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Websites with character

Internet technology moves at an alarming rate, with both techies and designers refusing to settle for the here and now, competing to develop the next best thing and push the boundaries of possibility.

As a designer myself, and a massively obsessive fan of typography and type design, I can happily confess to having always been frustrated with browser text’s design-sapping blandness.

The problem has always been though, that we a reliant on what fonts are installed on the users machine. The other big issue is accessibility, ensuring that your website is enjoyed by all.

A solution to this issue is now pooping up in various guises, but all based on the same principles. Which basically means that you can select from a much larger range of typestyles and typefaces, which renders your browser text as rich typography.

Google appear to be launching and adopting this technology, along with many others. The trick with this will, who intelligently designs and markets their first with a big impact, and who offers the cheapest service with the best range of fonts.

Being a designer, I’m naturally drawn to sites which are designed well and customer focused, and after all it’s designers this product/development is aimed at. A site which appears to do this well is http://typekit.com/

typekit.com - website typography

typekit.com – website typography

sIFR (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement) is one of the options available. The technology basically works using a mixture of CSS, javascript and Flash. Now I know at this point you maybe questioning the involvement of Flash, but let me try to explain.

Put simply, for those who are interested, your webpage loads in as normal to begin with. Once loaded the browser has a quick check to see if Flash is installed and javascript is turned on, if it isn’t the rest of the process is ignored, and your page runs as normal with boring old browser text.

However, if Flash is installed then the clever bit begins. The javascript sweeps through your page and sizes up any elements you’ve specially tagged for the occasion. Once it knows your vital statistics it then creates and overlays a Flash file, matching the original dimensions. The original browser text is copied and dynamically fed into the new Flash as a variable.

Once in Flash cleverly formats the text as per your selected typestyle, before self adjusting the text to fit perfectly within the area, from it’s original starting size of 6pt.

The original browser text on the html page is hidden, as the newly created Flash file takes it’s place beautifully.

All of the above astonishingly happens in seconds, without any of the workings becoming visually apparent to the user. Amazing really.

Long live typography rich, accessible websites!

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, call us on 0191 377 0933 or email us at creative@urbangiants.co.uk

www.urbangiants.co.uk

T: 0191 377 0933
A: Durham, UK

F: /urbangiants
T: @urbangiants

Branding & Logo Design | Graphic Design | Design for Print | Marketing | Creative Public Speaking

Kahn you believe it!

Urban Giants are proud to hear that new business startup, Gordon Butler of Find My Car Specialist, has been selected to be the North East agent for Kahn Design modifications and custom vehicle enhancements, thanks to help from us!

FindMyCar Specialist

FindMyCar Specialist

For years, Urban Giants have been a massive fan of Kahn, Project Kahn and Kahn Design. Like many who know them, we view their cars with great envy of those who are lucky enough to own, or drive their exclusive, high-quality modified vehicles.

Kahn are truly one of the best car modification companies on the planet, proudly based in the UK. Their modifications are designed and installed to such exacting standards, using some of the finest materials and craftsmanship known to man.

Specialist modified Range Rovers and Range Rover Sports are probably where Kahn’s reputation proves strongest, but their experience encompasses a wide range of some of the finest luxury brands, including; Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Audi R8, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren Mercedes SLR, Maserati, Porsche and Lotus to name a few.

Kahn : Range Rover Cosworth

Kahn : Range Rover Cosworth

Kahn : Bentley GT

Kahn : Bentley GT

Kahn : Ferrari

Kahn : Ferrari

Kahn : Range Rover Sport

Kahn : Range Rover Sport

Kahn’s attention to detail and styling experience allows them to make some of the worlds dream cars even more desirable. Their custom vehicles have demanded an audience with so many of the worlds elite and famous celebrities, as the Kahn brand is so synonymous with quality.

Kahn approached Find My Car Specialist after viewing Gordon’s new website, with which they were obviously impressed. Urban Giants were flattered and over joyed to think that we have helped Gordon establish such a connection, as a result of the branding and website design services we provided to him.

Kahn is a luxury brand everyone would love to be involved with, including ourselves, so we wish Gordon all the best with the partnership.

Find My Car Specialist are now official suppliers of Kahn vehicles and modifications. If you are interested in Kahn design and modifications, please contact Gordon on 07896 145 622 or visit www.findmycarspecialist.co.uk

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, call us on 0191 377 0933 or email us at creative@urbangiants.co.uk

www.urbangiants.co.uk

T: 0191 377 0933
A: Durham, UK

F: /urbangiants
T: @urbangiants

Branding & Logo Design | Graphic Design | Design for Print | Marketing | Creative Public Speaking

Is Sugar’s new show your cup of tea?

For all of it’s cringe-worthy moments, I’m still a big fan of BBC hit show The Apprentice. I find it compelling to watch, despite the fact it’s built on a ego driven reality TV platform. It’s interesting to watch how different characters approach business, and how they feel it’s all about them.

You can learn some great lessons from watching the series, usually from observing others mistakes more than anything else. For me, it’s not a reflection of real business, but it’s interesting non the less.

Sir Alan Sugar’s appeal can be likened to Marmite; you either love him or hate him. But one thing you can’t argue with, is the fact he is massively successful, is passionate about business, and he makes good television for a multitude of reasons.

Tonight sees the premier launch of Junior Apprentice, which showcases teenage entrepreneurs aged 16-17, and how they approach business.

Junior Apprentice Candidates - Courtesy of BBC website

Junior Apprentice Candidates – Courtesy of BBC website

It also sees the debut of Karren Brady, a successful business figure in her own right, who replaces Margaret as Sir Alan’s advisor.

The Apprentice board members - courtesy of BBC website

The Apprentice board members – courtesy of BBC website

It will be an interesting experiment to watch, but are we not giving our young people even more social pressures, expecting them to perform at an age when they should be enjoying there development? Or, is this a good age to begin contemplating your career? I guess this argument will play itself out over the series, then we can make an informed judgement at the end.

The show airs at 9pm on BBC One. Although I’m itching to watch this out of pure curiosity, I think I’ll have to watch Fulham and watch Junior Apprentice online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/apprentice/jnr/series1/

I just hope that the Junior Apprentice format isn’t a production line for self-obsessed, egotistical young people with pushy mothers, and instead provides a platform to showcase genuine, high-quality, young entrepreneurial talent. It should be used to inspire young people, and make them believe that anything is possible regardless of age.

Tune in tonight or online and decide for yourself…

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, call us on 0191 377 0933 or email us at creative@urbangiants.co.uk

www.urbangiants.co.uk

T: 0191 377 0933
A: Durham, UK

F: /urbangiants
T: @urbangiants

Branding & Logo Design | Graphic Design | Design for Print | Marketing | Creative Public Speaking

Brand new, High Street Dreams

Last night I managed to get home before 9pm, for a change, and caught BBC one’s new four part series, High Street Dreams.

The show is led by highly successful entrepreneur, Jo Malone, who guides small fledgeling businesses through to the realities of pitching to some of the largest commercial retail giants in the country.

BBC One - High Street Dreams (Mon @ 9pm)

BBC One – High Street Dreams (Mon @ 9pm)

It’s a fascinating program for creative design entrepreneurs such as myself, but it’s also interesting for anyone starting a business, or considering starting a business. For those of you who own a business, you know just how difficult and demanding it is to create a successful business, but the leap to becoming a household brand, both nationally and internationally, takes real focus.

Last night’s episode highlighted the importance of a strong brand identity, which communicates a focused, consistent and clear message. It also showed how important an intelligent brand and marketing strategy is to the success of the business, meaning the difference between a small success and a household name.

When it comes to branding and your brand strategy, you can’t afford to settle for anything less than perfect. Your brand needs to intelligently communicate your core values, instigating that instant recognition with your customer base, and ultimately generate increased sales.

The program also demonstrated the importance of product placement on a shelf, what a customers expectations are, along with that of the high street distributor.

The brands were designed and developed using the core company values as the foundations, coupled with marked research into competitor brands. This is an important factor when creating and establishing a brand, how will your product stand up on a retail shelf next to a wide range of well established brands, at varying price points? You can’t ignore this, it’s a crucial differentiating factor in deciding the overall success of your product.

Urban Giants were glad to see that the values and working methods we adopt and instill into all of the brands we design and create for our clients, is one which is used by the top brand agencies in the country. We always knew this, but it’s good to hear it from someone else.

If you watch High Street Dreams and think, “I need to do that with my business”, give us a call for a chat about your business, so we can develop the right brand strategy for you.

Whether you’re an established business or a startup entrepreneur, developing a powerful brand and marketing strategy can be cost effective and have a giant impact. If you would like to discuss the development of an offline or online brand identity and promotional brand strategy, please contact us.

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, call us on 0191 377 0933 or email us at creative@urbangiants.co.uk

www.urbangiants.co.uk

T: 0191 377 0933
A: Durham, UK

F: /urbangiants
T: @urbangiants

Branding & Logo Design | Graphic Design | Design for Print | Marketing | Creative Public Speaking

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