2011
11.15

DNA have just completed a website design and build for Otone Audio. A growing name in the audio world, Manchester-based Otone works with a team of designers on the continent and collaborates with businesses in China to bring cutting edge technology and sleek designs to its range of PC speakers, laptop speakers and 5.1 surround sound systems. The new website has a flexible content management system and is fully optimised for search. DNA worked closely with marketing consultants The Green Agency and search engine specialists, 3 White Hats to deliver the project on time and budget.

The products featured on the website are not yet currently available to buy in the UK, coming to the market in the first quarter of 2012 and make up just a small number of the full range of Otone products. The site has a host of features that are currently hidden, such as customer and press reviews, downloadable product user manuals and links to suppliers for every product. Check back next spring to see the site in its full glory.

Take a look at the new site here: www.otoneaudio.co.uk

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2011
11.14

With over 400 luxury holiday cottages throughout Devon and Cornwall, Toad Hall Cottages offer the widest selection of luxury coastal and countryside cottages in the South West ? and we?ve just completed their identity redesign and corporate guidelines.

The new design uses a customised handwritten typeface, moving away from the calligraphy of old, to create warmth and informality. Mr. Toad has also had a makeover and has been illustrated in a variety of poses which will be implemented across the up-coming brochure and website that are in development.

We’ll keep you up to date with new developments in the coming weeks.

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2011
11.10

For the past couple of years I have taken part in Operation Christmas Child, the largest children’s project in the world organised by the Christian Charity Samaritan’s Purse. This is a great cause and it’s really easy for anyone to get involved. This year the BLOGDIR team is busy buying their gifts and goodies to fill their shoe boxes. The boxes can be sent to a boy or a girl who is 2-4 years, 5-9 years or 10-14 years. We’re hoping to bring smiles this Christmas to some children who aren’t as privileged as ourselves. Every child deserves a gift at Christmas, so if you would also like to get involved please email saraht@blogdir.co.uk or visit www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk. There’s only 44 sleeps until Christmas!

The deadline for dropping off boxes to your nearest location is Friday 18th November.

(Sarah Thomson ? Designer)

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2011
11.10

I was Christmas shopping in Exeter at the weekend, popped into WH Smith and happened to glance at a magazine cover that caught my eye. I have always admired the Economist for it’s bold, simplistic approach to design. Quite often using great creative copy and exquisite typography. The cover that caught my eye fell into this category. Simple, yet clever – playing on the plight of the Greek economy. Let me know what you think.

Article by: Paul Mabin, Managing Director.

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2011
11.04

The BLOGDIR team were thrilled to be selected by South West based adoption charity Families for Children to work on their latest campaign that was launched this week. The campaign aims to recruit potential adopters and can already be seen on billboards, advertisements and posters placed throughout Devon, Cornwall and Dorset to support National Adoption Week. The campaign aims to encourage those thinking about adoption to find out more and to dispel common concerns around adoption such as adoptive parents having to be married and be homeowners, neither or which are necessary.

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2011
11.01

And the winner is…

Congratulations to our 2011 Pumpkin Queen Sarah Thomson, who took the title with 29% of the overall 134 votes for her super scary carving skills. Chloe was a close runner up with 23% voting her wolf pumpkin as the best in show and Sarah Z took third place with her pumpkat entry. If you missed it you can take a look at our petrifying pumpkin line-up here.

The standard this year was very impressive but we’re looking forward to carving even spookier creations next year. If any clients or suppliers are brave enough to take on this terrifying task and would like to enter the 2012 carve-off, get in touch!

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2011
10.31


To mark the spookiest day of the year, the BLOGDIR team took on the ?dead? exciting challenge of creating the best carved pumpkin. After a weekend of much scooping, scraping, stabbing and slashing, the entries have been submitted. We now need your help to establish who will be crowned the DNA Pumpkin King or Queen 2011. Please take a look at the line-up below and vote for your favourite. The winner will be the pumpkin with the most votes at midnight tonight.

Happy Halloween!

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2011
10.28

We were recently tasked to create a new set of adverts for one of our luxury brand clients, Ettinger (London). The aim was to theme two adverts – for their Bullion and Pinstripe collections, respectively. Ettinger were after a similar style advert to the successful Travel collection advert we created for them previously (see it here).

The Bullion collection brief was geared to highlight the unique features of the product, namely the gold finishing on corners and buttons. In order to instill the essence of ‘pricelessness’ and ultimate value, we constructed a story around the product. Placing the products within a briefcase highlighted that they were precious and the bank vault setting and gold bullion placed either side enhanced this notion. Photography and post production was done in our in-house studio ensuring the result looked authentic and atmospheric.

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2011
10.20

The creativity at BLOGDIR is simply infectious and in between Chloe?s administrative and project management duties, she found an ingenious use for old paper merchant stock samples ? a scrapbook for her friend?s 21st birthday… the lucky lady!

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2011
10.18

iPhone 4s in a drawer

Keep your friends close and your iPhone 4s closer! My shiny white new iPhone 4s has been the topic of conversation this week. I have to now keep it locked in my draw now so JP can?t keep asking Siri silly questions like ?Who killed Roger Rabbit?? Siri?s answer was Judge Doom by the way! It?s my new favourite thing and is now sleeping snugly in my drawer in its own little knitted Aran jumper, hands off boys!

(Opinion: Sarah Thomson ? Designer)

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2011
10.17

Our saving Grace

Following the sound of pitter pattering down our corridor, out into the BLOGDIR studio emerged Grace Mabin, our newly hired Creative Director. Straight away Grace got to work, mocking up some new exciting designs for BLOGDIR, as well as amending daddy Mabin’s days work to include the slogan “VSAguih ilajg”.

Grace then took on the role of ‘Senior chair checker’, moving her way around the office to make sure our chairs did indeed reach our desks and were able to spin in an orderly fashion. Needless to say, the presence of Grace certainly made the office smile, and we were sad to see her leave for a very urgent tea party… Until next time!

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2011
10.03


Anyone would have thought the world was coming to an end as what seemed like the whole of civilisation descended upon the newly opened Asda, just moments from BLOGDIR HQ. But no… People were neither looting, nor stocking up on supplies for their lodging in an underground bunker for an undetermined duration whilst praying they didn’t emerge to a desolate wasteland of post-apocalyptic proportions. No. They were simply shopping, on mass, like there was no tomorrow… or if there was a tomorrow, it would most likely be Christmas day. Madness of the highest order. Still, their meal deal is 50p cheaper than the alternative, so who are we to complain.

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2011
10.03

Friday the 30th of September gave us some unseasonal, fantastic weather and in true Brit spirit, BLOGDIR were out in force to milk every single last ray of sunshine! Where better to do it than the cultural heartland of the bay, the all-round summer refuge for the classic British seaside experience – where age-old penny arcades stand proudly upon a 114 year old Pier, where buckets, spades, inflatables and fish & chips are the order of the day? Well, Paignton of course! Accompanied by Sarah T’s woofter Bella, the BLOGDIR crew enjoyed some sweet R&R on our lunch break. We sure know how to live.

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2011
09.30

Yesterday saw the very first BLOGDIR Curry Club night. It was a serious meeting of stomachs as we sampled spicy, fragrant delights of the East whilst mopping our sweaty brows with chutney soaked napkins. As this mini feast was as the brainchild of JB – we thought we’d honour the night after him! Not a bad turn out for a first time – and yes, despite the picture it was more than just Paul and Sarah tucking in!

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2011
09.19

A fresh new look has been applied to the latest brochure suite for Princess Yachts, one of DNA?s higher profile clients. We are always looking to evolve and improve their brand presence and this year have looked to specialist print finishes and materials as well as looking at sizes, design and production. DNA were responsible for helping to save significant costs on print as well as adding a more pro-active and structured approach to this year’s brochure suite. The process, which starts around 8 months before the main boat show season, includes art direction on photography, print management, a lengthy design and artworking process, image retouching and inputting copy for 7 languages. However, the most important part of the process is the concept stage, which involves talking to Princess Yachts staff, customer feedback and looking at industry trends. Once the concepts are approved, the design process begins. The culmination of all this hard work is the printed article itself. This year the V Class and Flybridge brochures feature an uncoated softback cover with accented foil blocking and clear varnish elements to the type. The guts of all three brochure types were printed on a high gloss stock with a gloss coating to help lift and add vibrancy to all the images. The Generic brochure featured a hardback cover with matt laminate and silver foil and used a new lifestyle image photographed in Thailand earlier in the year.

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2011
08.22

I was watching TV a few nights ago when I came across a very cute, clever advert that has since been passed around BLOGDIR. The new Elastoplast advert features a childish animation style, built from plasters, and uses a voiceover of a young boy telling the story of how he hurt his knee.

Elastoplast have advertised in the past, mainly for their innovative new products and to keep a strong market share (in 2006 Elastoplast held 47% market share), but this advert stands out so much due to the simplicity of it, driven by great planning and strong creativity from TBWA. Throughout the first 25 seconds or so, I had no idea on how the TV ad would come together to make sense. I wasn’t even sure if people would realise it was advertising plasters! However, at the adverts conclusion, the boy recalls that the giraffe bumped his knee and he needed a plaster ? the tagline is unveiled (‘Every Elastoplast tells a story’). The entire advert and branding beautifully come to life and flood emotion between you and the product (even though effectively Elastoplast is a plaster, and an expensive plaster at that, compared to competitors). Appealing to both parents ? relating the story to their own children ? and to children, due to the quirky animation and use of a funny story. Furthermore, it is a prime example of how brilliant effective adverts can be created with minimum expense!
Further research shows this advert was a viral in 2008/2009, before being released as a TV ad this year. Elastoplast has created promotional ties with the campaign. Check out their website here. http://www.elastoplast.co.uk/

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2011
08.18

McDonald?s Canada and Ad agency Cossette in Vancouver have brought to life an interactive ice sculpture on behalf of McDonald?s Restaurants in Alberta, driving consumer interest in the company?s Dollar Drink Days campaign. Hosted in the town of Sylvan Lake, the stunt saw 8,000 pounds of ice moulded into a seven-foot tall installation, containing over 4,000 sparkling coins, shaped into McDonald?s famous Golden Arches?. Watch the interaction as the ice begins the melt… Thanks to adlag

(Jon Price ? Designer)

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2011
08.02

I’ve been meaning to share this for a while, and after meetings some digital projection specialists at Marketing Week Live a few weeks back, I thought it even more relevant.

This is the Hyundai Accent 3D projection mapping video, not only showcasing the vehicle but the creative possibilities of projection mapping and the power viral marketing. It highlights the new slogan “New Thinking. New Possibilities.”

After Skoda’s tv fantastic advert based around projection mapping (below), Hyundai had to go one further and do it for real.

Take a look at the Ford Focus Plasma Ball video too if you missed it.

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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2011
07.26

Take That Progress Tour

So I’ve been waiting for my mum to take me to see ‘Take That’ since she promised me when I was 12. 15 years later and we’re approaching Wembley Stadium. Joking as we walked up to the massive building pointing to the top, that we’d be sat right up there and guess what? We were 9 rows from the very top. I had to cling onto the hand rails to even get to my seat, what a view though. You can’t help being overwhelmed by the shear scale of the place and the fact that the lucky people down in the standing area look like ants.

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2011
07.25

I stumbled across this from 07/08; it’s a nice, brand renewal video from Swisscom, one of the leading brands and a market leader in Switzerland (with more than 60% average share of the market). Swisscom is perceived as one of the most trusted brands by Swiss people and this re-brand was the final step to a major restructuring of the whole Swisscom organisation. “Our concept for Swisscom centres on creating just a cross-platform, dynamic identity. This will form a strong and clearly defined single axis around which every element of the Swisscom organisation can then move”.

It’s an interesting way to demonstrate an overview of the brand-refresh process and goes some way to capturing the amount of work involved. The video speaks for itself but you can see further development here: http://www.movingbrands.com/?category_name=swisscom-work#strategy

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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