Manifesto

Design is a dialogue

Good design is far more than pretty pictures—it’s a way to communicate. Using discernment when choosing visual metaphors is like developing a visual shorthand which resonates with a specific audience. When the audience’s point of view is central to the design process, the visual language cuts through quickly with impact.

Story is king

It’s no good having a great looking website or brochure if the content is vague, poorly scripted or lacking. Shelley works together with clients to ensure the best possible content is brought together so the design piece not only looks professional, but also gives the audience the “meat” they need.

Authenticity builds trust

If a brand’s visual language and verbal language don’t match up—the audience is likely to notice. It’s an implicit message with strong ramifications: an inconsistent brand can come across as hypocritical, or worse – clueless. We work together to find a brand’s authentic, confident and consistent voice.

Branding is more sophisticated than a simple logo

It’s a common misconception that branding begins and ends with a company’s logo. Logos are a small detail of a much larger picture, we call the “brand”. Regardless of whether a business has intentionally invested in their corporate communications, every business has a brand. How the business is perceived by passers-by, customers, and employees informs the brand. If it is perceived (rightly or wrongly) as being sloppy, unprofessional or out of touch, we need to work together to reimagine ways that the business will be known for its best qualities: with excellent customer service, solid values, and worthwhile products. We achieve this with all parts of our presentation—not just the logo.

Elevate with detail

Quality research, iteration and polish sets designs apart. Shelley’s thorough approach and keen eye for detail elevate her work to a classic style. This means that your designs may have a longer shelf life compared to others which too easily slave to fashion.

Less is best

In a world of information overload, we need to cut through the noise. We must be succinct with our visual message if we are going to have impact. N.B. If you try to emphasise everything, you will end up emphasising nothing.

Consistency is key

Consistency is important building a strong, trustworthy and recognisable brand. When designs are implemented in a sloppy manner, the implicit message is that the business is unprofessional, unreliable and untrustworthy. When logos, colours, and the overall ethos of a brand is carried through all marketing collateral, signage, and customer service, customers often feel more confident that they can rely on the brand to offer quality products and service.

Strategic design is audience-savvy

This cannot be stressed enough—a smart design is crafted to resonate with the needs, values, tastes and aspirations of the target audience. It’s a rookie move to say a product or service is “for [specific audience goes here]” without taking the time to walk around in our audience’s shoes. It takes a great deal of self-awareness and discipline to set aside our own needs, values, tastes and aspirations in order to sincerely approach our audience with empathy. When we truly see our product through our audience’s eyes, then we are able to speak to them with appropriate visual metaphors.

Listen. Discern. Engage.

It all comes back to the brief. Listening carefully to a clients’ vision and needs from the get-go is the key to creating a great design. Shelley spends time one-on-one with clients before she starts creating artwork to understand as many facets of the project and business as possible. She finds that a bit of extra research at the start of a project pays off in dividends by the end.

Joy is co-creation with the Creator

Central to Shelley’s practice is her Christian worldview. The first 2 chapters of the bible (Genesis 1 and 2) paint a picture of a divine being who is intrinsically creative: who made humanity to be like Him, and to create with Him with the help of the Holy Spirit. This context offers a spiritual dimension to Shelley’s approach, as she considers her creative ability a God-inspired gift. Communicating truth with beauty, is one of the ways she chooses to radiate God’s goodness.