Category Archives: Graphics


Creative Approach of Presenting a CV

The SharpFutures team and myself love this creative approach of presenting a CV. A Curriculum Vitae is traditionally a piece of paper with the mind numbing name, date, age, experience etc. If you are applying for a position in the creative digital sector then there is a high chance the Managing Director or whoever is handed your CV will have a creative flare themselves, therefore it wont hurt for you show your creativity from step one. We recently came across a blog post mentioning a great example of someone using creativity to give themselves the unique selling point and competitive edge.



Leah (the woman who created the creative CV), was given the brief to ‘create a piece of persuasive advertising with you as the product’. She then did exactly this in such a creative way it has taken the attention of people across the world, not only the business applied for. Since this creative CV she has had numerous interviews and job offers as a result of adding an interesting twist to the traditional Curriculum Vitae. If you want to see the full blog post you can view it here.

Also, take a look at some more of Erin Gloria Ryan’s blogs here.


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.



SharpFutures Creative Digital Experience Day at The Sharp Project

Earlier on this week Dan, our graphic Designer and myself both hosted a workshop to a group of school pupils on Social Media Marketing and the term ‘Viral’.

The workshop lasted for 30 minutes and during that time we had to explain what Social Media is and how it can be utilised as a tool for Marketing.
We also gave a quick summary of each of our job roles and how Social Media Exec and a Graphic Designer work closely together to ensure all online presence is visual and meets brand guidelines.

The second half of the workshop was an activity to let the pupils put what they have learned into practice. We split the group into 2 teams to compete against each other at producing the best plan for
a social media strategy in creating a viral campaign. To help the pupils along we gave each team the choice of 4 products, things such as a sports drink of a new games console.
The pupils came up with some great, very unique ideas that could be used integrating social media and product marketing to gain the most coverage of their chosen brand/product.
It was a great experience for myself personally, as I normally the one in the learning seat.

It was a good reflection on my time at SharpFutures and how I have been able to take a set of skills learned and then pass it on to hopefully sway the next generations mindset in what careers
they may look at getting in to in the near future. Judging by feedback and seeing comments across twitter the students seemed to really enjoy being introduced to the creative digital sector,
with it being one of the fastest growing sectors I believe what we achieved from the workshop only contributes to the future growth.


Colour Psychology in Branding

Today we’ve been looking at colour and its use in branding.

We are subconsciously subjected to the effects of colour psychology by brands on a day-to-day basis, and although we are unaware of it they will invoke certain emotions within us – encouraging us to feel a certain way towards a brand or product; making assumptions regarding what they stand for.

As you can see from this infographic it can be applied to any brand, and although some may be unintentional; the majority will have been designed using colour psychology to translate a message  which projects the brand in certain ‘favourable’ light. Colour psychology is a powerful tool. Although there are people that believe that there are too many variables such as, personal taste, cultural background, upbringing etc. which can affect peoples attitudes and perceptions. However I think although the latter will factor and possibly override or compete with naturally occurring human reactions, there is definitely a common shared response to brands and colours – even if it’s as simple and basic as red = warm & blue = cold…

brand-colours-psychologyFor example, in Manchester there are many famous brands which are synonymous with the city and region. Such as, Manchester United – Red is a very primal colour associated with power and victory. Red is also the colour of Lancashire, and studies have shown that historically teams and sportsmen who wear red – perform far better than those wearing blue for example. This believed to be a psychological reaction from the opposing team/sportsmen and also the referee to assume that the Red wearing team is dominant and superior.

The Manchester Metrolink utilises the colour yellow in their MUFC-logobranding (offset by a neutral grey) – personally I think this a mistake, aside from the fact that it means that the trams are bright and visible; the connotations of the colour yellow aren’t what you’d imagine Metrolink would want to convey e.g. “Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety.” – although others say it invokes warmth and happiness, which are positive associations but maybe not necessarily suitable for a public service.


metolink-logoAs you can see from this infographic it goes alot deeper than that and this is where cultural and environmental factors may affect peoples opinions on colours – however there is nothing stopping a company altering their marketing (and use of colour within that) for different audiences. The most obvious example of this would be for foreign markets, where languages would have to be altered regardless – meaning it wouldn’t be a huge effort to alter the colour.

Next time you see a brand or logo, have a think about how it makes you feel and why; but also think about what messages you feel are being re-enforced by the colours used…


Manchester Urban Sketching Workshop

urbanSketching-300pxOn Friday 17th of January I attended an Urban Sketching Workshop on the 3rd floor of Selfridges in Manchester. The workshop was part of the Selfridges Festival of Imagination, which is hosting events until 20th February.

The urban sketching workshop was held by Simone Ridyard, who is an architect and lecturer at The Manchester School of Art.

The workshop seemed to attract a wide array of people of all ages and abilities, although I was probably youngest there. Urban sketching is a fairly loose term which one can apply to sketching from sight (she was very particular about this point) of anything that can be found in an urban environment, including interiors.

We were told to go off into the immediate surrounding area and sketch whatever we saw, this allowed for a great deal of diversity in subjects and styles from everyone in the group. I personally went onto exchange square and sketched the Corn Exchange – but some people drew the interior of Selfridges, from escalators to clothes rails – which was very interesting when we came back together to look at everyones work, as there was no two sketches the same and very few sketches of the same subjects.

Although there wasn’t a great deal of tutelage it was an interesting experience, and we were encouraged to come along to the Manchester Urban Sketching Group (of which Simone Ridyard is founder) if we enjoyed and wanted to build upon what we’d done.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 15.31.36

Christmas cracker marketing with Mighty Giant

I have spent several days working with one of The Sharp Project‘s tenants Mighty Giant, who specialise in design & motion. They came up with a very creative and original way of marketing themselves this Christmas; by creating 120 home-made crackers and sending three in a box to 40 of their clients who they’d like to work with again.

I was drafted in to help with the production of these crackers, which I think were very well thought through; each cracker is one piece of card cut and scored as a net featuring their logo in the central panel. They are of a much higher standard in design and contents than your average christmas cracker; featuring gourmet tea, personalised pixel rulers and festive thorntons chocolate! They will definitely catch the attention of potential clients due to their originality and creativity and the fact that they are entirely home-made. I think to stand out from the crowd these are very important factors to consider when marketing your company, which was a useful lesson to learn.

Please see this link for Mighty Giant’s showreel to give you an idea of the work they do!