27/02| Swanaford Brand
The Swanaford Estate brand was a visually rewarding project to work on because it was a complementary mix of hand and digital.
LeadC worked with the family behind the Swanaford vineyard to help them establish their identity as new white wine makers here in Devon. Using ink, salt and software, the logo of a swan was born. We based the abstract mark on wings, water, feathers and movement.
Next we designed the bottle labels for their still and sparkling varieties and the end result is something LeadC is really proud to have worked on.
18/07| The Leaders’ Forum Brand
Inspirational Co-Founders Catherine Dudmesh and Tracie Seebold have built a unique leadership coaching company with a mission based on positivity:
“We believe it’s time to challenge the way that leaders and managers are developed today. Research tells us that people development that builds on what’s strong creates positive workplaces, not gap-filling approaches. Our models are different. They are underpinned by Positive Leadership and anchored in Positive Psychology.”
Lead Creative supported them in their journey to visualise their approach by graphic means. To date we have created a simple character set to match their client profiles and applied them, in context, across their marketing collateral via infographics. They rely on PowerPoint and Publisher to engage with their clients – so Lead C created editable, flexible, branded templates (yes, it was possible!). We also designed their website to reflect their contemporary approach to professional development. It’s pretty funky – check it out: www.theleadersforum.co.uk
27/06| Book Agoo Brand
Lead Creative was commissioned by the creative and contemporary Russian client, Book Agoo, to produce a brand identity for their online venture. Book Agoo captures a child’s 1st year in video, image, text and sound and collates these cherised memories into a digital, personalised book format.
Based in Moscow, the client and came to Lead Creative for a strong, simple and clever brand. Why Book Agoo? Book means, well, book! And Agoo refers to the first basic recognisable sounds spoken by a young child.
We embarked on a research project to position them well within their market and against their competitors. They wanted to produce striking and strong against playful and characterful – but without being too childlike. This brand needs to appeal to parents and with digital savvy without patronising them!
The outcome is a really strong brand style with logo, colourways, illustration and graphic devices that we (and they) love – hurrah! The train illustration was born from a brilliant client idea. As a graphic device, it carries the user on their journey through the book and their child’s first year, stopping at key points along the way.
Check out their recently-launched wesbite and create a book for yourself!
Delighted to bring this new project to you! We’ve been working hard with Justin, Emma and their creative team to showcase their products in a brand new responsive ecommerce site.
With a combined Facebook fanbase of approx 35 thousand fans, the pressure has been on to build a slick, fast site that looks great; with full stock and order control in the CMS. The biggest critic is the user – so we’ve gone for maximum simplicity across the ordering process and displayed the products with big, bold images and the product descriptions with breathing space on the page. We don’t like clutter. We like strong sites and bold brands!
We also worked closely with them to produce two brand identities for The Laser Artist and their sister project; Crafty Little Sew & So and look forward to providing them with continued support as we watch their exciting business develop and grow.
Check out the brand new Laser Artist Website
24/01| Open Sketchbooks
Going back through my sketchbooks has been a pretty cathartic – and time consuming – exercise. I guess it’s not until I collate concept ideas like this that I realise just how much of a project is made up of these little doodles and notes – scamps buried away in closed sketchbooks and redundant ideas archived. All the time doing their job as scrappy and quiet little pillars for each project.
Each honed and toned digital design starts like this. It’s the only way I know how to work; by delivering a kind of visual ‘mind dump’ on paper to ensure I’ve covered all bases and possible routes.
Sometime I prefer the work before I let a computer batter the freedom and fluidity out of the ideas. Equally there is something really exciting about seeing a scrappy sketch come to life onscreen. There’s ‘that’ moment where your idea goes digital, a make or break moment. You’ll end up either ecstatic and quietly surprised it works so well or crippled with creative self-doubt as it doesn’t look quite right or you’ve missed the concept and you know you have to go back to the drawing board and try harder. Oh, I’m familiar with that one!
These snippets into the guts of my projects are are crude and certainly not incredible as far as sketches go, but to me and my work they are important nonetheless and I’m more than happy to share some of them with you.
What an honour to have worked close to home on this project. Less than 2 miles away, the makers at The Dartmoor Soap Company teamed up with Lead Creative to produce their website. They’re currently beavering away in their soap den to produce delicious products. I’m sure I can smell the soap when the wind blows this way….
I’m a little late in adding this blog post, in fact I’ve backdated it. But better late than never to talk about new and recent work. It was a pleasure producing this WordPress Ecommerce website for Sophie and her team. The brief required simple and elegant styling with full eshop functionality. The end result is a site that has:
– An online store; built on a WordPress CMS (Content Management System)
– Client access to the CMS; so the Dartmoor Soap team can add products and keep track of stock control, invoicing and deliveries.
– Custom styling; we worked together to produce an image that represents the brand and the product perfectly.
– Social Media links; syncing up the site with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
– Basic SEO; integrated within the WordPress package, the website has basic SEO coverage which is perfect for the client right now. SEO needs and goal are different from business to business – in short, the higher the search engine rank, the more SEO is needed to stay ahead of the game and your competitors. (Lead Creative works with SEO gurus, please don’t hesitate to ask should you need an explanation of how it works or the service levels we offer).
The best part about working with new businesses is watching them grow and never failing to be inspired by the level of ambition and dedication that goes into that growth. Wishing Sophie and her team every success with the future!
Check out the site here or scroll down for screenshots.
16/08| Kidzarella Brand
Lead Creative was commissioned by Russian client Sergey Menshov and his team at Kidzarella.com to create their entire brand image for their multibrand online store for babies and children.
The creators of the brand are based in Moscow and came to Lead Creative looking for the for something a little bit special. We worked closely with them for several weeks to create what you will see below. Here’s a recent snap of their shiny new office getting a lick of Kidzarella love:
The brands that Kidzarella sell aren’t run-of-the-mill. With a group of creatives behind the store, their clothing is sourced from highly talented and reputable designers. Kidzarella is about selling graphic art and letting kids express themselves through what they choose to wear. See their blog for more on their love for design (you’ll need Google translate at the ready unless you know Cyrillic!).
The product is fun, interchangeable, flexible, contemporary, illustrative, playful and colourful to reflect the brand. The client asked the brand to mirror these values:
Creative children / curious children / cosmopolitan children / open / friendly / free / open-minded/sense of humor/ quality / quality fabrics / high-quality design / quality service / quality products / eco-friendly / style
So we got creative, worked very hard and here’s what we produced:
It’s been an incredibly rewarding project to work on, with a collective of inspired professionals. And timely; now that Lead C has a mini-recruit of it’s own, we have a solid connection to the nature of the brand.
Looking forward to providing ongoing support to this great team!
My client organises many Edinburgh-based events and this is a new one for her. South Queensferry is a lovely small town on the edge of the water, overlooking the striking Forth road and rail bridges.
Having recently completed a strong and candid ‘market’ theme for Edinburgh’s Grassmarket festival, we chose to recreate a similar theme for this project. I wanted to keep the tones of the Forth Rail Bridge (weathered and rusty amber) but bring it to life with vibrancy of the bright market red and the Queensferry Ambition brand blue. It’s a relatively simple design, kept so for maximum impact as a poster.
23/03| Doing What Makes You Happy
I wanted to write a quick post about being happy in your work. It’s a place I’ve been aiming for.
I found that place at the start of this year. It took a while to get here but the journey itself has taught me some great lessons.
I spent the first few years of my creative career taking on absolutely any job in order to put food on my plate. Looking back, I realised just how stressful this can be. As a creative startup, you get stretched in lots of different directions. You (or I certainly did) want to please the client, naturally. But this can mean unpaid hours, under quoting and often working in a niche you’re not totally familiar with – ie winging it. Whilst excellent for overall experience and variety – I found I ended up getting ‘ok’ or ‘quite good’ at a lot of things. You lose the focus. You become a jack of all trades.
That wasn’t good enough for me. It’s tiring, soul-less. I don’t want to be ‘ok’ at what I do, I want to be ‘amazing-with-bells-and-whistles-on’ at what I do. I want to know that the service I provide is fantastic, not substandard or run-of-the-mill.
We had our daughter 10 months ago. She’s been the catalyst in sorting my work-happiness balance. With dramatically reduced work hours and ridiculous work windows, I have learned to pack maximum enjoyment into what I do. I’ve narrowed the focus. I’m making more logos, diving right into branding, designing cleaner websites, making simpler designs, illustrating more. I’m leaving to techy stuff to my colleagues who really know what they’re doing. I don’t need to get involved. And it feels great!
And I really think it’s showing. My work has more life, more vibrancy, I feel more intuitive when creating new ideas, I’m much faster the the quality is consistently high. (I’m not blowing my trumpet – I just want to highlight what I’ve found since I narrowed the focus).
So in a nutshell – I’m getting more creative, back to my roots as it were. Doing the things I have the most experience in and sticking to it. And it just feel so much better. It’s incredible what work I can fit into a 3hr window these days. When you have a noisy alarm in the shape of a small person, you are forced to get smart with your time pretty darn fast.
I’ve still got a way to go to get to the top of my game – it may take years or it may never even happen. That doesn’t matter so much to me. I still want to be very, very, very good at what I do.
I think work happiness can be achieved in most circumstances. I doesn’t happen immediately – it took a while for me – but once achieved you’re flying! I am really very grateful for working in a profession that delivers such consistent happiness to me.
23/03| Scottish Events Artwork
Oh dear – what a thoroughly neglected blog! We do aologise. It could be something to do with concentrating efforts on Lead C’s new (ish) mini recruit. Training is a slow and meticulous process when you’re under the age of 1.
But without further ado – here’s the latest generation of event artwork for our favourite Scottish client of 7 years. Always a pleasure, never a chore to do these. It’s amazing to see how the artwork has developed over the years. These events are going from strength to strength and receive more visitors each year. And yes, there’s a band new event this year. Artwork is being created right now!