Friday Freebie #2 – Prisma

In the latest in our series of Friday Freebie blogs, this week we present a new photo editing tool that we’ve been having a lot of fun with this week.

If you’re anything like us you probably love experimenting with the camera on your smartphone. As cameras have continued to improve on expensive new handsets like the iPhone, app developers, bog software houses like Adobe and even camera manufacturers themselves have been quick to get in on the act to develop new apps to enhance the creative process for budding photographers wanting to get snapping with their smartphone. 

This weeks Friday Freebie tip is just such an app – Prisma. Prisma is a really simple little photo editing that allows you to create some brilliant effects with just a few simple clicks. 

The app itself is a really simple one to use. In short you simply use the apps camera to take a photograph or select an existing photograph from your camera roll. From there you simply scroll through the filters available at the bottom of the screen before adjusting the amount of effect you want to apply before sharing. 

 



You can either save the images to your camera roll first or share them directly onto social media from within the app. 

All told its an app that can very quickly offer some really fun, creative effects for people looking to create striking, artistic images on a budget and very quickly. 

I’ve put some images below to demonstrate some of the effects that can be achieved with the app. Tweet us @soverycreative with some of the results from your experiments and in the meantime – we will see you back here for more Friday Freebies next week! 


Featured Project: SVT Group

From a designers point of view there are very few things that are as exciting as the endless possibilities afforded by a blank canvas. While it can occasionally be quite daunting – we were recently given exactly this kind of project when we were tasked with a top to bottom rebrand of the SVT Group.

The SVT Group is a group of companies based in Northampton that offer a range of manufacturing and engineering solutions across the specialist cleaning sector. Some of their companies including SpaceVac and The Gutter Devil who we also count as clients as you might have noticed elsewhere on this website.

The requirements for the rebrand were a complete top to bottom rebrand including;

  • The design of a new uniform for staff
  • Designing new vehicle liveries
  • Development of new website and social media presence
  • Design of new printed collateral and stationery

It was quite literally a top to bottom redress of the company and we quickly got to work on brainstorming ideas. The nucleus of the whole idea actually came about while exploring typefaces for the main company logo. The font we settled on was called Neoterique and a quick google search led to us finding that this word meant “A person who advocates new ideas” – which actually, given the companies focus on innovative solutions and continued investment in research and development made a lot of sense.

From there we took these concepts and married to them to the colour scheme the client had in mind to create a look and feel that felt modern, sleek and polished.

Where we think these designs will really come to life is in print where we can utilise specialist finishing options like Spot UV and silver foil blocking to really bring out some of these details and make their printed versions look beautiful.

We have enclosed some examples here of how that branding is going to be looking when applied. Let us know in the comments below what you think!



Friday Freebie #1 – Freedcamp

So we decided that this year we were going to set ourselves a number of resolutions for the business as well as some personal goals for the year ahead. These resolutions were a combination of some larger goals (hiring new staff) to small goals (mastering the new Instagram ads platform) and one of the resolutions we made was to share more here on the blog.

One of the ways we thought it might be useful to do that was to start a new weekly blog called the Friday Freebie. Here we thought we could share a little tip every Friday for a free new piece of software, browser plugin or some other little tool to help make your working life just a little bit easier!  Its important to note here – these aren’t PLUGS, we haven’t received any incentive to write about these products – these are all products that we genuinely use on a day to day basis that we think might be useful to our clients and visitors to the website.

This week to kick things off we thought we should share a little tool called Freedcamp that we’ve been using. Freedcamp is a really useful project management platform in the vein of a number of other similar platforms like Asana or even more comms based platforms like Slack.

Using Freedcamp enables you to set up project groups and subgroups, assign tasks to users, track progress, hold discussions, store files – all manner of really useful little tools. There are also other modules that you buy to upgrade the free version to a more bespoke, ‘pro’ tool.

We’ve been using the free version for about 6 months now (after trialling a number of different / similar platforms) and have found the system to be something of a godsend. Signup is quick and easy and we’ve been inviting our clients to join their project groups to keep them instantly apprised of progress and to enable them to have input to a project instantaneously.

All told – we can definitely recommend this as a really useful addition to a small office – its even more attractive when you find that they recently just launched a mobile app too to enable you to have the same range of actions and options direct from your mobile handset.

You can sign up and try the system over here.

A Very Happy New Year!

Before the mac gets powered down for the last time this year, I wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year.

2016 was a crazy year all told – starting a new business was a challenge that at Christmas 2015 wasn’t even on the table so to be sat here 12 months later is quite a headspinning feeling! Its been a really varied and interesting year and its been a lot of fun meeting so many great new clients and partners, and putting our creative skills to the test delivering on some really interesting projects.

Looking forward to 2017, our to-do list is already filling up for January and we can’t wait to get cracking already! Should you have something on your horizon that needs some creative assistance, feel free in touch to see how we might be able to help.

For now though, have an excellent break and we will hopefully see you back here in the new year!

Reasons to love WordPress #32,765…

Another week goes by, another website goes live for a small client built in WordPress. This particular project was one that we were keen to deliver on a super tight timeline as the client had already built half a site over a protracted period and wanted to move on.

In a situation like this WordPress is such a perfect solution for a whole number of reasons including

  1. Its really cost efficient. Sites can be delivered on incredibly low budgets utilising a wealth of open source templates, plugins and pieces of functionality.
  2. Sites can be built really quickly. This particular site took less than three days to build in total with even more complex builds with e-commerce solutions and the like taking a surprisingly short amount of time to turnaround.
  3. Its really stable. WordPress powers some 25-30% of the total number of websites on the internet. Let that sink in a moment, because thats an insane amount of websites. That hasn’t happened by accident – its because WordPress is a responsive, constantly improving beast that offers a really flexible sandbox to build in.
  4. No more hidden costs to “make the mobile version once we’ve finished”. Building on WordPress enables us to ensure all of our sites are mobile responsive from the get go.
  5. Its easy to manage. Crucially – its easy for clients to manage and maintain moving forward. Theres no point developing a beautiful looking website with a myriad of functionality if the users that will be managing the site can’t understand it. WordPress offers straightforward, intuitive content management options for even users with knowledge of coding or html.

To find out more about what can be achieved using this powerful web publishing platform, contact us today or see examples of our work here.

Is it too early to say Christmas?!

With less than 50 days to go until Christmas – its time to get organised with our great offers on Christmas cards!

At So Very Creative we know all about the great stuff that Christmas brings – the opportunity to reflect on the year, the chance to catch up with family and friends and most importantly – the opportunity to eat a lot of chocolate!

Its also a great time to reach out to your customers and partners and thank for them for their business during the year.

Rather than send generic cards though – why not send a custom card in line with your companies branding or personality? To make the process as simple as possible, we have teamed up with our favourite Northampton based printer to create a range of special Christmas offers for card printing – with prices starting from as little as £152 (including envelopes, delivery and a full art-working service).

Featured Project: WS Holmes

Being a small business ourselves, theres nothing we love more than helping other small businesses help to achieve their ambitions. Just such a project came our way recently when we began working with the team at WS Holmes. 

WS Holmes are a new specialist cleaning company in Northampton who offer gutter cleaning and other specialist cleaning services. Business Director Wayne was looking for a couple of very important items for a small business – a website to advertise his services and some cards to hand out to new and potential clients. 

When it comes to building websites, we specialise in working with WordPress – a really popular and very easy to use content management system that offers users on a budget a way of creating great looking websites with all kinds of functionality built in, for a fraction of a bespoke site being built from the ground up. 

 



Working with Wayne we were able to very quickly put together a simple site that looked great on mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops (all of our wordpress sites are mobile responsive as standard, at no extra cost). Wayne was very happy with the results and was even happier to find out how easy the website was to update and manage when we delivered his free training. 

Making sure that users are comfortable with their new website is a crucial part of the whole process for us, one of the things we really wanted to do when we set out on this journey was to help empower businesses to begin taking control of their online activity and we would be failing in that if we delivered a website that was complete impossible to manage and update.

Find out more about WS Holmes by visiting their website here.

To finish the job we also delivered a nice glossy set of business cards printed on a heavy duty board to give them a really firm, robust finish and Wayne was very happy with how the various projects all turned out. 

In the meantime, you can find other examples of our work by clicking over here.

Featured Project: Gutter Devil

I thought I would share a little glimpse here of a work in progress for a new product hitting shelves in 2017 called Gutter Devil. The product – which is aimed squarely at a retail market; available through large DIY chains etc – is designed to enable homeowners to clean out their guttering and drainpipes at home without having to climb up ladders and the like to do so.

We’ve been working with this client for some time now and so have been involved in the development process for this product but whereas previously we had been operating to support the clients B2C operations, we were now faced with developing a new brand aimed at a B2C audience – one fighting for shelf space with the likes of Karcher at that.

After working through a range of names and possible design concepts (Gutter Ninja anyone?!) we eventually settled on the Gutter Devil name and got to work.

 

With the product not launching to retail until 2017, our brief from the client was to put together some branding elements that could be used to support a soft launch of the product – this included putting together a small holding page, designing some initial print and advertising materials and helping the team to set up and develop a social media presence for the product as well.

Right from the off after settling on a name for the product we knew we wanted to develop a brand that stood out on the shelf as bold and impactful and so making the devil and the hot red colour scheme the complete focus of the materials was key. From there we began working up a whole range of possible applications for the branding – some of which I’ve shared here.

We decided right from the off to employ something of an off-kilter tone of voice – using some well known ‘devil related’ phrases and quotes to build a personality – our first tweet read “Please allow me to introduce myself” and from there we have maintained a playful, mischievous tone of voice to try and capture the imagination of a B2C audience that might be turned off by overtly corporate messaging.

Over the coming months we have got a huge amount of work in front of us including developing point of sale materials for retail stores and much more – I will be sure to share progress here as the campaign develops!

Until next time – don’t forget you can also find more examples of our work by clicking over here, or by connecting with on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook @SoVeryCreative)

  • Development of strong retail friendly brand for print advertising and initial product launch.



Gutter Devil on Twitter @GutterDevil

NFL Design Challenge

NFL Returns – Hooray! (DoodleDay #2)

Doodleday is a series of occasional design challenges we like to set ourselves just to keep our creative juices flowing!

Here at SVC HQ, we must confess to being very partial to a bit of NFL so we were very excited to see the season start to crank to life in the last few weeks ahead of the new season.

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SpaceVac Exhibition Stand for Manchester Cleaning Show

Events Management at The Manchester Cleaning Show

Well, we are back in the office now after having a great week this week up in Manchester supporting one of our clients onsite at the Manchester Cleaning Show – one of the larger events in the sector calendar.

Over the last five years, we have built up a lot of experience in events management and we drew on all of that experience this week wearing all kinds of hats including;

  • Completing all of the pre-event checks and processes – health & safety declarations etc
  • Production of the exhibition stand itself (pictured above)
  • Design and print management services to prepare printed marketing collateral
  • Onsite social media coverage

Essentially what we offer is a complete end to end package for event support – right down to executing post-event follow up email campaigns etc – designed to take the stress and pain out of attending these large scale events.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements with us and see how we can help!