2019
01.25

Whilst perusing the affordable Scandinavian wares of Ikea, I happened upon a particular sequence of wall graphics that told the story of how Ikea?s savings are passed on to the customer. Strangely, only five of the seven ?Ikea concept? panels used correct spelling with the remaining ones neglecting to use apostrophes (the above example also has a rogue space before the question mark). I?m now well versed in Ikea?s efficient production and distribution methods but surely they could have spent a few extra euros on spell checking. We?ve all made mistakes, but three in twenty nine words at 124pt nationwide is quite special. At first I thought ‘trust me to notice that’, so my biggest smile came from the huge ?Thats why!? that came after the equals sign, where a staff member had pasted a cut-out apostrophe on the wall!

This is the Ikea concept as it should have looked!

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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2019
01.25

There are many ?Web Design Myths?, usability and design constraints that clients request having once heard that this is best practice. Most of these have come from the good old days of web design or even from constraints imposed on printed media. It is very often the job of a web designer to gently dispel these myths and dissuade clients from forcing them upon their site designs.

One such myth is the myth of the page fold, the point at which a user needs to scroll down to access content on your site. It was said that users would not scroll the page down meaning all content on your homepage should sit above this virtual line. The term originates from newspapers where the attention grabbing headlines would appear ?above the fold? so as to be seen on the newsstands.

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2019
01.22

Look at ‘em dance!

Bit of Friday fun.
It’s Jim’s birthday tomorrow, so here’s a little ‘pre-construction’ of what we think he’ll be up to… (sorry Katie, but we couldn’t see him dance alone!)…

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
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2019
01.20

Hi all, if you’re into comedy and you’re in the South West of England (or love to travel), check out the Exeter Comedy Festival. Sounds great. Have a look at their website to see who’s on. The site’s not bad either (and no we didn’t do it – it’s the work of some cowboy outift
called 2020)

[Jim Green - MD]

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2019
01.19

Between the 5th December (my Mum’s birthday) and the 10th Jan, the new format Exeter Phoenix brochure was download 7,500 times! It’s the first time the brochure has been made available as a download but we think it’s a pretty impressive figure (clearly mostly down to the quality of the design). For the new brochure we’ve refreshed the best aspects of the previous format with a more lively, magazine style – our aim being to keep Exeter Phoenix one step ahead of other, similar organisations around the UK. Click here if you want to take a look or download it yourself.

Since we did the work on segmenting the Exeter Phoenix sub-brands and redesigning the quarterly brochure, the in-house team has overhauled the website and is now preparing to launch its new online ticketing system, which will be live from Thursday 14 Jan. Watch this space!

[Opinion: Jim Green - MD]

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2019
01.19

For anyone who didn?t see Ascari appear on ITV the other night ? check out this bite-sized clip, or take a look at the website we designed and built for them at http://www.ascari.net.

Incidentally, we shot, edited and produced the film and soundtrack on this site ourselves.
We captured most of the footage in three days then spliced in some shots we had storyboarded for Ascari when previously commissioning another South West company ? Denhams. The benefit to Ascari is that the whole thing is royalty-free. Just before Christmas we received a call from a company in the USA. They saw the Ascari film, loved the soundtrack and have asked us to do the same for them. Don?t you love it when that happens? Watch this space!

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2019
01.18

An article that was recently printed in the Herald Express, showed that the campaign run by Torbay Council and designed by DNA Advertising has proven to be a great success. The latest progress report for Fit for the Future, a scheme to encourage youngsters to join a gym, shows it has been enjoyed by 1,112 people.  The scheme, which has been running in Suffolk, Newcastle, Bristol, Manchester and London had a target of recruiting up to 1,000 youngsters per district. London has smashed that target, with three months left to run.

DNA carried out research with a select audience, then presented our initial concepts. This research helped us refine the final design, which we rolled out across promotional literature and banners that were strategically placed around the Bay.  DNA also encouraged the council to use bluetooth phone technology to deliver the message to a wider audience.  The combination of using new technology and targeted design has clearly helped to make this campaign a great success.

[Update: Paul Mabin - Creative Director]

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2019
01.17

We are lucky enough to work with Subway stores all over the UK and we’re always looking for ways of adding value. Proximity marketing (contacting potential clients via the Bluetooth functionality in their mobile phones) isn’t a new concept, but it hasn’t taken off as it might have. The idea is that bluetooth enabled phones are detected when they pass by, a message is sent automatically (something like “do you want to receive a special offer?”), a voucher is transferred and the customer presents this in-store to redeem his/her prize. Easy!

In 2009 we ran a trial at a Subway store in Exeter. During the seven-day period, an impressive 35% of vouchers received were redeemed. At a time when getting customers through the door is more challenging than ever, perhaps this is a channel we shouldn’t ignore. 

[Opinion: Katie Hickmott - Project Manager]

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2019
01.16

It is a sad time at DNA, as one of our dear friends and colleagues is heading for pastures new. A very wise software development company in Plymouth has snapped up our senior programmer, Chris Keeley, giving him the chance to apply his know-how to some rather juicy middleware. They’ve also kindly increased his salary and reduced his daily commute from two hours to ten mins. Nice.

As you can see though, it wasn’t an easy decision for our very own Chris Keeley…

The many faces of Mr Chris Keeley

Of course we’ll miss him, but it’s a fantastic opportunity so we all wish him the very best of luck.

Thanks for all you’ve done for our digital marketing and web development Christoff… and for helping us select your replacement (a man we’ll be introducing here very soon)!!

Good luck and see you soon!

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2019
01.14

Spam Up!

One of the most irritating adverts on TV at the moment may yet turn out to be one of the most memorable. But for all the wrong reasons.
Spam, originally launched in the UK in 1941, is making a come-back. Or so it’s manufacturers Hormel Foods are hoping. Among other promotions, they are pinning their hopes on a dreadful TV spot with an even cheesier catch-phrase, “Spam Up!”
The ad is right up there with all the other “worst ads ever”, such as Cillit Bang, online Bingo games and Just For Men.
But why did they pay big bucks to air such dire stuff? I presume they DID pay their performers…? I nearly called them actors, but that would be stretching the point. The look-and-feel of the adverts remind me of those awful 1960s washing powder adverts. They weren’t very believable either!
It may be a calculated gamble, but Hormel (via their ad agency Marsteller) may  have deliberately produced a retro-styled ad purely to cash in on the wartime heritage and 1950s-60s popularity of the product. Yes, it was popular once. Even the Monty Python team used it for one of their classic comedy moments.
Will a new generation of processed meat lovers be enticed to buy Spam in sufficient numbers to cover the ad agency fee? We’ll see…

One of the most irritating adverts on TV at the moment may yet turn out to be one of the most memorable. But for all the wrong reasons.

Spam, originally launched in the UK in 1941, is making a come-back. Or so it’s manufacturers, Hormel Foods, are hoping. Among other promotions, they are pinning their hopes on a dreadful TV spot with an even cheesier catch-phrase, “Spam Up!”

The ad is right up there with all the other ‘worst ads ever’, such as Cillit Bang, online Bingo games and Just For Men. It even has its own appreciation group on Facebook (hmmm – I wonder who put that there?!).

But why did they pay big bucks to air such dire stuff? I presume they DID pay their performers…? I nearly called them actors, but that would be stretching the point. The look-and-feel of the adverts remind me of those awful 1960s washing powder adverts. They weren’t very believable either!

It may be a calculated gamble, but Hormel (via their ad agency Marsteller may have deliberately produced a retro-styled ad purely to cash in on the wartime heritage and 1950s-60s popularity of the product. Yes, it was popular once. Even the Monty Python team used it for one of their classic comedy moments.

Will a new generation of processed meat lovers be enticed to buy Spam in sufficient numbers to cover the ad agency fee? We’ll see…

(Opinion: John Dawkins, designer)

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2019
01.12

Looking back over 2009 there were several articles within the design press reiterating Dieter Rams’ strategy of “Good design is as little design as possible”. Of all Rams’ design principles, this one rings truest for me. There is currently a Dieter Rams exhibition at the London Design Museum which if you’re in the neighbourhood shouldn’t be missed. If you didn’t know, Rams literally shaped our world with his radical industrial and product design at Braun, so if you thought the iPod was cool, you should see the work of the man who designed the first hi-fi over 50 years ago… They say ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ but as much as I love their products, Apple and Jonathan Ive have a lot to thank Rams for. Here are some choice examples of Rams’ work:

Rams’ work has much more to offer than his well-known and imitated 1950s pocket radios and hi-fis. Here’s the Design Museum write-up: ’As head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, Dieter Rams emerged as one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for its products. The exhibition will showcase Rams? landmark designs for Braun and furniture manufacturer Vits?, examine how Rams? design ethos inspired Braun?s entire product range for over 40 years, and assess his lasting influence on today?s design landscape.’

You can read more about the exhibition and Rams’ trend-setting design while refreshing yourself of his famous design principles here:
http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2009/2009-dieter-rams
http://designmuseum.org/design/dieter-rams

(Opinion: Jon Price – Designer)

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2019
01.11

And we think it’s been cold here in Britain! Minus 5? Luxury.

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2019
01.07

“Everybody who knows what they’re doing in web development and web design is now pretty much on board [the web standards] train even though not everyone [...] shares exactly the same understanding.” Jeffrey Zeldman.

Anyone thinking of going into web design or development should watch this video of Jeffrey Zeldman, one of the people credited with founding web standards. Click here.

(Si – NOW I understand why you keep banging on about AA this and AA that! Jim)

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2019
01.05

Before Christmas, I decided to share my slightly perverse reason for buying PG Tips (the bags throw better – click here if you’re curious).

And then something very interesting happened…

I received a parcel, which I assumed would be a chocolate ‘thank you’ from a grateful supplier or a Christmas gift from a hopeful prospector.

But it wasn’t. It was a box of tea bags….

Look at that lovely kitchen furniture

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