Harleys has once again teamed up with City of Bristol College to offer its graphic design students the chance to win the 13th annual Harleys Design Award.
This year the brief is to create a brand identity for Festival Friday, a unique competition hosted by Bristol music charity, Brisfest.
“We are proud to be working with Harleys and City of Bristol College on this award because it will inspire the creativity of local students and support an event in the local community that we are very passionate about,” says Poppy Stephenson, CEO, Brisfest.
Festival Friday offers employees across Bristol the chance to have their workplace turned into a pop-up festival for a day, complete with food, entertainment and decorations. Local businesses sponsor Festival Friday and provide the refreshments, with support in previous years coming from regional enterprises like Pieminister and Bath Ales. The headline acts are local Bristol bands that set up and rock out, right there in the office.
Bristol College is including the festival brief in a module on its FdA course in Graphic Design with Interactive Multimedia. Students are required to brand the competition with a recognizable and innovative identity using relevant logos, images and colour. They must create promotional materials such as posters, web banners, stationary, a t-shirt and even a beer mat.
The project will give students the chance to work with a vibrant and creative subject, producing work that will be used across a variety of mediums. The brief also offers the opportunity for the winning entry to be used by Brisfest to promote the Festival Friday competition across Bristol, giving the winner the chance to see their work in action.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be working with Brisfest on such an exciting brief that encourages young talent and promotes local events. I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerge over the next few weeks,” says Ken Hale, Harleys Creative Director.
Brisfest was founded in 2007 with an ambition to showcase the best Bristol had to offer in a not-for-profit event. Originally in Bristol city centre, the festival is now held at Ashton Court to accommodate the 20,000 visitors and hundreds of local acts. Brisfest relies on 400 volunteers who rally together every year to produce one huge inspiring event in September.
When it is not arranging the festival, Brisfest is a registered charity that furthers its work with music. It encourages local talent, hosts workshops, branches out into communities, and offers industry work experience to help local people into employment.
The business card: once flat and lifeless, it is evolving and developing into a multi-platform device. From innovative designs to new technology, today’s best ones are 21st century networking tools for 21st century business.
Back in September we commented on the rise of Blippar, the app that uses augmented reality and converts everyday physical elements into interactive digital experiences. Now companies have used Blippar to create business cards that when scanned with a smartphone or tablet, pop up whatever they want, such as a portfolio video or GPS location. It’s the card with an invisible third side.
Print firms now offer cards using Near Field Communication (NFC). A tiny microchip is inserted into the card and when held near a smart phone, tells it to do whatever was programmed into the chip. It could automatically save the contact details in the phone, download a video or activate links to webpages. The microchip URL can be rewritten so the user can update the links whenever they need to.
Of course, it could just be ingenious design that sets a card apart. Pinterest has several boards dedicated to business card designs that are entirely unique, memorable, and come in a vast array of shapes and sizes. Whether you like elaborate embellishments or just simple and effective graphics, there are ideas to suit every business.
By thinking a little differently, you can make your card work hard for you wherever it goes. What does yours do for you?
Today, a growing number of businesses are incorporating user-generated content into their advertising and marketing campaigns.
It offers a refreshing way to connect with your audience, creating new, meaningful content with a sense of authenticity. It’s also a neat way to integrate social interaction into a campaign. What’s more, it can be done for a fraction of the cost involved in more traditional processes.
McDonalds attracted over 20,000 submissions for its user-generated “We All Make the Games” London 2012 ad campaign, which showed the variety of ways in which British people celebrated the Games. A slightly different example is the Coca Cola security camera ad made up entirely of CCTV footage, which ‘catches’ people committing acts of kindness.
It all sounds great – so what are the pitfalls?
Authenticity is one of them. Some advertisers will inevitably be tempted to fake user-generated content to fit their needs. Others might simply stretch the definition if the content doesn’t quite fit. Of course, all this dubious content means that audiences are much more likely to be sceptical.
Incidentally, this is exactly what happened with the Coca Cola ad. One article in the Huffington Post questions just how Coca Cola was able to capture so many seemingly spontaneous scenes without some kind of forward planning. Coca Cola later admitted to ‘recreating’ some of its scenes to get around rights issues – which somewhat lessens its warm and fuzzy appeal.
The conclusion? User-generated content has its place, but it shouldn’t be overdone – and most importantly of all, it should be real. Nothing offends viewers like realising they’ve been fooled.
Harleys now has an incorporated subsidiary company in the US. This signals our growing commitment to our North American clients, and our evolving presence in the region.
We’ve established Harleys North America to make it easier for our clients in the US to do business with us.
Nick Cottle, CEO at Harleys explains the thinking behind the move: “Our client list in North America is growing, and at the same time our longstanding relationships are becoming even stronger. It’s important for us to respond to this. By establishing Harleys North America, we’re demonstrating our intent to continue building our presence in the region.”
Augmented Reality (AR) apps have been mooted by marketers and advertisers for a long time. Using a combination of real-world inputs and overlaid virtual elements, AR enables the everyday to be transformed into a set of entertaining, interactive experiences.
The problem has long been that AR apps have required in-depth, expensive development. Now though, Blippar is on the scene. It makes AR advertising available via an off-the-shelf solution – making it affordable and increasing the chances of user uptake. So is it the next big thing?
Blippar’s offer is certainly an attractive one. It enables advertisers to add value and interactivity to any physical marketing asset – be it a billboard, print ad, storefront, exhibition stand or anything else. If the user has the free app installed, they can point their phone at the asset to launch an interactive experience, known as a ‘blipp’. The possibilities are wide-ranging, and you can see some existing blipps here.
This can turn stale media into something fresh and intriguing – without busting the budget. The challenge for Blippar though is whether it can achieve enough consumer uptake to become relevant to advertisers.
To engage with a blipp, the user has to install the Blippar app. It’s free, but there’s still a significant challenge in persuading people not only to download it, but to use it and revisit it.
It has been around for over a year, and has racked up over a million downloads – but that’s still a minute proportion of the population. The challenge is therefore persuading advertisers that blipps will enable them to reach enough of their target audience to warrant the modest investment that it requires.
Or perhaps we should look at it in a different way. Maybe the brands that adopt Blippar share the responsibility of increasing uptake of the app among their customers. If they use blipps to offer real added value to the consumer, there’s every chance that they can play a role in persuading people to engage.
Perhaps in a few years’ time we’ll all have our Google Project Glass specs on anyway, and augmented reality apps will be redundant. But in the meantime, Blippar is a serious contender – as long as brands are willing to help push it out to their consumers.
RAR works with businesses and creative agencies, listing recommended agencies for clients to choose from based on their chosen criteria. Its assessments cover all elements of working practice – from creativity and strategic ability to value for money and professionalism.
These assessments are based on feedback sent directly from our clients to RAR. Only agencies that score above the threshold are then included in the register.
We pride ourselves on giving excellent customer satisfaction, and this comes across in the feedback of our clients. That’s why we’re proud to be RAR listed.
In a time of deepening recession, supermarkets are recreating their value brands in an attempt to make them more palatable to consumers on a budget. Even with less money to spend there is still a certain stigma attached to seeming ‘cheap’ – and nothing screams cheap more than Tesco Value stripes.
Tesco was the first supermarket to launch a value range back in 1993, but since then customer needs have changed. Though many of us seek out bargain products, we still want to feel like what we’re buying is decent quality.
Now Tesco has dropped the rigid stripes altogether, opting instead for a warmer 1950s style design. It has also changed the name of its range from Tesco Value to Everyday Value, helping to shift some of those negative connotations and create a more desirable budget product that people won’t feel ashamed about buying.
Supermarkets appear to be employing a ‘cheap and cheerful’ strategy, where before the emphasis lay solely on being cheap. Morrisons has done something similar with the rebranding of its M Savers range. The new designs are a far cry from the previous white on yellow branding used on every product. Like Tesco, the use of bright, simple silhouette illustration has resulted in a much friendlier-looking product that catches the eye – and looks better in your kitchen cupboards.
Since the new Morrisons designs were launched, sales have increased by 48 percent. This is the power of branding. The look of a product has a huge influence on the way we feel about it – even when the product itself is the same.
In May 2011, the EU passed a new privacy law requiring websites to ask users for consent to use web cookies – tiny data files commonly used to recognise and keep track of website visitors. After an initial grace period of one year, all website operators using cookies are now obliged to comply.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published guidelines for website operators to ensure that sites meet the specified regulations. The law makes an exception for cookies that are deemed ‘strictly necessary’, such as those used for login details or online shopping baskets.
We can help you to achieve cookie compliance swiftly and easily. to find out more.
Harleys has a new sales & marketing office in central Stockholm. Following market demand, we’ve moved from our base in Linköping into the heart of the capital. This allows us to be closer to our key Swedish clients.
Although our headquarters remains in the UK, our enhanced presence in Stockholm comes with Swedish representation. Marinette Radebo, an experienced professional with a longstanding relationship with Harleys, now has a position with us as Regional Director, meaning that our clients have personal contact to hand whenever they need it.
Nick Cottle, CEO explains the thinking behind the developments: “Sweden has for a long time been important to Harleys, and this move demonstrates our commitment to our Swedish customer base. Myself and other key members from the team will be dropping in regularly, but more importantly, our clients now have someone available for a coffee and a chat whenever they like.”