Salt Design Case studies: Highlighting our favourite portfolio pieces, explaining initial client briefs, our design process and any tricks we learnt along the way.

We are highly experienced in design and production of both print and digital-based projects. Our passion and focus is design. However, we also understand that our ability to provide great service is achieved through a strong, collaborative relationship with our clients.

ClinRad Logo and Brand Identity

Salt Design was recently approached by Clinical Radiology Specialists to develop their branding identity.

Our new client came to us with relatively no creative brief and a minimal idea of what they wanted . . . EXCEPT for the very definite request NOT to use blue or purple.

This was a totally new business venture in an already saturated local marketplace. Immediately we knew this would be a challenging creative brief – to design a brand which would stand out in the crowd!

Part of our brand development process is to research our client’s market space, investigating the branding and visual profiles of their competitors, local influencers and key stakeholders. It very quickly became apparent just why our client was particularly against the use of this colour palette . . . sooooo many competing brands featured blue or purple as their defining colour. And this was not just a stereotypical feature with the radiology industry, but across multiple medical-related industries!

Blue for you

From the perspective of communicating emotion through colour, using blue for the medical/health space is to some degree understandable as it conveys honesty, reliability and strength – all qualities we look for in our healthcare professionals. However, when an entire industry bases their brand on the same colour palette, it leaves limited capability to visually separate your brand from that of your competitors.

So – how do we create the visual brand for a totally new industry player that ensures they stand out from the crowd in such a homogeneous market?

Such a terrific creative challenge!

What’s in a name?

Our design development started with the Practice name – “Clinical Radiology Specialists”. While a good description of what the Practice did, it possessed little personality and no recall ability. What we needed was a name which was unique and stuck in people’s minds. A name which could provide a strong visual graphic mark (not a typographic essay!).

We created a unique new word by blending the first two words . . . ClinRad.

This single ‘word’ then lead us to the development of the typographic mark for the brand.

Breaking the mould

With blue and purple off the table, we had to find alternative colour combinations that tell the right brand story.

After detailed experimentation, we chose lime green, aqua and orange. Lime green conveys good health and positivity; aqua holds similar calming attributes as blue; and orange provides a striking discord. The combination of these colours embodies a modern and energetic brand palette. And most certainly breaks the mould from medical industry blues!

Creating a typestyle

Early in the design development process, we decide to retain the full business name “Clinical Radiology Specialists” as a supporting byline. This ensured clarity of the function of the Practice. Not only would the brand provide a ‘cool’ new word, it also instantly presents the explanation of what “ClinRad” does… Simples!

In keeping with the ‘hip’ name and edgy colour palette, we initially trialled typefaces that were a noticeable shift from the stereotypical norm used by their competitors.We developed two san-serif typestyles to distinguish the separate parts of the name. We referenced existing typefaces, then manipulated, styled and refined them to create a unique typographic mark with sharp angles and clean edges.

Working through case variations gave us a multitude of design solutions. However we wanted the typography to present how the name would be phonetically read (ie. how the name would be spoken when seeing the logo). By ensuring sufficient contrast in both typestyle and colour between the two word parts, we provided a visual guide as to how the name is pronounced.

Standing out in a crowd

Through considered choices and by pushing beyond the boundaries of what is the expected norm within the industry, we have created a truly unique brand identity for ClinRad.

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Additional to brand development, we designed and produced start-up collateral, business cards, appointment cards, referral pads, shop front signage and poster advertising.

ClinRad Logo design and Brand identity

 

QMHC strategic documents & branding

The importance of a consistent visual brand across a document suite

QMHC is an organisation which drives reform of the mental health and alcohol and other drugs systems in Queensland. Its role is to encourage and facilitate change to improve the mental health and well-being of all Queenslanders.

Salt Design has developed a strong visual profile for QMHC across multiple platforms and projects.

Understanding QMHC’s vision and purpose has enabled us to design engaging, positive, on-message collateral. By ‘getting’ what our client does, understanding their strategies and reason for being, and knowing their audiences, we have such a strong foundation on which to create purposeful designs.

It’s a point we have always felt so strongly about – that we MUST know our clients to be able to successfully create their brand and effectively profile their business purpose. Our work must never reflect our design styles. Rather, it should always communicate who our client is and visually present their business personality.

Art illustrating life

When developing a collection of strategic documents for QMHC, we needed to create a visual brand which represented the organisation’s future plans. A brand which engaged with key industry stakeholders, government, support organisations and the general public. Most importantly, a visual brand which reflected positively the sensitive topic of mental health and wellbeing.

During the initial design briefing, QMHC provided us with a collection of artworks produced during art therapy workshops. The works were powerful portrayals of the very personal journeys of a group of people with lived experience of mental health issues.
Each artwork was a colourful, abstract, multimedia expression, as diverse as the individuals who created them. And they provided the key to the design solution we were after!

Consistent visual branding

We still needed a means by which to ‘connect’ the artworks together within the initial document design. To do this, we selected an abstract painted background graphic. When combined with the artworks, this graphic provided colour, texture and visual interest.

The application of the painterly effect has been diverse. We have applied the graphic to multiple reports and supporting documents, posters, display banners, invitations, social media graphics and online resources.

We have also applied different brand colours to the graphic. By retaining the graphic and changing its colour gradients, we have created a new, fresh brand identity for the latest suite of corporate documents. It has provided a strong visual unity to the resources to make them truly a cohesive collection of information.

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Femeconomy eBook design and social media graphics

Working with Women for Women

Femeconomy is a membership organisation that fosters gender equality through educating consumers on the power of the purse and the endorsement of female-led brands. Their Female Leader Conversations eBook highlights successful woman and their outstanding results in business.

Salt Design has worked with Femeconomy to design and create two recent editions of these eBooks.

Design considerations

Every project has its own unique range of considerations during our initial design development stage. With the Female Leader Conversations eBook, there were numerous factors that impacted the design and final output. Some factors include technical requirements, whilst other considerations provided us with a strong creative direction…

Colour palette

Our client’s design brief held a very definite stipulation regarding the document colour palette – that pink and purple were not to feature in any way whatsoever! What an awesome challenge – to escape the cliché and develop an aesthetically pleasing, feminine and empowering colour palette!

The 2020 colours, navy and teal, provided such a strong, professional balance being both subtle and the dramatic when applied to our design layout.

Image use

We encountered a technical limitation during the detailed design development process that needed to be resolved. Each featured professional supplied their own photographic digital image… some were landscape format; some portrait; some were close-up headshots; while others location-based. To accommodate each of the varying image formats, we designed multiple page layouts, with different image placement and orientations to ensure the most effective application of the supplied images. Our design solution gave the eBook a ‘magazine-style’ presentation – adding to the appeal and readability of the document.

Design for Social Media

Another factor which we set out to ‘solve’ with our design was that each eBook is distributed via Social Media. This required a design which enabled interactivity and compelled the reader to ‘click’ through to each Leader’s own website and social media channels.

Our client had previously encountered issues promoting the eBook on LinkedIn (their main distribution point). The platform would crop the cover image, cutting off the title and/or the featured Leader’s head. We designed the cover to resolve this issue and ensure all information was confined within the graphic boundaries stipulated for LinkedIn.

To assist in the digital promotion of each e-Book, we also designed digital images for Femeconomy’s blog, email signatures, Facebook and Instagram posts.

Pride in our purpose

Gender equality is a topic that we feel strongly about in our studio. We felt privileged and empowered to contribute to this inspiring and insightful project. Working with an organisation which actively promotes strong women, and female-led brands gave us both purpose and pride in our creative contribution to these impactful documents!

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SALT.Shaker

 

Femeconomy eBook design and social media assetsFemeconomy eBook design and social media assets

Turning big ideas into winning results // Brisbane State High School

At Salt, we’re known for great design – usually the end product is an A4 Report, brochure, business card, poster or pull-up banner.

So how excited were we when approached to design, print and install two HUGE murals in one of Brisbane State High School’s (BSHS) Sports Stadiums. What an amazing opportunity to show how design at any scale can inspire, engage and solve even the most challenging of briefs!

Changing a client’s brief

When first contacted, the brief was to design 26 x individual banners to be installed into a VERY large sports arena. However at the site inspection we quickly realised the walls of the stadium were already jammed-packed with ‘visual noise’ – acoustic panelling, basketball hoops, air vents, steel girders, loudspeakers, glass panels. The last thing these walls needed was even more stuff!!!

Instead, we proposed to design and create two eyecatching murals (one for either end of the stadium) which would draw everyone’s focus to the designs.

 

94 years, 26 sports and 2 corporate colours

The purpose of the banners from the original brief were to display and celebrate the School’s brilliant sporting achievements spanning over 94 years (1922-2016). Each premiership year in each sport (26 sports in total) was to be represented. Just how that could be done in a logical, eye-catching manner was a challenge in design planning.

A future-proofed design

The requirement for the murals is that they can be added to at the end of each year. Sports who have won their annual premiership will have the year added to their sport’s ‘honour roll’. Our design enables white vinyl cut lettering to be applied – with ample space for the School’s anticipated sporting excellence to continue in every sport for many years to come!

No photos please

Due to the potential limitations of using actual photographs within the design, our client requested that we find an alternative means by which to represent each sport. Planning for the longevity of the artworks (envisaging issues such as changes to uniforms, student privacy and potential copyright ownership of photographic images) lead us to opting for developing silhouette illustrations for each sport – some of which we added the School’s actual sporting uniform to provide even stronger visual links to BSHS.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

Our design was based on a ‘layered’ image approach using the School’s corporate colour palette. Having already worked with the school, we understood their strong drive to encourange and empower students. So we added another ‘layer’ to the design by including motivational quotes which adds a sense of celebration of achievements and recognition that it is not about winning – but doing your best.

Getting the job done before the school bell

Timing for the production and installation of the murals was critical – the murals needed to be installed before the first day of school! We received final artwork approval two days before Christmas! Printing and planning for the installation took place during the first and second weeks of January.

Installation took a VERY long day. Planning was crucial as it involved hiring a specialised crane/lift which weighed less than the restricted requirements for the timber flooring in the stadium. Watch our video below to see how the day went…

The siren may have sounded – but the games have only just begun!

We are so pleased with the result! And even better is that our client is too! There is now a strong point of visual focus within the stadium – which reinforces the School’s visual brand and it’s vision for the School, its students and the entire school community.

Perhaps, as the clock counts down the last seconds of the next nail-biting game – it provides some winning motivation!

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When the world is your oyster – you need to look as good as you taste!

We eat with our eyes, so it made perfect sense for our client Freycinet Marine Farm to approach Salt Design to refresh their corporate identity. You can view our initial re-brand project here!

Wide format print production

Once again, Salt Design’s wide format print capabilities have proven so valuable to our designs! We have recently printed a suite of menu signs for the counter display! We are so pleased to have replaced the old make-shift signs with these delicious-looking posters!

Printed on our Roland XR-640 Wide Format Printer, using BJBALL Rhino W/F PP White Film Solvent SB300 ensuring the menus are easily cleaned and will continue to look like new!

Recent accolades

Recently, Freycinet Marine Farm came second in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards. Recognised nationally and internationally, this prestigious Award is proof of our client’s quality products, business acumen and progressive approach to tourism.

Congratulations Julia, Giles and all the Freycinet Marine Farm Team!

Next challenge

We have loved our involvement with Freycinet Marine Farm so far! We hope to begin designing a new website for them in the new year. . .

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LIA – 50 years young!

Salt was recently approached to update the branding for LIA Queensland. LIA (the Lithographic Institute of Australia) was originally formed over 50 years ago. It is a well-respected industry association providing support, knowledge and connections for all within the printing and graphic arts industry.

Why we should never change for change sake?

For many long-standing members their logo was a ‘sacred cow’ and should NEVER be changed. But to others the organisation was in desperate need of an update – a means by which to engage with a new younger generation. Membership numbers have been waning for a number of years – so a fresh presentation of the organisation’s branding was hoped to be a first positive step toward reviving interest in LIA. But where to begin????

How do you ‘update’ a 50-year-old logo? How do you not offend the traditionalists? How do you attract a new, much younger, more progressive audience?

Our solution . . .

NOT to change the logo. Rather, refine it and add a new dimension to its application. By addressing the dated typography and finessing the existing logo symbol, we were able to reinvigorate the identity. By broadening the colour palette we were able to retain the ‘traditional’ LIA Green whilst enhancing its application by placing the logo on a darker, neutral colour.

The result

Each year the LIA promotes and presents the Annual “Graduate of the Year” Awards for apprentices within the Queensland Print Industry. The Awards event provided Salt with an opportunity to launch the new branding by applying it to a number of promotional resources including a Display Banner, Table Tent Cards, Award Certificates and PowerPoint presentation.

We were invited to attend the Awards event on 7 July. It’s an opportunity we rarely get – but one which we really love! To actually see how attendees reacted to the new branding on the Display Banners and to watch the PowerPoint presentation was terrific! The branding really worked in a consistent contemporary manner. Award recipients were overheard saying that it was the “best-looking Award Certificate they had even seen!”

Kudos to Gemma

The development of the new LIA branding was the work of Salt’s Junior Designer Gemma Jestico. The project provided a valuable learning ground for Gemma, who designed all of the corporate and promotional collateral along with documenting the application in a detailed branding guidelines. Love your work Gemma!

Our next challenge

Our work is not yet complete, as we are now investigating the development and construction of a new website for the LIA.
This will also provide our newer Salt Designers with a fabulous opportunity to learn in more detail the technical requirements of design for web.

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker