Have you ‘Herd About MK’?
Well our client, Capital Space did and their Milton Keynes Business Centre signed up to sponsor this widely known event taking place to celebrate Milton Keynes 50th Anniversary in 2017. As part of their sponsorship, they received a real life sized concrete cow, yes you heard that right… to brand as their own – and this is where Sowerby got involved.
Holy cow this is a bit of a different
It’s not every day that a creative agency like Sowerby receives a request to brand a real life sized cow. Challenging, you could say that, but of course we’re always up for a challenge. With rough budgets accepted, we were ready to get our creative juices flowing and boy, this cow was the top of conversation for weeks!
Mooving on – kick off meeting!
Nicola and Sue met with the Capital Space’s General Manager and MK Business Centre Manager to discuss the project in detail. This included discussing some initial ideas. It was good for us to see the surroundings of the Business Centre in person and ensure we kept everyone happy with what we were about to produce. We like nothing better than to take a brief in person as you get to know each individual a bit more to understand their likes and dislikes.
Whilst at Milton Keynes, the organisers of Herd About MK also attended the meeting where we discussed the sponsorship package in detail. It was important for us to fact find as much as possible so in normal Sowerby style, we asked lots of questions including aims, goals, strengths, weaknesses, key dates, other sponsors, the brand, deadlines, location of cows, opening ceremony and more!
And in the back of the large van, there stood a cow! Yes, we were branding one!
Back to Essex – time to get creative
On our return to Essex Nicola headed up the project alongside Pav, one of our graphic designers, to prepare a range of concepts to put forward. For us, it was about putting Capital Space on the map amongst some very well known brands such as Red Bull, PwC, rightmove, Santander, Taylor Wimpey, Bosch and more. We also needed to showcase the range of services that Capital Space as a business has to offer.
Having put a range of concepts forward, the ‘Space Cow’ concept was a clear front winner so it was time to make this concept work.
It needed to be simple, yet effective. It needed to attract people to find out more, to connect with the B2B community mainly, but also to allow people to know that Capital Space were in the Milton Keynes space.
Concept chosen, time to get printing!
Whilst we have a number of preferred print suppliers, we knew this project was most suitable for Dan and his team at Advanced Digital Graphics. For the past 10+ years we have worked with them. Every project is treated as priority and they go the extra mile when it comes to advice, guidance and perfection. This was no different for our cow and whilst it was challenging to wrap the vinyls, and a big job to make the acrylic helmet fit – it came out 100%
We need great people to help us achieve our 10 year strategic plan!
When human rights charity, Freedom from Torture approached The Sowerby Group about a recruitment campaign to attract Fundraising and Communications professionals, they knew they would be in good hands. Having already worked with various members of the team on previous charity recruitment projects, including the Sowerby Search & Find Service, they were confident the team would provide a great solution along with strong creative ideas for this important campaign.
A face-to-face meeting with the Fundraising & Comms team
As the only organisation dedicated solely to the treatment of survivors of torture and organised violence, Freedom from Torture takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation, catering for the unique needs of survivors. There’s nothing more enjoyable than getting up close and personal with a client to find out what they are really looking to achieve from a successful campaign. In this case, the client had plenty of ideas of their own as to how they would like to showcase the charity, and even more important was the need to bring in new talent who would, within their own roles, be instrumental in ensuring that the charity could help more torture survivors around the UK.
Working with the media
Of course, we were mindful of budget and In this case, the Sowerby team had already been working with the leading job-board, CharityJob and became aware of a fabulous recruitment initiative which meant that Freedom from Torture could totally ‘own’ a Special Edition Newsletter and have it completely styled in the charity’s branding. And so the work began.
Taking the client through the steps
This was no ordinary newsletter. And this was no ordinary campaign as we were reaching out to different types of fundraising and comms professionals. When we saw the Job Descriptions, we knew we had to attract a wide-ranging audience to fulfil the wide skill-set required. So each vacancy was written with its own ‘personality’ to attract the best in the charity sector. Being London based roles, this was a much easier task as the charity already employs people who commute into their central location within London which is very often a bonus when looking to attract great people.
And the end result?
A Special Edition branded newsletter focused on many important aspects of Freedom from Torture and its operations. It was a sort of ‘did you know’ kind of document where we were able to promote the charity, its aims, eight different job roles, a video, imagery and some strong calls to action. Clients are becoming increasingly aware of the need to do things differently to attract strong talent. The charity sector is a competitive one, and one where the success of the organisation is dependent on good fundraising, focus on major gifts, supporter engagement and much, much more. It was a great project to work on, and naturally we are delighted that The Sowerby Group was the chosen agency to work with such a great team of people at Freedom from Torture.
Our products are not very glamorous, but they will bring a room to life!
Specials Lighting is a UK based lighting engineering company who design and supply lighting products to the construction industry. They offer bespoke lighting solutions of the highest quality covering an extensive product range including: recessed, suspended and surface luminaires, extruded sections, LED and CFL downlighters, ancillary luminaires and emergency lighting.
The products themselves are engineered solutions that can bring a room to life. Specials Lighting were looking for a new website which would showcase the end result as well as the diverse product range they offer. Not only that, they wanted a simple, easy to update CMS system to allow the team to update their products and case studies as they create and work on bespoke lighting projects.
We decided to build this site in WordPress, customising the front-end design and back-end for ease of use for the client.
PORTFOLIO, PORTFOLIO, PORTFOLIO
From the outset, we knew that the design had to heavily promote Specials Lighting portfolio of work. And the client certainly had an impressive portfolio, with the likes of Rackspace, Somerset House, Media Edge and GSMA amongst their clients. Luckily this client always takes images when a project has been completed (something we strongly urge clients to do) so you will find no stock photography within this site.
The design created is simple, yet effective and showcases not only the case studies, but also the products in a fresh way.
DON’T FORGET WE WANT SIMPLE FUNCTIONALITY
The team at Specials Lighting are always developing lighting products and testing their minds… So the last thing they wanted was a complicated website to update.
For this project, the back-end functionality needed to be simple. We provided the client with a fully responsive design / website which works across desktops, mobiles and tablets, and the client couldn’t be more happier when they received their full website training, over a cuppa at their office in Fyfield, Essex.
“TAKING THE SOWERBY SERVICES TO DUBAI”
The Sowerby / Menasa relationship began back in October 2012 when the owner contacted us to negotiate some job board contracts here in the UK. Having worked with our contact previously, we of course were pleased to be of assistance again.
Following the job board contract negotiations and media bookings, we embarked on a journey to look at the Menasa brand.
1ST STOP – LOGO REFRESH
When we first saw the Menasa logo, we felt that it really didn’t do the company justice. Menasa searches for talent globally across a number of industry sectors so we couldn’t help but recommend a bit of a refresh.
It was important that we kept to the corporate colours and promoted the global services that the company has to offer and certainly the regions that they specialise within – Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA).
When we started working on the logo, we wanted something that was professional, clean, simply, yet more modern with a global look / feel. We always present a number of ideas, but here is the chosen logo.
AND OUR JOURNEY
HASN’T STOPPED THERE…
We’ve worked with Menasa on some lovely design, print, advertising and social media projects. We continue to negotiate job board contracts on their behalf and look forward to working with them shortly on their digital requirements.
Here’s a selection of the work we have delivered for the client. And when we say delivered, Nicola hand delivered some brochures when visiting Dubai on her honeymoon. Now that’s customer service for you.
“WE WANT TO BE NOTICED IN LONDON”
A BIT OF HISTORY BEHIND THE BRAND
Invenio was an executive search and selection company based in the heart of London. The Sowerby Group were responsible for the naming of the company and the brand.
We like a good Latin word here within the agency and when we stumbled across the word ‘Invenio’ which means to search for, we knew we were on the right track.
Placing the name with a strapline of SEARCH: FIND: DISCOVER – which you could look at when sourcing and recruiting personnel, we knew we were onto a winner!
ADVERTISING THE BRAND
Operating within the construction, property and engineering market, a very competitive market at the time, the very well known, and highly respected team behind the company wanted to get their brand out there, in London. With a small budget to play with, we decided on the route of black taxi advertising. Many of the clients travel around the City via black taxis and what better way, than to see or maybe travel in an Invenio taxi.
WHY WE RECOMMENDED
BLACK TAXI ADVERTISING?
Iconic and instantly recognisable, they are part of city life which is where Invenio wanted to be. Taxi advertising is a premium advertising choice for reaching out to a mass audience. We worked with Black Taxi Advertising on a planned schedule for 3 taxis over a one year period.
We looked at possible routes, and narrowed down our choice. We purchased advertising space for the exterior and interior.
TIME TO GET CREATIVE
With Invenio being a new brand, we decided that simplicity was best. It was all about building on the brand. The logo and strapline was enough.
AND THE BEST PART…
Following a very important meeting with a client at the Invenio offices, a director walked the client out of the premises and was greeted by an Invenio taxi waiting to collect. We couldn’t have planned that ourselves.
Unfortunately, the holding company of Invenio was purchased and Invenio as a company no longer exists but this is one for the portfolio which we are extremely proud of.
Here’s a range of material we also produced for the Invenio team.
“LET’S BRING AN EVENT TO STANSTED AIRPORT”
Julie Budden, Chair of the Stansted Airport Chamber of Commerce approached us with an idea. To bring a business event to Stansted Airport on a joint venture basis. The region is booming in terms of business and the economy in general, and with so much to offer, this seemed like a fantastic opportunity. Sowerby were happy to be involved.
THE AIM OF THE EVENT
We discussed the event at great lengths a year before the first take off. What was the aim? Business to Business and Business to Consumer. Business, Travel and Careers became the link. We didn’t want it to be like any other exhibition – we wanted it to be unique in terms of its offering so we were extremely selective of the companies we asked to jump onboard.
WHAT DO WE CALL IT?
The Sowerby team worked on the concepts behind the name. We wanted to tie this into the airport and what the airport offers. Check-in ( we all know what that means ) was bounced around the boardroom table and we kept on coming back to it. You can check-in to the event… We were onto a winner. So the journey of Check-in @ Stansted began…
With any event you work extremely hard. It’s not a 9-5 job. There is a lot of research, sales, planning, suppliers, negotiating and more to contend with. The first ever Check-in @ Stansted took place in 2014 at the Diamond Hangar, London Stansted Airport. And we’re pleased to confirm it was a great success. 2015 will see the return. But as with any event, you want to grow it bigger and better so 2015 will take off within the Hangar itself, surrounded by executive jets and private aircrafts and with more exhibitors.
Further information about the event can be found online at
BRANDING – DESIGN, PRINT & COPYWRITING
“WE NEED OUR PENSIONS ENROLMENT MATERIAL
TO LOOK AND SOUND EXCITING”
When you think about pensions it just reminds you of getting old. Something you really do not want to think about, but actually, in reality, should. We were delighted when a previous client contacted us having joined the Avanta team and Sue and Nicola took a trip to Manchester ( they couldn’t wait to go to Manchester ) to meet and discuss the wonderful services Sowerby had to offer.
Following the meeting, we presented the team with ideas and concepts and a proposal of the marketing tools for recruitment including the promotion of rewards and benefits the organisation had to offer. And, when the client called us to start the first live project – we couldn’t wait to get stuck in!
Avanta were looking to promote their Pensions Auto-Enrolment Scheme within the workplace. They wanted to do this in a positive way, as actually Pensions can come across as quite a boring subject. Something clean, simple yet effective with the right messaging for both employees and potential employees. We had a complete blank canvas to work from – we just needed to include the Avanta logo somewhere.
CREATIVE THINKING IN PROCESS
In normal Sowerby fashion, we sat around the boardroom table and discussed possible ideas and concepts over a period of time. We knew we wanted to present at least 2 different concepts for consideration. Research is key to any project we undertake.
What is the meaning behind Pensions? What does the company offer? Why enrol onto a Pensions scheme? What are the benefits? So many questions floated around.
THE FIRST CONCEPT
Researching more into Pensions, we were actually surprised by the vast amount of information surrounding this topic. Brain overload… We were exhausted – we couldn’t allow the employees of Avanta to be too. So we knew we had to narrow the information down, make it as less wordy and long-winded as possible – but still focusing on the key information employees needed.
Infographics are graphical representations. And they are more common now than they were in 2013 when we completed this exercise. We knew we wanted to present one idea around Infographics, which allowed us to show less content ( yay ) – which let’s face it, if it’s too wordy, hardly anyone would read anyway.
PIECING THE ARTWORK TOGETHER
We had the icons, we had the corporate colours, we had the logo, we had the messaging – all of which we were happy with. It was then time to piece the creative together and put the finishing touches to the design.
NEXT STEP – CONCEPT 2
We like to give our clients a choice so were already thinking about concept 2. Concept 2 was about the person – what the savings would offer them in the future for the retirement fund. We wanted to get across that you had to save, but also what the return of the savings could offer. Days out. Golf. Holidays. Fine Dining. Family time. A new car. And more.
Concept 2 was all about Avanta helping make the dreams of retirement easier and why employees should start saving now.
We’ll just show you the final piece of work now.
HOW DO YOU HELP A COMPANY WITH NO NAME OR BRAND?
You discuss and we listen.
At a briefing meeting, it’s really important for a creative agency to discuss ideas and to listen to what the client wants and needs. Yes you may challenge them, after all that’s what we creative people do, but top on the agenda is to fact find.
We meet with the client, grew to know their personalities, their aims and goals, and listened to their aspirations and their wants in terms of where they want to take their business. We understood their industry ( having worked with other clients in the same sector ), but wanted to gain more information such as their target audience, what made them different and more. Vital information required to create the perfect brand identity.
It’s all in a name.
First project – company name. We wanted a name that meant something. A name that would suit their business, their market and their individual personalities. So, sat around the boardroom table with endless cups of teas and maybe a take away too, the creative team thrashed out some ideas. Carena Care ( beloved ), Totus Care ( entire ), Tirion Care ( kind, gentle ), Decorus Care ( beautiful, graceful ), Care Dedico ( to dedicate ) were amongst the initial ideas, all with perfect Latin meanings for a new care organisation. But Accedo won hands down ( Latin meaning to approach ).
After all the bad press surrounding care homes – the aim for the company was to approach care differently. It just felt right.
Logos, colours & fonts
Bright and bold colours were in fashion at the time, so in the normal Sowerby way, we wanted to do something different. Soft, pastel, complimentary colours were the route for us. In terms of the logo design, the client wanted to incorporate hearts. So in a subtle way, we built this into the logo design alongside a key concept to represent people with a feeling of residential, care, safe and secure. How anyone should feel within their home.
Adding personality to a brand
It was really important for us to add personality to this brand. What do you see in care homes? Pictures of people being cared for. Not the route we wanted to take for Accedo. You see illustrations of happiness, encouragement, care, homes and futures. Coupled with good use of typography and meaningful images ( Accedo is ) and caricatures of staff, the outside world can gain a really good feel for the organisation and the people working within it.
Taking things digital
A website designed and built fit for purpose. A WordPress content management system ( CMS ) to update on a regular basis with news articles, updates on services and much more.
Taking the brand further – design & print
It’s important to carry the brand through for all marketing material. Here are some examples of the marketing materials designed & produced by the Sowerby team.
- Policy booklet
- Flyers – various types
- Email signatures
- Email signature