Stunning Graphics Makeover for Skincare Website

Julia Hart is a leading holistic skin therapist who combines high tech treatments and skincare with an in-depth knowledge of nutrition and natural therapies.

I’ve worked with Julia for around 4 years, originally designing her logo and brand identity and have since worked on a number of different websites and marketing collateral for Julia as her business has progressed.

This year Julia wanted to update her website, providing a cooler, contemporary image, which incorporated the bright colours she loves and showcases her growing press coverage and editorials.

Working with Julia and regular team member, US-based Laura – owner and ‘five star word press specialist’ WPFab, who has built her website – Julia’s website now includes a new brand image which showcases her in-depth knowledge, beautiful products and her celebrity following.

This project was extremely intense on custom graphics which include Julia’s brand and incorporates leading cosmetic and skincare brands photography and messages too.

Arcturus, A Name Written in the Stars

It’s been a busy week developing a new logo, brand and WordPress website for Arcturus Wealth Management. I’m a great fan of ‘A’ oriented business and domain names – hence my own Asi-Asi – and Arcturus is a shining example of a super name; suggesting longevity, quality and heritage.

The first task for any designer developing a brand is to get an understanding of it’s business* and name. Names can reveal logo and branding possibilities you might not ordinarily consider. A Google Seach revealed Arcturus is derived from the Ancient Greek, and means ‘Guardian of the Bear’. It’s the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere, situated in the constellation of Boötis, and located next to the Greater and Lesser Bears, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. And here you were, thinking designers just coloured in, well its Professor Havenhand to you readers now!

Armed with my newly gained knowledge, taken from the superb Wikipedia, I set out to design a logo which would support a wealth management business, one smart enough to have a super name illustrating its conservative approach to finance, an essential quality in 2012 and onwards. Illustrated here is my step by step approach to designing the logo and the considerations made during the process. Click here to view this image in a larger size.

I’m pleased to say I completed this project within the week – from initial concepts drawn on 20 January, to a live and living website by 25 January. Well done me and my client – and thank you (my client) for making designing for you an easy process!


*Business-wise I have an extensive background working for the financial services sector, for investment banks, legal firms, independent financial advisory oriented businesses, and business publishing. I’m not scared off  by financial or legal terminology and I have a knack of making even the driest of subject matter interesting – promise, try me! If you’d like me to work on your logo, brand or website, then please email me at sh@asi-asi.com.


All Heart! My Recommended Web Hosting Solution

I’m very happy to recommend HeartInternet for Web hosting to all my clients. HeartInternet is one of the UK’s biggest web hosting companies, and their industry-leading web hosting products and services continue to raise standards. They have web hosting plans for websites and businesses of all sizes, so whether you’re building your first website, looking for powerful and flexible web hosting without limits and advanced ecommerce hosting, they have a solution to make your website work.

I like them because – once you get the hang of it :) – they have a good website interface, which is easy to understand on where to find and do things, clear to use extend control panels, their 1-click WordPress installations, and their noticeable ‘ahead of the curve’ development of products you’ll want before you even know you’ll want them – ie, their ‘exclusive iPhone Control Panel’ - not something I’ve clicked onto yet!

The very best reason though is that in 3 years of using them I have found their Customer Services Support to be absolutely brilliant, really helpful and knowledgeable with a very quick response time – real time help when you’re working on a project – say within 5, 15 or 20 mins – rather than 2 days later. They’re top of my league and provide real support to my business. *you guys :) – I owe you a beer!*

So, therefore I’m happy to associate them with my business and put on this post. If you’ve found this info reasurring and are going to use HeartInternet for Web hosting then please click on my banner graphics here – I’ve signed up as an affiliate to them too – and I might earn a little commission.

WooHooooo! Luxury Partners Makes the WooThemes’ Showcase

Much to my delight my website for Luxury Partners has made the WooThemes showcase, and I’m really pleased! Luxury Partners is a strategic brand and event management consultancy. They deliver intelligent and creative marketing solutions via product and brand partnerships within the luxury sector. I have designed the logo and brand identity plus built a customised WooTheme using the ‘Inspire’ professional theme, which provides fantastic cutting-edge WordPress functionality and a slick appearance to compliment Luxury Partners stylish image.

Check out Luxury Partners and WooThemes below. Even better, contact me if you’d like me to build you a beautiful WordPress website like this!

Blooming Marvellous, New Greeting Cards Business is Just Puuuurfect!

Daisy Sprockett is a brand new range of photographic greeting cards that celebrate nature. The stunning photographs are taken by the very talented Carole Seawert, and reflect her love of flowers, animals and the natural world. She’s called her new venture Daisy Sprockett because that’s her cat’s name. If it was my business then it might be Henry Havenhand – who is one of my cats – and likely the cards would feature a bottle of wine, my bed and, er, more cats – my three main loves!

Carole needed a logo and brand design and a basic website to kick off her business. She loves colour and photography and the first choice for a logo was a daisy. We then realised a camera shutter lens had a floral presentation, and also looks like a wheel – so the ideal symbol encompasses three elements of her business activity and name plus enhances her logo, a handwritten logostyle in the style of the Daisy Sprockett – a clever cat who really writes like this! The symbol works well as a range of stickers too.

As well as designing the logo and brand, I’ve built a very simple WordPress website with a gallery feature which shows the first 20 photographs of her first collection of cards. Carole and I also worked together in putting together the greeting cards artwork.

Carole’s new to the greeting card business and is testing the market at Christmas Fairs in London – at a stall at Southwark Cathedral’s Christmas Fair on December 3 (noon to 5pm) and also at a Christmas fair at a school in Parson’s Green on December 10 (11am to 3pm), where she will have her first 20 greeting card designs on show. Her plan is to develop this into a range of 50 designs and to launch to the trade in May 2012.

A Ray of Light

Living in Spain is many people’s dream scenario and, for many, day to day life is mainly as they expected. A beautiful country to live in with warm sunny days throughout the year, friendly fellow ex-pats and Spanish people, an interesting culture, an active social life (to name but a few). According to the HSBC’s 2010 Expat Survey - although Europe is the hardest place to make friends, Spain is the easiest of the European countries to make friends in. Sadly, its not always easy to have a friend to hand when you’re facing real difficulties, especially in a country which is not your own and you may have limited language or procedural knowledge.

A new charity – A Ray of Light Charity - has now been set up to help people in trouble in Spain. Their aim is to provide humanitarian support to people sufferering difficulties, irrelevant of religion, creed or nationality. They plan to help children, teenagers, abused women, old people, people who are in prison and families of people who are in prison, not purely in financial terms but also in setting up professional, advisory and expertise to help with problems.

I have just completed a logo and brand identity for them, plus built their WordPress website using the professional WooThemes’ Canvas theme. Logo wise, I was keen to incorporate both the English and Spanish names of the charity, plus the charity number. I considered how this logo might look applied to different mediums, for instance, not just their website and letterhead – but how it might look on, say, a vest of a runner who might be raising money for them for charity.

Inspired by the rays of sunshine which filter through the clouds on the darkest of days I have chosen a bright golden yellow as their main colour and supported this with a black, grey and white colour pallete. Yellow highlights black and white photography, plus colour photograpy.

I was keen to ensure the brand was not limited to just a designers’ ability, and by introducing a variety of photographic and illustrative styles, the managers of the charity will not ‘break’ the brand by not using, say a black and white photograph, yet professional designers can build on the brand to produce distinctive professional supporting collateral.

As someone once said, “Life’s to short to stuff a mushroom”, and so it is for a busy, responsible charity worker to waste their time fiddling for the right type of photograph – and anyway, that’s my job!

If you are interested in the A Ray of Light Charity, need help yourself, or can give them any support to them, then please contact them via info@rayoflightcharity.com or visit their website www.rayoflightcharity.com.

Yeo Valley Milks the X-Factor, Repeat

Well there’s only one thing I love more than the X-Factor and that’s a business opportunity grabbed, recaptured – and heck – even being owned. That title goes to the Yeo Valley team – who’ve made the ‘opportunity their own’.  Delighted to see the first ad in this year’s X-Factor live shows are the brilliant Yeo Valley team back with a goooorgeous boy band – especially the ‘hairy farmer’. Will write a big review on this … but for the record, here’s my post from a year ago. Enjoy!

Yeo Valley’s 2011 Advertisement

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2010 Yeo Valley Campaign

‘Big Up Yer Chest’ – you’ve heard the best – the rapping dairy famers from Yeo Valley – a producer of organic yoghurts and dairy products – are registering more impact and buzz on social networking networks than the show itself. Strategically placed 2-minute long ads during the X-Factor breaks have registered over 9 million impressions in the first week of showing on Twitter, with repeat impressions for the following broadcast.

The ad features 4 v good looking farmers (and Ted the Owl) strutting their stuff and rapping in a hip-hop spoof, filmed at the real Yeo Valley farm, whilst looking like an ad for Burberry. Facebook fans are campaigning to make the Yeo Valley Crew No.1 single for Christmas, with the tune downloadable from iTunes.

This campaign is the genius of advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, definitely an agency who gets the UK ‘yoof’ market. Rosie Arnold, the BBH Deputy Executive Creative Director, talked about the idea of the campaign: “What we wanted to do was make Yeo Valley Organic popular for everybody. We wanted to make people pronounce Yeo Valley correctly and get everybody talking about it. So that’s how we came up with the rap idea.” Check out below ‘The Making of The Yeo Valley Ads’ which shows a behind the scenes peak of making the ad, the talent involved and discussion of the concept.

Here shows the actual completed ad, delivered by YeoTube! – yes, really, it’s that kind of detail which separates the farmers from the flock – and at date of posting has been viewed by 1,287,129 viewers:

Humourless critics have called the ads cheesy – for a dairy ad I’m sure they’re delighted. As Simon would say, ‘I don’t like it – I love it!’

Ted the Owl
Just discovered, Ted the Dancing Owl in the ad is actually named after Ted, a hand-reared orphan owl who is cared for by one of the conservation team. Aaawwwh! This alone is enough to make you want to eat their yoghurts. Apparently his dance moves are the real thing and not a camera trick. It is common for them to do this as they are both long and short sighted and this helps them get their focus right.

Read more about YeoValley here and here!

Ship Shape and Gibraltar Fashion

Very pleased this week to complete another project for WorkITGibraltar, Gibraltar’s social media experts, for their client Fiduciary Marine Services Limited. As a regular collaborator on WorkIT’s WordPress website team, I’ve designed this new website, using the professional StudioPress Enterprise theme as a basis, and the Fiduciary Group’s existing brand identity and photography. Using Adobe Photoshop, I created an accurate, pixel-perfect visual of the website, for approval purposes by WorkITGibraltar and their client’s, prior to the actual site build. Once confirmed it was what the client wanted the WordPress website was built by another team player, specialist WordPress developer and code tweaker, WPFab.

All hands on deck!
Once WPFab had the website in place – and whilst hidden from public view – the team worked intensely on the site, inputting content, uploading newsletters and documentation, tweaking code and installing plugins and widgets – and on my part, creating graphics to illustrate page content and making recommendations on how the layout of certain content might appear better.

Precious Cargo - (ha, you’re recognising a nautical theme here, I hope!)
One of the things which makes WordPress so brilliant to work with is its massive scope of plugins which will do clever things you just want the site to do! A new favourite of mine, installed on this site, is the fantastic Download Monitor plugin which is used to manage content and measure how many times a particular document is downloaded. This we’ve used for Fiduciary Marine’s Communiqué newsletter download page. Thumbnails and a content list of each newsletter has also been included so readers can download the newsletter they need.

Shipping News!
Fiduciary Marine Registration website is a harbour (groan!) for the latest marine news. A clever page has been coded by WPFab which pulls in RSS feeds from the shipping sector’s industry news sources.

The Crewcouldn’t resist
Thank you WorkITGib and WPFab for another pleasurable and collaborative project, which was just ‘plain sailing’ …

[box]Putting the Chic in Geek: Are you a brilliant web programmer whose design skills are ruining your websites? Then I’m your team player. I work with lots of programmers, across lots of platforms – including php, WordPress and ecommerce sites – delivering stunning, Adobe Photoshop, pixel perfect design visuals you can work from, making you and your websites shine. Email sh@asi-asi.com[/box]