Fletcher Ward Design - 020 7637 0940

Visit our website at: www.fletcherwarddesign.co.uk

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What am I looking for?

OK, I'm after a designer.  What am I looking for?
Passion, drive and a focused vision - someone who thinks objectively and can cleanly solve problems, without fuss or over emphasis.  Someone who creates solutions that are meaningful and deliberate and who is aware of the larger picture.
They know that your brand is not so much about you as your target audience so they will progress your brand image with the aim of communicating to your target market.
Good design is about a state of mind, honesty and an approach to problem solving - it's realising the function and purpose of the aim. And it’s how you will beat your competition.
Design can be executed in many ways, but the final goal is always the same - to solve a visual or physical problem. 
So how can I spot the right designer for me?
Good design is not easy to define because the best designs seem not to be designed at all but to exist and work silently solving the marketing problem. It’s easier if we break things down. If you know what to look for, it’s simple to spot good design when you see it; or perhaps more importantly, when you can’t see it at all!

Design principles to look out for are:
• innovative 
• makes a product useful
• aesthetic
• makes a product understandable
• unobtrusive
• honest
• long-lasting
• thorough
• as little design as possible

Take a look at your current product – is design contributing in an innovative way? Does it make the product useful to the target market - is it understandable, aesthetic? Is it long-lasting, or will it look outdated in the future?
A good designer will manipulate all the constraints to produce a product that people will fall in love with. Love is a really strong emotion - it's a proven method - and as we said previously, it’s how you’ll beat the competition.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What one do you prefer? Vote now!

We've just finished a rather interesting project for Science|Business on behalf of BP. It involved coming up with a set of report cover options for a recent seminar on the future of European energy development. The brief was to explore the concepts of taking the correct route, complex considerations and an end energy policy target. We came up with 3 ideas that went down really well. We won't tell you which one they went for, but let us know what gets your vote…

Option A

Europe energy maze

Option B

Decision ‘maze’ with sky and
‘Europe cloud’ background.
Moving towards a cleaner

Option C

Futuristic image depicting
choices to be made in
negotiating the European
‘energy maze’


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fletcher Ward Design supports the David Rundle Trust

The David Rundle Trust - a charity set up by Deri Rundle in memory of her husband to help the people of Rwanda following the horrific genocide in 1994.  They are active in 3 main areas: supplying potable water to remote areas, family planning and the education of children.  Because there are no expenses - all monies received by the Trust actually go to help the Rwandans - the leaflet we’ve just re-designed had to look basic to reflect the simplicity of the Trust’s organisation.  Go to davidrundletrust.co.uk and you’ll see what we mean.  This is a small but extremely effective charity so do help if you can.  

'Faux' HDR Photoshop manipulation

High Dynamic Range Photography.

Recently we've used a 'faux' HDR Photoshop technique and we thought it might be of interest. For those of you not aware, HDR (High Dynamic Range Photography) is basically the process of taking multiple exposures and merging them into a single 32 bit image.

A camera is capable of capturing a limited amount of tones in a single shot (the dynamic Range). Typically, elements are sacrificed when the photographer sets the camera's exposure.

An answer is to take more than one photograph and bracket the shot. Shoot at normal exposure, then under-expose to capture the highlights and over-expose to capture shadow detail. Finally, merge the shots to produce a single image with a larger range of tones that shows all the details contained in the shadows and highlights.

In Photoshop there is a technique to mimic this effect that uses combinations of layers and filters.

The examples below show the difference!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Graphic Digits: New Typographic Approach to Numerals

Whilst browsing the web this week we came across this interesting project from Viction:ary.

'Graphic Digits' is an intriguing collection of leading edge numeral designs created as graphic elements within products. From hand crafted to vector configurations, this book examines the design possibilities of customising numeral combinations in graphic identities, packaging and marketing campaigns to create stunning visual impact. See what you think.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FWD Works - Big Bus tours

We've recently completed working on collateral material for Big Bus Tours, London’s premier open-top sightseeing tour operator.  The work included press advertisements, point of sale posters, Gatwick Airport trolley signage and kiosk wraps. These projects helped reinforce the company’s new brand profile.  We also produce material on a world wide basis for Big Bus, including New York, Miami, San Francisco, Vienna, Paris and Dubai - so the next time you're on one of their buses look out for our design work!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Davies & Son

We have recently produced design concepts for a series of press advertisements for Savile Row tailors Davies & Son

We were asked for a set of clean, eye-catching designs to promote various accessories for their gentleman clients including tie-pins and cufflinks featuring precious stones and pearls
Aimed at the luxury designer market these unique pieces offer high-end chic as well as complementing their bespoke Savile Row tailoring service.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Typography 101

In an attempt to improve your typographic knowledge we present Typography 101 in a nutshell…

Click here to download pdf

Monday, March 31, 2014

Design Matters

The Designers Mantra. "Quality. Speed. Low cost - pick any two". The Myth.

When choosing an expert for your latest creative project you may well come up against the designers often quoted 'mantra' - "Quality. Speed. Low cost - pick any two!".

You may expect quality, speed, and low cost, but however re-arranged the third option will more than likely be shaped by the other two choices. 

Quality + Speed = Expensive.
You need a superbly designed 12pp brochure promoting the latest Jamaican cooking trends on your desk in the morning for a brain bashing board meeting, pressures on.  It needs to be a finished concept, correct text in place, images and layout seamlessly fitting in with your marketing strategy.  If the board approves, it needs to be with the printer by the afternoon for a 25,000 print run.  The Design team use several designers working overnight to meet the deadline.  You'd expect costs to rocket.

Quality + Low cost = Slow.
The same superbly designed 12pp cooking collateral that's expecting to propel your company up to the next level needs to be created to a strict low-budget.  The Board needs to allocate most of the budget to a Jamaican themed corporate hospitality event called 'Rice & beans live!').  The Design team still give the project the same attention to detail and meet the budget requirements, but less creatives working on the project means slower development, overtime costs are cut and the time it takes to complete is extended.

Speed + Low Cost = Low Quality.

This 12pp brochure is really going through the mill.  Board wants it fast! and they don't want to pay much (Chairman needs a bonus this month).  The single designer works as fast as he/she can, less development time, corners are cut, ideas and concepts shelved for being too time consuming or costly, as a result the quality suffers, it looks ok, functional, but not hard hitting.  You truly get what you pay for, this is the least favourable choice.
The problem with this designers mantra is that whatever the client says, they actually do want 'quality'.  They may say that they need it fast and cheap, but when the project is delivered they expect the quality.   

As a rule beware, "Quality. Speed. Low cost - pick any two!" - don't fight against it. The laws of designology rarely allow you to beat it.  Setting concrete goals at the start of a project and measuring throughout development will serve both the client and yourself more than promising them the world at the beginning: quality, speed and low cost.
Interestingly, this designers mantra can be inserted into many other areas of business, although strangely not true of cuisine - i.e. Rice & Beans = Healthy, Fast & Cheap.

In our experience we find "Quality. Speed. Low cost - pick any two!" should not begin the design process as it ignores the larger question: what is the purpose of the design project? What is going to work for our client?  Putting cost or quality issues before questions of purpose is putting the cart before the horse. With this philosophy driving us coupled with our design experience, knowledge of the client and their needs we actually often succeed relegating the Mantra to a Myth.  
We use the three goals as a positive driving force to aim for, often hitting all three targets: quality, speed and cost, almost as a by-product.  Then we hopefully add to the mix an overlaying experiential layer in terms of  "Loyalty, Honesty and Trust". 
Using this blueprint, hopefully our clients find the perfect solution and receive the quality, speed and cost they (actually) expect.  
Now where's that Rice & Beans?  all this blogging has made me hungry.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New website - Elizabeth McRae

Just completed a new web project for the Elizabeth McRae foundation. Take a look, it's quite an eye opener!