Filtering by Category: Branding

Refresh and energise – top tips for a more engaging website

Added on by Stella Chapman.

We've got together with writer Nichola Evans from Word-It to share our top tips on keeping your website content fresh and relevant – keeping your audience engaged and giving them a reason to visit again.

Salt Blog Refresh & Energise

1. Polish and shine 
When was the last time you went through your website with a fine-tooth comb, checking how up to date it is and if there are any typos or broken links that might have crept in? Before adding new content, we recommend reviewing what you already have to see if it can work harder for you.

If you have written, or even built your website yourself, having a fresh eye on it is helpful as all these things have an impact on how your potential customers, and even existing ones, view you as a company. It’s that attention to detail that makes you stand out.

2. Be a customer
It’s also useful to look at your website from a customer’s perspective. Is the basic message of your company clear? It may be obvious to you what you do and how it can benefit your customers, but it’s easy to get lost in detail and overlook stating your purpose clearly and quickly. Too much written content to wade through is off-putting to visitors, so make sure your basic information is easy to find.

Nichola says "I am often asked to edit website copy that has been written with with too many keywords, which mean the message has been lost and it no longer makes sense. For small companies, new business often comes from word of mouth recommendations rather than an online search, so although having keywords is essential, too many can confuse the message"

3. Get personal
Why you do what you do can be just as interesting to potential customers as what you do. Small businesses often avoid including personal information to appear bigger than they are, mistakenly thinking it isn’t professional. But telling your story and putting a face to your business can actually help build and define your brand – having a stronger impact and being more memorable. You may not think you have an obvious story to tell, but it’s always there.

4. Share your success
Customer testimonials, news stories and case studies allow you to keep your content fresh whilst demonstrating your skills and building credibility. Adding real information, in real time, about your successes has greater impact than generic text that just says you’re good at what you do.

5. Spread the word
Adding your social media feeds to your website, such as Instagram if your business is very visual, or Twitter for latest news, is a simple way to keep content fresh automatically, and acts as a news feed. Including social sharing buttons helps your readers spread the word.

6. Be an authority
Publishing a blog – giving people advice, offering an opinion, it all helps to bring people to your website. It shows you are an authority in your area. Plan a blog calendar and publish regular nuggets of gold to your clients and further afield. 

Stella says “If you are unsure of what to write about or have exhausted obvious topics, consider getting together with another business to feature them as a guest blogger, or to share your expertise, just as we did.”

And finally
A website that is always changing, or a company which interacts with its audience gains more engagement and potentially more business. If you update your website often with high quality content and visuals, search engines look at your site more frequently, giving you the opportunity to achieve higher rankings. 
 
We know that running your business well, ensuring you have happy customers and building your customer base is the most important issue for you. You may not have time to update your website regularly or to produce a blog. Or perhaps you just don’t have the skill and need some help with it. 

Word-It can help with words whilst Salt can bring in the aesthetic energy with a brand refresh or some new visuals for your website. Together we can revitalise your brand and ensure your website is on message.

Get in touch to find out more about how we could help.

Word-It
Word-It is a writing, editing and proofreading service. Be it web content, news and PR, or more formal reports, Nichola can help take away the pressure of having to think up new content and publicising your successes.

www.word-it.co.uk

 

Salt loves...

Added on by Stella Chapman.

From birthday gifts to what's on TV here's what has inspired our design or just caught our eye this week...

1. Read this if you want to take great photographs

This book was one of my more useful birthday gifts, and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their photography. Not only is it beautifully designed with a foil blocked cover, it's visual rather than technical in its approach, and the playful tone of voice keeps you reading. It's broken down into five sections – Composition, Exposure, Light, Lenses and Seeing and refreshingly suggests you to start by ignoring everything!

 Henry Carroll /  Laurence King Publishing
 Henri Cartier-Bresson 1932
Salt loves blog - Read this if you want to take great photos book spread
Salt loves blog - Ernst Haas 1960s

Henry Carroll : Laurence King Publishing

2. Made of Sundays

Whilst working on an illustrated children's character, this caught our eye. The Finnish company make fun and quirky wall decals and homewares and ship to the UK. And they are not just for the kids' room, even a fridge gets a monster makeover!

Salt loves blog - Made of Sundays Aaron the Charming Dragon door decal
Salt loves blog - Made of Sundays Tiny Waffles the Sloth wall decal

madeofsundays.com

3. Trapped

This new BBC4 drama gives you chills from the unsettling title sequence to the beautiful but dangerous landscape, photographed in an elegantly reduced colour palette. Set in a small Icelandic town, the police work to solve a murder as a blizzard sets in, trapping everyone including the killer inside. Gripping and stylish in equal measures.

Salt loves blog - Trapped BBC4 title sequence
Salt loves blog - Trapped BBC4 title sequence
Salt loves blog - Trapped BBC4 Icelandic drama

Trapped : BBC4

4. Sydney Opera House identity

Interbrand Australia have created a new visual identity for the Sydney Opera House. A sculptural typeface and graphic device work with the existing logo to help draw attention to the iconic venue's many facets – only one of which is opera. The 3D Utzon typeface by Studio Laurenz Brunner reflects the building's contours and is named after its architect Jørn Utzon. We think the lettering looks as good in print as it does rendered in 3 dimensions.  

Salt loves blog - Sidney Opera House visual identity by Interbrand Australia

Colour is used as part of the visual identity but we like the striking simplicity of black and white which reminds us of Swiss designer Josef Müller-Brockmann's poster work during the 1950s. 

Salt loves blog - Sidney Opera House visual identity by Interbrand Australia
Salt loves blog - Sidney Opera House visual identity by Interbrand Australia

We usually favour the simplicity of flat graphics and find logo animation often gimmicky, but the motion graphics by Collider used across all digital platforms are beautifully subtle and appropriately rhythmic, based on the shapes and shadows of Opera House sails.

Salt loves blog - Sydney Opera House motion system by Collider & Interbrand Australia

5. Veja white trainers

Any finally, we have our eye on these Veja Esplar white leather trainers – nailing this season's pale and eco-chic trends in one. Bring on Spring!

Salt loves blog - Veja Esplar white leather trainers

 

2015 roundup

Added on by Stella Chapman.

Looking back over the past year our standout projects were mostly about food, fashion and art, three of our favourite things! We worked on brand identities, branded spaces, literature and websites. We art directed shoots and had some great collaborations with other artists, photographers, strategists and designers.

Our aim for Salt is to work on projects we feel passionate about and if we can put something back into our local areas (which we were able to do with Oh My Cafe and the Folkestone Book Festival) so much the better. We were very pleased to have arts charity the Creative Foundation as a new client last year and our aim for 2016 is to develop our portfolio in this area.

So, a big thank you to our clients, colleagues and friends for all the support, inspiration and fun. We look forward to bringing you new more work on our blog soon. Happy New Year!

Boom Done Shop / Ethical fashion / Photographic art direction

Creative Foundation / Folkestone Book Festival / Visitor experience

Oh My Cafe / London coffee shop / Brand identity + retail graphics

Bernadette Baksa / Photography / Brand identity + stationery

The Flying Piglet / Gourmet street food / Brand identity

Nic West / Artist / Brand identity + stationery

 

Working with creative clients

Added on by Stella Chapman.

Alongside our corporate clients we often help start-ups and small companies who are looking to launch a new business or take their brand to the next level. We've been lucky to have worked with several creative businesses and wanted to share three recent projects we've especially enjoyed.

Our collaborative design process worked particularly well with these creative clients, who had a visual as well as strategic direction in mind. We made sure we listened to and worked with them to interpret and bring their vision to life.

Bernadette Baksa Photography

We’ve collaborated with London-based photographer Bernadette Baksa many times, for both client and personal projects including shooting our website portfolio. Bernadette had pinned down the direction she wanted to take her business, moving into specialising in children’s portrait photography. Her aim was to strengthen her existing brand, better reflecting her distinctive photographic style.

Bernadette had created a small moodboard for our briefing and we developed her ideas into a strong, expressive brand which better communicated her new direction. We customised a cursive script font to capture the spontaneous and personal spirit of her photography. We then helped Bernadette create a presentation package and stationery in keeping with her new look.

 Inspiration, sketches and workings

Inspiration, sketches and workings

 The final logo applied to the  website

The final logo applied to the website

"Thank you very much to Salt for their brilliant work. These ladies have done a fantastic job combining me and my photography under one distinct brand. If you are thinking of taking your brand to the next level, try them!"
Bernadette Baksa

Nic West

Nic West is contemporary abstract artist we particularly admire, currently living and working on the small island of Alderney. Her work features wild seascapes and rugged landscapes and she describes her paintings as 'visceral, full of texture and vibrant aqua and turquoise colour'. We were very excited to be asked to work on her brand identity. 

After meeting and experiencing her paintings first hand Nic asked us to create an identity that was elegant and simple as a contrast to her textural style. The typeface we proposed was elegant, structural and created a sense of space to complement her full and energetic paintings. We took detailed photographs of four different textural sections of her oils and used them for the reverse of business cards and letterheads which gave her clients a taster of her dramatic work to take away. We applied the branding to other elements including her existing website.

"As a newly emerging artist I recognised the importance of getting the branding right for my website and promotional material. Salt design were able to provide the expertise to create exactly what I had hoped for in terms of identity styling and professional service."
 Business cards with little tasters of artwork

Business cards with little tasters of artwork

Paper Tree Design

Paper Tree Design is a bespoke wedding stationery start-up owned by our good friend and entrepreneur Suzanne Allen. Talented in many design disciplines, Suzanne has designed everything from fashion to jewellery to homewares. She came to us with a clear brand vision and range of beautiful papercut wedding invitations. Her brief was to produce typographic styles for her stationery ranges, which are handmade to order in her Cotswold studio. We share her passion for paper and fascination with how things are made, so we were more than happy to be involved in her new venture.

We focused on the high quality finish and attention to detail in her intricate papercut designs, working closely with Suzanne to create stylish and well crafted typography. We used details from her illustrations to embellish the type creating two distinct looks for her ‘Natural Charms’ and ‘Modern Vintage’ ranges. 

 Entwined stationery suite

Entwined stationery suite

We really enjoyed our role in helping the Paper Tree brand come together and we were pleased to be asked to advise on everything from the brand identity, tone of voice, website, business stationery, promotional postcards and exhibition stand. We also joined Suzanne to art direct a product shoot with photographer Cristina Colli to create a beautiful seasonal story illustrating each range on the website.

 Tree of hearts table plan detail

Tree of hearts table plan detail

 Vintage lovebirds stationery suite

Vintage lovebirds stationery suite

Papertree Design was awarded the National Vintage Wedding Fair 2014 newcomer award in their first year of trading and are becoming well established in the luxury wedding market.

 Flyers designed with Suzanne for a wedding fair

Flyers designed with Suzanne for a wedding fair

“For me it was very much a team experience, working together and sharing ideas. Salt have also acted very much as a mentor, more recently encouraging and guiding me in developing a typographic style myself. Salt work with you, and take the time to understand your brand needs, whilst at the same time being proactive in suggesting innovative new ideas”. 
Suzanne : Paper Tree Design

Guiding these businesses in creating and evolving their brands allowed us all to share and develop our creative skills. We care greatly about what we do. Our small but flexible setup means we are hands-on and willing to go the extra mile to make things work. Collaborating in this way is not only cost effective, which is essential for a new or smaller business, it allows their own type of creativity to direct the outcome, which we hope will bring them every success.

 

How SALT brightened the Livewire brand

Added on by Victoria Johnstone.
Livewire_wink

For Livewire, a fast growing communications agency, recognising they had outgrown their visual identity was the starting point for us to help them create a stronger and clearer brand. Here's how we did it together...

Getting to know Livewire
Livewire is a large group of highly experienced consultants who specialise in communications for the pharmaceuticals industry. We were introduced to Lucille Weinberger, founder and CEO, by an existing client and quickly established a good working relationship which led to the opportunity to rebrand her company.

Lucille has a great enthusiasm and can-do attitude, taking her company from a kitchen table start-up to one with a million pound+ turnover in an impressive five years. She is personable and to the point, highly principled and committed to treating her staff, be it freelance or employed, as part of a large extended Livewire family. 

Working it out
We began with a brand workshop ran by ‘brand maker’ Neil Stewart, a natural story teller who we collaborate with often. The workshop helped pinpoint what makes Livewire different and created the proposition ‘intelligent communication’ based on their bright and flexible people. This gave us our creative starting point and pushed our exploration – always the fun part!

 Moodboard resulting from the brand workshop

Moodboard resulting from the brand workshop

 Initial logo concepts

Initial logo concepts

Their name in lights
After presenting a number of options our ‘Neon’ concept came out top. It worked brilliantly to communicate the ‘bright’, ‘live’ and ‘switched on’ Livewire personality in a contemporary and eye-catching way. We translated the neon logotype into a range of media including print, digital and signage, commissioning two neon artworks for the Livewire head office by Electro Signs in East London, famous for their God’s Own Junkyard neon signage exhibits.

Neon artwork for the Livewire head office

A set of quirky glowing characters gave the website we designed a human and non-corporate feel, important to make sure Livewire stand out from their more staid competitors. We involved Livewire at every step, a process which took almost three months resulting in a refreshed brand identity, website, signage, stationery, launch materials and enewsletter

Livewire_illustrations.jpg

Building our relationship
Lucille has a great way with people, building lasting relationships with her clients, staff and us! The strong, cohesive brand we created together truly reflects her personality. Their future is looking very bright.

Client comments about SALT
Lucille Weinberger: 'SALT are great at coming up with ideas, and then going on to execute them effectively and professionally. In addition the whole process ran smoothly, and from our perspective, effortlessly. I would recommend SALT to anyone wanting a distinctive and elegant branding look for their company or product'.

Neil Stewart: 'Most designers are so preoccupied with what it looks like, they tend to ignore what it is actually communicating. SALT think as well as design, which helps immensely when you are working with a brand concept instead of a logo and trying to develop it visually'.

  Livewire website  bringing all the elements together

Livewire website bringing all the elements together

See more of the project on the SALT website.