Tag Archives: Wales

Never go back!

 

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Cardiff employee’s have their say!

Our Brief was to design the Cardiff Employee Survey, a report that presents the findings from a research project conducted by Cardiff Business School and Cardiff Business Partnership, examining employees’ perceptions of Cardiff as a place to work and asked them what they wanted from the city in the future. Cardiff Business School asked Black Sheep to design a report that communicates the needs of those individuals surveyed, quickly, clearly & effectively to business leaders.

Our Solution:
Deciphering the information contained in graphs and charts can be difficult as well as navigating through it. We created a document that illustrates its findings as well as traditionally telling the story.

Where the reader can clearly identify the key messages without necessarily having to read the whole report.

Adopting a less formal, graphic approach to the report, we used large magazine style pull-outs for key facts, with iconic symbols representing the issues identified. Our main aim was to clearly place the emphasis on engaging the target audience, who are time poor.

Impact/Feedback:
Since the reports launch, it has been widely reported through TV, Radio and online media encouraging debate on it’s findings.

‘It’s great – we’re really pleased and it’s going to a lot of large companies and organisations in Cardiff, so I hope it brings you some work too! – Everyone who has seen it has been really impressed!’ Laura Davies of the Business School.

Click on the report cover below and you will be magically transported to Issuu, where you will be able to see it in all its glory.

Call, Email, Tweet – say hello today!

 

because we’re different!

As you’ve probably gathered by now we’ve undertaken a brand refreshing exercise, after taking stock of our own values and aspirations for Black Sheep. Early on in that process we realised it was time to make a few changes to the look and feel of the company as it has a renewed sense of direction, service offer and restored vision.

At the core of the brief we set ourselves, we wanted to achieve an authorative voice with a friendly, approachable face. ‘Dolly’ our signature sheep also got a little make-over for good measure.

Our raison d’être, ‘Because we’re different!’ also came out of that brief. Where we asked questions about our relevance in a crowded market and how could we differentiate our offer from that of our peers. It was quite simple really…

Part two. We’re back!

Part two

At the tail end of 2010, when the UK economy was at it’s lowest ebb, we found ourselves in a place that we didn’t recognise any longer, the phone stopped ringing, our clients went quiet and we’d lost track of our vision. That’s when we realised that if we were going to continue in this industry then we needed to go away and rediscover what made Black Sheep the success that it previously was.

It’s been 6 months since we decided to go quiet and fall under the radar. Precious time which allowed us to take stock of what we achieved during Part One. It was kind of like, taking a sabbatical from the company to concentrate on finding out who we are now and where we want to be in the years ahead.

We looked at what was good and bad about our company and how to improve its offering. We revisited our early vision, of not being the biggest, but striving to be the best at whatever we do. It’s an ideal that continues to drive us on, but with a new twist ‘If we can’t do it to the best of our ability, we won’t do it at all’.

In building the brand through printed matter is where our strength had always been, but over time became diluted by a work mix that evolved as our staffing skill set did. We dabbled with interactive game design, 3D architectural visualisation and media buying amongst other things. All of which we successfully undertook, as they were extensions of our core branding service, but were always supplementary services that we offered, but never actively marketed. This quickly saw our focus become blurred as we headed down the ‘Full Service Agency’ route, where handling every aspect of a clients work became the driver rather than taking on projects what we were suited to.

Another ideal that we still hold true, is that we’ve always wanted our clients to choose us specifically for the type of work we produce and that they feel comfortable working with us, not just because we’ve got a name and have been tried and tested over the years. Now it’s ever more important, with so many small agency start-ups and design buyers increasingly more happy to cut their costs by using one-band companies and freelancers working out of their bedrooms.

So, we’re at the mid way point of 2011 and if we are to compete with our contemporaries and these new kids on the block, then we must differentiate our offering from them in every way. Otherwise, how can we expect a client to choose us, in a saturated market place, where anyone with a computer who can assemble a page layout (not necessarily a good one) thinks they’re a graphic designer. As we’ve seen so many times, buying creative solutions as a commodity doesn’t work, one creative designer’s ideas are different to another’s and therefore, their worth cannot be solely bought on a cost effectiveness basis.

After some serious soul searching we realised that our offering needed to be clearer, concise and relevant to the market that we want to operate in.

So, in the future won’t be referring to our agency as ‘full-service’, as this doesn’t really mean anything! Well maybe that you try to do too much, without actually doing it very well. Which on occasion, we might have been guilty of.

Our offer is simple! We offer a consultancy service that specialises in building brands that are delivered through all print media channels.

We call it ‘Design for the Printed world’.

So, whether it’s; new brand creation, a re-fresh of your existing brand, advertising of your brand, product or service, informing stakeholders of your performance & values through an annual report or simply marketing your services through a leaflet or poster. Black Sheep has a relevant case study with tangible results that show you how effective brand building and awareness can drive your business forward through great creative solutions.

Where does that leave us in an evolving digital world? We’ll be there to help and guide you through the challenges of migrating your brand and its values into a digital space. We can advise you in the marketing aspects of implementing e-marketing in to the mix & how to integrate it with a social media channels strategy. Or simply, help you find the right supplier of such services and work with them on your behalf, we’re here to help you.

As for Black Sheep, we’re going to continue to strive for excellence in the way we operate and the standard of work we undertake and deliver.

Thanks for reading.

Neil Asher & Jack Bland

1 last studio space available in Cardiff Bay

After opening the gate to the Pen a few months ago, we’ve welcomed four new tenant’s to 103 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay. Namely; The Undercard, Hello Tank, Fauvel Khan and Advanced Jewel Craft, seeing Bute Chambers become a real hub of creativity in the bay.

We’ve got 1 studio left, which benefits from good natural light and can accommodate up to 12 people.

LOCATION
103 Bute Street, Cardiff – 2nd floor studio TO LET

Cardiff is the principal commercial and administrative centre of Wales with an urban population of approximately 315,000 and in excess of 500,000 living within 10 miles of the City Centre.  The City enjoys excellent road, rail and air communications. Theses include the A470, A48 and A4232 which lead from the M4 to the City Centre, Cardiff Central Railway Station which is part of the Great Western Rail Network, and Cardiff International Airport.
 
The property is located within the heart of Cardiff Bay approximately one mile south east of Cardiff City Centre. Mermaid Quay Festival Shopping and Restaurant Complex, The Millennium Centre, The Welsh Assembly Building and Cardiff Bay Waterfront are all within the near vicinity.

The Taff Crossing and the Butetown Tunnel which provides dual carriageway access to the M4 Motorway at Junction 33.

DESCRIPTION
Second Floor
Studio 1 – Front Office — 67.96 sq.m. (12 persons max)
The available accommodation is situated to on second floor of a three storey property built at the turn of the last century. The offices benefit from recent renovation including wooden flooring, inset service boxes with Cat5 network cabling installed, wall mounted cupboard storage, central heating, 5 desks are included-however more can be arranged on application. The building and studio’s are alarmed and benefit from a door entry system, allowing tenants out-of-hours access to their respective units. Tea-point, fridge, dishwasher and W.C. facilities are provided for. There is also a boardroom facility to house 10 – 15 people available subject to prior booking on a fair usage policy.

LEASE
This unit is available immediately to lease on flexible terms. Further details are available upon application.
 
RENT
Upon application.

For prices and further information, contact:
Jack Bland
jack@blacksheep.info

Raising awareness in the Welsh Beef and Diary Sectors

BVD is recognised throughout Europe as one of the most important viral diseases of cattle. Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales asked Black Sheep to produce their recent publication ‘A focus on BDD & Johne’s’. The aim of this booklet is to raise awareness of these two diseases across the whole of the Welsh beef and dairy sectors and encourage testing for the diseases through a health scheme approach.

Here’s what the client said.
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Hi Neil
Yes they have arrived, and look very good.
Thanks.

Dewi Hughes
Gweithredwr Prosiect
Project Executive
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More Info:

Animal disease has a severe effect on productivity and profitability of cattle and impacts adversely on animal welfare.
Control and prevention of disease will improve productivity. Improving the health status of herds provides sources of disease free stock which creates export opportunities and raises the profile of the Welsh Beef industry.

This booklet focuses on two diseases that are costly to, and should be tackled by, the industry.
BVD – Bovine Viral Diarrhoea
Johne’s Disease

www.hccmpw.org.uk