Design Matters – Ed. 11 June 24

Good morning!

We hope you’re well and have been enjoying some sunshine in June.

With a general election on the horizon, it feels like much needed change is (hopefully) just around the corner. For this month’s edition of Design Matters, we’ve been thinking about change through a range of different perspectives… How brand names can change organisations for the better, events that aspire to change the status quo, and organisations that are working tirelessly to achieve positive social and environmental change.

By the time we publish our next newsletter, big political changes could already be upon us, so make sure you use the time now to make your voice heard! Check out some great environmental and political causes we have been supporting: The Better Business Act and The Climate and Nature Bill.

In other news, we recently announced our 2024 Design for Good grant winners – Talking Money. They are a small money advice agency based in central Bristol that exists to help alleviate poverty through the provision of advice, support and information to local people in financial hardship. In recent years, they have gone through complete organisational redesign and change, so applied for support to get their outward facing communications and brand up to date to reflect this. We’re excited to be supporting them through this transitional period and we will help to shine a light on the incredible work they do.

Recent changes in the team have also been very exciting for us. Our marketing lead Miya, has just moved back to the UK after working remotely in Sydney for a year. Being back in the same time zone is a change we have all gladly welcomed. Meanwhile, our second home in London is moving from London Fields to Shoreditch on the 1st of July. While we are all very sad to say goodbye to the site in E8, we are very excited about our new city centre location!

Good luck with everything you’re doing in July and we hope you enjoy reading.

Ed, Issy and The Discourse team.

Our latest blog:

There’s a reason why you score points for the best name at a pub quiz – coming up with a name is really hard! Is it original and unique? Does it reflect who you are and what you want to be known for? Will people relate to it?  Whether naming a business, product, or service, many organisations struggle with this initial step of branding and it’s one of the most important decisions you will make when defining your brand.

Read more here.

The DIY Designer

A well-chosen name is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from competitors, connect with your target audience, and tell your story. It’s a core part of your identity that should, ideally never change, as it will build equity over time. To support you on your brand naming journey, our Creative Director Issy has selected three essential resources to help you on your way.

Brand New Name” is a practical guide for creating a powerful brand name. The book outlines a proven step-by-step process to generate creative, effective names. Through engaging exercises and real-world examples, Miller demonstrates how to unite teams behind the naming process and develop a name that captures the essence of the brand. This resource is essential reading for anyone looking to name or rename their business.

On ‘How Brands Are Built‘, branding professionals get into the details of what they do and how they do it. Other podcasts about branding tend to focus on news, opinion, and high-level theory. How Brands Are Built gets into the true essence of what is a brand. In each episode, Rob Meyerson, a San Francisco-based brand strategist, interviews other strategists, designers, writers, namers, and researchers to help you understand how effective brands are really built.

Okay, so we know we’re not reinventing the wheel by recommending this resource, however it definitely deserves a mention. When it comes to brand naming, it never hurts to take it back to basics and just scour a thesaurus for the words you might need. It’s a tool we always rely on and revert back to as designers, as you never know when you may come across THAT word or phrase, or when the thesaurus may prompt another wave of creativity.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Former US President Barack Obama

Work from the Agency

Formally Rin Hambrough & Co. We worked with Rin and the team on their rebrand and renaming back in 2022 and it’s fair to say that it has stood the test of time. When interviewed for our latest blog, Rin emphasised the complexity of naming: “There are many things to consider when naming a brand, a lot of which are purely practical. If it’s a common word, will it be hard for people to find in a Google search? If it’s unusual, will people be able to spell or pronounce it? Is it unintentionally a rude word in a different language? There’s a lot to think about and the process shouldn’t be rushed”.

Think global...

With 31% of women experiencing severe reproductive health symptoms every year, if not supported properly they can lead to lack of inclusion, increased absenteeism, and reduced retention, resulting in lack of female* representation at a senior level and ultimately, the gender pay gap.

HeyFlow empowers businesses to tackle issues head-on through insight, learning and action, ending disadvantage for women at work. They recently published a fascinating report on Male Allyship to find out how knowledgeable and comfortable male leaders in digital are about female* reproductive health. 96% of those leaders didn’t feel that they had a problem retaining female employees, but HeyFlow’s data suggests otherwise. Check out their work and other resources here.

*Refers to people with internal reproductive health organs. The full inclusion statement is on their website.

Act Local...

Life Cycle is a charity dedicated to improving health, happiness, and community connections for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Their Bikes Beyond Bars project takes bike donations and teaches prisoners how to fix them, helping them become qualified bike mechanics with a City & Guilds cycle mechanics certification, so they can secure jobs upon release.

Life Cycle also sells these refurbished bikes to the community and provides free bikes to refugees through their Bikes Beyond Borders program.

At their Hub in Bishopston, Bristol, they offer bike sales, services, repairs, and maintenance lessons. Readers can enjoy a 15% discount on their first service or repair, with all proceeds supporting their charitable work.

Find out more about their bike services and how to donate your unwanted bikes here.

Solutions for the planet:

What if solving climate change was as simple as switching your fuel supplier? Carbon Neutral Fuels was founded in November 2022 by Alasdair Lumsden and Sophie Zienkiewicz, after meeting at the United Nations COP26 climate conference. Driven by a mutual ambition to create lasting positive impact on the world, CNF is pioneering a modular & scalable ‘Power-to-Liquid’ e-fuel production technology that can be rapidly deployed close to where sustainable fuels are needed. Find out more about their solution here.

In our spare time...

Our Creative Director Issy, has been listening to The Creative Boom Podcast, a show that delves deep into the hearts and minds of creative professionals.

Hosted by Katy Cowan the show shares candid conversations with creatives to uncover the secrets to success, and all their practical advice, funny stories and honest wisdom. Whether you are a creative or not, their podcast and website is packed full of inspiring work to spark ideas and challenge traditional concepts in design. It’s definitely worth checking out, you can fine it here.

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