TREND// PATTERN

TGA_patternsOver the last few months and numerous projects we’ve noticed there’s a lot of pattern going on. They do say a picture paints a thousand words but a classy art deco pattern or Georgian leaning motif sure does bring a little panache to a project, especially when we’re all so bombarded with images day in day out (thank you Instagram, Pinterest an’ all).

So we raise a glass to pattern and the joy it brings to a piece of packaging, sleek new menu or brochure background and in case you’re wondering, yes, our latest project sure does bring some fine patterns front and centre. Take a look at the work we’re doing for a smart boutique hotel, here on our website, and the architectural inspired patterns that wrap up the new look.

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LATEST WORK// TRADITIONAL BUTCHERS

High Lea logo

High Lea Farm called us in to rebrand their butchery and tell the world all about its  honest to goodness, home grown, down on the farm food.

Located deep in the Dorset countryside the farm butchery’s existing identity needed stripping back to its essential parts and rebuilding to give a more authentic, honest feel. We wanted wholesome design for wholesome food.

And while we had the opportunity, we used the new identity to make more of the fact the butchery sells its own home-reared meats. We also wanted the branding to cross promote and build links with the other businesses on the Gaunts Estate; Honeybrook Family Farm serves High Lea Butchers’ meats and produce in its cafes and restaurant.

The new logo retains the bull’s head from the original signs but takes the look in a more rustic, austere direction harking back to traditional farm yard signs and stencilling. The final logo is a simple, one-colour design which can easily be scaled to fit not only the smallest packaging label but which will look equally good on a food truck, and all the way up to being painted on the side of a barn.

With the addition of a muted colour palette of bloods and bones the overall look and feel not only represents the good ol’ butcher we all wished still existed in every village high street but, hopefully, appeals to those fed up with the slick and sanitised approach to butchery our supermarkets support, and who yearn for something a little more real both in experience and taste.

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LATEST WORK// WEBSITE FOR SMARTPHONE USERS

Stone Design mobile site

Our recent Honeybrook Family Farm & Riverside Park mobile website received such glowing reviews we thought we’d design a new smart phone version of our own site http://stonedesign.co.uk/mobile

We designed our own after we were so pleased with the mobile site we created for our client Honeybrook Family Farm & Riverside Park

In both cases, we decided a responsive desktop design just didn’t cut it in terms of design or user experience, so we built a distinct mobile site.

The mobile sites are simplified both in terms of content and navigation and focus on the information that’s really important – such as the organisation’s main message, contact details and recent news or portfolio updates. We use graphics, rather than images, so loading is quicker and uses less mobile data allowance, and we use one column meaning text is big enough to read just as it is presented – no zooming.

There are other differences. Our desktop site is our portfolio, a timeless record and showcase of much of the work we’ve done over recent years. Our mobile site allows us to focus on the here and now, and as it’s so easy to update, we’ll be using our landing page to explore of-the-moment trends in design communications, kicking off with lettering.

Why should you have a separate mobile site? User engagement is far lower on mobiles when they only display the regular desktop site, often vast amounts of information in tiny text that makes people give up before they’ve even begun. Even responsive desktops that resize text for mobiles can present a frustrating experience, particularly in terms of navigation. It seems like common sense that no organisation would want to alienate people in that way, but it’s amazing how many businesses have missed the opportunity to engage with clients and increase sales with a mobile site. In short, good design sells.

There’s no downside and no compromising of the main website – thanks to the browser detect function written into the code of the regular desktop site, mobile users are seamlessly redirected, with an option to view the full website if they choose.

The good news is that we’ve got you covered, whether you need a website refresh or an entirely new online presence incorporating desktop, mobile and social media, too. And what’s really great is that we offer our clients in-browser editing, meaning you can easily and quickly update your website – great for updating imagery and posting news – giving your customers a reason to keep coming back for refreshed content. With in-browser editing, you’re in control and your on-going costs are reduced.

To talk website 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 http://www.stonedesign.co.uk/

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HOW WE DO WHAT WE DO

SD_emailer_May2014_2.0

Its sometimes said that clients find the whole design process a mysterious dark art so we thought a straightforward infographic would help explain how we do what we do all day. And by looking at the steps it takes to go from a simple sketch to a fully formed finely crafted masterpiece we took a magnifying glass to our in-house processes and, after a quick spring clean, we now have a set of procedures that make for a quick, efficient journey from the first hello to blast off.

Creative_process_2014

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LATEST WORK// DESKTOP & MOBILE WEBSITE FOR LOCAL ATTRACTION

StampaHoneybrook Desktop WebsiteExcited to launch this Easter the new website for Honeybrook Farm & Riverside Park that we have designed and built. Happy to report that the site is attracting more visitors than ever with close to 300 visits per day.

To make sure that it is responsive and easy to use on all devices we built a mobile version as well, so that the user is always faced with the site optimised for their device.

The look and feel of the site echoes the new identity that we have been rolling out for the farm park since last July 2013, which has included signage, adverts, leaflets, mailers and a new map.

The website offers a newsletter subscription sign up so that Honeybrook can collect email addresses of those interested in keeping up to date with the goings on at the farm park and a paylpal option to purchase annual passes.

The site will be regularly updated with the upcoming events and has social media links to the Honeybrook’s Twitter and Facebook page.

 

 

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LATEST WORK// SIGNS OF ATTRACTION

Visitor Map & leaflet

As part of our 2014 campaign for Honeybrook Family Farm & Riverside Park we’ve designed, drawn and distributed a visitor leaflet.

The brief from the Honeybrook team was to encourage visitors not only to enjoy the farm yard and village green but explore the far reaches of the park and all it offers for a full n’ fun family day out. The gatefold leaflet opens out to reveal an illustrated map of the park, complete with scale illustrations of the Victorian farm buildings, the many attractions and miles of riverside walks, helping visitors navigate around the 84 acres.

Honeybrook Entrance Signage

We’ve also created a series of mini-brands for the park’s attractions and features, such as the “Honeybrook Riding School” and “Wild Skills Den”, to let people know just how many activities are now available for both young and old.

And to give the park more visibility we replaced the old roadside signs with brighter, more inviting signs to shout loud and proud about all that Honeybrook offers in 2014 so its even harder not to turn in, especially if there are kids in the car! There’s also a series of roadside banners to help promote offers and events (like those below) to passing traffic.

Event BannersIn today’s digital world we think its vital tourist attractions can easily be found and read online, so our next job is to refresh and modernise the website so its both responsive in design and focuses on helping visitors plan a trip to the park with ease. The new site will be the best place to keep up-to-date with special events, courses, news and offers so visitors don’t miss a thing!

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FROM THE POTTING SHED

We’ve let Al loose with the crayons again to create a beautiful animated illustration for our latest emailer.

How does your branding grow?With springtime just around the corner its time to get out again, sow some seeds and start tending to your branding and make your business flourish this year.

Here in our potting shed we have the tools and expertise to cut through even the most tangled of undergrowth to design, plant, prune and cultivate your business into a prize winner.

To see how green fingered we really are tell us what you need and we’ll put together a free concept or two that will put a spring in your step.

Get in touch and let us know how we can help at Stone Design or call +44 01425 480070.

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GOOD DESIGN FOR GOOD CAUSES

We’re pleased to announce that 10% of all sales of Greyhound / Whippet prints and tees  at StoneDesignShop.com will be donated to the animal charity of your choice.

PRINT_longdog TSHIRT_FoL_greyhound_wht
We’re mad keen on sighthounds in the studio so we just had to design some products to celebrate our love of these elegant, graceful breeds. The prints are available from A3 to A0 size, on poster paper, fine art paper or unstretched canvas.

We’ve welcomed 5 rescue sighthounds into our lives over the years; currently we have Sola, a Lurcher (Greyhound / Collie); Lily, a Long Dog (Greyhound / Borzoi); and Flea, a Greyhound.

StudioDogsSola top, Flea right, Lily bottom, sharing a bed at the studio while watching the squirrels.

They are all rescue dogs who came to us with various physical or psychological challenges and special needs. They had been living on the streets or had been with families who couldn’t care for them in the way they’d like. With time and our love, care and patience they have grown in confidence and are living full, happy lives. Sighthounds are sensitive souls, very keen on human interaction, warmth and comfort (they are renowned sofa-stealers!), and they make the most wonderful companions.

But without the shelter that first rescued them from the ‘put to sleep’ list, or took them in when the owners couldn’t handle them anymore, our dogs would never have had a chance at life, and we’d never have been blessed with them. So that’s why we donate.

Shelters are particularly stretched at this time of year and knowing how much our local charities depend on donations, we’d like to help out not just in our area, but in yours, too. So whether you’re ordering from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe or anywhere in the world, in fact, let us know which animal charity you’d like us to donate to on your behalf.

Leave the name of the charity and a link to the donation page of their website in the ‘Add a note’ box at checkout. Please note we donate 10% of the item(s) price. Please share this with all of your animal loving friends and let’s raise lots of money for animal charities across the world.

Thank you from all of us at the studio, including Sola, Lily and Flea!

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SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM THE STUDIO

Season's Greetings

You may have noticed that we do love the movement and impact of an animated gif and we challenged our Chief of Crayoning Al to create a Christmas email that would make Walt Disney proud. I think he did just that.

If you would like your email marketing to work harder for you and, simply put, look better doing it then give us the nod and we will transform the look and feel of your digital newsletters and emails. Snow flakes optional!

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ARE YOU SOCIALLY AWKWARD?

As social media shouts ever louder, and we rely increasingly on mobile devices your website cannot remain an island. It must integrate, be accessible & fit seamlessly into our socially connected digital lives to work tirelessly in support of your brand.

Stone Design Shop

The newly launched Stone Design shop not only stocks some of our favourite art prints and graphic tees but was a breeze to build, thanks to a hosted ecommerce platform,and keeps us up-to-date across all our social media channels with a single click.

Stone Design Shop

So if you’re feeling socially awkward get in touch to see how easy it is to feel at home online. And you can now buy our new designs at our ecommerce store here

We’ve also included a ecommerce widget into our lemon-T facebook page, which is getting lots of ‘Likes’ and attention. Say what you like abut Facebook but it does really help support your online presence and is pretty simple to set up and run.

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