Well I suppose I did promise regular copywriting tips didn’t I? So here’s a little tip just for you.
You are practising your copywriting skills every time you post on social media! The reason I say this, is because we all know that when we tweet we are severely limited by the character count. BUT we always manage to get across our opinion.
Try applying these restrictions on your marketing copy to ensure you’re getting to the point swiftly and concisely. Keep sentences short. Use paragraphs to break up copy, so your reader isn’t overwhelmed by a huge wodge of text, that looks like it’s going to take hours to disseminate.
If you want a little inspiration for amazingly powerful short copy then take a look at the increasing rise of Twitter fiction. I would argue the king of the very short story is still the eminently powerful lines of Hemingway:
“Baby Shoes. For sale. Never Worn.”
If you want to see more simply search:
I particularly liked this gem from Carl (@CarlBurkitt)
“As Tommy bent down on one knee, Lilly smiled; relieved she’d never have to tie her son’s laces again”
In our next copywriting tip I will be tackling how to make your content resonate more with your target audience.
Comments Off on There should always be time to learn… #Iconicdesign the first instalment! #1 Margaret Calvert
In this business we are often told to be forward thinking, progressive, creative, imaginative and look for the latest trend or ‘new’ style/font/colour. For the most part we do this we look at what’s popular in all areas of life, take into consideration the political and economic landscape and try to predict designs that will standout, resonate and generally work hard for our clients. It’s easy then, to ignore past designs and how they came to be.
However, having recently had my head filled by the work of the Memphis Group after a particularly irritatingly enjoyable viral puzzle, I started thinking that we should probably regularly look at the innovative designers of the past and re-visit some of those ideas and learn from them. So I thought I’d try doing a regular item on iconic design and designers. This decision also coincided with me stumbling across an old Guardian article on Margaret Calvert (she was referenced in another piece and I felt I should know the name, so I followed the trail…)
Here’s a little summary of that article and my take on the amazing designer, who basically chose the Font for Britain. How amazing to effectively write a country’s corporate ID!
Name: Margaret Vivienne Calvert OBE
Country of Birth: Union of South Africa
Education: Chelsea College of Arts & St Paul’s Girls’ School, London
Occupation: Typographer and graphic designer
Fresh out of the Chelsea School of Art, in 1957, Margaret, along with the late Jock Kinneir (her tutor at Chelsea College of Art), spent the following 6 years creating the Transport font and a series of pictograms that are now widely used throughout the UK.
Before their designs, it seems remarkable that there was no unified signage system in the UK. What we had instead was a highly eclectic and often confusing smorgasbord of signage used all over our roads. It seems incredible to think that the signs we see on the road now, were ever not in use. They are so recognisable and comforting in their familiarity.
Margaret’s typography has clearly stood the test of time, we never think of our road signs as being retro. Perhaps even more interestingly we don’t just use this style in the UK either – you’ll see the typography used in countries throughout the World.
Although they may not have the glamour of other iconic British designs, it’s easy to see what’s so impressive in the pleasing simplicity of the arrows, and the surprising loveliness of the running deer.
50 years after their creations the Design Museum celebrated this incredible achievement. Fifty artists and designers, from Terence Conran to Betty Jackson, made their own signs – and Calvert herself peppered a sign with 50 bullet holes. The idea came to her after she heard that gangsters use them as target practice. “If you want to be serious,” she says, “it means don’t shoot at road signs!”
Talking at her Islington studio about how the pair chose the sky blue of our motorway signs (a recessive colour that fits well in the landscape) or the typefaces they created (two, Transport and Motorway), Calvert herself is unfailingly modest.
“We never decided, ‘Oh, let’s brand the United Kingdom’,” she says, “but as with London black cabs and red buses …” She trails off, too unassuming to continue.
At the time, neither Calvert nor Kinneir could drive, but she says this never mattered. “You thought of everything from the standpoint of: ‘What if I am at the wheel, doing speeds of over 70mph?’”
Previously, they’d worked on Gatwick airport’s signs and graphics, after Kinneir spotted Calvert’s enthusiasm at art school. Calvert would come in early on the days he was teaching, and “work intensely” on the projects he gave her. “I like the idea of designing for the larger public … Design is a service,” she explains. “The term graphic design didn’t exist then. They called it commercial art. It’s not designing from a fashion point of view, it’s purely logic, function and aesthetics. And you can’t get simpler.”
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.
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…
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?
Comments Off on 2019 Design Trends to watch out for (and those best avoided)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Comments Off on So you want to hear more about our latest projects?
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.
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.”
“RCS Affiliate membership supports you throughout your training.”
The RCS new online CPD tool will help support you throughout your career path
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.
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.
Comments Off on Top creative design trends for 2018!
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:
Comments Off on Membership Marketing with Mulberry
Mulberry have a long history of helping membership organisations thrive and 2017 proves to be a big year for us. This year we became CAMRA‘s official agency and we’re also about to start working with RCP to give their membership a boost.
Part of the secret to our success is the way in which we’ve partnered with an amazing data agency Trueology , it’s vital to have a good and trusted analytics agency when planning to increase your membership base – but what do you do once you have all the answer’s from your research? That’s where Mulberry is key, we get under the skin of the findings, tailor the comms to really hit the right note with people likely to be converted to members, whilst ensuring existing members are equally cultivated and retained.
We will be working on a new Membership Marketing online platform soon, but in the mean time take a look at our current info on the subject:
Mulberry has gone through a few little changes in recent times as some of you may now know! In April 2016 after 20+ years of service Steve Gardiner stepped down as Director of Mulberry and passed the baton of ownership to me (Emma), Claire and Kathy.
I then promptly went on maternity leave (ha! you’d think as a musician my timing would be better!). I have to say a big thank you to Claire and Kathy for making my return to work as easy as possible and for offering me a fantastic flexible working arrangement, which has so far benefited both Me, Mulberry and clients alike (Phew!).
The three of us are working hard to make Mulberry better than ever and we’d love to hear your feedback on what you think of Mulberry – what you like about us, what you might want to see change and if there’s anything that you feel needs to be improved.
So if you have any feedback, queries or concerns please don’t hesitate to drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
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