Can tattoos can hold you back in life?

A study by the University of St Andrews found that having tattoos can hold you back in life, but they can also help…

Studio news  2nd December 2020

…In very specific ways:
Want to be a surgeon and have visible tattoos, then you’re in big trouble… Want to be a mechanic, then it might actually help.

As soon as the medical student, wanting a place, shakes hands and the tattoos are seen, they’re deemed as unprofessional, and written off.
The mechanic in the same situation somehow is seen as hands on, and willing to get stuck in and dirty, they’re seen as suitable!

Yet surgeons are essentially meat mechanics, why should it make any difference.
It’s all because of lightening quick judgements, made imperceptibly by people who decide your future.

You and your company may be great, fabulous even.
But the quick PERCEPTION of your company is the ONLY way for new customers to decide whether to trust you with work (or not).

That’s why every logo we do is different, a clinical practice, and a mechanics need a different look to attract their clients.

And the reason PHd is so successful in creating branding, is because we spend hours perfecting those almost imperceptible details…
the ones you can’t explain, but that amount to making your clients forget about the ‘tat’ and go ‘oooh’.

As we leave lockdown mode, and re-emerge, the make-up, the beard trimmer, the iron and go forbid even a diet might be needed.
But if you want to make sure you’re company is presentable, please speak to PHd design.

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Designer Jokes

We found the geekiest jokes available,
ones that make peculiar designers
like us laugh, hope you enjoy

Studio news  2nd December 2020

Leading up to Christmas we thought we’d spread a bit of cheer with a
selection of jokes we find funny. If you don’t get any of them, we’ll happily
explain them, the funniest jokes always need explaining!

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Get into the Christmas ‘snood’!

After the year we’ve all had… it’s time
to get into the Christmas ‘snood’!

Studio news  1st December 2020

Our Xmas snoods have arrived, and they spread a little Christmas cheer without
spreading the germs. Each snood has 4 festive options to cover your face with, Santa,
Rudolph, Snowman or Penguin. Numbers are limited so get yours today!

Share the festive fun

Did you get one? Send us pics of you in your snood to us on email:
or tag us on your social media posts.

  • PHd design win a rather lovely international design award!
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  • 25 rules to follow to make sure you get a fabulous logo!
    Studio News

Perception in design

Perception… the most powerful
word in design… probably.

Industry news 13th November 2020

Someone much cleverer than I once said that if something looks right, then it
probably is right. This is so true and the key word there is ‘looks’..

We all buy with our eyes first. We can’t help it, the first sense which kicks in is sight and this is the main driver of huge chunks of our lives. Imagine a meal at a restaurant. This will involve three of our senses; taste, smell and sight. Which one is the first in line to experience that meal? Sight. And if that meal looks fantastic and it is presented well, the message goes to the taste and smell senses and says, “get ready, this is gonna be good”. So they are pre disposed to expect that it will be a good experience and then what happens? Amazingly the meal tastes great, it smells great, all started by the sight.

Sight is the first sense you often use, and it drives the rest to
fall in line.

The same happens in our daily lives without us even knowing. The way we buy goods, the way we choose a route to walk, the way we select a product, service or supplier, and a huge amount of other seemingly instinctive decisions.

When you have a need a new supplier for X, Y or Z, then you go looking, you have a set criteria which is a must and you find four companies that do all of those things. Then you look at their websites, you look at their reviews and you look at their literature… You look.

And if one looks good you can’t help but be drawn to them, they stand up to more scrutiny and they rise above the ones who don’t ‘LOOK’ as good.

If a supplier looks right, they often will be, they have given the right perception and made themselves look like they can cater for your needs… All created by a look, by a designer who can make a difference to their business.

Want to see how this all works in practice? Give us a call.

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Interview with Peter Howard

Chamber of Commerce Interview
with Peter Howard

Studio news 4th September 2020

Peter Howard, our MD was interviewed recently by the Chamber of Commerce
about what we have been up to during the COVID months of this year, one of the
strangest we have all seen. Projects for clients without charging money, tips on
how to improve your marketing and design and some insights into the
top 100 ranking which we are very proud of.

Peter is not planning a career on the screen anytime soon but some of the
insights are interesting… take a peek and see for yourselves below.

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Why use professional designers?

Why do companies use
professional designers?

Industry news 19th August 2020

Creativity, personality, proven track record or a myriad of other reasons
could be why businesses around the world choose to use designers to
solve marketing and design related challenges for them.

It is often thought that software is the solution, but this is usually not the case. Some might say that data is the only way forward, but how do you display this data? Others may argue that the quality of their products speak for themselves, however this only works for existing customers, future customers simply won’t be aware of this. Design is often thought of as ‘nice to have’, rather than a ‘must have’, but design is much more important than you think.

There are tons of different software solutions out there, which according to the adverts are simple to use and easy to create wonderful, creative solutions in seconds. So then why do companies use professional designers?

It’s simple, all of the technology in the world will not create a great idea. All of the technical witchcraft available today will not solve a marketing challenge of how to sell product X, and all of the various gizmos and gadgets can’t sketch out a solution… Fact. You need a human being driving these wonderful tools to enable the magic to happen.

Great designers can understand the challenge, take into account who you are aiming at and get under the skin of the task at hand. They can explore ideas faster than any computer, suggest different ways to get the message across and think the unthinkable, a new idea! Great businesses understand the power of a simple, creative idea and all that it can provide.

Professional designers have a proven track record, they can demonstrate how they work and can fill you with a sense of confidence in their abilities. They are passionate about solving your challenges, and will often end up doing more than you pay for, it’s just the way they’re built. In fact, designers don’t normally do it for the money. They just want to impress people with their talents, they love to show off and make the client say “wow, how did you do that?”. Then they quietly accept the praise, move on and do it all again.

It’s actually dead easy to tell which companies use a professional designer, they’re the ones who look good and make a profit!

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Too Much Communication

Is there just too much
communication today?

Industry news 12th August 2020

Have you ever tried to contact someone to catch up or discuss a proposal?
Ever tried to get in touch with someone who you’ve never spoken to before?
Or ever tried to speak to a new prospect and found it almost impossible?

It is not just in business that this happens. It is the doctors where you ring because you’re unwell, the receptionist asks what’s wrong with you (because they are medically qualified???), and then you book an appointment for the doctor to call you to have a chat and see if it’s actually worth them seeing you!!! So doctors, businesses, retail outlets, websites, car manufacturers… you name it, they are increasingly hard to actually speak to.

So what’s the big deal with actually speaking to someone, or meeting face to face you might ask?

With the increasing amounts of technology allowing us to communicate globally in seconds, why is it more difficult to get in touch with someone and have a conversation?

I know I am not alone in this but here’s a thought…

When you meet someone, or talk on the phone you get a huge amount of additional information that you simply cannot get through e-mail, Whatsapp, Facebook DM or the myriad of other channels. You can detect if someone is happy or sad, excited or bored, alert or tired. You can see and show empathy, you can pause without feeling like you are being ignored, it is a two way focused communication, rather than sending a message, then waiting for minutes or hours for a response.

My niece and nephew are well used to this, as is anyone under 24, and they call it ‘chatting’. But you simply can’t beat the old fashioned version of this which is called a ‘meeting’ or a ‘telephone call’.

So am I a grumpy old man?

Some would agree, but the facts are that when you focus your communication in a 1-2-1 situation you get better responses, you get the full attention of the person without other interruptions and you get better, more thought through outcomes. Isn’t that the point of communication, better and more thought through outcomes?

At PHd we always try and use the phone and face to face meetings, that way we get faster and better results for our clients. We even use pads and pens (and iPads occasionally) to sketch out a clients needs so we all understand what is required and how it can be achieved. This is followed up with a simple document telling everyone what the outcomes were and who will do what by when…

Sound refreshing?

Why not give us a call and experience the results of our approach.

Peter Howard, Managing Director

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It always starts with a sketch…

It always starts with a sketch…

Studio news 5th August 2020

Some of the best ideas have started as a sketch on a fag packet, napkin,
hotel notepad or worse. It’s about getting the idea down as fast as
possible before the idea disappears into thin air.

We have all had those eureka moments in the middle of the night. You wake up suddenly in the dark with a brilliant idea that will make you millions, convinced that you will remember it in the morning. Then you go back to sleep, and that amazing idea is gone forever.

Design concepts are just the same. It is important to be able sketch these ideas down super fast as and when they come into your head.

This is where all of our designs start out, with an idea sketched down on paper. These initial ideas will usually have annotations all over the place, perhaps suggesting a typeface or a colour that we think would work well. It is all about being experienced enough to understand the challenge, and demonstrate this understanding with quick sketched out ideas. It is also important to be able to talk about the ideas, so that everyone in the room understands them. This is what sketching is all about for us, and each and every project starts with this simple approach.

Professional, experienced design minds look at things differently to you, and can offer quick thoughts on how a message could be conveyed. These thoughts are all sketched out in front of you when we meet… now that is refreshingly different.

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PHd’s Guide to Website Design

PHd’s Guide to Website Design

Website design can be a tricky process to get your head around, whether it’s
technical jargon that’s difficult to understand or knowing who is responsible for
what tasks. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, in the hope that we can try
and make the whole process just a little bit simpler!

Jargon Buster

The Website Design Process

We hope this guide has helped to make the whole website design process
just a little bit easier to understand. If you would like help creating a lovely
new website, please get in touch, we would be happy to help!

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New brand for a local charity

New brand for a local sexual violence
& abuse support organisation

Our Work 10th July 2020

If you’re suffering at the hands of a violent or sexual abuser, ‘Gina’ offer unique support,
counselling and social activities to help those in need. However, it’s a huge leap of faith for
individuals to contact Gina. Their new branding helped to reassure individuals that Gina
were friendly, professional and really could help, giving suffering men and women
the courage to confide in them.

During the Covid 19 lockdown, we decided that PHd’s design powers should be used
to help out deserving companies. So we ran a competition for us to do 1 free design
scheme, Gina didn’t win, but they do such good work that we couldn’t say no! During
the lockdown the difficulties faced by Gina (and the people they are trying to help)
were intensified. Hopefully this vibrant new brand will help build awareness…
If you’ve never heard of them, we’re hoping to change that.

“We want to bring a totally different spin to our sector through our brand; we want
to bring colour, eccentricity, intrigue, and just a tiny sprinkling of the good kind
of ‘crazy.’ This might sound weird (to have ‘fun’, ‘colourful’ quirky branding for an
organisation in our sector); however, we believe that our sector needs this element
of vibrancy and something unique (it needs the colour, brightness, joy and hope). Not
much to say Neil other than, we LOVE THESE!”

Lisa Thompson
Chief Executive Officer

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  • PHd design win a rather lovely international design award!
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