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.
Bluegg site gets a mini makeover
It’s a little over a year since we launched our new website and throughout the year we’ve made some nips and tucks to smooth off a couple of edges. In the summer we decided that we needed to make some slightly bigger changes, both on the surface and under the hood. Finally, after months of fiddling, tinkering and fine tuning between client work we’re pleased to say that we’ve finished! We’re calling it an early Christmas present to ourselves!
So what’s new?
Under the hood
Even though much of the site looks the same, we’ve done quite a lot of work in the engine room. A lot of time has been spent streamlining the markup and we’ve introduced new semantic HTML 5 elements where possible. We’ve used WordPress as our CMS for a number of years. Constant, regular improvements to this system mean we can now create and use ‘Custom Post Types’ for each major area of the site. This helps both from a maintenance and usability point of view and makes keeping the site regularly updated really simple.
It’s now adaptive
If you’re reading this on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, you will probably have already noticed the biggest change. Our website is now adaptive (or responsive). This means that the layout and form of the site changes depending on what sort of device you’re looking at it on to provide a better user experience. We’ve also made the site adapt its functions to fit the device. For instance, our numerous slideshows throughout the site change from a ‘click to scroll’ function to a ‘swipe to scroll’ function when viewed on a touch screen device. We’ll be writing a lot more about adaptive design on our blog in the coming months, so make sure you check back soon.
The devil’s in the detail
Since we originally launched the site, we’ve had nothing but good feedback so never intended for this to be a redesign. More of a realignment really. That said, virtually every pixel has been looked at, critiqued and polished. The main change (although still pretty subtile) is in the typography. Since the site was first built we’ve been using Typekit to serve up a fine selection of fonts for our websites. We thought was about time we practiced what we preach, so have moved from our old favourite Effra, to our new font Museo Sans. We’ve also added some new content to the ‘meet the team’ part of the About section which gives a bit of an insight into each member of the team.
The biggest visual and content change is in our services page. We were never 100% happy with the old one and really wanted to, not only bring more vibrancy to the page, but to also offer much more information about what we actually do. We decided to split our services in to two types each containing 6 parts. For each of these parts we wrote a small bite size piece of copy and created custom illustrations and graphics. Take a look >
There’s also been a couple of other tweaks, but we’ll let you discover those for yourself. Why not have a look around the (mostly) new (and hopefully improved) site and let us know what you think in the comments. Enjoy!
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.
New website for Fiftyone3
If you follow us on Twitter or have read our blog before, you may have heard us talk about Fiftyone3, a shiny new business club that we created the brand identity for and help to set up. Click here to read our previous post about the branding ›
Last week we finished the next phase of the project which was the website. Having already created a brand identity and applied it to banners and printed materials we had a good starting point for the website design and used the bright colours and hexagon shapes from the logo throughout the site.
It’s a relatively small website but acts as a great resource for people in between the 6 events that happen throughout the year. As well explaining the reasons for the club and the story behind the name, people can also register for events and add themselves to the members directory. We also added a blog and gallery so we could share information about the previous events.
The site was built using WordPress and the event registration function is managed by the Event Espresso plugin. The systems allow members to sign up to the site, create a profile for the member directory and register and pay for events online.
In line with our overall strategy for producing multi platform websites, the website is responsive, meaning it changes form to be perfectly displayed on screens of all sizes, from desktop to mobile. We’ll be writing a lot more about this in the coming months so keep an eye on our blog, follow us on Twitter or sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date!
Visit www.fiftyone3.com to check it out for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments!
New branding and website for Woko Woco
We’re firm believers in the benefits of networking. Not the stuffy suited and booted stereotypical networking events, but the ones where it’s more relaxed and the focus is on relationships rather than selling each-others services.
Our Business Director Mike has been involved with a networking club called Woko Woco for sometime now and we’re super pleased to have recently created a new brand and website for them.
Woko Woco is a club set up by 4 successful guys who want to create something new. A new way of people building business connections and relationships. The network is built upon the basis of getting business people together in non-business environments like coasteering, charity bike rides and pub quizzes – and they also raise money for charities, both local and international along the way.
As part of our involvement with the local business community, we got the chance to create a fresh new brand for Woko Woco. The unusual name is a play on the names Radio Woko (which later became Radio Disney) and Coca Cola. Pretty good role models!
Although the existing logo had only been recently put in place, the name and letterforms were screaming out for a geometric and well balanced wordmark.
The simple logo set the tone for a brand style that reflected the fun, personal and relaxed personality the network had already established with its members. Using this style, we’ve designed and developed a website which uses a bright colour range, quirky illustrations and chatty copy aimed perfectly at the target audience.
To add functionality to a fairly simple site, we used WordPress and Event Espresso to create a member directory, full event information and gives members the ability to register and pay for tickets online.
The site is also responsive so it’s been specifically designed to change form depending on what sort of display the visitor is using. There’s a real buzz about responsive, or adaptive design at the moment due to the popularity of mobile devices such and smartphones and tables. We’ll be looking into this in more detail in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!
We’re really proud of the website and it’s been fun getting involved with such a great group too. Feel free to check out the site yourself at www.wokowoco.co.uk and let us know what you think in the comments.
Super cool rebrand for Forte’s Ice Cream
A while ago we were approached by north Wales based Forte’s Ice Cream to help them create a new brand and to modernise an ageing design style. It’s taken a while to get it all done but this week we finally launched their small website, so we thought it was high time we showed it off to the world!
The story of Forte’s Ice Cream starts off in 1926 deep in the mountains between Rome and Naples and leads all the way to north Wales where they now reside. Passed down through the generations, the company has become locally renowned for producing seriously-tasty-multi-award-winning ice cream and sorbets.
We developed a new identity which wasn’t ultra modern or high tech, but added a freshness and renewed a traditional brand. This new identity was the starting point for the new pot design, which did away with the overcrowded and confused look of the old pot and added a burst of colour using photography and personality through the new tone of voice. This tone of voice was a key part of sharing the Forte’s story, it had to be friendly, punchy and engaging.
The initial branding and packaging project was done a while ago, but we’ve only recently been working on the simple, but still lovely website.
Key to the success of the website was to show the history and heritage of the company as well as their renewed brand and vision – and all the delicious ice cream of course. Using a mix of some classic old pictures of the founding family, mixed with a clean and uncluttered design we made sure the website was a nostalgic reflection as well as a look into the future.
Be sure to check out the website www.fortesicecream.co.uk and if you’re in the north Wales area, make sure you pop into Forte’s Restaurant and sample some of the best ice cream around. We can highly recommend the Pistachio. And the Rum and Raisin. Oh and don’t forget the Rocky Road. And the Mochachino. But we can’t leave out Lemon & Lime Cheesecake. And last but not least Honeycomb Vanilla. And Rhubarb & Custard. You get the idea!
Bluegg help launch Fiftyone3
Last Friday myself, Mike and Rob were at Chepstow Races for the launch of a new business club called Fiftyone3. Sounds a bit dull doesn’t it? Well, it was actually really exciting, as this is a shiny new business club aimed at young (under 35-ish), ambitious and fun professionals, designed to knock the socks off formal and stuffy networking events. Fortunately, we all just about qualified.
Whether you like it or not, if you’re in business, networking is vital. It creates opportunities, connections and raises your profile. The problem with many networking events is that they’re quite often large, impersonal and for the young guns, a bit intimidating. This is because there’s a tradition of ‘selling, not buying’. It can be a high pressure environment which is very structured and formal in order to get as many people as possible to exchange business cards. To be honest, that’s just not cool. It’s only hardened networkers that actually enjoy that sort of thing.
Fiftyone3 is here to offer a fresh way of connecting people. The focus isn’t on who can collect the most business cards, it’s about creating opportunities for younger professionals at various stages in their careers to get together, have a drink and make friends. The aim is to build lasting relationships that will invariably lead onto business opportunities in the future.
As part of our partnership, Bluegg are responsible for the branding, design and digital marketing of the club. We worked with the other partners to come up with a range of name suggestions and Fiftyone3 was the winner. To us, a good name creates interest and intrigue, gets people asking questions and is something that people will recognise when it’s mentioned. Being based in south Wales, we all looked at local numbers that could be used and came across the coordinates for the area of 51 longitude and -3 latitude. And that was that!
The logo is made up of two main elements; the word mark set in customised Helvetica and the overlapping network of hexagons.
The hexagon shape was a key part of the brand, which was inspired by the complex network of a bee hive – a symbol of working together and relationships. For the intersecting hexagon logo we used a range of bold, bright colours which symbolise the type of people the club is aimed at. The individual shapes overlap, which creates new shapes and colours representing the new relationships we hope to form. This also gave us a strong graphic shape that we used to create a design style.
So far we’ve created a set of stationery, roller banners, a mini fold out leaflet and a temporary website where people can sign up for email updates, while the main one gets under way. We also styled the twitter page, which is going to be a key communication tool going forward.
So what’s next? Well, we’ll start by getting the website up and running and we have the next 5 events booked in (they happen once every two months) so we need to get planning for those too. This hasn’t been an idea months in the making, but the level of interest and feedback so far has been pretty amazing.
The future’s bright. The future’s a multicoloured hexagon.
Tom pops up in .net magazine!
It’s always a good day when we hear the thud of .net magazine dropping through our letterbox on delivery day. The unusual image of the web team jumping over the desks and scrambling to the door to read the latest in geek speak is one that entertains the rest of the team no-end. After all it is ‘The world’s best selling magazine for web designers’!
So it was with much delight that our very own Creative Director Tom Lloyd, is featured in the latest issue!
Each month three leading web designers take on the challenge of the ‘website build-off’. Each designer receives the same brief and they have to create a homepage in response to this, highlighting key content and areas of their design. Tom’s challenge was to create a website for a health issue of his choice. He opted for Bipolar.
Last Friday the latest issue landed on the studio mat and we couldn’t wait to see Tom’s design in print and also the designs offered by the other build off contestants. It didn’t disappoint! Tom’s design looked great and the whole team are super proud to see his work featured in the magazine. As we’re subscribers we get the issue a few days earlier than the newsagents so be sure to grab a copy when it comes out tomorrow (Tuesday 21st June! Issue 217)
We’ve known for ages that Tom is a talented chap and now we finally get to show everyone else what he’s made of too. Nice work Tom!
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!
New branding and CMS website for Fairlake Living
One of the best parts of running a design agency is building relationships with clients. It’s what our business is all about. One great partnership we’ve built over the last few years is with the Seren Group, a care and support provider based in Newport.
We’ve worked will all parts of the group on branding, print and web projects, and one of our most recent tasks was to create a brand for fairlakeliving a house builder and provider of affordable homes to people in many parts of Wales.
The company’s developments include highly eco-friendly developments and piggy bank friendly properties as part of shared ownership and shared equity schemes. It was our job to help take the fairlakeliving brand forward to help them promote the consumer part of the business in order to attract new customers.
Deliverables we needed to supply included a design style that would work across a variety of marketing materials including posters, brochures, site hoarding, banners and a website which we designed and built.
We started by introducing a range of graphic elements and colours to make the brand stand apart from the more business to business parent organisation. We needed to create a design style that would attract both a younger first time buyer market as well as people that are eligible for schemes designed for the over 50′s.
The website is built using WordPress as the CMS to allow fairlakeliving to update most areas themselves, including adding new properties for sale and news & events. We also created a bespoke filtering system to help users search for properties by location.
The website also includes property galleries, downloadable property spec sheets and floor plans. It’s the beginning of a fully focused resource for anyone interested in the schemes available.