Archive for Marketing
Wow, was this logo a long time coming!
We’ve been talking about the name for the www.cmcdesign.co.nz children’s range of furniture for over a year now. We started off with Seedlings, which we liked – I still like it – but there is a children’s retail outlet called Seedlings so we were going to be fighting against an existing brand that was too similar to Craig’s product.
After many cups of tea and much frowning, all we could really agree on was that the name should be a New Zealand word, an organic word, something not too long or hard to say, something that children would cotton-on to quickly. The word Hebe was a throwaway example, but somehow it stuck. Not only is it a native New Zealand plant, but it also happens to mean “youth”. In fact, in Greek mythology Hebe is no less than the Goddess of Youth. What a happy co-incidence.
Our budget for developing the logo was restricted. So together, Craig and I identified a font we liked as phase one. The second phase was to design a simple motif that would help illustrate the word. The obvious choice was an illustration of a hebe plant; after a few attempts to capture a likeness that would also work as a stamp, we reached this lovely, simple logo.
You will see from CMC Design’s Facebook page, our model Miss Evie is a wonderful sparky representative for this new brand!
Langford Ink has been working with the Flying Kiwi Parasail team over the past few months, shaping up a new logo for them, tweaking their brochure and – finally – setting up a new website that is easy to update, search engine friendly and looks fresh, bright and accessible to all.
We’ve been working to a fairly strict budget, so the challenge has been to get a great new look on a fairly short shoe string.
First, the logo. What you see here, top right, is the result of some old fashioned sketching and few design iterations. The client was a pleasure to work with because they had a fairly good idea of what they wanted, were prepared to put in the effort to communicate that, but weren’t closed to alternative ideas and reasoning.
The team already had a cool parasailing kiwi cartoon, which they loved, but he was prohibitively expensive to print. Apart from this little chap, there wasn’t much in the way of consistent branding other than a font type used on the staff hoodies and, more recently, splashed across the new bright orange, custom-designed boat.
Game on — we had a brief: a very orange boat with the word PARASAIL in big blue letters down the side.
We were also given this sketch on a black and white photocopy of the staff hoodie, to show the idea of a kiwi being incorporated into the logo. From this starting point, we developed a series of options.
In good old fashioned graphic design style, we chopped up the different concepts, and mixed and matched until we got to a literally cut-and-pasted brief.
And now we’re getting close to a logo: we have a faded silhouette of the flying kiwi, a little bit abstract, but definitely of Aotearoa extraction; we have a typeface that ties in with the boat signwriting; we have the words Paihia and New Zealand included in the logo. The overriding feature is descriptive – the word parasail leaps out at you – but there’s also a more interesting visual language building up.
So from here, we came up with the almost final version, a blue logo with the words Bay of Islands, rather than Paihia.
And then, finally, because the team actually really like that zingy orange colour of their boat, we settled on the orange fade as the main iteration of the Flying Kiwi Parasail logo.
To see more of Craig’s furniture range visit: www.cmcdesign.co.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s great working with individuals who merrily plow their own furrow. That’s why I live in the Bay of Islands I think; somehow you can do what you like here, up to a point (I’m still trying to work out the formula for this – answers on a postcard).
Anyway, Craig McInnes is one such individual.
Known locally as a reliable boat-builder and sailor on the iniquitous Orange Peeler, Craig obviously decided it was time for something new. He didn’t ‘down tools’ as such, but he has certainly put them to different use in the past year.
Using a lifetime of knowledge crafting timber, he started work on furniture pieces, with a casual eye on setting up anew as a furniture designer. Within in no time he had created not just one but two ranges of children’s furniture: one set of modular pieces constructed from marine-bonded ply (”you can leave it out in the rain and it won’t be destroyed”) and a pre-constructed or NON modular range that has been snapped up by local kindergartens. All his furniture is registered Buy New Zealand Made.
He featured in Good magazine for his children’s range and in the entrepreneur magazine Unlimited for his luxurious J10 chair. Now his focus is on refining the childrens furniture to make sure it really delivers on its promise: “No plastic, no gimmicks, strong shapes, durable timber – perfect for us at home, in schools and at kindergarten”.
I’m keen that all the parents, kindies and schools in Northland find out about this treasure of a design workshop tucked away in Opua – check out the CMC Design website and follow Craig’s progress on Facebook. I think we’ll see some exciting things happening in the next couple of years.
For Langford Ink, these past six months have disappeared in a flurry of marine conservation work. In June 2010, a marine protection campaign was launched in the Bay of Islands. The aim: to establish a network of 100% no-take zones for a generation.
The campaign is called Fish Forever.
To be successful, Fish Forever needs to talk to the community: first, to promote awareness that there’s a problem and generate inspiration to engage with the issue, then to motivate the community to make a difference.
Langford Ink has managed the development of the brand identity for Fish Forever, project-managed the campaign website www.fishforever.org.nz along with the talented Dean Wright and set up and maintained an online persona to engage with our internet-based audience. This a review of where we’ve got to as we enter 2011.
Although New Zealand is a slow adopter of Twitter compared to other westernised nations, I decided that the very first place we needed to find friends was here.
@Wantmorefish came before Fish Forever, before the website and before the Facebook page. At first, I was concerned that having a different ‘handle’ to the main campaign name might be detrimental to the brand identity. Subsequently I decided it is a benefit – it provides a distinction between the group campaign (Fish Forever) and a real-life individual: @Wantmorefish can have opinions; Fish Forever plows a more politically-sensitive furrow.
Followers on Twitter are steadily increasing with time – no massive explosion of popularity but consistency in posting is rewarded. The audience is both homegrown NZ (@marinecentreNZ in Opua, @ranui_organics in Kawakawa) and, excitingly, global with follower-friends from places as far afield as Santa Monica (@thedailyocean) and Amsterdam (@NoFishLeft). The power of Twitter to communicate is mind blowing. However, it remains only a vehicle. It won’t magically get you donations, members, kudos: you have to do the groundwork and generate great content regularly.
There are some interesting avenues to pursue in the new year to achieve real measurable results from our Twitter campaigning that can help our community consultation and fund raising. The first of these is a #nzcommschat planned between @LangfordInk and other local communications tweeters (@AdageBusiness, @comment8tor) to explore how Twitter can be harnessed for the good of non-profit. Also, the Fish Forever web team is planning projects that can cross over from our website through the various social media platforms, into real life and back again.
In October 2010, Malcolm Gladwell got a few people worked up with his article on the ineffectiveness of social media with its ‘weak ties’ to drive people to real-time social activism: Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted. This article was brilliant for getting the bloggers, tweeters and Facebook fanatics to take a look at their objectives and debate about the concrete merits of their virtual world. @RWW gives a great summary here of the article and, needless to say, there are plenty of comments after to illustrate the popular viewpoints of the online community.
My view is that Twitter is far-reaching in scope but limited in depth; it has given the Fish Forever campaign an audience of like-minded groups across the globe and it has been an invaluable source of information about the ocean, marine science and conservation. It is heart-lifting to visualise (or ‘virtualise’?) the sheer volume of people who have a genuine commitment to protecting the world’s oceans. Last time I checked, @Wantmorefish was pretty excited about the prospects for marine conservation in 2011.
Originally I didn’t want to be responsible for the Facebook page. The problem of washing my hands of this task was consistency: the Facebook page had to tie in with Twitter and the website. Given that I generate news items for the website by talking to our network of experts who support Fish Forever – items which I then tweet – I am also best-placed to manage the Facebook page to avoid double-handling. Eventually, I conceded that having jumped in at the deep end of online interaction, I now had to wear it. And it’s quite fun…
We have a growing number of ‘likers’ – 190 at last count I believe (good in-road, a long way to go). Facebook has far more penetration in New Zealand than Twitter so we can reach a good chunk of the local audience. We can put images up here, we can share other people’s news items from their Facebook pages, we can have a bit of fun with our comments and chat informally to supporters.
Facebook is intimate without being revealing. Hopefully, we engage on a more emotional level than we do on Twitter and through the more formal face of the campaign website.
What will 2011 bring for the Fish Forever online campaign?
We will continue to develop our campaign website quietly in the background and hopefully source funds to do the more major structural changes that will become necessary as the campaign evolves. We hope to connect with the extraordinary resource of www.marinenz.org.nz – the people who populate this site include some of New Zealand’s most knowledgeable and enthusiastic advocates for marine conservation. They have 1000s of unique visitors per day and could be the most influential connection we make in our online activities. This is something to plan carefully for and engage in fully.
From the web developments, our activities on Twitter and Facebook will become more diverse – key to a successful online persona is relevant and varied content. My two least favourite things about Twitter are: i) people repeating the same mantra over and over (@Wantmorefish tries hard to avoid this trap) and ii) people flooding my twitter stream with inanities, simply to have “presence”. [Notoriously @unmarketing tweeted once a minute as an experiment back in the early days, starting with 140 characters about his tuna sandwich. He fast became a leading exponent of social media, suggesting that saturation can be effective. However, he is #interesting and #hasabrain ... and if you're not familiar with the #funbutridiculous habit of the hashtaggers, you better join Twitter to find out more.]
On a serious parting note, Fish Forever has big ambitions for 2011, both online and – more importantly – offline in real time. The team has a big job to do: many important conversations to get teeth into, many complicated arguments and obstacles to overcome in the political arena, one big cash-rich player to negotiate with/battle and much funding to be sourced. You can help by a) joining up here b) signing our mandate here and c) by sponsoring us here.
Please join us in our fight for Fish Forever in 2011.
Master craftsman Craig McInnes is well known in the Bay of Islands for his boat building skills and custom timberwork. After 25 years of exquisite craftsmanship within the nautical industry, Craig has adapted his specialist skills to produce a range of furniture that also can be seen as practical art pieces – comfortable, stylish, custom-built in native timbers and finished in Italian leather in a range of colours.
Craig launched the range of furniture, including a lounger, a chair and side table, at Auckland Home Show and received glowing feedback: “We have had interest from a number of high end retailers and galleries” says Craig of the launch; commentators observed that the furniture would look at home in the top-end urban homes of New York, London or Milan.
Alongside the adult furniture range, the Seedlings range is a practical timber furniture range and building-block set designed for children. No plastic, no gimmicks, strong shapes, durable timber – perfect for use at home, in schools and kindergartens.
To find out more contact email@example.com or visit the website www.cmcdesign.co.nz
Launching CMC Design 2010/2011 Furniture Range
This limited edition, hand crafted furniture range is a snapshot of the high quality and distinctive design and craftsmanship skills being nurtured in Northland’s rugged landscape. Taking inspiration from the varied terrain, from the mountains to the sea, Craig McInnes has developed a sensuous and strong range of furniture to complement either the contemporary home or provide a fresh accent to a more traditional interior.
The first available pieces within the range include the reclining JB8 Lounger, the single and double J10 lounge seat, and the JB8 side table. Each item is hand produced and quality assessed in CMC Design’s Opua workshop and finished using natural grain bovine Italian leather in various colours. The range is available in a number of different timbers, including blackbutt gum, white ash, white oak and taraire. The timber is from certified and predominantly local sources and all is locally milled.
With each item, you are investing in a signature product made with integrity and respect. Craig’s furniture has been designed and crafted to create practical art that will invigorate your environment and provide a place of repose.
The kid’s furniture range is characterised by sturdy plywood pieces based on simple geometric forms, strong angles and quirky finishes. Above all, this range is REAL: there’s no plastic, no gimmicks. Each piece is hand built, quality assessed and carries the Buy New Zealand Made label. The range includes the throne chairs, circle chairs, round stools and bench seat which work with the white-board table (square, triangular, round or rectangular). Finish off your children’s play room with a set of building blocks: a fun set of super-size bricks of varying shapes that double as chairs, tables, castles or forts.