From a creative graphic design background, I always knew that it would be important to keep ahead of our competition by seeking out innovative techniques to support client campaigns.
The majority of forward-thinking creative marketers see ‘mobile’ as the dominating platform over the next five to ten years. However, I feel that print with always be a loved medium, mainly for the tactile nature of a physical newspaper, magazine or book – but also due to the fact that looking over a newspaper allows you to see many snippets of news or adverts that you would simply never ‘Google’.
Here at Areca Design we have developed a way to bring the two mediums together. Mobile Augmented Reality (AR) Apps allows a reader of a printed magazine, newspaper or flyer to gain more in-depth knowledge about an article, product or company by simply scanning the news-page or advert with a smart-phone or tablet. We can programme an App which controls the smart-device’s camera to recognise an image, logo or object – then launch a video, 3D model or animation. These presentations can be interactive, entertaining and engaging and lead the viewer to exact web-pages, contact, feedback or order forms. To really engage your contacts, we can also easily include competitions and social media channels. The same technique can be used elsewhere in marketing, from point of sale and exhibition stands to vehicle livery and business cards.
Previously I was a Senior Designer for an agency that focussed of Higher Education work, mainly designing and producing the University Prospectus for over 30 educational establishments, including; Cambridge, Warwick, Aston, Leicester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Coventry. This work provided the foundations for the high-standards that I now insist is adhered to for all of our client projects. Through networking and making the most of doors being opened, my passion for motorcycles, was rewarded by getting the opportunity to work with Yamaha, creating the artwork for the current global Yamaha Motorcycles logo, developing their brand guidelines and designing many press-kits over a four-year period.
At the turn of the Century I felt it was time to utilise the skills I had developed and the impressive portfolio of work, which now included Triumph Motorcycles, to set up an agency in Evesham. The opportunity to work on marketing the software industry was provided by a contact who had spent many years in the software sector, for eight years we provided international print campaigns, award-winning exhibition stand designs and website design projects.
Areca Design was established in March 2009, by which time I had gained a good reputation in the waste and recycling industry, providing marketing support to Biffa, video and exhibition design and build for Dennis Eagle, gaining over 30 clients from their supply chain and customer base.
More doors were opened in engineering and construction industry sectors leading to work with BE Aerospace, Kier Property and Amey Civil Engineering.
The majority of current project work in the Areca Design studio is around websites, the software we use has been written from ground-up by a Midlands-based developer and his team. We are fortunate to be their only reseller, designing and coding the front-end and user experience element of the websites, in the knowledge that the highly secure and intuitive software framework is constantly being monitored, maintained and enhanced in the background.
We currently have over 70 content management system websites live, from one-man consultants to international e-commerce platforms – selling thousands of products. All websites are designed to the very latest best practice for SEO, including being mobile responsive, having in-built social media control panels and e-newsletter generators. The Areca Design tem also manage PPC, organic rankings and social media campaigns if required.
For the last five years, we have been exploring Mobile AR Apps, providing interesting Historic Trails for Local Councils to innovative future planning for The City of London Council in the Square Mile. It has been a lot of hard work which is now paying dividends as the technology of mobile devices and 4G has caught up with the concept. We have now launched Mobile AR Apps for training, reporting, promotions, supporting engineering, tourism, induction programmes and excitingly we are now launching AR Apps for use in the Wedding Industry
In my opinion, The Design Industry has got to embrace the next generation of business decision makers, anyone in their twenties or younger has been brought up consuming information on mobile devices – how long will it be before they are the key decision makers who will buy your products or services? Already there are more Google searches carried out on mobile devices than desktops or laptops. In 10 years, will you be able to buy a computer or laptop? Or will they all have been replaced by mobile devices’ capable of doing everything – will websites been seen as old-hat. If you are to future-proof your businesses marketing, perhaps the strategy should be to explore mobile devices now, and be seen as the innovators in your market.
There will always be a place for print – but to make it more relevant, make it different, engaging and interactive.