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About us

DESIGN

Your brand is the face of your company, at WonDesigns your look is our business. It’s not only about looking good, designs need to speak directly to your customers. Good design is a key investment for the future of your business. We excel at:

  • Flyers, brochures and posters
  • Websites and digital designs
  • Infographs and advertising
  • Office wall graphics and event displays

PROCESS

We understand how busy you are, as experts in the industry, we do everything we can to streamline the process for you. From assisting you on the brief, to prompting on requirements, our process is designed to ensure clarity wherever possible:

  • Constant collaboration
  • We ask the right questions
  • Your deadline is our deadline
  • Always assisting with solutions

PRICING

We are very proud of our honest approach which is reflected in our no nonsense pricing structure. We quote per job, including an allowance for changes*. This way there are no unwanted surprises, we offer:

  • Clear unit pricing
  • Quotes include 2 rounds of changes*
  • Payment installments options

*Where possible

Our Portfolio

Testimonials

Meet the WonDesigns team

Caren Johnstone

Caren Johnstone

Director / Designer


Direct dial: +44(0)20 3823 8147
Mobile: +44(0)78 0569 8680

Alison James

Alison James

Senior Graphic Designer


Direct dial: +44(0)20 3823 8149

Siobhan Mitchell

Siobhan Mitchell

Middleweight Graphic Designer


Direct dial: +44(0)20 3823 8150

Tania Vicedo Molto

Tania Vicedo Molto

Graphic Designer & Illustrator


Direct dial: +44(0)20 3823 8151

Keith Alleyne

Keith Alleyne

Accountant


Mobile: +44(0)7929 054782

Kofi Amoakohene

Caroline Alleyne

Administrative coordinator


Direct dial: +44(0)20 3823 8152

Jane Awesome

Marion Colloby

Recruiter


Office number: +44(0)20 3823 8148

Blog

Responsive Design

Q: What is this?

A: A website that adapts its size on different devices

It is vital that your website changes the layout of its content on all devices (this includes tablet, desk tops and mobile phones). A non-responsive website will at best damage the user experience, at worst it will be struck of google search on specific devices.


Parallax

Q: What is this?

A: An effect where the background moves slower than the foreground

This design technique has become a popular trend among website designers. As you navigate your way through the webpage, the background image stays still or moves slower while the foreground continues to scroll, this gives the user a new experience of the website with each scroll they make.


Card Based layout

Q: What is this?

A: Rectangles with bite sized information

The cards concept was pioneered by social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter and has proven effective due to the content being light, easy to read and visually appealing. A great example of card based layouts is Netflix.


Animated Headers – Gifs and Animations

Q: What is this?

A: Animation that plays on a website, usually on the top banner

Animation is a great way to add impact on a website, often it is used to evoke emotion from the user: humour, anger or joy, this is key in web communication. Additionally, as we are all bombarded with content, it is a refreshing break from reading lengthy copy. As the saying goes "a picture speaks a thousand words". Click here for an example


Video Based Headers

Q: What is this?

A: Video that plays on a website, usually on the top banner

Much like animation and gifs on a website, videos have the same effect, always to be used in moderation. Too much of this can cause the site to become repetitive and noisy. Click here for an example


Loading Animations

Q: What is this?

A: Animation that plays while the page loads

Designers and developers are keen to use fun ways to hold the interest of users. The "wheel of death" or a blank page can often turn potential users/clients away. Using loading animations or animated 404 error pages can compensate for a slow page loading and user errors. If you’re really cleaver (or able), use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your service / product offerings.


Sliders and Galleries

Q: What is this?

A: A banner with images and copy that rotates continuously

Full paged banners, sliders or galleries have become very popular with websites. It’s a great way summarise your business or promote core values of your business or personality. Click here for an example


Long Scroll

Q: What is this?

A: A webpage that seems to be never ending

With the move towards browsing websites on your mobile phone, users now expect to scroll – in days gone by this kind of website would be a massive fail. Click here for an example

When using this design technique, it’s very important to break up the sections with colour, images or animations so as not to flood the user with content. Space and breathing gaps are the way forward.

A short web page layout, (using the ‘above the fold’ rule) has limited scrolling and is short and sweet. Bear in mind that fitting a lot of content inside a limited space can be tricky, so depending on the amount of content and purpose, a longer webpage may be required. Always consider the user, you want to keep them engaged, so watch out for extremely long websites becoming boring - especially if it’s all just copy.

Ask yourself, "For how long am I willing to scroll?"

Flat Design

Q: What is this?

A: Simplifying an interface by removing extra elements that create a 3d look

This minimalistic approach to User Interface (UI) design. It’s a way of design that allows you to take away all the unneeded clutter that may be distracting the users experience. This technique is he complete opposite to the old school ‘skeuomorphic design’ which is when something is designed to look like it’s real life counterpart. By using bright colours and clean, sharp designs, flat design has proven to be an effective way to draw the users’ attention to what’s important. Click here for an example

We all know there are many forms of design: interior; architecture; fashion; game; industrial; landscape; product; urban and even sound and of course Graphic and Web (to name a few). There are a lot of differences between them, in particular the material used. The one thing all design does have in common is their purpose.

DESIGN IS THE ART OF DRAWING THE RIGHT KIND OF ATTENTION WHEN CREATING NECESSARY VISUALS TO BE VISUALLY PLEASING.

Says Caren, Director of WonDesigns.


TO MAKE OR DRAW PLANS FOR SOMETHING, FOR EXAMPLE CLOTHES OR BUILDINGS.

The Cambridge dictionary describes design


People like to refer to 'what separates humans from other animals'; design is definitely one of them. As humans, we appreciate form and flow around good functionality. Often the viewer doesn’t even realize how much they are enjoying the design of something, until they are faced with something visually unpleasing. Take the iphone for example; incredibly ground breaking in its function, but its form, oh the design of it is absolutely spot on – the use of classic colours, clean features and pleasing curves all the way round the hardware and software. Design has always been a part of our lives in some form of another, but not always with the same motivation. During world war two, the arts and 'design' of beauty was a way of escape, people enjoyed going to theatre and went to great lengths to preserve all forms of art. Design of posters and propaganda was used to recruit young men to war. There is the famous Lord Kitchener poster "Wants YOU". A hugely influential image and slogan, it has also inspired imitations in other countries, from the United States to the Soviet Union.

In the 1020s the American architect, Louis Sullivan coined the phrase “form follows function”, this changed the way design was perceived and the purpose thereof. Design is never (or should never) be about pointless embellishing and ornamentation. Not to say that embellishment and ornamentation is pointless, but rather that when a creative is designing, every angle, shape, colour has a purpose – even if it is simply for balance of the piece or to draw your eye to a certain section. You may think some areas of a design have no purpose, to test it, take it away or cover it up. If the design no longer works, it had a function. If it no longer works, the design had a function. If the design is better or unaffected by the change, it should never have been there in the first place. This means that the designed piece was not well thought through and designed in the first place. You may have heard that good design is achieved not by what else you can put in, but rather that you can’t take another thing out. Simplicity works pretty much every time.

This now brings me to branding – the purpose of design cannot be mentioned without including branding. Let's for arguments sake, say all businesses have beautiful, clean, modern and balanced design. What is missing? Individuality! The propose of design HAS to be about more than just beautiful design, uplifting the function of a visual. It HAS to take into account what makes you different / unique. Your design also HAS to fit you into your specific industry and target audience. We expect to see colours used for certain industries, medical designs are generally orange, blue and green – never black! Large finance corporates favour blues and greys with accents of other colours – never bright and leery. Child targeted designs are the bright multi coloured colours – never dark and crisp. They all have their own set of design ‘rules’. It is then within these rules you then create individuality. Maybe you push the boundaries a little or a lot if your client wants to create a bit of a stir. But never alienate your audience – this is the opposite of design. Design has to give one message for all views if it is to be seen as a strong piece of design. I will leave you with some inspirational quotes:

Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.

– Paul Rand


Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.

– Steve Jobs


Good design is good business.

– Thomas J. Watson Jr

So often a website is treated as a 'begrudged purchase'. The business owner understands they need to have one to 'show that they are a viable business'. This business owner goes to the nearest web company and pays the minimum price and gets the minimum of what is available. Sadly, this has left the World Wide Web full of very sad looking websites, taking up valuable cyber space and hurting the viewer’s eyes.

Or, how about websites that are born from a novice; someone who loves the idea and enjoys building the website. They work on it day and night, pouring over it asking everyone what they think. The problem with this novice is that they're often very young, driven by enthusiasm rather than any experience in layout or user experience, let alone, business acumen.

Then you get the template delivered websites, some more successful than others. Some of these do-it-yourself website builders really wanted to have the logo in the middle, but couldn't find out how to do it, so had to leave it on the left. They don't know how to change some images so they're left with hearts on a corporate website. Here again, there will be gap of content and flow, not so much that the site builder didn't think to put it up but more so that they didn't know how to.

Building a website is not as easy as 1 2 3. Any person or company telling you that is trying to sell you something that you most probably will regret. To have a functional, visually pleasing and user friendly website takes an expert and time. Here are some important elements vital to any website:

  1. Working domain name

  2. The aim is to have the same domain name as your company. It is confusing to a client if your company name is Design Genius and your domain name is designersingenius.com. These days it is very common to find a domain name that is available (good luck) to purchase, and then use for your company name. This will help your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your site and synergy of your business. User-friendly navigation Content and imagery needs to flow from page to page in an ordered manner that makes sense and should be clearly visible. If you confuse or irritate your clients with dysfunctional navigation they will quickly move on elsewhere. If you have more links than you can fit on your navigation, either use the drop menu (where you have grouped links as a list under the main link) or move less important links into the footer.
  3. Prioritise your content

  4. Place your most important information, for example: what your company does and how you do it, "above the fold". This term refers to the screen space before you have to start scrolling. In the 'old days' (at the birth of internet until about three years ago) websites were designed so that pretty much no scrolling was necessary. Now, with the invention of smart phones and tablets, users are used to, and even expect to scroll – so much so that when a user first opens a site, they instinctively start to scroll (try it yourself). But still the prime real estate on a website is the area above the fold, and this will probably never change. If your business relies on clients phoning, put that right on top in your header above your navigation. This will mean users can always get hold of you regardless of what page they on as the header is always there, clearly displayed and easily accessed.
  5. Keep it clean

  6. I'm not talking about your language; though that is also a very good point let's talk about that for a minute. Clients can find it unprofessional or even offensive if you use inappropriate language. If you think you're off beat and use swear words, you will be blocked off many search engines, specifically if your user has a child filter on their computer. It's just not worth it, rather keep your language professional at all times. What I was actually referring to was to get rid of unnecessary clutter, including images and copy. Not only will this optimise the performance of your website, it will look visually pleasing. If your website is rammed with information and clashing colours, a website that could otherwise be exciting and engaging, puts the client off as it seems like a chore in itself to read anything.
  7. Contact information

  8. How frustrating is it when you go to a website and you actually like what you see and would like to pick up the phone and call someone (call me old fashioned) or open your email and white to them? Annoyingly you either can't find the link, or you can but when you get there all you get is an online form. NO! I don't want to fill out an online form – I want to have a record of what I wrote and I want to know your actual email address, is that too much to ask… If a potential client wants to call you and you don't have a phone number clearly displayed, that may lose you a possible lead. Very large organisations often do this on purpose as they don't want to be called, especially if they offering a mass services – they keep directing you to some nasty form. I am not saying don't have a form, on the contrary, definitely have a form, which is excellent for your websites SEO presence. What I am saying is give you clients a choice, they want to be able to call you, email you, visit you, or just know they can do those things makes them feel more confident about your businesses credibility.
  9. Show that your business is real

  10. Your potential clients are using your website as a substitute to your office reception. They want to know that you are actual people - people want to deal with people even in this age of technology, or maybe because of this technology age. There are so many ways to show your business personality, from your design through to your content. Don't underestimate the value of adding images of you and your team, even your office if you operate from one. This shows that you exist in skin and bone or bricks and mortar. This develops trust with the client who will know that you are not a con artist using the web to spread your disease. Testimonials are also excellent to portray that you are a viable well-liked business. Coming from your current clients who have shared their positive experience with you, is invaluable information to potential clients.
  11. Mobile and tablet friendly websites

  12. We all know this is something all websites need to be, but they often aren't. If your website isn't mobile friendly and your business is goggled on a phone, it is penalised!

"Google announced that effective april 21, 2015, it will update its search algorithm so that comparable mobile sites will rank higher than non-mobile friendly sites in mobile search results"

– Googles' message is clear: if your current website isn't mobile friendly it will drop in Googles' mobile search results.

It is a relevant question and it needs thought before settling on an answer. You may ask yourself why would you want to spend money when you can do it for free? That is often the first incorrect question to ask. It's not the question itself that is incorrect, but rather the belief that if you do it yourself it is free. Do you not bill an hourly rate? What is your hourly rate valued at? Then add the hours up that you have used up designing a flyer yourself and see how much it actually cost you.

All right, let's say you 'laid out' your flyer (sorry, I can't bring myself to call it 'design' when it is not) in only 1 hour and your average hourly rate is £60, pretty quick (and probably not possible but let’s use this as a starting point). Hang on, there is another cost, the cost of brand damage. Every time a business puts out anything that has the company name on it – it is either gaining or losing, be it clients, brand strengthening or getting your foot in the door. If your quick flyer does not draw interest from potential clients due to the lack of professionalism, it means you have lost that opportunity. The business world is tough enough without adding loss of potential growth simply due to not wanting to spend an extra £90 on a professional flyer.

There is always a time and place for using do-it-yourself methods. I used to have a burning dislike of the concept, but I have since had a change of heart. Do-it-yourself sites are excellent for new businesses that have zero disposable income and just need to get 'something’ at this point 'anything is better than nothing'. Your next step? You need business cards and can’t afford or don’t know who to turn to for the design. You spend (let's be honest) 4 hours putting your business card together, never mind about that time lost / unbilled. Ah yes, that will do. Like Ryan Air, each request you make is an added cost: you want delivery? That will be extra. Oh, you need it on card and not flimsy paper? Get your wallet out. You need them in 2 days time? A little more money please… Still it seems worth it. The cards come and you pretty pleased with yourself.

Fast-forward one year in time, you have been trading and developing a client base and maybe even hired a small team as part of your growth. Now you and your clients have expectations. Your clients expect to see your visual elements looking like the professional company they are dealing with. You realize you have no clear branding or unique identity. You don’t actually know how to make your logo more inspiring or lay out your business card so it reflects your host of offerings. Your 1 page website that once had everything you need now looks embarrassingly armature and no longer matches what your business stands for. This is the time to invest in Design.

Chat to your designer about your business; discuss what you are doing now, and also what you expect to do next year, or even the year after next. Get the most out of your designs by future proofing as much as you possibly can. If you have some business offerings that you know are not going to be continuing on for much longer, don’t put them in a brochure that you know will take you a year to hand out. Decide where your spend will be best suited. It could be worth designing a strong logo and focusing on your website, and then moving onto print at a later stage.

If it is your website that needs focus first, keep in mind that you will have to put in time with the designer for content and concepts. A designer is there to work along side you to bring your ideas to life, not only for you. You know your business best – no one else should be tasked with designing and inserting copy for your website without your regular approval and input. I am not saying you should hold the designers hand or worse still direct every section of the website, it is more a collaborative relationship. Designers aren’t copywriters. Don't learn this the hard way and find you have just spent a whole lot of pervious income on a website that looks good but doesn't have the right content in the right hierarchy. A good designer will make sure you add your input and not use your website to try new techniques that excites them.

To answer the question as to when it is a good time to hire a designer, it is the same answer to the question "when is it time to buy a new pair of jeans?". The answer could be when you have outgrown them - when fashion has changed and you are the only one wearing bell-bottoms when everyone else is wearing skinny jeans. When the jeans just don’t fit right any more or you find yourself in a new phase of life – you’re more into your relaxed fit rather than the super tight ones that your rocked in your earlier years. When your peers laugh at your lack of style…

The point I am trying to make is, you will know – the sooner the better but it isn’t always possible, so do it as soon as you feel the time is right, then move quickly. The valuable next step is finding a designer that you relate to and relates to you. It is imperative that they are available to you. An excellent designer that you can never get hold of is of no use to a busy growing company. Do-it-yourself if you must, but the saying is true for design too: buy cheap, buy twice

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Call: +44(0)203 823 8147

Visit: Suite 208, Level 2, 46/50 Coombe Road, New Malden KT3 4QF
(Entrance on Chestnut Grove)

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