3. We appreciate that time is money, so we are proud to be able to produce quality artwork in very little time. Got a tight deadline? Don’t worry, that’s our thing.
4. Whether you are a small start-up or a large establishment, we can provide marketing solutions to suit your budget. We offer no-obligation quotes on all our services.
5. From Automotive Dealerships to Nail Salons and Wedding Venues, we have done it all! Our team of experts will always work and adapt to your brand identity or creative vision.
6. Measuring your success. We use expert analysis and tested methods for tracking campaign success.
7. We are a family owned business in the heart of Kent near Maidstone, but wherever you are, we will come to you. We are proud of the relationships we uphold with our clients and would much prefer meeting you in person when possible.
8. Where other agencies may send work overseas, we do not, so you won’t need to worry about time-zone differences or turn-around times.
9. We are always at the end of the phone! We are happy to run through new briefs or artwork amends over the phone, in person or over email - whatever suits you. We’re a friendly bunch and happy to help with all enquiries.
10. Teamwork makes the dream work, we get everyone involved when producing artwork and marketing campaigns and we have an extensive proofing process so that your end product is nothing but perfect.
Alternatively, Comic Sans has the potential to remind everyone of their Primary School PowerPoint presentations. This Font seriously has a childlike quality which is completely unforgivable and will only offer a fast track pass to a big FAIL.
Moving on, we have Lobster, a favourite amongst GCSE Graphic Design students who have barely made the transition from Paint to Adobe. If you are aiming for a Retro vibe and have chosen Lobster for your artwork, there is only one thing you can do now. Boil it. Burn it. Smash it to pieces.
Have you noticed that most movie posters all look the same?
From True Life Dramas to Fictional Witch Craft and Rom-Coms, you will see that Trajan has been used for the Title. Though there are a handful of Designers out there who have tried to be different by using Bank Gothic. Unfortunately, this is one of the only apparent alternatives for Movie Posters and we are still waiting for the day when some innovative little brain out there shakes things up a bit and chooses a typeface somewhat relevant to the Genre.
Next on the list is a Wedding Invite favourite. Zapfino. People think it is so incredibly romantic and whimsical. Fact is, if you are not receiving any RSVPs, chances are your guests can’t read their invitation.
If you search history for Egyptian themed designs, you will probably find artwork absolutely riddled with Papyrus. I can’t even type that without cringing. Apparently, if Hieroglyphics were written in English, this is what they would look like. I’m still cringing.
There are so many criminal fonts out there I could spend a lifetime tearing them apart. But for now, I will just finish with Times New Roman. Because nothing quite says Secondary School English Essay like Times New Roman, for which I am mentally scarred.
Here, I aim to clarify the issue and what it means to the industry as a whole.
What is it that Facebook are being accused of?
Back in 2014, Facebook invited users to find out their personality type via a quiz that was developed by a researcher from Cambridge University called Dr. Kogan. The quiz was called This Is Your Digital Life and about 270,000 participants were collected from it. However, the application developed for the quiz also collected some public data from participants’ friends.
Facebook has since altered the volume of data in which developers can gather, but a whistleblower, named Christopher Wylie, claims that about 50 million records were harvested for a company called Cambridge Analytica (no relation to Cambridge University) before the rules on user consent had been amended.
Mr Wylie’s accusation is that the data sold to Cambridge Analytica was then used to psychologically profile people and deliver pro-Donald Trump materials to them during the 2016 US election.
This claim is in part backed up by a secret recording taken by Channel 4, in which Cambridge Analytica’s Chief Executive says that the London based company ran President Trump’s digital campaign during the election.
The issue with this is two-fold:
1. A company using data sourced from potentially one of the biggest collectors of data on the planet to push a presidential candidate’s agenda is arguably morally bankrupt and gives a private company the power to influence the political landscape.
2. Facebook, as an organisation built on data collection, have supposedly compromised their user’s private information and allowed them to be psychoanalysed without their consent.
It is no secret that Facebook (or any social platform for that matter) hold information about you that is capable of building a psychological profile. We all know that Facebook ads are tailored to our profile, which could be argued is a welcome thing for both consumers and marketeers. After all, consumers don’t want to see ads that mean nothing to them and marketeers don’t want their ads seen by people who aren’t going to engage with them.
That in itself isn’t the issue though. As a marketeer myself, the algorithm built by companies such as Facebook and Google is the ideal platform in which to market on. My ads are sent to a relevant audience without me having direct access to their personal information. I simply fill out the criteria and the algorithm takes care of the rest.
It is however disturbing that this information potentially can be accessed and seen by a third party. The majority of the public would likely agree that they don’t have a problem with Facebook having access to their private information providing that it doesn’t leave Facebook. The beauty of an algorithm is that the control is two ways, marketeers can choose the audience they want to target and consumers can choose the ads they see. Remove that and you essentially have a load of men in suits rummaging through your bins.
Yesterday, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the breach in user trust and is taking steps to assure this won’t happen again.
I won’t speculate any legal ramifications that Facebook may face, after all, I’m merely a humble Creative Nerd and my legal knowledge is minimal, to say the least. However, I do think it’s a good thing that this has been made public knowledge. While I don’t think for a second that Facebook will listen to the cries of #DeleteFacebook on Twitter and shut down, I do think this will make other digital companies take a good look at their data procedures and ethics going forward. I’d be surprised if Facebook were the only company to have done something like this with data.
One of the biggest issues we face with tech companies like Facebook is that they are self-regulated. Allowing a company to use your user’s data to push a political candidate without doing the same for any other candidate is essentially an endorsement from the company in which the data came from in the first place. If these platforms are supposed to be for everyone surely they should be impartial?
Facebook certainly won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. While it is important that Facebook continues to be a tool for advertising, it is essential that those using their platform are fully consenting to how their information is used. With GDPR rearing its head in May, they really can’t afford to mess up again.
This all forms the basis of the narrative, concept, ideas and direction of a piece. Generally delivered in the form of ‘word overload’ that I scribble down on endless lists that I use as article ammo’.
When writing I like to use a format that takes into consideration; Who I’m writing for, keeping it simple, brand focused, naturally evolving and a true representation of the product.
Each piece I write leaves a little of myself behind, as I write with all of my senses and emotion in hope that this will invite the reader to participate in the experience from a real and relatable place. In turn, giving them a glimpse into ownership of the product. I find this exciting and satisfying as it all comes together to create my textual vision.
My part in the process is only half of the end product, the close working relationships with the visual brainiacs in the studio that interpret my words into images, where we are able to complete the job together as a team.
GET IT OUT OF YOUR HEAD
Grab your sketchbook and start making a list of all those griping little thoughts and ideas you have. Keep it tidy and highlight anything that really jumps out at you. From this, you might be able to build a coherent game plan.
There are alternatives to this method such as a flowchart, mind map or keep it simple with a bulleted list. Do whatever works best for you.
Sounds simple right? It is what it is. Google all the keywords or phrases that are related to your project or the issue that you need to solve. From there you should be able to generate a list of dozens of sources of inspiration.
They do say there is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. Rope in your colleagues for a little moral support or sit down in a meeting room, a cafe or a pub (preferably the latter) with notebooks at the ready, to bounce ideas off each other. So much can happen when you are ‘having a little bit of banter’. You may find that one person has a good idea but as a team, you can make that idea great.
In this day and age, Pinterest should be your best friend. There is so much inspiration that can be found and while you are looking at things to inspire you now, you might find something else that will also inspire you later.
Get yourself away from your screen and focus on something else for five minutes.
Take a walk around the office, put the kettle on, watch a few funny cat clips on YouTube or do it ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ style and phone a friend. Just make sure you give that brain of yours a break from whatever it is you have been struggling with. Hopefully, when you get back to your screen you will have that ‘EUREKA’ moment you have been waiting for. Ross and Rachel took a break and their relationship turned out great.
There are many more methods that people use in various different working environments but as a creative agency, these pointers certainly work for us and lo and behold, I have written a blog. BOOM.
To employ a Marketing Professional in-house who has experience within the whole Marketing Mix would be a huge expense and commitment and does the business actually need this person on a full-time basis? Can they design materials that you may need or do you need to employ a Creative Designer too? Do they have SEO and PPC skills or do you need an expert in this also? As you can see, the list is endless and it’s enough to give any business owner a headache.
This is where The Imagination Station can come in, a whole team of Marketing Experts all with their own skills – Designers, Digital Experts, Media Buyers and Marketing planners who are at hand to help you the client achieve their marketing objectives within a budget. Many of the team have worked in marketing, both agency and client side for over 10 years, so they really do have a wealth of experience. They can liaise with the Business Owner or the in-house Marketing Manager to create campaigns and be there to offer support and advice. Also, the team are available all year round (where an in-house employee would have annual leave and maybe ill some days) meaning that there would be no delays in achieving objectives. The Imagination Station offers value for money pricing structures, so it really is a great solution.
An illustration is a drawing, painting or printed work of art which explains, clarifies, illuminates, visually represents, or merely decorates a written text, which may be of a literary or commercial nature.
That definition sounds awfully like art doesn’t it? This is where it might get a bit confusing. Some illustrators are artists, not all artists are illustrators. Artists are more likely to focus on visually communicating their own thoughts, feelings and ideas. Their artwork looks pretty but there is no real purposes for their existence. Illustrators on the other hand, create imagery for publication or for the purpose of visually communicating someone else’s idea or story.
Phew! We got there. But how did it all begin? Well, it actually all started at the very beginning (a very good place to start).
Since time began, mankind has used imagery to tell stories. So all those cave paintings scattered across the world would be classed as illustration because they tell a story.
Later down the line, in the Middle Ages, ‘pictures’ started to appear in illuminated manuscripts. These ‘pictures’ were used to complement and clarify the written text.
The mass production off Illustration started in the 14th century, made possible by the invention of a mechanical printing process, by a bloke named Johannes Gutenberg. Renaissance artists often created illustrations to embellish new music, literature and publications of that era. These illustrations could be mass produced on a much larger scale than ever before but things really didn’t take off until the mid-1700s, the start of the Industrial Revolution.
During this time, printing technology improved at an unprecedented rate. More publications were being printed, distributed and seen across the world. This increased the exposure of illustration and it became very normal for an illustration to accompany a news article or appear on the front of a book. In fact, there are many ways in which illustration can be used, but that’s a whole new blog post right there.
In the 1800s people started to work as ‘Illustrators’. It became a profession. Illustrators would print and sell their artwork on markets and in print shops, so their artwork was more accessible and affordable. Put it this way, it was like the olden day version of Etsy and eBay.
Their artwork also appeared in magazines, newspapers and books to increase sales and subscriptions. Millions of people were now able to enjoy their artwork on a daily basis. A winning situation all round, especially considering there were no televisions, iPhones or internet back then (I know, horrendous right?).
The Great Depression and World War Two did take its toll on the Illustration industry. But let’s be fair, those days were pretty intense, to say the least, so we can let that one go. Although illustrators were roped in to create some legendary Propaganda material. These would appear on posters, for example, to encourage able men and women to enlist and help in the war efforts.
By the end of the 20th Century computers started to come about and so Illustration entered a whole new digital age. But that is a story for another day...
Illustrators, on the other hand, produce the imagery that a Graphic Designer would use within their ‘structure’. It is their job to make sure that their illustration relates and visually communicates the same message as the content within that structure.
The setup is quite like a cheese sandwich. The Graphic Designer is the bread which holds everything together. The Illustrator is the cheese which must go well with the butter or lettuce or whatever else might be contained within the sandwich. Each to their own, though personally, I like a little mustard in there, but that is just me!
Without the bread, the cheese is still nice but it has no real place in the world. That is why the Illustration would possibly be considered as Art. But that is a ropey debate that probably won’t come to any real conclusion any time soon.
Keeping Communications Simple (or KCS as we were better known) served us well for 8 years. After all, we do keep communications simple but have so much more to offer. During one of our internal meetings, we discussed how far we had come over recent years, and it was somewhat humbling to realise how much we had actually achieved as a company since those early days. We all agreed that we needed a name to better identify who we are and what it is we do now.
Our new name, The Imagination Station, came to us quite early in our rebrand process and from the moment the name was suggested, it just felt right. The branding you see on this very website was a team collaboration and everybody in our employ added something to the finished article.
The key to any rebrand is that you retain and emphasise what it is that makes the previous brand so successful, and the heart of KCS still beats strong within The Imagination Station.
Thank you KCS for 8 wonderful years, and hello to The Imagination Station, you handsome thing!