Blog : Creativity

Now, this is a sign!

Now, this is a sign!

The house over the road from me is being renovated. It’s happening everywhere at the moment, so there are site boards up and down our street. But none of them are like this one.

This one is beautiful – and I think it demonstrates that Stevens + Waters (whoever they may be!) know what they’re doing.

First, the design. The simplicity is what strikes you. It’s so pared back that it has twice as much presence as it otherwise would.

The font is beautiful: very straightforward, but not “off the shelf”…nicely spaced. Futura? Neutra? Not sure.

The logo is perfect.

The “air” around it makes it look so confident.

….and the detail; my photograph probably doesn’t show it, but the letters and the logo aren’t just printed, they’re die cut, with a backing board to hold those elements (“counters”) that need it.

All of which suggests an appreciation of design and quality that are – no coincidence – relevant to their industry.

But there’s something more going on here, I think.

The simplicity that makes the design work so well is achieved by the fact that there are no contact details: no phone number, no web address. Interesting.

This suggests two things to me: one possibility is that Stevens + Waters have realistic expectations for the amount of work they’ll attract from a site board. It could be that all of their work comes from relationships with architects.

(Something similar happens in my business: we get emails every week from SEO “experts” advising us that our website doesn’t rank on Google. If it’s a polite note, I’ll reply that we actually do a lot of SEO work for our clients. A lot. Our business, though, doesn’t benefit from a “page one ranking”. Marketers don’t look for advertising agencies that way. Ours certainly don’t. All of our new clients come from prior relationships or recommendations.)

The other possibility is that someone at Stevens + Waters – or at their design agency – understands how search works these days. We don’t type urls into search bars any more, we just type in the name. Simple.

Whatever the reasoning, it’s a great result, and hopefully a sign (sorry) of things to come.

Bravo Stevens + Waters!

Here’s what creativity is

Here’s what creativity is

Very, very often, creativity in our business is putting together two things which haven’t been together before.
Together they create a lot more impact than either of them would on their own.
Here’s a perfect illustration of it: a world record sprint and an annual report.
How on earth do they work together? Here, somehow, they do.
And crucially, they do it in the service of the brand’s positioning as “the world’s fastest sports brand”.
Which illustrates the power of a clear positioning: The possibilities are now almost endless. Puma can now use the world’s fastest…anything… and do a great job for their brand. Your mind starts spinning…they could do almost anything.
That’s a great positioning.

On creativity

On creativity

Creativity can be hard to dissect.
This article illuminates one particular aspect of it very well: the appeal of a “process”, something designed to guarantee an outcome which, in truth, can’t be guaranteed, i.e. the inherently unpredictable nature of ideas.
Something entirely new

Something entirely new

Extreme time exposures of movies, capturing their essence in a still.
New ideas should be celebrated, don’t you think?
Alice in Wonderland
Deep Throat
Dr Stangelove
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Texas Chainsaw Massacre

See? It can be done!

After the fiasco that was the Pepsi/Jenner attempt at a message of social inclusion and tolerance, it’s too easy to assume that big marketers shouldn’t even attempt to play in that space.
How timely that Heineken should come along and show us that it can be done, and done really well.
Suck on that, as it were!
It’s not about Trump

It’s not about Trump

There’s enough Trump commentary out there already – we don’t need to add to it.
This is about creativity.
Often, the best ideas are completely lateral.
(As in, “Where did that come from?”)
The trick is to recognise them when you see them, and understand the value they can produce.
Then go for it.

It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how

How right the late, great Dr. Seuss was. It’s fun to have fun, but you need to know how. As this little clip may imply, at HBT we still believe in having fun… or at least throwing things at each other. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

Grand opening!

Finally! The doors have arrived and they’re beautiful! We now have a fully useable meeting room. The hard work (the supervisory trip to Bali etc.) were all worth it. Should we have a party to celebrate? Yes we should!