New branding, illustration and website for Zoosme
We often refer to the ‘Bluegg Way’. To us, that’s the way we work, how we deal with clients, our tone, personality and agency culture. Fortunately, most people get it and they are the ones we have long lasting relationships with.
Zoosme came to us a few months ago as they liked the Bluegg Way, and wanted us to inject some life and personality into their brand which was, by their own admission bland and uninspiring.
Here’s a little background. Zoosme was found in 2011 to help SME’s manage their businesses. From payroll and HR, through to marketing and accounts, Zoosme do all the tasks that business owners don’t want to do, allowing them to focus on what they are good at.
Being from an accountancy background, Zoosme founder Murray wanted to step away from typical formal and corporate looking marketing materials and make a dent in the market with their new approach to these services. Fresh, vibrant and brimming with personality were the key objectives for the brand refresh, stationery, website and brochure.
The existing logo was the word Zoosme with the two o’s doubling as heads to businessmen characters. There was no real personality, the colour pallet consisted purely of blue, white and grey resulting in a bland and clinical look. We considered keeping some sort of businessman type character but after much tinkering we decided to keep it simple, we would simply focus on the word Zoosme and communicate the personality through the use of bold colours, illustration and the content.
We also provided copywriting services. Using the existing content as a starting point we developed the tone of voice based on research we carried out with Zoosme and also tweaked it so it was consistent and authentic.
Determined to avoid cringeworthy stock imagery, we created bespoke illustrations that bring the site to life and really hammer home the point that Zoosme aren’t your typical accountants.
The website itself is relatively small, static with a WordPress blog. Again the colour and illustrations share the personality. This translated to the brochure too which also takes a big step forward from your typical corporate brochure.
Working with a client that understood us really made a difference and that sentiment was felt from the client too as Murray explains:
“The Bluegg team produced top quality work in the form of a website and corporate brochure for Zoosme. The bespoke design work complimented the brand perfectly and the team demonstrated a great understanding of what we were trying to achieve. Working with Bluegg was extremely easy and stress free as they know how to manage and deliver projects and respond efficiently to technical changes. But most of all, working with Bluegg on this project was fun.”
Thanks Murray! So Zoosme came to us to experience the Bluegg Way and we are proud to have played such a big part in creating the Zoosme Way.
You can see the website here www.zoosme.com and as always, we’d love to know what you think in the comments below.
New website for London gelato maker Black Vanilla
This week we launched a small, but lovely site for Black Vanilla a gelato maker in London. They already had an exisiting brand identity and wanted to bring more personality to the new version of the website with bespoke illustration and texture.
There was minimal content for the site so the illustrations were always going to be paramount to its success. We opted for a hand drawn style and simple shapes to reflect the content, circles for gelato and sorbetto, cake shapes for the cakes and glasses for the champagne.
We used pastel shades to bring these to life and add some colour to the predominantly chocolate brown website.
This hand drawn style was also introduced to the navigation and the social media icons. The guys at Black Vanilla have used matching illustrations for wall and window graphics in both their London shops to help bring the brand together.
It may be a small site but we’re really pleased with the final result and think it is a beautiful and unique site which makes us crave sorbet every time we look at it!
Check out the site at www.black-vanilla.com and let us know what you think in the comments.
Bluegg launches new website for Taxdoctor
We seem to have a lucky knack of attracting clients who give us a lot of creative freedom and truly value good design. Taxdoctor is one of those clients who wanted to relaunch themselves with a refreshed logo and completely redesigned website. They had very firm ideas about what they wanted, but we were able to work together to bring plenty of personality to a service seen as being stressful and confusing – self assessment tax returns.
Taxdoctor wanted to keep the basis of their current identity so we recreated the logo by updating the overall shape, typography and colour. This helped define the colour palette and design style for the website.
A key part to the project was to change the view of the whole tax return service. Taxdoctor are a personal, informal and friendly company and this needed to be reflected in the tone and design of the site. They also wanted to make dealing with tax return information much less formal, less intimidating and as smooth as possible. To help introduce this style we used bespoke illustrations of a Taxdoctor character and his clients. These are featured throughout the site and are complimented with bright colours, a clean design style and a well structured navigation. We also introduced clear call to actions to help users find key information and increase sign up numbers.
The site content is controlled by WordPress as a CMS to give the team control and allows for flexible management. We built a bespoke plugin to allow Taxdoctor to add customised landing pages for an increasing number of third party partners. The site also integrates with a CRM so all enquires, forms and sign ups are captured and stored.
In addition to the website, we also created a range of exhibition banners and leaflets to help support the brand offline. These also featured the illustrations style ensuring consistency across all materials and bringing out the friendly side of self assessment.
James from the Taxdoctor said:
“We’ve never worked with a design agency before as we choose to use freelancers, we knew that this had to change though and as soon as we met the Bluegg team we knew they were the people for us. From day one they understood our idea, philosophy and just got “the Taxdoctor way”. Communication is fantastic and the creativity and ideas have been invaluable. After just finishing our busiest month ever we know we made the right decision and we look forward to our next helping of Blueggness.”
Have a look at the site at www.taxdoctor.co.uk and as always, we’d love to hear your comments below.
Bluegg injects some fizz into Aesthetic Academy
Over the years we have gained a reputation for producing work with bags of personality. We call it the Bluegg way. It’s pretty rare that we get asked to do something so off the wall that it stumps us, but we recently worked with a company that thought we’d be up for a challenge. That company was Aesthetics Academy, a non-surgical cosmetic training organisation. They are now called Honey Fizz. Here’s the story how.
The Aesthetic Academy name and logo lacked any imagination or personality and was being used by a number of competitors. The logo of two needles making an ‘a’ was both appropriate and a bit scary at the same time. It got across the idea of administering fillers and Botox, but it was too obvious and too medical. The same would be said for the colour palette of light blue and grey. Director Chantalle wanted a name that would get people thinking and was unrelated to the services, it had to be quirky and different. Honey Fizz is all of those things!
In order to name any company you need to understand the business, its customers and its values, as well as the wider industry. And in the case of Aesthetics Academy, we had to quickly learn to ignore much of that and look at the surreal. Having picked Chantalle’s brains and embarked on a research phase, we gathered the team and started to come up with names. We decided early on that we wanted two unrelated words to combine to help create something unique. Our ideas session led us from snakes to colours and from fruits to sweets!
After a while, we settled on Mint Cherry, something fresh and unrelated, but even this was considered too serious. After more research, we started looking down many random avenues including different languages. One such ‘language’ ended up being cockney rhyming slang, which turns ‘face’ into ‘boat race’. This got us thinking and after much searching we found a famous boat from the 19th Century called ‘Honey Fizz’.
Once the name was agreed we set to work on the visual identity. We experimented with typography and ended up developing a logo which uses ITC Souvenir as a base font, which has been customised. Part of the customisation was a ligature joining the letters ‘n, f and i’. This helped form a smooth shape that we used to create a subtile ‘honey dribble’.
We opted for a strong yolk yellow and black colour palette, a nod to bees of course. We also introduced a secondary colour of blue to act as a way-finding tool by using it for links and clickable content on the website.
Once the identity was agreed and the stationery had been designed we moved onto a CMS website. Again it was key to inject as much personality as possible into the pages, without distracting from the content. To achieve this we created bespoke illustrations for each of the top level navigation pages, and small hand rendered touches around the site.
The whole site is managed by WordPress to allow the Honey Fizz team to add and edit content whenever they like. We also hooked the site up to a CRM they already had set up, so all enquires are stored and available for use later on.
Chantalle said “Bluegg have delivered a design exactly as I imagined, there were no templates and the visions of the brand we clearly discussed all the way through. Their clear organised manner really appealed to me, as we had meetings set out as the project progressed. I’d highly recommend Bluegg to anyone who wants to stand out from the crowd and get their business vision across to their customers. A great company to deal with, who are fun, contemporary, yet very focused on getting the job done properly!”
We’re really excited about the future of Honey Fizz and proud to have been involved in such a radical brand overhaul. Take a look at the new site here and come back to let us know what you think in the comments.
New website for Christchurch Newport
One of the many reasons that we love what we do is the variety, which as they say, is the spice of life! One day we might be creating a responsive website for a networking club, then it’ll be illustrating for a printed brochure for a housing association or creating bespoke Facebook pages for a logistics group.
In the summer of 2011 we were delighted to be commissioned by a church! A whole new sector for us.
Christchurch Newport approached us to redesign their website, a site which by their own admission had become out dated, too dark, no longer reflective of their personality and didn’t offer the functionality they needed.
At Bluegg our approach to design is all about personality, so we accepted this challenge with great enthusiasm and the result has been a brilliant new (and long term) relationship with a client that fully understands the importance of user experience.
As with all projects, we started with a research phase. This included looking at websites for other churches from all over the world and spending time with the client talking about their problems and needs. Perhaps the best time spent of all the research was to actually attend the church on a Sunday to experience in person what they were hoping to communicate via their new website. It just so happened that the day we went along they were having a hog roast!
The original brand and website was dominated by shades of red and black, dark tones that tell a different story to the new version that was refreshed by our own fair hands. We started by refining the logo mark and used that as the basis moving forward. We introduced varying shades of blue as the predominant brand colour and white space which lightened the website, making it welcoming and more user friendly.
As well as standard information such as about us and contact, the site also needed several blogs, one for each of the core groups within the church (teens, students, everyone). To make the different types of users feel a part of the site, we created custom designs for each blog.
One of the main areas of the site was the Media section. The church film each of their Sunday meetings and create films based on the teaching of the bible. Over the last few years this added up to hundreds of hours of video, audio and message information. The whole site is managed using WordPress and we built a custom area that could manage all this different media. We also incorporated a bible API (who would have thought!) which allows the media section to pull text from the books into the media section.
Christchurch is much more than a Sunday service. They have events happening every week throughout the year and these all needed to be represented on an easy to view calendar. We implemented the Event Espresso plugin to manage events. Linking this up with the WordPress membership manager we enabled the Church to create events that could be registered for and some that are reoccurring.
Beyond the information architecture and initial design, Christchurch wanted around 50 bespoke illustrations/graphics to be used throughout the site. We created each of these to ensure a consistent style throughout the website, they also added an extra layer to the Christchurch personality.
We hit it off with the guys at Christchurch immediately and they’ve very much become friends as well as a client. They trusted our professional opinion and expertise, which helps of course but they also had another string to their bow – a freelance designer at the Church who is an advocate for good user experience! We worked closely with Richard, particularly during the build and testing phases and his contribution was paramount to the final site turning out the way it has, a site we are very proud of.
The guys from Christchurch not only spoilt us with Krispy Kreme doughnuts throughout the project and a voucher for Game at the end, but Dan also had these kind words to say:
“Our site is designed primarily for the people who come to Christchurch week in, week out but we also have to ensure that it’s friendly and easily navigable for new visitors. These may be Christians from other parts of the country or world, or people who have no idea who Jesus is who live nearby. Bluegg did a great job of creating an easy to use site that incorporated great imagary to get across the different aspects of the church.
“Over the course of the site development different challenges appeared but it was great to work with a bunch of people who stayed level headed, adapted easily, received critique well, offered great suggestions and were most importantly great to get on with and great at what they all did.
“We’re really grateful for our new site and grateful for all of the hard work of the Bluegg team.”
We’re equally grateful for having clients that are passionate about their brand, website and personality. It really shows that from a client side, you get out what you put in – client involvement and enthusiasm has had a key impact on the outcome of this project.
You can check out the site at www.christchurchnewport.org and we’re planning to add the project to our work area and create a case study for it – make sure you follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook or join our mailing list to be the first to know when it’s added. We’d love to know what you think, so please let us know in the comments below.
Rugby World Cup Doodles
With Rugby World Cup fever well and truly upon us, we thought it only right that we dust off the pens and get doodling.
If you’ve been on our site before you may have noticed our doodles section. We aren’t claiming that they’re works of art, in fact some of the best are the less than perfect ones, but we do like to take time out now and then as a team and doodle.
We usually base it around a sporting or showbiz event so past doodles have included The Brit Awards, The Oscars and Wimbledon.
It was only right that we doodle some rugby players, as we’ve been following the tournament and even coming into the studio early to watch some of the games before work.
Have a look at the latest Bluegg doodles and let us know if you have a favourite in the comments.
Stuff we like – Matt Needle Illustration
As a creative bunch we often find ourselves ooh-ing and aah-ing over all sorts of design work, packaging, branding and websites and we’re not afraid to share the good work of others! In fact, our inspiration comes in so many forms that we’ve decided to start a regular blog post (un)imaginately titled, Stuff We Like.
Kickstarting the series we are really pleased to feature the work of Cardiff based designer and illustrator, Matt Needle.
Matt’s freelance studio, Needle Design was founded in 2008 and he has an impressive client list including Amnesty International, Hugo Boss and WIRED UK.
We’re big fans of Matt’s work, especially his lovely film posters (which you can buy in his print store). He clearly has a talent for reimagining posters for some classic films and his style is well liked here in the Bluegg studio. We may have to put an order in fairly soon!
Used with permission © Matt Needle
New brand, website and nifty quotation tool for Eupal
A few months ago Bluegg were approached by logistics company Eupal to help them with their business. The company needed our whole range of expertise, including logo design, brand development, website design and a custom backend quoting and account management system.
As you can see here the old branding was outdated and clichéd. Eupal had lost its personality and wanted it back. Although they’re a B2B company, they wanted to show that they are a professional and personal organisation. They enjoy a close working relationship with a long standing client base so were keen not to keep the design too serious.
The logo is made up of an arrow based icon and a simple wordmark in lowercase. We used a customised version of Neo Sans, which, with its tightly rounded edges offers a modern and approachable look.
For the icon part of the logo we created an two interlinked arrows representing items being sent to and from the UK. Linking the arrows also represents the relationship between Eupal and their clients.
The new website is fairly simple containing only a few main information pages. In order to introduce a burst of personality we created custom illustrations to illustrate the services on offer. These illustrations were built into a slideshow to create movement and a focal point for the main pages.
One of the main problems that Eupal were experiencing when we first met them was a lack of business, quoting and consignment organisation. The organisation was run using traditional paper and pen, and email, whilst quotations were given via email or over the phone.
We advised that an account, consignment and quoting system could be introduced to help organise and streamline the running of the business.
The backend system now tracks all new accounts and consignments whilst the quoting engine uses current market data to produce instant and accurate quotes for hundreds of thousands of variants.
The final result of this project is a totally new identity and personality for Eupal that has already been getting favourable feedback from their customers. It was also fun for us to immerse ourselves in a relatively new sector and have the opportunity to learn new skills when it came to the quoting system. It’s good to learn new things and now we know where to go if we have a parcel to send!
Bluegg creates animated film for the Seren Group
In September 2010 the Seren Group held their annual general meeting of partners, board members and local authorities. Bluegg provided a wide range of design services including design and production of banner stands and the design of an annual review.
As part of the open day, Seren needed a ‘corporate video’ to explain the theme of the day which was ‘Community Regeneration’. These types of films can be pretty tedious to watch so we proposed an animated video with a voice over to add a bit of fun and entertainment to the story.
How we did it
The first stage of the project was to work with the Seren Group team on the story, content and script. We then used these to build a story board and started creating custom illustrations to explain each stage of the film
We animated the film in Adobe Flash and arranged for a voiceover to be recorded in at the Machine Rooms in the ITV Wales studios. The video was finally exported to DVD and shown at the Riverfront Theatre in Newport.