Sustainability and corporate responsibility are huge, the buzz words of the last decade or so. Since the beginning of the year we have been working with The Proper Welsh Milk Company developing the ‘Proper Welsh’ brand, which has launched in direct response to the issue of localness.
Proper Welsh provides an option to people who want to know where their food is coming from; with locally produced and packaged milk in Wales. It has initially been launched in North Wales and is already been stocked in Tesco with other supermarkets hoped to be coming on board in the next few months.
If you are Proper Welsh, why not become a fan on Facebook
On the 22nd of June we'll be joining Design Wales at a business breakfast held by the Caerphilly Business Forum. The event will be an opportunity for businesses to learn about the programme of service design support that's available from Design Wales.
Hoffi have been invited to talk about how we work with business using service design tools and design thinking to develop strategies that grow brands; adding value to your business through design.
To book your place please visit the following link and register here http://servicedesignwales.eventbrite.com/
We have had a busy last few months at Hoffi, branding, planning, designing the Customising, Culture & Harley Davidson Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester. Customising, Culture and Harley-Davidson spans early Harley-Davidsons to the very latest in customised motorcycles, many of which have never been displayed to the public before. The exhibition is created by the Claridon Group and MOSI. It is the first time ever that an exhibition has showcased the historic and radical customs of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, and the culture surrounding them.
Over 30 motorcycles will be featured in the exhibition, including models from the UK, Germany, Japan and the US. Each bike has its own story, from a rare 1909 model – built in the first decade of Harley-Davidson’s production heritage – to motorcycles used for the US military and police in the 1930s and 1940s, to the 1948 Ice Road Panhead, which defied motorcycle capabilities in conditions of minus 53 degrees, to complete an expedition to the Arctic.
The exhibition includes a fascinating section on the tradition of radically customised Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, two of which have been created especially for the exhibition. The spectacular Bell & Ross motorcycle, which won 1st place in the AMD Modified Harley-Davidson Championships in Dublin, is also the first of a rolling programme of guest motorcycles in the exhibition, courtesy of Sussex-based authorised dealership Shaw Harley-Davidson.
Tony Hill, Director of MOSI said: “Harley-Davidson is the classic iconic motorcycle brand that is loved by bikers and design enthusiasts alike. Not only is it a symbol of American culture but has been adopted by cultures around the world to reflect their own unique style and identity. MOSI already has a wonderful collection of historic motor cycles and groundbreaking engineering so we are delighted to build on this with our new exhibition.”
Chris Scott from Claridon Group said: “The exhibition division of our group of companies designs and builds bespoke exhibitions and we are also the worldwide logistics provider for the Harley Owners’ Group (HOG). This is a fantastic opportunity for us to combine our strengths and passion for motorcycles in this world-first exhibition. Customising, Culture and Harley-Davidson includes over 30 carefully selected bikes, each with their own unique story, and has been designed so it appeals to a wide audience, including families with children, and not just the motorcyclist.”
This morning I went on a magical mystery tour of a ride around Cardiff. Every now and again I catch a bus from Canton to the Bay. It is one of those routes that goes everywhere and pretty much circles the city. This morning the driver accidentally took a wrong turn. I think this is only the second time in my memory when this has happened to me but it did get me thinking about service and services breaking down. It is probably best to describe it through three different perspectives.
PERSPECTIVE ONE - the bus driver
He regularly drives through Canton on the number 17 bus route that arrives opposite central station. He is used the route in fact the route has become routine. He is on autopilot. This week after many months on the 17 route he is doing 2 this is a different route going to the Bay but is does share a section of the road that is the same as the number 17. So routine kicks in and before he knows it he has passed the turning he should have taken.
He instantly panics and tries to correct by turning around with no roundabouts nearby and it being rush hour he is unsuccessful and aborts his attempt. The traffic has been manic all morning and he already is a bit late so he decides to try and get back on track but unfortunately he is going to miss a few stops out of the regular route. He is now late and frustrated probably under pressure to be on time and is now rushing to catch up.
Could this have been helped?
Local knowledge is a great thing it helped the driver out to re-find his route, however the familiarity probably also caused the issue. Would it be best to give drivers totally different routes from their last?
PERSPECTIVE TWO - the passenger
For me as a passenger this novelty has given me many things. A quick bit to talk about in the morning in the studio. The novelty has allowed for a different feel to getting to work. A different perspective almost.
Could this have been utilised?
Broadly thinking could routes be random? would this create newness to getting to work? would we be better off?
PERSPECTIVE THREE - the potential passenger
This is the most interesting for me in the scenario. They have no idea what has gon on. There is no empathy of the issue and as far as they are concerned another bus has not turned up.
Could this have been helped?
Would it have been possible to bring the story to this passenger. Give them the understanding of the issues and what has happened?
I think ultimately what I saw today made me think about services are as strong as the people who deliver them. We are all human and make mistakes. But I think it is the way organisations open up to these mistakes that will be the making of future great services.
The development of the internet age has led to a plethora of 'name' brands. Google, Twitter, Skype to name but a few. Yet has the tide begun to turn? are name brands going to to be replaced by symbols and icons over the next decade?
This is a question we have been discussing within the studio for a number of months now.It seems like 'digital' is slowly becoming everyday, and as it does so the distinction, or more the need to distinguish between digital and non-digital worlds becomes less and less. This is already been seen within branding itself. Branding company are once again looking at the 'experience' of the customer not differentiating between on and offline. Technology and hacking is also becoming more and more commonplace with open source becoming more and more accepted people are now hacking (experimenting) and technology and code is the modern day piece of mahogany timber.
So following this back to the internet. Has it grown up? are people now looking for richer more engaging experiences? To follow this further does this mean that we will be looking at more story led brand marks that conjure up tales? One of the most recognisable brands to have recently lost it's name and developed a symbol only brand is STARBUCKS. The strong simple icon instantly feels richer and someone who has always steered clear from STARBUCKS has made me re-consider them as a possible coffee venue.
While of course there is a huge amount of brands that rely on text and symbol within their brand marks. It seems like the fresher symbolic approach also has a huge advantage in this worldwide web of a planet. No name meaning no translation. Potentially a less global feel and even an ability to adapt the symbol to it's local requirements?
It's still very early to say, but I am very excited to see if this is the start of a shift in the visual representation of peoples brand experience. After all it is stories that sell brands to people.
On Monday I popped along on to the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries to listen to talks from David Ajasa-Adekunle of Innovation Imperative and Kate Bergel from Pixar Animation Studios.
It was interesting to hear David's aspirations for the use of animation to explain the lifestyle that surround a building, and how buildings are developed as brands in their own right. It made me think of the Back to the Future movies and how Marty, the main character played by Michael J Fox desired to live on the exclusive and modern Hilldale estate. I guess there's something to say about destination branding and how its applied to buildings, or groups of buildings to convey a more attractive proposition.
Here's one of the example animations that David played on Monday...
Kate's talk was probably a little beyond my expertise, in terms of pixel dynamics and algorithms to provide enhanced animation effects. Kate explained that these where all key factors in producing content for the entertainment games industry, because they made a huge reduction in production times. These new developments in Pixar have been made possible through collaboration between departments such as Research (Kate's home within Pixar) and external partners Disney.
One of the key subjects of her talk described a multi-touch interface that Pixar has developed called Eden. The interface was produced to cut the time it takes to set-dress three-dimensional scenes, Kate explained that it has already been successful, having been used on a small number of Pixar productions and added benefits of reducing the effects of RSI through natural hand movements. Here's a quick video of Eden being used: