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Articles

Tips for naming brands, products & pets: Part 3

Written by Shane Loorham

16 August 2018

Springboards and nets

Generating name ideas is all about associations. It’s about finding as many related but unexpected directions you can take yourself off in to explore. I start with the words in the brief, taking a good look into the obvious synonyms and themes that a quick Google search might bring up. Obviously, you need a great thesaurus and you can find word lists for any given topic by diving into those specific areas online. But beyond that, it’s worth shaking things up and trying other resources — anything and everything to spark new ideas and reveal new tangents. Stepping outside of language altogether can also be helpful. I’ll often use stock image libraries to refresh my thinking, looking at what insights images can evoke that words alone cannot.

Everyone has a different approach to generating ideas: some like to write lists by hand, some use index cards or post-it notes, some go it alone while others get together in ‘group brainstorming sessions’. In my experience, group brainstorming is ineffective. It’s great to bounce ideas off one another within a team, but you need to generate your initial thoughts and ideas independently. There is a lot of recent research and writing on the importance of rethinking the ‘brainstorm’. This piece from the HBR supports the idea.

“A meta-analytic review of over 800 teams indicated that individuals are more likely to generate a higher number of original ideas when they don’t interact with others.”

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Articles

Tips for naming brands, products & pets: Part 2

Written by Shane Loorham

8 August 2018

Part 2. Trust the process

The Liquorice naming process changes slightly from one client to another depending on their own internal processes and culture and project requirements. This is particularly true of the research and engagement stages that precede the development of the Naming Brief.

But, typically, once we have our brief and we’re into the naming phase of a project, we would go through the following stages. Each stage can take a number of days, or the whole thing can be condensed into a sprint. We can run sprints on-site with our clients or host them here in our studio which can help to get people out of their own familiar (and sometimes limiting) environment.

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Articles

Tips for naming brands, products & pets: Part 1

Written by Shane Loorham

17 July 2018

Preparation makes purrrrfect

Whether you’re naming a new company or the family cat, it’s important to consider what your ultimate goal is, and who will be affected along the way. You need to consider and plan. You need a process.

At Liquorice, we’re all about brands and communication. Much of our work involves refining, recalibrating and honing the details. But there are also times when we’re fortunate enough to be right there with our clients from day one, in the lead up to a new birth. It might be that a new product or service offering is being developed, a brand new organisation is being established, or that two existing organisations are coming together in a merger. Regardless, the result is something wholly new. And the big question we are faced with (as in any birth) is: what do we call this thing?

Often, organisations will work through brand and product naming processes internally and decide on a name before approaching design and branding agencies to execute. And this is a perfectly sound approach. Creativity certainly isn’t the exclusive right of the self-anointed ‘creatives’ of the world. But, just as often, it’s helpful to bring in an outside perspective. It takes procedural rigour to steer an organisation through a naming project, and a refined process executed with confidence helps to align stakeholders and achieve positive cultural outcomes (as well as strategically sound ones). And, of course, it is vital that the name you have fallen in love with is available and ownable, so vetting, searches and legal protection needs to be considered. It’s worth pausing to consider the best process for you when it comes to naming your business or product.

Another consideration in the case of a rebrand, and a big question I’d suggest asking right at the top is “Do you actually need a new name?”. People can get excited about change and the idea of creating impact, sometimes at the expense of their brand equity or the quality of existing dialogue with their audience. It’s important to weigh this up first, so a little research probing for this kind of information is prudent.

All of that said, if you are keen to rename and you’re going to tackle the process yourself, then good luck and godspeed! I’ve collated some helpful tips, accumulated through my own research and experience that will help guide you along your path and hopefully help you avoid a Boaty McBoatface situation.

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Articles

Design automation: the next step in marketing tech

Written by Scott Bonanno

17 May 2018

Running Liquorice for the last 10 years has given me a great deal of insight into how B2C marketing teams operate. This has lead to the creation of our associated product company, Dokio.

Everyone wants to be working on the next big campaign (agencies included), but there seems to be a never-ending stream of ad-hoc artwork requests, last-minute changes, resizes, localisations…. (you get the idea).

At first glance, so much of the business-as-usual work looks like it should be mind-numbingly simple — a change to a press ad headline, an image swap on an email, updates to a legal disclaimer — but it’s that work that can quickly fill up our days.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why it all takes time — with stakeholder sign-off, legal approvals, brand sign-off, minimum agency turn-around times, it’s no wonder that so many hours are sunk into what looks like it should be the simplest of tasks, and don’t get me started on the cost.

This inefficiency is what a marketing design automation platform like Dokio tries to address.

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Projects

Re-positioning a very well-positioned Novotel

4 May 2018

The Novotel Melbourne on Collins is a hotel in quite possibly the best location in our beloved city. Located on Collins Street, they have everything the Melbourne CBD has to offer at their doorstep. Literally.

This enviable location gives Novotel Melbourne on Collins a competitive advantage in a crowded market – they just needed to tell their story. They were ready to stake their claim with a strong, ownable brand positioning and they asked Liquorice to help create it. 

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Projects

Alimentari

12 April 2018

The little deli that grew

Twenty years ago, a little deli called Alimentari popped up on Brunswick St. Named after traditional Italian delicatessens, Alimentari charmed the locals with its rustic, 50s aesthetic and delicious, fresh food and coffee (and, of course, their deli and international groceries).

These days, it’s a true Fitzroy institution and the place to go for a tasty, healthy meal. Liquorice staff members are counted among its regulars and, in fact, many a staff meeting has been held there. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to make decisions over Portuguese tarts.

Eventually, Alimentari’s reputation and customer base outgrew their Brunswick St store and they opened a second Alimentari on Smith Street.

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Projects

Children’s Court of Victoria

31 January 2018

Becoming an independent court within the Victorian courts hierarchy was a defining moment in the 110-year history of the Children’s Court of Victoria. The Court chose Liquorice to help redefine their brand position and design a new identity system to bring it to life.

Through a strategic planning phase, we dived deep, researching the broader sector, the Court’s unique role in the community, and the needs of their many varied user groups. We then engaged with a key stakeholder group through a brand-focused workshop, ensuring an aligned vision that represented everyone within the organisation. 

The outcome of this phase was a strategic brand brief, distilling the Court’s distinct and specialist jurisdiction, profiling their core audiences and identifying key emotional benefits for each audience. We also made a series of recommendations for the brand’s tone of voice and the most appropriate kinds of brand assets and tools. This went on to inform all subsequent creative work.

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Articles

New Kids On The Block

Written by Madeleine Baud

14 December 2017

2017 was a huge year for Liquorice (and its BFF, Dokio). We have welcomed many extraordinary new people to our team.

So many, in fact, that we decided we needed a whole blog post just to introduce a few of them.

Hammy, Technical Director
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Projects

Alcohol and Drug Foundation

12 December 2017

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation is a trusted voice in Australia. They believe that building safe, healthy and resilient communities is the best way to overcome the challenges of alcohol and other drug misuse.

The ADF inform and advocate for drug and alcohol education in order to prevent harm. They provide support, resources and training to a range of audiences including individuals, sports clubs, local communites and organisations. Their research has also culminated in a comprehensive databases of drug information and support services.

With such a prolific output came multiple websites, each with its own brand and, soon, the ADF found themselves in need of a way to re-focus their goals and offerings.

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Articles

184 Brunswick St: a history

Written by Madeleine Baud

7 September 2017

Liquorice operates out of a beautiful old building located at 184 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, just above a fabric store. As a company and a collective, we've grown a lot within the walls of this building and it's become part of our personality and culture. 

A lot has changed since we moved in almost a decade ago, but what was it like before it was home to a bunch of macs, bikes and dogs?*wayne's world dissolve*

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Articles

How to start a design studio

Written by Scott Bonanno

30 May 2017

Hi, I’m Scott Bonanno, Managing Director of Liquorice. I also founded Dokio, a web application for marketing teams. That means I have two business cards. Pretty sweet. The article below is based on a presentation I gave to a group of third-year RMIT design students, so much of the content is geared towards people who are about to graduate or are early in their design careers.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy it — SB

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Announcements

Gold Medal at the 2017 National Print Awards

26 May 2017

Raise your glasses for our beautiful Spicers Alchemy Pack, winner of a coveted Gold Medal at last night’s National Print Awards! Thank you to the wonderful team at Spicers who entrusted us with this challenging and exciting brief, and the brilliant folk at Gunn & Taylor and The Hungry Workshop who brought it to life. Cheers!

Articles

Writing for Designers

Written by Madeleine Baud

18 April 2017

Writing is a democracy. This is good because everyone has the tools to express themselves and communicate their ideas. This is bad because many people don't know how to wield these tools.

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Articles

Unpacking Personas: The moving tale of Bill & Francesca

Written by Peter Binek

11 April 2017

User personas are incredibly useful. We couldn’t design new products and services (or improve existing ones) without them. But how do they work?

By helping us to empathise with the attitudes, goals and motivations of users (the people who interact with our products and services), we can begin to understand what matters to them. Keeping these users front-of-mind throughout a project ensures that what we produce will solve a real world problem for real world people.

The best personas strike an effective balance between user needs and business goals, and Bill & Francesca are two such personas.

Creating Bill & Francesca

After we'd worked with Man With A Van on their brand strategy it was time to tackle their website. With a new and improved enquiry and booking process, the website would offer a better experience for users and reduce the time The Man would spend estimating jobs.

That meant less time on the phone and more time on the move.

We were lucky enough to have a series of customer interviews from our previous brand strategy work to help us gain insight into the types of customers who would be using the website. These insights, combined with the shared knowledge of the company founders, began to paint a picture of two distinct user-types — Bill and Francesca. Having Bill and Francesca on board meant we had clear reference points to ensure that we were always making design decisions with these users' goals in mind.

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Projects

Spicers Alchemy

7 March 2017

Our designers love the smell of wet ink in the morning! So we were delighted when our friends at Spicers approached us to design this specialty paper sampler. Even more so when they revealed their desire to showcase a handful of beautiful Fedrigoni and Neenah papers with embellishments such as foiling, letterpress, embossing and form-cutting.

We concocted the theme of theatrical cocktail recipes printed onto coaster sized swatches. At once magical and functional... though we have yet to sully a single coaster with a wet martini glass. 

Each recipe was chosen for its own ‘embellished’ ingredient or technique. Think edible gold flakes, a garnish of crispy bacon or a plume of smoke. Like mixology, the recipients of the pack are encouraged to mix and match the stocks with specialty finishes. Encouraging transformation through print 'alchemy' to create work even more beautiful than designers wildest expectations.

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Articles

Making the switch to Sketch

Written by Angus Tait

9 February 2017

The web is evolving at a rapid pace. This may seem like an obvious statement, but when your job is designing for the web, it’s important to acknowledge this pace rather than resist it.

For the last decade, Adobe products have been the mainstream design tools for both print and web designers. The downside, however, to being popular with a wide range of design-related camps is that it’s much more difficult to make drastic changes to a product without upsetting several of these camps at once. Illustrator, for example, is used by web designers, packaging designers, pattern makers, artists, illustrators and more. The specific needs of one type of user do not necessarily reflect the needs of all.

Recently, a wide range of almost single-minded apps have surfaced, focusing on the needs of one type of user to the exclusion of all others. There are apps specifically for providing handover documentation (Zeplin), for prototyping (InVision, Flinto), for creating brand guidelines (Frontify) and colour palettes (Open Color Tools), just to list a few. Smaller products aimed at niche audiences have lead to greater changes and much, much better design tools for the ever-changing web.

Sketch is another of these single-minded apps, and although it has been around for nearly seven years, it’s only in the last three that it has become a significant competitor to Adobe products as a web design application. The Subtraction.com Design Tools Survey of 2015 revealed that a majority of web designers are now using Sketch as some part of their workflow. This, along with a couple of major feature updates in 2016 made the case for switching to Sketch too compelling for us at Liquorice to ignore.

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Projects

Head Heart & Tales Distilling

8 February 2017

A family story born in the wheatbelt of Western Australia and proudly made in Victoria, Head Heart & Tales (HH&T) launched in late 2016 with brand, website and flagship product packaging by Liquorice. The company name refers to the distillation process during which the ‘head’ and the ‘tail’ of the spirit are removed, leaving only the ‘heart’ to be bottled and labeled with care.

Each bottle of HH&T spirits comes wrapped in a newsprint inspired bag with a tall product 'tale' on it's back. This idea inspired in part by stories passed down from the company founder's grandfather and father. A custom copper coin, wooden stopper and a foil stamped and individually numbered tamper seal complete the packaging. Liquorice developed the product names and tales and supported them with commissioned illustrations from NYC based Matt Huynh.

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