Graphic design from Shropshire that creates an advertisment really worth noticing

Tuesday 30th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Making a marketing impact in a cluttered and fast-moving world can be a bit of a challenge.

Which got us here at matm thinking, how many adverts are we exposed to every day?

It appears from a huge amount of in-depth research – well okay, about 10 minutes on Google – that the answer is not clear.

In 2007, the New York Times quotes 5,000 (up from 2,000 in 1977). Then again, that is for the USA where they would tattoo an advertisement on the inside of your eyelids if you let them.

Another textbook figure that pops up a lot is 3,000. A blog has even been created solely to explore the phenomenon.

In Australia, one intrepid blogger, Matt Granfield, set out to actually count how many adverts he saw in 24 hours – that IS dedication for you. He got to 91 in the first hour and concluded it wasn’t looking good for the 3,000 figure.

Some experts break the figures down a little. A recent study, again in the USA, found that 34% of all ads targeting children or teens were for sweets and snacks – and that tweens were the most heavily targeted, seeing more than 20 food ads a day.

And at the conservative end of the scale, some put the total number of ads viewed at 300.

Okay. Whatever the case, we get to see a lot of adverts – and more now than we used to.

That’s why it is so important to make your message stand out from the crowd.

We recently helped Douglas Macmillan Hospice in Stoke on Trent do this by designing a promotional money collecting box for them. When every penny generously donated really counts, it’s important to get things right.

So here’s our top tips for designing promotional material:

  • Know what your key message is. It might not be profound – but it always has to get right to the nub of the matter, and fast.
  • Be clear about what and who you are promoting. You have a blink of an eye to achieve a connection and trigger a reaction.
  • Use bold, contrasting colours – which always reflect your brand. Contrasting colours help the whole design stand out.
  • And in that cluttered world mentioned earlier, less is always more. Keep it simple!

We hope that when you see a Douglas Macmillan Hospice collecting box, you’ll put a few coins in. It’s one of the hundreds – or is it thousands? – of ‘adverts’ you will see in a day that is really worth succumbing to.

matm lends graphic design skills to ‘can do’ bid to promote Shropshire heritage area

Monday 29th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Here at matm we were proud to sponsor the recent Ironbridge Christmas Market in Ironbridge, Shropshire. We supported the event by designing the Gorge Year information sheet detailing events across this UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

As keen supporters of the Ironbridge Gorge community, we take great interest in the work of Ironbridge Regeneration Partnership. It has been great to see real events taking place in the gorge, so it was not a hard decision to make when asked if we can support the event.

Stuart Bickerton, Director of matm, the marketing, design, web and PR agency based at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire, said: “The Ironbridge Gorge clearly has a proud history and the work of the Ironbridge Regeneration Partnership captures the mix of heritage and modern business thinking perfectly – it has a ‘Can Do’ spirit that supports enterprise across the area.

“I enjoyed the inaugural Victorian Christmas Market this year – I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. There was a great turn out from local businesses, traders, shoppers and local families.”

With plenty of events planned – it looks like being an industrious year in the Gorge – but given it’s history, what else would you expect!

Here’s a list of just a few of the events coming up during 2011:

Farmers Market – Held every third Saturday of each month,
beginning in March (except November)

Daffodil Ride – Bike ride for all ages and abilities, The Bicycle Hub

Queens Victoria’s Birthday Weekend – 28th to 30th May
Blists Hill Victorian Town

Brass Band FestivalThe Museum of Iron 16th and 17th of July

Coracle Regatta – Dale End Park

PS…Here’s just some of the traders who supported this year’s event.

Bertelin Farmhouse Cheese: www.bertelinfarmhousecheese.co.uk
Little Round Cake Company: www.thelittleroundcakecompany.co.uk
Shropshire Spice Co: www.shropshirespice.co.uk
Sweetooth Liquorice: john@pinches14.wanadoo.co.uk
Absolute Heart: www.absoluteheart.co.uk
Fairlady Fabrics: irmina.krzak@btinternet.com
Derek Houghton Images: www.shropshire-images.com
Jane Murphy Glass: www.jane-murphy.blogspot.com
Kim Rodgers: www.kimrodgers.co.uk

Fonts for web are getting interesting thanks to @font-face, says matm’s design team

Friday 26th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

How frustrating is it when your carefully crafted piece of printed material needs ‘translating’ onto the web and your choice of typefaces is dramatically reduced? Well, help is at hand in the form of CSS3 @font-face.

In short, @font-face allows designers to use fonts stored online, reducing the need to rely on the standard web selection that we’ve grown accustomed to, says Lindsay Crayton, Senior Creative at matm marketing, graphic design, web and PR agency at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire.

Things are looking quite positive with the majority of modern web browsers supporting @font-face. And, yes, Internet Explorer is one of them.

If you’re getting started, Font squirrel could be your saviour. You can parcel up your own font selections and have them converted to the correct file formats. They also have a large selection ready to download to help you get started.

Always check that fonts have the appropriate licensing before use!

We’re not in a position to wave goodbye to Verdana just yet. But, with @font-face, web typography is getting interesting.

Check out the links below for more information on licensing, formats and examples.

10 free fonts for @font-face embedding
@font-face tutorial
font-face.com
webfonts.info

Mirror, Signal, Outmanoeuvre – matm client teams up with Audi

Thursday 11th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Which machine is the real star of this picture?

Audi R8 Spyder: 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Nationwide Platforms scissor lift: 0 to 10 metres (32 feet) in 55 seconds. Put them together and you have one of the most memorable advertisements of 2010.

matm PR client Nationwide Platforms played a key role in bringing to life Audi’s dramatic ‘Mirror, Signal, Outmanoeuvre’ TV ad for its new supercar. Rogue Films, the makers of the advert, hired a mixture of electric scissor lifts and booms for the shoot, which took place at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands.

We know through experience how important it is to have the correct equipment for video shoots and photoshoots and, the machines pictured above look perfect to support lighting rigs. We thought the image was striking enough to share with you – so come on – which machine is the real star of the picture?

Customise your social media with new Twitter app – is professional web design here to stay?

Monday 8th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

matm designer Tom Blockley has come across what appears to be a useful new app while doing a bit of social media browsing – giving the opportunity to share some thoughts on creating distinct personalities through customised Twitter profiles.

customise you twitter profile with themeleon

Will this ever take the place of professional twitter profile design?

The app is called Themeleon and the main advantage is the large range of patterns and colours to choose from. You can customise background pattern colours quickly and there are quite a few patterns to choose from. Tom says:

“The browsing experience is a little limited and I thought that being able to view more at once would improve the system.

The range of colour pallets are a bit garish and similar to other popular social media sites like My Space, with horrible colour combinations. But you can create your own colour pallets, to match your personality.

Themeleon is built by COLOURlovers, it has more than 600,000 background patterns and more than 1 million colour palettes. That’s a lot but it’s fun and incredibly easy to use.”

In a few simple steps you can create some fun and professional profiles.
Step 1 – Login
Step 2 – Edit your Design
Step 3 – Save your theme

Tom, a designer at Shropshire marketing, design, PR and web design agency matm, based at Jackfield, near Telford, says: “Customised Twitter profiles are an extension of the user. The ability to create your own using a web app is a great idea and has good potential.

That said, I don’t think they will ever replace a professionally-designed profile that can be provided by the likes of matm. They will, though raise expectations which I think is a good thing.”

Do you have any cool social media apps or themes? Tell us about them by adding a comment to this post.