AKGraphics' Blog

Wall Graphics for Companies

Creating an engaging and friendly environment is important for any business to set the tone of their workplace. Designing an attractive setting for customers when they first come in by using creative wall graphics is a great way to welcome people. A happy workspace for your employees creates a positive atmosphere and is likely to boost productivity and morale.

At AKGraphics we have a vast experience designing wall graphics for all spaces. Any space big or small can be transformed from something plain and dull to something engaging and colourful. Whether that’s wall graphics, signage, or window vinyl, we will design it to suit your specific space. Create a workplace that represents you and your business and leaves a lasting impression for both your workers and customers.

We recently designed wall graphics for our own office here at AKGraphics. We wanted to introduce colour to bring life to the office and remove the blank white walls. By using bright colours and patterns we created a more engaging feel as you walk into the office. We designed a bespoke backlit circular frame featuring our company logo. Additional privacy was achieved by adding window graphics to our entrance area. We also designed new subtle wall graphics for our meeting room, by using white vinyl letters over clear perspex.

AKGraphics Studio wall graphics AKGraphics Studio wall graphics AKGraphics Studio wall graphics

Adrenaline HPL approached AKGraphics to develop wall graphics for their new Human Performance Laboratory, offices and gym. Adrenaline HPL had an established brand and logo so we focused on developing this branding for a range of interior office signage. As Adrenaline HPL share the building with other companies it was vital that clients were clear on the location of their office. Each and every piece of the signage reflects Adrenaline HPL’s branding. This attention to detail ensures that the overall look is extremely professional while remaining welcoming for clients.

HPL Adrenaline Wall graphics HPL Adrenaline Wall graphics HPL Adrenaline Wall graphics HPL Adrenaline Wall graphics

AKGraphics was asked to add colour and life to Ben Dunne Gyms, but the client also requested that the same design concept could be adapted for all Ben Dunne Gyms (whether large or small). Taking into consideration the new paint colours, the new interior graphics with vivid splashes of colour, swirls of curved lines and branded graphics we created a much fresher feel within the gyms. The final result for Ben Dunne Gyms was welcomed by all gym members. Once we completed one or two gyms it was easy for Ben Dunne Gyms to adapt the same design theme/concept and roll out the new interior feel to other gyms within the group.

BDG Wall graphics

 

BDG Wall graphics

BDG Wall graphics designed by AKGraphicsBDG Wall graphics designed by AKGraphics

If you think your space needs a fresh new look, give us a call and we will design a creative new look and feel for your business! Call us today on 059 91 33633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

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Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter is a national day of creativity in aid of mental health awareness. The event will be held in ten different locations around Ireland on October 10th, which is also world mental health day. This year AKGraphics is delighted to be helping IDI (Institute of Designers in Ireland) organise the Carlow event that’s being hosted by VISUAL Carlow.

First and foremost we are calling on all experienced designers across the South East to come and show your support for this great cause. If you’re a graphic designer, illustrator, product designer, interior designer, architect, landscape architect, animator, creative strategist, web developer, advertising creative or a UX/UI designer, we want you! We want to create a stronger design community in Ireland by connecting fellow designers and promoting their value to the business community.
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MindOverMatter IDI MindOverMatter IDI GIF

If you, as a designer would like to sign up you will be giving one full day of your time to participate in consultations with businesses to share your knowledge and experience with them. You will also have the opportunity to network with fellow designers and discuss day to day business issues. The sign up for Mind Over Matter is currently open for any experienced designers who wish to volunteer their time for one day only in aid of this important cause. Please click Sign up to go to the Mind Over Matter website and fill in your details now. Sign Up

Secondly, we are looking for entrepreneurs, startup businesses, and established businesses to come to VISUAL Carlow on October 10th to soak up all of the knowledge that our experienced designers have to offer. For a fee of €75 you can book a consultation hour with a designer of your choice and receive helpful information to enhance and grow your business. Every cent of your €75 goes straight to Aware and you will be raising money for a great cause. The sign up for businesses to book a consultation with one of our experienced designers will be open to everyone from the 30th of August so be sure to book yourself a consultation at the end of the month.
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MindOverMatter IDI
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The aim of the Mind Over Matter event is to put a spotlight on the mental health issues that people struggle with everyday. Currently in Ireland 1 in 10 people are affected by depression. In fact creatives are 25% more likely to experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. By signing up for the Mind Over Matter event you will be helping raise funds and awareness for people who experience mental health issues in Ireland while also receiving beneficial information to help you and your business.


Mind Over Matter is a day of reaching out, creating opportunity, sharing skills and experience while raising money for a great cause.
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A Pop of Colour

We all have a favourite colour. As designers we know that colour is an element that can change how a visual is perceived.

So what’s your favourite colour? If you are like the majority of the population then your favourite colour is blue!

deep blue sea water with white cloud over sky

deep blue sea water with white cloud over sky

Row of colorful flip flops on old weathered blue painted beach decking.  Space for copy.

Row of colorful flip flops on old weathered blue painted beach decking. Space for copy.

Throughout our years working in design we have noticed that there is rarely a probably with the colour blue. However there can often be a problem with the colour green! In particular lime green! People just don’t seem to like that colour!

According to studies we subconsciously decide our favourite colour based on an object or elements around us that are that colour. For example, blue represents fresh water, oceans, and summer skies. This explains why people favour different colours. You favour a colour based on what you associate that colour with.

 

Many people hate the colour yellow also. Which is odd as yellow is often associated with happiness and joy. However a number of studies have shown that yellow can cause dizziness and nausea for this reason it is often used sparingly or strategically in advertisements.

You may even be afraid of certain colours! Chromatophobia refers to an irrantional fear of of certain colours. Have you a fear of any colours??

multicolored-powder-explosion-on-black-background_36326-204

 

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How much text content to use in marketing material?

People are lazy readers

They don’t like reading lots of text.

Keep your text content short and sweet.

a4_flyer_word_count_options

Use headlines and sub headings to get the key message across and try to keep your word count relatively low. This allows readers to easily understand your message. Including your website address will allow potential customers to get more information if they are interested.

The above is easier said than done, you will be eager to give as much information about your company’s service or products as possible – resist the temptation to write 6 pages in word and expect it to fit on a flyer. If you bury your messages in dense text, the reader may simply decide that it will be too much work to even start reading.

You can use the below guide to help you to visualise how different word counts look on an A4 page.

Simply decide which version your target market would be willing to read and work towards that word count for your own content.

Text content of 45 words

Text content of 115 wordsText content of 265 words

 

 

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Alternative to Branded Keep cups

Reusable coffee cups are high in demand at the moment. They are a massive and growing trend. There is a huge push to stop using plastic as it has a massive impact on the environment with 1 million disposable cups ending up in landfills every minute globally.

For this reason, lots of business are trying to get rid of single use plastic cups, by introducing incentives to customers to use reusable cups. This creates an opportunity to create a branded reusable cup and so it works as free advertising. When ordering a branded cup, the wait time can be quite long. Here at AK Graphics we have been working hard to find alternative options to the very popular Keep Cup, which have a wait time of 8-10 weeks.

Sol are an alternative option to Keep cups. Their ethos is “ending waste and embracing taste” They have made a reusable cup that is environmentally friendly and won’t compromise your health. This is a high-quality travel/reusable cup. It is made of glass instead of plastic as plastic can be harmful to the human body. Sol Keep Cups colour range

Example of a Sol cup Example of a Sol cup mockup

This cup is available in a variety of 13 different colours. If you can’t find a colour to match your brand colours a solution would be to pick the white option and print your logo in the correct colours.

These reusable cups are made from Hand-Blown Glass, and are 100% plastic and chemical free.

– Available in 3 different sizes 8oz, 12oz and 16oz
– BPA and Chemical Free
– Safely used in the dishwasher
– Microwave friendly
– All glasses come with a Silicon sleeve and Lid

Sol cups brown and grey Grey Packaging and Sol Cup Brown and Grey Packaging for Sol Cup

Sol reusable cups are delivered in an amazing presentation box. The packaging is eye-catching with a zig zag pattern on the bottom.

Branded reusable coffee cups are a perfect gift. They can be given to employees or clients and act as a constant marketing tool. It is important to order early to ensure we have time to provide you with a branded 3D mock up. The lead time on Sol reusable coffee cups is 6-8 weeks. It is good to get in early to ensure they can be delivered on time especially if you need them for a specific date such as an office party or client meetings or even as a Christmas present. A Sol cup would be a Perfect Christmas gift, be super organised and contact us soon to make sure you get the perfect cup in time for the colder months.

The fact that you are considering getting a reusable coffee cup to replace single use plastic cups is a fantastic decision and we applaud you. Get in contact with us here at AK Graphics to create a branded reusable cup.

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Branded Games for Team Building / Induction Day Activities

Team building / induction games can be customised however you would like in order to fit into your company’s ethos, and relate directly to the culture at your office. 

Team building is important when a new employee joins the company but is also important for existing employees. Most people have been to an awkward induction day at some point in their careers: the icebreaker exercises are tired and overdone and most of the day is filled with paperwork. The key is to make sure the day isn’t all about business and policies; it’s also about team building, engagement and having fun. Make your orientation as innovative as your company is with fun customised games, we have some suggestions below.

    1. Fully Customised Giant Board Game – Floor Snakes and Ladders

Wouldn’t an induction day be more fun if new staff learned about the company by playing a unique branded board game? Of course, it would, and we can make that happen by designing a custom board game the is specific to your company. Here is a giant board game we created for an MSD Carlow for use during induction days. The game was completely customised using the company’s brand colours, logo and bespoke illustrations. The playing cards all include information relevant to the company and the job the new employee would be doing. It is based on the well know game snakes and ladders. The cards correlated to usual rules of ladders leading up the board and snakes moving you back down the board. When the player landed on a snake a card with something negative that could lead to reduced productivity at work was read out. When the player landed on the ladder to climb up the board a positive card was read out that again was in relation to MSD.

Corporate game ranked giant snakes and ladders

The board itself featured custom illustrations, MSD Carlow wanted to promote their location and so we included bespoke illustrations of historic sites and interesting facts about Carlow such as the Dolmen and Carlow’s connection to Elvis.  We also created illustrations that were relevant to the work the company does.

Giant snakes and ladders Ireland

As well as the board itself we created many bespoke elements for the game. One such element was spot prize card holders, these were created as 3D replicas of the MSD logo. As shown below the piece held an envelope with a spot prize card inside.

Bespoke game prize holders Ireland

The spot prize cards were designed to be fun, using bright colours from the MSD brandguideline along with elements from the giant snakes and ladders game.

custom branded game prize card

Another custom element we created to accompany the branded game were game instruction cards. Each card was branded with the MSD logo and colours. If a player landed on a certain space on the board a card would be read out. Two sets of cards were printed, one set for staff and the other set for the person running the induction day.

game cards for corporate game

As a twist to the traditional Snakes and Ladders game with sankes in fixed locations on the board MSD requested “surprise snakes”. The purpose of these snakes during the induction day was to point out how sometimes errors occur that are completely unpredictable. This keeps the players on their toes and reminds them not to be complacent in their roles in the company as at any moment something could go wrong that they would need to deal with. The person running the game could throw in a giant “surprise snake” at any point during the game which would result in a setback for the team. We designed the giant snakes to match the snakes printed on the board. We also ensured they were made to be durable and machine washable. They were branded with small tags which featured the MSD logo and care instructions.

Giant snakes and ladders game design

Another element we produced was an interactive dice. This involved AKGraphics creating graphics to be displayed on an iPad for use during the game.

Branded digital dice design

Custom digital dice design

The final design element used with the corporate board game was a PowerPoint presentation that would be displayed in the background. We created graphics to match the board so that all players could see the progress of the game on a large screen.

Snakes and ladders game screen design

The feedback from our client was great. All of the new employees were happy to get involved with the game and found it very enjoyable. Bespoke corporate board games should be designed with maximum fun in mind and we certainly enjoyed this design project!

Although the end result is fun we ensure that we view each project here in AKGraphics from a practical point of view. This means that we take the time to research different materials and production processes to ensure the end product looks great and is suitable for repeated use. Just some of the practical issues we considered during this project:
Non-slip surface for board
Ease of assemble of board
Ease of storage of all elements
Clear sealant over graphics on board
Lamination on cards to minimise wear and tear
Machine washable snakes
Light team markers for easy movement
Digital Dice to avoid high production cost of large custom dice

Induction day giant game Ireland

During an induction values can be difficult to communicate. By using a game format, you can present your companies values as a fun exercise. Using a customised board game that is customised to your company’s reality is one fun and interesting way to help new and existing employees learn more about the company. You could also choose to completely customise the entire game experience. Having every aspect of the game reference the scenarios an employee may face in their work day.  Making up a unique game with branded dice tokens and even customise the cards shape could help employees to learn and remember important information this is called game-based learning. This is a very interactive and fun way to learn. Gaming to learn is a captivating and interesting means to learn in a working environment, considering how employees get bored of the regular classroom training. To help new employees get to grips with a new company, why not create a bespoke Induction Board Game. By creating a customised game your vision and values will be clear to all – communicating them in a creative and engaging manner helps everyone to remember them. This could be a giant-sized game as per the MSD game above or a standard sized game to be played at a desk.

 

      1. Induction Day Scavenger Hunt

One key part of an induction is usually a tour of the building. Office tours can be pretty boring. Yes, it’s important to know where the printer, canteen and marketing department is. However, it could be engaging and fun. Why not add some fun to the experience by turning a tour into a scavenger hunt? Clues could be provided by current staff so it is a great way to encourage the new staff member to introduce themselves. To facilitate this idea AKGraphics would design and create a custom map of your company’s premises. In addition to the map design we would design bespoke clue cards branded with your company’s corporate identity. The result would be a fun branded scavenger hunt for your company.

 

      1. Branded Drafts / Checkers / Chess Game

If designing a new board game seems overwhelming why not keep it simple? Brand an existing game where only the board and team markers would be branded. We would use your company colours and logo on the board with an option of having the game pieces branded too. Below is an example of the game checkers branded in the company colours and using business relevant game pieces.

Branded game for company games

Image for inspiration only – Design not by AKGraphics

By basing your game on a classic game like chess / drafts / checkers your employees will already be familiar with how to play the game. This speeds up the process and as they are familiar, they will be comfortable and jump straight in. This type of customisation would be quick to design and could be produced relatively quickly here in Carlow.

      1. Customised Connect Four with company logo

Four in a row or Connect Four would be a great corporate branded team building game. The below example is made from wood which give a very high-end look to allow for display in a reception area.

Bespoke giant connect Four Game Ireland

Image for inspiration only – Design not by AKGraphics

      1. Bespoke Guess Who Game

Another classic game which would be perfect for a fun induction activity would be Guess Who. This classic game could be completely customised so that each character would represent a different role in the company. This would be a fun was for new employees to learn about the different activities and roles that people perform in the company. Below is an example of a giant guess who for SSE.

Giant Guess Who Game design Ireland

Image for inspiration only – Design not by AKGraphics

      1. Company Branded Spin the Wheel

Another element that could add some fun to your team building or induction activities is a branded spin to win wheel. This could be customised with your brand colours and any text you would like. It doesn’t have to be a prize wheel; the text could provide information about the company. Here is an example that is branded for Tropicana.

Prize Spin Wheel branded with company logo

Image for inspiration only – Design not by AKGraphics

      1. Corporate Branded Playing Cards

You could choose something more straight forward and small scale by simply branding a deck of cards and encouraging employees to play together at break and lunchtimes, this would encourage employees to bond. We would brand each card with your company logo on the back of each card with the option to further brand and customise the face of each card.

Branded Playing cards with company logo

Image for inspiration only – Design not by AKGraphics

Team building is not just for new employees even the best teams can benefit from team building exercises; they’re a great way of improving communication, morale, motivation, productivity, helping employees to get to know each other better, and learning about one’s strengths and weaknesses. Team building activities can be used by any business, large or small, to promote better teamwork in the workplace, and as most business owners and managers know, great teamwork is one of the key factors associated with a company’s success.

Team building / induction games can be customised however you would like in order to fit into your company’s ethos, and relate directly to the culture at your office. Depending on the nature of your company, different games may work for you better than others. Get in touch with us to discuss even more ideas. Working together we can create customised solutions for your company that enhance training through the use of game-based learning. Get in touch with AKGraphics today. Contact Anne on 059 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

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Graphic Design for the Equine Industry in Ireland

Do you require creative innovative effective graphics for your equine industry based company or organisation?

Or do you need to up your game in relation to your current graphics for your equestrian service offering?
When choosing a graphic design company knowing that they have experience in your industry can help save time and money.
With over 24 years’ experience, we know a thing or two about offering a one-of-a-kind, tailored and personal approach that fits our customers’ needs. AKGraphics serves a wide range of markets but have a particular interest in producing high quality graphic design for the equine industry. With clients all over Ireland, AKGraphics are proud to be associated with some well know names such as Weatherbys Ireland, the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association and P.A. Solutions.

AKGraphics create creative design solutions specific to the equine industry that will appeal to your particular target market. We listen to our customers and we ensure that we understand their requirements before we begin any design projects. This approach results in a design solution that is above and beyond the current industry standard.

Whether you require a design for a logo, a race card advert, an online advertisement or large graphics for a show or horse truck consider AKGraphics for your professional equine graphics.

Below you’ll find examples of professional artwork AKGraphics created for some of our equine clients.

Punchestown is an important time in the equine calendar, Weatherbys Ireland required a race card advert design, screen graphics and promotional pull up banners for this event. Obviously before we designed any material for Weatherbys Ireland we made sure we understood the Weatherbys’ brand in full. When working with a new client we request a copy of their brand guideline so that we can review in full. We are then aware of the do’s and dont’s regarding the brand. AKGraphics ensures that our graphics adhere to brand guidelines as this creates consistency across different marketing material. We can improve current graphics but yet not go off direction which is important to remember. The next stage of any project is to gather the correct content. That content should consist of professional horse related photography and well written text. All photography supplied to AKGraphics will be reviewed by us to confirm if the images will scale to the print requirements required. We can also source unique photography for our clients if required. By controlling the imagery used a professional overall look can be achieved for every design. Regarding text content, we will review and read in full first to establish what the key message is. Your intended target market for these specific equine design projects should instantly be aware of your message. Once AKGraphics receives and reviews all of the project elements we can then begin the design presentation proposal for our client, creating some varied design options. In this particular case Weatherbys reviewed and shared the design options with their marketing team. Feedback is then required, AKGraphics welcome our clients feedback on any design presentation, as you the customer know your business inside-out and AKGraphics are the visual communicators to represent you in a way that reflects your business and services. Upon written approval of the chosen design concepts for the Weatherbys Ireland Race Card Advert, Screen Graphics and Pull Up Banners we then prepared the final artwork for the chosen printer plus provided final PDFs for email or web purposes. Producing visual results that represent Weatherbys Ireland in a professional manner in the Irish Horse Racing world was an interesting and creative process. Looking forward to partnering with Weatherbys Ireland in the near future.

Weatherbys Race Card Design by AKGraphics
Pullup banners for Weatherbys

AKGraphics build ongoing relationships with our equine clients, like any business trust is required in developing successful partnerships. AKGraphics work with many businesses to become their chosen graphic design company. We also partner with some businesses by offering an overflow service, these companies have in-house design teams but use AKGraphics on a regular basis to work on the overflow of design projects that can be required at busy times. The design and marketing departments in these companies trust the experienced AKGraphics team with their brand, safe in the knowledge that we will deliver on time and on budget. As you can imagine, this means that AKGraphics are just as comfortable working within existing brand guidelines as we are creating new ones.

Pull up Banner for Equine Industry Ireland

Another equine design project recently completed by AKGraphics, working in partnership with P.A.Solutions, was for IRTA Champions Dinner 2018. While P.A. Solutions role was event management for the IRTA, AKGraphics designed the detailed programme for The Champions Dinner plus the promotional wide pull up banners used for press photography on the night. AKGraphics also designed the detailed slide presentation which was displayed on the widescreen backdrop for the night, which consisted of roughly 90 different slides in total. This slick slide presentation was very visually enticing for the audience on the night, highlighting the many different equine awards and sponsors. Awards consisted of Champion & Leading National Hunt, Champion Trainer, Champion Jockey, Champion Apprentice, Champion Conditional Rider, Champion Amateur Rider, Champion Lady Amateur Rider, Leading Flat Owner, Champion Flat Jockey, Champion Flat Trainer, Champion National Hunt, Champion & Leading National Hunt Trainer and Champion Amateur Rider. The top talent of the Irish Racing world was recognised by the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association so it was essential that the graphic design reflected the professional and celebratory nature of the event.

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Equine Event Background Design for IRTA

Equine Pull up banner design for IRTA

Other design work completed on behalf of P.A. Solutions includes design for business cards for the IRTA, a generic advert design for P.A. Solutions for use in various programmes etc., a pull up banner for P.A. Solutions and a promotional A5 brochure for the IRTA for the ITBA Expo 2018 in Goffs Sales Complex, Kildare.

IRTA Business Card design and Brochure design
A truly comprehensive 2018 Thoroughbred Wall Planner for P.A. Solutions was designed to A1 size as a double sided informative wall planner that highlights Ireland & UK equine events such as Race meetings in Ireland & UK, Point to Points, Horse Sales in Tattersalls Ireland & UK, Goresbridge, Goffs Ireland & UK, Arqana and Keeneland. Each event description on this wall planner is colour coded so that it is easier for the user to view each event per month. This is a great promotional tool for P.A. Solutions to distribute to its equine customers.
Equine events wall planner Ireland

Equine events wall planner Ireland PA Solutions

Horse feed packaging for Equine Industry

AKGraphics have also redesigned the full packaging range for Gain Horse Feeds. For more information on the Gain Horse Feed packaging please click here.

AKGraphics provides bespoke design services for the equine industry, whether you are involved in Racecourses, Bloodstock Services, Showjumping, Breeding, Horses & Racing, Bloodstock Reports, Registration of Horses, Importing & Exporting of Horses or Racing News we will certainly be able to assist you. Just give us a call or email us to discuss your equine design requirement anne@akgraphics.ie 059-9133633.

AKGraphics service offering for the equestrian industry includes:

Brochure or Programme Design
Pull Up Banners
Exterior Banners
Display Graphics
Screen Graphics
PowerPoint Graphics
Sponsorship Graphics
Graphics for Trade Shows
Advertising – Print & Online Advertising
Leaflets or Flyers
Invitations
Menus
Flag Design
Brand Identity
Corporate Stationery
Campaign Graphics
Marketing Collateral
Promotional Material
Vehicle Livery
Reports
Annual Reports
Publications
Bespoke Requirements
Pitch Presentations in PowerPoint
Graphics for Social Media
Graphics for Web Banners

 

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