There’s one simple and clear reason why some brands succeed and others fail, some people call it ‘the why’, at Mantra we call it ‘purpose’.
Brands with a purpose connect with their audience. They drive change and challenge perceptions. They have fans and followers, and make people feel as though they belong to something.
Purpose is the cause that generates movement. Purpose defines who you are, where you are going and the choices you make about how you’re going get there.
So come, let us define what it is that makes you authentic and create a campaign that gives you super powers.
Mantra Brand House, for brands with a purpose.
Vanutopia is an alternative blog, written by two wonderfully humorous and enigmatic human beings, Ant and Lou Black-Hartman.
Ant and Lou have decided to give up their comfortable London lifestyles and travel across Europe in Heidi, their Toyota Campervan. Their ultimate aim is to become one of those enviable (and smug) couples you might follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, whocompanies sponsor via product endorsements – paying for their travels and way of life.
Being highly unconventional but also very well prepared, they conducted a lot research into how to make their Vanuotpia a reality. Because VW Campervans are so overdone and over priced, they decided to buy an old Toyota and have it branded. The custom vehicle wrap would perform various functions:
• Any imagery featuring the van would be instantly branded
• They can gather more fans as they drive around with the
• They will stand out immensely in the sea of VW Camper
The creative brief was to take inspiration from a camouflage design called 'razzle dazzle’ which was originally painted onto warships during WW2. At this point, I must confess that I’ve known Ant and Lou for several years, and I knew instantly that the design is absolutely perfect for their wildly individual personalities.
Using razzle dazzle as a starting point, I added further shapes that I felt would modernise it such as arrows, lightning bolts, cosmic rings from distant planets and lines wrapping and warping around invisible boxes. I also designed a logo identity which sits inside a roundel, making it easy to read amongst the beautifully organised electric chaos.
I’ve honestly never been so excited to see a vehicle wrap in my entire life. Heidi, the van, looks every bit the rockstar and I have absolute confidence that she’ll serve them perfectly.
Having set off from London at the start of June, you can follow Ant and Lou’s journey on their highly amusing and entertaining blog vanutopia.com
Or, just look at their beautiful social media pages via the links below.
Working with the Recycling Department of the States of Jersey has been a joy and labour of love since 2004! We've collaborated on many projects over the years, so winning the creative pitch to design their complete rebrand at the end of the year was an honour.
The length of service meant that I had a good understanding of the challenges such a brand would face. It would have to sit alongside numerous mini campaigns and sometimes other brands, and therefore be easy to work with. It would have to appeal to businesses ranging from corporate to construction and also work for the average consumer as well as their children taking part in an education outreach programs.
The process also highlighted that Recycle for Jersey had outgrown their old name as much as their brand. They don’t just want the businesses and people of Jersey to recycle their waste, they can do even better than that!
Years ago, their focus was on establishing a behaviour change so that businesses and individuals considered a choice between the recycling and the rubbish bin. Now, their focus is much broader, they want to help customers manage waste upwards through the waste hierarchy and this means supporting them to first reduce their waste and second consider reuse before recycling.
With ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ at it’s core, ‘Rethink your waste’ was born.
As I spotted that reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink all start with the same two letters – we used this as an opportunity to connect the old and the new brands along with their original long-term message. Working with OOF! we created animations for screens at the large recycling sites and to sign off video marketing messages. You can watch the video on my Facebook page to see how it works! www.facebook.com/mantrabrandhouse
In 2015 my work for Healthhaus scored a hat trick and the C.I. Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards, winning 'Best Brand', 'Best Integrated Campaign' and 'Overall Marketing Excellence'.
Healthhaus were also short-listed for 'Best Use of Media' in 2015, alongside my other client FlyDirect who were shortlisted for 'Best Integrated Campaign' on the evening. Obviously that was an awkward and nail biting moment as we all sat around the dinner table in sort of friendly face-off.
You can view the work that contributed to the entries on this website, but for now here are the judges remarks.
"The judges were impressed by the exceptionally clear and smart objectives, robust planning, clear development stage by stage. A strong evidence based approach to the brand strategy development, thinking through everything from POS to interior design, above and below the line products, branding, colours etc. Excellent differentiation strategy. Really beautiful design work with intrinsic values permeating all aspects of the design. A very clear understanding of the competition – and an ability through the design to really stand out from the pack.
Exceptionally clear value proposition “If I lived in the C.I. I would want to join this gym”. This campaign found out who its target market was and delivered a campaign that was completed centred around them as demonstrated in their outcomes."
"This entry demonstrated an excellent multi channel approach to saturate the market in terms of share of voice. Exceptional implementation, using a huge variety of methods and channels, but all very clearly tied back to their objectives and key markets. Some channels worked better than others. Execution was sophisticated and branding lovely. The message was consistent, targeted and clear. Very effective measurement, against very clear objectives, resulting in highly successful outcomes. The business has a wonderful concept behind it. Perfect for the market it targets."
The award for Over-All Marketing excellence was awarded after a landslide audience vote by everyone attending the evening. Healthhaus were clearly popular from a branding and experience perspective as there were loud whoops coming from the audience as we went on stage to accept the trophy.
Also note worthy was the short-listing for FlyDirect for Best Integrated Campaign, and Healthhaus was also short-listed for Best Use of Media.
Having had such great success together creating the original Healthhaus launch campaigns and their on-going communications, it was a real pleasure to develop the concept and designs for their next phase of growth at the club.
After identifying it was time to reopen the membership and seek new applications, we discussed in depth the background on the club, how the closely knit team worked together and stories from members who have grown to call it their second home from home. We knew their key target audience would be a bit older than other gyms - because of the price point entry and style of the club.
Healthhaus has always stressed their non-intimidation factor of how effective and easy the equipment is to use. But we found that the luxurious nature of the club which we originally played on was in itself, a little bit intimidating! We all have the same worries before we leave the house in the morning, let alone before heading to the gym (or at least I do). Am I wearing the right thing? Do I look ridiculous? Am I too old? We decided we needed a rethink and new strategy.
The new campaign has started rolling out, with adverts in two local lifestyle magazines, animated web banners, facebook, outdoor banners and even a double decker bus! I’ll keep adding more when the new pieces are released, so keep coming back.
For large visuals visit www.facebook.com/mantrabrandhouse
When I first met the founders of Healthhaus, they had a seriously impressive business plan with a logo that had fantastic potential but would need further development to meet the tasks required of the campaign that lay ahead.
The resulting brand concept and launch campaign exceeded all expectations. The club opened on 24 March 2014 with 650 members - 250 more than forecast and the membership list was closed on 31st January 2015, 9 months ahead of schedule.
So how do you achieve such amazing results? Prior to opening, we rolled out a teaser campaign in three phases, using targeted media advertising, social media and various forms of nomadic and outdoor media such as buses. Once enquiries were received, a direct marketing opportunity was created for which an ultra high quality, luxury finished brochure was designed. This brochure was especially critical before the club had been built with our only means of illustrating the final club being computer generated graphics from the interior designers which were used selectively in the first edition. For this reason I developed a concept based around their promise of a home-from-home experience using carefully selected stock photography.
Momentum was kept up after opening with regular PR articles alongside the next phase of advertising.
Crafted copy captured many imaginations and on social media members became fans. Of all the campaign headlines the most effective were “Because your body is as precious as your time” and “Our story starts with you”.
Central to the visual aspect of the brand is a Gucci inspired pattern used for advertising and promotional materials – from internal wallpaper and signage to branded tissue paper, literature, forms – even a Mini Cooper!
The branding and campaign won Best Brand, Best integrated Campaign, and Overall Marketing Excellence at the 2015 CIM Awards.
Following on from the success of their first club I have since helped them launch a smaller ‘Express’ club and we have just started work to launch their online product ‘Healthhaus at Home’.
If you're hungry, but you're also gluten intolerant or have coeliac disease, you'll be familiar with the feeling of hunger pangs and panic as you traipse up and down the high street, searching for something to eat, anywhere! It's not fun, and when you're part of a bigger party, your needs affect where everybody is going to be able to sit down and enjoy a meal.
Gluless is a mobile app and website that allows members of the gluten free and coeliac community to search, share and rate cafés, restaurants and pubs for their provision of Gluten free food and beverages. You can even snap food and share it on your own Pinterest style photo board with other users.
This is a much needed improvement on the current apps available that do not allow peer-to-peer access to rate (or not) the menus. Sometimes they can even list places that do not offer coeliac specific gluten free products, which is a much more involved and important element to any claims to be 'GF'.
The app has been designed and developed by a small London start up, inspired by personal experiences and looking for a better answer. The lead developer is also a diagnosed coeliac disease sufferer and has ensured you can also easily find pubs that serve gluten free beer which was 'very much a priority'. I agree entirely!
The team had a really good idea of the look they wanted, and after just a few variations we hit the nail on the head. The resulting logo icon that I designed for them encompasses a speech bubble for the peer-to-peer element complimented by a clean, geometric G that cuts a grain of wheat in half to create the international symbol of Gluten Free.
The team are currently sticker bombing the gluten-free aisles around Greater London and are developing a big marketing push. Come back for more uploads as the campaign rolls out - I predict a big future for Gluless!
Jersey held it’s first gay pride march and festival in 2015, and it was an honour to be asked to design the 2016 branding which would include Guernsey in a joint Channel Islands Pride festival to be held in September.
The donkey has always been a symbol of the people of Guernsey, so to make it more fabulous the Pride team asked me to create a hybrid unicorn-donkey we affectionately are calling a donkeycorn to sit alongside the symbol for Jersey folk - a ‘crapaud’, or toad, designed by Ben Robertson for Pride 2015.
Pride is run by Liberate, an equality charity that welcomes people irrespective of gender, race, age, religious belief, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Liberate campaign to reform policies and laws to ensure that LGBTQ people can enjoy the same freedoms as everyone else across the Channel Islands.
Because of this, if you look closely both characters have been designed to be gender-fluid, identifiable as either male or female. The team loved the donkey corn’s flowing rainbow hair so much, they asked me to add it to the crapaud and unify their look for 2016.
I can’t wait to see the celebrations this year and help spread the message of tolerance and love between the two islands.
Les Amis are a charity who support people with learning disabilities, helping them to achieve independence and a higher quality of life.
I have worked with them for three years, producing direct marketing campaigns, internal literature, re-skinning their website and producing lots of different promotional items for their 40th Anniversary in 2015 and subsequent brand repositioning in 2016.
Working with a PR partner every year we create a newsletter that is delivered to all local households and has resulted in the charity being selected as the charity of the year by the Chamber of Commerce, Jersey and local ITV - as well as raising donations, their public profile and educating people on the importance of the work they do for their clients and the more widely affected community.
Most recently I designed some fresh internal strategy documents, which they loved so much the design is now rolling out into future targeted fundraising activities.
It’s a privilege to work with such a heart warming cause and witness something making a real difference.
Palladium Group tasked me with the development of brochureware and a building wrap for their latest development in the heart of St Helier, 63 The Bath House.
Following close consultation with the Director of Palladium and their appointed architects firm, I designed a beautiful folder and inserts set that would sell to both those looking for their first step onto the property ladder and those looking to purchase either a buy to let or apartment or something for one of their children. Metallic inks and spot UV varnishes were applied to demonstrate the high quality values that were applied to the building work and interior designed apartments.
As the apartments were being sold off-plan initially, we decided to use inserts so that each floor could be drawn up and sold as needed as the building was completed level by level.
A building wrap was requested by the local planning authority to disguise the building work before a large event was due to take place. Working within a very tight deadline, the wrap was created and erected within 10 days and served as an excellent promotional advert.
Take two award winning Indian Chefs with experience in working in some of the top hotels in India. Export one to a top Parisian kitchen and infuse with European cooking techniques and Michelin Star culture. The results are the unique, beautifully European styled dishes, infused an ancient Indian knowledge of herbs and spices.
Saffrons is regarded as a very special place to dine, and enjoys a loyal customer base who visit frequently. However with the opening of several new Michelin star quality restaurants the need to attract new customers and raise awareness of the unique dining experience on offer was identified. I was delighted to take up the (delicious) challenge of communicating the thrilling and often surprising dishes that are truly more than they seem at first sight.
The restaurant has undergone recent refurbishment but still retains a traditional style that compliments the Hotel De France, where it is situated. The exquisite dishes have been captured by the very talented Karl Block who forms part of the marketing team within the Hotel, so making the food look good was easy - but conveying the experience through the brand and copy a little more complex.
Following consultation with the hotel and restaurant marketing board, interviewing the two head chefs, and of course enjoying a taster menu for the full experience I was totally inspired and ready to go.
The logo was redesigned to have two strands of Saffrons, crossing in a kiss. Colours are kept warm, earthy, and sumptuous. This is coupled with the use of a ‘flower of life’ design which appears to break apart and marinade over the other graphics with seeds, star anise and strands of saffron coming from the main body. The star of life is a depiction of the very start of a human life, following fusion – an ancient symbol which serves to fuse the two cultures further in the mind of our target audience.
Following an in depth copy writing process, the campaign has commenced with the following:
‘Fine dining with an Indian accent.
A dining experience that inspires even the most sophisticated palate. Our award winning international chefs use delicately balanced Indian spices and culinary expertise to create impeccably designed flavoursome dishes.
As new flavours delight and rouse the senses, this artistic union will take you to the epitome of dining sensations.
Start your journey with our 6 course taster menu with selected wine or beer for each course, or simply select from the à la carte menu. Both with extensive vegetarian options. ’
An advertising campaign is currently underway in select local media and has been wonderfully received.
Following the success of the rebrand for FlyDirect in 2014, I was approached by the new General Manager of Bontour to redesign their branding and advertising in 2015.
As press advertising is their main form of marketing, my primary task was to design templates that would be distinctive yet flexible enough to carry anything from Beyonce in Concert at Wembley Arena, to family holidays in Brittany, France.
Bontour is run by an extensively French team and has historically been known for holidays and day trips to France. They recently expanded their offering to trips to the UK and specially arranged tours as far afield as Iceland, so the rebrand was essential to reposition them and draw attention to the new products and holidays on offer. Because of their loyal clientele and history, the brand needed to carry the passionate and quirky French personality through the new look, and it was decided a modern take on vintage should also form part of the brief.
The resulting bright and distinctive branding is eye catching and immediately identifiable, and enquiries have been on rapid increase as brand awareness rises.
With their first brochure now in production for Summer 2016 and a new retail outlet about to open, this is feel good design in action with proven results.
Healthhaus at Home is a website that offers members and paid subscribers access to trustworthy, filtered advice, videos and demonstrations on fitness, nutrition and wellbeing. Their vision is to enable everyone to have access to the experience and knowledge of the expert team at Healthhaus, with the support to make healthy, long-term changes.
We decided to slightly move the brand away from the premium colours of Healthhaus's main club to something more suited to an online audience.
These are some examples from the first phase of teaser advertising for the online resource, ahead of the full campaign rolling out in the summer of 2016. The typographic teaser campaign builds on the promise of a 360˚ approach to health and wellbeing, which was central to the original club's promise.
Also featured are a few images from a photoshoot which I art directed for the project which will be used on the website and in future marketing.
Getting people to recycle properly and be more enthusiastic about visiting the local recycling collection points in Jersey was proving a challenge. There were signs on the bins, but people weren't paying enough attention to what should or shouldn't go into the banks, or how they should prepare items for recycling.
The idea of just putting more signs up at the recycling locations didn't seem particularly engaging or eye-catching to me. So with a very limited budget I was able to convince the team to dress the recycling bins up as waste guzzling monsters!
Using street art style as inspiration, I create two different monsters, one who loves plastics and another who simply can't get enough metal. We ran a social media campaign and asked children and adults to send us their snaps as they were spotted moving around collection locations on the island. The dream would have been to do a full wrap or hand paint the bins, but we did a great job using simple vinyls and head boards to keep within a tight budgets.
This was a wonderful chance to do some street art style work which would appeal to both children and adults, and the campaign still makes me smile to this day.
Don't pretend you can't hear a wookie noise when you gaze into that orange monsters mouth...
Having worked with the team since 2009, I had the pleasure of being asked to conceptualise and design a complete over-haul of FlyDirect’s marketing material in 2014 as the company sought to implement a high level brand awareness campaign.
The output involved brochureware for several destinations, press advertising, bus advertising, indoor and large outdoor banners, as well as scripting and art directing a television advertising campaign in the early Spring/Summer which was their peak season for bookings. The activity was also supported by some additional social media and online advertising implemented by their internal marketing team.
After achieving significant increases in passenger volumes of 75% between 2010 and 2013, had we already hit a natural ceiling in the Channel Islands market or could more people be converted? The results were astounding – overall bookings increased by 45% and there was a 100% increase in online bookings during the year, brand awareness was clearly at an all time high. In fact, the campaign was so successful that in late 2015 / early 2016 the new programmes of holidays quite literally flew off the shelves with minimal marketing spend.
The campaign was short listed in the 2015 Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards, Channel Islands for the ‘Best Integrated Campaign’.
aMaizin! Adventure Park has been my client since 2008, when I redesigned their logo, marketing materials and annual advertising campaign. Since then, with the rise of social media and the addition of a huge indoor play area to the park in 2015, the work and branding have evolved.
My most recent piece of work - the annual tourist sales leaflet - was greeted with such delight that my client decided to increase their print run by an additional 10,000 leaflets (or 20%) as they felt they would need more once their distribution partners had seen them.
There are numerous branded communications that are refreshed each year to reflect events and also communicate with members continuously and reinforce the value they receive with their annual membership fees. The Park now hosts themed events throughout the year which are primarily promoted on Facebook with the help of the park mascot - Iggy. He’s been lost in a horror maze, dressed up in a penguin onesie for Christmas and was even considered for production as a plush toy.
I am sure the joy I experience working with this brand comes through in the vibrant pieces you see in these examples. I love seeing what Iggy might get up to next!
Photography by the very talented Nathalie Mayer.
Seafish Café - 2010 - is an exciting restaurant serving posh, and extremely delicious, fish and chips. The brand had to appeal to both families, tourists and late night fast food connoisseurs with both a sit-down restaurant and take away outlet. The business was short-listed for an Enterprise Award in 2015 - if you’re ever in St Helier you simply must give them a visit.
Green Energy Living - 2011 - sells and installs Redwell heating systems, which utilise infrared heating technology. The environmentally friendly heating systems are ultra low energy, heating solid objects rather than traditional convection heating systems that tend to heat air and rely on the transfer of heat via convection. Using a friendly but masculine font and creating a bespoke icon, the logo perfectly conveys both the product and their values.
The Chugging Pig - 2013 - is named after a beautifully restored vintage Citroën Van from which the team serves delicious street food. The van is central to their brand and so this logo in complimentary colours is bright, cheerful and reminds the viewer who they are looking for for their next pulled pork fix!
The Botanic Gardens of Jersey - 2011 - are a charity established to rally support and secure locations for their education and preservation work. The infinity leaf icon was developed to convey their mission to preserve plant life and further scientific research and understanding of all botanical life. The illustration also resembles a sapling being plucked or precisely planted from a scientific perspective and so works on several levels to convey the purpose of the trust and gardens.
Amélie - 2013 - is a boutique shop selling gorgeous gifts, designer jewellery and outwear which was an offshoot from one-off products whose popularity led them to outgrow their original location in Marc 2 Shoes just down the road. The name of this new outlet was inspired by the French character Amélie from a movie of the same name, and so the same quirky spirit with vintage colours was carried through into the branding.
In 2014 there were several high profile data breaches in the UK. Laptops and data sticks left behind on trains. Embarrassing conversations going viral after being left at the bottom of long email trails. Even the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, famously left his child behind in a pub and lost him for several hours!
In light of this, the government of Jersey decided to create a campaign to educate their staff on information management in 2014 before someone suffered a similar fate.
Now more than 3 years old, I still enjoy looking at these posters. The original illustrations and headlines were developed by myself to a brief, and each interacts with a circle that represents a road traffic sign (and also the London tube logo - who knew I'd end up moving here 2 years later - must have been on my mind!).
Grumpy cat was a super star, and Robin Williams had just sadly passed away. It's easy to see where the influence came from popular culture at the time. We needed to make these appealing to get the attention of the 6,500+ staff who could all at some point have to surrender paper work or data under new freedom of information laws or simply not know where that file had gone...
Working with the Recycling team since 2004, we’ve promoted general recycling alongside some more targeted campaigns in recent years. I’ve selected two of my favourite recent projects which were rolled out across local press, through schools and on social media via their very popular and active Facebook page.
Robbie the Robot was installed at various locations around Jersey, including a music festival, as part of an ‘Electricals Amnesty’ campaign and was a massive success as part of a wider campaign I did creative on. I suggested commissioning a sculpture from discarded electrical items and I was lucky enough to engage with a prominent local artist, Ian Rolls, who agreed to build the robot for us. Robbie stood 3 metres high and sported everything from vacuum cleaners to road crossing signals. Using illustrations from the UK WRAP campaign I also created posters, banners and Facebook advertising to run alongside the publicity generated by our electrical monster. He was so loved that he has been kept in one piece and now greets everyone at the local household recycling tip.
The glass campaign was another example of a chance to create something totally bespoke. The local incinerator was being adversely affected by glass being mixed with household rubbish, causing the plant to operate below it’s potential capacity. I created an illustration based on the concept of ‘The Usual Suspects’ with a glass bottle and jar in a police line-up, both carried messages designed to educate and change behaviour. The campaign rolled out online, in print and on outdoor banners placed in prominent locations.
Mindfulness has been the buzzword of big corporations such as Google and countless social media gurus - each with their own take on the ‘true path’. The steep rise in popularity of mindfulness has resulted in many scientific studies being carried out with various groups of people; from nursery classes, to entrepreneurs, to athletes, to young offenders.
From this research and data rose Jersey International Mindfulness Centre (JsyIMC). They identified a interest from both individuals and business organisations to learn mindfulness, without a spiritual aspect or overlap.
JsyIMC works with professional athletes and businesses, offering short intensive workshops and up to 8 week courses with one of their doctorate level professional consultants. The branding is therefore very clean, appealing to a focused, modern individual, showing how it might integrate into their busy lifestyle through selected photography.
A lot of thought went into the symbolism within the logo icon which features a lotus and three stripes.
“In Buddhist thought, the pattern of growth of the lotus the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. Though there are other water plants that bloom above the water, it is only the lotus which, owing to the strength of its stem, regularly rises eight to twelve inches above the surface.”
Many people in Western society, in simplified terms, believe that the lotus signifies ‘inner beauty’ of the soul rather than surface values.
The stripes represent the different materials through which the lotus has grown, and also give the design a sports brand edge.
Uptake on packages has been phenomenal, and I am sure an increased prescription of mindfulness for the team is required to benefit most from the demand! I am delighted to have helped create a dialogue with a stream of people who would potentially disregard or even run at full speed in the opposite direction from what is a truly beneficial and life changing practice, having taken off my running shoes and become a convert many years ago.
Congratulations if you are still reading and have stumbled into my art commissions section. Perhaps one of my favourite things because I get paid to use what's inside my brain and go wild with creativity.
These illustrations were created for two huge Kylie Minogue and Patsy Stone fans.
Using iconic photography I have doodled to my heart's content over to create a street-art inspired, extra dimensional illustration. Included are some of the process points and alternative design structures that we considered before selecting the final photo and doodle montages.
For more doodle art and what tickles and excites me - follow me on instagram
La Fregate Café is an American diner concept bar, located on the seafront in St Helier in a building that resembles an upturned boat. With so much to go from in terms of site and location, I designed a brand in 2012 that came from the concept nautically retro - marrying diner to seaside. Vintage fonts were employed, with an American sport inspired logo. Cheeky photography of vintage sailor girls sit alongside typographic treated slogans to create a warm and welcoming cafe brand.