Archive for the ‘News’ Category

AT presents Creative Video Marketing

Posted: October 18, 2011 in News, Video

AT Creative’s founder Andrew Tayo has been presenting seminars across London on Video Marketing. The short presentations have been giving valuable insights into the different strategies and options that are open to SME owners when they launch their Video Marketing campaign. In typical AT Creative fashion, the focus of the talks are on how to best utilise CREATIVE methods to enhance the appeal and success of your marketing campaign. The talks are a part of the 4Networking.biz breakfast meetings, so if you want to book in for this free seminar, get yourself booked in ASAP via the 4Networking website!

Seminar Dates:~
4th October 2011 – London Monument (Fine Line) 8-10am
6th October 2011 – Richmond (The Coach and Horses) 8-10am
7th October 2011 – London Liverpool Street (The Shooting Star Pub) 8-10am
19th October 2011 – Heathrow Staines (The Stanwell Hotel) 8-10am
Thursday 4th November 2011 – Watford (Ramada Watford) 8-10am
Friday 5th November 2011 – Park Royal (Ramada Encore) 8-10am
Tuesday 8th November 2011 – Hammersmith (Lala) 8-10am
Friday 11th November 2011 – Kenton (Travellers Rest Beefeater) 8-10am

In the Pink

Posted: March 25, 2011 in News, Video

I would LOVE to tell you that I developed Pink Sumo’s brand.  It’s one of those brands that stands out as dead cert to be a storming success in the near future, however, unfortunately, I missed that boat.  However, being good friends with the founders, we often find ourselves in brain storming sessions, drumming up ideas to expand the brand.  Being both driven and ambitious, me and Pink Sumo’s founder Jay make a great partnership.  He has a creative vision for where he wants the brand to be, and better than that, he trusts me to execute creative tasks for his company.

The project in this case, was to develop a short 1 min ad, that not only affirmed the brand, but also advertised some of the key products that they’d be marketing at the Ideal Home Exhibition.  So, without further ado, I got to work, and this was the result… enjoy.

Join us at Earls Court

Posted: November 24, 2010 in News

Andrew Tayo Creative will be exhibiting at the upcoming Business Startup event in Earls Court on Tuesday 30th November & Wednesday 1st December.  The event that promises to yield some 45,000 business owners and business representatives hoping to source new contacts, will be the largest event we’ve participated yet.  We’ll be offering special one-off deals and gifts to our visitors, so if you happen to be attending, we’d love you to pass by our stand!

On a personal note, I’ll be really looking forward to hearing Levi Roots and the Dragon’s Den’s own Richard Farleigh speak.  They are quite easily 2 of my favourite people in business!

Andrew Tayo Creative will be working in partnership with highly successful and reputable property investment and development company Tiger Developments, to bring stock photography to the professional public.  The deal will utilise Tiger Developments immense property portfolio, creating a new revenues by making images of the completed developments available to the major stock outlets (Alamy, iStockphoto etc.)

Bringing City Chic to De Aspora

Posted: October 15, 2010 in News, Web Design

I recently underwrote one of my latest projects; a website for Inner-City Property Consultancy firm De Aspora.  The brief was straight forward enough: Create a site that appealed to the high-net worth clientèle that make up De Aspora’s customer base.  Utilise the existing corporate colours to create a clean, lightweight, chic, mobile-device friendly website.

The result was successful on all counts, the final site is fully CSS (no HTML tables), W3C CSS compliancy certified, lightweight, uber-fast loading, and mobile-device friendly.  It also leaves plenty of room for future expandibility… (I even gave the corporate ID a free touch-up in the process!).

Screenshot of the De Aspora website

Mobile technology is taking over

Posted: October 3, 2010 in News

ok. So I can’t lie, I’ve tried quite hard to resist the relentless upsurge of the iPhone 4, but I relinquished my fighting spirit this weekend and succumbed to my lesser being. Was I really so weak as to not able to exercise my individuality and refusal to pander to consumerism? Am I just another in a lon list of iFools who will do anything for an Apple logo… Maybe, but to give you a more honest answer, I think the main reason for my final decision was the shocking lack of variety that was on offer! What the hell is going on? Has Nokia and Sony Ericsson simply accepted the same defeat as Sega and Atari is the face of more advanced, ergonomic and better techcnology? Neither of my trusted 2 manufacturers seem to bee offering any kind of meaningful contribution in the smart phone market and I for one am dreadfully disappointed.

Well no to be too hypocritical, after all I am writing this message from an iPhone… But I’m not happy about it! (now to check my email and play some Angry Birds)

Now, these rules won’t apply to everyone, especially those design agencies already established in the design business, but, to start up designers, budding freelancers or struggling veterans, you might find something here that is helpful to your progression.  These rules are by no means an exhaustive or complete guide, but they have served me well in my professional career in the Creative industry.

1)       Tummy Tuck your portfolio!
When it comes to your portfolio, ‘average’ and ‘good’ do not make the grade.  You’ll be more likely to secure a job exhibiting 5 outstanding projects, than 30 ‘good’ or ‘mediocre’.  Clients, usually, are not persuaded by the range being offered, you often find that clients are won over by a single piece of exemplary work that they’ve seen in your portfolio.  Cull, without trepidation, any/every design that even borders on less than exceptional.  Take a minimalist approach to you what you show clients if ‘exceptional’ work is in short supply.  Remember, you are most likely to put off clients by showing them average work than win them over with a multitude of blah.

2)      Make sure your portfolio is always accessible
If you haven’t already got a website… GET ONE.  To be honest, you have a multitude of ways of getting your work up for the world to see!  This (WordPress[Blogging], is one of them, Flick, and even Facebook are others).  Social Networking, free-hosting, and bundled sites are all great ways of getting a web presence.  Obviously, nothing says ‘professional’ like a real website URL, but in the absence of that, there is no excuse to not having a web presence.  TIP: make sure that you also carry a printed portfolio with you when you go to see clients.  Never turn up to a meeting with a client empty handed, bring along examples of completed work in their actual format so that client can see that you can work to a brief and that your stuff works in print.  I’m not about to give you a lesson about resolution differences between screen and print, one assumes you’re already schooled in that area, so make some repeat orders with your printer and store that ‘print portfolio’ for your next client facing opportunity.

3)      There is no such thing as COMPLETE creative freedom
Often, Graphic Designers live in their own world of vectorised bubbles, masked fairies and filtered Dandelions.  We want to believe everyone has the same artistic and perceptive vision that we do, and this simply is not the case.  Even if a client has expressed that they are happy for you to have creative freedom in a project, in reality, they’re asking you to do whatever you can to make their project marketable.  This means that the concept should NEVER obfuscate the product.  If you want to please your client and get repeat orders, then, make his/her product (be it services or goods) look sexy, appealing and eye-catching.  REMEMBER: a job is NOT an opportunity to exhibit your creative range, it’s an opportunity to prove you can use that creative range to communicate a message. Tip: AGREE on a written brief (1-2 sentences) summarising what the artwork MUST do.

4)      Be BOLD with concepts
Now, this might seem a contradiction to point 1, but it really isn’t.  At no point would I EVER actively discourage creativity.  The bottom line is, it’s your creativity that got you the job in the first place, so it’s your creativity that the client wants you to exercise in their project.  Tip: NEVER let a client become the creative director of your project (it will end up looking like a DTP exercise!). Be BOLD with your concepts, think outside the box and think of the most eye-catching way to communicate the brief.  Remember that good Graphic Design should effectively catch the eye, and communicate the brief.

5)      Avoid Gradients
At this point, I am likely to get into creative differences with many Graphic Design aficionados who swear by them, but remember the title of the article (PUBLICATION design). In my experience, thus far, gradients,  have no place in Publication Design!  Well, no place is a bit strong, but avoid using them to style flat graphic objects and 2D text.  Obviously, if you’re creating 3D effects and more elaborate designs, CUSTOM gradients become essential, but in the case of leaflets, brochure, magazines, books and other such simple communicate projects, their application should be sparingly and with controlled consideration. TIP: Gradients often translate poorly in print, so test print to see how it compares to your on-screen design! A page built purely out of bitmaps and SOLID vectors that is well designed always seems to carry across the message with greater success.  Obviously, the use of feathering, filters and other such ‘smoothing’ tools is not being debated here, what is being critiqued the overzealous application of gradient fills. TIP: In any individual project, select a single SWATCH COLOUR LIBRARY and stick to it!  Swatch libraries have been designed to go together effectively without clashing.

6)      Avoid standardised fonts
Nothing screams DESKTOP PUBLISHING like Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman (and since the advent of Office 2007) Calibri.  Because of the widespread use of these fonts in the general market, they have become a class of ‘undesirables’ for Graphic Designers, and rightly so.  Avoid them like the plague!  In fact, I would go as far as to suggest that you avoid just about ANY font that comes bundled with your Operating System and/or Office Applications.  TIP: Use font websites to find the ‘perfect’ font for you project.  Free websites like www.dafont.com (always check the T & Cs of each individual font before using commercially) are a priceless resource for Graphic Designers.

7)      Research the market
Solomon once said: “There is nothing new under the Sun…” and believe it or not, this is true.  In fact, as creative as you might think that you are, the whole gnosis of ‘Invention/Creation’ is nothing more than a myth.  Everything is an innovation of something that already exists.  The same holds true for ANY design project that you undertake.  I know you may not want to stifle your own creative ingenuity, or tarnish your imaginative thought process, but I have never carried out research that was not valuable (even if it was just to discover what NOT to do in a given project).  The bottom line is, the industry is a lot older than you, design agencies have been branding and designing for years in advance of you, so reference and annotate aspects of successful/unsuccessful design that you want to emulate/avoid.  TIP: Use the screen print function to quickly gather a library of ‘inspiration’ for each individual project.  Screen prints can easily be pasted into word documents… before you know it, you’ll have a library of 20+ images to reference from whilst your designing.

8)      Save as (draft)
As designers, there will be at least 3-4 points in every project where you make a bold and dramatic composition choice that effectively changes the direction of your project… at this point, Save As.  Creating a copy of your work at this point is a great way of accumulating draft milestones that you can feed back to client.  Your client will appreciate the iterative approach to his/her project and seeing the amount of design choices that have been made in the process, will be less likely to feedback a multitude of amendments.  Projects, can sometimes spiral into creative banter between designers and unappreciative clients, the best way to avoid this is to show clients your drafting process.  It also gives your clients a chance to revert back to a drafted state if they don’t like some of the ‘bold’ steps that you’ve taken.  TIP: Make sure you save drafts in editable format (ie. .psd/cdw/ai and not flattened format [.jpg]).  This will allow you to return a drafted form, and get stuck in at any time.

9)      Don’t present the client with WIP’s
Clients can sometimes be really pushy to see ‘where a design is going’, but try to avoid, at all costs presenting clients with Works in Progress, at least until you have a completed design.  Clients are unlikely to appreciate your drafting process or have your creative vision and might think that they made a mistake if you show them an unfinished draft.  More importantly, inviting a client to get involved in the creative landscape of a project too early sometimes opens the floodgates of communication, and you’ll soon have your hands on a dreaded ‘never ending project’.  Unless you’ve agreed in your contract a fixed hourly fee for amendments, it’s best you make your client wait until you’ve produced one or two completed drafts before allowing them to view anything that you’ve done.

10)   Utilise exciting Stock Imagery
Remember to factor in the cost of good quality stock into any quote that you prepare.  Most Graphic Design projects fail/succeed based on the quality of the imagery they use.  Even the very best Graphic Designers cannot salvage shoddy photography.  TIP: Refuse shoddy imagery, either go for stock, or request the talents of a professional photographer.  Your client will appreciate your professionalism and expert judgement on this matter. I pretty much make the professional judgement to refuse shoddy imagery in EVERY project I undertake.  Don’t expect your client to know what should/shouldn’t go into a successful graphics campaign; they are relying on your expertise in this matter, so SPEAK UP!  At the end of the project it is ONLY you (not the photographer) that will look bad if project screams AMATEUR because of a poor photographer

That’s it for now.  I hope you’ve found some food for thought there that will aid you in some way.  Feel free to add your own advice, feedback and tips in the comments.

Andrew Tayo