This is a regular challenge for graphic designers. Taking something that is less than inspiring and turning it into something that engages, excites and evokes a reaction. As much as we’d like to work on briefs for Nike or Audi every day of the week, the reality of a career in design is that most briefs are seemingly a lot more “run of the mill”. Part of the job is to refuse to be beaten into submission by this factor and search for the source of interest that will be hidden in every brief.
No matter how mundane a brief appears on the face of things, there will be a golden nugget of interest hidden away, just waiting for an eager designer to discover it and build a creative narrative around it. Here at Design Pit, we preach our talk, listen, learn approach to design briefs, sitting down with our clients to discuss, at length, what they do, how they do it and why. This is a process we go through frequently in order to understand the driving motives in our client’s psyche. Understanding why our clients set up to do what they do generally, leads us to the unearthing of a hidden gem that gives us our angle to build our designs and messaging around.
And this is exactly what we did recently with a new client, Lindstrom. We were fortunate enough that divisional head John Lloyd had worked with us before and knew how we approached projects like this, so he’d done a bit of ground-thinking before landing in our studio for the initial briefing meeting.
Lindstrom are a Finnish company and have become the market leader in the UK within the industrial wiper sector. This sector is all about safe cleaning, removal and laundering of specialist cloths in industrial environments. Think about garages, manufacturing factories, print houses, anywhere that has lubricants, chemicals or hazardous liquids. These are the places that Lindstrom will be working with, to rid these workplaces of dangerous spillages, keeping them in cleaning working order and building a process around the laundering of the materials used to keep things clean. On the face of it, this is a fairly bland brief. A commodity purchase that is driven by a Health and Safety requirement rather than a desire. Lindstrom needed a Sales Pack to arm their sales team with as they hit to road to promote and sell the service on offer and our challenge was to make it magnificent!
We followed our tried and tested process of asking what, how and why when we held our briefing meeting with John. Rather than telling people WHAT was on offer, we created something that communicated WHY Lindstrom do what they do and this started to build a much more interesting picture. Before we knew it, we had a much more powerful message and narrative for the Sales Packs.
We discovered that Lindstrom deliver is a zero waste to landfill process. No rags, mats or cloths (or wipers as they call them) are sent to landfill. They are laundered using recycled water and then air dried. Waste water from the washing process is then pumped back around, filtered and cleaned for the next batch of wipers to be laundered. Nothing is wasted, nothing is put in the bin, the whole process has been developed to as environmentally friendly as possible. Lindstrom have done this very specifically as they want to help to protect the planet that we live on.
Here in the UK, we’re not good at disposing of commercial waste in an environmentally friendly way. Europe do it well; a lot better than us here in Britain and Lindstrom recognised this and became the market leader in this industry by acquisition. They came to the UK this year to make a mark on the industry, open people’s eyes to a growing problem. Being kind to our planet is what drives and motivates Lindstrom to operate within this sector.
We had found our nugget of gold…
We designed a Sales Pack that encompassed an oversized A5 wallet with double pockets. Inside the pockets went a 6 page roll folded A5 brochure on one side and a set of four stepped height leaflets went into the other pocket. The wallet was designed with two separate heights of capacity on each pocket to cater for smooth insertion of leaflets and when folded shut, everything sat neatly for presentation.
We used FSC approved papers and worked with Lindstrom to choose quantities in print that represented great value for money against price per unit. We wanted to ensure that they could order in bulk to retain stock of their marketing materials and use for at least 12 to 18 months. Our designs were deliberately crafted to offer a greater “shelf life” in mind. Even the way we shifted key information from item to item was done carefully, meaning if something changed in terms of legislation, process or offering, Lindstrom would only need to amend and reprint one part of the set rather than re-running the whole lot; keeping costs down and saving paper.
Making the mundane magnificent, it is just what we do…