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Christmas is coming. We’ve all seen brands dressing up and letting their hair down during the Christmas period. Sometimes it’s a hat, other times a wreath or bells. Every year I have one person or another ask me if it’s a good idea to put a Santa hat on their website and social media logos. Every year, with a pinch of Christmas grinch, I often have to say no. Rules for Christmas branding One of the first rules of branding is: do not change any part of your logo. Brand recognition is hard enough to earn, so eroding it by making it

On rare occasions, my profession gets dragged into the media spotlight. This week, my colleagues and I were inundated with requests (OK, perhaps three) for our thoughts on revelations about the cost of the ASIC logo refresh. Friends asked our opinion on whether we thought the cost was justified and they joined the chorus of “it cost how much?” commentary, with much tut-tutting over government ‘waste’. It’s easy to confuse questions of worth and cost. Value does not fit squarely within the boundaries of price and sometimes value and cost are not related in the slightest. So, when we ask, “what

What’s the difference between public relations and advertising? I get asked this a lot, even by people in each respective field, and I’ve eventually settled on an answer that doesn’t cause eyes to glaze over and induce mild migraines. In a very simple way it is this: PR companies earn attention whereas advertising companies buy it. Saying “buy it” might be a little simplistic. People build entire careers analysing budgets and carefully crafting media spends to get specific message in front of specific target audiences. That’s not to say PR is free. In PR there are countless ways to earn attention – events, articles,

It’s been a good year to be purple. Heck, it was even officially named the colour of the year. Sure the Pantone colour of the year is technically Ultra Violet, but in the light of our own branding, we are happy to claim it (and assume our competitors are green with envy). The last time we got so excited was back in 1999, when Pantone nominated Cerulean as “colour of the millennium”, with the optimistic hope that it would herald a new age in which “consumers will be seeking inner peace and spiritual fulfillment”. According to Pantone, Ultra Violet (also known as Pantone 18-3838) is

Here are some simple and easy tips for optimising your existing brand or developing a new one. Don’t try to do everything in one logo There are many things I love to eat. I love a great, thin crust pizza with a simple range of ingredients. I also love big, fluffy waffles covered in chocolate ice-cream and one thing I can never go past is my mum’s pumpkin soup. However, just because I love all these individual foods doesn’t mean I can cram all the flavours together to make a super food. Indeed, quite the opposite. What I would end up

We’re delighted to be able to offer even more tailored content creation for our clients, with the addition of three new appointments to our Design and Digital Team.   Experienced journalist Simon White arrives as our Content Editor, digital strategy and campaign specialist Glenn Langridge joins in the role of Digital Marketing Manager and Morgan Ballantyne is our new media intelligence and data management expert.   The new team members will work closely together to create and distribute content for clients that will engage across a variety of platforms, including social media.   Simon was most recently editor of and prior to that Fairfax’s online

Cannes Lions is like the Oscars of advertising, coupled with a large conference, mixed with a networking event. Primarily for the benefit of big media companies, why should anyone outside of communications and marketing be interested? The marketing and communications industries are very much the first responders to disruption in the business world. Keeping up with the newest tech, the latest cultural trends, and the general sentiment of different markets is vital to the day-to-day operations of all businesses. Watching how they respond provides a litmus test for the challenges other companies are about to face in the next few years. Trust;

Art Director Cameron Jones returns from Perth’s inaugural State of Social conference with five observations on the impact and future of social media in communications: 1) Innovation isn’t a business cliché, it’s culture Everything is changing and everything will continue to change. Those who don’t accept this will find themselves outpaced by their competitors. The speakers discussing (including our own Chief Innovation Officer, Ruth Callaghan) all talked about the need to trial and test new methods, programs and techniques. This is a lesson in itself. What is working for you or your company today might not work in the future. What are

Trade shows are invariably a confusing bustle of people and exhibitors jostling for attention. Signs, raffles, giveaways, speakers, you name it. So, how do you make sure your stand doesn’t go unnoticed and your staff don’t spend the show being ignored and eating your own branded mints?   1. Be Strategic The first step is to be strategic. Prepare to promote one or two key aspects of your business, be it a new product or service. Your exhibit should be designed to market these aspects in a way that differentiates you from your competitors.   2. Keep it Simple Remember, the delegates may be

How quickly time flies when you have a battery metals boom underway. In a few week’s time, the world’s mining industry will turn its gaze to Kalgoorlie-Boulder again for the annual Diggers & Dealers extravaganza. Organisers of the mining conference – this year under new ownership for the first time since inception – will be hoping for a bumper turnout of well north of 2000 delegates for the three-day event (August 6-8). Based on applications from more than 100 companies for 48 speaking slots, and organisers’ decision to erect a second (albeit smaller) marquee, the buzz at Diggers should befit the hype surrounding

It’s hard enough getting your team to turn out text, but the effort and time that goes into developing an infographic can leave you wondering if they are worth it. Yes, says Art Director Cameron Jones. They really are. Here’s why. Infographics is a word you’ll have started to hear (and see) a lot and there are good reasons why. With growing interest in data-driven insights, and the challenges of presenting large amounts of information in a digestible way, turning any large numbers into a visual feast is a good idea. In an infographic, information, illustrations and graphic design combine to communicate

What’s in a name? For businesses, just about everything. Think of the difference between Twittr, the original social media site name, and Twitter, or TheFacebook and Facebook, or the gap in consumer recognition between shopping at Dayton Hudson Co. and Target. In fact, naming your brand, sub-brand or offshoot product is a serious business. This is even more significant when you want the newly-named creation to have a life of its own beyond the parent company, be easily findable on Google, or have its own web domain that sticks in the mind. But there are more than 3 million registered web addresses in Australia

Bad user experience can be as costly as bad customer experience — just ask Designer Adam Elovalis, whose patience was tried by an insurance website. Maybe it’s just that life is too busy for delays. Maybe it’s my millennial nature, or that my life is all about design. Whatever the reason, I know I’m not alone in bad user experience being the reason behind abandoning business or consumer relationships. Here’s my story. I had been a policy-holder for several years with an insurance company, paying my monthly bills, and using their card to claim benefits without an issue. Sure, finding out I wasn’t

It’s time to sharpen up your images, writes Danika Ferguson. A picture is worth a thousand words. Why? Firstly, because it conveys emotion, which inevitably takes many words to express. It can snapshot an event. It can reflect a sunlit moment in time. It’s because research shows our brains are able to remember pictures far better than written text. In fact, we can remember more than 2,000 images with 90% accuracy. And it is because people rarely have time to read 1000 words when one image will do the trick.   We’re inherently visual creatures and that’s why you should be using visual content for your business. Whether to

There is more to an impressive presentation than PowerPoint transitions, writes senior graphic designer Adam Elovalis. PowerPoint still seems to be the go-to platform for many businesses when creating presentations, pitch decks, even desktop publishing materials. The software was fantastic in its heyday. It was successful because its interface was simple to use, and it was relatively easy to create simple boardroom presentations. There also wasn’t much competition. But after almost 30 years as market leader, demand for more complex presentations has opened the door to other players: Keynote Advantages: Keynote is PowerPoint’s slick, younger brother. It has dynamic templates and themes and its interface

Art Director Cameron Jones took some time out to attend the Emergence Festival in Margaret River. It’s an event which attracts creative professionals from around the world, keen on exploring how to better make use of creativity in their work and lives. The organisers also used some of Cameron’s illustrations throughout the event, which are included below. What is Emergence? It’s a conference that really doesn't have too many comparisons. Sitting somewhere between a holiday, a marathon of TEDx talks, a festival and a wine tour, it is set among some of the most welcoming and picturesque wineries, breweries and cafés the Margaret River region has to offer. Each year the conference

Branding is the public face of your business, writes Cameron Jones, and it needs to be protected. Your branding is more than just a pleasing set of fonts, colours and logos. At its best, it stands for what your business stands for. It’s a visual representation of your history and purpose. For many people, it IS your business. And something with that emotional power has a value above and beyond the cost of your brand guidelines. When you consider the intangible value of your branding, we believe it should be seen as your company’s intellectual property. It should be properly defined, maintained

Visual tools matter more than ever in public relations. Cannings Purple's Art Director Cameron Jones explains why. The days of firing off random press releases to your Outlook contacts are over. Methods of distributing information have changed dramatically over the past five years, as has how stakeholders absorb and interact with information. Modern viewers want to get to the point of the message quickly. Using strong visuals are a great shortcut to get the headline across. Content with relevant imagery gets 94% more engagement so embracing visuals is well worth your while.   Infographics And Data Visualisation I’ve heard it said that data visualisation and infographics are just

User experience is not just a design consideration – it can be the measure of your success, writes Cannings Purple Senior Graphic Designer Adam Elovalis. We live in a world in which even the smallest tweak to a user interface, from Apple’s new design for its Music app, to the way a brand communicates on social media, can create millions of online shares and virtual column inches. User experience (UX) done well can create reputational kudos. Done badly, it can frustrate and anger your customers and clients. What is User Experience? User experience is any method by which a customer or prospective customer interacts with your

Creativity is vital to the success of businesses, says Senior Graphic Designer Adam Elovalis, and it belongs to the many, not the few. It used to be true that creativity was confined to designers, copywriters, art directors and videographers. Businesses would hire a creative agency because they were creative and you were not. However, creativity is never siloed within the few, and has increasingly become acknowledged as vital to the success of businesses competing for clients in our new economy of innovation. Working in a creative field is no different from any other. It involves identifying challenges (in our case, visual communication problems) and solving them.  “Creatives”

User experience is about being curious, asking a lot of questions and challenging assumptions. Senior Designer Adam Elovalis says asking yourself these 5 things will help you identify how better to improve your user experience. 1. Have I Got Quantitative Data To Backup And Challenge Assumptions? This is absolutely crucial. To avoid making incorrect assumptions, real data is needed to detail how people use your site. Services like Google Analytics are very useful in tracking the behaviours of your users and finding key demographics. It’s also a good idea to have social media monitoring to track mentions of your brand; hard evidence can

Annual reports are no longer the same beasts they were 10 years ago - Cameron Jones explores the evolution of this critical business document. The glory days of the annual report Once upon a time, back when Yahoo was something cowboys said and Gumtree simply meant a native Australian tree, Annual Reports were the centrepiece of every listed company’s arsenal. Sure it was still a compliance document, but companies would go to great lengths to make sure it was going to impress their shareholders. All kinds of wiz-bang papers, effects, graphics and photography were used to woo investors into reassuring them they had their money in

Understanding how to work with designers is a valuable skill when creating communications collateral - Cameron Jones discusses how to get the most from your designer. Knowing how to get the most out of your creative team keeps things efficient and cost effective. Ultimately, communicating properly with your designers helps you get a better end product. Are you doing these five things when briefing your designer? 1.      Have a design brief Having a design brief is an important first step in communicating your ideas with your designer. A design brief is the blueprint that sets out what the project has to achieve, by which means,

Following our recent examination of Labor’s party branding, this week it is the turn of the Liberal Party of Australia. Jamie Wilkinson considers how the Liberals present themselves to the world in terms of branding and messaging. Cannings Purple Director of Design and Digital Jamie Wilkinson is a former BBC broadcaster and an expert in digital and social media content and management. Email Jamie.