Book covers

I’ve recently finished designing these two new Book Covers for novelist Carol Drinkwater for their re-publication on Amazon. Both are based on photographs I took myself – in Fiji and Sumatra.

mappingcover_2  abundancecover_2

Houppz!

Houppz Website
Houppz !

Just finished this site for local theatre producers Houppz!  It showcases their past two productions and aims to be a springboard to promoting the success of the next.

Interesting features include flying objects, Google fonts, social media integration, a newsletter management system and a splash screen for first time visitors to the site (featuring a highlights video of their last production).

It’s most unusual feature however is it’s 3-column layout, whereby the primary navigation nestles in between left-hand sidebar and right-hand content areas.

 

Strasbourg Comics Festival

Strasbourg comic festival
Strasbulles 2011 website

I’ve been an active member of the association behind Strasbourg’s annual comics festival since 2009, Alsace Bande Dessinée, offering my services  as Web-master and translator. The Strasbulles [festival] website is a forever mutating beast of multilingual news content, images and information. As the 2012 gears-up you’ll see the site come to life once more – with a new design likely to be launched in the new year. The challenge, as every year, is to keep the site looking fresh and in step with the genre on a budget of 0,00€.

The Ice Factor

York’s Outdoor ice rink returns this year, this time with a new website. The Ice Factor

This year site user can book their tickets without leaving the domain, smartphone or iPhones users are treated to their own user-friendly interface and iPad users don’t need to worry about flash errors.

For effect there’s some snow falling down the screen – to make it feel extra-Christmassy!  Visit theicefactor.co.uk.

Kate Mosse

I’ve been supporting the web presence of Kate Mosse (the author) for the past few years.  The lastest project, completed in January this year was the integration of Kate’s three legacy sites into one all-encompassing web presence.

Intended to coincide with the paperback release of The Winter Ghosts, the site features a slide-show enabled theme-switcher, embedded videos and an events management function. Site analytics show that it is currently receiving over 1500 visitors a month and growing. Visit katemosse.co.uk

Market research

I am currently running online market-research surveys for two Strasbourg based associations:

  1. The Association Babelle is investigating the viability of opening a ‘Hammam’ in Strasbourg (a spa effectively)
  2. The Giving Tree is proposing to open an English-French bilingual crèche (bilingual survey)

If you have time, and live locally, I’m sure they’d appreciate your participation.


Cette semaine, je suis fournisseur de recherche de marché pour deux associations Strasbourgeoises:

  1. L’Association Babelle veut ouvrir un ‘Hammam’ à Strasbourg
  2. The Giving Tree propose d’ouvrir une crèche bilingue anglais-français (sondage bilingue)

Si vous avez le temps on est sûr qu’ils voudraient vos réponses.

Case study: “we need a new website”

Client turnover: 100m USD
Age of business: 150+ years
Website built: 4 years prior to project
Last updated: 6 months prior to project

Before

This project unfolded in the way most do for me, the client initially being driven by the need to refresh a tired and out of date website. However, it immediately became clear that the real challenge lay in clarifying what it was the business wanted to achieve with it’s web presence; the incumbent website being riddled with meaningless jargon, conflicting customer messages and a brand that did little to reflect on the company’s prestigious 150 year history of innovation.

A simple redesign of the site was not going to improve the business’s visibility, it’s reputation nor it’s brand. Like many sites, it had been created with little fore-thought and almost zero alignment with the business strategy.

What was needed was some brand clarity, some connection with the goals of the business and a recognisable identity for the company, before we could even think of how things might look design-wise.

  1. Brand and business audit
    After a brand audit with key stakeholders we discovered that much of what was visible on the site actually reflected the internal needs of the business, rather than an external view for the benefit of customers. The biggest issue lying with the business’ logo itself, a dual brand which had been created following a merger with a much smaller rival.
  2. Methodology
    Applying what we had learned we created a number of possible ‘brand worlds’ upon which we could build a believable story and identity. These were presented to the client and refined according to feedback.
  3. Deliverables
    With all the pieces in place we were finally able to put forward:

    • A strong USP for the business
    • A design solution (that included simplification of the logo)
    • A single phrase that summed up the core strengths of the business (a strapline)
    • Three key customer messages to deliver time and again with clarity to every customer in every communication
    • A brand lexicon (a way of talking about the business)
    • and of course … a website that truly reflected the goals of the business

The result had further ramifications after the project was completed. Acknowledging our work in identifying the strengths of the brand, the company proceeded to drop other brandnames it had acquired through mergers/takeovers around the world, and today now appears under one strong unified international brand.


Chiffre d’affaire: $100 millions
Âge de l’entreprise: plus de 150 ans
Site internet créé: 4 ans avant le projet
actualisé: 6 mois avant le projet

Ce projet s’est déroulé normalement. D’abord, le client a voulu rafraichir un site internet démodé. Cependant, il nous est devenu clair que le challenge véritable se trouvait en établissant ce que l’entreprise a voulu que nous atteignissions avec sa présence sur l’internet; le site internet existant était plein de jargon futile, informations contradictoires et une marque qui ne fait rien pour réfléchir 150 ans d’innovation.

Une simple ré-conception du site n’allait pas améliorer la visibilité, ni la réputation ni la marque de l’entreprise. Ainsi que beaucoup d’autres sites, on l’a créé avec très peu de soin et il n’était guère aligné sur la stratégie de l’entreprise.

Ce qu’il fallait, c’était une espèce de clarté de marque, un rapport entre les buts de l’entreprise et une identité reconnaissable, avant que nous pussions penser au design.

  1. Audit de marque et entreprise
    Après un audit de marque avec les parties prenantes nous avons découvert qu’une grande partie de l’information sur le site réfléchissait les besoins de l’entreprise et non pas ceux des clients. L’issue la plus grande se trouvait avec le logo soi-même que l’on a créé après une fusion avec un rival plus petit.
  2. Méthodologie
    Effectuant ce que nous avions appris, nous avons créé un nombre de mondes de marque possibles sur lesquels nous pouvions construire un histoire et une identité crédible. On les a présentés au client et raffinés selon les remarques.
  3. Livrables
    Toutes les pièces en place, nous pouvions enfin présenter:
  • Un USP de poids pour l’entreprise
  • Un design (y compris une simplification du logo)
  • Une devise seule qui résume les compétences essentielles de l’entreprise (un slogan)
  • Trois promesses aux clients à réaliser toutefois avec clarté de toutes les communications
  • Un lexique de marque (une manière de parler à propos de l’entreprise)
  • et, bien sûr…. un site internet qui réfléchit au fond aux buts de l’entreprise

Le résultat avait des ramifications de plus après que le projet fut complété. Compte tenu de notre travail en identifiant les forces de marque, la société a renoncé aux autres noms de marque qu’elle avait acquis par fusions/rachats dans le monde entier, et aujourd’hui, elle paraît sous une marque internationale forte et unie.