PERCEIVED VALUE

PERCEIVED VALUE

    This is a great TED.com Talk from Rory Sutherland. It’s both extremely funny but drives home an important point. Marketing, branding, and advertising help large brands gain power and profits and…it works. They wouldn’t do it otherwise. Branding is about managing perceptions. Often this is a manipulative tool, as Tim Jackson puts it, we are “persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to create impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about.“ The problem is that most marketing is selling things that are bad for us, the people who made it or the planet. We aren’t necessarily made happier by what we consume. Like a hollow chocolate egg, it tastes sweet for a short while, but soon it’s gone and we crave what’s next. Rory argues that marketing can change human behaviour by changing our perceptions of what we buy and it’s inherent value. There is real value in being good. We can change how the world works, but we need to learn from those that market/brand/advertise themselves successfully. Rory Sutherland is right to point out that in a society where we face many ethical and environmental challenges. We need to  learn to do more with less, to appreciate what we have instead of what we don’t. Doing this in a way that makes our lives richer (without perpetuating the idea that we need to accumulate an endless amount of stuff) is key. As a business, it doesn’t make sense to deplete and compromise your source of materials / ingredients for the short gain if it means you won’t have a business in the long term. As consumers, it doesn’t...
YOUR COMPANY’S BUSINESS CARDS DON’T ALL HAVE TO BE THE SAME

YOUR COMPANY’S BUSINESS CARDS DON’T ALL HAVE TO BE THE SAME

    I remember going into a meeting with 6 people from a large company. They all wore similar business suits and their business cards were all the same, bar the name and job title. After the meeting we couldn’t remember which card was for which person. We think this is pointless. The whole point of having people in a company is that they are different. They all have different roles, different strengths etc and work together to make a company stronger. They compliment one another. So why can’t your businesses cards do the same? As you can see above, our cards are a similar design, but are visibly different and help say something about us and the company. My cards are printed on recycled strawboard. They are printed letterpress in the UK in different colours by Typoretum. The deboss is deep, the edges are painted. They weren’t cheap but everyone we hand them too touches them and talks about them. They reflect our belief in respecting the environment, & ideas, well crafted. They were expensive per card, but worth it and have more than justified their investment with work won just because of the cards.   Ariana’s cards on the other hand are rubbish. Honestly. Some of the packaging we use at home or for work is cut and then stamped on the reverse side. It cuts down on waste but also fits in with our beliefs as a company. It also has a story, a sense of being hand crafted and is personal. But cards look similar, have a reason to exist but have a different personality.  ...
ADVICE ON NAMING YOUR BRAND

ADVICE ON NAMING YOUR BRAND

We are often asked about naming brands. We always say: How your brand looks and feels is more important than your name. Of course we aren’t saying that names aren’t important. But all too often names are looked at in isolation rather than in context. The perception of names changes with their associations and names go in and out of fashion. We don’t believe brands should take heed of fashion when it comes to naming and branding, because you can’t predict the future. We believe that brands need to consider naming in context and create branding based on their own principles, beliefs and story. People remember pictures more than words. On its own, Pizza Express sounds like takeaway pizza. But the brand feels far more aspirational than the name suggests. People recognise before they read. If I said ‘Cola in can with red stripe’ or ‘face cream in blue tub’ you identify with the picture that paints in your mind of the brand, yet I haven’t even mentioned the name. It’s important to look at names in context, especially for a start up. A name on a blank piece of paper may feel right, but may lead to a less successful branding solution. The two elements should really work in harmony.   THERE ARE A COUPLE OF WAYS OF LOOKING AT NAMES. THEY ARE A LITTLE LIKE PASTA. You can get filled pasta: interesting on its own, with or without a sauce. The sauce is always in harmony with the filling. With Innocent for instance, their name is emotive. It drives everything they do, from graphics and adverts to having a banana phone. Or you...
CONNECTIONS on EARTH DAY

CONNECTIONS on EARTH DAY

This is a very interesting talk on TED.com about how we should reimagine how life is organized on Earth. Global strategist Parag Khanna argues that our world is defined by connectivity rather than boundaries. The planet is like a human body, with a skeleton of roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, a vascular system of pipelines and energy grids and a nervous system of internet cables, cellular networks and data. He presents maps and examples of how the world is connected in megacity clusters and how connectivity has made the world safer, more equal and eco friendly than before. You are probably thinking ‘what on earth this has to do with a design agency or design?’ Designed By Good People is a connection of two different people from two different continents, our first languages are English and Spanish. But we found a connection, shared beliefs. We have worked with clients from all over the world, many of whom we have only met via Skype. The world is connected like never before and beliefs and ideas have no boundaries. As the world gets more connected, as trader’s audience gets wider, more and more people will trade from connected marketplaces to audiences that never got to see them before. Families thrive when they are connected, but fall apart when they aren’t. The world is no different. Happy #Earthday  ...
THE ELECTRIC CAFE

THE ELECTRIC CAFE

Recently we were in Tate Britain and were looking through their bookshop and noticed this book about coffee shops in London. Then we saw their page on the Electric Cafe. We actually designed it as part of the high street regeneration we worked on with L.B. Lambeth and the GLA/Design for London. We got sign maker Butler Dsigns (more images in their link) to recreate the original sign which was badly damaged under the Pepsi plastic sign we had removed. The new sign is a hand painted direct copy of the original and was distressed and aged. The existing sign writing in the window was also retouched to make it more legible without losing what made it special and unique to start with. The New Sign:       This is what it looked like before: It’s been a cafe for years. We had the shop front painted to match the sign and a traditional awning installed by A25 awnings. The old plastic Pepsi sign we had removed was mounted on a wall inside (they are proud of the cafes history and there are vintage framed pictures of the cafe inside). Inside it’s a slice of the past with formica tables and rustic chairs. Nothing is corporate or over designed. Sometimes, a designer’s job is to be subtle and emphasise character and charm. It’s a great cafe, if you are in West Norwood, it’s well worth a visit. Oh, and their poached eggs are great! Say hi to Stavros if you pop in. We work on a lot of high street regeneration schemes and we are advisors to the Mayor of London and GLA on high...