Hot off the press

News that’s hot off the press is rarely good. But this is the South West, so we’re challenging traditional news channels by championing positive, empowering and informative articles. It probably won’t catch on. We can’t see it getting the full Trevor McDonald treatment, that’s a fact. But you’re here, we’re here, so let’s do this thing. After all, if we can’t make a song and dance about it, who can? Here’s what’s hot off the press in the creative design world.

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What Makes Thornbury Great

At ‘It Starts’ we are constantly striving to be different from a standard design agency. Our ethos has always been to work with and support local sustainable business in the South Gloucestershire and Bristol area. We like to think out of the box and tackle projects in a fun engaging practical way. So when ‘The Thornbury Chamber of Commerce’ asked all members to give something for a late night raffle, ‘It Starts’ jumped at the opportunity to give something back to our local community. As a creative design agency offering services such as branding, digital design or print expertise it is hard for us to give a member of the … Continue reading What Makes Thornbury Great

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Web Forms – Short vs Long

So, you want a site with longer web forms, but can they work, and what type of conversion can you expect? An interesting question, well it is for us. Yeah, we do need to get out more. It’s also valid one for anyone who wants to incorporate a web form as a contact method on their site. Go on, admitted, that got your attention, didn’t it? The thinking behind it is that capturing more information would surely help increase conversion rate, but is this the really the case? This article looks at what is best practice, how a buyer may see the form, and what a designer should do to … Continue reading Web Forms – Short vs Long

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Six steps to optimising your PPC

How to go about optimising your PPC? Google has unleashed several new Adwords features in the first half of 2016, and we’re not just sitting around wondering how to use them. Oh no, here we look at how you could take this opportunity to maximise your paid search campaigns. The updates During the first half of 2016, Google announced two fundamental changes to its Adwords real estate. It launched ‘Expanded Text Ads’, with both ad headline and description lines increasing in length. It also removed the familiar ‘sidebar’ paid search ads (on the right of the results page), introducing an additional spot for paid search listings above organic results. These updates … Continue reading Six steps to optimising your PPC

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SEO Tricks for One Page Websites

One page websites are becoming increasingly popular. Much like an app, a single page site is intended for a single function, or focused on an individual purpose, like an event or a product launch. It’s great to focus your consumer on something special, allowing for unique branding under the umbrella of your original identity. Designing to deliver on that purpose exclusively makes it easier to optimise accordingly. This design trend has taken a lot of criticism for not being search engine friendly. The non­-paginated structure is alien if you’re a conformist. With an abundance of content on one page, search engines struggle to index the site, and search spiders can … Continue reading SEO Tricks for One Page Websites

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New harp icon created for Guinness by Design Bridge

There’s nothing better than a cold pint of beer, cider or Guinness after a busy week. Don’t worry, we only ever have a couple at a time, and never before a meeting. But we’re a sociable bunch, so when we heard Design Bridge had created a new harp icon for Guinness we had to write about it. A quick pint of background The harp, which serves as the Guinness emblem, is based on a famous 14th century Irish harp known as the “O’Neill” or “Brian Boru” harp which is now preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. The harp device has been synonymous with the Guinness brand since 1862 … Continue reading New harp icon created for Guinness by Design Bridge

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What clients think of consultancies: Stand out, perform and deliver

A new piece of research has revealed that most clients find it difficult to differentiate between consultancies, and wouldn’t expect to pay for a creative pitch. Here at It Starts we’re a pretty confident bunch, so we never charge for our pitches. For us it’s a golden opportunity to prove to a prospective client that we have a special idea, which we’d love to develop with them. Research group, Up To The Light, has worked with design consultancies, which in turn have conducted 435 interviews with design buyers. The research revealed that the average client is receiving 14 new business approaches everyday and 96% view the UK design industry as … Continue reading What clients think of consultancies: Stand out, perform and deliver

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Graphic Design Before Computers

Whatever your relationship with them, computers have changed pretty much every industry since they were introduced to the workplace. They have even changed our daily activities, making them easier (in most cases) and often automated. In the graphic design industry, they have taken away some of the heartache that gave designers their characteristic cynicism. That’s not to say we don’t still have the odd twinge of angst when something beautiful gets tarred with the mediocre brush, but it’s much less often than before, and rarely life-threatening. The computer and desktop publishing has made design so much more immediate. Something that would have taken days a decade ago, now takes hours. … Continue reading Graphic Design Before Computers

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8 typography design elements to consider for print and web

It Starts founders, Mark & George first learnt about practising good typography back at university many years ago. In the years since, we certainly haven’t forgotten these essential principles. Typography has always been the foundation of good design. Whether you’re designing for print or web, typography is key in communicating a clear message to the user. A clear visual structure or path can be obtained through the use of text and supporting images, which when done in harmony, will balance the page perfectly. To show you what we mean, here at eight things to consider when using typography. Enjoy. 1. Colour Contrast Colour contrast may seem like a minor thing, … Continue reading 8 typography design elements to consider for print and web

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what makes a truly great logo

Here it at It Starts, we work with lots of different disciplines within design, however we feel branding is one of our strongest assets and have designed many logos for our clients. So, would you like to know what truly makes a great logo? Here’s a taste of our creative approach when designing a new logo. For a start, logos are over rated. No, we’re not just being controversial, we believe that a logo doesn’t answer all the branding questions a client has – but it is a component. The logo should be a device that clearly denotes what the company is, without depicting every facet of what the company … Continue reading what makes a truly great logo

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Five photography trends to watch in 2016

 We always like to voice our opinion on the future of our industry. In this article we look at the five photography trends that we can look forward to in 2016. It could be a year of surprises as digital technologies utilise more effective ways of capturing photos from all sorts of angles. The use of different mediums to achieve the desired look is almost unlimited in modern photography, and can be captured in a stylistic way by almost anyone with a basic camera. Here are our predictions for the trends to watch in 2016. ONE. RESURGENCE OF FILM It’s back and we’re buzzing about it. Film has always been … Continue reading Five photography trends to watch in 2016

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