Saturday, 1 April 2017

My Useful Guide: Informative Infographics

In their simplest form infographics (or information graphics) are visual representations of data or knowledge, designed to be easily understood at a glance. Basic infographics can be seen everyday in the form of traffic signs and weather charts for example, but from a marketing perspective the graphics featuring colourful illustrations, statistics, graphs and charts are the style most utilised by businesses and organisations around the world. Sometimes with a twist of humour these visual gems are perfect for sharing on social media and online.

Although we think of infographics as modern day design elements, their history actually dates back much, much further. In this blog article we look at the origins of infographics, their advantages and give you a handful of top tips.

A brief history

Believe it or not infographics arguably date back to prehistoric times, some 40,000 years ago! Cave paintings documented animals, geography and events through imagery as a result of the absence of letters and words with Egyptian hieroglyphics offering the same.

Another case bringing us into modern history, would be Florence Nightingale in 1857 using visual data in the form of stacked bar and pie charts. This early form of infographic was presented to Queen Victoria in a bid to improve conditions in military hospitals.   

Harry Beck designed a more familiar infographic in 1933, when he created the first London Tube map. Using bold colourful lines to highlight routes and stops proved a simple but effective representation of the London underground. Instigating an important step towards the infographic design that led to the iconic tube map used by thousands everyday.

These early examples are a far cry from the typical style of infographic we see today. Rising to fame in the online world, infographics are a great way to attract attention and communicate with a wide audience.

Why are infographics so effective?

It’s thought that 90% of the information the brain receives is visual, meaning that we can process imagery 60,000 times faster than written words! We respond better to visual content and are more likely to engage with graphics than text, making infographics an effective way to get a point across. Helping us to absorb more and learn faster consequently improving our understanding of the subject in hand. Infographics can have a longer lasting effect, have great impact and persuade people to take action.

This style of graphic information can be used to communicate a wide range of topics and can help to raise awareness of issues, make comparisons, state interesting facts, emphasize points, explain how something works and primarily communicate (sometimes complicated) information. Have a look at the example below, its on oldie but a goodie outlining the stats.

Having something as visually attractive as an infographic that’s easy to share on social media is a great marketing ploy. When scrolling through long social media feeds it’s the imagery that catches your attention and holds it. Using information graphics as a marketing strategy can prove rewarding through shares and likes on social media, quickly gathering momentum among like-minded audiences.

Some top tips

1.When implementing infographics as part of your marketing scheme keep them simple. Too much information can become overwhelming.

2. Strategic white space can help keep things legible and give it structure.

3. Stick to the main points and lay it out concisely and don’t misrepresent information with overzealous graphics.

4. Pick a catchy title if you need one but stay away from too much text, let the imagery and graphic elements do the work.

If you want help designing an infographic then get in touch with The New Fat, alternatively have a look at this months offer and receive £100 off a set of four infographics perfect for your social media posts. Why don’t you have a look at this months case study all about a project for NGO Forest Coalition. We designed a set of infographics, a leaflet and a supporting website, see how we got on.

What is an Infographic?

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Fat Focus: The Impact of Emojis

Defined as visual communication, graphic design embraces a huge spectrum of styles, formats and interpretations. With this in mind we thought we would investigate the origins of one of the newest forms of communication…emojis!

The humble smiley face has opened up a whole new culture of cute and crazy icons adorning text messages, emails and social media platforms around the world. But where did emojis come from and why are they so popular?

Where did they come from?

Although a recent craze, emojis were first launched in Japan in the late 90s as a way of enhancing messages. Filtering their way around the world through messaging platforms such as MSN Messenger. Over a decade later Apple launched an iOS update introducing the emoji keyboard and the icons really took off.

2012 saw a massive surge in popularity, catapulting them into everyday life. Now dubbed the fastest growing language of all time, emojis comprise of over 1,600 icons and the list keeps growing! Spanning eight topics, they are now available in the form of smileys and people, animals and nature, food and drink, activities, travel and places, objects, symbols and flags. The most popular emoji being ‘tears of joy’ with over 1.5 billion uses on Twitter alone.

The word ‘emoji’ even made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, and if that isn’t crazy enough, there will be an emoji movie released this year starring none other that Patrick Stewart and James Cordan!

So why are they so popular?

One theory is that they are personal. Emojis add emotion to an otherwise impersonal form of communication. It can often be difficult to judge the tone of a text message or a post on social media, but emojis seem to bridge the gap. Adding fun, creative elements to messages that help to express feelings better than written sentiments. They do say a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Emojis provide a human side to digital communication. Studies show that once we learn the meaning behind the symbol we start to relate to the emotion much like we do when we recognise it in a face.

Emojis can also help establish a personal or emotional connection that can be useful when promoting brand awareness. Used in advertising campaigns and on social media, big brands such as Mcdonalds, Dominos, Ikea and WWF have all implemented emojis, with Ikea and WWF even creating their own set. Audience connection is key when using social media, and the human element that emojis provide could be the difference between a like, a share or a scroll past. Many might think that emojis are limited to the younger generations but you would be wrong. Emojis are used by a wide demographic with studies showing a positive response to brands using emojis in their marketing with big increases in click through rates.

Emojis may be a passing craze that will eventually die out but for now they seem as popular as ever and here to stay.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Top Ten: Colour Palettes of 2017

2017 sees Pantone name their colour of the year as the vibrant and revitalising shade of green known as Greenery or Pantone 15-0343. With its cool, refreshing tone and spring-like feel, this yellow-green shade reinvigorates nature.

Representing new beginnings and vitality, this colour is universal. Present in nature around the world and encountered by most on a daily basis, our connection to nature is what grounds us when immersed in modern life.

With Greenery leading the way for 2017 our team at the New Fat have come up with our very own TOP TEN colour palettes.

Bearing in mind the current trend of nature and rejuvenation we have selected a range of colours that play on muted natural tones and paired them up with their vibrant counterparts and complimentary colours to create mini colour palettes. So in no particular order...

1. Sunny Yellow

These warm and sunny yellows evoke joy, happiness and warmth. A spontaneous colour it’s great for attracting attention. Inciting intelligence and youthfulness this is a perfect colour for energetic and fast paced brands. These shades work great with red, blues and greens.

2. Copper Tones

Coppery tones have been on the increase recently and we can see the rise continuing into 2017. With terra cotta undertones these warm, inviting earthy colours reflect strength and reliability. Great for reflecting a sense of loyalty and stability. 

3. Dusky Purple

A sophisticated pairing of purples adds a dusky vibe to our 2017 colour palette. Staying on the theme of warm and earthy these rich colours evoke a sense of luxury. An unusual take on the colour purple but we can see great potential in these rich shades.

4. Powdery Blue

These powder blue hues offer a soft feel and a fresh look. Signifying tranquillity and calm. Perfect for instilling a sense of trust. It’s a great middle-ground for purple and blue, projecting the best features of both colours. These blues have both composure and energy.

5. Deep Blue

A strong take on a mid-tone colour, these blues emit a sense of professionalism. Being slightly more masculine they promote strength. Although quite deep in colour these shades are great as a neutral base to pair with bright colours such as reds and yellows.

6. Sophisticated Teal

These marine shades feel sophisticated modern and summery. Teal is always a popular choice and this will continue into 2017 with a deeper, slightly muted twist. With the essence of the ocean behind them they add vibrancy and energy to any branding.

7. Fresh Green

This is our take on Pantones colour of the year, Greenery. With a stronger green undertone our shade still promotes freshness and growth but maintains an experienced feel. There are more shades of green than any other colour and these particular shades provide a great base palette.

8. Cool Green

Cool, calm, collected and up and coming. Spring has sprung with these greens. A fresh approach, these shades are both subtle and revitalising. Promoting a sense of lushness and vitality. A paler shade, these colours can still pack a punch when paired with blues or deep greens.  

9. Reddish Grey

A warm take on neutral these reddish greys are both classic and contemporary with a sense of reliability. More inviting than a typical cold grey these shades are comforting. Tertiary greys with a difference. For a colourful twist these shades make the perfect pairing with a powder blue or deep teal.

10. Earthy Grey

Whilst these colours may rarely standalone they work well as an addition to other colour palettes. Maintaining that earthiness they are a perfect compliment to other warming tones. Much like our reddish grey these shades represent longevity and diligence. A modern take on grey with the natural twist that 2017 is embracing.

So there is our TOP TEN colour palettes of 2017. A beautiful selection of varied shades that work well on their own or combined with other palettes in our countdown. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

That's a Wrap for 2016

With the New Year here it seems the perfect time to wish everybody a happy and prosperous 2017. 

With lots of exciting projects behind us we would like to thank all those who have supported us in 2016 and we look forward to working with old and new friends in 2017.

Our relationship with our clients is important to us and we strive to make your New Fat experience as rewarding as possible. Building your brand is our passion and working creatively as a team is what we do best.


Click here and put a face to the name on our new “meet the team” page. Big thank you to photographer Paul Haynes, who took our swanky new photos which are now live on our website.

You may have heard the new voice answering the phone - Andy, he has replaced Steph (who moved onto an exciting new future at university). Andy is a great addition to the team and is poised and ready to take your calls.

2016 has brought a variety of projects, with no job too big or too small, keeping us busy with brochures and catalogues, websites, exhibitions and logos to name just a few. We love receiving new briefs and it’s great to see so many brilliant projects develop through their different stages and reach their creative conclusions.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

My Useful Guide: Promotional Products

With Christmas getting ever closer, it’s time to give in and talk about the inevitable. The festive season is the perfect time of year to show your clients how much you appreciate them with a bit of generous gift giving. 

With a multitude of branded gifts, personalised cards and bottles of wine available, what are the advantages of showing your clients how much you love them? 

What are promotional gifts?
Branded gifts can cover a wide range of weird and wonderful things that can be personalised to your brand. Starting with your basic, pens, mugs, and desktop stationery, through to umbrellas, clothing and more. Ranging in quality from budget to luxury and suitable for most events, all year round, there is something for everyone. Alternatively, keep it low key but still maintain a professional level of appreciation and send your clients a personalised Christmas card.
Quick tip
Make sure you have a high quality version of you logo, preferably a vector eps file. When your logo artwork is supplied by your designer you should be given a range of logos suitable for a number of instances. It's also a good idea to have a single colour version of your logo as this is often more suited to branded products. To find out more information about logos why not read our Useful Guide on logo design.

Why send a promotional gift?
Corporate gifts can create familiarity, making your business more memorable. Receiving a gift creates interest, adds positivity and makes for a useful reminder, which continues with each use. Not only that, but there is potential to gain new clients as curiosity is sparked if the gift is passed on or seen in use. Providing a great way to get your name out there and acting as incentive. Familiarity, loyalty and brand awareness are great tools for gaining customer rapport. 

Promotional products are also cost effective, proving to be one of the most successful ways of making a good impression. In comparison to printed ads they can cost less and have greater impact.

Choosing a promotional product that represents your company and is relevant to your brand can make a great impression and help clients associate brand image. A little generosity at Christmas can be all you need to hit the ground running in the New Year.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

My Useful Guide: Professional Typography

Whether it’s serif, sans serif, script or display. Modern, traditional or somewhere in between, typography is key for great design and impact. 

With thousands of fonts to pick from, what do you need to consider to get the most out of the typography you choose?

The basics
What is typography? Essentially it is the arrangement, style and appearance of letters and numbers known as type. Typography can set the theme or tone of a particular message and can help to enhance the overall layout and design. Using the correct size, colour, leading, tracking and hierarchy can make the difference between good design and bad. 

All fonts communicate
Each font has a visual personality. Strong, dramatic, edgy, traditional, playful. Whatever it might be, choosing the right font is crucial. Pretty script fonts generally come across as soft and flowery, great for wedding invites. For a sheet metal fabricator, using a script font might not be achieving the highest impact. Big, bold fonts are maybe better suited. Decide on your main message and find a font that emphasizes it.

Create a hierarchy
Hierarchy helps guide the viewers’ eye to the most important elements. It adds interest and creates focus. If the text is all the same, not only is it boring and uninspiring but also it’s easily ignored. Break up chunks of text into main titles, subtitles and body copy. 

Size isn’t the only way of creating prominence. Find two fonts that pair up nicely and use one for titles and use the other for the bulk of the text. Pull out quotes and create features or add a splash of colour.

Leading, kerning and tracking are great tools and separate the good from the bad in the typography world. For those who don’t know: Leading is the space between lines of text. Kerning is the space between individual characters and tracking deals with the spacing between whole groups of characters. If text is too close together it becomes difficult to read and unsightly. Good leading provides enough white space between lines without becoming disjointed. The same can be said for tracking. Too tight or spaced out and it’s impossible to read. 

Kerning can be the difference between reading the right words and the wrong words. Although funny there have been some unfortunate mistakes when it comes to kerning. Google ‘bad kerning examples’ and you will see what we mean! Letters can begin to merge and words change meaning. A good example would be the ‘r’ and the ‘n’ of kerning, too close and it looks like ‘keming’.

Implementing all three correctly can create balance and enhance the viewers reading experience.

Size is often overlooked, but should be carefully considered. Too small and it becomes too hard to read. Too big and it’s overbearing and unnecessary. 10pt is a great starting point for brochure and flyer body copy. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold and make a statement with titles or key words. Using text as a design element can get some interesting results and make for eye-catching marketing material.

If using colour make sure there is good contrast. For example, yellow on white is not a great choice and can make text very hard to read. At the other end of the scale is too much contrast; a tint of dark grey can often sit better than pure black on white. 

Implementing clean and clear text is vital if you are to get your message across. Think about your target audience and how easy it will be for them to read. Less is always more.

Web fonts
Something else to consider are the fonts you use on your website. Ensure all of your visitors get the same experience by using a web safe font. If the font you use isn’t installed on the visitors’ computer then it will be substituted with a common one. This can effect the style and layout of your site.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

My Useful Guide: Professional Advertising

Advertising is everywhere. Whether it’s social media, glossy mags, billboards or bus shelters we are bombarded everyday with punchy imagery and catchy straplines, so not surprising many go unnoticed.

Adverts come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Covered by two categories, print and digital. Some go for shock tactics, others go for humour, some just state the facts and get straight to the point. 

But what makes a great advert great? 

Connect with your audience
Firstly your advert needs to connect with the right audience. It has to spark and intrigue and give them reason to stop and look. With just seconds to make an impression, a strong and engaging concept is a must.

Coherent text and bold headlines
The wording is important if you are going to successfully get your point across but a catchy headline is what’s going to draw in the audience and keep them interested. In a glance the audience needs to know what the advert is about and why they should be interested. Keep it short and sweet and stick to the important details. 

Memorable and recognisable
Gone but not forgotten is the aim. Not everybody will be in a position to act upon the advert immediately, so having a memorable advert which mirrors your brand style is important if it’s going to turn into sales. Some people may not even think twice at the time of seeing the advert, but make it memorable enough and they could be coming back to you when the time is right. 

Creative campaigns
An advert should be creative, appealing and original to hold the attention of the audience. Boost your brand awareness by designing a full campaign with a series of adverts that coincide and compliment each other. Make the most of printed and online adverts, depending on your audience.

A call to action
Give your audience something to act on. Provide a source of further information such as a web address, social media or phone number. This means that you can keep your content to a minimum on the ad but still offer the information they need online or by phone. Including your logo helps with association and acts as a visual aid.

Less is always more
Don’t clutter the ad, keep it clean and simple. Focused on the task in-hand. Think of it like the tea tray game we all played as a kid at parties. The more objects on the tray the harder it was to remember the trinket once it had gone. Adverts are similar, the fewer elements on the ad the easier it will be to remember the important details.

With a print ad you can afford finer details but with a digital ad it’s more important then ever to keep it minimal.  

Digital adverts are sneaking their way into our social media feeds and appearing at the side of websites, more and more. Printed adverts are as popular as always with magazines full of them. So what are the advantages of advertising?

It strengthens your brand
Establishing a recognisable and trustworthy brand can be achieved through advertising - using the same adverts can amplify this effect. How often do you see the same advert from the same brand but in a different location. Repeating an ad can reiterate its value and show that you have real faith in the product or service.

It spreads the word
Adding reputability and creating recognition. Whilst establishing awareness for a particular product or service you are also achieving awareness for everything else you do. Spreading the word far and wide - creating the potential for attracting new customers.

Target customers directly
By investing in advertising space in a magazine, catalogue or brochure within your industry means you can target you clients directly. Also using specific content within your ad can attract your target audience and help to establish a connection. Targeted ads are becoming more apparent online. Ever noticed how adverts appear related to your latest Google search? 

Advertising is a great tool for any business and can prove effective in more ways then one.

Needs some inspiration? If you are interested in advertising have a look at our advertising page or campaign portfolio, alternatively get in touch for more information.
If you need anything else please have a look at our current offers