adomedia

Summary: Apple Event September 2015

Well it’s September again, we’re a few months on from the developer conference back in June and the internet is awash with rumours.

So what was announced today?

1. Apple Watch

Apple were proud to report a 97% Customer Satisfaction with this device.

Big news for Health, using Airstrip a large data platform within the US Healthcare system, doctors are now able to view:

• Upcoming appointments along with medical data
• Alerts and emergencies including full medical information
• Live heart monitors
• Live vital monitors
• Secure messaging from Doctors to internal hospital staff
• Secure messaging to patients

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Image courtesy of The Verge.

Airstrip has been used to monitor over 3 million pregnant women.

Apple watch basically allows Doctors to perform remote analysis on patients, requesting home tests without requiring patients to come to the hospital.

On a style front Apple have now partnered with Hermes to provide new straps and a custom watch face.

More combinations and more products, the rose gold is now available at a lower price point as an anodised aluminium.

All of these Watches are available from Today with Apple Watch OS 2 available 16th September.

2. iPad

The biggest news in iPad since the iPad.

Moving from a magic piece of glass you hold and access anything & having partnered with IBM and Cisco to provide enterprise solutions, how could they take the iPad even further?

Well the answer, make it bigger.

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Featuring a 12.9 inch screen.

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5.6 Million Pixels.

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&

• Variable refresh rate
• 10 hour battery life
• 4 Speaker audio system
• Faster than 80% of the portable PC’s shipped in the past 12 months
• Capable of editing 4k video
• 6.9mm thin
• Magnetic smart connector

The most advanced display Apple has ever made.

With this new size and the features within iOS9 you’re now able to run 2 full screen apps side by side.

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Expanding up to even running Microsoft Word and Excel next to each other, just one of the many day to day tasks the iPad has previously fallen short on.

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& with the new apple smart keyboard, the iPad pro will truly be a laptop replacement.

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And for graphic designers the new Apple Pencil,

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Detecting, position, force and even tilt, with an accuracy to touch a single pixel (remember there are over 5 million on the new iPad Pro)

Furthermore it even features a lightning connector so you can recharge it from your iPad.

With new apps from Adobe, layout for magazine can be made in minutes while you sit on the couch.

The iPad Pro will be available from November.

3. iPad Mini 4

A new mini version of the iPad Air 2, largely glanced over by Apple but this is now one of the most powerful 7inch tablets.

4. Apple TV

FINALLY, after 3 long years Apple are finally updating their TV.

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The future of TV is apps, we’ve already seen this trend, more people watching TV shows through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc and most of these are consumed in Apps on mobile devices.

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This means the new Apple TV need:

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With voice control, an app store, Siri based intelligent search (really really intelligent search), motion control remote (and totally new design featuring a glass top), HD screen savers, Apple Music and with an app store comes GAMES!!!!!!

Like guitar hero.

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Siri will now search across multiple content apps and give you all your viewing options on a single screen.

You will of course still be able to control the Apple TV with your iOS devices, but why when you can just tell Siri what you want to watch, or ask it what about the latest news, weather or sports scores whilst still watching your favourite TV show.

Apps will be able to show stats, split screen viewing with other channels or sporting events within the app.

Fingers crossed for BBC iPlayer will become natively available soon.

Now there are some striking similarities between the new Apple TV games and those of the original Nintendo Wii, so it will be interesting to see if Apple can succeed where Nintendo have failed to hold their ground. But with purchases being shared from iOS devices, people who’ve bought the latest version of Angry Birds will have it and the in-app purchases available automatically on the TV.

If all of this wasn’t enough e-commerce apps are being brought to your living room.

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Apple TV will ship late October.

TVos is available today.

5. iPhone

A very much expected move with the release of the S model of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+.

Featuring new hardware with the same aesthetic.

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Now available in 4 colours

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3D Touch

An extension of Force Touch taken from the Apple Watch, this allows for contextual menus allowing more options to be accessible without cluttering the screen with large menus.

This could be interesting but with no limits as to how developers use these, we could start seeing important features being hidden in these contextual menus causing confusion in users. But this is just another reason user experience is becoming the most important part of design.

Haptic feedback will change the way we are notified of actions on the device and maybe take the device past a small piece of glass we just can’t put down.

4k Video

We hoped it was coming, but long term this will have big ramifications for social media and who knows maybe film makers.

In Summary

There is no doubt this was a big day for Apple.

There are even more reasons to own an Apple Watch and by tapping into the health market you could almost see them required for patients requiring ongoing outpatient care.

The iPad Pro shows how important it is to have a responsive site, not just something mobile friendly, the flexibility it offers with dual apps, screen in screen, your website could be displayed at any number of sizes and resolutions.

The Apple TV remains a great way to perform presentations but it could really be the thing that pushes internet TV and cord cutting into the mainstream. Furthermore It could help draw eyes from phones and have households engage together in apps and games on the biggest screen in your home.

The big one here for businesses though is shopping on Apple TV, with most online purchases being made from mobile devices, a smart TV that facilitates the same could be a huge game changer.

Or hell just have a beautiful piece of art playing as a HD screen saver in your office, shop or reception.

With 11 million developers there is no doubt that the Apple TV will become a huge platform and if you have the apps, you have the audience.

Could your next business solution be running in somebody’s front room?

Oh and Siri got more sass.

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The Evolving News Feed

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The way in which consumers access news has primarily been through print or broadcasting outputs for many years. However the advent of social media and the web, alongside viral trends has meant that information or news is constantly updating in real time and has become accessible to everybody at any hour, on many different platforms.

Have we moved away from our traditional means of news consumption and embraced the ever growing landscape of social media technology as our primary news provider? Social platforms now allow individuals to greater refine what outlets they receive their global news and information from, creating a an individualised bulletin board.

Facebook gives us the ability to ‘Like’ our favourite media institution’s pages which allows us to closely follow their posts about recent news, popular culture and subjects of personal interest. This has meant that our engagement with initial points of news consumption has started to reach us via separate channels on an ever changing, personalised ‘News Feed’.

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One advantage of sharing news across social media outputs is that it has allowed our social interactions and news consumption to fuse seamlessly as one. Openly discussing your thoughts on topical issues has become easier, suggesting that freedom of speech has been enhanced via these websites (let’s not begin to discuss all of the information that they may, or may not have taken from you whilst doing so, that’s another issue).

These social media channels allow us to connect with others online, but what you share depends on how you want to engage with such outlets. Many people use them as a way to keep in touch with others and rarely share personal information. Others however can appear hypnotised by the constant information which these sites may bring.

Many of us use these sites more than we’d like to admit, but there are many layers to social media and it’s important to address how it’s changing the way in which we access news around the world. Which type of user are you?

Changes to Google’s Mobile Rankings

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So your website’s made it on to the first page of Google, great! Have you tested the same search on your mobile device? If not, you may get an unpleasant surprise. As of April the 21st Google made several changes to their search algorithm, giving priority to sites which are mobile user friendly. This means if your site isn’t mobile compatible, then it will be pushed down the rankings, to make way for optimised pages.

This suggests that, “the search engine giant is sending a strong message to brands – improve your mobile sites or else…” – The Drum, April 2015.

Google warned brands in February 2015 of the upcoming changes to their mobile search results and how this may effect their ranking. It seems Google have taken the initiative in a bid to increase revenue by putting pressure on brands to make their digital presence more user friendly. It is estimated that 50% of all smartphone internet traffic passes through Google Search, so it is understandable that the multinational tech giants are ready to force the issue with brands whose sites aren’t mobile user friendly, to unlock a huge wad of potential revenue. Google claim that due to the rise of the smart phone and the wide access to the internet on mobile devices, their algorithm had to take this into account when adding and changing the way in which it operates.

However, this can be an issue for many businesses for several reasons. Simply being unaware of this change can be potentially damaging to any business, as they will have slipped down the rankings without even knowing. This adjustment has also incurred cost to many businesses, scrambling to pay for an updated site at short notice. Those who have built a strong presence via SEO, may now find their efforts redundant.

Although it may seem harsh at first, this move from Google is urging brands to update their sites and stay in line with advancements in technology and having a mobile-friendly is site is a great decision in the long run.

You can click here to check if your site is mobile-friendly.

To find out more from Google themselves, you can read their blog on the topic here.

Lost Your Phone? Simply Ask Google

We’ve all experienced the panic of losing our phone, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, before you realise you’re actually sat right next to it. No matter the situation, we’ve all felt the fear. Losing your phone is not only incredibly frustrating but it can bring along with it a nasty financial surprise, there’s always the never ending feeling of, “But where did I leave it?”. Never mind the brave friend who dares to ask, “Have you checked your pockets?”. OF COURSE YOU’VE CHECKED YOUR POCKETS, and underneath the car seats, in the dog basket and the bag you haven’t used for 6 months… It’s gone. You’ve only unpacked your home and had a mini meltdown at the front door before finally accepting defeat. After you’ve got over the initial loss, you speak to your insurance company or buy a new phone and order is restored. But what if Google can put an end to this trauma? Well, they have.

The new feature, which was unveiled by Google on Wednesday, allows you to search for your Android phone using their search engine. However, there are a few things which you need to consider and put into place for the feature to work.

Log into the same Google account on your phone and PC browser, to ensure that both accounts are linked.

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Image via
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Next, you simply type, ‘find my phone’ into the search engine and Google will pull up the location of your device via a map, showing you exactly where your missing tech has found itself.

You can also select the option for Google to ring your phone, so that if you are unfortunate enough to lose a device at home, you can follow the sound to find it.

Apple also offer a similar service, ‘Find my iPhone’ which allows you to find your missing device in a similar manner.

Next time you’re faced with the unnerving feeling of losing your phone, be safe in the knowledge that you have the latest Google update or Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ in place and fingers crossed you’ll be reunited with your smartphone soul mate in no time, even if it is in that pocket you thought you’d already checked…

Find more info from cnet here.

Apple Watch: The Discussion

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Here at Adomedia we’re always interested, and at times a little over excited (Steve), when new software, hardware and technology is released. Since its official launch, there’s one item in particular which has set many pulses racing throughout the digital community, the Apple Watch. Boasting a polished single crystal of sapphire screen, an activating display as you move your wrist and fluid navigation, it’s no wonder there’s a buzz amongst the tech community.

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Image via Apple.

However, after reading detailed product descriptions, researching functionality and watching Apple’s promotional video, there are many aspects of the Apple Watch which come into question.

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Digital Spy launched, ‘Poll: Are you tempted to buy an Apple watch?’. Since the launch of the Apple Watch, and subsequent reviews, the statistics currently stand at Yes 32.80%, No 54.45%, and Still not sure 13.74%. This indicates more and more people are deciding whether to buy the Apple Watch based on its practicality, rather than its fashionability. Understandable, when Apple Watch prices start at a hefty $299 and waiting lists on preorders of the device may take up to 3 months.

There’s also the matter of several other competitors in the Smartwatch market, who are able to provide lower priced alternatives to the Apple Watch such as Android Wear, Motorola Moto Smartwatch and the LG G Watch R Smartwatch. However, the love of Apple products from many tech lovers runs deep, meaning many are willing to pay more for the Apple branding and technology.

It must be noted that both the technology and functionality of the Apple Watch is fantastic when compared to other brands. The tech site Mashable says it’s, “the best Smartwatch on the market”. You can read their review here.

The real question is, is the Apple watch a necessary piece of kit in the age of the smart phone? We think The Verge summed it up perfectly:

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Image via Apple.

You can read The Verge’s definitive review here.

The Apple Smartwatch is available to try on via a booked appointment from April 24th 2015 in street stores.

We launch Scriptorum’s new website

Last year our long standing clients, Scriptorum, came to us ready to give their website a refresh.
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Pull the slider Left and Right to reveal the before and after results.
 

We first worked with Scriptorum in 2012 when we helped them build a website to promote their legal transcription services. As Scriptorum have grown over the years and developed their range of services they have placed more emphasis on their “Scribe” service, which allows for quick and easy transcription of phone recorded voice memos. As “Scribe” has become a major part of Scriptorum’s process it was clear it should be the primary focus of the website and it was important that the new build reflected the service’s simplicity.

 

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We opted for a simple one page layout to consolidate all of the important information into a single page. To help Scriptorum’s potential clients understand the simplicity of their services we incorporated illustrations and iPhone screenshots to showcase how easy the process of using their services is. The inclusion of fields that expand when clicked to reveal additional areas, allowed us to regulate the maximum height of the website whilst ensuring all of the necessary information was included throughout.

 

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As part of the project, Scriptorum asked us to create a logo for their “Scribe” service. We used a simple and friendly script font with an inviting colour scheme to reflect the simplicity of Scriptorum’s services and the obvious connotations of the word scribe.

 

View the website here: www.scriptorumweb.co.uk

Twitter and Google to include tweets in search results

This may not seem like big news but it could have massive implications for your business and its online exposure.

 
Currently Google focuses very heavily on new content on your website (news, blogs etc) and effectively social media should be used to push traffic to your site, but unfortunately social media is often operated within its own little bubble. So if someone isn’t following your business on twitter they only get to hear about you on the off chance that someone they are following retweets something.

 
This problem is further exacerbated by Facebook where even the people who like/follow you don’t always see what you’re posting (general rule of thumb is a 1-2% reach, so for every 100 likes you have 1-2 of those people will see what you post). This is there to push you into Facebook’s business model of promoted posts and adverts, but that’s another blog for another time.

 
Anyway back to twitter, it’s very easy for things to be shared and spread but it’s very of the moment. Rarely does anyone check or share a tweet from several months or years ago. Google search results could change this.

 
If your tweets start coming up against searches, this could massively increase your exposure and potentially reduce the requirement to write lots of time consuming blogs, it most certainly will have impact on your google ranking.

 
At the very least advertisers on twitter will have to be far more coherent than simply posting a link to their product.

 
This could very well make twitter the most important social network for your business.

We’ve Moved.

Welcome to ado.media, the new home of adomedia. As you will have realised it’s not only our domain name that’s changed. We’ve also undergone a major online facelift which has seen us restocking our ever growing portfolio with our wide range of printed literature and online media.

Take a look around and if you’ve got any questions or enquiries, head over to our contact page and send us a message, or give one of our friendly team a ring on +44 (0) 1625 612 198.

Daily Inspiration

As many of you will be aware, since the end of July we’ve been running a little inspiration project on our Twitter page. The aptly named #dailyinspiration series was our way of helping other creatives kick start their day by sharing an article or piece of work that’s inspired us.

We aimed to post 1 a day and on Monday shared our 100th post, which we agreed was the perfect ending to the project. Some of the work that we’ve featured includes this awesome Batmobile illustration project by David Lo (@flnz) and the stunning “Through a Glass Darkly” photography series by Nick Turpin (@NickTurpin).

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About half way through the project we were finding it was rather annoying having to scroll through our feed to try and find previous posts. We came up with the idea of setting up a website where we could showcase all 100 to make it easier to browse what we had already covered. This is when seenby.adomedia.co.uk was created.

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We found that a simple, grid based layout with a smooth and fluid hover state on the posts would work best. The fully responsive site also has the ability for users to post comments on their favourite piece. If you haven’t already, why not take a look for yourself at seenby.adomedia.co.uk.

So, whether you’re looking for some inspiration for you latest photography project or just need a push in the right direction for your next illustration, head over to seenby.adomedia.co.uk and have a good old nosy around.

Christmas Opening Times

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We’d just like to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. We’ve had an excellent 2014 which was recently rounded off with a great Christmas party in Macclesfield. Big thanks go out to Rosanero, Red Willow & Mash Guru for the hospitality.

Christmas Opening Times

The office will be manned right up until Christmas day, with the team finishing around 1pm on the 24th. We will be closed on the 25th (Christmas Day) & the 26th (Boxing Day). The office will then be open on the 29th, 30th & a half day on the 31st (New Years Eve). We will then kick start 2015 on the 5th January where normal working hours will resume.

24th December: 09:00 – 13:00
25th December: CLOSED
26th December: CLOSED

29th December: 09:00 – 17:00
30th December: 09:00 – 17:00
31st December: 09:00 – 13:00
1st January: CLOSED
2nd January: CLOSED

5th January: 09:00 – 17:00 (normal hours resume)

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all of us!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday. Sounds like a horror movie, right? Cyber Monday. A futuristic sci-fi film? Wrong. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are very real and very of the now. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’re likely to have at least heard something about them in the past week.

America’s Black Friday phenomenon hit UK shores this year with force akin to that of our latest import from the Atlantic, Hurricane Gonzalo. It brought a tidal wave of discount deals, floods of shoppers and of course the ensuing media storm. One poor lady even took a falling flat screen TV to the head in the midst of the mayhem.

In the previous two years Black Friday has begun to enter the consciousness of the British public via the magic of social media and this year we decided we were going to give it our best shot yet. Stores such as Asda were the main outlets for major price cuts who are, of course, owned by controversial American discount giants Wal-Mart.

Still in the dark about Black Friday? It came to prominence in the United States in the early 1900’s on the Friday following the Thanks Giving holiday (the fourth Thursday in November) where the major retailers open their doors in the early hours of the morning and offer seemingly unmissable promotional sales. Since the early 2000’s it has become the unofficial mark of the start of the Christmas shopping season in the USA.

This year, Black Friday saw Amazon eclipse last year’s record breaking Cyber Monday item purchases by a distance. 5.5 million items sold on Black Friday 2014 to 4.1 million sold on 2013’s Cyber Monday. In the USA alone, $50.9 billion was spent over the Black Friday weekend.

In the aftermath of Friday, customers who flocked to retailers, filled their boots and fought for their 50% discounts, have taken to e-commerce platforms, such as eBay, to offload their fancy flat screens at inflated prices in an attempt to ‘make a fast buck’.

After Black Friday’s commercial success, Cyber Monday kicked-off at 12:00 AM, giving retailers another chance to offer consumers discount deals – the online equivalent of Black Friday. Amazon, high street retailers and other online stores, such as ASOS, getting in on the act with some websites even crashing under the pressure of their own traffic.

Cyber Monday sales are expected to increase 26% on last Christmas and next week’s “Manic Monday” will likely see online sales explode again, with retailers offering further discounts leading experts to predict a £676.5 million worth of sales (£470,000 per minute) in one day.

In recent years e-commerce has risen dramatically with consumers opting to buy online rather than in-store. At this time of year, more people are choosing to avoid battling the busy crowds of stressed shoppers and screaming kids, who wish to be anywhere else than packed out shopping centres, and who can blame them.

Online sales offer the perfect chance for organised, savvy shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done early and efficiently from the comfort of their own home. The increased capabilities of personal devices and responsive web design means consumers can make purchases on the go with tablets and even their mobile phones. With this in mind it’s easy to see why retailers are capitalising on it.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday proved, once again, the power of social media and online retail in a modern consumer market.

If you think a social media package, an e-commerce platform or even a dedicated hosting server to cope with your busy online traffic could be beneficial to your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on +44 (0)1625 612 198 or at enquiries@adomedia.co.uk. We’re always happy to talk about new projects and ideas.

Ronnie’s Bar Launch

You may have seen last week that we launched a spanking new web build for Ron Tiki cocktail bar in Macclesfield. Well this week we’ve just launched a beautiful new website for their mother bar Ronnie’s.

Ronnie’s Bar are one of our long standing clients and they recently approached us again to assist them in giving their website a little bit of an update to coincide with the bar’s relocation (84B Mill Street).

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Part of our brief was to ensure that the primary emphasis was on the bar’s new address and their upcoming events.

Ronnie’s Bar is a well known, popular part of Macclesfield’s evening scene so it’s important that the local clients are aware of the relocation. We incorporated their new address as part of the site title to place instant emphasis on the bar’s new location.

We implemented an Events page, to help users keep up to date with the venues pending events which includes dates, prices, times and drinks promotions. The Events page uses a live calendar function to automatically remove the event from the page once it has gone by to avoid a confusing backlog of past nights and shifts the spotlight on to their next upcoming events.

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We also implemented a promotional slider on every page to further promote the bar’s upcoming events and the site also includes a Gallery section, where the Ronnie’s event photographers can showcase their pictures of the bar’s past events.

The Ronnie’s and the adomedia team are really pleased with the results and the short, 10 day turnaround to get the site live for their launch weekend. Are you heading out for a few drinks over the weekend? Why not pop into to Ronnie’s Bar for their launch nights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We love working on exciting projects like the Ronnie’s Bar website. If you’d like to talk to us about a potential project contact our Business Development Manager, Steven Taylor, at steve@adomedia.co.uk or on 01625 612 198.

Ronnie’s Bar

Website for Macclesfield’s premium late night bar, Ronnies. Now located at 84B Mill Street.

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View the site here.

What’s In My Bag: Steven Taylor, Business Development Manager

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2012 Macbook Air 13”
iPad Air 32GB
iPhone 5
Jabra Revo Wireless Headphones
Jabra 3.5mm cable with mic (For those moments when the batteries run out)
Anker 1200ma Battery
2 x USB to Micro USB
Apple Micro USB to Lightning Adaptor
1 x Folding USB Charger
Chromecast
Maglus Stylus
Cross Ball Point Pen
Butterfox Accessory case
EE 4G Mobile Hotspot
Slim Car to USB Adaptor
Sandisk 64GB Wireless USB Stick
Seagate Wireless 500GB Hard Drive
Contigo West Loop Autoseal Travel Mug

This is generally my day to day carry and allows me to have a full mobile office, though where possible I try and avoid carrying my Mac Book Air.

The iPad is my main out of office device, I love it, I try and do everything I can with it but sometimes it’s just quicker to work off a laptop, particularly for presentations, but the iPad is my go to for reading, gaming and note taking.

For years I just used my phone as a mobile hotspot but as my requirements grew, I needed a mobile hotspot that could be on for several hours. I decided to invest in the EE Osprey hotspot, it works a lot better with multiple devices, and when we do live social media coverage it’ll last about 8 hours before needing a charge. That said when it’s just for me the iPhone is the hotspot I’ll use 4 out of 5 times.

While travelling I’ll be listening to music and the Jabra Revo’s are Wirecutter’s best bluetooth headphones, I’m a big proponent of going/living/being wireless where possible, the sound quality is great, the isolation is good and I can answer my phone and use Siri without digging my phone out of my pocket.

I’ve kept the cables to a minimum, USB to micro USB charges the backup battery, hotspot, headphones and Chromecast and then the apple lightning adaptor allows it to charge my iPhone or iPad, I’m not sure why I carry the USB to mini USB. I’ve stopped carrying the cable for the seagate drive, it’s not the sort of thing I need to charge on the go and as you’ll read below, it’s not used all that much.

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I’m hoping to ditch the Anker battery when I get an iPhone 6 or 6+ and my phone can make it more than 6 hours away from a charger (it’s my fault I’m always on it, streaming music, tweeting etc)

The Chromecast I picked up as a way for me to carry less cables, when doing presentations or training etc most venues now have HD TVs instead of projectors and as such I can just plug it in, turn on the mobile hotspot and mirror any tab in chrome from my Mac Book Air. I’m hoping in the near future that I can mirror my iPad to it, if not I could see this getting swapped out for an Apple TV.

Most of my data is stored in the cloud but when I’ve got to quickly grab things the Sandisk Wireless USB stick or Seagate Hard Drive are my go to devices. The Seagate is mostly loaded with movies for when travelling. But if I’m honest I’ve not used these all that much they are just hold overs from when carrying a USB stick was a must.

I’ve got some misc headphone adaptors, for sharing music or when on a plane, I think I just have them in the case so when going abroad I know where they are.

It’s a constant work in progress and I’m always trying to reduce what i carry but so far this allows me to work anywhere and travel relatively lightly.

Ron Tiki

Website & illustrations for Macclesfield bar, Ron Tiki.

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View the site here.

Ron Tiki: Website Design & Illustrations

Earlier in the year Ron Tiki Bar approached us to help them create a new, engaging website for their popular night spot. Ron Tiki is the sister tiki bar of Ronnie’s, one of Macclesfield’s most popular evening bars. Part of the brief was to create a fun and engaging site to reflect the atmosphere of the bar itself. We knew that the site wasn’t going to be very text or content heavy so we aimed to put a focus on the imagery of the bar. We implemented a one page, side-scrolling element to make the navigation of the site as slick and efficient as possible.

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In addition to the website project, the guys at Ron Tiki commissioned adomedia to create a series of 15 bespoke illustrations for the website. The section called ‘The Story’ and is a fun and quirky introduction to where the Ron Tiki bar originated from.

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The story follows the journey of ‘Big Ed’ an Easter Island Moai who leaves his beach shack cocktail bar in paradise to bring his knowledge to Macclesfield at the request of Ronnie, a bar owner from Macclesfield on a mixologist scouting mission in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean…Of course!

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The guys at Ron Tiki are really happy with the outcome, and so are we. We’re looking forward to working with them again in the future. You can view the website here – www.rontikibar.co.uk.

Would you like to talk to us about a website or illustration project? Get in touch with Steve our Business Development Manager at steve@adomedia.co.uk or call us on 01625 612 198, we’re always happy to discuss new and exciting projects.

iOS8 – What’s New?

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Earlier this week saw the release of the latest Apple operating system, iOS8. For those of you who managed to free up the space (4.7GB) and download it straight away, you’ll most probably be aware of the latest features iOS8 has to offer and surprisingly, there are quite a few.

One of things that I noticed almost immediately was the slight design modification to the icons in the Control Panel. In iOS7 the icons and the stroke around the circle would change from black to white once clicked. In iOS8 the whole background of the icon fills with white and the icons stay the same. A small and rather insignificant change I know.

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One of the more interesting developments is Siri’s built in song identification software. It seems that Apple has partnered up with Shazam to deliver this feature and I must admit, it works rather well!

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Another element that got our Business Development Manager, Steve quite excited was that if you’ve installed iOS8 on your iPad and it’s connected to the same WiFi network as your iPhone, then you’ll be able to take calls on it. When your iPhone rings a notification will pop up on your iPad and you’ll be able to receive the call as you would do with a Skype call.

The camera features a few upgrades too. New exposure settings and a self timer have been built in along with the ability to record time-lapse videos. Here’s our first attempt…

Group messages also get a few enhancements with the ability to name, mute and leave the conversation altogether. To access these, simply click “details” in the top corner of the conversation.

Not so much of a new feature but more of an upgrade, the talk-to-type component on the keyboard (little microphone button) is now more accurate than ever. It’s probably still best to manually type those private message though, especially in public.

Overall, not a huge difference from iOS7 and more upgrades to existing features rather than entirely new ones. You’ll probably get the most out of iOS8 with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which have gone on sale this morning, but we’ve not managed to get our hand on one…yet.

New Apple Releases

Tuesday evening, 6pm (GMT), saw the highly anticipated annual apple conference in California. Rumours of the new releases and pending launches have been circulating for a few months now with talk of bigger screens, slimmer handsets and wearable tech leading the build up hear say and they weren’t wrong. On the night Apple unveiled the two new iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus as well as the new addition to their product line the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch is Apples first dip into the wearable tech market, billing it as a ‘health and fitness device’. Apple Watch can track movement, activity and heart-rate and can export and share data with other apps when paired with an iPhone or iPad. However, Apple’s first smartwatch is much more than just a personal trainer on your wrist, it can perform many of the same functions and can run many of the same apps as Apple’s other devices including Twitter, Facebook and Emails.

Apple-Watch-iWatch-editions

Main navigation is done by using the ‘Digital Crown’ a scrolling toggle on the side of the watch but don’t worry if you like to feel like Tom Cruise in the Minority Report whilst you text your Granny, swiping is still possible as Apple have implemented the now standard touchscreen interface that recognises the difference between a touch and a tap the same as their other devices.

We’re still yet to be convinced about the need for the Apple Watch, it only runs ‘almost’ as many functions as an iPhone, has a smaller user interface to work with and isn’t really built for browsing. It is already being considered by some as a bit of a money making gimic, especially when you consider it only works to its full potential when it’s paired with an Apple iPhone 5 or later.

From what we have seen on the internet though the response has been mixed and the general consensus is split fairly 50/50. However, if one thing is for sure, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be Apple’s biggest sellers in the device market this year.

As for how it effects you as a business, there is very little impact for website owners, the intention is not for the apple watch to become your main device or even something that can browse the internet. The idea is it’s a companion device to your phone, offering quick glimpses into notifications and information, so don’t worry you won’t have to roll out your watch compatible site just yet.

The iPhone 6 comes in two separate sizes. The standard iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch screen, making it over half an inch bigger the the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6 Plus is 1.5 inches bigger with a screen size of 5.5 inches. Bigger screens means a larger user interface and the new 1080p resolution could potentially mean mobile site templates will begin to be fazed out in the not too distant future.

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What would that mean for creative agencies and its customers? Currently, for a successful overall user experience, websites need to have a mobile template that will show a simplified, better constrained version of the website built exclusively for smaller devices, which means you need to design a desktop template and a mobile template. More templates adds to the amount of design and implementation work and of course the cost.

The iPhone 6 Plus’ new 1080p resolution and larger interface could mean that in a few years time mobile specific templates could start to be fazed out of web design meaning websites are cheaper to build and as a consequence cheaper to buy.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus also include Apples new Apple Pay function. Apple Pay is effectively a virtual wallet (unfortunately the money isn’t virtual) that you use to pay for transactions using NFC (Near Field Communication) on your phone instead of your credit cards, much the same as fast card payments. It also allows for one touch checkout on websites, no more entering all your billing and shipping information, just hold the fingerprint scanner and done, purchase made. We are looking to offer this functionality to our clients with e-commerce sites soon.

The new iPhones will also have an upgraded camera, increased wifi speed, finger print recognition technology and of course the much anticipated iOS8 which will likely make even the iPhone 5’s feel like a completely new phone.

What’s In My Bag: Karen Lloyd, Social Media Co-ordinator

First of all, I must admit and apologise that this is a slightly edited version of, ‘What’s In My Bag’ after I spent a good while cleaning out old receipts and snickers wrappers, but here goes. So, the guys bags have mostly boasted cool tech gadgets, cameras and more importantly (how could we forget) Magnum’s spork – brilliant. But my, ‘What’s In My Bag’ will be a little more modest.

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It’s probably odd that as a social media co-ordinator I have no laptop to speak of. I work soley on adomedia’s iMac and on my 32gb iPad when I’m at home, or out and about.

Due to the wonders of Evernote I needn’t carry my lump of a laptop around with me, I can now happily sit at home on my iPad easily dragging pictures into posts with no hassle. Finally, I can happily float through the internet without getting really, really hot knees – I wish someone had told me this earlier. But my main love is my Aspinal of London black leather journal, the pages are a light yellow with small horizontal lines, this is especially handy as it gives me more room to ramble.

By hand writing most of my work, this allows me to throw all of my ideas down onto the paper, and tidy up or expand on certain points when I type up the final piece. However, I’m trying to completely convert to Evernote, as it’s so helpful when creating blogs. But, as Ben talked about in his post, it’s nice to have a physical form in front of you, it’s just more comfortable somehow.

For little notes I always have my mini notepad with me, which I love. It’s easy to flick through and has a picture of a 9th Century Greek bracelet from the Thessaloniki museum in Greece with a beautiful blue bird on, which is nice and a bit more fun than the black leather book. My A4 notebook also comes in handy for longer pieces, and the radio, television and mobile phone technology combo on the front cover is cute. The notebooks that I carry around are helpful when I’m working on the move.

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However, my favourite item is my dark purple and silver Cross fountain pen which writes beautifully. I am a bit of a stationary geek, (I know there are more of us out there) and it’s nice to have a quality pen that writes well without scratching up your paper, or leaking on your sandwiches before dinner.

How could I leave out the countless train and bus journeys that have been saved, due to my trusty headphones. But other than a couple of lipsticks and maybe a highlighter or two if I’m lucky, there we have it.

Carers In The Home: Branding & Website Design

Back in June 2013 Carers In The Home approached us to help them establish a visual identity and an online presence.

Firstly, we looked at what makes Carers In The Home different from other care services. Carers In The Home assist people looking for both care and care work so it was important that their overall identity worked universally.

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We opted for a type based approach using the leg of the second “R” in “Carers” to wrap around the “S” to subtly convey the idea of support and trust without being patronising or condescending to those who may require care.

Using the newly established branding we provided the Carers In The Home team with a full stationery suite including business cards and letterheads.

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Using the colour scheme established in the initial branding process we created a simple to use, function based website that can be used by people of all ages and abilities.

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Carers in the Home’s main aim is to facilitate safe online introductions between senior people requiring care and care givers. We provided an advanced search function that allows users to connect with people based on location, requirements and availability. We then implemented a secure messaging service that allows users to connect safely without the need to release any personal information until they are ready to do so.

Working closely with the Carers In The Home team we have created a safe and secure place for people requiring care and care givers to connect and build trusting relationships.

Instagram’s New Hyperlapse App

Have you seen Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app? You may have seen us Tweet a video giving you a very rough guided tour of our studio. Over the last couple of days we’ve had time to play around with it a bit more, it’s pretty damn cool.

Hyperlapse is Instagram’s first standalone video app. User’s are able to create elegant, high-quality time-lapse videos, anywhere at anytime. What sets Hyperlapse apart from other time-lapse video recording apps is its image stabilising feature. Most time-lapse videos rely on users keeping there hand/body steady to create a consistent shot without any camera shake, anyone you has ever used the Panorama camera on an iPhone will know the struggle against representing your own sitting room as a warped, parallel universe.

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(Via Distractify)

How does Hyperlapse work? Instagram wanted to create a time-lapse video app that removed all of the complexity and meticulous planning and editing that goes with producing a professional time-lapse video. After all, who has the software, time or the know-how to do so.

Using Hyperlapse is as simple as tapping the record button on the app, and it does the rest for you. It takes your recording and uses a complex, under the hood, decoding system to request certain frames and speeds up the video to a new playback rate. There are 7 playback rates depending on how fast you want your time-lapse video to be; 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x and 12x. If your original recording is 60 seconds long and you choose a 2x playback rate, your resulting time-lapse video will be 2 times as fast as the original, 30 seconds long and so on.

Whilst the app is recording and processing your capture its clever image stabilising algorithm, Cinema, is working in the background to help to give the recording a fluid motion with minimal camera shake. It’s the image stabilising feature that sets Hyperlapse apart from the rest in its genre. The app’s flexible zoom algorithm reduces the field of view depending on how shaky your video is to smooth out the folds and provide a much steadier, smoother outcome. Its best feature might not be so apparent at first, the app really starts to flex its muscles when the user and subject are both in motion allowing the image stabilising feature to really come into play.

Overall, the app is great. Its interface is so uncomplicated a child could use it and it’s beautiful in all of its simplicity. Some pre-consideration may be need to go into what you want to do with your finished piece, for example, the video length limit on Instagram is 15 seconds and 7 seconds on Vine, so if you plan to share them on your favourite social networks you’ll need an idea of the time parameters to stay within. Hyperlapse haven’t left you on your own with this though. Two timers give you real-time feedback whilst you record, one tells you the length of the recording and one indicates how long the resulting time-lapse version will be at the default playback rate, 6x.

Hyperlapse is clever, fun and most importantly free so it’s worth a download just to have a go. Take a look at some of the creative capabilities some of the clever folk of the internet have already started sharing.

What’s In My Bag: Ben Oldham, Graphic Designer

What’s in my bag? As it happens, a lot more than I thought…A little goes a long way.

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– Biro
– Pencil
– Sharpie
– Keys Set 1 – Home/Car
– Keys Set 2 – Work
– Banana
– Wallet
– iPhone 5 and Cable
– Headphones
– General Notebook
– Dot Grid Mini
– Sony RX100 Camera

When I was told it was my turn to write the third in the ado “What’s In My Bag” series my first thought was “****, but there isn’t really anything in it!”. It wasn’t until after I’d photographed it all for this post and made an inventory list I realised I had a 12 point strong list, and the best thing, I actually use all of it at least once a day…Apart from the Banana, they’re generally a one off once you’ve eaten them.

It’s probably best to start with the obvious, self-explanatory stuff and get it out of the way. The trusty Bic biro, of which I’ve bought loads of 24 packs in the past and never made it through the full ink supply of even one pen. An HB pencil that only stays sharp through sheer will power, despite Scott and me having the aptly named “Stationery Village” draw next to us in the studio, it’s full of novelty sticky notes and picture frame hooks…(**NEW BLOG IDEA STEVE: What’s In My Draw**). Then there is the customary sharpie to round off my stationery utensils. The rest of the standard bag contents stuff includes a couple of sets of keys (personal and work), a Banana, chosen snack on the day I took the pictures and my wallet which unfortunately doesn’t seem to have the same knack of being fuller than expected as my bag does.

Most used item in my bag? My iPhone 5. Now there’s an app for everything, I don’t really need much else outside of work to keep my mind busy, I don’t have a tablet or a portable computer so on the whole my phone is a little trooper. I love Vine, am partial to a Snapchat and I do a heck of a lot of Instagramming. Buzzfeed and Sky Sports are on there too and I use MyFitnessPal on a semi-regular basis. There’s also the obvious social network stuff – Facebook, Twitter and then Pinterest and Behance which I can use for research or some creative inspiration whilst I’m on the go. Then of course there is what the phone is actually supposed to be used for, texting and calling which is probably pretty low on the functions it has to perform.

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I’ve gone through a couple of iPhones as the family phone rotation system has gone round so we’ve been afforded a few extra Apple Lightening Cables. I’ve got one at home and one in my bag which means I can charge my phone pretty much anywhere; in the car, on my work iMac and even in the gym. It also means I can access my own music wherever I am at that time. Obviously, you can’t have an iPhone without your headphones, you never know when you might need to block out the background noise, get in the zone and give yourself a soundtrack. My Sony bad boys have just survived a wash and tumble dry and are still pumping out as good a sound as you’d want without the impractical Beats by Dre style headphones strapped to the top of your head. At least I think they’re Sony, I can’t tell, the branding has washed off.

Next up I’ve got my notebook, usually used for team meeting notes, jotting client feedback down and brainstorming around new design ideas. I tend to do a lot of preliminary sketches in there too because the Dot Grid Books are just too precious to start messing them up with rough skamps, although the current one has taken a good battering over the last 3 weeks. It’s always nice to have a separate book for notes, somewhere you can scribble down ideas no one else needs to understand and it doesn’t have to be particularly legible. Also, I struggle with the idea of having all my notes set-up digitally, I can’t stand clicking through folders trying to find a one line note I could have just pulled out of my bag 10 minutes previous.

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The Dot Grid books feel different to notebooks though, I’ve never been able to find one in a shop off the shelf. The fact you need to order them online and await their arrival automatically gives them an aura of superiority and this is why I treat them as such. For those who have never used a dot grid book, it’s not that much different to old maths books you used at school with the square paper, but instead of the gridded lines they’re just dots. They’re really useful for working with logo design which I tend to do a lot of at adomedia, they help with letter structure and spacing, scale and generally just give your drawing a little more balance and accuracy. How do you get the sketch from the grid paper to the screen? Usually you’d be best served using a scanner or something similar as its most accurate, but at the moment I just grab my phone out of my bag, take a picture and email it straight to my work email from there. Just like that.

The last thing in my bag, and probably my favourite is my Sony RX100 camera. It’s great on the go, small and compact and not just the average hand-held digi-cam. The picture quality is better than my Canon DSLR, has a video recording function and shoots in RAW format too. Its size isn’t just for convenience either, most venues and events won’t let you take your own zoom lens cameras inside and if you do manage to coax it by a doormen or steward you’ll quickly be told you can’t use it by another anti-creativity enforcer once you start taking snaps. The RX100 fits in my pocket and most clueless camera police don’t recognise the difference between it and a standard hand-held camera. The final hidden gem is the 8GB SD card it holds. When it’s not saving the excessive amount of pictures I take at the Etihad Stadium on match days it can be used as a portable storage device for files between work and home instead of those ugly looking USB sticks that I always seem to lose track of.

So, what’s in my bag? A significant chunk of my day-to-day life. It holds my utilities, ideas and my hobby. It’s not quite flick-knives and sporks and I wish I could throw in a Creative Review or a “Wreck This Journal” book but I do manage to get the most out of what’s in there, a little really can go a long way.

What’s In My Bag: Magnum Tsang, Project Co-ordinator

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Be prepared for every eventuality because you never know when you’re going to see a 3D film or need a 1/74 torx bit driver. From front-end development to the office handy man, I’m a co-ordinator with a twist. You may look at the items above and think, what does he need that for? To explain this you’re going to need a bit of background otherwise it’s just a bit looney which I don’t deny it is.

– Sony Xperia Z1
– Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
– Real3D clip on glasses
– Light My Fire Spork
– Sun Cream
– Basic First Aid Kit
– Leatherman Wave Multitool
– Leatherman bit set and bit driver
– 13ft Paracord bracelet
– Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panels
– Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack
– Assorted cables for Nomad 7 and Guide 10

I’m a skydiver and a commuter, I spend a lot of time on the road and in a field in the middle of nowhere waiting for British skies to turn blue. Often faced with terrible network coverage and draining batteries I’ve put together a pack that I could easily carry anywhere. A pack designed and refined over time to give me options and to keep me going in whatever I do. I carry a first aid kit for this very reason, it pretty much covers minor injury, from cuts and grazes to small wounds and suppressing a cold. If I need anything more than this I’m going to head to a doctor.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always carried a multitool of some form and the Leatherman Wave compliments the activities I do on a daily basis. I’ve embraced the fact that I’m usually the one called in to assist with a broken computer, change a light bulb or fit a new work station.

Of the time I’m awake during the week, I spend 12% of my time travelling to and from work and between drop zones. Including travel 40% of this awake time is spent away from a regular internet connection or constant power supply so my everyday carry is very much geared towards keeping me connected. Not pictured above is a 4G EE hotspot which I’ll use some weekends if I know the area I’m going to is especially patchy or the onsite wifi has heavy traffic.

I use Evernote for almost everything these days and its very reassuring to know that all my notes and important documents are synced in the cloud. In combination with Google Drive I can access all my important files and documents, share my notes or videos anywhere on any device. Having the GoalZero Nomad 7 Solar panel has allowed me to charge all my electronics from lanterns, torches and radios. It pumps out 7watts which is perfect for my phone and tablet. By just having everything charged it’s made my quest to go paperless just that much closer.

The goal of this pack has been to create options by having efficient flexibility. From the tools I use to the online services I employ, it’s all allowed me the freedom to engage in whatever activity I do.

What’s In My Bag: Scott Tyzack, Graphic Designer

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– Apple MacBook Pro, 13inch, 360GB Western Digital HD
– Apple Magic Mouse
– Apple iPad 3, 32GB
– Apple iPhone 5
– Rhodia A5 Notebook & Pencil

You’re probably thinking, “Why has he got a notebook and pencil when he carries his MacBook, iPhone AND iPad with him?”. The thing is, ever since I was a kid, writing things down on a good old fashioned piece of paper with a pencil is just easier for me. I trust that piece of paper, I know that if I look after it, the lead on that paper won’t disappear. The amount of times I’ve written things down on my iPhone or iPad and forgotten to sync it with some app or upload it to the appropriate cloud storage program is unbelievable. (Sorry Steve, I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve told me to download an app that syncs all my notes to all my devices).

The rest of the contents are quite self explanatory. I’m never without my iPhone, but then again, who is? I use it as a sat-nav, storage device, messaging, photography, social media and so on. It’s safe to say it comes in more than useful, since my last phone was a BlackBerry Curve anyway! Saying that, I’ve not got any problems with BlackBerry, but I’ve found that once you go Mac, you never go back!

My MacBook Pro is up there with one of the best things I’ve ever spent money on. I went through university with a Dell Inspiron which did the job, but since I was working on Macs in my workshops I couldn’t help thinking how great it would be if I could then go home and finish working on a MacBook. When I left Leeds and came back home, the first thing I did (apart from sulking about having to enter the real world) was buy a MacBook. Soon after, I found myself having to buy the Apple Magic Mouse purely because the trackpad just doesn’t cut the mustard when using Photoshop and Illustrator.

Lastly, the iPad. It’s so good to be able to just sit and relax without having the burning fan of a laptop on your thighs and since Google released Chromecast it’s gotten even better. If you haven’t heard of Chromecast, it’s basically a device that you plug into your TV using the HDMI port. Then, using your smartphone or computer as a remote, you can stream content from apps such as Netflix and Youtube to your TV. A bargain at only £30!

Podium Events

Branding, business cards and promotional flyer for events company, Podium Events.

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3XCG

Branding for 3XCG, a recruitment firm based in Australia.

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ADOmedia Through The Ages

Branding. Arguably the most important aspect of any company’s visual presence. It’s the face of any business, large or small, it creates an instant impression, offers an insight into what you do and it’s what clients and customers will instantly recognise you by. With this in mind it’s easy to see why branding is considered such an important part of any business’ marketing strategy.

Constant development of new technology and coding languages make it difficult to create a website that has a life span of more than 2 – 3 years without it starting to look a little dated and printed literature is often time specific, relating to current promotions or events.

Successful branding however should be future proof, and when it is updated or tweaked, the changes should only be minor. Cue Google’s latest logo update…

google-logo

Whilst Google’s latest tweaks (moving the second “g” one pixel right and the “l” one pixel down and to the right) may seem unnecessary to anyone who isn’t a typography nerd, it’s fair to say that they’re overall identity is a successful one. They have established one of the largest and most powerful companies of the modern age, and have only made minor updates to their branding since it’s inception, maintaining the original colour scheme and the same serif typeface from the very first logo. 16 years on they have one of the most recognisable commercial identities on the planet along with the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike and Apple, who have only made minor tweaks to their branding themselves.

ADOmedia are now well into our 9th year of business and before our recent branding overhaul we’d only made small tweaks to our logo since we were a small start-up business back in 2005.

Original-Logo

We originally started with an icon that represented our three main services – branding, print design and web design. It had a modern and techy feel for the time and made us instantly recognisable to current and potential clients. We kept the typography simple and understated and established red as our primary colour.

As we began to grow, we started to offer more services and in 2009 we decided to drop the 3 circle icon from our logo, and use the original typography as our main identity.

Second-Logo

Keeping the original type allowed us to progress as a business whilst maintaining our recognisable presence. Our new range of services began to grow and eventually we upgraded to a new studio space and were working on a new website that catered for our expanding capabilities as an agency.

New space felt like a new era and meant new stationery for the growing team and new vinyls for the windows. It was time for a little update.

Third-Logo

We reversed the colours in our branding to make them more inviting, keeping red as our primary colour basis and began using an italic, secondary font that would be used throughout our new website for our strap-line. The latest updates to the branding proved to be our most successful and became the identity we are most recognised for.

It wasn’t until this year that we decided to have a full branding overhaul.

New-Logo

Our new logo is a fresh approach, more fitting to a dynamic and creative agency. We’ve updated our typeface to something a little more modern, reversed out the colour scheme and used lowercase type to create a simplistic, to the point feel. The feedback we have had so far has been fantastic and you can see our new branding on our new signage out on the Chestergate in Macclesfield.

Moral of the story: Branding is the most important part of any company’s marketing, especially small start-up businesses who are yet to establish a strong visual presence. Successful branding will help you to make a good first impression and will make you recognisable to new and existing clients/customers which will in turn help you to grow as a business, so it is important that you get it right.

Over the years we’ve got pretty damn good at this identity stuff, if your’e interested in our branding services don’t hesitate to get in touch with our business development manager Steven Taylor on 01625 612198 or email us at enquiries@adomedia.co.uk.

What’s your official job title? And does it really matter?

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Does your job title really matter? We found out that yes, it kind of does. It seems that job titles can get way out of hand if you aren’t careful. Who knows what few words to use when describing the functionality of an entire job? This is what we do everyday! It’s almost impossible to sum up everything you do in such a limited number of words, so due to this, there is a certain amount of pressure when choosing the right job title. It can be pretty frustrating attempting to get the tone of your work across without sounding self righteous, or menial.

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So, are you an assistant or an executive? Are you a manager or a director? These terms are thrown around within the work place, but do they really hold that much meaning?

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When the design team (yes, another generalised description – we know) decided to create some fresh business cards for Steve and the time came for the dreaded ‘job description’ insert, there was considerable room for discussion. It was then decided to take a step back and have some fun with the process!

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We had a real mix up and a play around with the terms to see what we could come up with! Ben did a brilliant job here, and you can see the results below. So, yes job titles are important but if you can’t have the occasional laugh at work (or at yourself) then you aren’t doing it right. We hope you enjoy!

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Steve is our Business Development Manager here at ADOmedia and is always happy to discuss any future projects you may have in mind. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 01625 612198 or enquiries@adomedia.co.uk

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Podium Events

Website for events management company, Podium Events.

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View the site here.

Saxon Vaal

Parallax website for business consultants, Saxon Vaal.

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View the site here.

Changes are Afoot

ADOmedia is on the cusp of entering it’s 9th year in business. It’s been an incredible decade for everyone involved and the whole team in ADOtowers should be proud of what has been achieved. Going from a tiny start up in 2005/6 to the creative force it has become today has been a roller coaster of a ride, and a very fun one at that!

Following recent developments in my personal life I have taken the decision to hand over the reins of the company and move on to new challenges. I feel a fresh start is what I need for myself and am already looking at a very exciting prospect that will, no doubt, push me and allow me to grow as a person. Although it has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make I know in my heart that it is the right one.

ADOmedia will continue to offer and provide the same quality service to all of its clients whilst continuing to grow and develop as it has done since its founding. I want to say a big thank you to all of you, past and present, whether a team member, client or supplier – without you all this incredible part of my life would never have been realised. I wish you all the best and to the ADOsquad – I will always pop into the studio for a brew and a chat when I am nearby so make sure the kettle is charged!

Here’s to the future, here’s to ADOmedia.

ECC 2014

Branding for the ECC, a competition hosted by the UKCA at the Manchester Velodrome.

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ECC 2014

New and informative one page website for The European Cheerleading Championships 2014.

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View the site here.

GBR Bobsleigh

Exciting new responsive website for GBR Bobsleigh.

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View the site here.

Brewtique

Shopping bag and business card design for boutique beer shop, Brewtique.

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UKCA

New, easy to use website and course booking platform for UKCA.

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View the site here.

20 Albany Street on Channel 4

We love to see our client’s businesses flourish. One of our long standing customers Denise, owner and manager of the wonderful Edinburgh Bed and Breakfast 20 Albany Street is no exception!

Since launching her business back in 2009, Denise has taken 20 Albany Street from strength to strength, it is rated in the top 3 B&B’s in Edinburgh on Trip Advisor.

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Last night, Denise and her superb B&B featured on Channel 4 programme, Four in a Bed. Did you see the episode?

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20 Albany Street

Denise at 20 Albany Street

The episode is available on 4OD for the next 30 days. You can see last night’s episode here and the feature continues throughout the week. Be sure to have a watch and see how she gets on!

We are so proud of what she has achieved, and we are thrilled to have been a part of her success. Well done Denise!

Alannah Sparks Website

It’s a big week for fashion in the UK. London Fashion Week is in full flow, the Bafta Awards took place in the city on Sunday night, and fashion journalist Alannah Sparks unveiled her brand new website!

Alannah Sparks website Fashion Journalist Writer Editor

When Alannah approached us to create her new online portfolio, we knew this would be a special project. Alannah works in a fast paced and exciting industry and needs to keep her readership and potential clients up to date with all of her latest work. She wanted something modern, understated and easy to navigate. Alannahsparks.com looks fresh and stylish, with a clean design that works beautifully across mobile devises.

Alannah Sparks website Ipad version

Our easy-to-use content management system allows Alannah to quickly and easily add any new images, blog posts and articles she wishes to share.

Alannah Sparks website Fashion Journalist Writer Editor

We have also implemented quick links and live social media streams so Alannah is able to update the website whilst on the move. Perfect when flitting from show to show, city to city.

Alannah is thrilled with the results and we look are looking forward to following her exciting work and updates.

View the full website here.

AniMates Branding & Website

AniMates is a a professional dog-walking service based in Cheshire. The newly established company offers a wide range of services including puppy and elderly dog checks, home visits and dog taxi provision. Business owner Sophie Garner approached us to create her company branding and website.

Our design team created a clean, simple and striking logo which was conceived to appeal to the young professionals of the affluent Cheshire area. This design offers a modern feel which translates across a range of promotional mediums, from printed literature and stationary through to uniforms, vehicle livery and the company website.

AniMates Logo and Branding

As well as a lover of dogs, Sophie is a keen horsewoman. Her equestrian colours are black and pink, and she asked us to incorporate them within the company logo.

AniMates Logo Design by ADOmedia

The AniMates website needed to be simple and easy to navigate, to appeal to Sophie’s potential clients who span a variety of age groups.

AniMates website design by ADOmedia

We developed a fresh and modern design with a focus on clean scrolling imagery and clearly labelled information.

AniMates Website design by ADOmedia

You can view the full website at www.myanimates.co.uk.

Sporting Promise

Sporting Promise logoThis week saw the launch of our latest web project, a promotional website and sporting social network for Sporting Promise, a partnership between Matalan and the Youth Sport Trust.

The Sporting Promise ensures children across the country have vital access to sports activity in school. During a time where funding cuts are rife, initiatives such as these are hugely important in order to promote sport, activity, health and community spirit. We are very proud to be a part of it.

With the (not insubstantial) weight of the world famous Olympian and all round brilliant Brit Sir Steve Redgrave behind the Promise, we are certain that this fantastic initiative will make the impact that is so clearly needed across the UK. In our new capacity as official suppliers to Matalan and the Youth Sport Trust, we worked closely with their teams and representatives to create a concept which would ensure the best possible promotion of the project.

Our design team created a website that is fresh, modern and easy to navigate. Clean, colour coordinated areas allows website visitors to quickly and easily find information about the various elements of the Sporting Promise, what it means to them and how they can get involved. They can also peruse all of the sport and community programmes and latest news features.

Matalan Sporting Promise website by ADOmedia Ltd

Our development team created a system that allows visitors to filter news stories to their areas of interest. Website users are able to use our simple registration system to personalise and save their news settings, creating an individual experience for each visitor.

Schools who receive training and funding, and National Governing Bodies of Sport are able to utilise the website’s networking functionality to create and promote events, and update parents and teachers about all their latest news.

Matalan Sporting Promise website by ADOmedia Ltd

We are thrilled to have been a part of this exciting new development. We have received very positive feedback from our clients and we feel that the website is extremely effective in both look and functionality. Take a look at the full website here.

If you would like to know more about our web projects, and what we could do for you, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.

Totally Locally – Fiver Fest

Using Twitter can have some amazing benefits. You can show everyone what you’re having for lunch, rant about the football results and even upload embarrassing videos of your friends and collegues. Every so often, it can also be used to establish valuable contacts and learn about interesting events, networks and initiatives.

One such example of this was a Twitter conversation between our director Alex and the rather brilliant folk at Totally Locally Macclesfield. The Totally Locally initiative is a fantastic scheme which is currently being rolled out across the UK, helping independent businesses up and down the country. You can find out more at their website – totally-locally.co.uk

Totally Locally Graphic - Town Kit

Those who take part in the development of the initiative are volunteers, and with limited resources, they rely on the support of other local businesses in the area. This is where we stepped in. Totally Locally Macclesfield needed a map and promotional flyer creating for their Fiver Fest event. We offered our design services.

Totally Locally Macclesfield Fiver Fest Flyer

Totally Locally Macclesfield Fiver Fest Flyer

A hand-made feel was requested. We added a clean design to ensure that the vast amount of information required could be displayed in a simple and easy to read format. We selected simple colours and a rustic typeface in order to achieve the homespun feel they wanted.

Totally Locally Macclesfield fiverfest front

Totally Locally Macclesfield fiverfest reverse

If you are Macclesfield based you will be likely to spot these flyers throughout the town center. Fiver Fest runs until September 15th.

Who Needs Strings? – We Do!

Here at ADOtowers we have many a talented musician in our midst. Steve is a keen bass player with his band, The Christophers. Alex is a talented drummer with his band, The Mystery Creatures, Scott loves to strum an acoustic guitar and the rest of the team have been known to form a bit of a choir when the right tune comes on in the studio. With this great love for all things melodic, it was hardly surprising that a musical charity came to our attention.

We Need Strings is a rather brilliant concept set up by Janek Gwizdala, a US based Bass player and record producer who has played with industry greats such as Mike Stern, John Mayer, Pat Metheny, Jojo Mayer and Randy Brecker to name but a few. His music has allowed him to travel the globe. It was during these travels that he recognised a very real need from his fellow musicians who are living in impoverished areas.

Janek Gwizdala

“There are so many people around the world in countries like Cuba, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and many more that just don’t have access to strings. A new set can sometimes cost an entire month’s salary, and musicians have been tying knots in broken strings just to continue playing music.

As someone who changes their strings every three days I might be on the crazy end of the strings changing spectrum, but no matter how often you change them, we’d love to take your used strings and send them to people in need around the world.”

janekgwizdala.com

Janek is asking musicians around the world to send in their used strings in order to help 1000s of aspiring musicians who aren’t fortunate enough to have a plentiful supply. This is a cause we just couldn’t resist getting involved with! With this in mind, ADOtowers has now become the UK’s central donations centre.

A few weeks ago, we set up a Facebook page and Steve began to spread the word via his Instagram and Twitter feeds. We have been astounded by the results!

We Need Strings Charity - ADOmedia

Boxes and parcels have been flooding in from all over the place and the studio has become full to brimming with strings, plectrums and various paraphernalia.

We Need Strings Donations Close-Up
We Need strings Plectrum Donations Close Up

The geeky, design loving side of us has been admiring some of the cool packaging. These are a few of our favourites…

We Need Strings Donations Packages

We will continue to collect and send the strings out across the world. Just doing our bit for our fellow music lovers.

“It’s not just bass strings! We’ll take guitar, bass, violin, nylon, steel… both used and new, you name it. If it fits on a stringed instrument, we can recycle it and change musicians lives all around the world.”

– janekgwizdala.com

If you would like to know more about this project, donate your own strings or you would simply like to get involved, then feel free to get in touch with us at weneedstrings@adomedia.co.uk – we’ll keep you updated with our progress.

Vanilla in Allseasons

Last week saw the launch of our latest website, this time for Cheshire’s premier catering company – Vanilla in Allseasons. Business owners Adam Evanson and Simon Bailey asked us to create something sleek and minimal with an emphasis on photography. That’s just what we did.

Vanilla in Allseasons Website

We chose to use full width imagery throughout to highlight the importance of the beautiful food and venues associated with the company. We created a modern and user friendly interface encompassing side scrolling functionality. This gives the website the fresh and contemporary feel requested.

Whilst scrolling through, you will see that the company logo sits prominently in the top centre of each page, constantly reinforcing the brand and company identity.

Vanilla in Allseasons Catering Services Website

Alongside full website design and development, our team provided search engine friendly website content copy as well as image collation and selection services. The new website allows our marketing department to better maintain the company’s digital campaign via their blog and social media feeds.

It has been an exciting couple of weeks for the team at Vanilla in Allseasons, earlier in June, they took home a prestigious trophy at the County Brides North West Wedding Awards and they are now officially North West Wedding’s Best catering Service. This new accolade coincided beautifully with the launch of the new website and we were able to utilise this as part of their promotions. Our graphics team created a stylish new Twitter background and Facebook cover photo encompassing the Award Winner badge.

Vanilla in Allseasons - Facebook Cover Photo

All in all, Vanilla in Allseasons are looking ahead to some busy and exciting times. We are thrilled to continue our marketing and promotional work with them, and to be a part of their ongoing success.

Click here to view the Vanilla in Allseasons website.

Brewtique Branding

We love a good branding exercise, and it goes without saying that we love a good beer. We also love local, independent business – you could say this job was right up our street. Quite literally in fact, the Brewtique store will be just around the corner from our studio.

Brewtique is a stylish new shop opening right here in Cheshire, specialising in artisan bottled beers.

Brewtique Logo Design by ADOmedia

We took a classic approach utilising slab serif typography reminiscent of 1930’s prohibition America, an era of artisan techniques. If you wanted a beer, you made it yourself!

Brewtique Logo Design by ADOmedia

We added a modern touch with sharp graphics and bold colours.

Shop Front Signage Design by ADOmedia

Brewtique is set to open later this summer.

DS Lifestyle & Fitness

This week we launched our latest project, a new website for Cheshire’s premier fitness service, DS Lifestyle and Fitness.

DS Lifestyle and Fitness - Website Design & Build by ADOmedia

Upon meeting co-owners and formidable husband and wife team, Dominique and Steve – we were instantly inspired by their infectious energy and enthusiasm. They were full of ideas and we talked at length about what they hoped to achieve.

‘Team DS’ asked us to create something modern and slick, a bespoke design which best represented their modern and dynamic approach. Working with Dom & Steve’s ideas, we decided on a contemporary, side scrolling design with an emphasis on stylish photography and minimal typeface.

DS Lifestyle and Fitness - Website Design & Build by ADOmedia

We developed an online booking calendar for classes, meaning that DS clients and potential customers can utilise the fully responsive website design to check out all of the classes, sessions and events, and book their place – from any location or device.

They now also have a showcase facility for their shop, meaning clients can browse their full range of branded apparel and protein products.

DS Lifestyle and Fitness Website by ADOmedia - Shop

‘Team DS’ love to utilise their social media feeds and asked that this could be incorporated. Quick links to all of their feeds are provided in the contact page. This allows them to easily share their Facebook and Twitter feeds, Instagram pictures, Pinterest boards and Youtube videos.

Dom and Steve are forward thinking in their use of digital promotions. They have placed emphasis on a high quality digital presence that gives added credibility to their company.

DS Lifestyle and Fitness have come a long way in the relatively short time that they have been established as a business, their energy and passion is infectious, as anyone who has met them or experienced their services will tell you. They are a force to be reckoned with and we predict very big things for the future of their company.

We feel that the stylish and functional new website adequately reflects their impressive level of service. We are excited to be a small part of their inevitable success.

Renewable Energy Agency

In order to develop a comprehensive campaign for our clients, we like to fully understand their business. This means we get to learn about all manner of industries, some more complex than others.

Renewable Energy Agency offered us a challenge, the clean technology markets are certainly not something that any of our team had researched before. But hey, we enjoy tackling new tasks and relished the opportunity to better understand this fascinating and rapidly expanding market.

When Deepak Sareen – co-owner of Mayfair based REA – contacted us to discuss his requirements, our interests were immediately piqued. A full branding exercise to compliment a shiny new print and digital campaign. Just the sort of thing we love to get our teeth into!

A Simple and Creative Identity

Our creative team developed a stylish and understated corporate identity which effectively represents the clean and continuous benefits of renewable energy. We selected fresh natural colours to compliment the infinity symbol, which we hope speaks for itself, an ongoing source of energy. This simple and understated branding runs throughout the company’s printed literature, from business cards to letterheads, and is carefully utilised throughout the new website.

Renewable Energy Agency corporate branding by ADOmedia

A Modern, Stylish and Easy to Use Website

Our digital team provided REA with a bespoke, editable website that allows them to update their news feed with relevant stories and articles. Here they can add images and company news with ease. This allows them to keep their customers, associates and potential clients up-to-date. It also allows them to keep their web presence fresh and ever-changing.

Renewable Energy Agency responsive website screenshot

The website also benefits from a responsive design that adapts to browser size and an additional mobile device template so that REA’s potential customers can find out about their services at any time, even when they are on the move.

Renewable Energy Agency responsive website on iPad

Web Friendly Copy

Our marketing department provided thorough research and search engine friendly content to populate the new website. This gives the site a professional and considered feel. You can take a look at the website here.

Has this article inspired you to give your branding a boost? Need a new website or digital marketing services? We can help! We offer solutions for all of your marketing requirements, both printed and digital. Please feel free to contact us, we’ll be happy to discuss your ideas.

Saul Bass

“Design is just thinking made visual” – This famous quote from Saul Bass has been drummed into design students for years now. His design ethos was simple and stylish, just like his work.

Today, Google has marked the birthday of Saul Bass with a fantastic doodle. We felt that this, and the work of this great designer should not go unmentioned.

Google Doodle for Saul Bass

Our design team – along with with anyone who has a smidge of interest in graphic design, art or illustration – are big fans of his work. So today, in our own homage to Mr Bass, we have compiled just a few of our favourite pieces for you to admire.

Saul Bass Book Cover Illustration - Prayer for the 70's

Saul Bass Movie Poster - Anatomy of a Murder

Saul Bass Book Cover Design

Saul Bass Poster Design - Such Good Friends

As you can see, his work was varied and intelligent. It looks so simple yet is hard to recreate – just the way great design ought to be.

Saul Bass in his Studio

“There is nothing glamorous in what I do. I’m a working man. Perhaps I’m luckier than most in that I receive considerable satisfaction from doing useful work which I, and sometimes others, think is good.” -Saul Bass

Vanilla in Allseasons

Here at ADOmedia, we love to work with small businesses. We know how it feels to put all your efforts into the cultivation of your own project, and we take great pleasure in supporting these smaller companies in their early development. What we really love however, is when a small business becomes a big business. Watching our client’s companies grow and develop is immensely satisfying!

Vanilla in Allseasons is one such company. Back when we were just a two man band in a pokey office, we approached business co-owner Adam Evanson and convinced him that we were the company to assist him with his promotions. We built the first website, designed and provided the printed promotional goods.

Vanilla In Allseasons

Seven years later, Vanilla in Allseasons has now tripled in size, they’ve moved to a new larger premises and continue to develop in capabilities and popularity at a rate of knots. Their exquisite food and immaculate customer service has them firmly established as one of Cheshire’s top catering companies. They have been very busy indeed!

Vanilla In Allseasons business cards by ADOmedia Ltd

There are a few things that we love about working with Vanilla in Allseasons. The fact that they always bring homemade brownies to our meetings is certainly one of these things, another, more major reason, is that they have a good understanding of the importance and impact of a professional marketing campaign. They are willing to try new things and place emphasis on creating a stylish appearance.

We have helped them to develop a successful digital marketing campaign which continues to go from strength to strength. We are currently developing a brand new website due to launch soon. More recently, they asked us to design some new business cards for them.

Vanilla In Allseasons business cards by ADOmedia Ltd

We felt that the branding we previously developed was strong, the striking yellow and black colours have become synonymous with their company. We added new photography to the designs, focusing on separate areas of the business. We kept the design minimal, stylish and elegant – in keeping with companies reputation. We gave the cards a high quality feel with a thick (400gsm) silk stock. These were lithographically printed then matte laminated to both sides with a spot UV varnish, this gives a subtle highlight to the logo on the front.

Vanilla In Allseasons business cards by ADOmedia Ltd

These new business cards, the impending updated website, new signage for the building and the ongoing digital marketing campaign are all building blocks and hallmarks of a successful company. We are proud to say that we have been a part of Vanilla in Allseasons success. In turn, they have been a part of our success. We look forward to working with them and continuing the development of both businesses.

If you would like to hear more about our printed and digital marketing solutions, please feel free to get in touch.

Beagle Restaurant

This week sees the launch of our latest website for Beagle Bar and Restaurant, London.

Never before have we seen such anticipation for a venue before it’s doors have even opened, or been fully fitted for that matter. Due to launch in a few weeks time, Beagle has garnered attention for several reasons. One of which is the superb venue, three beautiful railway arches currently undergoing full restoration and fitting, full of original features and conveniently located next to Hoxton Station. Another reason is the proprietors, the efficacious Clancy brothers.

Clancy Brothers - Beagle London

This is not a first venture for London DJ’s Danny and Keiran Clancy, their company Krankbrother has been making waves on the international party scene for a few years now and shows no signs of slowing down, with events growing in both scale and popularity. Danny is also a founder and director of fantastic seafood restaurant, The Bonnie Gull in Fitzrovia. With these factors in mind, there has been an understandable buzz around the launch of Beagle restaurant, and we are very excited to be a part of it.

Beagle Restaurant London - Website

The brief was to deliver something simple, stylish and understated with an emphasis on quality. We created an uncomplicated website which highlights smooth scrolling images of the beautiful food and exquisite drinks on offer. The mobile template allows those using mobile devices to view the website clearly, and the content managed back end system allows the Beagle web team to update menus and information with ease.

Beagle Restaurant London - Website

Several press articles have already been published, the blogs are abuzz and bookings and enquiries have been flooding in. We will be heading down for the soft launch in a few weeks and we are looking forward to seeing if the already famous restaurant will live up to the hype. Having previously dealt with the Clancy brothers and their ventures, we get the feeling that we won’t be disappointed.

View the website here.

Fake Fans & Facebook

Here at ADOmedia, we take pride in providing our clients with the best digital marketing tools available. We build websites that not only look great, but perform well too. Our marketing team develop digital campaigns that seek to represent and promote our clients, encourage new business and keep their existing customers intrigued and up-to-date. Of course, our clients want to see results and we aim to deliver them.

One thing we will not do is use sneaky tactics to adjust the ROI marketing figures. Believe it or not, it is possible to buy social media followers, in vast numbers if you wish. But what benefit does this really have for your company and your brand? We believe in genuine, old fashioned quality marketing. We won’t change that for anyone.

There are however, many companies who do not share this ethos and are more than willing to sacrifice their integrity for falsified figures and results. The article below details how you can spot these companies. It certainly makes for an interesting read…

Buying Your Facebook Fans

How to Determine if a Facebook Business Page has Fake Fans

“Many of us have recently thought social media and business leaders were finally starting to “get” the importance of real relationships with human beings. However, unfortunately there seems to be a new wave of cheaters, influence score addicted self proclaimed “gurus” that are willing to risk their reputation, integrity, ethics, trust, clients and relationships for a few hundred or tens of thousands fake Facebook fans.

The worst part is these are the same people who are tweeting and preaching the importance of authenticity, relationships, and how to build and be a human social brand.

A few of them are even trusted by some of the world’s most respected brands. It is the definition of failure and a sign of true insecurity in my humble opinion. More of my thoughts on this topic will come in a separate post as this one is specifically written to help you identify if a Facebook page is loaded with real fans or is being gamed by an influence, short fix craving cheater.

It’s pretty easy to check if a Twitter account has fake follwers. You can go to Status People Fake Follower checker and get instant statistics on any Twitter account, including yours. Below is a quick screen capture of the results from Status People for a Twitter account. The account is that of a CEO for popular Twitter measurement tool. On the company website they tout the success of their CEO in building community and that he/she has over 100k Twitter followers. Well, according to Status People, they are fake as fake can get. This lost instant credibility for me and is likely not a tool I will recommend nor take into the accounts and business of our clients. Quite unfortunate.”

Read the rest of this article on www.pammarketingnut.com

Night Engine – Manchester Apollo

Our friends and clients Night Engine have experienced what could be described as a meteoric rise in popularity. In just a year and a half together they have garnered attention from many a large and influential publication and have received glowing reviews from even the most hardened music journos.

Here in ADOtowers, we have desk danced to their recordings on several occasions. When they told us that their latest tour supporting the Kaiser Chiefs would see them playing in our home city of Manchester, we jumped at the chance to see them live.

Night Engine

Collecting our complimentary tickets from the box office, we realised that the Night Engine boys had kindly arranged seats for us in the posh section in the upper tiers. There was something that felt quite bizarre about sitting in theater seats whilst watching a gig. No hustle and bustle amongst a sweaty crowd, no elbowing our way to the front. Instead, plush cushioned seats and icy chilled beer; as is the way on the upper floors of the Manchester Apollo.

Still relatively new on the scene, stepping out on the grand stage at the Apollo and their largest gig to date, must have been somewhat daunting. Away from their usual London crowd and met by thousands of quizzical northern Kaiser Chief fans, there must have been a few trembling knees. However, if they were nervous, it certainly didn’t show.

As the bright glowing spotlights brought the stage to life, and the impatient, silent crowd stared, Night Engine strode confidently onto the stage to take their places. The lead singer, Phil, cuts a dashing form with slicked back red hair, dark braces, smart shirt and wide tailored trousers. The look is pure Eighties gold, as is their infectious sound.

Thumping beats, classic synth and funky bass make up a sound that is simply irresistible. Those velvet seats saw many bouncing rear, and a peep over the balcony revealed that even those hardened Mancunian Kaiser fans couldn’t resist a bit of a toe tap.

If you love the music of Talking Heads, Bowie and Roxy Music then this fantastic four piece should be right up your street. We thoroughly enjoyed their fantastic set. We always love to see our clients do well in their line of business, but viewing such tangible success from a comfortable velvet vantage point really put the icing on our cake!

Night Engine at The Manchester Apollo

You can find out more about Night Engine at their website and you can listen to their music right here. Put on your dancing shoes and turn it up loud.

Trusted Nannies

This week saw the launch of our latest website, trustednannies.co.uk. Trusted Nannies is a unique UK business that allows professional and experienced child carers to find employment with suitable families, as well as, vice versa, allowing families to search for suitable childcare.

We developed a bespoke system which allows both parties to utilise the website to create a profile. Background and identity checks are undertaken on registration making the whole process safe, easy and secure. This unique automation effectively cuts out ‘middle man’ agencies saving the websites users a great deal of time and expense.

Trusted Nannies - Online Nanny Agency - Childcare in the United Kingdom

“Trusted Nannies is the UK’s first childcare website to only accept childcare providers who are qualified and/or experienced – we also verify all our nannies with a background check when the individual registers.

Our nannies’ safety and security is also of utmost importance, so we background check all our parents, too.

By carrying out these checks we strive to provide parents with the best childcare providers the industry has to offer, making choosing childcare that little bit easier.”
– Trusted Nannies Blog

The ADOmedia design team created a branding and style that is friendly, clean and colourful. Each page and function is easy to navigate and simple to use, with a pared down and modern feel. The simple colour coded areas of the website allows visitors and clients to quickly source required information and details.

Trusted Nannies are now able to keep their customers and potential clients up-to-date with a simple newsletter sign up function and quick links to their blog and social media feeds.

The Trusted Nannies service looks set to become extremely prominent within it’s field. The strong company image and digital tools that they now have at their disposal will allow for quick substantial growth, something we certainly predict for this fantastic new business.

DMJ Vintage

On Friday we took some time out of our busy schedules, braved the cold and headed just down the road to have a snoop at new vintage shop, Donald & Miss June. DMJ Vintage officially opened it’s doors on Saturday but we went to knock on the door for a sneaky preview (we’re a bit nosy that way).

The shop itself is small but perfectly styled with classic G-Plan furniture, Lichtenstein artwork, vintage radios, hi-fi’s, cameras, books, speakers and more, all carefully chosen and cleverly displayed.

DMJ Vintage Shop Macclesfield

DMJ Vintage Shop Macclesfield

Steve had a good old rummage and came away with a vintage camera and a wish list as long as his arm. We admired the classic pieces of furniture, debated how we could fit them in the studio and leafed through the seventies Habitat catalogs and classic design journals.

DMJ Vintage Shop Macclesfield

DMJ Vintage Shop Macclesfield

Alongside the high quality vintage finds, the shop also stocks Mathmos Lava lamps and Steepletone record players in a vast array of styles and colours. The talented Mr Lock, co-owner of the shop, can convert any vintage 8 track to play music through your ipod. Style and practicality in one unit.

DMJ is expecting lots of exciting new stock over the coming weeks. If you’re in the Cheshire area, be sure to pop in. If Steve goes missing – we’ll know where to find him!

New Exhibition Round Up

Here at ADOmedia we are constantly on the hunt for inspiration. Our creative team love to keep their minds active in order to develop innovative design ideas and branding solutions.

We read the books, keep up to date with the news, magazines and blogs. We also take time to monitor the latest campaigns and technological developments. However, there is something to be said for stepping out of the studio and visiting a good old exhibition. Nothing stirs the mind more than an innovative spacial design, inspiring new work or bold installation.

Lucky for us then that 2013 is chock-full of brilliant and exciting new exhibitions, many of which are opening their doors in the next week or so. Today, we round up our hit list of the ones we want to see over the coming months…

THOMAS ZANON-LARCHER Exhibition
Thomas Zanon-Larcher – Falling: A Part

Photographer Thomas Zanon-Larcher’s first solo exhibition starts tomorrow at The Wapping Project Bankside. He has previously collaborated with fashion greats such as Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander McQueen, Dries van Noten, Martin Margiela and Haider Ackerman.

The Wapping Project exhibition space is well worth a visit. They showcase a superb range of exhibitions throughout the year. Located in the Bankside area on the south bank of the River Thames, the gallery focuses on photography, film and video.

www.thewappingprojectbankside.com

The Light Show - Hayward Gallery
The Light Show – Hayward Gallery

From the end of the month, the Hayward gallery’s two floors will be the setting for 23 vast works and installations. 22 lighting artists will be represented — James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Dan Flavin and weatherman Olafur Eliasson among them.

The installations will be designed to create colour, shadow, shape and playful disorientation. This one looks set to be memorable indeed.

southbankcentre.co.uk

Man Ray Portrait Exhibition
Man Ray’s portraits – The National Portrait Gallery

From the 7th February to the 27th May, The National Portrait Gallery in London will exhibit more than 150 photographs by hugely influential American artist Man Ray. Images of Catherine Deneuve, Pablo Picasso and photographer Lee Miller are included in the show. Many of the pictures have never been displayed in the UK before.

www.npg.org.uk

Glam! Exhibition Tate Liverpool
Glam! – Tate Liverpool

The Liverpool Tate gallery has showcased some fantastic exhibitions over the past few years and this one, on display from 8 February – 12 May looks to be no exception.

The exhibition investigates artistic developments in Britain, Europe and North America through the movement of ‘glam’. The works of artists such as David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Allen Jones, Richard Hamilton, Peter Hujar explore themes of glamour, camp, exaggerated identity, androgyny, eroticism and dandyism.

www.tate-liverpool.co.uk

Lichtenstein Exhibition - Tate London
Lichtenstein: A Retrospective – Tate Modern

From 21 February to 27 May 2013, the work of Roy Lichtenstein will be on show at the Tate Modern, London. The exhibition aims to highlight more than his famous 1960s pop art and will feature 125 of his paintings and sculptures as well as rarely seen drawings from a career that spanned more than 50 years. The gallery cites it to be the most comprehensive Lichtenstein show ever. Not to be missed!

www.tate.org.uk

London Underground Artwork

You may have noticed Google’s fantastic home page today, celebrating 150 years of the London Underground.

Over those 150 years, the iconic underground transport system has developed a stylish global identity through posters and design. Today we take a look at some of our favourites.


London underground poster - It is Warmer Down Below; by Austin Cooper, 1924

It is Warmer Down Below by Austin Cooper, 1924

London Underground Tube Repairs Poster

London Underground Tube Repairs Poster

London Underground poster for London Zoo

London Underground poster for London Zoo

Vintage London Underground Poster

One Every 90 seconds; Vintage London Underground Poster

'Speed' Vintage London Underground Poster

‘Speed’ Vintage London Underground Poster

'Go By Underground'1930's London Underground Poster by Edward McKnight

Go By Underground; London Underground Poster, Edward McKnight, 1930’s

London's Power Underground Vintage Poster

London’s Power Underground Vintage Poster

London Underground Poster from 1925 - Summer Sales

London Underground Poster from 1925 – Summer Sales

London Underground poster Tate Gallery by Tube; by David Booth, 1986

Tate Gallery by Tube; by David Booth, 1986

London underground poster - Keep Warm Travel Underground; by Kathleen Stenning, 1925

Keep Warm Travel Underground; by Kathleen Stenning, 1925

A Big Year Ahead

It’s officially ‘back to work day’ across the country. We might rename it national moaning day if the general Facebook consensus is anything to go by!

Now, we don’t mean to be smug, but you won’t hear us complaining today. Yes, we partied hard at the office Christmas do, our other Christmas parties and New years eve celebrations. Yes, we ate more than our fair share of cheese and drank more than our fair share of Baileys, and although we would usually still be in our pajamas right now, we have to say, we are very happy to be back in the studio.

This year is set to be a biggie for the ADO squad and we’re more than a little excited about it! Fantastic new projects are filling our January days and we are developing inspiring new plans left, right and center.

Alex is off to London this week for a meeting regarding a very interesting proposal and we are all working flat out on our biggest project to date. We can’t tell you too much about it just yet, but watch this space! You won’t be disappointed. Last year was certainly a challenging one, with much needed changes taking place throughout the company. 2013 sees us back, streamlined, fresh and raring to go!

So, if we may be so bold as to offer you a little wisdom for national moaning day it’s this – do what you love. Work with people you like. Be passionate about your work, and wrenching yourself out of the annual Christmas slothery will never be a challenge again.

ADOmedia 2013 - Do What makes You Happy Poster

We love to help our clients achieve this feeling too. So, if you have a business that needs a little spruce up, or an exciting new project that needs a presence in print, web and advertising – give us a call! We’ll be more than happy to help.

Happy New Year everyone!

Merry Christmas

It’s that time of year again. The cold, dark nights have taken hold and Christmas is upon us. It’s almost time for us to shut down our computers, lock up the studio and head home for a well deserved break.

This week the ADOsquad have been diligently working away to ensure that all work is wrapped up and that our clients and their businesses are prepared for the festive break.

It’s been busy. We’ve worked our way through a fair few mince pies and the studio has been filled with festive music. Some of which was provided by our good friend, the Manchester based artist Kamal Arafa, who, along with some talented musician friends, has written and recorded a fantastically festive song “It’s Christmas Time Again”! We were lucky enough to be one of only 50 recipients to receive a free copy (ours was #11). You can have a listen to it here.

Kamal and Friends - It's Christmas Time Again

Kamal also designed the cover artwork. Do you like his style? He also designs t-shirts, have a look and buy one of them here via his online store. So thanks to Kamal (and said mince pies) we are feeling well and truly in the festive mood.

We will be in the studio until Friday afternoon and we will be locking the doors until our return to work on the 7th January 2013. However, Steve will be available via email (steve@adomedia.co.uk) for any problems or enquiries you may have over the holidays. But do remember, poor Steve needs a holiday too, so please keep it only to urgent enquiries where possible!

It’s been a very busy year for us, and the new year looks set to be our busiest yet! We are all looking forward to a fresh start in January when we will be rolling out some exciting new plans.

We would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a fantastic new year.

Kitchen Crafts and Furniture

Kitchen Crafts and Furniture this year celebrate 40 successful years in business. A brand new website has brought them up to date.

Bespoke, quality craftsmanship is something that we love to see. In this generation of quick, cheap and ready made, a company that crafts beautiful specialist items really stands apart. Although in a less physical, and more digital sense, we like to think that our company ethos is very similar to that of Kitchen Crafts and Furniture. This fact alone made creating their brand new website an absolute joy.

Kitchen Crafts and Furniture website screenshot

As well as offering a stylish point of contact and online portfolio, the new website allows the team at Kitchen Crafts and Furniture to easily update their customers and potential clients with recent projects and promotions.

You can view the brand new website here.

Beagle Bar and Restaurant

We were recently approached by the proprietors of a new venture in Hoxton, East London, to produce a holding page for the new bar and restaurant Beagle.

Everyone in the studio at ADOtowers loves great food and drink. We also love quirky locations and stylish design, so this is the sort of project that we really like to get our… er… teeth into!

The venue will be spread over three of the recently restored Hoxton railway arches in one of East London’s trendiest areas.

Beagle holding page

We can’t wait until March next year to pay it a visit! Check out the simple holding page we have created in readiness for the full site launch here. Logo and Branding designed by Olivia French.

Pass Your Test Fast

Our most recent project took us back. Back to the days when the freedom of driving seemed like a distant dream. Of course, many years have passed since then, but we haven’t forgotten the long winded, painful challenge that is learning to drive.

Pass Your Test Fast does exactly what it says on the tin. Those looking to find the best possible driving tuition to help them get motoring in a realistic yet succinct time frame should take a look.

We created a website to allow the Pass Your Test Fast team to not only promote their comprehensive range of services but also to allow their clients to peruse prices and book their course online.

Pass Your Test Fast website screenshot

We researched, devised and sourced their domain name, developed their new logo and branding and built a website which looks great across all devices. This is perfect for their younger target demographic, who tend to browse on mobile phones and devices.

This market, like many others, is likely to respond well to a social media marketing campaign. We have set the company up with a brand new Facebook page and Twitter feed which can be updated with all of their latest company news, events and information and direct potential clients to their website.

Pass Your Test Fast branding

For the design, we selected a bold red colour and iconic logo that is punchy, memorable and effective across their printed literature and vehicle livery designs.

Take a look around the new website here.

If you are looking for a website to promote your business, give us a call. From simple, well designed promotional pages to full membership systems, online payment facilities, group forums, e-commerce platforms and fully editable systems, we can offer the complete package and find the best possible solution for your company.

A Trip to Melbourne

Last week, the ADOsquad headed out of the studios and took a trip to Melbourne. As exciting as that sounds, we didn’t actually slide our shades on and hop on a private jet to head down under.

We did however, have the privilege to take a guided tour around what has been lauded as one of Manchester’s coolest work spaces. We weren’t disappointed.

As we pulled up to the fairly standard looking office building, we wondered if the rumours were true, if this workspace really was different to the others we had seen. Our question was immediately answered as we walked through the door of the Melbourne studios. We were warmly greeted by Chris and Josh and a super friendly personalised sign that Josh assured us was actually rather time consuming to put together.

Melbourne Server Hosting Manchester - Office Tour - Greeting Sign

A family run server hosting business, Melbourne’s offices have been designed with home comforts in mind, the House of Melbourne, if you will. Arriving in the ‘living room’ we admired the gilded framed staff pictures adorning the walls and hugely inviting velvet sofas. But lounging was not an option, there was just too much to see!

Melbourne Server Hosting Manchester - Living Room Area

As we traveled through the cheerful ‘front garden’ complete with grass, picket fence, colourful flowers, picnic tables bearing a selection of fresh fruit, smoothie maker and the obligatory games station, Chris and Josh began to explain the company’s style and ethos.

Melbourne Server Hosting Manchester - Office Tour - Front Garden
Melbourne Server Hosting Manchester - Office Tour - Front Garden

The journey through the vivid pink ‘front door’ took us to many diverse and exciting areas which included a meeting room complete with antique chesterfields and roaring digital fire, a relaxation pod filled with the flumpiest of bean bags, the ‘Mad Men’ room, pink pool table and my personal favourite, the Narnia room. Accessed through wardrobe doors, this one comes complete with ‘snowy floor’ tree lined walls and a glowing street lamp.

Melbourne Server Hosting Manchester - Office Tour - Front Door
Melbourne Server Hosting - Chesterfield Lounge Meeting RoomMelbourne Server Hosting Manchester - Office Tour - Bean Bags AreaMelbourne Server Hosting Manchester - Ofice Tour - Narnia Room

We picked our jaws up off the floor and headed into the light and airy meeting room where our Melbourne tour guides continued to explain the nature of the business. We learned that behind the bold interior design and vivid branding; simple, basic and sensible business fundamentals form the groundwork of this incredibly successful company. Staff retention is high on their agenda, the offices were designed by and for their team, with most of the ideas having been decided in a meeting down the pub.

Happy staff means good service. Good service means happy and more importantly, loyal clients. Simples. You get a sense from the team that they really, genuinely care about their clients, not just their client’s money. I could go on, but they put it better themselves. Read the 10 (very valid) reasons that they are a better hosting company, here.

A quick security check and a chuckle at our passport pictures and we were allowed a tour of their incredible data storage facility. Fire proof, flood proof, temperature monitored, super secure and so clean you eat your dinner off the floor – I personally could think of no better place to store my precious data or that of my clients. Once again, this area has been well considered and carefully crafted, just like Melbourne’s business model.

I must admit to having preconceptions about Melbourne. I wondered whether their much talked about workspace was unnecessary fluff, there to impress and bedazzle unwitting potencial clients, a shrewd PR move designed to create hype about a company that was no different to any other in it’s field.

But, it would seem that the House of Melbourne is built on strong foundations. Beneath their superbly designed studios, expensive gleaming equipment and polished marketing strategy is a company that take pride in what they do and has spent many years developing strong core values and a reliable, knowledgeable team. They could work from any boring old office and still stand miles apart from their competitors. However, we think they should stay where they are. We never did get a game on that pool table…

Photography by Pip Rustage

Letterpress Business Cards – The Impact of Texture

Texture is often overlooked when considering the design of your new business cards. However, the quality of the print stock and choice of print technique can and will make a huge difference to your business cards and stationary.

The main difference will be seen in the reaction of the recipient. Great print and design can take the reaction from ‘er.. oh thanks’ with a quick fumble into the pocket, to ‘oh, ooh these are nice’ a full inspection of the card and a careful placing into the wallet. A positive first impression, an etch on the memory.

Luxe Letterpress Business Card

Letter pressed business cards are a great example. Not only do they look fantastic, but they are also tactile. The recipient’s subconscious instinct is to hold, feel and inspect them. In doing so, said recipient will take more time to soak up the information they provide. Bingo! your first hurdle is cleared, your card and thus your name and business will be remembered.

White Simple Letterpress Business Card

So sure, maybe you can go online and 500 business cards for 50p (or thereabouts) but is that the impression you want to give? Yes, they do the job. They provide a phone number and a name. If that’s all you want to achieve then why spend more?

However, in these times of tough competition and careful choices, giving a considered impression of quality and attention to detail may just be what sets your business apart. Call us biased, but cheap and lazy business cards give an impression of a business which is… well, you get the picture.

Whether you select bold colours, modern graphics or simple, classic and understated style, letterpress print is a fantastic option. Below are some of our favourite examples.

Yellow & Grey Letterpress Business Card
Black & Silver Letterpress Business CardSimple Design Hairdressing Business Letterpress CardPainter & Decorator Pantone Design Letterpress Business CardWhite Simple Letterpress Business Card With Rounded Edge

James Bond Artwork

James Bond vintage book cover re-edition artwork

In our book, you can’t beat a bit of classic, vintage inspired design. These James Bond reissues (above) released last month have been designed by publisher Random House’s in-house team to emulate the style of design genius, Saul Bass.

Moonraker reissued James Bond book cover design.

Goldfinger reissued James Bond book cover design

Thunderball reissued James Bond book cover design

We love the fantastic, iconic style of these designs. The use of typography and composition gives instant appeal. However, we have to say, our real favourites are Michael Gillette’s designs for the covers of Penguin’s Bond novels. These were originally released to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth in 2008.

James Bond vintage book cover print

James Bond vintage book cover print

James Bond vintage book cover print

Which is your favourite?

An Evening with Krankbrother – A Halloween to Remember

Here at ADOmedia we like to build relations with our clients. We like to know them well and understand their business so that we can ensure our service is always bang on.

So, when our good friends and clients Danny and Keiran Clancy invited us to join them as VIP guests at their enormous Hallowe’en party, we thought it only right and proper to don some spooky attire and head down to the big smoke for a party.

ADOsquad members Hannah and Alex at Krankbrothers Halloween party

Danny and Kieran are the resident DJs at krankbrother. They are also the founders, organisers and promoters of the company and their parties have fast become renowned as the best in the city. But the fair city of London is not their only domain, oh no.

The last few years have seen them travel the world bringing their own brand of stylish, intimate party vibe to venues as diverse as helipads in the Dominican republic (Groovefest), Yachts in Ibiza and festivals in Croatia (Echo) to mention but a few. Their respective social media pages make for enviable viewing.

Danny and Kieran Clancy of krankbrother

Unique and unusual venues are a big part of what makes these events extra special, and the Krankbrother’s London stomping ground has witnessed parties in numerous warehouses and on multiple rooftops as well as in unused theater spaces, photography studios and even a disused pub. No two parties are ever the same, save for a few key ingredients, and this is what keeps their loyal fan base of cool party revelers coming back time and again.

This weekend’s Halloween party was no exception, their biggest to date with almost three thousand people filling the vast, illuminated arches of the Great Suffolk Street Warehouse. All attendee’s made serious effort with their outfits and those who didn’t had a Krank-arranged make-up artist on hand to help them out.

krankbrother clowns

It’s touches like these, the make-up artist, the photo booth, the outrageously good lighting, decoration, visuals and superb Funktion One sound system that made this party one to remember.

krankbrother halloween party stagekrankbrother halloween party stage

In short, these boys know how to throw a serious soiree. As the clock stuck 6am and world class DJ Magda spun her final tune, we stood on the stage and peeped over their shoulders to the still bouncing 3000 strong crowd. At that moment we thought to ourselves, our line of work is pretty damn good!

Now we just have to ask ourselves a simple question, when’s the next one?

krankbrother halloween party

Photography by Sophia Whitfield.

A Halloween Poster Project

Manchester agency Creative Spark have put together a series of horror film poster to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

After the success of last year’s poster project Little Print Shop of Horrors, they have created another series for Halloween 2012. All proceeds will go to Marie Curie Cancer Care, and there’s an exhibition displaying the work at The Richard Goodall Gallery on Thomas Street, Manchester, until 31 October.




Some fantastic designs are included in the collection. Take a look here to view the full project.

Peak District Artisans site goes live

When we were approached by Peak District Artisans to create them a brand spanking new website, we jumped at the chance! Promoting creativity and local talent is something we really enjoy, so this particular project was right up our street.

Peak District Artisans, based in and around the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District in England, are some of the very best professional fine artists, designers, makers and contemporary artisans around.  The website we created for them offers each artist within the association the ability to create their own editable profile, to which they can upload their work, photographs and information, creating an ever changing online portfolio.

The news section of the site offers the group the ability to create events and news articles and promote any upcoming exhibitions. Visitors to the website are able to browse the artists alphabetically or by genre. They can also view the latest tweets from the PDA members and link to their social media networks.

We selected a fresh, pared down approach to the design with a soft colour palette created to place emphasis on the artists work and give definition to each separate category.

Peak District Artisans website screenshot

We think the final outcome looks fantastic and we have received some fantastic feedback from the Peak District Artisans.
Take a look around the site and let us know what you think at www.peakdistrictartisans.co.uk

Nordik Music Days Festival Poster

We have been admiring these fantastic posters for the Nordik Music days festival which is to be held in Stockholm this year. The understated colour palette combined with simple imagery and sharp geometric shapes perfectly encapsulates the sort of cool and understated Scandinavian design that we just can’t resist.




The website design follows beautifully, take a look here for more.

Design by A Perfect World, Stockholm.

Thermo-sensitive Stationery Suite

Take a look at this amazing ever-changing stationery set for Vienna photo rep and producer Natalie Daniels. Thermo-sensitive black varnish that loses it’s color in response to heat creates an incredible effect which allows those who handle it to play with it and change it’s appearance.

Design by Bureau Rabensteiner
Production Method – Offset Silkscreen




An extremely clever design which pushes the boundaries of both print and production. Printing with a thermo sensitive varnish is challenging to say the least. We just love the concept. Clever design executed with style.

Max Oppenheim Photographer

When East London based photographer Max Oppenheim approached us for a new website, we knew it would not be an easy job, but it would most certainly be a rewarding one.

Working with someone who’s creative eye and attention to detail is as acute as our own can be a lengthy process, with each party picking at every minute detail before any decisions can be made. We often use the bespoke suit analogy, it can be hard to distinguish why a hand made suit looks different to those hanging on the rails, but it does. Something about that internal paneling and made to measure cut give it an appearance of quality, even if you can’t put your finger on exactly why. In this case it felt a bit like creating a suit for the great Karl Lagerfield!

Each small decision has been thrown back and forth in a process akin to a sort of creative volleyball. Which font size will work to the best effect? how will the spacing on each page affect the overall look? which slideshow timing highlights each striking image long enough, without lingering for a millisecond to long? All of these considerations have been tried, tested and selected with great care.

This meeting of creative minds has been one of great success, as you will see from our latest launch, www.maxoppenheim.com.

Max Oppenheim photographer website screen shot

With an emphasis on elegant, minimal style, the new website is designed to highlight Max’s varied and distinctive portfolio without distraction, a crystal goblet as certain (slightly pompous) designers would term it. We selected a very minimal styling which utilises an elegant typeface and understated colour palette.

Max’s new website is responsive, working across all platforms and devices. Also, being fully editable, it allows Max to quickly and easily update his news articles and portfolio images to create a user experience that is constantly changing and evolving, just like his work.

Max Oppenheim photographer website screen shot

You can view Max’s brand, spanking new website here: www.maxoppenheim.com