• Posted 30/10/2020 by absolute

    Lasting First Impressions

    Yet More Important Logo Design Considerations

    Logos are generally regarded as artworks which assign a recognisable identity to a business, make it memorable (hopefully for the right reasons) and potentially communicate ideas which add value to the brand.

    When approaching the design of a new logo requiring some sort of symbol, device or pictogram, one of the primary strategic considerations that your designer should be making is whether the symbol or device should be literal or conceptual.

    Conceptual versus Literal Design

    “It’s just a repetition of the name as a nice graphic. So what!?”

    This might sound somewhat psychoanalytical, but often I find my inner monologue rambling to literal logo designs in this way quite a lot. Yeah, it’s a Red Hat. What do they do again? Umm … software. It’s actually a really unstylish red panama hat. Or is it a trilby? What were they thinking when they approved that one?

    Perhaps I overthink them a bit too much, but probably not. Because the chances are that your clients will have similar reactions (subconscious or otherwise) about your designs, materials and branding when they are dealing with your business.

    In short, a dentist logo doesn’t need to show teeth, a construction firm’s logo doesn’t need to show a building (or a hammer) and a smartphone makers logo doesn’t need to show a smartphone.

    It is of course debatable but, to us at Absolute, the primary function of a logo is to say ‘Here we are, remember us.’ Whilst images that are relevant to the business and can perform perfectly well as identifying marks, we find it far more meaningful when a logo design communicates something about ‘who they are’ rather than ‘what they do’.

    Humans like to recognise visual patterns and solve puzzles. To most it is far more engaging when the brain is required to make the connection between logo device and business name. We have the innate ability to engage and figure things out, and when we make the association between image and company name, we connect on a deeper level. As well as making the design more memorable, done effectively this can also help to unlock the core qualities of the product or service.

    To help illustrate the point, I’ll run with a few examples, the first of which only recently dawned on me.

    The straight-up lettering and the cheeky little smile beneath it are fairly apparent. But, notice where the smile leads from and to, and the small arrowhead at one end? Yes that’s right … Amazon, everything you need, from A to Z.

    The Baskin and Robbins logo is a great, high profile example too. Tucked away in the playful ‘BR’ initials are the numbers 3 and 1, referencing the 31 flavours that they are famous for selling.

    Perhaps less well known, but a useful example, is the Museum of London logo. At first glance it just looks like some overlapping biological shapes surrounding the text. The colours in-fact represent the changing borders of this famous city throughout its history. But enough of the reveals. Check out the FedEx logo, have look Cisco’s emblem and, maybe not overly obvious, but see if you can figure out what Hyundai’s logo symbol means … if anything.

    One thing is certain; once you make the connection between conceptual design and message by realising what you are looking at, and what it means, it will commit the name and associated values to memory for a much longer than pretty much any literal logo design combo.

  • Posted 30/07/2020 by absolute

    (Mainly Contactless) New Clients

    There may be an economic downturn hurtling our way but it hasn’t stopped Brisbane businesses both large and small from choosing to invest in the improvement of their sales and marketing initiatives. In recent weeks Absolute Media has been appointed by three brand new clients to get involved and help them significantly improve the way they promote themselves.

    The first of the three, Langford Metal, is a large metal fabrication business originally set-up in Brisbane in 1955. Still family owned and with a huge facility featuring some incredible machinery for punching, shaping and forming virtually anything in metal, they had concluded that an overhaul of their website and marketing materials was due. Following a competitive pitch Absolute were given the go-ahead to write the content, design the user interface and page layouts, then code and test their new website, which has just this week launched – www.langfordmetal.com.au.

    We were also recently appointed to handle the SEO account for Envisage Skin + Body Studio. An established and longstanding beautician business Envisage, like many, has recently been hit where it hurts by the enforced closures related to Covid-19, prompting them to come out fighting. With a host of new keywords to get stuck into covering services such as ‘Skin needling Brisbane’ we have been on a steep learning rapidly getting to grips with their bewildering range of anti-aging services, technologies and of course the phrases used by their target audiences to find such things. Within our first month we’ve managed to get seven of their target terms featuring on page one of Google. Bewdy indeed.

    Our marketing and design consultancy services have also been called on by creative art workshop specialist Nurture The Knack -  www.nurturetheknack.com. Offering a diverse range of classes for both children and adults (particularly adults who like wine and painting, yes please) to recognise, enjoy and nurture their creative instincts. We are regularly asked to help small businesses who rely on themselves for many things, but who also recognise that external advice can help them take their plans and ideas much further.

    If you could benefit from our design, digital and marketing services, then give us a call. Talk is free (for the first 30 minutes lol) and we welcome every opportunity to discuss your ideas!

  • Posted 03/05/2019 by absolute

    From the Little things

    digital marketing agency new client announcement

    Absolute Media is proud to welcome our latest new client, Little Estate Lawyers.

    Whilst not exactly a hot-off-the-press news scoop (we were originally approached late in 2018), they are yet another great example of a client who originally approached us for a specific solution, then realised the invaluable benefits our rounded marketing experience in helping to establish their new small business, and are now been able to rely on us for additional marketing services.

    Headquartered in Brisbane, Little Estate Lawyers are specialist Wills and Estates Lawyers. They operate across Queensland and New South Wales, focusing on the provision of exceptional, straightforward legal advice and no hidden costs to clients in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney.

    With a successful legal career which started in 1997, owner Danielle Little worked for almost a decade for a large multi-national firm in litigation and estate matters before specialising in the area of Succession Law. She recently decided to start her own business and during that time chose Absolute Media ahead of numerous other digital marketing agencies to develop her new website design.

    New business start-ups are often cost-conscious exercises and this one was no different. Working to a tight budget and with the brief to extend Little Lawyer’s new business brand into the digital world, both parties agreed that the new website design needed to make a strong impact, to become a point of difference from potential competing business websites.

    Using a strong, classic black, white and gold colour scheme and some of the classic typographic qualities of ITC’s Avant Garde Gothic font collection, we developed a strong, single page layout and user interface design with the plan to include subtle animation and movement to the live version.

    Absolute also catered to the fact that the site would inevitably extend in scope and content as Little Lawyers growth began to develop.

    Danielle’s new logo design process with another agency hadn’t gone quite as smoothly as expected, so additional consultation was requested from us on how to address various issues and to ensure that the Little Lawyers logo and brand was both consistently represented and positively extended, to enhance the existing materials and maximise first impressions.

    Just six months in and with their second office already open, Absolute have recently been appointed to also handle their Search Engine Optimisation requirements in Queensland and New South Wales.

    As the song goes, ‘From the little things, big things grow’. Little Lawyer’s ability to call upon Absolute Media’s broad range of small business marketing services and experience as they develop a name for themselves is a great example of how important it is to partner with a company who take the time to understand your business, and can help you to take it to the next level at every stage.

  • Posted 05/04/2019 by absolute

    Peak Performing Referrals

    peak performance seo brisbane

    Since opening our doors to Brisbane in 2005 we have always had a healthy proportion of clients pointed in our direction.

    And we are pleased to welcome two more. The new start-up ‘A Happier Life’ and the longstanding ‘Moorooka Sports & Community Club’ have recently joined Absolute Media’s client roster. Both businesses were referred to us for our hugely competitive and very effective Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) capabilities.

    A Happier Life is a hypnosis service owned and operated by former Australian test cricketer Gary Cosier. By utilising Psychotherapy and Hypnosis Brisbane clients can benefit from their range of traditional solutions to help them quit smoking and lose weight, through to more forward-thinking areas such as life coaching and peak sports performance.

    Mookrooka Sports is a traditional bowling club that has undergone subtle modernisation in recent years. This has seen the extension of the club’s facilities to include a new bistro, and to offer its facilities as venues for weddings, social functions and business. Additionally, to appeal to the very popular demand for barefoot bowls in Brisbane food trucks now regularly rock-up to serve hungry punters and craft beers have been introduced to the bar.

    Absolute have been providing SEO services since 2011. The increasing level of competition to get companies listed on page one, and our approach of working smarter rather than harder in order to retain our competitive edge, means that we’ve seen a recent surge for this part of our business marketing offering. Many big SEO businesses seem to bombard their clients with the appliance of science and in-depth analyses of algorithm updates, but it’s not as complicated as they make it out to be, and our results clearly demonstrate that fact.

    If you’re interested in getting your website to feature in the page one results for a specific, search term or keyphrase, call us on 07 3300 6308 to find out more.

  • Posted 15/03/2019 by absolute

    Seeing a ‘Not Secure’ warning in Chrome?

    Website technology advances continuously, but rarely does it force us to upgrade older websites.

    Since July last year, web browser software (Chrome, Mozilla, MS Edge +++) started labelling websites using HTTP as ‘not secure’ in the address bar. More info here: https://www.blog.google/products/chrome/milestone-chrome-security-marking-http-not-secure/

    Whilst not initially problematic, Google has recently raised the prominence of the warnings. Before loading an HTTP page, it is now also displays a prominent ‘site not safe’ page. The net result is that this is deterring visitors and prospects from viewing HTTP websites, who incorrectly assume that the site contains malicious content, which isn’t necessarily the case.

    For clients whose sites are hosted on our web servers, we have purchased SSL certificates for those servers which means that you don’t need to purchase one for your own domain. These alone average between $80-200+.

    However, to convert your website to HTTPS and achieve secure SSL encryption (showing a padlock in the address bar), we essentially need to locate and change all coded content links on for menus, images, hyperlinks, stylesheets, script libraries and videos, and setup the necessary page re-directions to make sure that all traffic looking for the old content successfully reaches the correct, secure content.

    If you'd like your site upgrading to HTTPS, whether you are an existing client or not, we can help. Please contact us and we'll gladly provide an estimate.

  • Posted 21/09/2018 by absolute

    Absolute spark life into new business growth

    mchardy logo design

    Absolute Media are chuffed to announce our latest new client - the McHardy Group - a team of electricians servicing the Brisbane western suburbs region.

    With plenty of years of experience, owners Chris and Brett McHardy both previously worked for a large Brisbane electrical business, opting to go it alone when the parent business was carved-up and sold off.

    Like many relatively new businesses they’d got the essentials in place – a logo and a basic website – and crossed their fingers that they’d achieve a high Google ranking for anyone searching with the keyphrase ‘Electrician The Gap’.

    Whilst turnover has been consistent and job opportunities have been coming in for residential, commercial and industrial electrical work, they’ve quickly realised that they’ll need to get their small business marketing to be far more effective in order to grow and evolve their client base into the areas that they really want to focus on and develop into.

    Following a competitive pitch against a large Melbourne-based digital agency, Absolute Media have been successfully chosen to provide the McHardy Group with marketing planning, create a new logo design and branding, and to overhaul their website design to be more effective - both as a site attracting demand from the western suburbs, and converting interest into enquiries – and to improve their search engine optimisation (SEO) activities.

    It sounds like we nailed it with our straightforward, no BS pitch for their work because Chris went on to explain “We both agreed that your proposals, ideas, and suggested approach to our business were spot on, and wanted to tell you that you’d got the gig during the meeting!”

    We are now well underway with the site redesign, which is going to now have a far stronger and clearer customer benefit focus, and therefore relish the opportunity to post future news about our work for them and – most importantly – about the results that we achieve.

    The appointment follows a string of month on month wins for us, which includes also the likes of Xennox Diamonds, Forme Fitness, The Tender Lawyer, and photographer James P. O’Hare.

  • Posted 28/11/2017 by Will.N

    Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

    Regular clients will know that professional marketing advice is an inherent part of our service. We use it in almost every meeting and phonecall to better understand what we’re being asked to do, who we’re targeting and what outcome you plan to achieve.

    There are of course many specialist marketing businesses around that charge handsomely for the privilege of their advice and know how. Cynical I know, but this is regularly focussed to help spend your marketing dollars on things they make the most money out of.

    Postgrad qualified by the Chartered Institute of Marketing and offering marketing management experience at the highest level having previously worked for a US fortune 500 business, Absolute’s marketing know-how means that we produce fantastic results for you, and that you achieve more effective expenditure on the materials and initiatives that you use to promote increased sales:

    • Our research can help you to identify opportunities that you didn’t know existed
    • Our planning and strategic thinking can give you a very strong competitive edge, finding ways to help you get your message to your desired target audience and make it stand out from the crowd. By making it memorable and prompting them into action (continue)
    • Our results will make your business to look strong and be individual in the marketplace, with the added bonus of creating big pride amongst your team.

    Like it or not there are lots of pretenders to the throne out there … “Yes we do marketing, would you like some new pens or mousemats?!” There are also many digital savvy businesses that’ll take your money in return for a great social media presence, but what do they achieve? Do they support your business goals, and are they measurable?

    One of the most overused quotes about marketing, attributed to the American John Wanamaker, illustrates just how difficult it can be to quantify a response to marketing expenditure. His comment "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half” still rings very true to anyone who doesn’t know what they’re doing with their marketing budget.

    The good news is that we do!

    Even greater news is that unless we’re specifically commissioned to help a business plan out its marketing, then usually our clients get the benefit of our marketing experience for free.

    And with one eye already on 2018, we are now offering FREE one and a half hour marketing consultations to recipients of this email. This includes clients on our emailing list and any of your direct contacts that this emailer is forwarded to. So, if you’re interested drop us a line. If you’re feeling charitable, you like what we do, and you know another business who might benefit from a small business marketing consult, please forward it to them.

  • Posted 28/11/2017 by Will.N

    Production quality video – no cameras required

    Corporate video has long held its position of stature in the library of marketing materials that an established business is expected to have. In recent years video has proven doubly important as both a unique source of moving web content for landing pages and homepages, and as a mechanism that boosts Search Engine Optimisation rankings in the eyes of Google, Bing and Yahoo because it is considered as an indicator of ‘quality content’.

    In the past 15 years Absolute Media has been involved in the production of high-end video content for Queensland Health, DIAGEO and the University of Queensland amongst others. However, with an increasing thirst for video content, and the means to film great quality video by anyone with a smartphone, there is now an acceptance that corporate video itself doesn’t need to be as slick, production polished, and interspersed with flash motion graphics as it used to be. Lower quality web video expectations have steadily eroded the demand for slick high-end video. When an estimate lands complete with the cost of directors, cameras, audio, props, pre-production and post-production, motion graphics (and the rest) it’s often initially perceived as overly expensive, especially when a person can record something to their phone, edit it themselves on PC or Mac, then upload it themselves and have it embedded on a website, essentially for a few bucks and a bit of their own time.

    That said, budget video doesn’t have to equate to cr*p quality. It’s definitely possible to not use a camera at all, by doing so keep the cost to a minimum, and yet still produce a slick corporate video production. One recent point in case was for our client Forklift Action who were attending a large international exhibition in Germany, and who needed video content to use at the centre of their stand on a large LCD display screen.

    With a basic script, some still images and the purchase of a few stock video segments from popular libraries such as iStockphoto.com, we had everything we needed to create the following video.

    Also in-terms of additional benefits of having and integrating video to your website, please also consider … Google owns YouTube, so video hosted on YouTube will of course be ranked even more favourably than on other platforms such as Wistia or Vimeo!

    If there’s a hole in your website where some custom video content would be a great addition, call us today to discuss what we can do for you.

  • Posted 28/11/2017 by Will.N

    What if it did?

    We're sure many of you are familiar with the term SEO and what it stands for. If you’re not - very briefly - Search Engine Optimisation is the process of enhancing a website so that search engines such as Google and Bing list that site on page one of their results when people search using popular terms to find the product or services that a company sells.

    As part of a marketing mix, we have a handful of clients that we provide SEO to on a monthly basis, all of whom have been using us to do so for a minimum of two years, some for as many as five years.

    SEO is of course now a very competitive sector, and whilst investing in getting a page or site to appear on page one is possible, keeping it there is another thing, especially when the businesses you compete with who offer similar services, are also trying to become top Google dog too.

    In our last month’s reports one of our clients had every single one of their terms ranking on page one, sixteen of which were in the top three, and eight of which were in the #1 spot. Not surprisingly their business has grown *significantly * since we started working for them three years ago.

    So if your website is well designed, looks great and gets compliments, but rarely generates any enquiries or phonecalls, then it’s time to ask yourself what if it did? Once you have, call us on 07 3300 6308 and ask, what can absolute do to help?

  • Posted 28/11/2017 by Annie.K

    Trending in web design, right now

    Website design is incredibly fast moving. By experiencing the very latest interface developments on a continuous and evolving basis, visitors will opt to browse elsewhere the instant that a site they’re viewing fails to meet their expectations. To give this claim some relevant context, here are a few of our observations about where it’s at right now, and why:

    Long scrolling pages – started with the goal of getting visitors onto a specific landing page and converting interest into action. Landing pages typically contain sufficient information needed to allow an informed decision and numerous prompts to ‘contact for more info’, ‘sign up for details’, or ‘get in touch NOW’. Often with zero navigation options at the top of the page, they essentially focus the purchase decision to a very clear YES, or a NO.

    Landing pages have evolved into an easy to navigate and anticipatory experience; it’s far easier to swipe your finger up on a mobile phone than it is to locate the menu button, then choose the next page or info that you want to read. Additionally, viewers now typically scroll further and further to see what else is on a page before choosing to move on, and a well-balanced page with excellent content, features and functionality will tease them down, down … and further down.

    Easy navigation – mentioned above but now essential to keeping visitors on your site, smartphones are still considered fiddly for more detailed activities. No one really wants to type a report on one when there’s a real keyboard available, do they? That said, smartphones are now the most used device around the world between the hours of 7am – 10am. Mobile usage now accounts for more than half of the world’s internet browsing traffic and logically, mobile user interfaces need to provide the ability to explore a site quickly and easily. Hence the growth in popularity of longer scrolling pages. But what other implications does this have? How about a less complex navigation menu structure? How about a large clear nav menu that fills the screen rather than running along the top edge of the screen? Why do I have to scroll all the way back to the top of the long scrolling page? That’s right. Sticky menus - which hide when scrolling down, but re-appear when a slight upwards gesture is made - back to the top buttons located in the footer, and responsive hamburger menu buttons are all part of this movement of convenience.

    Making it fast – whether you’ve read this article word for word so far or just skimmed it, you’ll have probably have gathered that the common driving factors behind website design are currently page load speed and ease of use. The reason that website design has moved so rapidly is that the software and hardware technologies supporting it keep evolving at a furious pace.

    PHP is the language that many web servers use when your phone, tablet or PC/Mac requests a web page. Whilst you may not know anything about PHP, what you should know is that PHP7, now active and available for over 12 months, is 20% faster than its predecessor PHP5. Chances are that your website could be performing a lot faster than it currently is, which would make for a better user experience and contribute to better ranking in Google’s search results.

    Fast to complete forms – this one is kinda obvious, but we’re noticing the benefits of it a lot more on websites that have been reviewed to address the problem. It goes without saying that with any online form asking for user information, the more information that you are asked to enter, the less the likelihood that you’ll complete and submit it. This sentiment is further compounded with the use of smaller interfaces which can, as already mentioned, be a bit fiddly at times. Think trying to find the right symbol on a touchscreen keypad whilst you’re rattling along on the commuter train!

    Not surprisingly, the shorter and more straightforward the form – just your name and email address will do – the higher the submission success rate of user details from a page.

    Mobile responsive – Let’s begin with a confession; we still host a few websites that were designed and coded before tablets were launched and smartphones came to prominence. As you no doubt know, whilst these sites will still display on a smartphone, they aren’t optimised to display on a smartphone, so you will most likely see the whole page on your mobile screen.

    “What does that text say? Can you zoom in? Ah forget it … go back to the search.”

    The discipline of designing a website first for a desktop, then considering how it will look on a mobile device has been turned on its head. Many websites are now designed around the smallest potential viewing platform, for example 1334×750 pixels for a iPhone6, and their design layouts are then adapted to larger screen displays where the content can be flowed to a wider browser window and presented horizontally as well as vertically.

    Also for probably a couple of years now, Google has been penalising websites that aren’t responsive to mobile platforms, so if SEO is important to your business, but you are still running a site that was designed pre-smartphone, then you have quite a battle on your hands.

    Images – a picture saying 1,000 words. We say it in briefing meetings all the time, and in web design it’s truer now than it ever has been. Images bring life to your site, Instagram feeds give it a value of currency, in terms of being live, and the world of web design has seen a move towards less words and more pictures, particularly in combination, especially where the images are relevant to the vision of the business and branding. Ultimately this is being used to better communicate the product or service experience, rather than telling someone about it with lots and lots of words.

    Of course, none of these trends are set in stone and what’s proving popular right now may be a thing of the past in 12 months-time. If there is a monumental shift, we’ll let you know on our blog. And not forgetting, if your website needs a monumental overhaul or just an enquiry form to be streamlined, call us. We look forward to discussing it.

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