The Two Sarahs 2015

We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a well-deserved break. We definitely did. But soon it’s back to work ready for the start of a new year of new projects and clients.

We thought we would take this opportunity to take a look back on five of our favourite projects of the last year. It was hard to narrow it down to just five but these projects each came with their own challenges and achievements that we are very proud of and feel they have set us in good stead for a great 2016.

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5. OnEdition Media

Brief: To design a Christmas eCard for a Christmas Newsletter

I guess we must still be feeling the Christmas spirit as we really wanted to mention our Christmas-related project of the year! We were approached by OnEdition Media to design an eCard that they could send to their partners and clients.

We were provided with a sketch to base our design on – but were also given free reign to design something completely different and submit that as a second design.

Well, we must have been very excited about Christmas because we went a little overboard and ended up providing our client with about nine extra designs! However the client was so happy with our adaption of their sketch that they selected that one. With just a couple of amendments to be made, the card was sent a week from when we were given the go ahead to proceed with the project.

This project affirmed to us that we are passionate about design – and so we don’t mind going a little overboard from time to time, as we are doing something that we love! I’m sure our love of Christmas helped too.

We were also very proud of our very quick turnaround! It has given us a great deal of confidence going in to 2016.

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4. Bayside Cabin

Brief – To design a new menu for a beachside café

The history of this café is brilliant. They began as a food van at the side of the beach. Their food and service proved to be so popular that they were able to invest in a permanent building right at the beach front and they haven’t looked back since. They are now a thriving business and a popular eating spot for those who want to take a walk along the beach and have a tasty meal along the way.

So, when we were contacted by Bayside Cabin to design a new menu, we were delighted.

We went to meet the owners of the café one morning to discuss what they were looking for. They had a good idea of what kind of design they wanted – they even had an example ready for us to view and to base our ideas on. At this point in time we didn’t have a huge amount of examples of menu designs on our website, and so the owners of Bayside Cabin were a little unsure as to what to expect from us.

We took on board all of the notes from our meeting and proceeded to come up with a number of original design routes for them. At our next meeting, they were impressed with the amount of work we had done and with the designs we had come up with. They loved all the designs but eventually they were able to pick a favourite and provided us with the full menu copy. It was decided that two menus would be required – a breakfast menu and a lunch menu. It was at this point that they also decided that a new logo would also be required. They had such a clear idea as to what they would like their menus to look like that they decided that they wanted their logo to be redesigned in a similar way.

Along every step of the way we remained in close contact in regards to the designs, and any ideas or amendments we had we made sure to run past our client so as to design the menu exactly the way they wanted it.

Once the designs were completed, we arranged for the menus to be printed.

The client later came back to us in order to make some amendments to the content of their menus, as well as requesting we design a dessert menu as well. This proved to be a little challenging as we had to alter our original design not only with the amendments to the content put forward by the client as we had to move everything around to ensure the text was laid out properly and the client also wanted to change the type of fold in the menu. After a few drafts being sent back and forth between us and the client we were able to tweak the lunch menu to meet their requirements as well as design a standalone dessert menu that was consistently branded to match the other existing menus.

This project meant a lot to us because we were able to surpass our client’s expectations and deliver a number of high quality products. As the project went on the number of tasks grew, however we were still able to keep within our timescales and provide the client with their menus before the rush of the summer set in.

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3. The Fiction Mill

The brief: To refine an existing logo design and create a business card design based around this.

We’re used to clients coming to us with their own ideas for their designs. What made this project different is that the client had practically designed their logo already! On this occasion, they were simply looking for a little bit of fine-tuning so that their brand is consistent across all mediums.

We sat down with the client and began to refine his logo. The colours and the basic design remained the same, we simply made sure that everything was aligned and concise. We then consulted with the client on how to present their brand – for example, selecting no more than two fonts to use in order to make their brand recognisable and consistent. Similarly we discussed the importance of using their brand colours to good effect on their website and social media pages, making sure not to deviate from their CMYK/RGB/Hex values. Once branding guidelines are put into place, it is a lot easier to apply it elsewhere and make amendments without changing the whole look of your company.

Once the logo had been refined and the client was happy, we went on to design a business card. This was a great exercise as it also showed the client the way in which he would be able to apply his new brand guidelines when creating something new, using the specified colours and fonts associated with the brand.

The client was extremely happy with the finished product. You can read his testimonial here. This made us aware that projects can come in all forms, and not always as expected.

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2. Mercanix

Brief: To create additional branded elements for an already thriving business.

The client came to us as he had recently run out of his current business cards and decided this was a good time to get a fresh new design, but one that fitted in with his existing branding. We put together a set of business card designs using the existing logo and brand colours and he opted for a vertical business card as he felt this was more interesting than the standard horizontal business cards. Once he had selected his preferred design, we sent the design to the printers, advising the client on what finishes to have and what gsm (thickness) to use. He was so pleased with the finished product that he then asked us to design a van wrap for his fleet of vehicles and also promotional air fresheners he could hand out to his customers.

He contacted the sign writer he wanted to use and they sent him a template for his make of Mercedes van. We then used to the template to design the van and the client chose the first design we produced! We then went on to design his promotional air fresheners. He had already found a printer he wanted to use so it was just down to us to design the product. His logo contained a cog so we decided to incorporate this into the design to keep brand consistency and ensure his promotional items were easily recognisable as part of his business. Once the design was agreed he sent these to print and gave us some examples we could use to show future clients and they looked excellent (even if we do say so ourselves). Plus they smelled like sweets – yummy!

A few months later the client came back to us as he had already given out all his new business cards and this time he wanted us to add some foil effects to the card. We kept the design the same but we tweaked the cog so that when the next batch was printed, the cog element would be silver foil. We again advised him on the printing process and spoke through his options and once he was happy, we sent them to print. The foil was the challenging aspect of this project as the design needs to be suitable for foil and there are strict printing guidelines that must be followed such as spacing and size of foiled area. But we ensured we followed the guidelines provided by the printer and our client was ecstatic when the new cards came back, with the foil element just adding an extra touch of class.

Every aspect of this project gave us the opportunity to design something a little different from the norm.

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1. Benny’s Burgertown

Brief: To create a new logo, menu, shop front and leaflet design for a new diner coming to Southampton

This project involved so many elements, and so is one of our biggest projects to date.

It started with a meeting with the client at our office. He was looking to open an American-style diner in Southampton and had a very clear idea with what he wanted his brand to look like. We understood each other very quickly, and went on to design a number of different logos for him all along the same vein as his examples and ideas.

Our client was very happy with our designs, and our adaption of his ideas. Once a logo was selected, then we were able to proceed with the rest of the project. The shop front was next on our list – the sign, and the windows. This part of the project proved to be challenging as there were strict guidelines that we had to adhere to, put in place by the local council. We therefore went to visit the diner so as to take in the surrounding area to ensure that our sign was in-keeping with the local aesthetic, as well as ensuring that it is eye-catching to passers by. We also wanted to ensure that it represented the interior design of the diner.

We submitted a number of designs to our client for approval from the council. Thankfully the council was able to approve our client’s favourite design for the shop sign, and were happy with the vinyl stickers we had designed for the windows. Once we had the all clear, we proceeded to design the menu.

After discussing this with the client at length, we jointly opted for a menu on one side of A3 as this is in-keeping with a traditional American diner menu. Once the final copy for the menu was submitted to us, we proceeded to lay it out in a logical and concise way, ensuring that it was designed consistently along with the logo and shop front. It was at this point in the project where our tummies started to rumble whilst reading about all of the American style burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes – we wanted to get this completed fast so that the diner could open and we could place an order!

Once the client confirmed that he was happy with the menu, we were finally tasked to design a leaflet in order to promote the opening of the diner, and their delivery service to the local area. It was a no brainer that the menu should go on one side of the flyer, so as to get any potential customer’s taste buds tingling. The other side included all of the information about the diner and it’s latest offers, as well as photographs of the food.

Once the leaflets were printed, the diner opened it’s doors – and we think it all looks pretty fantastic, even if we do say so ourselves. This project is one of our proudest achievements as we were able to deliver a brand identity in the exact style our client was looking for, and were able to design all of the different elements in a consistent and timely manner in order for the diner to be opened as soon as possible.

Also – the food is delicious!

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And so what with the experience and knowledge that we gained whilst undertaking these five projects, as well as all of the rest, we think we’re in a great position to face 2016 head on. We’re ready to learn even more, and design even greater things.

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