Wednesday, 28 October 2015

old fashioned ads just show us what the product does

There's something rather refreshing about a company's advertising that shows you why their product is good/has got better.

No 'Like us on Facebook', no 'follow us on Twitter', no 'emotional engagement', just a straight forward piece of persuasion showing off why their product is worth buying.

No surprise it's Apple then - a company who has just posted the biggest annual profit in corporate history.

Not bad considering their advertising is old fashioned.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

what's the point in something being stylish but not practical?

A couple of months ago I commented on somebody's tweet that congratulated the designer behind the GWR rebrand

The essence of my message was that the public are more interested in the punctuality and reliability of their trains than the quality of said company's branding. I thought nothing of the tweet until a few weeks ago when it was used on another blog discussing the point of branding and design where public transport is concerned.

The piece is a good one and, in part, discusses why operators' obsession with things that should be a given (like the aforementioned punctuality and reliability) often lead to the softer influences of design and branding being neglected.

The first comment was as follows:
You’re quite right! If suddenly public transport was run by apple and branded accordingly…imagine how uber trendy it would be to be taking the bus!
To which our creative director, Roland Scull replied:
But Apple is not just about style. Their whole ethos is in the customer experience. It has to be simple, easy to use and reliable. By starting with these core aims and then forgetting how it is currently done, they revolutionised portable music (iPod) and then mobile phones (iPhone). This simple, consistent customer experience is then enhance by a very strong brand. Without the great product though, the branding is pointless.
So Apple got the basics of the product nailed first, understanding perfectly that form follows function. Understanding there's no point in something looking good if it doesn't do the job it's supposed to. But public transport has yet to reach this point, yet to reach a point where it can concentrate on style, because all too often the basics of the service are not consistently delivered.

All in all the article ended up in a good little debate on the role design plays in the whole public transport offering. You can read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

livery design showcase - Dart Buses

Here's the fourth instalment of our monthly project taking a defunct public transport operator from around the country and reinventing it for the roads of 2015.

We're looking back at their past branding and liveries to create a modern twist on their appearance as a showcase of what can be achieved.

This month it's Dart Buses - an independent bus operator in the Paisley and Renfrewshire area in the 1990s.

Here's what they used to look like...

And here's our updated identity...

To see the rest of the Dart branding and livery click here

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Bill Bernbach said this and that's good enough for us

Bill Bernbach is the godfather of applying common sense to the principles of advertising, and whatever he says we are usually in complete agreement with.

He said this in 1947...

"There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules. They can tell you that people in an ad will get you greater readership. They can tell you that a sentence should be this short or that long. They can tell you that body copy should be broken up for easier reading. They can give you fact after fact after fact. They are the scientists of advertising. But there’s one little rub. Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art." 

Every client knows an account man or creative just like this and it's unlikely the situation will have changed a hundred years after these words were spoken. 

Keep 'em coming Mr B, keep 'em coming.