Count is a collaborative data tool that aims to go beyond insights and bring data into decision-making. 

Count’s previously simple SQL notebook had evolved into something unique. They approached Fiasco Design with the challenge to bring their brand in-line with their vision for an ambitious platform that could transform how product teams make data-driven decisions. 

Too often data platforms are branded for a technically-minded (often male) audience. Count wanted to turn this on its head. The design challenge therefore was to help reposition the brand by creating a visual identity that would open up the complex world of data analysis.

Fiasco’s identity for Count draws on the ‘aha’ moment when data insight can totally change the perspective on a problem or solution. It’s the concept of seeing something familiar but in a completely new light.

Overlapping shapes emulate the process of bringing different data sets and perspectives together. Much like Count itself, it’s about bringing together information in a way that presents the whole picture and allows teams to make more empowered decisions.  

The new identity needed to work seamlessly across marketing communications, as well as the platform itself. Online, a set of styles and elements were developed to weave the brand into the product, creating a more seamless customer experience. 

The Fiasco team were fantastic to work with. We gave them a tough brief and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. They worked with us side-by-side through the brand process and then helped us deliver vision in digital form.” – Ollie Hughes, CEO, Count.  

You can view the full case study here.

Working with Ben The Illustrator, Fiasco created an interactive glossary of terms to make the world of theatre more accessible to people from different backgrounds. 

Developed as part of The Hub, The Old Vic Theatre offers free digital learning resources designed to welcome anyone of any age, experience or ability, into the world of theatre. Playing a key role is an “interactive glossary” of theatre-related terms, created by Fiasco Design. 

The educational microsite aims to debunk the jargon often associated with theatre. Setting the experience on a stage, visitors are guided through an animated performance that explores the different roles, responsibilities and inner-workings of the theatre. Exploring the site, visitors learn about the many different people who help to run the theatre on a day-to-day basis. Visitors can watch and explore at their own pace, scrubbing back and forth to discover, revisit and learn.

“We want viewers to feel like they’ve stepped into our world and discovered something new and unexpected on their own terms.” Magid Elbushra, Digital Content Producer, The Old Vic Theatre.

It was a pleasure to collaborate with Ben The Illustrator and The Old Vic on this microsite. Right from the start we were aligned on a more experiential approach, turning the passive action of watching into something active, engaging and fun.” Mike Frost, Digital Lead, Fiasco Design.

The colours are inspired by The Old Vic’s interior: opulent shades of reds and gold contrast a suite of deep and electric blues. The aim was to capture the atmospheric qualities of stage lighting by splitting the colour into ‘light’ and ‘dark’ themes, which mimic theatrical lighting effects. 

“I’m very proud of what we collaborated on, it was a pleasure to work with the Fiasco team and will always state that setting the whole experience on-stage with the lit/unlit approach was a stroke of Fiasco genius!” Ben O’Brien – Ben the Illustrator.

You can view the project case study on Fiasco’s site here. 

Building communities of global thinkers and explorers around the world, Bayswater combines two of life’s greatest adventures: education and travel. Bayswater is an international educational provider on a mission to educate and inspire the next generation through a life-changing educational experience. 

Following their acquisition of Eurocentres – a renowned language school, and opening new campuses in locations around the world, Bayswater approached Fiasco Design with the brief to capture their progressive outlook on education; to challenge the status quo; and design a visual brand that is fit for the expansion of the business. 

We were tasked with developing an identity that is dynamic, progressive and optimistic, a fresh take for an educational brand. Harnessing the spirit of adventure, the brand idea celebrates travel and Bayswater’s global community.” – Ben Steers, Co-founder and Creative Director, Fiasco Design.

A suite of bold, colourful patterns are the backbone of the visual identity, reflecting the vibrant and diverse community taking a bold leap into new experiences. Whilst the brand palette and typographic system works to capture the aspirational and energetic tone of the brand. 

The logo with its coloured pathways represents students of different backgrounds following their own unique pathway; uniting in the Bayswater community to be a part of something greater.

Typeface Fann Grotesque helps to ground the playful visual identity, giving the brand name a characterful, yet trustworthy feel. A reassuring nod to parents. 

Meanwhile, photography is intended to feel active and optimistic. Celebrating individual personalities, the imagery is inclusive of a diverse global community of students.

The end result is a spirited brand that inspires the next generation to embark on the educational adventure of a life-time.  

“We established Bayswater in 2017, but after rapid expansion and the integration of a variety of legacy industry brands, we wanted a reset and to double down on the Bayswater name with an exciting new brand canvas. It’s been great working with Fiasco on our full rebrand. We have appreciated the process, it’s been very collaborative and it’s very exciting to see the new look come to life across so many different platforms and formats.” – Stephan Roussounis, Founder and Managing Director, Bayswater. 

You can read the full case study here.

The National Governance Association (NGA) has announced the appointment of Bristol based Mentor Digital as its digital agency partner for a series of upcoming high profile digital projects. Following a highly competitive and extensive procurement process, led by technical procurement experts Hart Square, Mentor Digital was chosen as the winning bidder to deliver a new website, CMS solution, and CRM integration for NGA. Alongside the UX and website build project, Mentor Digital has also been selected by NGA in a separate tender process to deliver a full rebrand of the organisation including a new logo, style guide, and branding guidelines document. These projects will help NGA to deliver their ambitious digital strategy and will develop a solid foundation both creatively and technically for NGA & Mentor Digital to build upon in partnership over the coming years.

The National Governance Association (NGA) is the membership organisation for governors, trustees and clerks of state schools in England. Mentor Digital will design and develop a new CMS and website to support NGA’s 75,000 members. The project will include brand new information architecture and website design, along with new UX and user journeys to provide an excellent experience for members as they are onboarded, renew their memberships, and take advantage of the many excellent services that NGA provides.

Mentor Digital’s MD Holland Risley said “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by NGA for this project. The whole team has been great to work with during the procurement process, and we are really excited to be adding such a prestigious membership organisation to our client portfolio!”

NGA provides members with CPD and training opportunities along with an extensive e-learning offering through their highly popular Learning Link subscriptions. During the tender process NGA was impressed by Mentor Digital’s award-winning e-learning work for the National Composite’s centre. Integrating e-learning platforms is a large and exciting part of this project, and Mentor Digital presented a strong ability to deliver solutions to NGA’s challenging requirements.

As with all major membership organisations NGA has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that needs to be seamlessly integrated with the new website. Mentor Digital’s team is highly experienced at integrating 3rd party CRM systems with front end websites and have many high-profile case studies of doing very similar projects with major membership organisations, including Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), Equity (the artists union), and Research in Practice.

To develop a website of this scale requires an in-depth process of stakeholder engagement, user research, design, and prototyping. Mentor Digital will lead an extensive series of discovery workshops with NGA and their members before producing fully mobile responsive prototypes as part of the project process to allow for the new website to be fully user tested using mobile devices and desktops. Mentor’s UX testing team carries out mobile device guerrilla testing with specialist cameras for mobile devices and desktop UX testing, with their eye tracking suite, to ensure that all interfaces and journeys are intuitive and clear when used by real world users.

The websites will be developed using the excellent open-source Umbraco CMS platform, which provides highly secure, enterprise level, content management experiences with no ongoing licenses. Mentor Digital is an Umbraco Gold Partner and has implemented Umbraco CMS for many NHS Trusts and CCGs along with a wide range of B2B and B2C clients.

If your organisation is looking for a digital agency to work on a new or existing project, please get in touch with Mentor Digital, they would love to hear about your plans and how they can help you achieve them. You can fill out a contact form here or drop them an email to [email protected].

To see more examples of the work Mentor Digital produces you can visit the ‘work’ area of their website here.

How should an organisation launch a new or revamped brand? Brand launches should reflect the character and personality of the brand.  They are often informed by the client and their desire and appetite for a more ritualised and expansive introduction. Two revamped brand identities we have been working on for several months will be launched in the next few weeks. Due to their shape and personal involved their launch will be subtly different. Both appropriate and both reflecting the type of organisation and personal involved.

A new brand identity is a huge opportunity to explain the new trajectory the organisation is heading, reinforce what is stands for, believes in and articulate what is important to it. Often the perception of focus for a brand launch is external. Just as important is is the internal brand launch. After all, these are the people who will represent and espouse and the brand. They are the ones who need to be totally clear what the brand stands for in order for them to live it well.

The external brand  launch often will involve both digital and traditional media. If my involve PR consultants, media relations and sometimes sophisticated multimedia events coordination.  Brand launch is a unique opportunity for organisations to manage their brand messaging in a controlled way before it begins swirling around in very wide circles.

In some cases clients are keen to have less razzamatazz– or soft launches – for a number or reasons. Budget is a big one. A full rebranding exercise can be expensive, not necessarily in brand consultants’ fees but in the cost of producing literature, signage, vehicle graphics, websites etc. – all in one hit. Regularly we have worked in a way that phases out the old system. . This is when existing stocks, containing the old identity are run down.  New items with the new identity are created once the old ones have been used saving waste.This way a rebranding exercises can sometimes be achieved using existing budgets without the neccisity for a single one off investment.

If you would like to discuss how Ice House Design can help you with launching your brand please get in touch.

What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is a short document that sums up a project’s mission, goals, challenges, demographics, messaging, and other key details. Typically produced by the person heading up the project, a creative brief outlines the problems to solve and offers the tools they might need, without prescribing a solution. 

Why do you need a creative brief?

To start – you need a plan! A solid creative brief ensures everyone is on the same page before the project has begun and acts as a guiding north star throughout. Simultaneously allowing a project to stay on track, whilst underpinning the creative concept and strategic thinking.

A creative brief helps align everyone on the task at hand. Even the best creative minds in the world can’t solve a problem they don’t understand. More than just an arbitrary document, it is a tool that allows for clear and thorough communication from the very beginning of the design process. It prevents potential last-minute project changes, misunderstandings, and conflicting objectives along the way. 

Marjorie Newnham, Project Manager at Fiasco Design, adds: “With larger projects that involve multiple stakeholders and various rounds of creative, it’s especially important to agree on the deliverables up front, so there’s no potential for confusion later down the line.” Establishing parameters and crucially –  building trust, at the beginning will help ensure a smoother project journey.

Who is a creative brief for?

It’s quite likely that the people who will use the brief are an external creative agency who may not be familiar with language that is specific to your industry. So it should be accessible to a designer or web developer, for example, and avoid lots of acronyms or jargon. However, worth adding that this doesn’t mean a creative brief needs to be dry! It’s meant to incite enthusiasm and possibilities.

Hayley Yates, Account Director at Fiasco Design, adds: “It’s valuable for us to know if a client’s been through a similar creative process before, or if this is their first time. It allows us to tailor our approach based on their level of understanding of the process, as the acronyms and jargon exist in our industry too!” 

What should a creative brief include?

Whilst not an exhaustive list, including these key bits of information will help a creative agency to understand and work towards your project.

  1. Your company’s background, ethos, or mission.
    Firstly, begin with an introduction into who you are and what you do. This is particularly important when briefing an external agency who are likely to have limited information on your business prior to the project. Make sure to include the values that drive your business and your brand mission statement (if you have one), as well as unpacking the key products or services that you offer.
  2. An explanation of the project, and how it fits into the overall strategy of your business.
    The bigger picture helps to understand what you are trying to achieve and why. Maybe your business has changed route and needs a refreshed brand identity to communicate this shift?
  3. Your audience.
    Who is this even for?! Are you trying to tap into a new audience? It is helpful to share demographic information and any behavioural insights you may have already gathered.
  4. What are you hoping to achieve?
    Essentially this covers: why are you undertaking the project? How will you know if the project is a success? Are there any measurable goals you are hoping to reach? Alongside this, list an outline of any specific deliverables you are hoping for, as well as any ‘nice-to-haves’.
  5. Your competition and any challenges you anticipate.
    This is helpful to understand your unique position in the market, as well as the trends impacting your industry. If you have any particular elements you want to avoid as they are too close to a competitor, then you can note them here.

    In addition, if the project is large and there are various stakeholders involved, it may be worth listing them out. It allows the creative agency to understand who will be involved in the process and sign-off.
  6. Any logistical details, including budget and time frame.
    Finally, it is helpful to include an overall timeline and note any particular key dates when you will need deliverables. If there is a big product launch, for example, it’s important you outline this. The available budget is also crucial to ensure resources are properly allocated and to avoid overspending.

Although it might seem like a lot of information to convey in a relatively limited amount of space, a good creative brief stays focused and to the point. Pages and pages of additional information should be unnecessary. The more you are able to distill your thinking into clear and concise points, the clearer it will be to the creative agency you’re partnering with. The brief process in itself, might in fact help to refine exactly what you’re hoping to achieve. 

Working at the intersection of brand and digital, we take our partners with us at every step of the creative journey. Our open and inclusive ethos helps us to create joined up work that sparks change. Looking to start a creative project? We’d love to hear from you: hello@fiasco.design.

You’ve got the degree in the bag, a cracking portfolio filled with beautiful, thoughtful design, a creative CV and brilliant references. You arrive at the interview ready to dazzle, only to find that they expect 2+ years industry experience and a catalogue of household names under your belt.

It’s no secret that the creative industry is hugely competitive. Sometimes getting a foot in the door can be the most challenging part. And how many times have we all heard the phrase: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? How many of us have been asked to work for ‘exposure’ or offered unpaid work experience?

We know it’s hard out there and we know that’s the industry’s responsibility, not yours. So while you continue to make out-of-this-world work, we’ll keep creating opportunities to get it seen.

And here’s one we made earlier…

The Design Awards

The South West Design + Digital Student Awards were launched as an initiative to tackle how institutions approach design education. To get them thinking less about individual projects and more about the creative careers beyond.

The awards give third-year university students an opportunity to submit their innovative designs, win cash prizes (and who doesn’t need cash?), network with potential employers, get a portfolio review and win a paid placement at Proctor + Stevenson.

This year’s categories

If you haven’t checked out the website yet, the design categories up for grabs are:

Motion and AR – Think video, animation, XR, VR, AR and 3D graphics.

View images in blog here.

Graphic Design – Think 2D, 3D and print

View images in blog here.

Digital Design – Think web and digital graphic design.

View images in blog here.

And if you want to test out some cool AR right now, scan the barcode, download the app and hover the camera over the images above.

View images and QR code in blog here.

As well as having their designs shared with industry experts, all finalists are in with the chance to win a paid placement at Proctor + Stevenson, with the opportunity to extend. Runners up will receive £1k cash each, and the Ultimate Creative Champion will receive a whopping £4k cash.

When is the ceremony?

Once you’ve entered your designs (see entry guidelines), your submission is now in the hands of the gods (judges), who will be announcing the 10 finalists on 16 June 2022.

The finalists will be required to attend Proctors HQ in Bristol on 23 June 2022 for a day of interviews for the placement prize, followed by an awards ceremony and, from 6pm, a party with food, drinks, and dancing.

Some of our biggest clients will be there as judges and esteemed guests, along with the Proctors team, for your opportunity to network and celebrate your work.

A note from 2021’s winner Emily Hawkins

Emily Hawkins was last year’s winner. She studied at Portsmouth University and entered the awards with her innovative design titled Nature’s Aeroplanes.

We sat down with Emily to discuss her project, her experience at the Design Awards, her placement at P+S and what she’s up to now. Watch the video below to find out more.

2021 South West Design + Digital Student Awards winner Emily Hawkins video here.

To enter and read the full submission guidelines, check out the South West Design + Digital Student Awards website.

If you have any questions at all, you can contact us at [email protected] .

GYDA is thrilled to announce its repositioning as a Mastermind-centred business. The relaunch which happened in June 2022, sees GYDA increase its focus from being a business consultancy who helped agency leaders through traditional consultancy methods, to one that focuses on peer-to-peer Mastermind groups for agencies leaders all over the world. 

The relaunch was the culmination of a six month project initiated by the managing partners Robert Craven and Janusz Stabik. 

Robert said:

‘Our experience of running Mastermind programs spans back over seven years and includes the renowned Google Elevator program. It made sense to pivot the business to focus on the tools that work for agency leaders. We continue to support our clients with additional 1-2-1 coaching and growth centered consulting.’

The project included an in-depth strategy phase where GYDA collaborated with their growth experts and agency clients. Followed by a rebrand project with TinyBrand. 

Janusz said:

‘We were so excited to work with Jemma at Tiny Brand again. Helping us to solidify and refine our brand strategy, they went on to create a new visual identity and collateral for GYDA. We are over the moon with the results. Our beautiful new brand fits perfectly with our audience and confirms GYDA’s position as market leader for mastermind programs.’

Visit GYDA.co to learn more about GYDA Mastermind

Visit Tiny Brand

To promote the launch of Cunard’s newest Ship, the Queen Anne, we crafted an exquisite Direct Mail pack for guests exemplifying the grandeur that you would expect from Cunard.

Every detail of the pack was designed with luxury in mind: a slower pace of storytelling with more exploration, heavier stocks for heightened connection, contrasting colours to surprise and delight, and gold foil that glistens throughout the experience.

Upon lifting the lid, the jewel in the crown is unveiled – a collection of four dazzling teal and gold cards, each an artistic rendition of Queen Anne’s unique architectural features: from the Grand Lobby designed by world-leading artists and architects to the magnificent column in the Britannia Restaurant. On the reverse, a glimpse of the ship’s interior is shown through richly coloured renders – igniting guests’ imaginations about what to expect. And all of this was meticulously designed to fit within international postage restrictions.

Hannah Waters, Creative Director, adds, “Everything aligned perfectly on this project. The brand is prestigious – the pinnacle of luxury. Our clients were ambitious; driven to help us achieve something great. And the process of piecing it all together was one of the most rewarding creative experiences of my career.”

Every detail was considered from this pack and Armadillo understood the brand and goal from the campaign to create the direct mail pack. Guests have been delivered a crisp, white postpack: a representation of Cunard’s famous White Star Service, and inside, a richly textured black presentation box, adorned with iconic Cunard brand elements in pristine gold foil.

As well as this, the pack includes a carefully crafted 16-page brochure, with additional imagery of Queen Anne and the destinations that the ship will guide their customers to through the cruise. All of this was intimately designed to fit within international postage restrictions, and was a great campaign for Armadillo to take on.

Louisa Gould, senior CRM manager, Cunard, comments, “Simply wow! We’ve already had so much positive feedback on the luxury DM piece.  Everyone loves it. Thank you all for helping us create this masterpiece, I really do feel it is a piece of art.”

Cunard has reported that the first day of voyage bookings for new ship Queen Anne proved the busiest booking day in a decade.

The founders of The Big Plastic CountGreenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic appointed purpose-driven creative agency, Enviral, to create its latest national campaign, which has lifted the lid on the country’s recycling rates and exposed that the government is talking trash about our plastic problem.

Through their launch video, The Big Plastic Count and Enviral encouraged 31 MPs and 97,948 households to take part in counting their plastic for a week in May, which equates to 1 in every 262 households in the UK. This was the biggest ever investigation into UK household plastics and the data uncovered will be crucial in convincing the government, big brands and supermarkets to take ambitious action on reducing plastic packaging.

Throughout the investigation, participants counted over 96 billion pieces of plastic and uncovered that only 12% of our plastic waste is actually recycled with 17% exported abroad, 25% sent to landfill and 46% incinerated.

Working in close partnership with the The Big Plastic Count team, Enviral developed the creative, the narrative and oversaw the shoot productions to create three hard-hitting films; a launch film, a how-to film and a shocking results film which puts pressure on the government to act.

Chris Thorne, Plastics Campaigner at Greenpeace UK said: “The plastic crisis is out of control but if the government acts we can get a grip on the problem. That’s why The Big Plastic Count is so important. Getting the narrative right on a campaign like this can be make or break. Through Envirals understanding of our needs and their collaborative approach they’ve helped us create assets we know the public will connect with and will lead to more and more people pushing the government to take ambitious action to end the plastic waste problem.

Joss Ford, Enviral Founder, comments: “We’ve been consistently beating the drum around the role of creatives in fighting the climate crisis and in connecting hearts and minds. So being able to partner with such an impactful organisation like Greenpeace UK really is a huge moment for our team and one which we hope brings real impact and holds those in power to account.”

This project embodies Greenpeace UK’s wider mission to defend the natural world from destruction, with a vision for a greener, healthier and more peaceful planet that can sustain life for future generations to come. The campaign evolved out of The Everyday Plastic Survey, pioneered by Everyday Plastic, a research-led non-profit focused on evidence-based education and campaigns. With the aim of mobilising and inspiring the UK population to help lift the lid on our recycling, it’s hoped this campaign will hold the government to account and bring real, positive change.

Enviral was awarded the contract after a competitive pitch process. With previous agency nominations including The Drum’s Best Use Of Video For Digital Advertising, Enviral is a full-service ethical brand communications agency based in Bristol that leverages the power of storytelling to effect real change for future generations.

Watch the launch video in full here.