How to incorporate the Christmas spirit in your branding

 

As the holiday season is well and truly upon us, companies are beginning to add touches of Christmas cheer to their branding.  From Starbucks and the Christmas themed red cup campaign, to Coca Cola and the Christmas truck that gifts the popular soft drink to communities, brands across the world are getting in on the festivities.

So, how can you add a bit of Christmas to your brand?

Changing your logo

Many companies change their logos for the festive season, from adding baubles and holly, to Santa hats and gift wrapping.  Woolworths added a small piece of holly to their green logo, a subtle way to show how they were getting into the Christmas spirit.

Update your website

From adding decorations to the website to increasing your Christmas themed content, updating your website can be a great way to add some jolly cheer.  Many retail companies have joined in on this trend, offering customers advice on what to buy and other Christmas tips.

Sharing Christmas updates

Posting Christmas themed updates on social media can be a great way to get involved in the festivities.  Showing your followers how the brand is getting involved can be a great way to engage more with your customers.

Christmas email campaigns

Adding touches of Christmas joy to your e-newsletters can also add to your branding.  Brands do this by sending Christmas themed subject lines, changing the design of their email, or delivering specific festive content to receivers can be a way to engage with customers more and spread some joy.

Christmas ads

With Christmas only days away, advertisements on radio, newspaper and television are increasingly Christmas themed.  Many companies add the Christmas spirit to their branding efforts by specifically promoting their offerings during the festive season, offering new products and sales to entice buyers.

 

Adding the Christmas spirit to your branding can be a great way to engage more with customers during the festive season by creating emotional connections.  Here at Made, we’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit by designing Christmas cards and setting up decorations around the office.

3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for Integrating Content in Website Design

Website Design Agency Australia

 

Integrating a range of content in website design can be what makes a good website great.  It can make it more entertaining for users and showcase the brand in a more comprehensive way.  By using a range of text, images and videos, your website can meet user needs more efficiently and help them better understand content.  

In this post we look at what to do and what to avoid when using a range of content in web design.

Do’s: 

1. Give an appropriate mix

The most important thing when integrating content is knowing your customer.  Do they prefer to read text, or watch videos?  Do photos attract their attention more, or would animations help?  Knowing what your typical user likes is the place to start in working out what content to include. 

2. Provide different paths to content

It is essential to allow users to access the content at their free will.  This will allow them to seek out the content that appeals to them most.  On our home page, we offer users a showreel video, as well as links to different projects we have worked on.  This allows our users to watch the video, or look through portfolios depending on what they’re looking for.

3. Look at the overall design 

When integrating content, it is important to make sure that it works as a whole.  Make sure that design wise it is appealing, but contains enough information to effectively convey your message to users and potential customers.  Look at how the content fits into the website design in order to make sure it fits together well. 

Don’ts:

1. Make the interface too complex

For the content to have an integrated feel, it is important that the interface is not too complex.  Keep it simple so that content flows and works with the overall design of the website.  Cluttered content can be overwhelming for users.

2. Have one-way access to information 

Make sure that users aren’t forced to look at all content available.  As we said earlier, make sure that there are different paths to access content so that users can look at their leisure.  If users aren’t given options for content, they may get frustrated with the website and move somewhere else.

3. Include content for the sake of it

If content doesn’t match, or the video restates what the text says, don’t include it.  Don’t overload the user with too much content as it can take away from the message.  Keep it simple and make sure it flows. 

 

Check out how we’ve integrated content for some of our clients in our portfolio.  

Call us today on 1300 877 503, or email studio@madeagency.com to see how we can help! 

Interview with our Senior Designer Christina

Meet Christina, our senior designer at Made Agency who loves design, dogs and essential oils. We sat down with Christina for a chat about design trends, branding and consistency.

1. What are the three most important things you’ve learnt while working on creating brands?

The most important thing for me when designing a brand is to follow my personal process. Everybody has their unique way how to produce something amazing, find your own and stick with it! Secondly, truly understand who is the ‘person’ behind the brand. What makes them tick, what’s their tone of voice, how do they act, what are their hopes and fears. This part I always call the ‘Therapy stage’, because coaxing out of a client what is really needed is a bit like being a therapist: ask the right questions, listen, listen, listen, and listen some more. Last but not least, think before you start. Digest all the information you collected from your client and your other research. Let it sit for a little while and brew in the back of your head and in your heart, then you will create something that is truly right for the client and long lasting.

2. What design trends do you find compelling?

I would like to say I’m not swayed too much by design trends. As a creative you develop your own style at some point and the project should really drive the aesthetic. I’m against designing in a certain way just because it’s trendy now, three months down the line it won’t anymore and neither will your design.

3. How can companies keep their brand consistent via all distribution channels?

I think being consistent comes down to being considered and having good project management. When creating a brand identity, you are creating an entire world. You have to consider how the brand lives in all the different environments making up this world. And later, you need to have allocated enough time to let your brand unfold in print, digital, environment, etc. If you don’t, your brochure might look amazing but then your website feels like an afterthought.

4. What should companies keep in mind when refreshing existing or old brands?

That depends on the brand and their customers, really. Sometimes it’s good to go slow and refresh your brand incrementally, not to shock and possibly lose your customers, but to take them on a journey. By saying that, some brands have evolved in to something very different and their customers are just waiting for that big bang, for the brand to change and really reflect who they have become.

5. What drew you to the Made aesthetic?

I felt drawn to Made because of the very considered and confident approach to design, as well as the broad range of really interesting projects. But the selling argument was Hippa, the studio staffy!

Christina and the studio staffy, Hippa

3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for the Typography of your Website

web design agency sydney

Typography is an important aspect in the overall design of your website.  It assists in communicating ideas, giving the page a sense of structure and showcasing your content.  There are many options of typography for designers to choose from, including serif, sans-serif, script and decorative.  Choices in typography can greatly impact the overall design aesthetic of your new website, so it is crucial to get it right. 

We go through our do’s and don’ts when it comes to choosing typography for your new website

Do’s:

1. Make it legible and clear

It is essential that users can easily read all typeface on your website.  Using typefaces that are overly cursive or use an unclear handwritten style can make text illegible.  If text is hard to read, users may misinterpret messages or give up on trying. 

2. Have space between the lines 

The text needs room to breathe!  No matter what style of typeface chosen, there must be enough space between the lines to assist in ease of reading.  This will help users get more from your website and feel less overwhelmed by the text. 

3. Use background colour contrast

For the text to stand out, a good level of contrast must be chosen between the text and background colour.  If the colours are too similar or dull in contrast, messages will not be received effectively.  Choose colours that go with the overall theme, but make the typeface clear to read and stand out from the background. 

Don’ts:

1. Make the text too small

Text that is too small makes for an unpleasant user experience.  It is hard to read and deters people from reading your content.  It is important that a good sized type is chosen to ensure you maximise your website’s potential. 

2. Use of a range of fonts

Using a range of fonts can be distracting and detract from the aesthetic of the website.  We recommend a maximum of 2-3 fonts to avoid websites looking overwhelming. 

3. Overdo emphasis

Using an overload of italics, bold or underline can look tacky and is unnecessary.  When used sparingly, emphasis can be a great way to enhance your message, but it must be done carefully. 

 

Leave it to the experts! Call us today on 1300 877 503, or email studio@madeagency.com to see how we can help you with your website design needs.  

Finding Inspiration When Rebranding

Branding Design Studio, Branding Design Agency

 

Many companies rebrand to evolve with their target audience and keep the brand current and distinguishable.  It has been found that rebranding is effective in setting companies apart from competitors and consequently improving their overall performance.  Rebranding also allows brands to change their focus to better reflect the company and connect with audiences more.  To make the best rebranding decisions, a significant amount of thought and planning is involved.  We go through our top tips for finding inspiration when rebranding.

1. Talk to staff and customers

 

By talking to both staff members and customers, companies can better understand how the brand is currently viewed.  This can help determine if goals are being reached, or if the views of the company are currently aligned with that of customers.  The process can give the brand an idea of where to start with their rebranding and ensure that decisions reflect customer and staff views.

2. Create mood boards

 

Looking at other brands for inspiration can also be a great way to find inspiration for where to take the rebrand.  It can also help to give the creative team an idea of what you envision for the brand to guide them in designing the rebrand.

3. Find a graphic design team

 

Graphic designers have extensive experience in rebranding and can not only help in generating content for your rebranding, but providing inspiration for where to go with it.  At Made Agency, we specialise in rebranding, from creating new websites, to corporate documents and stationary.

 

As a branding agency, one of our recent projects was for Seacapital, a property management and marketing company exclusively for developers.  This rebrand involved the creation of stationary, corporate documents, website and environmental signage.  The vision was to make it professional and eye-catching, with inspiration for the design associated with sea in the name of Seacapital, which we used to create the idea of a wave in the logo.

Branding Design Agency
Website design
Branding Design Studio
Website design compatible with mobile
Rebranding Agency Sydney
Business cards

 

Do you need help with your rebranding?  Call us today on 1300 877 503, or email studio@madeagency.com to find out more.

3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for the Navigation Menu of your Website

Website Design Agency Australia, Web Design Company Sydney

Website navigation is one of the fundamental factors that determines user experience.

The way the navigation menu is set out can be the difference between gaining or losing a customer, and whether they leave the page feeling happy or frustrated.  There are lots of options for design, such as horizontal or vertical menus, or animated or hidden menus.

To make the right decision, we outlined three things to make sure you do, and three things to avoid doing.

3 Do’s:

1.  Keep it simple and understandable

This is one of the most important things you can do in designing a navigation menu.  If it is difficult to navigate, users will quickly get confused and move on to another website that is easier to use.  Make sure that the navigation menu flows and that the headings are clear.  It is also essential to make sure websites work on different browsers and are mobile friendly.

2. Make the user feel in control

Including elements such as a quick navigation or shortcuts are important in helping the user feel more in control.  If they know where they are at all times and can easily navigate between pages, it’s more likely that they will spend more time on the website and could result in a new customer for you!

3. Make it engaging

Whilst the destination in website design is important, the journey should also be thoroughly considered.  By making the navigation menu memorable, it is likely that the entire website will be more memorable to the user.  Considering a hidden menu or a three-line menu can make the website more interesting and exciting for users.

3 Don’ts:

1. Make it confusing

A website navigation that is difficult to use can be confusing and frustrating for the user.  It is likely that users will give up on trying to understand it and move on to other websites – your competitors.

2. Take up too much space

Website navigation should be in proportion to the rest of the website and not take away from the page.  An oversized menu may be overwhelming and hard to navigate.  Keep it simple!

3. Make transitions time consuming

Like the rest of the website, navigation transitions should be quick to load.  If it takes too long, you may miss out on that new customer!

 

At Made Agency, we specialise in website design and can help you with your new website.
Give us a call today on 1300 8777 503, or email studio@madeagency.com.

Instagram Stories: Useful or Not?

 

With more than one billion users, Instagram is rapidly growing to become one of the most popular social media platforms.  Launched in 2010, the social media platform has evolved over time to offer stories, which enable 10-15 seconds of content to be shared with followers for 24 hours.  As more than 80% of Instagram users follow business accounts, brands are putting an increasing amount of time into nailing their social strategies to maximise reach and performance.

 

At Made Agency, we’ve just started uncovering the wonders of Instagram stories as a promotional tool, which we’ve outlined below.

Informality

As the stories disappear after 24 hours, brands can engage with followers and customers in an informal and authentic manner.  Whilst Instagram posts involve a significant amount time devoted to photographing, editing and caption-writing, stories do not require the same effort.  This allows for the sharing of impromptu moments that engage with customers on a more personal level.

Options for creativity

Whilst Instagram stories require less time than posts, there are still many ways to express creativity.  These include image stickers, a range of text options for captioning, as well as location geotags and hashtags.  Features such as polls and the ‘ask a question’ function allows followers to engage with brands by replying to stories or voting in a poll.  Companies can use such features to test new ideas or receive feedback on existing products.

Showcase work

It has been found that 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product they first saw on Instagram.  With Instagram posts providing great exposure for products and services, combining posts with stories offers the chance to maximise exposure.  The stories can be used by the brand to showcase their work in action, with the ability to show more to consumers without overloading on posts.

Branding

By posting regular Instagram stories, consumers are more likely to keep the brand in top of mind awareness.  The stories can also be used to create a brand personality, by posting quirky and spontaneous images or videos that give followers a deeper insight into the brand.  This can help brands connect more authentically with their followers, which could potentially improve their overall performance.

 

As the number of active social media users continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to keep up and take advantage of the considerable opportunities these platforms present.

 

Follow us on Instagram @madeagencysydney

How to Get Through a Creative Block: Five Tips to Overcome Artistic Struggles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The feeling of an impending deadline can be overwhelming and daunting.
When there are projects piling up and clients waiting, there is no time to waste, even when you don’t know where to start.

Our staff share their top five tips on what to do when facing a creative block.

1. Go for a walk.

A walk is a great way to stimulate your mind, get some fresh air and stop thinking about the creative challenges that lie ahead of you.
Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to step away from it for a bit and then come back to it with a clear mind.

2. Talk with likeminded creatives.

Discussing ideas with colleagues or friends can be the perfect way to overcome a creative block.
The Made Agency team always share their projects with each other to get feedback for areas to improve.
By talking with others, you can gain new perspectives or find new ways to approach a brief.

3. Seek inspiration.

Creating mood boards, scrolling through Pinterest, or looking at portfolios of work can give you an idea of where to start and help you make headway.

4. Go back to basics.

Sometimes going back to the very basics of design principles can help you find an idea of where to start and get you moving in the right direction.

5. Write a list.

Jotting down your ideas or making notes from the creative brief you have been given can be a useful way to give you a better sense of direction.
Having a list of what you need to include in the task can also be a great way to ensure you are fulfilling all the requirements.

Are you suffering from a creative block and need help with your graphic design needs?
Call us today on 1300 877 503, or email studio@madeagency.com to find out more on what we can offer your business.

3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for the Intro page of your website

web design agency Sydney, web designing services, web design company sydney

The intro-sequence of a website can be a very helpful communication tool. It presents a business’s fundamental values in an engaging way. It influences people into new worlds. It builds up an optimistic image in a couple of seconds. It gives a warm welcome and motivates the user and potential customer to stay. It burns up your message into people’s minds.

It makes visitors enter your website and leave with a smile on their faces.

Like a good movie trailer, it makes people curious and begging for more.

3 Do’s and 3 Don’t’s when creating this web presentation for clients:

3 Do’s :

  1. Educate and Entertain the viewer
  2. Respect bandwidth
  3. Provide a ‘Skip Intro’ button

3 Donts :  

  1. Be boring – try and tickle their interest in whatever it is you’re talking about
  2. Be ugly – be creative and make your intro visually pleasing
  3. Provide useless and irrelevant information

Six Steps To Incorporate Your Branding Into Your Social Media Presence

Six Steps To Incorporate Your Branding Into Your Social Media Presence

Graphic Design Studio in sydney, Brand Design Sydney.

It is becoming widely known that social media is now one of the best ways that brands can reach potential customers. No doubt, this can be a challenge for you, as it costs time – which could be spent on providing the core offering of your business.
Social Media, however, acts like the shop front for your brand. Your presence can be seen around the world and draw the attention of people who wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of your product or service. We are so lucky in the 21st Century to be living with globalisation and the ability to trade and market ourselves online. This is where your social media branding comes in to play. Just like a physical store, you want your potential customers to easily get a feel for what your business is all about.
You want them to assess your digital presence in a positive way, appreciating your business style and creating a longing to be a part of what you have to offer.

If you’re already an established business, chances are, you have a somewhat established brand personality. That’s a great start! If this isn’t the case, it’s super easy to build your style and work to keep this consistent throughout your daily business activities.
So without further ado, I’m going to run through six things you can do to make your online shopfront as appealing – and in the end, as profit generating – as possible.

1. Choose the right platforms for your brand
First things first, you need to work out where your customers are active and choose the right social media platforms for your brand. Make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thin as it’s better to do two or three platforms well, rather than have a sub-par effort on more platforms. The two most popular platforms for businesses are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook provides great reach and potential to connect with a high volume of people, some of who will likely be interested buyers. Targeting tools for ads can help you narrow down to your exact customer who will be more interested in what you have to offer, therefore making your ad-spend more effective. The platform is visual, favouring videos and images, however, it is common to have a fair amount of text alongside these updates. On the other hand, Instagram is based almost fully on the visual appeal of the images and videos you upload, with captions only providing the necessary information to go with the visuals. Pinterest is similar to Instagram in its focus on visual content, while Twitter use is not as widespread in Australia, making this platform slightly less valuable than Instagram and Facebook. Personally, I’d steer clear of Snapchat for businesses, unless your target audience is in between the ages of 16 and 22.

2. Craft an appealing, informative bio.
Your profile bio is the first thing people will see when they click on your profile so it is imperative that you nail this! Provide the key information of your business while also establishing your tone of voice (more on this later). Mentioning your industry, address, contact details and hours is the best way lay the initial groundwork with your potential followers. I see too many businesses that don’t utilise this area efficiently, leaving their viewers confused about what the brand offers or how to get in touch. It is also worthwhile including some details about your unique selling point, revealing your mission statement or business values to help identify with your viewers.

3. Your logo is the face of your brand – Use it as much as possible.
Every business needs a logo, it’s as simple as that. Using a logo in your content will create brand recognition and help your community remember who you are. Your logo should be featured not only as your display profile picture, but also in any original content you create. Much like you’d use your logo on your company documents such as invoices and reports, it’s a good idea to place your logo in the corner of your images or at the start or end of your videos. This means that when your content is shared, you’ll gain even further awareness through your recognisable logo – almost like word-of-mouth.

4. Add a splash of colour!
Now, let’s think about the predominant colour of your brand. If you have already set up a website, it is likely you’ll already have two or three colours that stand out on your site. These help portray the vibe of your brand, as each colour has its own deeper meaning. Colours set the mood and help build the tone of your brand. For example, if your colours are predominantly neutral with greys, beige or metallic colours at the forefront, this can establish a feel of luxury and sophistication. Just cast your mind back to year seven art class – red symbolises energy and power while cooler tones like greens and blues are more relaxing and refreshing to the viewer. Once you find your colour scheme, stick to it. This doesn’t mean you’ve got to put a green filter on every single one of your updates, but you can add your brand’s splash of colour here and there, throughout your social media profiles.

4. Establish your tone of voice.
What is your perception of me, based on what I’ve written so far? Am I female or male? Am I young or old? Do I have a friendly or stern personality? All of these aspects of human personality translate directly into your brand personality, whether that’s friendly, authoritative, professional… the list goes on. Your tone of voice is a key way for your customers to understand your brand and decide whether they would, in a way, get along with you.

5. Keep it consistent.
The last but definitely not least step for branding your social media is to keep it consistent. It is important to maintain the other steps in a consistent manner, making sure your logo, colour scheme and tone of voice are used regularly, throughout your business activities. This continuity is what builds a loyal community of followers as they know exactly what to expect when engaging with your brand. Regular updates on social media will keep your brand top of mind for your followers. Consider establishing a routine of posting, whether that’s everyday or only three times a week, depending on your brand content.

I hope these steps will help your social media efforts by implementing your unique and appealing branding, that only you can offer! If you’re having trouble with social media management and would prefer to outsource this work, get in touch with the experts at Crunchy Social for an affordable branding strategy and reliable social media management.