Category Archives: Graphics

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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.

 

Learning SketchUp

Here at SharpFutures we’ve begun using SketchUp to mock-up the stages and studios at The Space Project & The Sharp Project.

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It always takes a bit of trial and error when using a new piece of software , but we believe it will be an effective tool for potential clients to able to view a 3D digital scale model of the stages or studios they are looking to hire.

We will post back soon with some of our ideas and developments.

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Branding – Business Cards

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I was tasked with project a month ago, where I was to create one business card for both sites.

However according to the branding guidelines; the two logo’s cannot appear next to each other, which presented a slight challenge.

I created a version for five members of the management team, across biz-card-photothe two sites. Some of these members work solely at one site or other or both which dictated the two sides of the business cards.

I had slight challenge at one point with colour formatting in one of the logo’s, the studio at the printers had a problem with the PMS colour formats used in the PDF logo’s which I’d not come across before. The fix for this was to simply save out the PDF’s as CMYK colour images ready for print. I’m pleased with the outcome and hope they are used effectively for networking and marketing the two sites.

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Mondrian & his Studios – Tate Liverpool

I recently came across an exhibition at Tate Liverpool of Piet Mondrian and the relationship between his work and environment, called ‘Mondrian & his studios’ – which focuses as much on his work as it does on how and why he created the pieces he did.

This interested me in particular as it gives you a fresh angle on his world famous style and technique. I’ve visited Salvador Dalí‘s House-Museum at Port Lligat on Spains’ Costa Brava, which I found fascinating as it gave you a window into his world; his inspiration and what stimulated him. And I think this a gives a similar, although slightly contrived simulation of how it might have been to be Piet Mondrian.

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Classic Mondrian Design

The main focus of the exhibition is to explore the connection between his work and urban environments, as he had studios in Paris, Amsterdam & New York at different times during his life – all very unique and iconic cities which had a profound effect upon his work at the time. You can see how urban 3 have influenced his work with, the grid-system of modern cities like New York reflected in his most famous works like the iconic red/yellow/blue rectangles & black line paintings. For example his reconstructed Parisian studio of circa 1925 is essentially a giant living Mondrian made up of movable coloured wall panels.

The exhibition is running at Tate Liverpool until 5th October, find out more here.

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Ditch The Standard Microsoft Word Template CV

Ditch the standard Microsoft Word template CV if you want to stand out from the crowd, don’t even bother with this unless you’ve been specifically asked for it.Sending uninvited, dull-looking CV’s will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.

We do things differently in the Creative world and that’s exactly what we want to see – something different & creative.  We recently featured a very creative twist on a CV as seen below. You can find the previous blogpost here ‘Creative Approach of Presenting A CV’.

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If you must send a formal CV, make sure it’s a PDF not Microsoft Word – unless instructed. Follow professional guidelines and avoid common mistakes, there are numerous guides available all over the internet and at local careers outlets – notwithstanding this one for starters… CV TIPS

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Z-Card Production for The Space Project

The Space Project is Manchesters newly-built flagship drama & production facility, located in West Gorton 5 minutes from Central Manchester – it is the site of the old Fujitsu & ICL  computer housings. The Space Project was built in response to meet the growing demand for high quality, flexible production space in the North West.

I was recently briefed on a design project for a combined marketing, technical specification and business card functioning print device for The Space Project.

We chose a Z-Card format, as we thought this would be the most suitable and effective for our needs. The Z-Card is useful as it functions like a business card whilst folded up but as a double-sided sheet when unfolded (much like the classic Ordnance Survey map layout). The target audience are production teams so we thought this format would be easy to distribute , and are pocket/wallet-sized rather than having a large A4 folder like The Sharp Project brochure.

The Z-Card needed to be graphic guide to the site for productions and visitors, and also display all the features of the site and the technical specifications of the production facilities. At times this proved to be a challenge as we don’t have any photographs of the site, and we had no customer-facing footprints of the space except for the stylised logo.

On the first side I produced a simplified footprint of all customer-facing rooms and areas that will be used on the Ground Floor and First Floor with detailed dimensions and power specs for each sound stage.

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On the reverse side I used stills from the CGI animated marketing fly-through (produced by The Drawing Room) to annotate and visually demonstrate the spaces without using too much text which wouldn’t be read.

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We tried to leave empty space on both sides so that the diagrams could be annotated and people could make notes on them to enhance the card to their needs. The card will also serve as a preliminary basic marketing tool until we produce a proper brochure, like we did for The Sharp Project.

I designed the Z-Card with supervision from Tom Clarke (SharpFutures) and brand consultation from Malcolm Garrett (images.co.uk).

I’m pleased with the outcome of the printed Z-Card and I hope it proves useful to staff and customers.

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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…