These are a series of book cover designs that were produced by us for Thomson Nelson Publishing. The university marketing textbooks are for sale in university bookstores across Canada. Interestingly, this client came to us through Dmitri Logounov’s York University marketing professor, Kim Snow, who was also one of the authors. Dmitri presented some of New Design Group’s portfolio samples to Kim seeking advice on improvements and company marketing. Kim gave compliments to the quality of design work and right away suggested a Thomson Nelson contract. The deal was signed and our work is proudly displayed at university bookstores and used by Canadian university marketing students. Date 2008 Client Thomson Nelson Inc. Brand Variety of text books Industry Education and Book Publishing Capability Book Cover Design Print...read more
Telecom Expense Management companies, as with many other consultancy services, know they have to make a great first impression on potential clients. With regard to their website design, the homepage is critical: visitors will spend just a few seconds browsing the page before deciding if the company can meet their needs or not. But professional website development companies are ready and armed to deal with the fickle nature of website visitors. They know how to create a homepage for Telecom Expense Management companies that is well designed, fully branded and immaculately implemented. The final page will: Make an impact Highlight the unique selling points (USPs) of the company Get the client to take action If you need a homepage for a Telecom Expense Management company, or indeed any other service provider, here’s a great example of how to get it right. A. Punchy Header to Grab Attention Company logo in the left hand corner, tagline to the right: this is a popular approach in website design because quite simply, it looks good. And here it works particularly well because: The logo is professionally designed and the company name is unmissable The tagline is guaranteed to grab anyone’s attention: “If we don’t save you money, you don’t pay.” This can’t fail but to get the reader interested. B. Short Video to Explain Services In less than 15 seconds, the services provided by this Telecom Expense Management company are clear to all. The video sends out the promise that this company can save its clients money. And shrewdly, it runs only once so isn’t irritatingly repetitive. C. Sharp USPs to Sell Services This company has defined 5 good reasons why a client should work with them. But instead of hiding them within a paragraph or two of text, they are listed clearly below a large, eye-catching title. This is an excellent strategy because: The designer has created a bold area on the homepage that simply cannot be overlooked Short messages are easy to understand and remember Even skim readers will take time out to read short messages D. Don’t Take Our Word for It Most new customers like to know of other clients that have used a company and been satisfied. And the bigger the client, the more persuaded the new customer will be to sign on the dotted line. This website capitalizes on this quirk of human nature wonderfully – the logos of other clients are shown moving across the homepage, impressing the potential new customer with their number and associated company names. E. Call to Action By now, most potential customers will have already judged this company – many of them favourably – because: they know they don’t have to pay if savings aren’t made they know why this company is so darned good they understand what this company can do for them they are comforted by knowing the names of other clients Many potential customers will want to learn more. So the website has been designed to make it as simple as possible – the telephone number they should call is shown in big, bold font. This Telecom Expense Management website homepage is obviously professionally designed: the choice of conservative blue is reassuring for a company dealing in money matters, and the logo is plain to see. But...read more
YATI and Ontario Lung Association. Youth Organization Identity Development. Logo. Brochures. Website Design.
The Objective: Ontario Lung Association and Health Ontario were partnering together to create a new educational entity called Youth Advocacy Training Institute (YATI). Through a public tender the client was seeking a Toronto design company that was able to deliver an integrated brand identity design for the new venture, including training manuals, brochures, promotional materials and a sophisticated website with training software. The Challenge: We were asked to design a logo that would be accepted by a rebellious group of teenaged Canadians. The logo had to be “cool”, stand out and empower members and audiences. The Solution: The winning design shows silhouettes of the action driven group standing on the YATI abbreviation. It is a timeless concept that is used throughout all of the marketing and educational materials of Youth Advocacy Institute across Ontario and received many compliments from youth and government officials. It symbolizes an action oriented “Stand Up, Speak Out!” concept and our design is proudly worn on the pins, briefcases, and backpacks of politically active youth and their mentors. Date 2005-2008 Client Ontario Lung Association Brand YATI Industry Youth Organizations. NFP. Capability Logo Design Website Design Brochures and Pamphlets Pins. Bags....read more
You may think that you have a single favourite colour but in fact you probably have several: your preferred colour will always depend on a specific situation. Just because a lady loves hot pink on her nails, doesn’t mean she wants to decorate her house in a similar vivid hue. In the home, most people automatically choose a colour scheme to suit each room. People may claim that seaside blues are their favourite colours and so decorate their bathrooms accordingly; but when it comes to the living area; their favourite colour is now a calming neutral beige. Regarding outfits, people also choose what to wear according to some unwritten rules: dark colours such as navy seem appropriate for formal meetings and wintertime, whereas pastels and whites are hot favourites for summer. Even if people don’t think too hard about the colours they prefer, they are subconsciously programmed to associate certain colours with specific situations and emotions: and this is true for adults all over the globe. Harnessing Colours in Advertising Branding and advertising agencies think long and hard about colour before they choose what to use in a brand development programme or advertising campaign. By carefully selecting the appropriate colour, an advert can send out a powerful message to the viewer even before they have had time to read and understand what the advert is promoting. Advertising agencies make it their business to understand the psychology of colour to enable them to use it persuasively in their designs. For example, everyone knows that red signals danger and that people automatically react to a red warning sign to avoid the hazard. Why is that? Evolutionary theories believe that early man learnt to associate red with danger: blood, uncooked meat, or the red face of an aggressive adversary. But does that mean that red is never to be used in an advert? Far from it, however as with all colours, an advert must be created with careful use of colour to ensure it sends out a positive subconscious message – one that is appropriate to what the company is selling and also to the target market. Getting it wrong Imagine visiting a new bank which you’re thinking of entrusting your savings to and finding the building decorated in soft pastel yellows and pinks. Does your gut instinct say go ahead with your savings plan or do you feel a little uneasy by the wishy-washy decor? And if a nursery school sends you a prospectus in sombre greys and blacks, do you really think that this would be a fun and stimulating place for little Billy to spend his toddler years? Getting it right There is no point in fighting against the subconscious messages that colours send out. Advertising agencies must harness the right colour for each campaign which must be perfectly in tune with the products being sold, and with the customers it wants to attract. Here’s the rundown on the messages that different colours send out and how best to use them in marketing campaigns. Red While red signifies danger it can be used to good effect in marketing campaigns which need to evoke strong emotions. Red is associated with passion and love but its strong intensity also signifies excitement, determination and courage. Here’s an example of how to...read more
This is a small budget project for a writer from Africa who was a math teacher back home. He wanted to share with Canadian children the African practice of using their fingers to multiply and divide while learning mathematics. We designed two characters that were present throughout the children’s book and did multiplication and division lessons. The purpose of the characters was to engage preschoolers. Date 2010 Industry Education and Publishing Scope Characters Design Book Pages Design and Layout Print...read more
If you think a well constructed advert with a beautiful image and carefully placed informative text is guaranteed to bring in more sales, think again. Effective advertising campaigns call out to the viewer on a subconscious level – they appeal to gut instinct and emotions. Back in the early 1900s, psychologists recognized that adverts that evoke an emotional response in the viewer are more likely to result in sales. Since then, branding and advertising agencies always aspire to create eye–catching adverts which provoke positive reactions in the viewer: complete indifference to an advert is the stuff of nightmares as far as they are concerned. In today’s society, the ad man has a harder job than ever. Advertising on a daily basis bombards most people, whether on the TV, in newspapers or on the side of a taxi or coffee cup. Your Average Joe has developed advert blindness: he no longer takes notice of all the adverts that come into his field of vision because he simply doesn’t have the time or inclination to consciously process them all. So nowadays an advert must firstly penetrate Average Joe’s advert blindness and also cause a positive emotional response – it needs to make the right subconscious impression. There are several tips that can be employed to ensure that an advertising campaign appeals to the subconscious mind of the consumer. 1) Images As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Pictures will always generate stronger emotions in the viewer than words alone. Pictures will be noticed before the brain has time to decipher any text. And so it follows that the most successful adverts are bound to be those that are image led. The most powerful image to evoke an emotional response in the viewer is that of the human face due to its ability to communicate non-verbally the many nuances of emotion. A happy face smiling out from a magazine can raise a smile in the viewer; a picture of a frightened or sad face will result in empathy from the viewer. 1.1) Ambiguous facial expressions The use of an ambiguous facial expression in an advert will reach out to the viewer’s subconscious mind. The brain automatically compares facial images with a list of expressions it has seen before. If it sees a smiling face, it instantly recognises that the person is happy. But an ambiguous expression causes the brain to examine the image more thoughtfully. Take the Mona Lisa for example: how many hours have people spent over the decades trying to figure out what she’s thinking? By using an ambiguous facial expression in a marketing campaign, viewers won’t be able to help themselves: they will be subconsciously drawn to take a closer look at the advert. 1.2) The face of need Not for profit organizations need to have strong adverts, as they want to evoke an emotional response in the viewer that is sufficiently strong to result in a donation. Studies have shown that the use of images of the sufferers is important to persuade people to give. And people are far more likely to donate if the facial expression shows sadness or despair rather than if the sufferer seems happy or has a neutral expression. 2) Images on the left A company logo or...read more
Stoke Realty Partners. Financial Company Logo Design. Graphic Design. Presentation Folder Development. Case Study.
The Objective: Stoke Realty Partners are in the Real Estate Investment services and Asset Management services business. It was a start-up company that was seeking a graphic design company and branding agency that would put them in line with the industry leaders. The Solution: Out of the five initial concepts that we provided, the client selected a design with a modern flair that at the same time kept in line with Bay Street’s classic standards. The letter S was cut out on their presentation folder which gave their presentation folder a modern, expensive and exclusive design finish. Date 2007 Client Stoke Realty Partners Inc. Brand Stoke Realty Partners Industry Financial Scope Logo Design Corporate Promotional Materials Website...read more
Date 2015 Client Innovate On Purpose Brand Innovate On Purpose Industry Consulting Scope Brand Identity Design Brochures Design Newsletters Design Website Design Social Media Pages Website...read more
Have you ever been persuaded to purchase something, even when you weren’t even planning to buy? If your answer is yes, then you have probably experienced psychological advertising at its very best. And the art of using psychology in advertising is no new thing. Two famous American psychologists are credited as being some of the first to explain how advertising is far more effective when the consumers’ psychology is taken into account. John B Watson (1878-1958) was an American psychologist who conducted psychological research into advertising amongst other things. He had a controversial career, in part due to his academic work on conditioning children, and also for a scandalous divorce. After being fired from his academic post at Johns Hopkins, he moved to the US advertising agency J. Walter Thompson. It was a time of huge growth in the availability of products and services, and advertisers were keen to use psychology to improve their marketing success. Watson started off in door-to-door sales as he wanted to become an “honest-to-goodness working advertising man”. Watson concluded that marketing depended not on appealing to rational thought, but appealing to emotions and stimulating desire for the product. In fact Watson told advertisers to stir up the consumer’s emotions: “tell him something that will tie him up with fear, something that will stir up a mild rage, that will call out an affectionate or love response, or strike at a deep psychological or habit need.” While this might be a psychologically sound way to guarantee an advertising campaign gets noticed, not many advertising agencies nowadays would recommend instilling fear or anger in consumers in an attempt to get them to purchase! However Watson headed a number of successful advertising campaigns. His high profile Ponds cold cream adverts commonly had 3 specific elements: they evoked an emotional response they gave instructions on how to use the product the adverts had direct testimonials Testimonials were nothing new in advertising but had fallen out of favour because they had been used extensively by manufactures of ineffective and sometimes dangerous medicines. But Watson’s testimonials for this beauty product were highly effective in persuading consumers to buy. And indeed this trend has continued until today – glossy magazines are littered with beauty product adverts and accompanying celebrity endorsements. Another effective campaign targeted at women and evoking an emotional response was that for Pebeco toothpaste. Watson used a seductive looking woman and encouraged women to smoke – so long as they used Pebeco toothpaste. This advert had nothing to do with the health benefits of the toothpaste but was all about making the consumer more attractive to the opposite sex. Watson clearly saw advertising as an opportunity to sway people to buy specific products, whether they had thought about buying them beforehand or not. His vision has led to him being credited with a number of very successful advertising campaigns in the early 1900s. Walter Dill Scott (1869-1955) was another influential American psychologist in the world of advertising. An advertising executive approached him in the early 1900’s who wanted to make his marketing more effective. In 1903, Scott published his first book in this area: “The Psychology of Advertising in Theory and Practice”. His theory was that evoking emotions, sympathy and sentimentality via adverts could easily influence consumers. ...read more
Every company should aspire to have a strong online presence – and the most fundamental requirement is a great website. A website visitor will judge what they see within 10 seconds -today’s society demands quality information, and wants it swiftly. But to get the best possible web design for your company, how much will it cost? Web design costs can vary enormously. If we go back to basics, the best web designs are those that load quickly, look professional and promptly explain what the company is all about. Their design should entice the visitor to stay and, by intuitive navigation, enable the visitor to seamlessly become a client – one that requests more information or purchases online. There are two main options for creating a new website and they have different costs. 1) Web design templates Browse the internet and you’ll find numerous companies offering website templates such as those based on WordPress, Joomla and HTML. Some will also offer templates which are responsive and modify themselves depending on whether the viewer is using a desktop computer or mobile device. At first glance, the prices are attractive and the fact that the providers boast you don’t need a professional web designer to implement them sounds very attractive if your company doesn’t have any IT support. However be aware of the pro’s and con’s before you commit: The Pro’s and Con’s Designs: Many templates on offer have nice designs. They look professional and are pleasing to the eye. But if you use one of these templates, your website won’t be unique – any other company may be using the same template. Complexity: The templates create simple websites which have the advantage of being user-friendly. However if you want a more sophisticated set-up, dynamic pages or an online purchasing system, they cannot rise to the challenge. Updates: A web template allows you to directly change content so you stay in charge. But if you don’t have the time or inclination, you have no web design support team to undertake the maintenance on your behalf. Capacity: there is a maximum amount of space per page. If you try to force in more content, you may alter the design. Costs Costs vary from template supplier to supplier. But don’t think you’ll be getting something for nothing. Here’s an example of costs. This company charges $75 and up for a single site license. Add in the template and installation and you’ll be paying another $100 to $200. And if you want to use the template exclusively, you’re looking at $4500 and rising. 2) Professional web design This is a whole new ball game. When you work with a professional web design team, the fundamental advantage is that you gain a customised website – one that matches your requirements precisely. And furthermore, the professionals will take time to understand your company, your objectives and how best to promote your services or products. In short, they will guide you through the project, from initial ideas to a final website that appeals to the right target market by following these 4 key steps: 1) Research: investigating your market niche and website options 2) Design: preparing the web design options 3) Programming: finalising and optimizing the site 4) Testing & Launch At this stage it’s useful to...read more