Behind The Curtain – Working Remotely During Lockdown
Much like us all, we couldn’t have begun to imagine the changes that have happened over the last few months. So, we thought it would be fitting to give you guys a look into the effects the pandemic has had on our design studio and give you an insight into some of the projects that we’ve been working on throughout lockdown!
Designers by nature are problem solvers. We receive a brief (i.e. a problem) and come up with an innovative way to solve it and the crisis proved no different. Our clients have been resilient and resourceful and we are proud to have worked alongside them to come up with a number of innovative solutions to the turbulent changes that are happening within their businesses.
We have also seen the importance that the role of design has played not only here in Ireland but across the world. Design has helped to visually communicate important messages to communities about the precautions we need to take, with the iconic ‘Corona Yellow’ becoming the nationally acknowledged colour for Covid19 Infographics. Design has been all around us during this pandemic from informative infographics, social distancing stickers and volunteer forms to help keep each other connected. From helpful, to informative to caring the pandemic has really illustrated the importance and power of effective design.
We began working remotely as a team on March 17th and with some of our colleagues returning to the office this week, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the past few months apart. To date we have been working remotely for over 130 days!!! Here’s just a taster of what we’ve done and some lessons we learned along the way!
New Important Services
Our Client VSS asked us to create some marketing assets to promote their solutions for Coronavirus air and surface decontamination. This is a very important service that allowed businesses to reopen and continue to function in this difficult environment. We created a variety of assets including website visuals, detailed infographic explaining the process for each of the three solutions, social media posts and a brochure.
VSS Ireland updated their website with the visuals we created which allowed them to clearly promote their three solutions for Coronavirus air and surface decontamination. The infographics are available to view on the new webpage and the brochure can be downloaded directly from the website also. The ability to virtually download the brochure is important especially during these times. It means that no physical passing of items and in person contact needs to happen in order to inform customers about the array of services. The social media posts were posted on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Creating Value for the Consumer
We worked with a number of our clients to create some amazing resources for their customers. Its such a brilliant idea to provide value added branded resources for your customers. This shows from a brand point of view they were actively thinking about the situations their customers were in and consciously trying to come up with solutions for them. By creating these activity sheets they provided their customers with resources that gave their kids something positive to focus on during lockdown, during a time when keeping little kids occupied was difficult!
Where Digital Meets At Home Print
We worked with KEENAN to design colouring sheets that feature the KEENAN range. These sheets were perfect for all farming fanatics (young and old!) Follow the link below for access to these free resources from math’s quizzes to colouring sheets, paper crafting and everything in-between!
UCD Green Campus Colouring book
Keeping in contact with people and keeping your mind active are two things that take a little extra effort during Covid19 restrictions. This is why UCD wanted to create an engaging and fun way to keep in touch with students and staff while also ensuring the communication piece was relevant and educational.
We worked together with UCD Green Campus and the incredibly talented illustrator Ron Wilson to create the UCD Nature and Biodiversity Colouring Book. Ron created a set of illustrations based on the birds and butterflies found on the campus at UCD. We designed the colouring book to be more than just a gathering of black and white pages – we incorporated the beautifully coloured illustrations into the design along with information on each species. The actual colouring pages were then designed in black only. This approach allowed us to supply UCD with two different files, one with the full design with all pages and a separate file for printing at home featuring only the colouring pages. The result was 12 pages of pure, educational, mindful, activity fun! The book ranges in difficulty levels, making it accessible for all to enjoy – from young to old!
UCD promoted the colouring book through their UCD Green Campus social media channels and their website. The feedback from students and staff was fantastic and UCD felt that they successfully created engagement in a time when we all can feel a little disconnected. This activity book is useful, engaging, entertaining and most importantly, educational. So sit back, have fun, and expand your biodiversity knowledge!
MSD Colouring Sheet
To celebrate their 100 millionth dose MSD Carlow commissioned us to create a colouring sheet that included some related but engaging illustrations for children. As the milestone was reached during lock down a colouring sheet was the perfect way to celebrate and to help to keep kids entertained while they were off school. This sheet was sent to all MSD Carlow staff. Here’s an example of some of the amazing entries from Ruby Phelan age 5 and Lily Phelan aged 8. Great jobs girls!
A Corporate Identity and Website
This was one of our pre pandemic – finish during the pandemic jobs! We had the pleasure of designing a full corporate identity for APS BioAg. They are leaders in the field of biological agriculture, providing natural solutions to improve the health of soils, plants and animals. We finished the website while in lockdown which has since been very successful for our client. Their corporate identity included a new logo and all supporting brand elements such as stationery, product brochure, labels, pull up banners and most importantly a fully responsive website to showcase their expansive selection of products.
You can check out the website here https://apsbioag.ie/
A Campaign to Promote the Reopening of A Private Hospital
During lockdown, we were commissioned to create the messaging, strategy, design and layout of a new comprehensive marketing campaign for the “Re-opening of Aut Even Hospital”. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic private hospitals (PHA) in Ireland were acquired for an agreed period to assist in the expected demand in public hospitals due to the pandemic. Therefore, private practice had ceased in private hospitals due to Covid-19 and we needed to inform patients that the hospital was now resuming services.
Our aim was to create an informative campaign that delivered the clear message that Aut Even is open and ready. We created the key messaging, campaigns visuals and all supporting elements. This included internal communication to all stakeholders and external communication to existing and new patients, which is why we employed a combination of both traditional and digital marketing methods. Here’s a taster of just some of the assets that we created for this campaign.
We designed a series of newspaper ads that would run across a series of newspapers in the South East of Ireland throughout the campaign.
We created a series of six simple icons for this campaign. These were designed for use on social media, website and printed material. These icons ensure the new measures can be quickly and easily understood.
We wanted to create engaging social media posts to inform viewers that Aut Even is reopening and explain the new precautions they are undertaking. This included 4 static Social Media Posts and 4 animated Social Media Posts. The outcome was a set of informative posts designed for different stages in the campaign. These assets were posted on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
A homepage web banner was designed for their existing website to promote this campaign online and inform any website visitors of the hospital reopening. This was a clickable banner, which directed readers to a long form blog post, which detailed the changes to processes within the hospital.
Irish Organic Skincare Company
We worked alongside a homegrown Irish organic skincare company who wanted to increase their overall brand presence online with a particular focus on Instagram. Like a lot of companies who haven’t used social media to market their business, spending money on marketing can seem like a risky move – particularly during a pandemic! Our client wanted to ‘test the waters’ to see what kind of results could be achieved with a small budget.
We created a short-term (7 day) social media campaign for our client with a goal of increased following and driving brand awareness with a budget of €30 for social media advertising. The result over 7 days was a 34% increase in following, 545 total campaigns likes, 439 campaign comments, 14 third party story mentions and an overall reach of 155,000. We then created a content calendar for their social media channels and provided them with the knowledge and tools to enable them to continue to drive brand engagement.
A Little Helping Hand
We also took part as mentors in the brilliant funding providing by Local Enterprise Offices for Business Continuity Vouchers. We were commissioned to create digital strategies to help companies to combat the negative impact Coronavirus had on their sales and business processes. This was very rewarding to be able to provide some guidance to local businesses during these tough times.
We were also working on a number of projects that we still cannot disclose but we would advise any spirit fanatics keep an eye out as we have some very interesting projects coming in the coming weeks! Some other things we worked on included webex graphics, PowerPoint graphics, food packaging and vehicle graphics!
Some Things That We’ve Learned While Working Remotely
Getting Dressed Helps!
We definitely embraced the working from home attire for the first few weeks but believe it or not – there are only so many days you can work in your tracksuits and gym clothes! We found that wearing ‘real clothes’ can really help boost your mood and feel more productive!
Communication Is Key
We work really well as a team remotely but we really miss the office chats. Working from home can be lonely so staying in contact is important with phone calls, emails, messaging and zoom calls!
Digital Is Where It’s At
Digital drives results. We have seen the power of digital advertising first hand with our customer’s results over lockdown. Contrary to popular belief, the Internet can be a powerful and kind place where we have experienced people sharing resources and supporting each other – it’s all about finding your tribe!
Morning Routines Help… A Lot
When you’re in the office it is easy to take your morning routine for granted and all the interactions that come with it. Grabbing a good breakfast, listening to music on your commute, enjoying your morning cup of coffee and catching up with colleagues are all the things that can get your day off to a good start. When these things aren’t available it is important to create your own morning routine at home that sets your day off on a good note!
There’s Always A Way
Whatever the problem or situation, threes always a way around it! With a sprinkle of innovation, strategy and experience we can come up with a variety of solutions.
Adding Value Is Key
During this time it is more important than ever that brands show their human side and give something back to consumers. Everything is better when you try to add value to your end user, which is what they will remember after this has passed.
Unplugging Is Necessary
Working from home can make it harder to switch off when the workday is over. If possible, creating a separate workspace can really help you to unplug when the workday is over!
Pets Are Brilliant Company
This one needs no further explanation… they just are!
Thank you for all of your support, as always if there’s anything we can do for you, give us a call we’d love to chat.