SWS_case_study_Inmarsat_FXAs part of Saltwater Stone (see the Going Full-Service post from June) our design team was recommended to Inmarsat’s maritime marketing team to create marketing content and assets for the launch of the Fleet Xpress service.

Design and produce a marketing tool kit for channel partners and direct end user campaigns.

Primary: Global partner network.
End users: Global maritime markets.

• Key ‘hero’ visual
• Supporting imagery – set of custom icons to visually interpret main value propositions
• Full and fractional page multi-language print advert
• Digital advertising
• Advert adapts for 2016-17 media campaign
• Event banner
• Email footer
• Brochure
• Key principles guidelines for use of value propositions icons
• Inmarsat website homepage takeover
• Inmarsat website re-write of existing Fleet Xpress page

A comprehensive brief and extensive background information presented by the maritime marketing team allowed our designers to explore various creative approaches at the visual positioning stage of the project.

The complex and technically innovative service required a level of visualisation to communicate the features and benefits across every touchpoint of the Inmarsat brand with clarity and simplicity. The additional element of multiple platforms required a graphic treatment that was both scalable and optimised for use in digital and print contexts.

Saltwater Stone collaborated closely with the Inmarsat marketing team throughout the creative process. The goal was to convey simplicity and modernity, while preserving the company’s heritage and enormous brand equity.

Additionally, the client required a creative approach that reflected the innovation of Fleet Xpress, help position Inmarsat as a forward-thinking company as well as challenge the accepted standard in maritime communications marketing.

To create the new hero visual the designers isolated the key elements that make up the service in their purest forms; sea, ship and digital data (binary code). The crisp graphic look clearly expresses the connectivity Fleet Xpress delivers at ship level.

A custom set of icons was developed in support of the key visual to help communicate the benefits and values effectively and concisely in all media.

These tools follow the distinctive Inmarsat colour palette and typographic system and when combined enable the creation of a flexible yet consistent visual system to express a wide range of messages.

The resultant graphic elements were rolled out across all required deliverables and applications to produce a distinct visual identity for Fleet Xpress that works seamlessly across all print and digital platforms, at any scale without loss of impact or clarity.

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When working on the launch of Saltwater Stone we were asked by the team for a few tips and advice to give to their clients to help improve their brand’s communications. Here are some thoughts on design, branding and being effective online:

Less is more. Effective design is clear cut and balanced, to help viewers focus on important information. Communicate don’t decorate.
Create a hierarchy. Create structure and order through size, colour and placement. Usually, items of most importance appear first.
Know who you are. The answer must be short and clear. And therefore memorable. No matter how complex the reality is, a brand must be immediately graspable if it is to have real power. And it still needs to be true.
Review your brand. Review, evaluate, strategise and steer as your brand grows and expands.
Improve the user experience. Concentrate on the user interface: ensure easy navigation; reduce the number of clicks; focus on core information.
Get mobile. Embrace tablets and smartphones. Use ‘responsive’ technology to make sure your digital presence is visible across all online platforms.
Be more social. Ensure your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube profiles are all visible and easily accessible.
Take an analytical approach. Understand the behaviour of visitors to your site. Leverage tracking, monitoring and analysis tool.

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Our successful collaboration with Saltwater, the leading maritime PR, marketing and advertising agency, has grown over the last couple of years and in early June Saltwater rebranded to become Saltwater Stone, a modern day full-service communications agency working in the commercial, recreational and superyacht maritime markets.

Whilst we continue to operate as an independent design studio, as Stone Design, joining forces with Saltwater to become Saltwater Stone gives us access to a whole new pool of talent and skills meaning we can now offer a more complete marketing communications package to both existing and new clients alike.

We now have the capability to handle all aspects of the advertising process, including planning, design, production and placement, as well as other aspects of marketing communications, such as public and media relations, social media, editorial content, digital and direct marketing.

And in return Saltwater has an in-house design and branding studio with an enviable track record and over twenty years experience, much of it in the maritime sector.

To see what this all looks like visit www.saltwater-stone.com

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We’ve recently finished work on launching America’s leading marine audio manufacturer, JL Audio, to European markets.

The main objectives were to raise the brand’s profile throughout Europe and engage with consumers, large boat manufacturers and superyacht crew and service agents (such as captains, project managers and specifiers) who in turn will create awareness to, and influence, potential installers and distributors.

Assisted by a PR campaign, from our partners at Saltwater Communications, JL Audio Marine launched at the Southampton Boat Show and Monaco Yacht Show in September with build up to the events via traditional and digital media as well as through social media channels.

We established a visual style and brand personality better suited to European markets with deliverables including: an adapted brand identity; corporate communications; desktop and mobile website with curated music playlists; social media branding; email marketing; advertising; event invitations and promotional leaflets.

Mark Baker, marketing director at JL Audio UK, said, “We are extremely pleased with the results from working with Stone Design… Alan, Tara and the team exceeded our expectations – in all honesty we didn’t give them much to go on but they managed to take what we had in our mind’s eye and expand it to the next level. Really looking forward to developing the project further in the coming months and beyond – highly recommended.”

Visit jlaudiomarine.eu to find out more.

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TGA_hotel_illustrationOne of our clients asked for our help and lend a hand designing a logo for his daughter, an up-and-coming illustrator, who was launching her own brand called PhoMA. We were so impressed with Phoebe’s skills we asked her to help out on a recent project and from the above detail you can see just how super talented she is.

And now Phoebe’s been selected for an award at the National Open Art Competition and we’d really like our readers to vote Phoebe. This year the competition is holding an additional World Vote alongside their own judging which means we can all show our support for Phoebe’s selected piece, Empire State of Mine, a beautiful and intricate illustration of the New York skyline. Click here to see the drawing and vote.

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SS_websiteFor years now we’ve worked for many a company in the leisure and commercial shipping markets; from boat builders to satellite communications to offshore oil and gas.

In 2014 we were introduced to maritime industry stalwarts, Saltwater Communications, and liking the cut of our jib they’ve kept us in marine projects ever since. And as the workload piled up it became obvious the next step was to splice the mainbrace and launch the good ship Saltwater Stone for all things ship-shape and Bristol fashion in maritime communications.

This shiny new partnership mixes our forward thinking yet highly crafted design chops and all round marketing savvy with Saltwater’s worldwide PR and media reach, outstanding strategic planning and engagement to create a copper-bottomed maritime creative agency.

And so its anchors aweigh! If you’re ready to push the boat out then why not come aboard: email us at hello@saltwaterstone.co.uk or visit the website here.

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Reports of the imminent demise of print are wide of the mark. Our latest studio emailer is about the printed word in a digital age and how, as we swim through an electronic deluge each day, it holds fast against the tide. Whether a brochure, folder or business card, print shows your commitment to and just how much you value your customers.

The printed word reassures; it feels good to hold a quality crafted paper and appreciate the finish of a finely embossed foiled logo. A bespoke well designed piece of print stays around far longer than words on a glowing screen ever will, it has substance and heft. In other words, it makes the person reading it feel you’ve taken real time and effort to engage with them. This is the persuasiveness of quality.

But it’s also a necessity of advertising that must pay its way. And the more vital the need of returns from your printed matter, the greater the necessity that is possesses such quality.

In truth you are only producing one piece of print as that is all your customer will see. You may print many thousands of copies but the only one that matters is the one brochure they hold in their hand; they do not know, nor do they care anything at all about the expenses, difficulties or printing problems involved. They only know that in their hands is a brochure. One brochure. They are either impressed or unimpressed. In that copy is your opportunity. You have to make that one copy rise to it.

If you have something to say let’s put it down on paper. To talk print design, or indeed any kind of design, we’d love to hear from you: email tara@stonedesign.co.uk call +44 (0)1425 480070 or visit our website here.

Inspired by and with thanks to G. F. Smith, 1929.

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Here’s what our creative director got up to over the Christmas holidays (because Lego’s not just for kids)

Here’s what our creative director got up to over the Christmas holidays (because Lego’s not just for kids)

This is a model of Fallingwater; the Kaufmann Residence in rural Pennsylvania designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Built in the mid-late 1930s, the architecture is striking, not least because it employs a cantilevered construction to extend over the plot’s 30-foot waterfall of the Bear Run tributary of the Youghiogheny River.

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” – Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wright designed with the principle of harmony with nature at the forefront, a philosophy he called ‘organic architecture’  – nowhere is this more evident than the Kaufmann Residence.

The Kaufmann family fell in love with Bear Run when they hosted summer camps for the employees of their department store and they used a cabin up there as a rural retreat. When it deteriorated, they contacted Wright.

Fallingwater captured 1930s America’s imagination and in 2007 was named ‘best all-time work of American architecture’ by the American Institute of Architects.

And our creative director was pretty captivated by the Lego project, which uses clear tiles to represent the waterfall and a cunning slot and lock mechanism to bring all the elements of its construction together.

Find out more about Fallingwater at http://www.fallingwater.org and Frank Lloyd Wright at http://www.franklloydwright.org and you can find all of the Lego Architecture series at http://shop.lego.com/en-GB/Architecture-ByTheme

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SD_emailer_Xmas_2014As we wrap it up and head on out the door for a well earned yuletide break we send season’s greetings with a Dasher and Blitzen through the snow animation to add a little sparkle to the festive holidays.

But it won’t all be eggnog, caroling n’ bad knitwear for the 12 days of Christmas as there’s still some colouring in to do; from sprucing up a hotel’s branding to decking the halls at the upcoming London Boat Show.

And we’re always happy to talk design over a mulled wine or two – drop us a line and see how we can bring some fa la la la la to your brand.

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SD_emailer_Nov2014_section_2.1Our latest self-promotion looks at the way businesses and organisations now have to engage with their customers both online and off – and how content is the key to keeping the conversation going. Our illustration looks at all the many services we now offer to help brands tell their story in an ever changing world.

As we all jump from online to offline and back again without a thought, brands must do the same, telling their story and engaging with new and old customers alike, no matter where they are.

What brands say must now be of more value than ever. Its no longer good enough to just shout about how great you are, you must engage, inform, share, educate, answer problems and generally prove indispensable to customers.

And you can be sure if your brand doesn’t plant a flag online and tell your story the way you want it told, then someone else surely will and this may not be in a good way.

If you would like to receive regular tasty morsels about design, branding and direction and how to apply it to your brand or company then subscribe to our newsletter by signing up to our ‘blogroll’ in the side bar.

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