Posted on

The importance of imagery within your social marketing

Visual Social Media

Social Marketing: Click on the image above to visit the full story over on Adobe Slate.

This week’s blog post covers social marketing for non-visual businesses. Just because you don’t have a product to “tweet”, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be including imagery within your posts. Imagery has become such a strong force within social media, that plain text posts often go ignored no matter how good the content! Learn how to approach your social feed differently to make the most of your business and maybe even attract a new audience to what you have to offer.

There are now so many options for creating images and “memes” for social media that the focus is now on your creativity rather than your ability. Personally I have a thing for Adobe Post – its a great way of creating imagery quickly either based on your photos or public domain imagery for a variety of purposes – from website mockups to blog headers! For those who don’t feel they can see a solution for their feed, we can help! We can supply either full social marketing campaigns or a single image (and all points in-between). You can find a little more on this service here.

Posted on

Blending two different cultures: a Branding Case Study

Blending brands

Branding our differences

We published a story on Adobe Slate yesterday about our process for a particularly tricky project – marrying two different businesses and product styles for a new joint venture. Click the image above to read the full article over on Adobe Slate, as well as visiting Plannercraft on Instagram and our Facebook page for more in progress shots.

There were a number of challenges we faced in blending two distinctly different branding styles for the businesses alone (see Relax & Grow and All Sorts of Performing Arts). This was before we even consider the joining of very different dance styles.

Posted on

Padlocking your brand

So you’ve built a great brand, reputation and following for your product or service – how do you keep it secure?

All design is covered in the UK under copyright law, however this only covers and protects your logo etc in terms of being copied or adapted by other designers within the UK. Intellectual Property (IP) is a minefield these days with so much information being available in the public domain – and a more laid-back attitude that has arisen from an increase in designers that have not come into the industry through the traditional path. For this reason, more and more businesses are looking for additional ways to secure their IP. There are a number of ways you can do this, and the ideal solution will depend on your product/service and what you are looking to protect.

We would always advise you to get advice from an IP law Professional. We have previously used Harrison Clark Rickerbys for a recent client.

Copyright

Copyright is what protects an individual design and its designer. For instance, your brochure would be copyright to the original designer or agency that created it for you under the majority of circumstances.

All designs are automatically covered by copyright within the UK, although we would always advise keeping all proof of your designs, time and date stamped and mailed to yourself unopened until the occasion arises. Proof can start right from the client briefing stage, so be sure to document and identify any files you are provided with as well as your initial sketches and any prototypes. The copyright will remain with the designer unless agreed by a legal agreement (either through employment contract or through the client agreement). Kissed Off only release copyright under very specific circumstances (and this is covered under our terms and conditions), and then it has to be issued in a certain way. We take copyright very seriously both on behalf of our design work and on our client’s behalf.

Trademark

Trademark protects you from others using your logo to promote their own services and other nefarious purposes.

To apply for a trademark, you have to go through the IPO – we would recommend using an excellent IP legal service to do this in the most cost effective and secure manner. Mistakes in trademarks applications can be costly. The IPO only deals directly with UK trademarks, and for global coverage you would need to apply to each country individually. There is a period of public consultation and you should allow 3 months for the whole process as well as considering whether to trademark your name and/or your logo.

Patent

Patent protects an individual product or product element and it must be proved to be unique from other products already on the market.

A patent is on the design of a product as a tangible item. It must be unique to other items already on the market – whether they are patented or not. For instance, you couldn’t patent a victoria sponge as the recipe is widespread and has historical usage. A patent application requires technical drawings that prove the design belongs to you, and can also include a product sample. There is also an application form for you to describe what makes your design unique. This will prevent others from creating the product the same as yours, but may not stop people from finding an alternative solution to the same problem. We would advise taking legal advice before starting and during your application.

What else can I do to protect my brand?

We would also advise our clients to get accounts started on all social media as soon as they have decided on a name for their product or brand. You can also work towards getting authenticated status for many platforms.

We also advise to do regular Google image checks for any images that are exclusively their copyright to check for any abuse on other websites and social media.

This guidance is offered for information only, and not intended as legal advice. We would always advise that a client seeks qualified legal counsel.

Posted on

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel! A look at designing for a mobile audience.

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

Following a seminar event I attended yesterday, I did some blogging on the fly with Adobe Slate .

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image
Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

When technology advances the temptation is to make it imitate that which went before. With advances in mobile technology, an example for our industry is eBooks that “flip” pages and essentially imitate its traditional equivalent. However, by seeking to emulate the traditional equivalents, we are missing opportunities to create new immersive experiences that make the most of the platforms we are viewing the content upon. Those who have read my blog posts will recognise my synergy with this view as well as seeing how our approach to projects differ to those who seek to create digital literature simply by turning it into a PDF (either with or without page flip) rather than making the most of its capabilities.

I found the event stimulating and challenging, and following having attended we will now make our site responsive but not focus as strongly on mobile content and instead focus on creating an app that will blend the best bits of this blog along with some unique content such as covering the events we attend and industry news. To view the original post click on the image to the left to find out why an app really is the way to go for your mobile audience.

I hope you find this blog post as interesting as I found the event, while challenging your preconceptions about tablet and smartphone use.

Coincidentally, the blog post was written on the move using my mobile device. I could have logged in to WordPress to do this, but I found using the Adobe Slate app more convenient and easier to use with the intermittent signal you get while out and about travelling. This proving many of the points we discussed at the event, and I can’t wait to discuss the available options with both existing and new clients soon!

Posted on

Our Graphic Design Workflow

Here’s a quick overview of our workflow for our graphic design projects…

Briefing

Our briefing process begins right from our first contact with you – where that is through Twitter, by email or by phone. This is the stage to give us lots of information – whether its the draft content for your document or branding guideline for your previous identity; no piece of information is too small.The more information you can give us at the beginning the more prepared we are for our first meeting with you, and likewise the more accurate your initial quote will be. This first stage of our workflow is a key building block for your project and its importance cannot be underestimated.

When we meet you for the first time, we will discuss your brief in detail as well as any initial costings we have prepared. The more information we have prior to this meeting, the more accurate we can be about costs and deadlines. We will also discuss how you envisage the project to turn out, extent of works and any additional formats you’ve considered. We will also raise points that you may not have considered, as well as identifying any costs that could be limited or ways the projects longevity can be increased. Every project is unique and this is a key meeting for us to develop the route forward. A quote approval form will need to be signed before any work commences, a copy of which will be stored on the cloud for both parties to access at any time, but will be locked from any future editing.

Concepts

Following this meeting, we will immediately go into concept mode – typically we develop 3 times as many concepts as we will present to you. The number of concepts will vary by project type and will have been set as part of our quoting process – but typically will be between 3 – 10 concepts per project element. At this stage we may proof some initial concepts for comment to show the direction we are taking, these will probably take the form of screenshots and copyright will remain with Kissed Off Creations Ltd and are not for public distribution. Once this stage has been completed, we will send you an electronic proof in PDF format which will be sent and tracked to you by email. You will be able to download this PDF, comment on it and send it back to us for us to action. Please indicate your choice of concept and any amends you wish to make at this stage.

Logo Design

In terms of logo design, following completion of amends on your chosen concept we would send a PDF for you to approve by digital signature. This locks the PDF for both parties so it becomes a snapshot of how the logo should look. We will then output your logo into varying formats for print and web as well as black only and white only versions for use on a colour background.

All other design projects

After the concept has been amended, we would request an interim sign off. This means that the inherent design or concept would not change after this point; any amends after this stage should relate only to content or they may be applicable for an additional charge if the change causes significant impact to the document. The sign off then becomes a green light to lay out the rest of the document(s), which we would proceed to do as promptly as possible (workload allowing) in order for you to give your final seal of approval. Usually before final sign off occurs there are 1 – 2 sets of amends to content either for accuracy or aesthetic reasons.

Final proof

The final proof we send to you will not be what goes to the printers. The final proof  will be laid out so it is clearly understood how the final project will look. For 3D items we may also create a photographic mock up to make proofs easier to understand. Your final proof will be accompanied with a Proof Approval form at the end of the PDF for you to digitally sign. Signature on this form means you are happy for it to go to print, and that you have checked all the points listed on the form for accuracy (including brand names and terminology). Once this form has been signed, it will lock down the PDF for editing and return to us for our records.

The final print files will then be prepared in line with the signed off file and printer’s specifications and sent electronically to them for proofing and printing.

Posted on

Our 2015 Portfolio has launched!

Portfolio-Mockup

Portfolio 2015 has launched and is now available for download!

This year’s portfolio has been filled with some old favourites as well as a range of images that have never been seen before this launch. As our birthday is just around the corner, we will be incorporating this new look into our new website when it goes live! Soon, www.kissedoff.co.uk will have a great new look as well as implementing a lot of tech behind the scenes to make it as accessible as possible for all.

Sneak Peek

Here’s a quick sneak peak (along with the slideshow above) of what you can expect in our new Portfolio…

Digital-Artistry
Digital Artistry, Illustration and Photography services

We offer a range of digital artistry, illustration and photography services. We’ve chosen just a small selection of our more popular images to represent this for our latest portfolio. We offer a range of styles, so contact us today to see if we can help you.

Branding
Corporate ID, Branding and Logo Design Services

We offer a range of branding packages to suit all businesses and products, but if you are looking for a more individual specification we also offer a full bespoke service that can include print, digital and social options.

Publishing-Cover
A range of our latest publishing projects

Our latest portfolio also includes examples of our most recent eBook and paperback projects as well as how those projects have developed into other literature and marketing materials.

To download your copy of our new Portfolio – follow this link Portfolio 2015

Can’t download? Then email us or call for your copy.

Posted on

Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

Tweet Your Way to Success (book)

As part of our continued improvement for our Authors, you can now purchase their books directly on Amazon.

The first book to be listed this way is Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly. This is an essential guide to Twitter for any new and small business owner covering how to get the most out of Twitter.

Buy it now or read more on Amazon

 

Posted on

Our First Publishing Experience

Eating for Energy by Yuri Elkaim (iPDF only eBook)

It’s nearly that time of year again!! It seems to come round nearly as quickly as my own birthday!

In honour of the forthcoming anniversary, I’ve decided to repost a guest blog I wrote for Stoned Press back in April about the beginnings of Kissed Off.

Our First Publishing Experience

New beginnings

I started freelancing online initially due to being made part time due to my employer being in financial difficulty due to the recession. I aimed to build up a graphic design business that would give me a route out of traditional employment.

My second freelance job however sent me off in a new direction – a series of cookery eBooks for a Canadian author.

I had never before published an eBook, but as the client wanted them in PDF format it was essentially no different to other graphic design projects I had previously carried out. Initially the project was for one book, but this quickly stretched out to 12 books for his first product range – as well as a further large book on cookery that contained a three figure number of pages (a typical eBook is around 40 pages).

This project would directly lead to 6 new clients, and over 250 books later we are now a fully registered UK publisher with books in all formats and on all platforms all over the world.

How did I do this?

Firstly, all 7 contacts complement me on turning around projects quickly (some even with CRAZY deadlines), efficiently while creating great graphic design and meeting the client’s brief. This led directly to word of mouth recommendations to their contacts (accounting for at least another 3 clients and more leads in progress).

Communication

Communication is key in maintaining customer relationships. If there is a barrier to completing a project or action, keep the customer informed. Never hesitate to send an email saying “I’m working on this but…” or “I’m still chasing our supplier for this on your behalf.” This simple action lets your customer know you have their interests at heart.

Communication works in both directions, so respond promptly to any questions and dispel any misconceptions quickly. We often end up educating the client in pretty complex subjects – so another key is to Keep It Simple. Watch out for any terminology that may be familiar to you but completely foreign to the client.

Efficiency

What can I do that makes my client’s life easier? Checking links, making sure content is logical and more are all part of what we do. If we can’t do something in the above due to time constraints, we make the client aware. This way they can either delegate the task internally or sub contract out to a third party.

Going one step beyond

We often go beyond our client’s expectations of our service. Either by taking their project to the next level, suggest improvements or even new ideas for future titles.
By taking that next step we become memorable. This is the key to being recommended to others your client may network with. We all network – family, friends, or in business we rely on networks to build trust and to gain initial impressions.

Moving forward what challenges did I face as a new publisher?

As a hybrid publisher, I have spent the first two years of business breaking ice (as it felt on the bad days) and building a new road (on the good days). There is no one in my area with the same business to discuss best practice with, or indeed within the UK.

In our first two years we have:

  • Registered as a UK publisher
  • Become a Limited business
  • Started offering low print runs to compete against Amazon’s CreateSpace program and other print-on-demand services.
  • Created truly interactive titles that go beyond the PDF basic format
  • Had our first best sellers- #1 on Clickbank
  • Produced books and eBooks for all major formats and vastly different subject matters.
  • Published our first audiobook
  • Exhibited at trade shows (both successfully and un-successfully)
  • Joined and left networking groups (not all groups have quantifiable business for someone who is as unique as I was).
  • Become an expert in Social Media
  • Created several online bookstores on a range of platforms (paid and unpaid… you can see which we decided on at store.kissedoff.co.uk/?b=guest)

We have made mistakes along the way, but I like to think we have saved our clients making the same mistake.  Most of our clients come to us from having a bad experience of book conversions, printers, marketers and more. We are now passionate about helping first time authors so the joy of having your first book published doesn’t have to be tarnished with the bad experiences that many of our authors had sadly had previous to finding us.

Posted on

One from our 2014 Archives – Ireland Book Launch for Samantha Kelly

We had the honour of attending Samantha’s book launch for Tweet Your Way to Success in Ireland a week ago.

Although it was a very brief encounter (we had to catch a train back up north), we thoroughly enjoyed The Book Centre, Wexford – both their products and the welcome we received. They had created a great window display in honour of the event as well as a local press photographer in attendence. There was even cake! It was so sad we had to leave before we even got a slice – it looked awfully yummy.

Nat had the honour of introducing Samantha, who gave a brief speech before signing copies of books. At this point we had to dash back across Wexford to the station.

Samantha Kelly pictured at the Tweet Your Way to Success Book Launch Ireland
Tweet Your Way to Success Book Launch Ireland