Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Communications Strategy

Talking to associates about a tech startup I'm involved in has had me rehearsing thoughts about communications and why I'm so keen that communications be central to business strategy.

Everything we do communicates something - the way we do our hair, the clothes we wear, the way we speak. And more than that - what we do and how we do it tells stories about us and what drives us. This applies to a business just as much as it does to individuals. Some people call this branding - but I think that's lazy speak and branding has become debased by too many companies setting out to manipulate consumers rather than convey something real.

I prefer to focus on communicating content - the real stuff that the company does. If the company does something well then the next step is to tell people about it. And the manner of that telling has to match the company and the clients of that company.

Big questions I find helpful when thinking about communications are: what am I trying to say? Who am I trying to say it to? What do I want listeners/readers/viewers to feel? What do I want them to think ? And what do I want them to do as result of receiving my message?

I don't think this is difficult stuff but it needs careful thought as well as creativity - and to be truly effective the messages need to be built on a foundation of truth, honesty, integrity - all those old fashioned words that should never be confused with the shiny layer that is generally covered by the word 'branding'.

Here endeth the lesson for today!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Calder Original cases on Gilt.com

Calder have a prime spot on the home page of the very stylish Gilt.com - good to see our cases alongside some of the world's top brands like Paul Smith, Marc Jacobs and Tumi.

Gilt home Calder

Gilt Calder guitar tan

Monday, November 7, 2011

Calder Central

Everything I do is about communication.

I'm involved in a range of social and design projects - see links on the right.

There are contradictions in my work but I like F Scott Fitzgerald's idea that "...intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Media & Climate Change Initiative

ippr logo
I'm working with leading UK think tank The Institute for Public Policy Research - IPPR, on the Media & Climate Change Initiative.

The project aims to:
a) encourage media leaders from across all platforms to acknowledge the media’s key role in communicating the significance of climate change.
b) encourage media companies to give more creative attention to climate change.
c) engage the wider creative community in responding to climate change.

The project will include television, radio, print media, new media and advertising.
Rather than seeming onerous and worthy, we believe tackling climate change should be framed as the most important and exciting creative challenge ever faced by the media.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

3D design: Calder cases

Calder builds leather on carbon fibre cases for rare violins and guitars as well as laptop cases and custom cases to client specifications. Link

Calder new home

Thursday, November 3, 2011

3D design: Calder R&D blog

Work in progress blog with posts about our design philosophy and the step by step development of Calder cases. Link

Calder blog


Friday, June 11, 2010

Dartington Website redesign

Dartington is a complex organisation with three major strands of charitable activity - Arts, Social Justice and Sustainability. To help support these activities Dartington has long had a number of commercial operations - a restaurant, cinema, conference centre, bedrooms and a shopping complex. Trying to impart the full richness of the place on its website has always been a major challenge.

My approach the web redesign was to get buy in from the senior management team on what the style and content of the website should be. There was general agreement that the site must convey the creative spirit of the place, clearly indicate the main areas of activity and offer easy access to the rich diversity of the activities offered.

Here's the result of my design input combined with the hard work of Dartington's in house web team.

Like all designs it could be improved but there was agreement that the new site was a huge improvement. The live site is here and here are a couple of screen grabs.

Dartington home

DArtington arts
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