A wee blether

Find out the latest news from the studio, including what inspires us.
Hear about local creative events, check out rising talent and join in the banter.

Return to the Ridings

Posted by / 21 February 2014 in Work

We regularly work with clients in the Scottish Borders and, most recently, designed and developed a new website for "Return to the Ridings".

RTR GalaxyTab&iPhone 1

An event that has taken place for centuries, Return to the Ridings celebrates the riding of the boundaries and eleven towns in the Scottish Borders use horses for the traditional ride out.

The festivals that surround the event are steeped in tradition and the relaunch was part of Homecoming Scotland 2014, a year-long programme of events and activities that showcase all that’s great about Scotland. From food and drink events through to outdoor pursuits and activities within the arts, culture and heritage sectors, there are many one-off events and ongoing activities to get involved with.

Find out more about our work on the project, visit the website or view the video.

The gift that keeps on giving

Posted by / 10 December 2013 in Team

Here in the studio we've designed a series of desktop wallpapers for you to download throughout 2014.

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The wallpapers have been designed for a range of screen resolutions, including tablet and mobile devices, and first up is our January wallpaper on the theme of lanterns. Download it today and enjoy a warm welcome on your return to work!

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a fun-filled New Year from all of us here in the studio.

We’re hiring a digital designer!

Posted by / 05 December 2013 in Team

We're looking for an experienced digital designer with a proven ability to bring forward-thinking ideas, strong problem solving skills and exceptional attention to detail to our close-knit team.

Digital Designer

THE ROLE

Your experience will help to shape our creative process, and contribute to the design of highly effective concepts, for clients spanning the arts and culture, creative and technology sectors. Seeing digital projects – in particular responsive sites and web applications – from concept through to completion, will form part of your daily remit. Overseeing the quality of our digital design output, and ensuring a high level of consistency and creativity, is a must.

Culturally astute, enthusiastic and aware of the industry around you, your contribution to our social media and marketing efforts is a key aspect of the role.

THE REQUIREMENTS

  • Previous experience of working with clients from concept to completion
  • Positive contribution to idea generation in response to client briefs
  • Friendly manner and ability to work in collaborative teams of mixed specialists, including copywriters, designers, developers, illustrators and photographers
  • Effective at organising and explaining ideas, and presenting creative concepts, to both colleagues and clients
  • Ability to deliver against set timescales and budgets while adapting to changing needs in the studio

YOUR SKILLS

  • High level knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • Experience with responsive design and creating experiences for mobile
  • Experience of planning and wireframing sites
  • A strong understanding of UX best practices
  • High level of accuracy with a keen eye for detail during all parts of the design, development and testing phases of projects
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience in brand identity and print design advantageous

OUR ETHOS

A close-knit team of designers and developers, problem solvers and imaginative thinkers. Committed and passionate, we strive for excellence, celebrate hard work and success, and have fun along the way.

Choosing an agency with the right design, digital and project management credentials is important. What’s paramount is tailoring the creative process to suit our clients.

It’s our responsibility to listen to their challenge and come up with a smart strategy and the creative ideas that they need to deliver tangible results. Going beyond the brief is all in day’s work.

NEXT STEPS

Email Sarah Jane with a copy of your CV, link to your portfolio or examples of work, and a covering letter.

We’re hiring a developer!

Posted by / 03 December 2013 in Team

Are you a highly experienced front-end developer looking for a varied role within a fast-paced creative studio?

Front-end developer

THE ROLE

You’re a confident self-starter with a proven ability to bring forward-thinking ideas, strong problem solving skills and exceptional attention to detail to our team.

You have a hunger to learn new skills and your solid track record will support you in developing highly effective design concepts. Seeing responsive sites and web applications, from briefing and production through to testing and launch, will form part of your daily remit. You will also support existing clients and ongoing in-house projects.

THE REQUIREMENTS

  • Previous experience of working with clients from concept to completion
  • Positive contribution to idea generation in response to client briefs
  • Friendly manner and ability to work in collaborative teams of mixed specialists
  • Working with clients, designers and in collaboration with other developers to ensure features are delivered to a high standard
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines while adapting to changing needs in the studio

YOUR SKILLS

  • High level knowledge of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript
  • Experience with PHP and MySQL
  • Experience in producing responsive designs and mobile interfaces
  • Cross-browser and platform development
  • Test features for interoperability across different browsers and mobile devices
  • Fix bugs, identify and reduce client-side performance issues
  • Contribute to development team working practices and technology decisions
  • Collaborating with the Creative and Digital Directors to produce detailed technical specifications
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Our projects range from small to medium-sized PHP-based websites and large-scale, Ruby-based websites and applications. WordPress experience is a must, and ability to adapt to other template languages is desirable.

OUR ETHOS

A close-knit team of designers and developers, problem solvers and imaginative thinkers. Committed and passionate, we strive for excellence, celebrate hard work and success, and have fun along the way.

Choosing an agency with the right design, digital and project management credentials is important. What’s paramount is tailoring the creative process to suit our clients.

It’s our responsibility to listen to their challenge and come up with a smart strategy and the creative ideas that they need to deliver tangible results. Going beyond the brief is all in day’s work.

NEXT STEPS

Email Sarah Jane with a copy of your CV, link to your portfolio or examples of work, and a covering letter.

Edinburgh Tool Library

Posted by / 22 November 2013 in Events

Last night I popped along to Good for Nothing (GFN) Edinburgh's first 'Gig' at Hemma Bar.

GFN-Concept-1GFN-Concept-2GFN-Concept-3GFN-Concept-4Icons-&-key-message

A community of thinkers, makers and doers, GFN launched in London just over a year ago, and is rapidly growing with ‘chapters’ now appearing all over the UK and even overseas. Here’s their video about how they like to get stuff done.

Together with a group of 20+ people from a range of backgrounds, as well as Jonathan and Sarah Jane from the studio, we were tasked with responding to a brief from the chosen initiative; Edinburgh Tool Library. Chris Hellawell, the project’s founder, was inspired by a visit to the Toronto Tool Library.

The model is quite common in Canada and North America, less so in Europe, and this may be the UK’s first tool library; a community-led facility where you can borrow tools and which offers some great learning opportunities. It’s a real collaborative effort.

To address the brief we split into two main groups; group one with the challenge of designing a logo and creating a strap line, and group 2 with the task of generating marketing ideas to help formulate a launch campaign.

Here in the studio we spotted the brief as it was released on Twitter and so brought along mood boards to help us generate some initial ideas for the first challenge. Not that we needed them! The group were brimming with thoughts and got to work doodling concepts and sharing feedback. Interestingly many people’s ideas touched on the approach we’d considered ourselves, so hats off to Chris for providing such a clear brief. It helped to steer us towards a very quick resolution!

In under 90 minutes, together with designer Stephen Kay, I worked through one of the logo concepts that had been generated on paper, and Stephen produced a supporting icon set. Here you can see how the final concept was developed into a library ‘stamp’, which can be developed in various ways to support the many marketing ideas group 2 suggested.

This morning we were pleased to see that Chris had been “inspired, thankful, motivated and chuffed” by the results. What can be achieved in such a short space of time impressed us too!

To find out more about GFN Edinburgh and how you can get involved follow them on Twitter.

Scottish Equity Partners

Posted by / 28 October 2013 in Work

Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), a long time client of ours, recently asked us to redevelop their site to suit growing traffic from mobile and tablet devices.

SEP Responsive site on iDevices

As the UK’s leading venture capital firm for innovative, high growth companies, we felt a responsive website would be perfect for them. This approach fits with their target market, the technology sector, very well.

Taking an existing site and adapting it to become a responsive one can be quite a challenge; the existing SEP site contained a complex content grid, up to 3 levels of navigation and extensive news sections. Existing templates were reworked, small changes to sizing and spacing here and there, that while at a visual level make very little difference, made a big difference as the site begins to shrink and reorganise.

We also took the opportunity to introduce new content to the site; increasing the prominence of SEP’s news and social links and adding a section dedicated to their ongoing support of charities and other social investments.

It was great for us to revisit a successful design from the studios past and apply the latest thinking and practices to it, as firm believers in progression, we encourage clients to continue building on their websites, so we’re chuffed to work with businesses like SEP who are always keen to improve upon their approach to online and offline marketing.

Catherine Simpson of SEP commented: “We are delighted to have worked with IfLooksCouldKill on the next generation of the SEP website. The team have understood our requirements, come up with some great suggestions and have been very responsive. They have also helped us develop a new email campaign to mirror the style of our website and which integrates with our CRM database.”

Why not take a look for yourself? Visit the new SEP website.

Stationery Inspiration

Posted by / 18 October 2013 in Inspiration

As a team we love stationery and have seen so many beautiful paper goods over recent months; great use of colour, unusual textures and some elaborate printing processes.

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Here are just a few of the examples I’ve found that sum up aspects of finishes that I find inspiring. This is limited to paper products and doesn’t include the wax seals, wooden pens and minty staplers I’ve discovered!

Pino Brand and Stationery, The Baron Fig Notebook (Kickstarter now closed but I got mine on time!), Ferme a Papier leather notecard set, Bonjour Mon Petit Notebook by  Julia Kostreva.

Supporting Edinburgh Cyrenians

Posted by / 09 October 2013 in Events

Last weekend I attended Impact48. Take a peek at what we managed to create in just 48 hours for a local charity.

Impact 48 Cyrenians Hack WeekendImpact 48 Cyrenians Hack Weekend

The event brought together people from a range of backgrounds; marketers, developers, social media specialists, charity workers and a designer (me!) to work together over 48 hours to support the needs of the nominated charity; Edinburgh Cyrenians.

After the kick off meeting, hosted at Attacat’s offices (complete with lovely view of the Castle!), we arrived on Saturday, split into two teams and went for it. Team one focused on creating an interactive microsite to explain the charities financial figures, a key need for them when attracting investment and highlighting where money is spent. I didn’t have much involvement with this team, though I did create an infographic roadmap that now sits on the microsite’s home page.

Team two, where I spent much of my time, created a charity recycling platform. Tentatively called ‘Give In Kind’ it will allow donators to give away items they no longer need to people who can really benefit from them.

I created a logo, a range of icons to represent item categories and the design for the entire website. I can produce work at a rate of knots when required, but this was something else. In order to give the intrepid team of developers the most time we could I managed to produce all of this in less than a day. Tiring but very rewarding!

Special thanks go to the team I worked with; Jeff Chang, who I’m convinced went without sleep, and Ricardo Honorato, who developed a functioning back end. Justin Reynolds faithfully converted my Illustrator files into the front end to let us show the prototype off to its fullest.

It was a great experience and the charity were astounded with the progress that we made in such a short timeframe. They arrived hoping for some marketing advice and proof of concept work, but left with a full brand identity and website that they could begin taking advantage of.

Well done to everyone that was there through the many hours we worked; Barry, Lara, Jennifer, Kara and all the Cyrenians staff who joined us.

For more information check out the Impact48 site, a blog covering the weekend and the Twitter highlights.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next event. I would definitely recommend getting involved.

Icon Design Inspiration

Posted by / 30 September 2013 in Inspiration
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I was never much of a fan of the bubble icon look. Easy to say now, I know, as iOS7 is released; giving the flatter graphic trend the seal of approval. Anyway, I welcome the one dimensional, colourful and often more playful, simple icon designs. Here are a few of my favourites.

Lotta Nieminen‘s work for Beautified has two separate sets of icons – a dark silhouette set is used on the mobile app.

‘Duchamp in Pink’ is from a series called ‘Modern Day‘ by Lisa Hedge where she references famous works of art through simple line drawings.

The Young Wear brand falls into the brilliantly simple and obvious with hindsight logo that incorporates the ‘Y’ and ‘W’ into a shirt collar. I’m afraid that I can’t find the designer.

An ever-changing logo for Keukenconfessies – a food design company, design by Raw Colour.

Monogram logo by Think Work Observe.

Mobile Acuity

Posted by / 15 August 2013 in Work

We recently launched a new website for Edinburgh-based tech startup Mobile Acuity.

Mobile Acuity Responsive Website Design

As pioneers of visual search technology for mobile devices, the responsive design suits their needs and appeals to their target audience. The website explains and draws attention to their cutting-edge technology, and supports the marketing of their service, which has been adopted by household names such as Nike, Tesco, Vodafone and many more.

Working with local photographer Eoin Carey we also produced imagery to showcase the technology in action. Starring team members Jonathan and Sarah, as well as myself, it was a fun project to be involved with. Definitely one of our highlights of the year so far.

Anthony Ashbrook, Founder & CTO commented:

“As a mobile technology company targeting high-end brands, it was important that our website appealed to a wide variety of audiences, creating an engaging and informative shop front for our products.

The project exceeded our expectations, with both the creative design and development phases meeting our tight timescales and budget. The end result speaks for itself and would not hesitate to recommend ILCK.”

Go check out Mobile Acuity to find out more about their technology.