Creative Reading

The Laws of Simplicity, written by John Maeda, one of the world’s top graphic designers discusses ten laws of simple design that can be followed by designers and businesses to find balance among the chaos.

Steal Like An Artist encourages you to forget originality because everything has been done before. Focus on embracing your message, be good at it and explore the world through your own creativity. A designer’s classic.

Manage Your Day-to-Day is a collection of very good advice from some of the world’s best creative minds. Build a workable routine to maximise your creativity and productivity so you have the time to create.

Curious about how we work? The answers might shock you. In Daily Rituals, Mason Currey has explained habits, rituals and routines from the greatest artists and scientists in the world. Fascinating read.

Do you struggle with website rankings?

WooRank is a simple, easy-to-use website analysis tool to track and connect your marketing data. We use this to perform evaluations on our client websites.

You can try it for free and get a report which will give you some great areas to work on. Add your website url and run the report. You will be given a score out of 100 and a list of passed, improve or errors to fix. The free evaluation looks at SEO, mobile, usability, technologies, back-links and social.

You can also sign up for a 2 week trial and get an advanced report, where you can load your competitors and see how you fair up against them. With the in-depth website analysis you will learn how to improve your website rankings & online visibility. Discover which keywords your competitors are targeting and adapt your strategy. You will get an immediate overview of what your competitors are up to!

Are you overwhelmed by how much you have to learn about optimizing your website? Don’t be, we are here to help answer any questions you might have.

Get analysing and improve your digital presence.

New Music Monday

If you love deep and sultry sounds, you’ll be hooked instantly on this one.

If you’re already quite familiar with FFD’s genre-splicing and casual beat-dropping tunes, then you’ll likely find a lot to love in this jam.

A lost love song pared down to the very basics.

Boasting a gutsy raw energy, this dynamic song captures a wide range of dynamics from soft moments to bombastic shouts.

Joywave delivers an exceptional seven-minute musical odyssey with this excellent track.

The Power of the Pencil

At Whitelaw Mitchell, many of our design projects begin by hand. Although computers make processes much faster, we find that creating designs by pencil and paper delivers a far more refined design.

Digital tools have become so good and ubiquitous that it’s tempting to use them for every part of the creative process. It’s not always a good thing and can even hinder creativity. Many people assume all graphic design was made on a screen, but as designers we can choose how much we want to work with it.

We start a lot of projects by sketching and use technology to refine our concepts in digital form. That way a computer is just a step in the creative process but doesn’t dictate how we create. When you’re constantly looking at a screen, you might forget that you can also make mistakes, and that interesting things can come from that.

We don’t want to work in an industry where art is produced cheap and fast, because that’s not how high-quality work comes to being. We make mistakes, we play around and we disconnect… all to keep creating with fresh eyes.

Products We Love

Form and function come together with these stunning salt and pepper grinders from North of Here. Can we have all the colours please? That’s a lot of seasoning… we’re ok with that.

If you’ve ever been tempted to want to eat a candle, this would be the one. Beautifully packaged, locally made and 5% of every purchase goes to charity. Officially making Neve our new favourite candle line.

After the most unusual sitting stool on the market? Or making your coworkers with extremely jealous with this new rocking chair at your desk? Look no further than here.

Sober October has never been easier. These premium alcohol-free spirits are taking over the world. This is one you definitely want to try.

Looking for that perfect gift for the man in your life? Nip into Gents in Queenstown to find some really cool, super-manly grooming gifts and accessories.

These stunning brass shoe horns that say “No one can fill my father’s shoes” just might be the perfect gift for dad.

Creative Destruction

Creative destruction is the breaking down of old habits and practices that, in turn, create new and powerful means of expression. When the walls come down, old habits die and new avenues of expression and innovation appear. This creates opportunity for creative expansion and the advertising industry is experiencing massive creative destruction.

The digital revolution is nothing to be feared and is changing the way we speak to our audience. Technology has always been a spur to creativity but it’s about the companies that are willing to grab this opportunity by the (you know what). Audiences want to be entertained, engaged, amused and titillated. They want to interact with your brand and be passionate. And they want it to be constantly new.

This is the age of the brand, the most exciting time to be advertising and marketing to your customers. It’s time to embrace the new digital landscape or get swept away in the likeness of Hoover… once an iconic brand, now living in the shadow of the inventiveness and style of the premium-priced and super-sucking Dyson.

Are you ready for the next age of advertising?

New Music

This garage dubstep tune mirrors the uncanniness you feel when a major event happens in your life.

Channel your emotional wreckage with this late Sixties song that Richards wrote in 20 minutes.

Close vocal harmonies never get old. Neither does the apparent contrast of fresh-faced warblers nursing weary hearts.

Melbourne-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Port shares the release of a brand new song ‘My Love.

Hot and sexy work from our native friends here in New Zealand.

Creating Authentic Images: Stock vs. Custom Photography

The world of stock photography can be taboo. Dancing on the beach in white linen and unrealistic attractive business people with cheesy smiles comes to mind. In the early years of the internet, these images were so common it could induce nausea.

The modern world of stock photography is worlds apart from it’s cheesy roots. While there is still an abundance of hokey, vain imagery being used, there are some high quality stock image suppliers that are playing the game right. Not without a price however. Quality stock images can cost hundreds to thousands per image, depending on the usage and copyrights.

Stock photography can be used in a pinch as it’s more convenient and certainly has it place in the design world. We can’t really say outright one option is better than the other, but custom photography is usually better, but requires more time and resources.

Humanise your brand. Custom photography let’s your audience know that you don’t cut corners. That you value them enough to make a good impression.

Custom photography gives you control over content, products and your project. It’s tailored to your needs, your images are owned by you and ends up being a long-term investment as your images can be used over and over. With custom photography you have the control over what your photos express, and you have the freedom to accurately tune them into your brand or personality.

Bottom line is, with custom photography, your buying originality. Customisable, credible and flexible. If time and budget allows, consider custom photography for your brand, website or print materials. It will make your collateral that much more attractive, honest and convincing. Authenticity is like currency… spend it wisely or it will be wasted.

 

We’re professional button pushers. Get in touch. We’d love to shoot with you.

Images ©Whitelaw Mitchell.

Why is simplicity so complex?

“Less is more” is something you’ve probably heard your whole life and it’s not a new concept. But why is it so hard for us to avoid the useless and the redundant? Simplicity has been a challenging concept for as long as we can remember. In 1918, Woodrow Wilson was asked how long it takes him to prepare his speeches, to which he answered:

“That depends on the length of the speech. If it is a ten-minute speech it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half-hour speech it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now.”

Why is simple communication, via language or visual, so hard to achieve?

A lot of our habits of cramming as much information as possible to prove our knowledge on a particular subject stems from early education. Whether we had to write essays or give oral presentations, you were likely judged on the amount of content you provided to prove your knowledge.

What really matters is getting to the center of motivation. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Starting with the power of ‘Why’ will bring feelings strong enough to spark genuine interest or change. Just writing or speaking for the sake of it loses sight over what really matters.

 

Just look at marketing for example. Some of the most impactful and meaningful adverts in history have been the simplest. Think of Nike’s “Just Do It” or Apple’s “Think Different.”

You should be able to bring concepts down to the simplest of nature. The key to actually doing this is understanding the concept, product or idea that you’re trying to VERY well. Understand what is the backbone and what are the peripheral elements.

In short, always think about simplifying things. Whether it’s writing, creating, speaking or selling ideas. Use complex notions only when needed and make sure you fully understand it yourself.

Simple ideas, powerful words.

Tunes to get you ready for summer

Tycho does it again. Amazing remix of one our favorite tunes. This jam has summer written all over it.

Sultana combines sweeping guitar arpeggios, sustained synth-beds and tingling electric drum loops to make music that nothing less than evocative and exciting.

This song feels like a sort of journey to a world of colour and movement that could only be found in South Africa. What a tune.

‘Running Back’ features a simple MPC beat, a gently picked guitar melody, and a bit of finger-snapping.

“And then there were moments where you felt like they were still just jamming in someone’s backyard on Australia Street, not giving a damn.”

Do you struggle with website rankings?

WooRank is a simple, easy-to-use website analysis tool to track and connect your marketing data. We use this to perform evaluations on our client websites.

You can try it for free and get a report which will give you some great areas to work on. Add your website url and run the report. You will be given a score out of 100 and a list of passed, improve or errors to fix. The free evaluation looks at SEO, mobile, usability, technologies, back-links and social.

You can also sign up for a 2 week trial and get an advanced report, where you can load your competitors and see how you fair up against them. With the in-depth website analysis you will learn how to improve your website rankings & online visibility. Discover which keywords your competitors are targeting and adapt your strategy. You will get an immediate overview of what your competitors are up to!

Are you overwhelmed by how much you have to learn about optimizing your website? Don’t be, we are here to help answer any questions you might have.

Get analysing and improve your digital presence.

The Power of the Pencil

At Whitelaw Mitchell, many of our design projects begin by hand. Although computers make processes much faster, we find that creating designs by pencil and paper delivers a far more refined design.

Digital tools have become so good and ubiquitous that it’s tempting to use them for every part of the creative process. It’s not always a good thing and can even hinder creativity. Many people assume all graphic design was made on a screen, but as designers we can choose how much we want to work with it.

We start a lot of projects by sketching and use technology to refine our concepts in digital form. That way a computer is just a step in the creative process but doesn’t dictate how we create. When you’re constantly looking at a screen, you might forget that you can also make mistakes, and that interesting things can come from that.

We don’t want to work in an industry where art is produced cheap and fast, because that’s not how high-quality work comes to being. We make mistakes, we play around and we disconnect… all to keep creating with fresh eyes.

Creative Destruction

Creative destruction is the breaking down of old habits and practices that, in turn, create new and powerful means of expression. When the walls come down, old habits die and new avenues of expression and innovation appear. This creates opportunity for creative expansion and the advertising industry is experiencing massive creative destruction.

The digital revolution is nothing to be feared and is changing the way we speak to our audience. Technology has always been a spur to creativity but it’s about the companies that are willing to grab this opportunity by the (you know what). Audiences want to be entertained, engaged, amused and titillated. They want to interact with your brand and be passionate. And they want it to be constantly new.

This is the age of the brand, the most exciting time to be advertising and marketing to your customers. It’s time to embrace the new digital landscape or get swept away in the likeness of Hoover… once an iconic brand, now living in the shadow of the inventiveness and style of the premium-priced and super-sucking Dyson.

Are you ready for the next age of advertising?

Creating Authentic Images: Stock vs. Custom Photography

The world of stock photography can be taboo. Dancing on the beach in white linen and unrealistic attractive business people with cheesy smiles comes to mind. In the early years of the internet, these images were so common it could induce nausea.

The modern world of stock photography is worlds apart from it’s cheesy roots. While there is still an abundance of hokey, vain imagery being used, there are some high quality stock image suppliers that are playing the game right. Not without a price however. Quality stock images can cost hundreds to thousands per image, depending on the usage and copyrights.

Stock photography can be used in a pinch as it’s more convenient and certainly has it place in the design world. We can’t really say outright one option is better than the other, but custom photography is usually better, but requires more time and resources.

Humanise your brand. Custom photography let’s your audience know that you don’t cut corners. That you value them enough to make a good impression.

Custom photography gives you control over content, products and your project. It’s tailored to your needs, your images are owned by you and ends up being a long-term investment as your images can be used over and over. With custom photography you have the control over what your photos express, and you have the freedom to accurately tune them into your brand or personality.

Bottom line is, with custom photography, your buying originality. Customisable, credible and flexible. If time and budget allows, consider custom photography for your brand, website or print materials. It will make your collateral that much more attractive, honest and convincing. Authenticity is like currency… spend it wisely or it will be wasted.

 

We’re professional button pushers. Get in touch. We’d love to shoot with you.

Images ©Whitelaw Mitchell.

Moving Beyond Print Advertising

Advertising is an important part of persuading someone to engage with your product or service. So what’s the best way to reach our customers? Advertising has changed quite a bit and continues to evolve. Ads are everywhere, delivered in tiny little moments that Google calls micro moments.

Micro moments consist of a variety of media, from banner ads to sponsored articles online, helping you decide everything from which colour vehicle brings our your eyes to what style of toaster fits your quirky lifestyle. As consumers, we don’t just view ads, we spend the majority of our time online doing research into products and services we are interested in. This is the best place and the best opportunity to target your audience. Is your website giving these potential customers the information they want?

Having a digital presence is so important because it is where consumers do their research and it takes them many micro moments to make a decision. And when you’re taking your adverting digital, you’re targeting your audience exactly where they are. Online.

Bring your product to your customers. Bring it to their phones, their tablets, and their desktops. Let them browse, learn and engage with your product in their zebra onesie from the comfort of their couch.

If we’ve built you a beautiful website or created you an amazing brand, it’s time to think beyond print adverting, reach out to your audience and build your brand online.

If you’re interested in knowing more about what services we offer for digital advertising, click on the link below. We tailor our packages to suit each unique client, their targeted audience and budget.

DIGITAL ADVERTISING GUIDE

Why NOW is the Best Time for a Brand Audit

Queenstown is a rapidly growing place… and off the backs of the soaring population comes the likes of professional businesses like your own. If you’ve never done a brand audit for your organization, now is the time to do it.

Your brand is more than just a logo. It’s how you look, what you say, and what you stand for. Brands change over time, and as a company you want to ensure that your brand stays relevant and competitive to match the economic and social demands of the marketplace.

A brand audit can be used to gain a fundamental understanding of the current influencer and relevancy of your brand. Is your brand in sync with your current company goals and culture? Is it competitive? Or is it outdated?

Here are a few things to consider when evaluating your brand:
• Positioning, brand values and personality
• Your unique selling promise (what makes you different?)
• Corporate identity: logos and other brand elements
• Online presence: website, social media, SEO, public relations

Take an honest look at how your company’s brand is positioned and how it measures up to the competition. Consider interviewing or surveying key management and staff about what they believe to be the company’s objective and mission as well as their understanding and beliefs about the brand, either real or perceived.

Before and After
In a competitive market, it may be tough to justify a rebrand for your organization because there is hyper-focus on generating a return on investment. But, as the age-old saying goes… “It takes money to make money”. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself first!

Don’t shy away from asking tough questions surrounding your brand as it currently stands:
• How much business is lost to our competitors with a stronger brand?
• Do we turn off future prospects because of a lack of consistency between our marketing efforts?
• Are there trends that effect our brand?

The importance of delivering a ‘feel good’ experience cannot be overestimated. Done right, your brand can be your organization’s biggest differentiator and its secret weapon. All other things being equal among competitors, the stronger brand will always win.

Some ways to take your brand to the next level
• Refresh your logo, print and promotional materials
• Update website functionality and responsiveness
• Start generating a social media presence or refresh efforts
• Review current Google AdWords, SSL certificates and SEO practices
• Update photo assets or create a new promo film

Do I need to hire a company to rebrand?
When it’s time for the next stage of growth and development, it is best to hire a firm that specializes in brand strategy. Just like any professional service, the quality and experience of the team matters. At Whitelaw, we will unearth the special truths of your brand and help you realize your vision. With the support of our expertise you can move forward with confidence knowing that you are well positioned for growth and leadership in the marketplace.

Should you hire a freelancer or an agency?

When it comes to your brand’s marketing strategy there are so many places you can turn to get the support, talent, and expertise needed, to generate awareness for your business and drive leads. One of the biggest questions faced by businesses is, which solution is best? Agencies or freelance solutions are both available, and both provide their own specific set of pros and cons, which are important to consider.

Scalability
Freelancers are great at what they do, and can sometimes be the most cost effective solution, since there is little to no overhead costs associated with their work. When it comes to hiring a freelancer, you’re paying for their skill set. If you’re looking for a quick fix or support on a small piece of your marketing cog, freelance can be the way to go. But, keep in mind that a freelancer’s skill set can sometimes be more limiting.

By comparison, a marketing agency will take a more wholesome approach to understanding and achieving your marketing needs. This process will often require a deep dive into your brand to understand your marketing needs, and your target demographic. When it comes to approaching marketing goals on the whole, an agency solution is often more wholesome, well-rounded, and reflective of your businesses objectives, overall.

Expertise
Expertise means more than just technical skills on offer. When it comes to finding solutions for your marketing needs, it’s important that the solution you settle on compliments your current business practices. For example, if you’re looking to build a new website, it’s important to consider the impact this website will have on your business as a whole. A website is just one of the marketing tools at your disposal: how will the new design of the website reflect the look and feel of your brand? Will your website content be engaging, easy to understand, and drive organic leads from search engines? How will the rest of your content marketing efforts mirror the new website design?

A freelance solution is often cut a dry: you’re hiring a freelancer based on his or her niche skill set. Freelancers tend to work in a more streamlined fashion, when it comes to checking deliverables off a list, and quickly turning over a project. This approach is efficient, but allows for little flexibility if you find your needs have changed part way through development of marketing assets.

By comparison, an agency will approach a project with its breadth of knowledge and expertise. Agencies thrive because of the complimenting skill sets that make up their teams. The advantage of having multiple people working on any given project is that it allows the creative juices to flow, which cultivates an environment where innovation and originality thrive.

Cost
Although freelance may seem like the more affordable option, it can often turn out to be less cost effective, when compared to the agency model. That’s because, it’s likely you will have to hire multiple freelancers to work on various branches of your project, which can quickly eat up costs and time.

When considering a new project or marketing goal, an agency will establish a plan with detailed deliverables from the onset, including all anticipated costs. Having multiple services under one roof will also give you the flexibility to change your mind, or tweak your needs, as the campaign grows and is rolled out.

Ultimately, there is a time and place for both freelancers and agency support, when it comes to helping businesses achieve their marketing goals.

Don’t be a victim of time.

Good morning Monday! Just a friendly reminder that now is always the time. Watches, clocks and gadgets don’t work because they are only systems used to manage time. We all live in real time, and real time is mental. It exists between your ears. It flys when you’re having fun and drags when you’re doing taxes… so… Create it. Anything you create, you manage. Regardless of what you’re doing, time is spent in three ways: thoughts, conversation and actions.

Some time management tips we live by:

1.Dedicating the first half of each day to being creative, then taking calls and going to meetings for the management side of things after lunch.

2. The over-use of apps, lists and time systems ignores the real issue – how to manage yourself.

3. Choose 2-3 priorities to complete in a day and you will complete those 2-3 tasks. If you have 4-10, you will complete 1-2. If you have more than 10, you will complete none.

4. Delegate. Know your strengths and work to them. Pass off smaller tasks to colleagues that may be more efficient at it, freeing up more time to focus on priorities.

Winter Wallpapers

Pay It Forward

Whitelaw Mitchell is sponsoring Baskets of Blessing, a local Queenstown charity organisation started by Tam Schurmann. Such an amazing group of people involved, we are so very blessed to be a part of it. We’re working on some really cool branding, a website, photography and a host of other collateral to help spread the message of this incredible community of givers. We spent a little time today participating in the basket-packing day. Check out their Facebook page for more info about what they do, how to nominate someone in need and how you can help.

Photography & Ad Design for Chard Farm

As part of our new website launch, we are now offering a few more services to our clients in order to be a more dynamic and full-service agency.

We recently shot an image for Chard Farm Winery for the advert we designed that is going to be featured in Mindfood Magazine.

The sun was bright and shining that day, but we still managed to capture the river and vines in all of their glory. We LOVE this shot.

We are equipped to serve our clients in all aspects of communication and promotion. By handling all work in-house, we create better continuity across your marketing efforts and more cost-efficiency.

we’re looking for talent

We are looking for a front end web developer genius to work alongside and support our small team. You must be proficient in WordPress with basic graphic design skills. As well as being a digital pro, we need you to be comfortable talking directly to some of our key clients.

You will be: Creating and working to briefs. Designing new websites, as well as helping to drive continuous improvement. Liaising with clients throughout projects. Delivering CMS training after project completion. A specialist with WordPress.
A good working knowledge of HTML, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, and WooCommerce. Strong understanding of responsive web design. Skilled in Adobe creative suite. Knowledge of SEO would be advantageous. Estimating the time required to complete the work. Thinking creatively to produce new ideas and concepts for online. If this sounds like a position for you, get in touch with us.

New Music Monday

If you love deep and sultry sounds, you’ll be hooked instantly on this one.

If you’re already quite familiar with FFD’s genre-splicing and casual beat-dropping tunes, then you’ll likely find a lot to love in this jam.

A lost love song pared down to the very basics.

Boasting a gutsy raw energy, this dynamic song captures a wide range of dynamics from soft moments to bombastic shouts.

Joywave delivers an exceptional seven-minute musical odyssey with this excellent track.

New Music

This garage dubstep tune mirrors the uncanniness you feel when a major event happens in your life.

Channel your emotional wreckage with this late Sixties song that Richards wrote in 20 minutes.

Close vocal harmonies never get old. Neither does the apparent contrast of fresh-faced warblers nursing weary hearts.

Melbourne-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Port shares the release of a brand new song ‘My Love.

Hot and sexy work from our native friends here in New Zealand.

Tunes to get you ready for summer

Tycho does it again. Amazing remix of one our favorite tunes. This jam has summer written all over it.

Sultana combines sweeping guitar arpeggios, sustained synth-beds and tingling electric drum loops to make music that nothing less than evocative and exciting.

This song feels like a sort of journey to a world of colour and movement that could only be found in South Africa. What a tune.

‘Running Back’ features a simple MPC beat, a gently picked guitar melody, and a bit of finger-snapping.

“And then there were moments where you felt like they were still just jamming in someone’s backyard on Australia Street, not giving a damn.”

New Music Mondays

Spoon bundles the world of millions into a tidy package, capturing the moments that make memories – walking through a rain storm, getting high in cars, breaking laws and making love.

Very nice chill out track appropriately named for a Monday.

Crisp drum tracks ping-pong across “Far Nearer”‘s wide span, clapping and retreating around the song’s dramatic vocal sample.

Rolling Stone named this #12 of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time. Listen to this beautiful elegy.

“Outrageous drag balls, bumpin’ block parties and no-wave freakshows over a backdrop of crumbling tenement blocks and copious neon.” That pretty much sums it up.

New Music Mondays

These two adorable weirdos deliver another poppin’ hit. This song in particular exudes the eccentric personality that their fans love.

Put your ears to the ground. Be prepared to put this one on repeat.

The remix of ‘drifting’ is not a song that grows tiresome on replay. Forceful vocals and instruments create this addicting rhythmic tune.

Australian artist Ryan Cumming knows what’s up. His vocals seem to nest in the clouds and his selective approach to instrumentation deliver powerful and simple emotional punches.

Fake horns and real slap bass make this a party music all the way through. There’s just so much goodness flying through the air we “can’t get enough”.

New Music Mondays

Let’s kick off new music mondays with a little House Work by Jax Jones. If you’re not in the office doing a little ‘werk werk’, you’re probably at home doing a little post Easter cleanup to this banger.

Brittany Howard, a twentysomething singer from Alabama, bolts out in a husky moaning-in-the-moonlight drawl, riding a groove steeped in the stew of Muscle Shoals and Stax-Volt. Highly recommend listening to all their albums.

“The sounds, the vocals and the rhythm of this song is so haunting, that i’ll still echo in your head well after you’re done listening. Its so soothing and I recommend buying it.”

Tender bass and glowing synths that continue to swell like any proper rave-ready jam. It’s hard to really care much about trends and genre rules when you’re feeling this high.

Southern California bred indie rock giants Local Natives don’t really have casual fans. Generally speaking, people will either evangelize them, or scratch their heads, wondering what all the fuss is about. We dig it and we hope you do too.

best of: Society 6

“Take it Easy” throw pillow by Heather Landis.

Because we all need a little reminder sometime. And what better place to remember to chillax then on the sofa. Chill pills sold separately.

“Get in Loser” tote by Moop.

We all have that one friend. Here’s to always saying ‘yes’, being down for anything, and ridin’ until the wheels fall off.

“Coffee Talk” tote by David Olenick.

Because we all know who really runs the show everyday. Hip hip hooray for the number two most consumed beverage in the world. May this cute little mug be a daily reminder of our daily coffee worship.

“Outfit of the Day” tote by Naomikado.

Basically how we feel every rainy day. Very fitting for the home office. Would this work for business casual client meetings?? Hope so.

The Shootout: Boys vs Girls

Many thanks to Break One Clay Targets for having the team at Whitelaw for a good ol’ fashion shootout. It’s loads of fun if you haven’t tried it, and pretty easy to leave feeling like a winner. If you’re on the girls team that is.

Products We Love

Form and function come together with these stunning salt and pepper grinders from North of Here. Can we have all the colours please? That’s a lot of seasoning… we’re ok with that.

If you’ve ever been tempted to want to eat a candle, this would be the one. Beautifully packaged, locally made and 5% of every purchase goes to charity. Officially making Neve our new favourite candle line.

After the most unusual sitting stool on the market? Or making your coworkers with extremely jealous with this new rocking chair at your desk? Look no further than here.

Sober October has never been easier. These premium alcohol-free spirits are taking over the world. This is one you definitely want to try.

Looking for that perfect gift for the man in your life? Nip into Gents in Queenstown to find some really cool, super-manly grooming gifts and accessories.

These stunning brass shoe horns that say “No one can fill my father’s shoes” just might be the perfect gift for dad.

New Music

This garage dubstep tune mirrors the uncanniness you feel when a major event happens in your life.

Channel your emotional wreckage with this late Sixties song that Richards wrote in 20 minutes.

Close vocal harmonies never get old. Neither does the apparent contrast of fresh-faced warblers nursing weary hearts.

Melbourne-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Port shares the release of a brand new song ‘My Love.

Hot and sexy work from our native friends here in New Zealand.

Creating Authentic Images: Stock vs. Custom Photography

The world of stock photography can be taboo. Dancing on the beach in white linen and unrealistic attractive business people with cheesy smiles comes to mind. In the early years of the internet, these images were so common it could induce nausea.

The modern world of stock photography is worlds apart from it’s cheesy roots. While there is still an abundance of hokey, vain imagery being used, there are some high quality stock image suppliers that are playing the game right. Not without a price however. Quality stock images can cost hundreds to thousands per image, depending on the usage and copyrights.

Stock photography can be used in a pinch as it’s more convenient and certainly has it place in the design world. We can’t really say outright one option is better than the other, but custom photography is usually better, but requires more time and resources.

Humanise your brand. Custom photography let’s your audience know that you don’t cut corners. That you value them enough to make a good impression.

Custom photography gives you control over content, products and your project. It’s tailored to your needs, your images are owned by you and ends up being a long-term investment as your images can be used over and over. With custom photography you have the control over what your photos express, and you have the freedom to accurately tune them into your brand or personality.

Bottom line is, with custom photography, your buying originality. Customisable, credible and flexible. If time and budget allows, consider custom photography for your brand, website or print materials. It will make your collateral that much more attractive, honest and convincing. Authenticity is like currency… spend it wisely or it will be wasted.

 

We’re professional button pushers. Get in touch. We’d love to shoot with you.

Images ©Whitelaw Mitchell.

Why is simplicity so complex?

“Less is more” is something you’ve probably heard your whole life and it’s not a new concept. But why is it so hard for us to avoid the useless and the redundant? Simplicity has been a challenging concept for as long as we can remember. In 1918, Woodrow Wilson was asked how long it takes him to prepare his speeches, to which he answered:

“That depends on the length of the speech. If it is a ten-minute speech it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half-hour speech it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now.”

Why is simple communication, via language or visual, so hard to achieve?

A lot of our habits of cramming as much information as possible to prove our knowledge on a particular subject stems from early education. Whether we had to write essays or give oral presentations, you were likely judged on the amount of content you provided to prove your knowledge.

What really matters is getting to the center of motivation. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Starting with the power of ‘Why’ will bring feelings strong enough to spark genuine interest or change. Just writing or speaking for the sake of it loses sight over what really matters.

 

Just look at marketing for example. Some of the most impactful and meaningful adverts in history have been the simplest. Think of Nike’s “Just Do It” or Apple’s “Think Different.”

You should be able to bring concepts down to the simplest of nature. The key to actually doing this is understanding the concept, product or idea that you’re trying to VERY well. Understand what is the backbone and what are the peripheral elements.

In short, always think about simplifying things. Whether it’s writing, creating, speaking or selling ideas. Use complex notions only when needed and make sure you fully understand it yourself.

Simple ideas, powerful words.

Tunes to get you ready for summer

Tycho does it again. Amazing remix of one our favorite tunes. This jam has summer written all over it.

Sultana combines sweeping guitar arpeggios, sustained synth-beds and tingling electric drum loops to make music that nothing less than evocative and exciting.

This song feels like a sort of journey to a world of colour and movement that could only be found in South Africa. What a tune.

‘Running Back’ features a simple MPC beat, a gently picked guitar melody, and a bit of finger-snapping.

“And then there were moments where you felt like they were still just jamming in someone’s backyard on Australia Street, not giving a damn.”

New Music Mondays

Spoon bundles the world of millions into a tidy package, capturing the moments that make memories – walking through a rain storm, getting high in cars, breaking laws and making love.

Very nice chill out track appropriately named for a Monday.

Crisp drum tracks ping-pong across “Far Nearer”‘s wide span, clapping and retreating around the song’s dramatic vocal sample.

Rolling Stone named this #12 of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time. Listen to this beautiful elegy.

“Outrageous drag balls, bumpin’ block parties and no-wave freakshows over a backdrop of crumbling tenement blocks and copious neon.” That pretty much sums it up.

New Music Mondays

These two adorable weirdos deliver another poppin’ hit. This song in particular exudes the eccentric personality that their fans love.

Put your ears to the ground. Be prepared to put this one on repeat.

The remix of ‘drifting’ is not a song that grows tiresome on replay. Forceful vocals and instruments create this addicting rhythmic tune.

Australian artist Ryan Cumming knows what’s up. His vocals seem to nest in the clouds and his selective approach to instrumentation deliver powerful and simple emotional punches.

Fake horns and real slap bass make this a party music all the way through. There’s just so much goodness flying through the air we “can’t get enough”.

New Music Mondays

Let’s kick off new music mondays with a little House Work by Jax Jones. If you’re not in the office doing a little ‘werk werk’, you’re probably at home doing a little post Easter cleanup to this banger.

Brittany Howard, a twentysomething singer from Alabama, bolts out in a husky moaning-in-the-moonlight drawl, riding a groove steeped in the stew of Muscle Shoals and Stax-Volt. Highly recommend listening to all their albums.

“The sounds, the vocals and the rhythm of this song is so haunting, that i’ll still echo in your head well after you’re done listening. Its so soothing and I recommend buying it.”

Tender bass and glowing synths that continue to swell like any proper rave-ready jam. It’s hard to really care much about trends and genre rules when you’re feeling this high.

Southern California bred indie rock giants Local Natives don’t really have casual fans. Generally speaking, people will either evangelize them, or scratch their heads, wondering what all the fuss is about. We dig it and we hope you do too.

Creativity is Immortal

The artist’s mind is free of email notifications, break rooms, suits and most importantly…timesheets.  Creativity is a timeless talent. Most artists and designers you meet will be unable to tell you what hours they work each day, because art doesn’t have a 9-5 schedule. Our brains are wired differently, and for the most part, we artists wouldn’t change that for all the gold in China.

Creatives don’t always look to do things well again and again, we often search to try something new again and again. Most people look forward to retiring their whole life. A true artist has never dreamt of such a thing, as we have been partially retired since our childhood (which most of us have never grown out of.)

All artists strive to make the world a more beautiful place, through our own creative voice. We lure people into life with the things we make. For many of us, that is our reason to wake up each and every day. When we are old and wrinkled, we may have our driver’s license revoked, but our artistic license? Never.

best of: Society 6

“Take it Easy” throw pillow by Heather Landis.

Because we all need a little reminder sometime. And what better place to remember to chillax then on the sofa. Chill pills sold separately.

“Get in Loser” tote by Moop.

We all have that one friend. Here’s to always saying ‘yes’, being down for anything, and ridin’ until the wheels fall off.

“Coffee Talk” tote by David Olenick.

Because we all know who really runs the show everyday. Hip hip hooray for the number two most consumed beverage in the world. May this cute little mug be a daily reminder of our daily coffee worship.

“Outfit of the Day” tote by Naomikado.

Basically how we feel every rainy day. Very fitting for the home office. Would this work for business casual client meetings?? Hope so.

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