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The Australian Labor Party: #BrandParty

The Australian Labor Party: #BrandParty


Posted By on Oct 10, 2016

In my position as Senior Designer at Cannings Purple, I investigated the roles that branding has played in Australian Politics and elections over the past five decades:   Video Notes: Welcome to Party Branding,  Where we at Cannings Purple, take a look at Australian Political branding over the last five decades. Welcome and thanks for watching. This week, we’re going to take a look at the Australian Labor party and it’s branding over the past five decades. 1970s Labor The earliest logo I could find for the Australian Labor Party was the one here in the background, behind Gough. It’s utilitarian to say the least. A conservative early 70s Labor Party with quite a plain brand. But in the foreground, we see another brand: one much more exciting. Gough Whitlam. Gough Whitlam was the Kevin07 of the 70’s. He was Gough72. Gough americanised his campaign bringing youthful exuberance and celebrity endorsement and his famous jingle to Australian Politics. For the first time, an election campaign looked more like an advertising campaign. The Labor Party’s “It’s time” campaign and jingle was filled with celebrities. Repositioning the Labor brand from old-fashioned to modern, cutting edge and optimism for the future. The “It’s time” campaign was adapted from Sir Robert Menzies of the Liberal party, but Other campaigns in this decade include. “Whitlam: He’s so much better” , “Give Australia the go ahead” and “Get Australia Working” Messages and branding targeting women voters started to appear from this era onwards. The popular Gough Whitlam brand (together here with Little Patti) propelled the Labor brand to great heights in the early and mid 70s – but the Labor brand crashed with him as Malcolm Fraser and the LNP rose to power. 1980s Labor New decade, a new brand for the Australian Labor Party. In early 80s they ditched their initials for their full name in their logo, above the flag. The use of the flag initially raised quite a few eyebrows. Now of course, it’s been done to death and I’ve seen many brands with the Australian flag in it somewhere – but only political parties can really pull it off, and labor were the first. The branding became consistent in look and message. Big, bold, block type in their campaign flyers and bumper stickers helped create a brand that was solid, consistent and strong. Campaigns of the Hawke era include, “Bringing Australia together” “Put Australia First” and “Lets stick together. Let’s see it through”. Catchy headlines and slogans are great, but they can backfire. Liberal’s Andrew Peacock once stated: “The Answer is Liberal” and the Prime Minister Bob Hawke shot back “If the answer...

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We live in a world in which even the smallest tweak to a user interface, from Apple’s new design for its Music app, to the way a brand communicates on social media, can create millions of online shares and virtual column inches. User experience (UX) done well can create reputational kudos. Done badly, it can frustrate and anger your customers and clients. What is User Experience? User experience is any method by which a customer or prospective customer interacts with your brand to accomplish tasks. This is generally through a user interface, via an app, website, smart phone or helpdesk. If a customer is approaching your business with a specific goal in mind, the ease with which they achieve that goal is a measure of the success of the user experience. And it’s becoming increasingly important in our connected, digital world. Frustrating user experiences can create negative PR… or worse. When Facebook changed its interface in 2009, many users became frustrated. Plenty voiced their concerns through Facebook pages and groups (apparently immune to the irony of their platform of choice). The #bringbackoldfacebook hashtag was born and numerous articles were written on tech blogs about the issue. Luckily for Facebook, there wasn’t a similar service with better UX waiting in the wings and it lived to see additional (and better) UX changes over the years. This is in contrast to MySpace, for example which was killed off partly because of its clunky user experience by… Facebook! All of this can be challenging for companies which are still getting used to playing in the digital space. Bad user experience seems particularly obvious on digital platforms and so these companies should focus on making the use of these new services as efficient and easy as possible. Brilliant user experiences are essential to capturing Millennial markets Millenials are growing in their consumer power. There are now more millennials in America than Baby Boomers, a demographic reversal which happened in April. Millennials are getting older, earning more and becoming more mature in their tastes (Pokémon Go excluded). Brand sentiment isn’t usually inherited from one generation to the next, so just because parents are willing to put up with a clunky online banking experience doesn’t mean their kids won’t vote with their feet and find a better one. And of course, it isn’t just established brands which need to improve their UX. Uber’s much discussed business model is driven by a significantly improved user experience as much as anything else. If using your business services becomes too cumbersome (or the opportunity to access them doesn’t even exist online) Millennials in particular will tweet, blog, Snapchat and Facebook their discontent before moving to...

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Ive been lucky enough to style several Intranet sites over the years, and here are some of the tips I’ve picked up that I wished I knew a long time ago. 1. Code inside your browser using Developer Tools. Using the developer tools provided by your browsers, editing inside your browser is the fastest and easiest way to change those styles. It’s much faster than any other method, and you can see changes on the fly. I recommend using Chrome and Firefox Developer Tools – as they seem to display cleaner styles. 2. Use Advanced CSS Selectors Targeting the right div in your code can be really tricky, it helps to have some top notch selector skills under your belt. Here are some handy ones to get up to speed on: A. Selecting an Element by the end or beginning of it’s ID Sharepoint doesn’t make life easy. What looks like this one day: #MSOZoneCell_WebPartctl00_m_g_df2dc21f_a6ed_4272_8f13_bca4f5a7f9de Quickly changes into something else, breaking your styles. But you’ll notice that the start of the div is the same… Get around those pesky Sharepoint generated IDs by selecting their ending or beginning. Select an element that starts with MSOZoneCell div[id^=’MSOZoneCell’] { } Select an element that ends with MSOZoneCell div[id$=’MSOZoneCell’] { } You can change the [id$=’ ‘] to [class$=’ ‘] if needs be as well. B. Select element by it’s Title. Sometimes you want to modify a particular Webpart, but not others. How? Through selecting the title. Select Element by Title td[title|=”Webpart Title”] { } C. Selecting sibling elements Sometimes the easiest way to select an element, is to select the element adjacent to it. For the code: <div> <div class=”ms-topnav>text</div> <p> more text</p> </div> Select the ID-less and CLASS-less P tag  .ms-topnav + p { } These are just some examples of selectors I have used on a recent project, there are others! 3. Fresh CSS file Pretty basic stuff really, make sure your override.css file is located last in the list of referenced css files in the master page. Don’t overwrite any preexisting css files, because they will get overwritten at update time, wasting your good work! 4. Design wise I’m more of a designer than a coder. The temptation is always to show your client something amazing, but that will give you endless trouble to implement. Consider your skill set, and budget before commencing. 5. Backup regularly This goes without saying – but create regular backups and name them, just incase something goes terribly wrong. I like to have one at the end of every day. 6. Make your code clear to read CSS files for me often end...

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2013 Infographic

2013 Infographic


Posted By on Dec 18, 2013

A great many thanks to all my clients, developers, partners, printers and supporters for a great 2013. Here’s an infographic displaying some of how I’ve spent my time this year… a bit of fun for the end of...

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Email Signature / Footer Tips

Email Signature / Footer Tips


Posted By on Nov 5, 2013

  Your email signature is a marketing opportunity. Your original email may be forwarded, or carbon copied to someone who has never heard of your business before. Or, when making first contact with a customer, a professional looking email signature, can create the impression that your business is also professional – and potentially seal the deal.   Make a list of the information to include Obvious things like, contact phone numbers, email address, website URL, your name and your business name seem like common sense – but it’s amazing how easy it can be to finish your email signature and discover you’ve forgotten something vitally important. As the footer is at the bottom of the email – you can really make it as long as you like. So you can include your products and services – or a latest special offer – or an up-sell for existing customers.   You don’t need to know HTML I won’t lie to you, a little HTML knowledge will come in handy, but it is not essential. As most businesses use Microsoft Outlook, (which doesn’t believe in listening to your code anyway) Microsoft Word can be used to edit and create an adequate email signature. If you want something really fancy, then you’re going to need some fancy HTML and CSS code.   So where do I start? Colours, Fonts and Layout. If you already have a branding kit / style guide – then use the colours and fonts specified in there. But bear in mind that not every device will have your specific font – so choose one that’s either very close, or very neutral. Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Verdana and Trebuchet are the most widely supported neutral fonts. They should be able to be viewed on any device. You can view a full list of fonts supported in apple mobile devices, here. Android devices will likely convert your font to theirs anyway, so there is nothing much you can do except to test and see how it will look.   To edit your signature for Outlook 2007, go through the following menus | Message (tab)| Include (group)| Signatures |  And finally, click Signatures. You can create, or modify signatures from within here. To edit your signature for Outlook 2010 & 2013, go through the following menus | create a new Message | Include (group) | Signature | and then click Signatures. You should arrive at a screen similar to the Office 2010/2013 screen below, where you can create a new signature, edit an existing one and paste your signature from Microsoft Word.   Design tips Images can be inserted using...

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Top 20 Welcome Pages From the 90s

Top 20 Welcome Pages From the 90s


Posted By on Sep 20, 2013

In the 90s, if your brand was big and important, you could show off by having a welcome page. Characterized by little text, pretty images and a big “enter here” button – these welcome pages were horrible for search engines – but because you don’t need to be searched for if you are “Coca Cola”, you could get away with it. Today, 0f course, if you want to be found on the internet, welcome pages are a big no no. Search Engines hate them, and your Google Ranking will be punished. Thanks to the wayback machine, here are 20 of the top welcome and landing pages from the big brands of the 90s, in no particular order.   20. Coca Cola. Designed by their ad agency, it looks nice, but fails SEO.   19. Adidas. Pictures, pictures, pictures – but no text. At least it had a menu   18. Lego. Made by my little brother for a primary school computer project, Technically not a welcome page.   17. Sony. It’s a, errr Sony. It’s probably the best example from this period of “good looks” and usable content for Search Engines.   16. Qantas. Qantas choosing a combination approach: with the initial page view being quite pretty, but filled with text beneath, to enhance SEO.   15. Atari. The 80s icon, together with Jagwire (a cable company) trying to keep up appearances in the 90s.   14. Hewlett-Packard Do you remember when a screen resolution of 640×480 was the norm? HP remembers.   13. Sega The classic welcome page approach from Sega, little information for users on this screen. Luckily they had heaps of gold rings to spend on upgrading it in the years ahead.   12. The BBC Compared to today, the BBC’s front page is stark and nakedly minimalist.   11. IBM Surprisingly, the tech giant did not feel the need to have much branding on their welcome page, although they do have lead stories.(some images are missing from this page)   10. US Robotics My 56K US Robotics modem helped me play online, although I could never get enough speed out of my phone line.   09. Umbro Umbro was a really big brand in the 90s, but they weren’t big enough to finish their website. “Under Construction”  is web developer speak for, “I’ll get to it one day”. To be fair, they eventually did.   08. Casio I loved my Casio watch in year 7, and the coolest kid in school had a Calculator watch, by Casio. At least the Casio welcome page was colourful.   07. Nokia The Nokia 5110 was the ultimate phone...

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