The Power of the Polka Dot in Graphic Design

Of all the patterns that appear in graphic design, the polka dot is one of the most versatile, eye-catching and has stood the test of time. After first appearing in the world of fashion in the mid-19th century, this spotty design has been used in countless art and graphic design works, adding visual interest, fun and a quirky touch to all of them.

In fact, the polka dot is so iconic that many artists and designers have based entire series and brands around the aesthetic, creating iconic works in the process.

article-0-0F6B384B00000578-786_634x428Damien Hirst

One of the most famous British artists of all time Damien Hirst has used the polka dot in some of his most instantly recognisable works. Known as the ‘Spot Paintings’, the simplicity of Hirst’s pieces have inspired countless artists and graphic designers and have created a brand new aesthetic all of their own.

Cath Kidston

Cath-Kidson

One of the most famous contemporary designers around, Cath Kidston has taken full advantage of the creative potential of polka dots in designs across her collection.

By using polka dots to add interest and character to the background of her designs, Kidston has managed to create a unique aesthetic and an instantly recognisable brand. Even when the dots themselves are replaced with flowers or birds, the regular intervals and geometry of the underlying polka dot design still helps to unify the piece and make it stand out.

Roy Lichtenstein

roy1By appropriating an aesthetic first used by comic books, Roy Lichtenstein took the polka dot to brand new heights. Working in the 1960s Lichtenstein helped to bring the pop art movement to prominence, create a unique and iconic aesthetic of his own as he went.

Work inspired by Lichtenstein can be seen across the web, with thousands of websites, products, apps and logos bearing elements of his ideas.

She Who Bakes

Another fine example employing the power of the polka dot (if we do say so ourselves) is She Who Bakes. Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 14.42.02 Designed by the creative cats at Clockwork Moggy, the site uses elements of pop art to create a striking aesthetic. The monochrome polka dot background helps the content to jump off the page, giving the site a strong identity and an instantly recognisable look.

Inspired by the strong personality of the site, and the artistic preferences of the client, the look of the site combines classic elements of pop art and contemporary digital design.

To find out more about our designs and the work we do, have a look around our site or get in touch with one of the members of our creative team.

Graphic Design and the Oscars

The Oscars is arguably the biggest show in show business. With its A-list line up, glamorous ceremony and legendary status, the awards show attracts a global audience of around one billion.

With such an iconic reputation to live up to, it’s no wonder that the tech team behind the Oscars put a huge amount of effort into creating the graphics for the show. In 2015, the intros for the awards categories were one of the highlights of the event, with all of them perfectly designed to show off the nominations in each category.

The importance of intro sequences

As we saw in 2015, Oscar intro sequences are a fantastic way to set up a category and get the audience excited by the nominations. The creative genius behind many of last year’s best intro sequences was Englishman Henry Hobson. A graphic designer who’s worked on the past eight Oscars broadcasts, Hobson has a lot of experience when it comes to creating eye-catching images for star studded events.

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Having worked on the Oscars in various capacities for so many years, and having watched the role of graphic design slowly evolve and develop within the awards show, Hobson has now taken on an overall design role, helping to bring unity to the title sequences and create spectacular intros.

In fact, the role of graphics within The Academy Awards has now grown so much that the show employees three designers, two illustrators and twelve animators as well as Hobson, showing just how important the aesthetics of these sequences are.

Hobson’s main goal in creating intro sequences has been to reflect the nominees and the category he’s representing within the graphics themselves. By incorporating the films into the sequence in this way, Hobson has managed to create a unique aesthetic and title sequences that get the audience genuinely excited.

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Graphic design and the Oscars

Considering how important graphic design is to the Oscars, and the movie industry in general, it’s surprising that the medium is only now beginning to receive the attention it deserves.

Though film posters, title sequences and fonts have long been iconic to the movie going public, the industry itself is yet to acknowledge graphic design with an Oscar of its own. Until they do, designers will have to make do with stealing the show at the Oscars and using the Academy Awards to showcase the incredible work they do.

Web Hosting Explained

If you’re new to website ownership, much of the terminology and technology involved is probably new to you. From domain names and URLs to content management systems (CMS), there’s a whole new language to learn when it comes to the web.

One of the most important aspects of any website is hosting. Without hosting, your website is just a document and no visitors will be able to see or experience the site that you’ve spent so much time and energy putting together. Good hosting can make a huge difference to a website, helping it to work smoothly, boosting its SEO and making the managing and maintenance of it quick and easy.

What is web hosting?

Essentially, web hosting is the service by which an individual or an organisation can make their website available to the public via the World Wide Web. Web hosting companies provide their clients with space on a server where they can store their website and offer the internet connectivity that makes the site accessible to the web.

The type of hosting you’ll require will depend on your exact needs. Small, personal sites are generally inexpensive. The larger and more complex a site becomes, the more expensive and powerful your hosting will be.

Why does hosting vary so much in price?

The smaller and more basic a website is, the less space it takes up on the World Wide Web. A website that’s just made up of text and images also won’t need a great deal of support or require any complex features to function.

An eCommerce site on the other hand, or a site that’s rich in video, widgets, apps and other special features, will take up a lot more space on the web and will require a more complex content management system to help it function.

The more space a website needs, the more expensive the web hosting will be. If a website requires specialist functions, the owner of the site will be more limited as to which hosting services they can use.

Extra services

Other services like multiple mail boxes, high bandwidth, or data transfer, and domain names may also be available from your web host, with good hosting companies providing a comprehensive range of related services.

Though adding extras to your hosting package will make the service more expensive, it will still be more cost efficient in the long run to buy all of the extras you need from the same supplier.

Recommended Hosting

If you’re a Clockwork Moggy client we choose and setup your hosting for you when we start your project, we explain what we’re setting up and why. All our websites come with 12 months free hosting included. If you’re looking to setup your own site, or even if you’re still in the planning stage of setting up a new business and just want to register your domain name to keep others from getting there first we recommend you check out Vidahost. They are reasonably priced and have good support which is really important.

To find out more about web hosting services and anything else related to the web, get in touch with us today.

How has technology influenced graphic design?

As an industry that relies on technology to realise its ideas and drive creativity forward, graphic design is heavily influenced by technological innovation and invention. From programmes like Adobe Illustrator and InDesign to the internet itself, the graphics world has been transformed again and again by ground breaking technologies.

3D printing

3Dprinting_2When 3D printers first hit the market, they were so futuristic it was hard to believe they were real. In the years since, 3D printing has become a lot more commonplace and today designers around the world are creating innovative and exciting 3D designs and products for the global market.

As it becomes easier and easier to create good quality 3D printed products, graphic designers will have increased freedom to play around with space and to create products and pieces that use perspective, layers and angles to change the way we view them. This is sure to have a big impact on everything from promotional products and marketing materials to brochures, catalogues and posters.

DIY tutorials

Though graphic design is undeniable a skilled profession, it’s becoming easier for amateurs to learn the skills that they need for basic design. Sites like YouTube ,Vimeo and Lynda.com are packed full of tutorials on graphic design, with everything from basic website building to complex coding covered.

As this becomes more common and teaching technologies evolve to become more efficient, graphic designers will need to offer clients something a bit different if they’re going to stay ahead of the game. This will inevitably push graphic design forward, helping to create a more vibrant and dynamic industry.

The rise of apps

For the last few years, the mobile web has had a big influence on graphic design. Websites have become slicker, more streamlined and more focused, giving mobile users a smoother experience and helping to speed up browsing for everyone.

Apps-smartphoneHowever, in recent months apps have overtaken browsers for mobile users. A huge 90% of mobile time is now spent in apps, making app design an incredibly important field for 2016.

This big increase in the popularity of apps is sure to mean an increase in demand for app design. This in turn will mean a big boost in the number of apps designers build and create, something which could influence wider web design and even the world of print.

Though the graphic design industry is never one to rest on its laurels, the last few years have seen an explosion in technological advances and innovations. Influencing the industry in all sorts of profound and subtle ways, this technological innovation is changing graphic design for good.

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Could a Robot Be Running Your Home in the near future?

From exercising more to learning a new language and quitting smoking to making more time for family and friends, most of us make New Year’s resolutions that are positive, personal but unfortunately anjarvisd ultimately doomed to fail and by now most of us would have quit. Uber-geek Mark Zuckerberg on the other hand has taken his New Year’s resolution that little bit further, promising the world that he will develop an AI butler, just like Iron Man’s Jarvis, by the end of the year.

Previously, Zuckerberg’s resolutions have seen him successfully learn Mandarin, read two books a week and only eat meat he’s killed himself, so there’s every reason to believe he’ll complete his mission before the year is out. By making AI butlers a reality, Mark Zuckerberg will once again change the world forever, transforming the way future generations will live, interact and develop for good.

AI Butlers

Mark Zuckerberg plans to begin his project by learning more about the existing AI software on the market. Technology like Amazon’s Echo will form the basis of his studies, though he soon plans to move on to designing and building his own bespoke programme.

As well as controlling basic household functions like the heating, lighting and electronics, the AI Butler will be able to let friends into the home using facial recognition, alert Zuckerberg if there’s anything in his daughter’s room that he needs to check on and carry out a myriad of other functions and services around the house.

Will household robots become a reality?

jarvis-iron-manWith entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg turning their attentions to artificial intelligence, the question isn’t IF robots will become an everyday reality, but WHEN. There is already a wealth of AI products on the market that allow homeowners to control their property remotely or via voice control, and the advances that are set to be made over the next 12 months are sure to push these technologies forward.

However, an AI butler and a household robot are two very different things. Artificial intelligence relies on coding, data and pattern recognition to perform tasks and carry out functions, whereas robotics also requires a huge amount of engineering knowhow and expertise.

Though Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution may bring everyday AI a step closer, the time when we’ll each have our very own C3PO to do our washing up, ironing and vacuuming is, unfortunately, still a long, long way away.

 

Iconic Examples of Typography

Whether it’s on a logo, company name, artistic statement or poster, typography can completely transform a design, turning it from something everyday into something extraordinary. At its best, typography is an art form in itself, allowing designers to confer meaning, expand on ideas and create entirely new aesthetics.

In some cases, typography becomes so iconic that it takes on a life of its own. Fonts become so instantly recognisable and so evocative they can be used to enhance other designs or even to create an entire brand.

Keep Calm and Carry On

keep-calm

A motivational poster created by the British Government in 1939, Keep Calm and Carry On was largely forgotten until an original copy of the design was rediscovered in the year 2000 by a bookseller in Alnwick, Northumberland.

The font and layout of the poster have now become so iconic that any text displayed in the same format is instantly recognisable as a parody of the original. Though the original campaign in the 1940s was relatively unsuccessful, the design can now be found on t-shirts, mugs, postcards and key rings around the world.

 

 

Victoria and Albert Museum – V&Av-and-a

One of the most influential museums in the country, London’s V&A has used typography to great effect in the design of its logo.

Helping to give the museum a contemporary identity, this modern typographic image has helped to make the Victoria and Albert Museum relevant to a whole new generation of
designers.

Star Wars

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With its plain black background and yellow outlined font, the Star Wars logo is one of the simplest you could come across. However, the logo’s two-tone design has inspired countless copycat images and its impact has been felt throughout the world.

A fantastic example of ‘less is more’, this iconic typographic design will live on in fans’ hearts, and in cinema history, for ever more.

 

 

Coca Cola

With Coca Cola such a big global brand, it’s no surprise that the company’s logo is one we all recognise instantly.

Though the logo has been subtly updated through the years, it retains the essence of its original design. Coca Cola have capitalised on the iconic status of their logo by offering customCoca-Cola-personalised-bottlesers personalised bottles complete with their name emblazoned on the front in the historic font.

As well as originality, what all of these iconic examples have in common is simplicity. Allowing the typography to speak for itself, these inspirational designs have created new aesthetics, new identities and new legends.

To find out more about creating outstanding typography, get in touch with a member of the Clockwork Moggy team today.

A Taste of The Most Successful Rebrands of All Time

Telling customers that your business has new drive, new energy, a new direction and proving that you’re ready to commit to your corporate future, a rebrand can work wonders for companies looking to show the market place what they’re made of.

More than just a new logo, a successful rebrand involves changing the way that customers, suppliers and clients think and feel about a business. To show you just how powerful a rebrand can be, here are some examples of the most successful campaigns of all time.

Apple

300px-Apple_logo_Think_Different_vectorized.svgTeenagers today probably don’t even remember a time when Apple wasn’t the be-all and end-all of electronics. However, in 1997 the company came perilously close to bankruptcy with rivals like IBM, HP and Dell making life difficult for the brand.

Apple’s fortunes were turned around by chief executive Steve Jobs who launched the company’s ‘Think Different’ ad campaign. Encouraging consumers to see the brand as a lifestyle choice rather than an electronics company, the tech giant managed to convince its customers that they’d be more individual, more creative and more stylish if they invested in their products.

Today, Apple is worth an estimate $1tn and has become the go-to brand for technophiles across the globe.

Stella Artois

For years Stella Artois was associated with lager louts, hooliganism an88a80868-7753-4684-b3ec-672e2d0f6d19-1020x612d domestic violence. Few self-respecting drinkers would touch the beer and its reputation as a quality beverage was through the floor.

Fast forward a few years and Stella has completely changed the feel of its brand. Now marketed as the ‘reassuringly expensive’ beer, Stella has gone upmarket, creating a range of weaker brews and more interesting special additions to attract a new type of drinker.

Burberry

tumblr_inline_n1rvf1KGOh1syqrdvLike Stella Artois, Burberry’s image was badly affected by the hooliganism of the 90s and noughties. In fact, the company’s distinctive print was so closely associated with violence that it was banned in pubs up and down the country.

 

 

burberry-iconic-british-luxury-brand-est-1856-4Burberry managed to rebrand its image by buying back the licences it had sold to other companies allowing them to use its print. Burberry has also hired a number of high profile faces as brand ambassadors, with Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne both representing the company.

This effectively made Burberry exclusive again, ensuring that its name and image were used on only the most fashionable products.

Lego

2000px-LEGO_logo.svgCompared to games consoles, tablet computers and smartphones, Lego is low tech to say the least. The fact that its still able to compete with its electronic rivals is down to a well timed rebrand and a clear corporate message.

Having faced bankruptcy in the late 1990s, the brand decided to refocus its product range, concentrating on its basic building bricks and creating a dedicated following in the process. So when it brought out its own film in 2014 it was receive very warmly.

As well as a clear mesthe-lego-movie-logosage and a great logo, a successful rebrand also needs to involve a strong social media presence and carefully thought out strategy. Get all of these elements right, and there’s no reason why your company can’t turn over a new, lucrative leaf of its own.

Branding for Niche Markets

If you’re the owner or manager of a small or medium sized business, you’ll know that good, communicative and engaging branding is one of the keys to success. Giving your business an identity and helping it to stand out from the crowd, your branding can transform your company and give it the impetus it needs to grow.

At Clockwork Moggy, we work with companies of all sizes to develop their branding and identify areas where they can strengthen their company image. One of the most interesting challenges that we face is creating effective and original branding for niche markets. More specific and more particular than mass markets, these niche industries require special attention and an aesthetic all of their own.

Luckily, our extensive experience and wide range of skills makes it easy for us to come up with innovative ideas every time. To help you give your niche business the Clockwork Moggy treatment, we’ve put together a few tips for creating eye-catching branding for niche markets.

 

Market Research

marketresearchIf your business offers a niche product or service, the chances are you’ll be targeting a niche audience too. To make sure that you get your look and your message spot on, you need to research your market and find out what your customers really want.

Begin by looking at your competitors. Think about the images, language and aesthetics that they use and consider incorporating some ideas into your own company brand. It’s also a good idea to talk to the people you’re hoping to sell to in order to find out what exactly they are looking for and whether there are any gaps in the market your brand could fill.

 

Communicate with your Target Audience

One of the main goals of branding is to help your business to communicate with your niche market audience. You can achieve this by using the language and terminology of your niche market and by ensuring that you’re offering your customers something they really want.

As niche markets are generally less saturated than mass markets, companies have a real opportunity to dominate their sector and to become the go to business for their chosen product or service. They can do this by communicating with their customers on an on going basis and by refining their branding to reflect changing tastes, demands and innovations.

 

Be clear

Companies that appeal to a niche market need to ensure that their branding clearly appeals to that market. If they try to water down their aesthetic to appeal to a wider audience, they could risk alienating their customer base without increasing their market share.

In order for niche branding to be successful, companies need to make sure that they know their target audience inside out. The more familiar they are with their customers needs, the easier it will be to create a strong, contemporary and unified brand that will appeal to the right people for the right reasons.

 

 

Best of Festive Design

From Christmas cards to festive decorations and winter getaways to special promotions, this time of year has always been an important one for sales and marketing. As a result, a huge amount of brochures, posters, greetings cards and websites are made especially for the Christmas period, with designers working throughout the summer and autumn months to create those perfect pieces.

As Christmas imagery has been used, reused and then used some more over the years, coming up with original and exciting festive design isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are a few inventive minds out there pushing at the boundaries of Christmas aesthetics, creating stand out printed and digital designs as they go.

Christmas cards

christmas-card-designs-2aWith around a billion Christmas cards sent every year in the UK, coming up with a design that’s new, exciting and innovative is almost impossible.

These customisable cards from David Papov are notable for their minimalism, bright, bold colours and eye-catching design. Perfect for families who want their cards to stand out from the crowd and for businesses looking for a festive message with a difference, these contemporary cards will help you to send your Christmas greetings in style.

 

 

Festive emails

With a number of businesses choosing to convey their Christmas message via email, there are a variety of interesting and eye-catching designs and templates available online.

To make the most of this digital medium, a lot of companies choose to include a discount code or limited time offer with their festive email. The perfect way to drive traffic to a site and promote customer good will, including a Christmas offer in your festive email campaign could help you to make this year your most successful yet.

 

Magazines and brochures – Festive Design

a598ef22381123.56045f468240aMost magazines and brochures get a festive makeover at this time of year. Helping to get readers into the holiday spirit and encourage a bit of festive spending, these Christmas covers help to boost sales and good will.

The cover of the Washington Post’s Art & Style Magazine is a good example of innovative Christmas design. By putting a twist on classic images and colours, the designers have managed to create a cover that’s instantly festive while at the same time exhibiting some outstanding design credentials.

 

 

Offering designers the perfect chance to flex their creative muscles and let their imaginations for your festive design run wild, the Christmas period is the perfect time to show off innovative print and digital design. To find out more, get in touch with a member of the Clockwork Moggy team today.

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