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Liberal Ontario. Don Valley West PLA.

The Background The Don Valley West Provincial Liberal Association is a political association whose mandate is to represent the interests of all residents of Ontario and make the riding a better place to live and work in.  It aims to promote Liberal principles and also to improve communication between members, MPPs and the Ontario Liberal Party. A fundamental requirement of any political association is to attract more voters by getting its key messages out to the public effectively as possible.  Don Valley West Provincial Liberal Association hired New Design Group to redesign their website and to create a social media presence on Facebook. Before The Challenge A political party must have an attractive website which shows the organisation as professional and organised, and sells its key messages and promises to the website visitor.  To engage with its voters, a strong presence on social media is also an important tool.  It allows the party to engage with its voters by providing regular updates about its behind-the-scenes work and to continually reinforce its objectives. New Design Group met with the association to review the existing website and to discuss the key messages that the party wanted to impart to its supporters and potential supporters alike via the website and its new Facebook page. The Solution Firstly New Design Group modified the party’s logo by balancing the size of the eye-catching capital ‘L’ and the words ‘Liberal Ontario’. This resulted in a scalable logo ie. one which would be readable and recognizable when used at a minimum size as well as when used on a large backdrop at a political rally. The website redesign focused on making a bigger and bolder banner section with a selection of colourful, eye-catching images featuring Kathleen Wynne MPP in various situations and overlaid with a large image of Kathleen.  And right in the middle of the top banner is a bold red clickable link entitled ‘Our Message’.  This design allows the website visitor to immediately see what activities the party are involved in, who is the person leading the party and the key message. This political party website redesign retained the grid layout seen in the original, but with a less cluttered visual appearance.  The inclusions of videos of Kathleen are also an important addition which allow the website visitor to feel they are getting to know the main person driving the party forward. To maintain brand consistency, the Facebook page was created with a composite banner image almost identical to that of the website redesign.  New Design Group now manage this page and with regular posts about Kathleen and the party’s activities, the Don Valley West Provincial Liberal Association has a professional and engaging Facebook page to keep its supporters up to date with all that it is doing. After Date 2014 Client Ontario Liberal Party Brand Don Valley West Provincial Liberal Association Industry Political Capability...

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3 Top Tips For Insurance Company Web Designs That Sell Policies

Unsurprisingly a well constructed insurance company website which allows users to find accurate policy information, to quickly obtain a quote and to manage their policies with ease, will win more online business than a website which fails in some or all of these respects. So it’s interesting that a 2013 study by J.D. Power found many big insurance names weren’t living up to clients’ expectations when it came to website performance. J.D. Power’s Insurance Website Evaluation Study reviewed clients’ online experience with regard to the ease of: finding policy information getting information about applicable discounts getting a personalised quote managing their policy online Unfortunately customers reported a degree of difficulty in completing all of these tasks.  And particularly interesting (at least it should be to all insurance companies!) was the fact that clients were more likely to buy a more expensive policy from an easy-to-use website, than buy a cheaper version from a confusing website that left them feeling frustrated. Insurance companies who want to sell more policies online and keep existing clients happy need to think carefully about their web design: a redesign and addition of new functionalities may well be in order if they don’t want to lose out on business. Here are our 3 top tips for insurance company web design that will sell more policies and help the company remain competitive online. Website Navigation Potential clients don’t want to have to navigate through a myriad of pages to find what they need.  Insurance policy information must be simply accessible from the home page and the information must be laid out so it’s an easy read in language that is clear and limited in its use of legal jargon.  Any discounts applicable to each policy should also be found with a single click of the mouse. Website Quote If a company wants to sell its policies, it must provide clients with a no fuss quote – and quickly.  People won’t hand around waiting for pages to load – they’ll simply bail out and head to a website which has a sleek and rapidly functioning quote calculator. Of course it may be that the CEOs are quaking in their boots at the thought of their website churning out inaccurate automated quotes – but what clients want, clients must get if they are to part with their money! A good, user-friendly website quote function must: request only the bare minimum of data which must be easy to input. Pages and pages of unnecessary questions are a no-no since they will simply irritate the user.  A great way to achieve this is by developing a prefilled form functionality on the website – the user inputs a key piece of information, such as a driver’s licence number, and the related information is automatically imported into the form. provide the calculated quote swiftly. present the quote clearly to the client identifying if any discounts have been applied. Customer Ease Of Use In the aforementioned study, users were asked how easy it was to manage their existing policies online. Whilst paying bills proved simple, it became more tricky to modify an insurance policy or request a replacement ID card. Cynics could conclude that insurance companies are more focused on getting the money in, rather than making their clients’ lives easier. Companies who...

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Spacefile Rebranding – And The Company Doubles In Size

The Background Spacefile is a Canadian manufacturer of high-density storage products developed with modern engineering know-how and which builds its products on site.  The company prides itself on excellent client service and in its 43 years, has provided customised solutions for all manner of business and locations which needed an innovative approach to storage. The Challenge Whilst Spacefile had many satisfied clients to their name, they needed a more persuasive and influential presence in the market place.  Their aim was to bid on larger projects for governmental organisations, museums and large archive businesses and to compete on an equal footing with its largest competitors. The Solution Spacefile worked with New Design Group on a total rebranding project, encompassing the logo, business card, brochures, vehicle livery, signage and an updated website. The original Spacefile logo was a simplistic black wordmark logo featuring the company name. The redesign maintained the wordmark approach but the colour scheme was updated to a dark, corporate blue plus a modern light green – showing that this company was moving with the times.. In addition to having a small eye-pleasing geometric shape reminiscent of storage units, the tagline leaves the reader in no mystery about what the company offers – Storage solutions for every space. Business cards were designed with the updated logo and a light green section, making these stand out every time compared to business cards with a plain white background. The website redesign converted a slightly text-heavy homepage to a modern and slick design which gives prominence to photos of the very many storage solutions offered by the company.  Navigation is a breeze with simple click through images and concise text boxes.  And the corporate blue and light green are carefully balanced throughout. To complete the brand redesign, signage and vehicle livery were designed, focusing heavily on the eye catching logo and the use of the new company colours – dark blue and light green. The Spacefile rebranding case study is a perfect example of how an original brand can be carefully enhanced to show the company in its true light – for Spacefile the modified brand made the company appear more professional, more modern and cutting-edge, and more reliable.  Result? Spacefile doubled in size after this successful rebranding project. Date 2014 Client Spacefile International Corp. Brand Spacefile Industry Manufacturing Capability Brand Identity Design Promotional Materials Design Employee Uniform Truck Graphics Website...

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6 Key Ways to Increase Organic Traffic By Pandering to Your Clients

How wonderful it would be to see a healthy level of organic traffic coming your way daily regardless of whether you’re spending hundreds of dollars on various marketing campaigns or not. Well it can be done! And here’s the secret – you need to pander to your clients and create contact marketing that they simply can’t resist.  The effectiveness of this so-called strategic content marketing approach all hinges on knowing your clients inside out and from top to bottom.  Only then can you develop content which will appeal, using keywords they are bound to use. Know Your Client Firstly consider the type of person you want to attract to your business.  Then dig deeper and create a profile of your ideal customer based on the demographics of your existing client database: age gender level of education income job role hobbies city or rural dweller As you gather information, you will begin to create an image of your typical client which is essential to help you develop the appropriate content. Know Your Product If you’re not the expert about your product, who is?  Make sure you know how your product compares to the competitors’ and what its Unique Selling Points (USPs) are.  Get prepared to create content that is specific about your product. Think Like Your Client Put yourself in your clients’ shoes.  Think about what they are searching for and how and where they search for it.  Create some long tailed keywords to reflect search terms they are likely to use when they are surfing the net looking for products like yours. For example if you’re a private college in Toronto, some of your potential clients may be searching using the following term: How to choose the best college in Ontario. Once you have defined the words your potential clients will use to find products like yours, you can start to develop specific content that would appeal to them. Remember your content doesn’t have to be all about the hard sell: you can appear as an authority in your field and may attract organic traffic that way. For example content that would appeal to those looking for advice on choosing a college could be: 6 Steps To Choosing the Best College in Ontario. Provide Content in the Right Format But before you get writing  a blog for the content you have defined, think about how your clients like to find their content: Blogs – always popular with most people who like to read them to get an in depth understanding about a particular subject or product. Instagram – for those that like their visuals, use Instagram at its best by posting images or infographics Webinars – these won’t work for all target markets but some customers simply enjoy learning information in real time where they can pose their own questions. Videos – again well suited to those who like visuals and who aren’t prepared to read a blog from top to bottom. Well made videos are a great way to spread your content via your website and video channels such as YouTube. Emails – when you have some good contacts on your database, send them regular emails to tell them about your recent blogs and promotions – all nicely delivered directly to their inbox. Social media – so many...

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Braemar College

The Background Braemar College is a private co-ed secondary school located in downtown Toronto.  Founded in 1995, the school has consistently attracted national and international students attracted by the outstanding educational programmes on offer and the inspirational teachers at the school. However private education is a competitive market and Braemar College hired New Design Group as they wanted to stand out above the competitors and attract more students and parents to the school by a modernisation of their brand identity. The Challenge New Design Group reviewed the existing brand of Braemar College, the target market as well as the college’s unique selling points and determined that the following elements needed to be reworked: logo website brochures The Solution New Design Group subtly altered the Braemar College logo to create a version which depicts a level of authority appropriate for a college that is nearly 20 years old. The brochures were created using a blue colour scheme – a colour synonymous with trustworthiness and stability.  However to avoid the college appearing as or pompous, the brochures were cleverly designed to blend the somewhat corporate blues with bold use of images of students, soft sloping fonts and a intelligent use of white space to allow the reader to easily absorb everything on each page. The overall result was a modern, professional and very captivating set of printed publicity materials. The website was designed with all the same branding elements – the professional blue colour scheme, large images of students succeeding, and imaginative use of large, gentle fonts to capture attention with inspiring and simple statements: Imagine, Excel, Succeed. Date 2014-ongoing Client Braemar College. Brand Braemar College. Industry Education Scope Verbal Branding Brand Identity Design Brochures Design Newsletters Design Website Design Social Media Pages Website...

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4 Ways Construction Companies Can Increase Brand Exposure At Minimal Cost

Never underestimate the power of your construction company brand.  Powerful brands are firmly linked with quality, reliability and professionalism in the mind of the consumer, and consumers are known to be loyal to their preferred brands.  Using a professional company to create your brand will leave you poised to bulldoze down the road to success:  the visual identity created will demonstrate your company as  a provider of a high quality products, flawless customer service, and a company which delivers its promises on time, every time. But however wonderful your construction company brand, it needs plenty of exposure.  Don’t automatically think this means you need to take out expensive newspaper advertising: there are plenty of other tricks of the trade.  Here are 4 foolproof ways to get your company’s brand seen time and time again with minimal financial outlay. 1. Brand Your Staff When your crew are working on a job, they are all visible to all passers-by.  When your staff are manning the office, they will meet potential customers face-to-face.  So brand your employees!   Provide eye-catching, branded uniforms that will make an impression in the viewer’s mind.  And if you can come up with a catchy slogan, that you can emblazon on the back of your workers’ backs, even better.  Be inspired by slogans such as “We Nail It”, “Creating Strong Foundations” and “Building Your Vision”.  The more unusual the design and slogan, the more memorable it will be in the minds of your potential customers. 2. Brand Your Vehicles Don’t view the vehicles you use to transport your staff and construction materials as modest objects whose only purpose is to get A to B.  Your vehicles are an important part of your brand awareness arsenal – get them branded with livery that shouts out for attention.  People in the locality will see them time and time again as they wind their merry way down the streets – and a branded vehicle that invites further scrutiny and proudly displays your company name, slogan and contact details, will be sure to rustle up more business in the future. 3. Use Lawn Signs Don’t let your construction crew work anonymously. Display lawn signs conspicuously where they cannot be overlooked.  Construction is never an overnight job, so capitalize on your presence: make sure passers-by appreciate which company is carrying out such a sterling job.  Ensure your brand is highly visible and by including your contact details, anyone who admires your work, can easily well look you up when they are in need of a construction company. 4.  Train Your Staff We’re not talking about training your staff to build buildings – although we confess that is important.  Go the extra mile and train all your staff to deliver impeccable customer service at all times.  The recipient of excellent service will always be delighted and will remember it long term.  And they won’t be able to resist telling their friends about the construction company that did a great job, kept them abreast of progress and delivered on time. Word of mouth recommendations are priceless when it comes to increasing your construction company brand awareness – most people prefer to use a new company that has been recommended by a friend. All companies want to increase their brand exposure at minimal cost, but construction...

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Burnham Dental. Brand Identity Design. Website Development.

  The Background Burnham Dental is the oldest dental practice in Peterborough, Ontario.  With a well established clientele and skilled doctors leading a friendly team, Burnham Dental decided it was time for a complete rebranding to coincide with their move to a brand new building. The Challenge The existing website for Burnham Dental was an unusual black and white design and although it also contained plenty of client information, the website and associated brand needed a far more modern look. Burnham Dental hired New Design Group to rebrand their business, focusing on the logo, website, business card, uniforms and signage for the new building.   The Solution New Design Group created a new logo which on first viewing could be mistaken for a flower – but on closer inspection the petals can be seen as simplified outlines of perfect teeth.  This clever design is reassuring – flowers in general are symbolic of growth and positivity – and the subtle depiction of perfect teeth suggests that is the objective of this clinic. The chosen brand colour is blue – a gentle and calming colour which is an excellent choice for a dental practice – a place most people would not choose to visit.  Additionally blue suggests reliability and trust. The brand colour and logo were used on the website, uniforms, business cards and signage within the new building to build a cohesive and consistent brand identity, and to allow this well established dental practice to show itself in the best possible light and attract new clients to its dentist’s chair....

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Web Design Process – Behind The Scenes [INFOGRAPHIC]

(click image to enlarge) Share the INFOGRAPHIC On Your Site, Copy The Code Below: <a href=’’ target=’_blank’><img src=’’ alt=’Periodic Table of Web Design Process’ width=’540px’ border=’0′ /><br /><strong>Periodic Table of Web Design Process – created by <a href=’’ target=’_blank’>New Design Group</a></strong></a> Share with your friends:FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinBufferRedditemail Looking for a PDF version? Download it here. The Web Design Process When a business needs a new website or they want to replace their existing one, they usually pass the project into the hands of a recommended web design and development agency. A sensible move. After all, most companies don’t have the in house expertise to tackle such a complicated project and one where the final result is critical in attracting new leads and generating product sales. The creation of every website follows a clear web design process. A client who understands the basics of this process will appreciate what happens at each stage, will be clear about when the process can easily change direction and can communicate more knowledgeably with the web agency. Also, the more they know, the more the information provided by the web design team in their updates will make sense and prove more useful. As such, we’ve created an infographic to display our vision of the web design process. It covers each step from the project brief and understanding the client’s needs to launching the final version and providing maintenance. Read on if you want to understand more about the process, if you want a stress-free relationship with your designers and developers and if you want to achieve a website that matches your needs and expectations. Why does web development take so long? A new website won’t happen overnight. When a web development company estimates the timeline to create a new website, some clients may be incredulous. “I just want a few pretty looking pages with nice photos, and some internal clicks here and there. Oh and a ‘Sign Up for our Newsletter’ button, and the ‘Contact Us form’. But they’re easy to do, aren’t they? Surely that won’t take more than a week. Oh – did I mention the custom shopping cart and online payment system I need?” If you’re hoping to get a new all-singing, all-dancing website, here’s why it may easily take 3 months before your customers will get to see it: Step 1: Brief From the web design agency’s point of view, the brief is typically their first contact with the project or even with the client itself. It is also usually the most important step for both parties since everything discussed here will influence the end result. This is why the client must make sure to provide the clearest and most detailed brief possible. The purpose of the brief is to convey an accurate project definition to the web agency. The client needs to explain their business, their target audience and the goals of the website – is it to wow a young visitor with exciting imagery and modern videos? Or is its function to allow no-nonsense online shopping for an average parent? With the help of the agency, they need to define technical specifications – should the website be optimized for a certain resolution or browser? What kind of mobile version do they need? Would responsive design suffice? Also during the brief,...

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Koala Kidz. The Ultimate Indoor Playground.

When the owners of the Koala Kidz indoor playground in Vaughan wanted to launch their new venture, they knew they needed to work with a strong brand development company.  They had big plans for this 10,000 sq. ft area which was certain to include indoor slides, tubes, play areas and much more.  They knew that the brand had to be strong to stand out in the indoor playground market and to attract lots of parents and their children. The owners decided to work with New Design Group based on the latter’s strong portfolio of brand design success for a number of other children focused companies: Gymalaya,  Just Ducky Yonge Kids and Yes I Can Nursery School.  They also knew that New Design Group could successfully guide them through the complete branding project and advise them of all the marketing materials they would require to succeed. The Name And then came the first challenge.  The company owners were keen to call the new venue ‘Daddy’s Camp’.   New Design Group had serious reservations about this choice:  what would this name tell people about the company?  It seemed unlikely that the general public would immediately understand that ‘Daddy’s Camp’ was a fun indoor playground designed specifically for young kids.  New Design Group diplomatically discussed the name choice with the owners and explained how critical it is to have a name that reflects the business. After reviewing the brand expectations, and brainstorming some alternative names, the final name was chosen: Koala Kidz.  Immediately this name states that the venture is for children and gave New Design Group the opportunity to develop the visual identity of the brand with some cute koala characters. The Mascots A mascot for any company is always a nice addition.  But for a kids’ indoor playground that wants to attract children and their parents, it’s a great marketing tool.  The more unusual or cuter the mascot, the more likely it is to be remembered.  Add in some bold words to support the mascot and people will soon understand which company the mascot represents. New Design Group decided to create a girl and boy koala bear as the mascots for Koala Kidz.  Not only do the mascots form the basis of the logo, but these cute koalas are timeless and can be used across all marketing materials.  They can be shown taking part in the wide variety of activities on offer at the venue and can adapt with the times. Furthermore these adorable characters were designed simplistically – specifically to allow them to be created as soft toy mascots that can then be given away to children at special events and birthday parties. The Logo The logo clearly shows the koalas sweetly holding hands while the playground name ‘Koala Kidz’ floats above them in large, clear coloured letters.  Cute? Yep……  Eye-catching? Definitely…….  Memorable?  You bet! The Venue The owners of Koala Kidz had great ideas for the interior decoration of the indoor playground.  With New Design Group assisting them every step of the way they were able to create wall designs to re-emphasise the company name and showcase the koala mascots at every opportunity.  In fact an enormous koala head is centre stage in the main room reminding kids at every turn that Koala Kidz is THE place to drag...

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The PowerOn Rebranding Case Study – The Case of the Unexpected

PowerOn is a successful industrial automation company offering solutions for a wide variety of sectors such as pharmaceutical, food manufacturers and water treatment plants.  The company provides electrical engineering, programming and custom control panels amongst other automation specialties.  It has been operating for more than a decade and is based in Concord, Ontario.  It boasts many repeat clients who want to use PowerOn’s brilliant engineering skills time and time again. But it’s also a company with a big vision and knows precisely where it wants to be in the market – and that’s up there with its biggest competitors in Canada, the US and beyond.  When PowerOn was unsatisfied with their outdated website they approached New Design Group with a proposal for a straightforward website redesign project.  But the final project encompassed far more – this was the case of unexpected redesign requirements. 1)     The Initial Brief The company had a clear vision of their new website:  it needed a modern design, had to be user-friendly, visually exciting, highly persuasive to attract new clients, and perfectly search engine optimized (SEO).  Their existing website had no SEO and they were well aware that they were missing out on potential customers getting snared by their competitors with better ranking websites. Another irritation with their existing website was that they were unable to make updates directly as the website had no Content Management System (CMS). 2)     Data Gathering An important step for any brand development company such as New Design Group is to fully understand the client, the products, the target market and in the case of an established company, the existing marketing portfolio.  New Design Group quickly realized that PowerOn’s existing branding materials showed little consistency – the website, brochure and PowerPoint presentation all had a different feel.  In addition there were other areas that PowerOn was simply not harnessing in their marketing efforts:  for example, staff and company vehicle branding was non-existent. 3)     The Emergence of the Unexpected Redesign Requirements PowerOn is a well established company that is growing fast and is trying to break into the US and European markets.  They fully appreciated the need for a strong, professional and consistent brand and were very receptive to New Design Group’s branding update recommendations – soon the original brief was expanded to include a redesign of all branded materials, plus the creation of some new elements. 4)     Key Challenges Unsurprisingly PowerOn wanted to move quickly on this project.  The key challenges for New Design Group were: To complete the redesign of everything in the shortest time possible Not to deviate too far from the current visual identity of the brand as it was already well recognized within its niche industry   5)     The Redesign Project One of the key objectives was to create a professional and credible brand in line with that of PowerOn’s partners: Omron, Rexroth Bosch Group and 360 Guarding, and to have a brand more superior than those of its nearest competitors.  The brand needed to personify PowerOn as a big player in a competitive industrial automation industry and to do justice to the excellence of the engineering skills on offer. From the very first viewing, PowerOn’s modified brand needed to convey professionalism, expertise and to clearly explain the capabilities of the company.  Any potential customer who...

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