Design Trend: Moustaches in Branding

Design Trend: Moustaches in Branding

theblog

Over the last few years we have seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of moustaches within society and the design industry. What could be the logic behind this questionably random design trend?

The most common theory behind the design trend is that “hipsters” (The modern interpretation of a hipster meaning someone who consumes non-mainstream products or pursues non-mainstream activities) brought the moustache trend back to mock conventional ideas of style and fashion. What was thought to make them stand apart from the rest of society would later, ironically, start a new craze leaving moustaches to be desirable.

Moustaches then went on to be used in a humorous context and even used in the online craze known as memes, which most likely contributed to the increase in popularity.

Coffee Moustache Designs

Designers then saw the potential with this design trend and started producing moustache related designs for packaging, jewellery, bags and much more! One clever use of the moustache was to place it on a mug/cup so that consumers would look like they’re wearing it, which appeals to the humorous nature of people. Some designs seem to have no other focus than to showcase moustaches, but a few companies have very cleverly integrated the moustache into the design.

 

Moustache brushes and wax

 

Here (above to the left) you can see that Simon Laliberté, a French-Canadian graphic artist, designed the packaging for a set of paintbrushes ‘Poilu’ and used illustrations to imply moustaches with the use of the bristles. And, on the right, you can see the packaging design for ‘Dapper Chap Moustache Wax’ which has included a cut out of a moustache so it is easily recognizable and understood by prospective buyers.

 

 

picture2

 

Other companies have chosen to base their name on moustaches, It may seem completely random. Before the current moustache trend, they were often considered luxurious and high class, especially when paired with a monocle. So, it could be linked to companies wanting to make their product seem of higher quality or trying to embrace a comical side.

This month we are likely to be seeing a whole lot more moustaches as it is Movember, a mix of moustache and November. This is the movement that puts focus onto mens health issues but encouraging men to grow the weirdest and craziest moustaches to raise money for a good case. This event helps to bring the moustache trend back every year in grooming and in design.

 

Until next time,
Sian

The Co-op rebrand, but why?

The Co-op rebrand, but why?

theblog

Earlier this year the fifth biggest food retailer in the UK and much loved company The Co-operative Group launched a full rebrand. However, rather than opting for a completely new identity, they have a refreshed version of their logo from the 1960s which you can see below. As you can see there isn’t too much of a difference between their original and current logo. What you will notice is that the blue is slightly different and there has been some tweaking with the typeface but not so much that it’s instantly noticeable.

co-op rebrandIn rebranding, The Co-operative Group has managed to become very current and up to date, adopting many design trends of 2016. This year we have seen an increase in:

  • The ‘Modern’ Retro Style
  • Bright, Bold Colours
  • Negative space

 

When comparing their previous logo which is very formal and linear to their current four leaf clover inspired logo, it looks like a very drastic and bold change for the company to make. They have opted for a completely different typeface which is less formal in design even though it is more square in appearance. The colour has been freshened up and gives off a much more modern vibe with its eye catching blue.

co-op rebrand

But why have they chosen to take a step back in time and reuse an old logo? Are they just jumping on the modern retro trend or are they trying to reset their company’s clock to a time before their near demise?

This rebrand came not long after the 172 year old company suffered a near-collapse in 2013-2014 when the Co-op bank had a crisis which left the company on the verge of a meltdown. After bringing in new bosses the group took a step back, reduced their stake in the bank to 20% and sold off parts of the business.

They have slowly and quietly been putting the business back together and have stepped out of the shadows with their rebrand following their previous trouble. Their rebranding signals a new era of the Co-op group, who are now looking to the future and hope to gain another million members in the next five years by offering rewards. Members will receive 5% in rewards when you buy a Co-op own brand product ranging from food to funerals and another 1% will be donated to the members account to be donated to a local cause of their choosing.

It is hoped that the new logo is recognised by older customers who have stuck by them for years and will reach out to younger people.

Until next time,
Sian

Benefits of Outsourcing your Graphic Design Department

Benefits of Outsourcing your Graphic Design Department

theblog

If your business has a regular need for graphic design, it may be a consideration to employ a designer or utilise the skills of an existing member of staff. However, both of these come with their downsides, so we would like to show you the benefits of outsourcing your graphic design requirements to a creative agency.

SAVES MONEY

If your first thought may be that an agency will charge a greater hourly rate than you would pay an employee, you would be right. However in the long run, outsourcing will save you money as you won’t have all the overheads of a member of staff and you will only pay for the time that is spent on your design work.

SAVES TIME

You may have a member of staff who has creative skills that you can utilise for your design requirements, but do they have the time? By taking their time away from their main role, you are losing out in another area.

QUALITY WORK

If you have an in-house designer, sometimes they can get stuck in a design rut and become uninspired working with the same identity, day in, day out. By working with an agency, you can get the combined experience of several designers and creative input from a whole team, rather than just one person.

You can also guarantee that you will be getting high quality designs, that will enhance your brand and its appearance, therefore telling your customers that you are a quality company willing to put time and money into making your brand look good.

PEACE OF MIND

If you outsource to a professional, reliable agency, it means that you can be confident in leaving the design work to them, which gives you time to focus on your business goals.

Hopefully we have proven that outsourcing your design to a creative agency has many benefits, and of course, if this is something that you think we can help with, please just call us for a chat.

Until next time,
Gemma

Hyphen Website Wins Award!

Hyphen Website Wins Award!

theblog

We are a few weeks late writing about this as we have been busy with our clients, but we are incredibly pleased to announce that the new Hyphen website has won an award! After being nominated for the Elegant Themes Divi Showcase Awards along with over 2,300 entries, we were incredibly excited to be shortlisted to the top 20. Voting then took place and we were thrilled to find out that we had been awarded third place…amazing!

We created our new website using the Divi theme builder by Elegant Themes as the basis. Divi is also what we also often use for many of the sites we build due to its incredible flexibility to create bespoke, easy to edit designs for our clients.

Our new website design and development was all the work of our Creative Director, Jenni and she wanted created something unique that really represented our new brand strategy. The design represents our brand values of dynamism, innovation, vibrancy and versatility and the links between the sections reflect the connection that we have with our clients, and also those that we can help our clients make with their customers.

Here is what Elegant Themes had to say about our website:

“A bold and beautiful website with a standout design style filled with strong geometric elements. With a company name like “hyphen,” it’s no wonder their design is all about lines. Lines that create repeating triangles and skewed rectangles starting from the logo and continuing all the way down to the footer. It makes it a joy to scroll down the page as you follow the slanted lines from one section to another.“

So a big thanks to everyone that voted for us and if you would like more information about how we could create a dynamic website for you, please contact us.

Hyphen’s New Brand Identity

Hyphen’s New Brand Identity

theblog

Every brand has a story. There are characters that make your brand; there are chapters that document particular stages of growth or change.

And we felt that it was a good time to begin a new chapter in the Hyphen story to reflect where our business is going.

A few years ago, we rebranded from printing.com to Hyphen to reflect the change in focus from print to design, as we had a team of highly skilled creatives who were passionate about communicating branding through innovative design. The name Hyphen was chosen, as it is a link or a connection between two things and for us, this means the link between a brand and its consumer. This also gave birth to our strapline, ‘making connections by design’.

In the last 2 years, we have expanded on our branding skills within the team by bringing a brand strategist on board. We are now able to offer a full branding service that includes analysis, strategy and development, and we felt that we needed to take our brand identity to the next level to represent the additional professional skills within the team and the dynamic, innovative nature of our business.

Brand Name

The name and strapline remain the same, as they still fully represent the connection that we have with our clients, and also the connections that we can help our clients make with their customers. We have also added a secondary tagline: BRAND / DIGITAL / CREATIVE to reflect the main areas of speciality.

Logo

As you can see, we haven’t made any major changes to our logo. We chose to modernise it by changing the ‘H’ to lowercase, making the font narrower and taking the curve off the ‘y’.

We have added ‘creative agency’ underneath our logo, but will also have a version without the text, for when the logo needs to be small or when it is used with our secondary tagline: BRAND / DIGITAL / CREATIVE.

Colours

The previous Hyphen branding only used a teal shade of green and 2 shades of grey. One of the things we really wanted to do with our rebrand was to really inject some colour into our branding, to represent our vibrancy and versatility. A multi-colour identity also reflects our multi-channel approach to design and marketing for our clients.

We have brightened the teal, but kept it as our main brand colour, as green shades represent growth, and our aim is to produce branding that will help our clients to grow their business. But we have now added in several other bright colours to compliment the teal, as you can see in the colour palette above. Each member of the team has a personal colour on the reverse of his or her business card to add variety and give an individual look.

Fonts

Our main logo font remains the same, but as mentioned above, we have edited it further to modernise it. We have changed our main corporate font to Sofia Pro, which is a modern and flexible font that has several weight variations so that we can add variety to our marketing materials. We have also added hand drawn text into our brand identity, created by our illustration expert Emily, which adds a lovely personal look.

Brand Identity

Our overall brand identity is what has changed the most in our rebrand. Our previous use of craft material and craft imagery has been replaced with bold colours, shapes and more dynamic language to reflect Hyphen as a business now.

We have taken a rectangle, the shape of a hyphen, and used it in a variety of colours, sizes and rotations to create bold, vibrant designs. A rectangle is a familiar and trusted shape, which represents honesty for a brand. However, because it is the most common shape, it can also be seen as boring, which is why we have played around with it so much to create designs that have visual impact. The diagonal lines that we have created by rotating the hyphens also represent dynamism, liveliness and vibrancy.

We would love to hear what you think about our new look, so please leave a comment below, or feel free to drop us an email.

Until next time,

The Hyphen Team

Brand Success on Social Media

Brand Success on Social Media

theblog

Your brand should not be something that is established at a point in your business and then left to just survive by itself. It is something that needs to be taken care of daily to really achieve brand success, especially online where opinions can be posted in an instant.

Social media has been a huge boost to the business world, allowing brands to share messages and information to anyone worldwide at the click of a button. It increases marketing reach, although it is not targeted, and allows for a greater audience to build brand recognition.

However, there is also a downside to social media for brands.

As quickly as you can be tagged on Twitter to say your brand is fantastic, you can also be criticised for bad products/service and your brand reputation can begin to be tainted.

In order to safeguard your brand on the fast-paced social media, you should ensure that you respond to as many comments as possible, both positive and negative. Understandably, this is quite time consuming and if it is not something that you can do yourself, it may be worth looking into the possibility of hiring some help.

It is especially important to respond to any criticism as quickly as possible because a fast response shows that you are there, you care and you are reactive. It helps your brand image to know that you are there to communicate with customers and it can help give your brand a personality for customers to relate to.

There have been some famous social media exchanges recently between some big brands and their customers that have represented real personality and engagement with customers. See this collection of funny exchanges put together by the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2015/12/010/10-of-the-most-brilliant-customer-service-exchanges-ever-seen-on/

All of these examples are national/global brands but smaller businesses can use social media to their advantage, whether the feedback from customers is good or bad.

Some social media tips for your brand:

  • Choose a relevant twitter handle that is easily searchable for your business
  • Customise your Twitter profile, adding a square logo/icon as your profile picture (making sure you don’t crop anything off!) and a well-designed header.
  • Set out your objectives
  • Decide who will be in charge of your posting
  • Create a variety of posts including brand awareness, product/service information, company news, industry news and retweets/shares of interesting posts.
  • Add easy-to-read hashtags to your posts
  • Ask relevant questions to your followers to start a dialogue to allow your brand personality to shine through.

As always, if you need any advice about your brand, we are here to talk through any questions you may have.

Until next time,
Gemma