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.
We don’t design and build just ordinary websites…
We design and build quality websites that work! Oh and we can integrate too!
In a forever changing digital world, it’s important that when Sowerby undertake any digital project – we do it right! Future proof, SEO friendly, mobile friendly, customer friendly and right for the target audience and market – that’s exactly what we did for Girling Jones!
Girling Jones, a rapidly expanding recruitment agency based in Exeter, UK, with lots of vision for the future was in the market for a new ‘sexy’ website (as the owner stated) fit for the recruitment agency industry. Sowerby are known for their expertise within the recruitment sector, having worked with numerous agencies across the UK and internationally – so we were ecstatic to be given the opportunity to work on this exciting project.
“THE SITE NEEDS TO BE PROFESSIONAL, FUNKY, SHOW OUR PERSONALITY AND SEXY”
Operating within the construction, consultancy, fm and maintenance and manufacturing markets, GJ wanted to not only attract quality candidates within these areas for their clients, but also talent to join their team. This needed to be demonstrated within both the design and functionality of their website – with the extra bonus of adding in their quirky personality too.
When dealing with the GJ team, you will see that personality is a big part of their business. This we believe wins them repeat business and views them as an agency to do business with, and to work with! The imagery captures what GJ are about which is why we used great snapshots of the team in action throughout.
AND DON’T FORGET TO INTEGRATE!
In addition, GJ utilise an applicant tracking system (ATS), which posts all of their vacancies through to various job boards. Unfortunately integrating Broadbean within the CMS of the new website caused issues in terms of SEO (which was high on the client’s agenda) so in addition to the scoping, design, build and integration, we developed an API to allow us to optimise all vacancies that pull through from their ATS to the website. This came with challenges, mainly time, but we got there in the end and are extremely proud of the functionality of this website as a whole!
Take a look for yourself
““Leading multi-disciplined ‘boutique’ recruitment consultancy seeks leading digital ‘boutique’ agency to design and build a new recruitment website to showcase the client’s unique personality””
We’ve been working with the Solution Recruitment team since 2008 and love how far they have come as an agency. As a supplier, we couldn’t be prouder watching their business grow each year and become more in demand within the construction recruitment industry. And we have to take some credit for their brand positioning. We’ve designed and built a number of websites for Solution in the past. As their business changes, so does their digital strategy. But it was now the right time to create an all encompassing website that would showcase their brand, personality, attract new staff, encourage new clients and not forgetting, showcase all of the roles they have to offer across a number of disciplines. So candidate attraction was to play a big part.
Scope, Scope, Scope!
Scoping a website is the most important part. It affects the entire design and build process and is the foundation to a good working platform. As an agency, we work with a client to give them exactly what they want – and more! We look at the number of pages, the hierarchy, consider search engine optimisation, look at job search criteria based on the business and of course, the flexibility for our clients to take control of updates when the site is ready to go live. And if a client hasn’t time, we can offer website updates on a retainer basis.
Don’t change a brand that doesn’t need changing!
Having taken a brief in detail at the client’s London office, we decided that with a brand already established, we and the client didn’t want to change the overall look and feel too much. As an agency it’s important that we provide honest advice and if a brand doesn’t need changing – then don’t change it! Personally for Sowerby, honesty is the best policy and if something like a design isn’t broken – then why fix it?
So for the website design we utilised elements such as the team caricatures, skyline hand drawing and other key branding elements to ensure that the overall look / feel remained consistent with the client’s other forms of marketing material. You can check some of this out under the Solution ‘Social’ section.
Various page templates were presented to the client to ensure final sign off including the homepage, other internal pages, category pages, social media, contact us (including a Google Map for both office locations – a must have for SEO purposes) and more. Oh, and let’s not forget, responsive page designs too for mobile and tablets!
Removal of an Applicant Tracking System
From the outset it was decided that Solution wanted to remove their applicant tracking system for the uploading of client vacancies. Whilst an ATS can be a fundamental part of the job application process, it can be expensive to maintain. With companies like Solution expanding and with more team members joining, it was extremely important that their main website could act as a job board with applications going directly to the consultant.
Sowerby worked extremely hard on this section of the website. We have to ensure that this section works perfecting. From searching for a job, to viewing a job, to applying – there is a lot of technical work to consider. Not just that, we need to ensure the hosting server is able to store information too so that nothing gets lost in transit.
In addition to a job search function, Solution wanted to build a form to allow people to upload CV’s as they are on the move, without having to apply for specific positions. It’s all about candidate attraction.
Off the shelf CMS but with a bespoke build
Here at Sowerby, we don’t believe in template designs and nor do we believe in a templated backend system. That’s where we believe we are different. We’re extremely proud of our backend development and clients like Solution get to enjoy the benefits of this. Simplicity of updating, adding and removing pages, inserting images and more!
Once page templates have been approved, our team move on to the website build, building various page templates within the CMS system, WordPress in this case. Why do we use WordPress? It’s reliable, trustworthy and is constantly evolving. Once built, we provided our clients with a testing site where they have the opportunity to move around the pages freely, using and testing the website as they would when live. Content population is offered as part of our build process as well as image insertion and manipulation so we take all the
The end result…
Take a look for yourself. www.solutionrecruitment.com A fully functional, responsive website specific to the recruitment industry. Client and candidate driven, built with Search Engine Optimisation friendly code for us to take the client’s digital strategy to the next level.
“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
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