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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Emailersx5_summersale_offer5_headerQuatreau_website_pages_1.0Is the news on your website a little last year? Never get the time to update and tell your customers how great you are? We design websites that clearly communicate who you are and what you do and what’s more we build them with in-browser editing meaning you can update your own site any time you want whether that’s on the train, in the car or, hell, even sitting on the beach!

We recently launched a one page brand website for Quatreau Tap and supported by an active social media and advertising campaign we’re seeing a 200% increase in traffic.

Our team includes copy writers, content marketers and social media gurus who are on hand to help keep you and your brand connected across all digital platforms and social networks. They help inform, educate, share and prove to your customers just how indispensable a company you are.

See our other summer sale blog posts to read about our social media skills, content marketing chops and advertising awesomeness.

From as little as £999 for a new website that’s always bang on time there’s no need to put it off for any longer. Email tara@stonedesign.co.uk or call +44 (0)1425 480070 today. Offer valid until 21st September 2015.

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Emailersx5_summersale_offer4_headerAds_summersale_Okay, so far this week our summer scorcher of a sale has offers on how we can spruce up your identity to the joys of being a social brand but where does this leave that ol’ stalwart, advertising, in these wonderfully low costs and free ways to promote your business times?

And we all know advertising costs, right? Well, yes it does, but that’s because it gets results as long as it stays focused, has a clear and direct action and can measure its returns. And when’s its good its very good, indeed; controllable, precise, creating awareness, giving you credibility and amplifying everything else you do. In other words, its just got to be in the mix.

Right now, we’re offering an off-the-page or online advertising package from £199. For example, an animated online banner ad to drive customers to your website or a magazine display ad to promote your brand and services. If you’re serious about generating leads and watching sales grow get in touch with us today, email tara@stonedesign.co.uk or call +44 (0)1425 480070. Offer valid until 21st September 2015.

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Emailersx5_summersale_offer3_headerSD_emailer_Nov2014_section_2.1“Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.”

Jumping from online to offline and back again is part of our everyday lives and your brand should be doing the same, telling its story and engaging with new and old customers alike, no matter where they are.

We all read, review and research a product or business before even getting in touch so what you say and how you look saying it needs to have value. You need to inform, educate, share, answer problems and generally prove indispensable to your customers. At Stone Design we know this type of content marketing is king; it helps you sell, helps people find you and makes it easier for them to buy from you.

No matter where your customers may be we can help you reach them and tell your story. Our content marketing helps you shout about your brand across all digital platforms and social networks as well as the more traditional channels such as print, magazines and presentations. For example, we can put together a targeted campaign across social media as well as reach out to relevant trade press and consumer titles from just £99 per month. Email tara@stonedesign.co.uk or call +44 (0)1425 480070 and see how easy it is to feel at right at home online. Offer ends 21st September 2015.

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Emailersx5_summersale_offer2_headerEmailersx5_summersale_iPadA well crafted and targeted email marketing campaign helps you reach existing and prospective clients alike. There’s real value in staying connected and using email is an easy and inexpensive way to keep customers informed.

Analysing the data from the campaign and integrating across social media increases your brand’s online presence generating enquiries and sales leads. What’s more its been found that offering rewards, such as discounts, exclusive offers and loyalty schemes, creates a strong bond with your customers: a recent study showed that 59 percent of people surveyed would sign up for email updates from companies if incentives were offered.

Our targeted email campaigns are on offer from as little as £199. Email tara@stonedesign.co.uk call +44 (0)1425 480070 to find out more. Offer valid until 21st September 2015.

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Emailersx5_summersale_offer1_headerNumbers_face_1.1The face of your company or organisation needs to be the sum of who you are and what you stand for. A brand has many elements: colours, words, photography, logos, ads, tone of voice, etc., many of which may have been independently developed over time, and may not reflect or amplify a coherent and unified message.

Whether its giving you a more flexible identity using existing logos, producing profile pics and banners for Facebook and Twitter or modernising your existing identity our brand refresh packages start from as little as £99.

If your brand doesn’t add up to the picture you want to present get in touch to see how good design can increase the bottom line. Email tara@stonedesign.co.uk or call +44 (0)1425 480070. Offer valid until 21st September 2015.

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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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