As many of you are aware by now, Design Office’s marketing campaign for 2016 is all about the A-list, a concept inspired by our sister industry, the world of fashion. In a previous post ( we wrote about the similarities between fashion and graphic design, or at least the graphic design that we produce here at Design Office.

Fashion never ends. Every season new trends become apparent. Fashion is transparent; the message is there for you to see, purely in the design of the clothes. You don’t have to be well-educated or well-read, you simply judge and you are free to have your own ideas and opinions, whether they are good or bad.

In a similar respect, graphic design never ends, it just simply ebbs and flows and slowly evolves through time, depending on social, cultural and technological influences. Here at Design Office we recognise this and make a conscious effort to research new trends and our competition, making sure that our designs are always one step ahead. Our work is transparent; there is a unique reason for every decision we make when creating a design, ensuring that it captures the essence of your brand and your message in the best way possible. We do all the hard work for you so that you (and your customers) don’t have to questions whether or not your designs do the job you need them to do, you can simply judge whether you like them or not.

Although the previous post talked in detail about the printing process of the 2016 Desk Calendars, we didn’t go into any detail about the vision that we had for this marketing campaign and the many other ways in which we planned to implement the A-list concept to ensure that it would be a successful campaign.

Up until the end of last year Design Office have never really spent a valuable amount of time or money into marketing ourselves – after all, the customer always comes first! However, we thought that it was time to boost our sales and clientele and brought in a new member of staff to focus primarily on marketing our business. As the year drew to a close and the time came to have some 2016 desk calendars printed for the new year, it became apparent that we didn’t have a fresh idea for new marketing campaign for 2016. Just when we thought we could have to concede to rolling out the same campaign for the second year running, Kev, our Managing Director, found inspiration in the fashion world, and the A-list concept was born.

Kev wanted to create a campaign that was very much product focused, and found himself particularly inspired by the cutting-edge advert that House of Fraser released in time for Christmas 2015, during which, when watching it on their website, you had the chance to ‘shop the ad’. Originally he had a vision that we could photograph and video a range of our products, upload them onto our website, and in a similar way, shop the ad. As the concept evolved, Kev, Andy (Creative Director) and Stephanie (Marketing & Design), thought about ways that we could incorporate a fashion inspired idea into the Desk Calendars that we planned to design and print in time for Christmas and finally decided that we could create an A-list for our customers that, when subscribed to, would offer a range of benefits and savings throughout 2016.

Kev sat down and thought about which products our customers would be interested in and created a tailor made list of offers for every month of 2016 that would be sure to capture their attention. From there, Andy took the reigns and created a prestigious new calendar, featuring a luxurious red and silver colour scheme to mirror the red carpet and silver Hollywood stars that represent the actual A-list, complete with a logo refresh to incorporate a brand new red and silver addition to our suite of logos. Following the fashion theme, each of the offers were then presented within the design of a tag.


Originally Design Office had planned to build a brand new website for the New Year that would feature a colour coded system – a different colour for each of the different services that we provide. For a consistent design Andy chose to carry this colour coded system across the calendar too, applying the various colours to the relevant pages to help the customer make a visual link to the offer of the month and the service we are providing. When it came to actually building the website however, the outcome was very different.

Stephanie originally created the designs for the new website and incorporated the colour coded system, but after seeing the brand refresh and graphics for the upcoming marketing campaign, we decided that the red and silver colour scheme would look much smarter if used across the new site and would help our customers to associate our website with our marketing campaign. We did, however, decide to keep the colour coded tags as it allowed us to incorporate elements of our core brand, as well as inject a new colour into the campaign each month to keep it fresh and different.

The calendars were printed, as explained in our previous post, on our 5-Colour Litho Printing Press, personally collated, punched and completed with a silver wirebound finish by Michael, one of our Graphic Designers, and to kick off the campaign individual packs were created and sent to every single one of our clients. As the A-list is designed to benefits our clients, of course our existing database was automatically upgraded, meaning that each pack included a calendar and a Christmas card to wish them a happy holidays and introduce them to the world of benefits and savings that they would be able to enjoy throughout 2016. We even branded the enveloped with the same red and silver identity to make the pack really unique!

In conjunction with the marketing efforts that took place before Christmas, Tom, our Web Developer, worked on building the new site ready to be launched in time for Christmas. Taking inspiration from our competitors and identifying weaknesses in our existing site, Tom built a fabulous new website with striking key sliders, designed by Andy, featuring some of our products and prices, scrolling portfolios for increased interactivity and he is even currently working on building a shop for our site, allowing our customers to place orders online.

Design Office Website

Most importantly, Tom set up a way for any potential customers to subscribe to the A-list, giving our marketing campaign a destination to drive its traffic to. With a teasing page displaying all of our offers and what every individual could be a part of this year, Tom created a link to prompt potential clients to join the A-list, enabling them to receive monthly e-shots with redeemable vouchers for all of the offers, as well as the opportunity to order their very own FREE calendar!

After the Christmas break Amanda, another one of our Graphic Designers, worked on a brand new desk pad design for 2016, incorporating the identity for our new marketing campaign, ready for our printer, Marian, to print, collate and glue, providing us with some print collateral to hand out to both our existing customers and potential customers, strengthening the presence of our marketing campaign and reaching out a wider audience.

Desk Pads

Not only have we explored print and digital avenues with our A-list campaign, we have explored alternative channels of communication by using signage. Our windows have had a makeover with the campaign as Josh, our Sign Fitter, has worked alongside Andy to create some vibrant window graphics. Using our Seiko Large Format Press he has printed unique, tag shaped graphics to cover the windows and even updates them on a monthly basis to allow us to advertise our current offer for passers by. While some people may think that signage is not as effective as websites in today’s society, you would be surprised by the amount of people we have had walk in after seeing our windows!


Furthermore, as Josh is often out and about fitting various signage for our clients we thought of another great opportunity to reach more people in the community with our marketing campaign – print and apply vehicle graphics to the van that he drives! Again, the graphics are updated every month to ensure that when he is driving around he is promoting our latest offer and we are sure that we are reaching a wider audience with this method of communication as he will drive to our clients’ premises no matter how far – he has recently been to Leicester!

Stephanie, Marketing and Design, Claire, our Customer Services Manager and Jill, Director, are now working on a daily basis to strengthen the marketing campaign and it’s success; the mailing list is constantly being updated to ensure that all of our clients are receiving the e-shots (and subsequently the offers) that they should be receiving, every potential client that is met is informed of the A-list and the benefits they could enjoy and the offers are constantly being repeated across social media channels. It may sound a lot but the whole team here at Design Office are excited about our marketing campaign and we want to shout about it.

Design Office has gone from not having any time put aside for marketing themselves to having a fully integrated marketing campaign and this is just one example of the skill set we have as a team and what we can achieve. By working together we can devise and manage a fully integrated marketing campaign, not just using print or digital avenues, but by considering the various channels of communication that we can reach by engaging all of the services that we provide to customers on a daily basis.

If you’re considering an integrated marketing campaign we are the perfect partners for you. To arrange a no obligation consultation call 01270 252106 or send an email to

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to join our A-list!