July 30, 2015
Introducing Gudrun… the latest addition to the thriving Mzuri team! Gudrun joins us as an Account Manager and brings with her a wide range of experience from both market research consultancies and client side roles. She has worked across a plethora of high profile brands spanning FMCG, retail and media sectors on consumer insight and market research projects as well as brand strategy development.
Here are some examples of the types of projects Gudrun has been involved in throughout her career:
– researching music and programming strategies for radio stations such as Capital FM and XFM
– developing new spirit brands and packaging for Diageo
– exploring healthy messaging and packaging options for M&S
– advertising evaluation and development for a toilet paper brand (!)
– researching and guiding development of the Homebase magazine from the reader’s perspective…
… and much, much more!
Her expertise lies in understanding the consumer and how to develop successful marketing strategies to connect with them. She is now delighted to be joining the Mzuri team to broaden our offer and support our growth. She is very much in tune with our values of dedication and collaboration with our clients, passion for our work and developing effective campaigns.
Gudrun says, “I am thrilled to be joining such a talented and dedicated team at Mzuri Design. I am impressed by their commitment to exceeding the expectations of their clients, their creativity and determination to lock-down business advantage in all the work that they do. I am hugely excited about being part of their offer and working to build strong partnerships with the Mzuri client portfolio”.
July 7, 2015
2015 Summer Solstice (northern hemisphere) Google Doodle by Kirsten Lepore. Source: Google.
We all love a Google Doodle, but the GIF that marked the Summer Solstice this year just had to get a mention on the Mzuri blog! Created by guest artist Kirsten Lepore, this Doodle has us chuckling even if it does make us feel a bit sorry for our ice lollies.
Artist’s original sketch. Source: Google
Animated GIFs are definitely having a revival and are becoming increasingly prolific online (see MTV’s recently unveiled GIF and meme-inspired on-air identity). Google have been embracing them regularly since 2010 however, when they released a Doodle celebrating Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday with an animation of a falling apple. Since the first Doodle in 1998 to celebrate the Burning Man Festival, the Doodles have evolved to be interactive too, and today it seems most days of the week bring a new and intriguing creation to entertain us while we search.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Final Google Doodle shows how far removed the artwork can be from the logo while remaining recognisable. Source: Google
The Google Doodle is so much more than a source of entertainment however. With these works evolving to look less and less like the six letters of Google with each one that is released, they are a true testament to the well-established brand that is Google. A way to keep their hugely recognisable logo fresh in a world where it is seen everywhere so frequently, the Doodles are a great asset to Google and a device that invites it’s millions of users to engage with the brand while they inform us alongside humour and creative flair. The Google Doodle has to be one of the most endearing and inviting examples of advertising that we can think of. Hats off!
June 30, 2015
Having successfully completed the new Hampshire Light website, we were delighted to be approached to work with their sister company Xavio on the development of their new website too.
Xavio had already developed designs for the site internally, so we were tasked with realising those designs and transforming them into a functional, responsive and accessible website. The website was designed to reflect the highest end of the lighting industry across a wide range of markets including super-prime residential, luxury hospitality, corporate buildings, private yachts and aircraft and art lighting. We worked to ensure that the designer’s vision was fully realised without compromise but also that the site was functional, completely controlled by a user friendly content management system as well as completely responsive on all mobile devices.
The site is intended to act as a reference point for Xavio’s clients as well as other stakeholders who are involved in the process of creatively designing and planning luxury lighting systems as well as in the technical specification, implementation, installation and maintenance of the systems.
Our client has been delighted with the website and following launch Nicholas Reynolds, MD of Xavio Design commented, ‘Many thanks everyone – fantastic work!’
You can view the Xavio site here.
June 25, 2015
Festival Season has arrived! The sun is shining, Glastonbury is upon us (lucky Dean is currently there!), and last week we attended the fabulous The Sunday Times Festival of Education at Wellington College in Berkshire. See the highlights of that here.
This is also an exciting time for Butserfest, who released their full lineup in the last week. As a result, all eyes have been on festival and especially poster design here at Mzuri and so today on #ThrowbackThursday we thought we’d share some of these classic festival and music event masterpieces…
Left to right: 1969 Woodstock poster by Arnold Skolnick; 1967 Jimi Hentrix Experience poster by Bob Masee; 1967 5th Dimension Leicester poster by Nigel Waymouth; 1970 Herman Miller Sweet Corn Festival poster by Steve Frykholm and 1968 Montreux Jazz Festival poster by Roger Bornand.
We hope you’re now joining us in our Festival Fever! You can buy tickets for Butserfest here – Early-birds are still available.
June 18, 2015
June 12, 2015
The fight against breast cancer is a cause close to our hearts. Friends and family have faced it with a great deal of bravery and positivity and mum and I felt we wanted to do something to help raise awareness and raise funds, so last weekend, we decided it was time to don our walking boots and embark upon the 10 mile Pink Ribbon Walk at Stourhead in Wiltshire. It was definitely a challenge (we may have omitted to do any training, despite best intentions!), but a worthwhile one that we both really enjoyed. The weather was gorgeous, the scenery stunning and we managed to complete the route in about four hours – with time for a couple of pit stops on the way!
It really was a great experience and our advice to anyone considering a charity fitness challenge would be… go for it! We live in a gorgeous part of the world and with so many events like the Pink Ribbon Walk, (which itself hosts six walks across the UK) there are huge range of walks to ease you in to the fitness challenge groove!
We walked for everyone affected by breast cancer but especially for Barbara and in loving memory of friends Kitty and Ali. We are so grateful for the donations we have received. If you can spare a few pounds to help us get there, we would really appreciate it! You can do this easily by visiting our Just Giving page.
June 9, 2015
We have been working with the America’s First Coast Travel team to develop a key pitch document and business stationery, while also advising on marketing strategy. The pitch document included the development of a brand style, a 44 page pitch across three sections, sourcing and purchasing appropriate photography, copy editing and printing – all under tight deadlines. We were also pleased to assist in the development of budget planning and other management resources to support the business in its start up phase.
It’s been great being part of America’s First Coast Travel’s journey thus far and we look forward to working with them going forwards.
If you have the need to step your pitch documents up a gear, we would be glad to help. Just get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 8, 2015
We are delighted to support Avitus Group with copywriting, design and print, most recently on the development of brochures for their UK & European operation. Our current focus, amongst ongoing marketing and promotional projects, is working with the US marketing team on the development of the Avitus Group website for the US, UK and Europe. Watch this space!
UK & European Head of Business Development for Avitus Group, Frank Levene, shared these kind words:
“Mzuri Design, under the leadership of Katherine and Phil, are an extraordinarily talented and inspirational strategic business, marketing, communications and design agency. We have been so impressed by their enthusiasm, professionalism and creativity in supporting a UK venture with a USA ownership. The development challenge facing Avitus in the UK & Europe wide has been addressed with imagination and much cross cultural sensitivity. In my corporate life and as an entrepreneur the quality and commitment is really wonderfully supportive. Mzuri knows how to get the job done intelligently and on time.”
June 5, 2015
We were proud to work with Pancreatic Cancer Action to evolve their poster series, with the aim to raise awareness of symptoms in order to drive earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The posters formed a very central part of a wider project to roll out their new brand identity.
Pancreatic cancer is the UK’s fifth biggest killer, but it receives just 1% of cancer research funding. 24 people are newly diagnosed with the disease every day, half of these being diagnosed as an emergency. The only cure for pancreatic cancer currently is surgery – but most patients aren’t diagnosed in time for this.
For charities like Pancreatic Cancer Action, information is imperative because raising awareness is the charity’s primary mission. The power of information in the healthcare sector is so strong – knowledge really is power. Knowledge can provide understanding, comfort, guidance – but most importantly in the case of pancreatic cancer, it can lead to earlier diagnosis – meaning a better chance of survival.
Early feedback is that the posters are being well received. Pancreatic Cancer Action have a fantastic, informative website with an array of rich resources for those who have been diagnosed, as well as a huge variety of ways to raise funds and awareness for the cause.
It is a pleasure to work with Ali and the team at Pancreatic Cancer Action on this and many other projects to support the important work they do.
June 4, 2015
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Today we’re having a throwback to the work of renowned modernist designer Paul Rand (1914-1996). You might not know his name, but you will have definitely seen his work.
Rand’s work is typically bold and simple in its design, his most recognisable work being the corporate logos created in the 50s and 60s for companies such as ABC television, UPS and IBM with ABC and IBM both still using Rand’s designs today in their original forms. So what’s the recipe for a brand identity with such great longevity? Rand had his own theory:
When a logo is designed is irrelevant; quality, not vintage nor vanity, is the determining factor.
It is true that good design is timeless – and when it comes to brand identity, simplicity is often the best way to achieve this. Rand said that if ‘in the business of communications, “image is king,” …the logo, is a jewel in its crown.”
An important message that Rand delivered was also that a logo is only as good as the company that stands behind it: it is the symbol that speaks to the existing reputation of the brand. If we consider the ‘best’ corporate logos of all time, we are usually making associations with those organisations based upon their status and performance, rather than admiring the logo’s design – whether this be an explicit or implicit decision.
This is what Rand felt a logo is and does:
A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon.
A logo doesn’t sell (directly), it identifies.
A logo is rarely a description of a business.
A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.
A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important than what it looks like.
Only after it becomes familiar does a logo function as intended; and only when the product or service has been judged effective or ineffective, suitable or unsuitable, does it become truly representative.
Rand is such an important figure in the world of design, both his style and his theory provide great inspiration and learning for us all.
Does your brand identify your business in the way you’d like? If you’d like to see some of the brands that we have created and developed here at Mzuri, take a look at our Brands board on Pinterest here.
Source: Logos, Flags, and Escutcheons by Paul Rand, available here.