not affected by law and can be found on food labels which haven’t officially had their produce verified.  In the UK, a two-year report carried out by the Food Advisory Committee found that 75% of consumers found food labels which used wording such as natural, pure, traditional, authentic and even farmhouse, to be misleading.

With this information in mind, people will likely be even more confused than before. As well as checking their food labels, consumers may start having to conduct their own Internet research to find out exactly what is going into their shopping trolleys each week!

Megaphone Marketing

Does Traditional Marketing Still Outperform Digital Marketing?

Getting the perfect marketing strategy for your business is paramount if you want to make a big impact on your audience. Is traditional marketing a dying trend? Do people still read newspaper articles? Do they use the services of the business after hearing a radio ad? Here are the benefits of traditional marketing and how digital marketing is on the rise… Continue reading