Wow, another financial year is upon us! This is a great time to reflect and think about ways in which you would like to grow your business or things you might like to change. Have you put room aside in your budget in the past for branding? This is often an area that is neglected by businesses and can ultimately cause unnecessary panic and stress. We recommend taking the time now to think about your branding and create a plan and budget for the year ahead.

It is no surprise that we love plants here at the Greenhouse and we think that the growth of a brand is not too dissimilar to the growth of a plant, so we have come up with a list of ‘gardening’ tips, to help guide you in the growth of your business!

Light – A plant needs light to grow. So does your brand! The more exposure you get, the more well-known your brand becomes. It’s important to remember that your brand is far more than just a logo. Your brand is the core of your business and should be a critical element in your business planning – your brand affects how your company is perceived, it increases business value and it gives you more credibility. You want your brand to build awareness, trust and loyalty with your audience.

Water – Water is so important to plant growth. Without it, the plant will inevitably die. If you liken this to business, healthy flow of income is a critical component to keeping any business thriving. Like a plant without water, a business without income could struggle on for a short while – a stressful time for both! – but ultimately, it wouldn’t survive. That’s why it is so important to pour regular time and money into your brand – to lessen the drought. Despite the temptation to pull back on advertising and brand development in the busy times, remember that it is important to keep the flow of communication running between your business and your target market…connecting with the people who are not just ready to buy now but to those who will be ready to buy in 3, 6 month's time. Make time in your planning to work on getting (and keeping) your brand at the fore of your customer's thoughts, all year long.

Fertiliser – Plants need fertiliser to keep growing. Fertiliser ensures plants don’t lose necessary nutrients and keeps them strong and healthy to last long into the future. So, let us help you to make sure your business is future proofed! We can help you to redefine the category you are in and make sure your brand stands out amongst the rest. Keep your brand well fed and relevant – think about all the ways you can communicate to clients, such as social media, website engagement, print material. Connecting with clients will help to strengthen and grow your brand.

Pruning – Plants need pruning to improve growth. Likewise, a brand needs continuous maintenance in order to grow, remain relevant and never get stagnant. Make time in your yearly plan to review your branding and see what is working and what isn’t. We live in an “attention economy” so it is important to invest time into ensuring your brand is getting the recognition it deserves! The market will always change so you need to ensure your brand adapts to match with this.

Weeding – Weeding is never fun but sometimes it is necessary to the growth of the plant. Weeds can block out sunlight and steal water – which as we said before, is critical to growth! So as hard as it can be sometimes you need to take a good hard look at your brand and not be afraid to get rid of things that may not be working. We can help if you want to do a brand refresh!

Pest Control – When setting up a garden it is important to put procedures in place to protect your plants. The same is absolutely true with your brand – the last thing you want is a legal battle! So, make time to review your insurances and ensure they are all up to date. If we are working with you we will always give advice to make sure your brand is unique, your website is secure and no copyrights are breached.

The result of this is growth and development, which we think is critical in brand success. So, why not make the most of it being the beginning of a new financial year and take a look at where your brand is now and where you would like your brand to be. We would be happy to have a chat with you about how we can help!

Today is World Environment Day, which got us thinking about how we try and make our Studio as green as possible – in colour and sustainability! It is really important to us that we are always doing our best to reduce our environmental footprint as much as we can.

Digital design is becoming more and more popular which has obvious benefits to the environment. As more businesses are choosing to communicate their messages predominately via online platforms such as social media, their own website and email communications, less printing is required.

But the reality is that print based design is still a popular and effective way for businesses to communicate their brand – business cards, packaging, and flyers are just an example. So, when we are producing print materials, we always opt to use local print companies, who are environmentally aware. This means they do their best to reduce waste and carbon emissions, recycle their by-products and use vegetable-based inks and recycled paper. We also talk to our client about ways to print greener – for example, using thinner card with a lower GSM or a smaller sized business card if possible.

We are also always on the lookout for ways to improve our environmental footprint within the Greenhouse. Here are some of the ways we approach being GREEN:

  • Being an almost entirely paperless office. Almost all of our communications and administration are done electronically, meaning our print requirements are very low. This is important to us as paper product manufacturing contributes significantly to deforestation and man-made climate change. If we absolutely need to print something in-house, we use always recycled paper.
  • Recycling our waste wherever possible.
  • Harnessing the sun’s natural light. We are lucky to have a studio that is filled with natural light, so we rarely need to use the studio lights. However when we do, our energy saving LEDs keep our power use to a minimum.
  • Switching off electrical equipment when we leave for the day.
  • Using environment friendly cleaning products to keep the Studio spick and span!
  • Keeping the air clean. We are the Greenhouse by name and nature – the studio is filled with plants! We love bringing nature into the office to give it a calming vibe and improve the air quality.

Happy World Environment Day! Think GREEN!

In short, web design focuses on the aesthetic portion of the website including the usability. Web developers then take the design and make a functioning website from it.

When it comes to explaining the difference between web design and web development, we like to use the analogy of it being like an architect and a builder. You wouldn’t build a house or a building without a decent set of blueprints so equally you shouldn’t build a website without a design and layout in place.

Web design is where we come in! We work closely with our clients to create a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing design which they can then take to their own web developers (builders) or use our trusted and experienced development team, to bring the design to life. Either way we work closely with the developers every step of the way, ensuring the final, functional website produced is exactly as we imagined it.

So what is web design exactly?

Web design is a careful thought out process of collecting ideas and presenting them in such a way that ensures the website is visually compelling and easy to use. The overall look and feel of your website is what we help to create. This is important as your site is a key part of your branding and the design needs to consider and be reflective of your existing brand materials. User experience is also a key part of our considerations when developing the design of a site, as a confusing, hard to navigate site can drive people away and hurt your brand. A website is such an important marketing tool which allows you to give a good first impression to potential new customers and establishes credibility. So, let us help you create a quality website that you and your clients will love!

How can we help you?

We understand that planning a web design can be daunting and overwhelming so we work with you to make sure your ideas and beliefs are incorporated as much as possible. There are many elements to consider with web design, some of which are listed below:

  • Layout - We will create a balanced layout that ensures all information is displayed in an easy to read and visual pleasing way.
  • Site navigation – we will make sure the website is user friendly and easy to find information efficiently.
  • Colour palate - Using information that you give us, teamed with our knowledge of what will look aesthetically pleasing, we will create a eye catching colour palate to suit your brand.
  • Fonts used – Some fonts are not always recognised by every web browser and other fonts can be hard to read. We will help select fonts that suit your design and work well across all platforms.
  • Graphics used – This includes logos, photos, icons, animations etc.  We can work with what you already have or offer advice if required. Again these needs to be visually pleasing and tied in well with the colours and fonts chosen.
  • Interaction – Make it easy for your clients to communicate with you.

So if you need a web designer to help create your new website or refresh an old one – get in touch for a chat today!

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