Author Archives: Emma Nicolson

  1. That Print…

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    Everyone loves a viral debate… was that dress blue and black or white and gold??? Well there has been a new brain teaser on the block and it’s all about an iconic print.

    This one:

    Print Pattern 80s

    Where have I seen that before…?

    A seemingly innocent query prompted by a twitter user has everyone scratching their heads and generally getting more and more frustrated with internet searches abounding, trying to track down the now infamous print pattern.

    I like many people thought it was used in Saved By the Bell’s title sequence, and you can see why…

    Max's Diner – Saved By The Bell

    Ken Johnson was the Production Designer for Saved By the Bell

    Saved By The Bell Titles

    Saved by The Bell Title Sequence

    The styling is clearly heavily influenced by the Memphis Group design movement, which was founded by the highly influential Ettore Sottsass in 1981. When I originally started looking more deeply into where the hell this print originated, I thought it might be from the great man himself. I then got lost as many people do on a vibrantly colourful trip around the crazy world of terazzo prints and the Memphis Group’s incredible hold on the 90s look and feel.

    It’s no wonder everyone is scratching their heads on this particular print, it’s totally indicative of the late 80s early 90s vibe that was used in not only teen’s TV shows but also by the Music scene and MTV…




    The origin of the original print is still unknown, however it is currently being used on the Rocket Distinct Complete Skateboard.


    This little conundrum is driving people round the bend with many re-tweeter claim that they’re losing sleep over this, have lost friends and are now receiving death threats, because the pattern is so familiar yet seems to be impossible to find… certainly on the internet anyway… I now have an almost uncontrollable urge to rummage around in the loft to see if I can find this print on anything… my feeling is it was probably used on WH Smith stationery around 1992/93.


    The comments on the original tweet are hilarious with one person going so far as to mock up an album… Do you know where this print can be found?



  2. 2019 Design Trends to watch out for (and those best avoided)

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    Reading the numerous design trend blogs and articles out there can be both frustrating, enlightening and hilarious in equal measure. You get beautiful contradictions (within the same article even), you have wonderful descriptions (that really are pretty meaningless) and you also get the lazy writers who seem to be about a year behind…


    We’ve trawled through the lot to wheedle out what we think are the design trends worth taking note of. Here’s our top 5.

    1. 3-D Typography:

    This looks set to be a growing trend and one that has gone a bit extra in 2019. You may notice that letters constructed from machine parts, unusual objects or paper-cut illustrations are beginning to be used by more and more brands. Colour is also being more boldly used – think Frida Kahlo on acid. This is probably down to the rise of Maximalism and the way interior design often influences advertisers and vice-versa.

    Design Shack


    Digital Arts Online



    2. Papercut

    It’s big using laser and paper cut methods to bring a quirky bit of life to your marketing. There’s something faintly nostalgic about the use of this technique it hints at wet Wednesdays spent at the kitchen table with all your arts and crafts materials around you in a sea of boredom-evading beauty.

    Lisa Lloyd

    Eiko Ojala


    3. Women

    With the growing strength of women’s voices in the media and the high profile campaign of #metoo and #heforshe to name just two of many, women are here to stay and you should expect them to be featured more in advertising in positions that buck the traditional stereotypes. AND why not! Especially when you consider the amazing achievements of people like Jasmin Paris.

    Devyn H Taylor

    Malika Favre

    4. Coral

    Ad Week

    Last year it was the deeply rich ultra violet this year’s colour of choice is a coral pink – not too girly, not too millennial – and just grown up enough to last through the changing seasons. Top-tip: It actually looks pretty awesome alongside last year’s ultra violet!


    AND I think if you really want to make them sing add in a minty green like this…


    5. Art Deco your logo

    So with the maelstrom of Brexit, the bouffant bedecked barmy American and a general feeling of ‘What the ACTUAL!’ It’s no wonder we look back to an age of beautiful simplistic design – clean lines, clever use of space and a hint of decadent joy. There is something truly reassuring in a brand that is confident enough to use the ‘less is more’ mantra in their logo design.




    Say what!?!

    What they’re saying is big… but we think may be of limited value – if you’re looking for impact:

    Gradients – they were huge last year, but that’s the problem! They’re being used everywhere, so if you’re tempted to include this trend in your communications you need to think outside the box and come up with a unique spin to ensure you have standout.

    Metallics – Yup, many agree that these will be big this year, but with many people actively demonstrating less ostentatious displays of wealth, along with a move towards simplicity in logo design, you’re in danger of just looking a bit too try-hard. These shiny demons are to be used advisedly and with a modicum of restraint – think Art Deco clean lines (see point five) and just a hint of antique richness

  3. So you want to hear more about our latest projects?

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    Royal College of Physicians

    Thanks for taking an interest in our most recent campaigns and projects. We’ve most recently been working on a membership campaign for the Royal College of Physicians.


    Recently we’ve been sorting through the images from our RCP member shoot. It was a fantastic shoot where I was privileged to meet six amazing Physicians.

    This campaign focuses on showing the RCP’s members as leaders in their field but also as the ones leading the call for more members. This campaign shows the RCP as the dynamic, forward thinking organisation they are – dispelling any myths that it is an ‘old boys club’. The fact that the driving force behind the reasons for joining is the members, allows the RCP to articulate all the benefits of membership without coming across as pompous or ‘chest beating’.

     .   .   .

    It’s been a real honour to see first hand the amazing work the RCP and its members do to ensure the NHS continues to be the true national treasure that it is.

  4. We need to talk about Will…

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    Let me share this little tip that I was lucky enough to receive from a friend… ­

    You can remove ‘Will’ from virtually all marketing and it’s suddenly snappier, more assertive and more present. Let me show you…


    “RCS Affiliate membership will support you throughout your training.”

    Change to

    “RCS Affiliate membership supports you throughout your training.”


    The RCS new online CPD tool will help support you throughout your career path

    Change to

    The RCS new online CPD tool supports you throughout your career path


    Once you enter our competition you will be in with a chance to WIN an amazing NEW iPad mini.

    Change to

    Enter our competition and you’ve a chance to WIN an amazing NEW iPad mini.


    You see the trouble with ‘Will’ is that he implies an indeterminate time in the future, he’s just that little bit vague. Once you get rid of him you are subtly leading the reader to believe they have already engaged with you, that this is all happening right now.

    So fire Will, free Will, take away his weak-willed approach – and you might just find your marketing copy content is that little more punchy, positive and believable.


    Do you have a copywriting conundrum that you need a little help with? If so, send it to me

    Plus if  your copy is selected to be used as an example in our Juicy News copywriting article (and you’re happy for it to be shown) – I will re-write anything up to 500 words for free!

  5. Do your campaigns work?

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    Are you tracking the results of your campaigns and marketing communications, do you know what works and what doesn’t?

    We work with your team, increase effectivity and work creatively.

    By building up a profile of each customer, which in turn drives automated and triggered relevant communications, is the key to success.

    By working with our data partner, we create a flexible marketing platform by consolidating disparate data sources into a centralised Single Customer View database to run campaigns. Using this consistent, accurate and real-time view of individual customers and their interactions, we restructure marketing activities accordingly.

    This enables data exploration and mining for easy segmentation and selection. By enabling the creation of relevant, automated and triggered campaigns, we improve customer satisfaction. This allows us to track the effectivity of these campaigns quickly and easily, cut marketing wastage and drastically reduce costs.

  6. When did you last test and research?

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    Have you got the latest information on your market, do you know what really works for them?

    We listen, research, understand, gain insight and are proactive.

    Mulberry work with a fantastic research partner to utilise multiple research and profiling tools to build a comprehensive picture of current customers. This informs further research programmes that enable us to establish clear profile groups that have a strong propensity to convert into new customers. From this we create innovative multi-channel campaigns that clearly communicate your business’s KSPs (Key Selling Points).

    Detailed profiling also enable us to target long tail leads.

    We create interest within the sector and target similar user groups using affinity marketing.

    We care, plan for the future, nurture, innovate and evolve.

    The key to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction is to recognise customers at risk of leaving the purchasing journey at an early stage. By building a clear picture of each individual’s journey we recognise and target those customers to tempt them back.

    Customer retention programmes include targeted, automated and triggered communications via multiple media channels.

    All data generated by these activities is collected and then fed back into the system, enriching customer knowledge and enabling us to refine your campaigns.

    If you would like help researching and understanding your customers, drop us a line.


  7. Are your marketing materials forward thinking?

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    Do the designs and tone of voice suit your target audience, do they reflect any recent research findings – are they current?

    Cultivate growth through creativity

    Ideas sell things, not technology alone.

    Like gardening you can have all the tools but not know how to use them to cultivate real growth.

    Of course we are well versed in the use of technology to best effect, but it is our sound marketing strategy and creativity that makes the real difference, enabling communications to bloom.

    From the roots up, we get the right message to the right people. We use all our skills to express it in a way that connects to them, through whichever medium it takes.

    Very few agencies can offer all these diverse creative skills in print and online, but then again perhaps that’s why they don’t achieve our results.

    If you need a little help ensuring your campaigns really resonate with customers then drop us a line!

  8. Spring Clean your marketing communications

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    I know, I know it might be a case of pot calling the kettle black here (seeing as we are in the long and slow process of updating our own communications, the way things are going… check back with us on this in a year or two!) BUT we have been very, very busy helping a number of clients really get to the root of the purpose and effectivity of their marketing materials.

    For most of these clients the process starts with ensuring there is a deep understanding of their current customers through research and data analysis. What most clients find is that although the ‘type’ of client they have may not have changed – i.e they are still in the same age bracket, gender bias, economic position etc. etc. – because technology and society as a whole has changed they way they like to be communicated with is quite different.

    For example imagine that your target audience is a 55 year old man, (middle class, middle Britain you get the gist). This guy is significantly different to someone who was 55 fifteen or ten years ago. This man will have been a teenager in the 70s and 80s listening to Blondie, The Sex Pistols, The Jam and Madness, his language and self image will almost certainly differ from someone born a decade earlier who would have been born in the aftermath of WWII and would have been a teenager when the Beatles and rock and roll were just emerging.

    These differences are even more vast when you look at younger markets – someone who’s 20 now, won’t remember a time without mobile phones, the internet or even really social media, whereas someone born a decade earlier will. The use of language and the media we use to communicate with our different customer types must evolve with them. We should be constantly testing and evaluating how we talk to them, what visually stimulates them and which channels we use to reach out.

    In order to keep track of this ever changing landscape it’s important to build in ways to keep up with what interests your customers. Ensure that when capturing their data you are asking a few vital questions to ensure you understand what they need from you. When planning your marketing budget allow for some spend on focus groups and proper data analysis.

    Most importantly how are you tracking the effectivity of your campaigns, are you keeping on top of your website’s Google analytics, what do your social media stats tell you and how do you measure the effectivity of your print comms?

    Now’s the perfect time to spring clean your marketing materials – why not drop us a line to find out how we can help you!

  9. Top creative design trends for 2018!

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    We love scoping out what’s hot and not for the coming year, and there are a few design trends that really have our creative juices zinging with excitement.

    Here’s our five favourite:

    1. Negative space. Positively astronomical.

    If we’re honest we’ve always had a soft spot for these clever optical illusions and the good news is we should be seeing more of them in 2018!

    In simplistic terms negative space is “empty” space in the design that forms a distinctive shape.



    2. Colour Transitions & Gradients

    Don’t panic flat colours are here to stay it’s just we have a new player on the colour block. Maybe due to the fact that flat colours don’t work in every situation, or perhaps just our continual need to try something new, gradient colours are big news. We’ve been seeing the use of gradients in hair design for a couple of years now and it seem that where fashion leads, graphic design follows… well in this case anyway – we’ve been known to lead the fashion brigade on occasion don’t cha know!


    3. Papercut Illustrations

    Papercut illustrations have begun to emerge as an effective and arresting design tool. Inspired by actual paper cutting art, this trend is quickly gaining speed. Papercut illustrations recreate compositions made of different layers of paper which means depth and specific textures are must-have elements.




    4. Typography as Real Life Elements

    We love playing with typography here and this design trend is really eye catching – we love the way the typography tightly interacts with the other elements of the composition.



    5. Let purple reign in 2018…

    It’s official! Pantone has announced the colour of the year 2018 and it’s called: Ultra Violet. This ultra modern colour will shower the world of graphic design, package design, fashion and home decor in 2018 with its blue based purple hue.



    Here’s our take on how Ultra Violet can be incorporated into 2018 colour palettes:

    Singing the hues



    Magical Unicorn



    Embolden me


    With thanks to the wonderful Graphic Mama for her insight





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