Archive for March, 2010

Chameleon-quality service

counterfeit2

This project required developing a language that linked the qualities of the chameleon with the skills of this high-end retouching service. This was then applied to a promotional postcard and web site.

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Out, damn’d spam! Out, I say!

NSFS_front-backNSFS_Brochure_FA_inside

This Singapore-based company needed a brochure that created a sense of seriousness and urgency about the ever annoying problem of spam.
I was approached to create a brochure that cut through the tough competition in this sector. My solution was to create a tone of voice that treated spam like a life-threatening virus and got straight to the point with an effective solution.

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For those about to name, I salute you.

spearmint

Of all the writing tasks I’ve been asked to work on, naming is probably the trickiest.

Despite the common perception that naming is only worthy of the ‘hey! let’s hold an office naming competition’ approach, coming up with a great name is a rigorous process that involves patience, many hours of researching the market, understanding your competitors, a dogged determination, a healthy imagination, not to mention a fearless ability to explore the twistiest tangents on the path to a killer name.

And after all that, you still have just single words on paper. Sometimes 10, sometimes up to 100 single names. Then, you need the ability to rationalise, explain and convince your client like crazy. Trouble is, single words on paper aren’t always the easiest things for clients to fall utterly in love with. And that’s exactly what they need  to do to find their new name sitting there, furiously waving at them in your foggy list of maybe names.

You can rationalise, cajole and convince all you like. Ultimately, though, your client needs to be able to make the leap between the undressed, undesigned name they see on paper and the powerful potential it represents.  To do that, clients need to be absolutely crystal clear about their vision of who they are and/or who they want to be. They also need to be prepared to jump into the unknown.

With this in mind, I bow down to the inspired individuals (both writers and clients) who have triumphed  to bring us the following:

Spearmint Rhino – Easy to say, easy to read, and, um…easy to visualise. A name that makes this ‘gentlemen’s’ club impossible to forget.

Ocado – Taken from the word avocado (the avocado is the hardest fruit to protect through the food chain). It’s strongly evocative of fresh fruit and crispy freshness, generally.

Google – those endless ‘o’s suggest an infinite amount of data, which sums up its benefits nicely. Easy to say, read, remember and has evolved effortlessly into a verb, much like ‘hoovering the floor’ once did.

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