Where did ac4designs summer go?

Getting there eventually for ac4designs, is better than not at all!

So ac4designs failed to write that news update for July and now the summer in Sidmouth (what there was of it) is fading away. The lesson however is not to let past failings get in the way of future success. Making it happen eventually is better than not making it happen at all. It’s just not as good as making it happen now, but that remains something that we can control.

Busy, busy in July and August

Actually it is not that I have been idle far from it! Work for LTP in developing an online marketing strategy has keep ac4designs busy, busy! An email campaign database management and template delivery system has been established. The system used is Campaign Monitor and a number of test campaigns have already been run. The next key objective is to complete training to allow in house campaign delivery to be completed. This will allow branded message delivery without the need to for external resource. This has provided LTP with a cost effective and direct means of delivering key messages to various customer segments.

LTP advertAnalysis is vital in developing your website. Integration of Google Analytics in January 2012 to the LTP website is now delivering valuable data. This is now being used to drive adjustments to improve the current site. Content has been adjusted and results are currently being reviewed before further development. There is still much to do but adjustments since July have seen a 15-20% increase in traffic! The LTP mission didn’t stop there. A branded Twitter account @LTP_UK was also established. The focus is twofold. Connecting and sharing with tile and natural stone sellers, fitters and suppliers as well as architects and industry related individuals. 300 plus followers gained inside 2 months shows much potential. This will be supported by the LTP_UK_Technical blog. Created to deliver LTP’s extensive experience gained over 25 years. The blog will deliver product updates and case studies that deal with issues relating to natural stone and tiles in relation to staining, protecting, and renovating. Finally the LTP branded Facebook page has also been established and this will be developed in coming months.

And of course there was also the normal label updates and print advertising!

Meanwhile…

There was also time to assist Dorringtons with another own brand label. This time it was for coffee as they continue to develop the range of additional products that they offer. I was particularly pleased to be able to offer advice that allowed a far superior label solution to be produced, without a significant cost increase.

And for ac4designs…

The backdrop to all this has been some major planning and rethinking for ac4designs. A full-time business launch based in Devon is planned for January 2013. The plans are obviously highly top secret but major adjustments to the business offer are well underway. So keep an eye out for some big changes. A new website is under development along with some exciting ideas for engaging with you all out there. From January of next year ac4designs plans to make your boat go faster than you ever thought possible! This will become clear in time, promise.

The ac4designs Facebook challenge!

Happy CowsIn the meantime my friendly cows still need you to say hi and like my Facebook page. The cows promise to like back and if they don’t you can tell me off.

These cows like me! So can you…
www.facebook.com/ac4designsMain or if not follow me on Twitter @ac4designs

A busy April draws to a close

A slow start ends positively with lots of graphic design and branding

April has been a positive month in many respects for ac4designs. A slow start to the month has been followed by much graphic design and branding over the last two weeks. The MBLS identity has now been fully delivered along with the Dorringtons Gift Range designs. Check out the MBLS work in my portfolio and look out for an update once the Dorringtons designs are ready to go live. Great to hear that the launch of LTP in China went so well and that my input with exhibition graphics played its part.

Nice to meet you

Time spent this month planning and networking have been really useful. Many thanks to Julie Bramble for a great EC meeting this month. It was great to meet and share ideas with friendly and like minded people. Also enjoyed a quick visit to The Taste of the West Show at Westpoint outside Exeter catching up with an old friend Paul Stokes from Bristol Labels and making a few new ones. Nice to chat with New Century Design and Vale Labels. Hope the rest of the show went well!

Exciting times

The end of the month seems to be coming with a bit of a rush with lots of graphic design and branding projects. Really excited about the identity development work in progress for Fascial Stretch Therapy UK and so pleased to be helping launch a new product range for Broadale (watch this space). Also very much looking forward to getting stuck into jam and chutney labels for Dorringtons over the next week. Looks like it might be an exciting May!

Accessible content delivery

Can  PDF files be made accessible to people with visual impairment or who need assistive technology to use the internet?

A college of mine recently asked this question, above, and thought I would post my thoughts.

To use PDF or Microsoft Word files with assistive technology effectively content creators must create files that have this in mind. This essentially means that the design needs to consider the user and that the document should contain good structured and tagging. To do this each element that makes up a document needs a definition – so define text what is a top-level heading (the title of a book) separately from a sub heading and from body text using styles and tag images to give an alternative text description that indicates an image in a non visual environment.

Design and publishing tools such as Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Word do deliver help in creating well structure documents, using style sheets and tagging tools, some of which is automatic. However to achieve a high quality solution this task needs considering fully as part of the process of creating the document file.

Read my full blog article on this subject.

UK success story as ac4designs delivers Chinese product label branding.

It’s an all Chinese product label new year for ac4designs.

LTP Chinese product label designs

January 2012 is busy period for ac4designs as work for LTP on Chinese product label designs and marketing support materials near completion. LTP is the UK’s number one manufacturer of cleaning, sealing and maintenance products for all types of artificial and natural stone. A successful 2011 now sees the business preparing for further success in 2012. The launch is scheduled for February 2012 into the Chinese and Malaysian markets. Work for the main exhibition stand to support the Chinese launch is still in progress, so here’s hoping it doesn’t all end up seeming Chinese to me.

It is great to think that the work of ac4designs will now be seen in China and across Malaysia. Not bad for a graphic designer from a humble background. Born and bred in Bristol and now a proud resident of Devon. What would the Chinese make of Sidmouth?