New Newenglish website

by Wendy Bebbington, Creative Director

Here at Newenglish, we recently embarked on a really tricky rebranding project. Tricky, because it wasn’t for one of our clients, instead we were taking a good look at ourselves to create the ‘new Newenglish’. 

In this day and age there’s a train of thought that with a dextrous use of a mouse, anyone can be a designer. However, because you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’re one of the people who are either exploring, or have already realised that design by experts is actually a powerful tool and a truly worthwhile investment for any organisation wanting to not only stand out from the crowd, but express the essence of who they are and what they do. 

A well designed brand isn’t simply a logo or stamp, but an outpouring of a consistent brand personality. Recognisable, reliable, interesting and powerfully communicating; evident in every touchpoint that an organisation has with its current and future clients. This is why we have to really get to understand a client before we can create a brand for them.

  • What exactly is it they do? 
  • What makes them different or better? 
  • How do they value their staff? 
  • How well do they do what they do? 
  • What are they wanting to achieve going forwards? 
  • How do they currently tell that story? 
  • How can we do that better? 
  • What do they ‘look like’ now and what do they ‘feel like’ – and how will we change that?

Perceptions do matter.

A brand has to be authentic to the organisation, and what they are genuinely striving to be, otherwise it all falls flat if the personal experience of the organisation doesn’t ring true to what is being portrayed. Like the phone company that says they really care about you but when something goes wrong there’s no number on their website to get to speak to them.

So, a brand is as much about what you do, as who you are, and how you do it.

Hero our work

By far the most important role of our new website was to showcase our work, and to help people understand the value of good design. That is makes a tangible difference to our clients businesses. We’re proud of our creative work at Newenglish and want our new website to show both the high-quality and the sheer variety of our design projects. Using engaging page layouts, linked by a visually-intuitive project menu, we allow the user to navigate between our projects quickly and with ease.

We pride ourselves on delivering creative solutions for our clients every ‘touchpoint’, which often means our projects span different design disciplines. Take The Ralph Veterinary Hospital for example. Not only did we create their brand and design their website – we also designed the hospital interior, sourcing furniture, advising on the layout and best use of space, creating large-format wallpapers and delivering an internal wayfinding system. We also designed the external signage on and around the building.

The layout for our new project pages allows us to quickly tell the full story by ‘walking’ the user through this entire body of work, rather than focusing on any particular element.

User experience

As with all websites we make, getting the user experience right was key. So we’ve built the site on a simple structure, with visually-intuitive layouts and an easy-to-use navigation – meaning that anybody visiting our site can get to, and ‘hop’ between, the content they want to see, quickly and easily.

The ‘Newenglish perspective’

Another key goal of our new website was to maximise our blog.

Blogs give a great opportunity for story telling in a more personal and informal way. We want to use ours to air the thoughts and opinions of the whole team at Newenglish. We cover a variety of subjects from ‘delving in’ where we provide further insight into our projects and design processes, to ‘ways of seeing’ where we discuss wider issues in the design world and beyond.

We also added two new categories, Views from the outside’ where we ask a guest to contribute a post on subject of their choosing (if you’d like to be considered for a guest post please get in touch), and a category called ‘Vintage Newenglish’ where we dive into the archives to shine a light on interesting projects from years gone by (which still look great today!).

We’re hoping you’ll have a read when you grab your morning coffee.

It’s just the beginning…

We’re really proud of our new website and the way it showcases our work and our new brand. We’re already seeing some really positive analytics in regards to site traffic and usability too – but don’t just take our word for it, take a look for yourself and let us know us what you think.

Oh, and watch this space as we add more of our work to the portfolio section!

Love your new website – pleasing to the eye, lots of lovely imagery, positive, creative…just lovely. Well done.

Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board & Finance Director | The Ralph

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Festive Animations

January is a strange month. We’re only two weeks into the new year, yet Christmas already feels like a distant memory.

But now that the decorations have been packed away, and we all focus on getting fit again after over-indulging during the festive break – we wanted to stop and share some really engaging, and very festive, animations which we created for The Loughborough Schools Foundation.

The challenge

The Foundation asked us to create two animations which they could share on their social media channels. The first was to wish their students, the parents of their students, and their school staff a Happy Christmas. This was to be followed by a second animation, to wish them all a Happy New Year.

We just love creating animations, so were really excited by this challenge.


The thinking

Throughout December social media feeds are awash with glittery, Christmassy content. We wanted to create something that stood out against this busy backdrop. Something which was engaging and captured all the fun and excitement of Christmas, in a simple and classy way.

Importantly, we wanted the animations to represent all four schools and the nursery, which together form The Loughborough Schools Foundation.


Happy Christmas

As snowflakes gently fall against the deep-blue (on-brand) background, a simple, single-line animation enters the frame, forming the distinctive shape of a Christmas tree. As the ‘Happy Christmas’ message is being revealed, the tree becomes decorated with colourful baubles – with each colour representing the different schools within the Foundation.


Happy New Year

We wanted to create a consistent pair of animations, and for the New Years version to have the same look and feel as the Christmas post. To achieve this the layout remained the same, with the Foundation logo, background colour and message placed in exact the same position. However, this time the single-line animation would slowly reveal the number 2022, signalling the new year ahead. And instead of gentle snowflakes, we created a series of colourful fireworks which exploded at random in the background – again, the colour of each firework representing the different schools and nursery within the Foundation.

I love both the Christmas and New Year ads. Really fab with the school colours. Classy design but fun – perfect!


Director of Marketing | The Loughborough Schools Foundation

Just like our client, we are really happy with the execution of both animations – we kept a close eye on our own social media feeds over the festive break, and it was great to see the adverts ‘go-live’ and achieve our goal of being engaging and fun, yet finding a way to cut through all the other Christmas and New Years content circulating online.

To see more of the work we have created for The Loughborough Schools Foundation, click here.

How brand and web design can boost your profits

Leicester Business Festival

Newenglish Design were proud to give a half day seminar for the Leicester Business Festival (24 October–4 November 2016) which featured 80 events over two weeks, 25 of which were sold out including our seminar on brand and web design.

The seminar took place at our studio in Leicester and was attended by both small and large businesses.

Brand

The first part of the seminar was about brand. First impressions count, and emotional connections create effective bonds. Wendy, Creative Director, gave thoughtful insight about how businesses can connect deeply with their customers through honest branding:

It’s about clearly and consistently applying your values to everything that you do.

Ask yourself the question, how do we as consumers engage with a brand on an emotional level? When a strategically defined brand gets it right, what happens is like when people fall in love with each other. This is the same for all businesses, big and small.

This leads to:

  • Loyalty
  • Advocacy and
  • Can protect your price in times when competitors rely on promotional discounts to drive sales.
  • The ideal platform from which to extend your offer or range

A great example of a brand that invokes a moral ethos and shared value is Macmillan cancer support. The obvious shared value is that cancer sufferers deserve compassionate care. Wendy went on to unpack the Macmillan brand values which are all embodied in the simple advertising below.

no one should face cancer alone
we-are-macmillan

Our own big brand example is Honda. Newenglish has been one of their major creative agencies for 19 years to date. Reflecting the brand personality through design, digital and advertising in a perpetually competitive market place. This is how Honda describes itself, below, followed by one of our advertising campaigns:

honda design
honda-atv

Our small brand example is brü, a brand for which we were tasked to bring big brand success into something which looks and feels independent, but that is replicable in roll out to other cities. We came up with the name and a brand which looks professional, local, warm and individual.

The success of the Cafe speaks for itself, as after just over a year, the brand rolled out a second store in London:

Take home messages:

  • Identify your core values
  • Promote a consistent image & message
  • Involve your staff
  • Remember everything you do is linked to your brand.
Web Design

The second part of the seminar focused on web design and how useful, well designed websites can bring amazing results.

Clients often need a little help thinking through some basic questions, and these can sometimes be overlooked even by experienced marketers.

Carl, Creative Director, asked 2 simple questions:

1. Why do you need a website?
2. What do you want it to do?

A demonstrable example of a website that enabled the business to save tens of thousands on recruitment costs was a website we did for Building Services Design (BSD).

147 unique views
pv-launch

This is a working example of good web design, with simple navigation that subsequently resulted in reduced overhead and ultimately a happy client.

Take home messages:

  • Think about mobile strategy
    Look at your google analytics and see what percentage of visitors view your site on mobile/tablet as well as desktop
  • Gain inspiration
    Look at your competitors and non-competitors and see why you like them. Communicate with your web design to ensure that you and your organisation stands out from the crowd
  • Content
    Make sure you know what you want on your site and make your images personal to you and your organisation
  • Strong call to action
    What’s in it for a visitor to your site, what will they gain?
  • Trust
    Believe that the web designer know what they are doing, let them do what they do best, making it more likely to meet or exceed your expectations.
Feedback from the seminar

Thank you for the seminar and the warm welcome today. I enjoyed the seminar and found it informative. It was clear, concise and easy to follow. The statistics for the sites you had designed were amazing. The networking was an added bonus and your coffee is quality! Thank you once again.

Thank you so much for your time yesterday. You covered so much in two hours, it was fantastic and really got me thinking.

Madisons cafe: interior

Just completed. Madisons cafe on London Road in Leicester has undergone a makeover, featuring 400 hanging cups, teapot lamp shades, bespoke wallpaper, and a new brand identity.

Madisons hand makes its delicious Galato on the premises, and serve hot food, such as pasta and pizza, plus pastries and delicious coffee.

The new look and feel creates a unique interior that works well with the elegant high ceiling building.

A creative hub for start-up creative companies

LCB Depot

The Brief

Newenglish were commissioned to create a brand identity for LCB Depot—a former bus depot that was to be transformed into a creative hub for start-up creative companies, the first of its kind in Leicester’s emerging cultural quarter.

The identity needed to be creatively unique and reflect the energy and ethos of the building. Practically, it needed to work across signage, print and digital media.

The thinking

We introduced the idea of using cubes to represent the creative spaces themselves as a theme running throughout the building.

Clear cubes above the main entrance house fluorescent acrylic letterforms which glow like works of art, and form the basis of the print identity. Inside, the cube theme continues. Toilets are signed with cubes containing a toilet roll—pink for girls, blue for boys—and companies can fill their own studio cubes with whatever objects they choose.

The result

This is a striking, original and humorous identity that captures the spirit of ‘creative space’ within the LCB Depot.

Newenglish Design created this unique identity over 10 years ago, and it’s still looking sharp and fresh, and recognisable as a creative landmark in Leicester’s cultural quarter.

The identity ties in perfectly with the culture and thinking behind the project. A great visual statement for the creativity within LCB Depot.

Cultural Quarter Projects Director, Leicester City Council

Visiting Brü coffee shop

Last Tuesday we headed to Brü Coffee Shop for the grand opening. The team have loved the work on Brü so far, it’s stretched lots of our creative muscles—and the work to date includes brand creation, interiors concept, interior design, packaging design, hand drawn illustrations and website design and development.

After all the hard work, it was lovely to sit back with a coffee and watch the public enjoy the coffee shop.

So head to Granby Street in Leicester to support a local business and have a brilliant cup of coffee in very unique surroundings!

Wonderfully creative project for Phoenix Square

Newenglish were delighted to win the competitive creative pitch to create a brand for Phoenix Square in Leicester. The project included the branding, signage & wayfinding, photography, print & web design.

The brand needed to embrace and individually express Phoenix Square cinema, Phoenix Square apartments, Phoenix Square studios and Phoenix Square managed workspaces. We were asked to work with the architects to provide interior treatments, signage and guiding, along with the initial web presence and marketing for Phoenix Square apartments.

This was a wonderfully creative project for us to tackle. We wanted to create something that reflected the animated experience of watching film and the digital focus of the companies to be based in the building. The wire typography that runs throughout the branding and signage was hand created by our team, and was developed to give a sense of technology and motion throughout the building and marketing materials. The curves of the branding work as a contrast to the angles of the building. The style of the typography lends itself to animation and looks beautiful both in motion, or as a static form.

This is a project we’re very proud of in the heart of Leicester’s growing Cultural Quarter. The branding successfully links the four elements of the brand under a common ‘umbrella’ theme, whilst allowing each to thrive. 

The studio spaces have all sold in a difficult economic times, and the workspaces continue to hit tenancy targets and beyond.

Striking flower shop brand identity

We set out to create a striking brand identity for a new premium flower shop, Flowerworks, in Leicester city centre; including shop signage and interior, packaging and print work.

The identity needed to stand out from other florists and reflect the exclusive range of flowers, plants, accessories and their contemporary approach.

Our creative thinking produced a dark backdrop to give the brand a sophisticated feel and to accentuate the many vibrant colours found within the shop. The delicate nature of the products is reflected in the use of the flowing illustration and fine letterforms in the logo.

Using the illustration and logo at different scales, the right amount of subtlety and impact was achieved. The visibility of the new brand is ensured at every angle on thestylish van livery as the illustration organically wraps over the van sides and onto the roof.

This very different approach for a florist succeeded in setting Flowerworks apart from all competitors and has helped to attract business locally and nationally.

We are delighted with the branding for Flowerworks. Newenglish’s approach was interesting, fun and professional. The identity created is a true reflection of the character of our business.

Flowerworks

Would you believe we actually created the Flowerworks brand over 10 years ago, and it’s still looking contemporary and fresh today?

Hinckley and Rugby rebrand

We’re all really excited here at Newenglish because the first branch to receive the rebrand refresh opened to the public yesterday in South Wigston. The new look is clean modern and fresh, and even has chairs designed by Philippe Starck.

It looks tremendous, as does the new literature, literature displays and posters.

Chief Executive