Category Archives: Web Development

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SharpFutures Brand Refresh

So Google isn’t the only one updating their brand identity

Over the past couple of months, our Marketing and Design team have been busy working on a new, refreshed look for SharpFutures, building a new brand identity with all of our services.

We have rolled out some of our new brand identity across our social channels including Facebook and Twitter giving you a hint to how things will look soon once we fully launch.

Another big project that has come as a natural progression from the new brand development is a new website. The team are currently in the Beta stage of building a brand new website for people to get a real feel and understanding of everything we do here at SharpFutures. It will also give a simple navigation to the services we provide and an accessibility to our broad range of clients and affiliates.

Keep watching this space as it is all coming soon.

 

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Placement Workshops – Danny Moore & Dan Walsh

At SharpFutures we’ve recently recruited 8 placements for a 12 week course, which consists of workshops, masterclasses, content creation, real-life creative briefs and become part of the SharpFutures Talent Pool and support network.

Welcoming this first cohort of placements which consists of 8 people varying in many different areas of interest such as graphic design, production running, scriptwriting, social media marketing, the list goes on.

As a part of my work with SharpFutures I have been involved in a number of workshops that have been organised for the 8 placements to gain them an insight in to the industry and to also give them advice. The first workshop i was involved in was on Content management and curation.

 (Marketing Exec and Web Developer) involve a big chunk of time working through content and managing it from the SharpFutures Blog, to the website and the Social Media.
The second workshop I did was with Lauren Hira, we hosted a workshop to show and discuss all the activity that SharpFutures gets up to working for clients and on our own social media presence, we also went in to how it has become a skill very much in demand at the moment.

placement-blog150It has been a really interesting learning curve hosting the workshops as only 2 years ago, I found myself in a very similar seat to them. I remember that first workshop on Social Media Marketing I attended at SharpFutures as an Apprentice in my first month, not exactly sure of what Social Media marketing consisted of or how it could be utilised for a business. Just in 2 years of learning on the job and much of my own time being spent on researching into all the newest discoveries and innovations of the Social Media world I now find myself confident enough to share my knowledge. I know from my own experience, learning from someone actually in the industry is much more advantageous compared to learning from a book published 5 years ago. A lot of the content and advice in that book may now be bit out of date compared to the real world, with things such as Facebook and Twitter constantly adding features and innovations you have to keep up with the changes to stay on top. Being able to pass on my knowledge felt quite rewarding, although it’s now more important than ever to stay on top as I potentially have 8 competitors chasing me…

Reiterating what Danny has said,

. As it forces me to take a step back and look at the work we do on day-to-day basis more objectively . It’s also made me appreciate how much I’ve learnt over the past 2 years and not assume knowledge when talking to others.

As everyone seemed to respond positively to the workshop I’m planning to hold a workshop on using WordPress as a blogging/portfolio platform to promote yourself as a creative individual. We’ve already taken the placements through setting up and using Tumblr as way of displaying and sharing their work. But I think WordPress provides a more succinct and professional platform much like a real website, although slightly more limited than a full WordPress website; it still looks professional and can also help develop coding and design skills.

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Scott Rosbottom – IT/AV Apprentice

It has been an interesting first two weeks for me. In which I have learnt a fair bit already whether it’s from some basic coding to making an Ethernet cable. I honestly believe this is a fantastic opportunity for me and hopefully for the people who later on follow in my footsteps. Everything seems to kind of just flow and as much as it can be completely hectic at points it still seems to all work. It’s got an amazing team of employees in which you can build a close rapport with very quickly, it’s a close environment with a variety of different tasks and jobs to do partly being the reason it flows so well because even though everyone has their certain aspects in a job and specialise in certain things we all chip into different jobs and aspects to have it done to the best it can be and the most efficiently.

I have personally never felt so comfortable in a job, its doing what I want to do, how I want to do it and the environment I most thrive in. everyone has good attributes and bad attributes, I have found in these two weeks alone some of the stuff I am better at than I thought and some things I need to brush up on in which I knew already but I have the help to better myself in them ways within my time here. In my time here up to yet I have configured a wireless router, set up my own desktop, made the Ethernet cable for it, made a inventory of all our stuff which we will be using also as a in and out system, learnt front of house, and have the job of setting up the AV in the campus. I’ve also learnt that I need to stop sometimes and just listen sometimes as it would be massively beneficial to me and I don’t always have to be in the limelight I can step back and learn from other people.

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What is the Creative Digital sector?

#Creative:- : originality of thought or imagination

#Digital:- : involving or relating to the use of computer technology

Creative Digital companies make, move or manipulate Digital Content around the world. The European Commission considers the digital and creative industries the most dynamic emerging sector in Europe to work in and the most important driver of innovation in other sectors. Official statistics published January 14th, 2014 reveal that the UK’s creative industries are now worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy. With a growth of almost 10% in 2012, outperforming all other sectors of UK industry, the sector also accounted for 1.68 million jobs in 2012, 5.6 per cent of UK jobs.

With a sector showing so much growth, here at SharpFutures our aim is to empower and equip young people with all the creative and digital tools vital for success in this sector – and to advise of the realities and pitfalls. Creative work is often project-based and can come in ebbs and flows. To succeed in this industry takes determination, imagination and flexibility.

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It’s all about the Content

The first thing you need is a dedicated skill, ambition and an idea of the career path you hope to take.What are your strengths? What is your talent? Can you illustrate a logo or a design a website? Take stunning photographs, write compelling copy or create animation?

Whatever your skill, an absolute must is a digital portfolio. Whether it’s a showreel, blog, website, YouTube channel or any other audio / visual representation of your work, Employers or Clients want to see results, style and creativity. If you haven’t already got one, go and make one. There are an abundance of free tools available such as:

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and too many others to mention.

If you have got this far, you are already on to the next step…It’s all about the content…

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Graphic Design & Branding in Social Media

With every company now setting up a business presence online whether it be Twitter, Facebook or Google+ it is important that they are consistent with their brands across their chosen platforms. This is so your audience can be sure its you and that it seems as if it is an extension of your existing forms of communication.

Setting up social media accounts for business is fairly straight forward, the most popular problem people encounter is that Social Media channels are all different and all require different sized graphics. This can cause a lot time being wasted searching for the correct specification that an image needs to fit as some will ask for different pixel size, some different resolution, some different format all together. You then have to go through the stress of finding relevant images for your profile pictures, avatars, backgrounds, cover photos (the list is endless)…

Through these issues myself and our Graphic Designer – Dan Walsh have created an infographic to help anyone else struggling to find the correct size graphic for the most popular social media platforms. We hope the infographic is of use as it has become a vital tool to our own social media branding tasks.

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