Hitting the ground running: The first 100 days
Hitting the ground running: The first 100 days

Posts Tagged ‘Creative’

What’s in an image?

So, what’s in an an image? Well, quite a lot actually, as they say that you make a decision based on emotion first, then the facts. Not what our research team at WA like to hear, but as human beings, we do often make judgements based on our instincts first.

Today we are bombarded by imagery on a grand scale. Like it or not, we are the Instagram generation being constantly fed powerful images that reflect our life around us and informs our view on the world. With so much ‘visual noise’ imagery can become meaningless, superficial, bland, and quite frankly ‘safe’.

The image needs to work harder for us.

One of our key roles at WA Creative is to find ways to connect and make the message land with the key audience with the right tone. Even with the most in-depth research and a water-tight strategy they won’t have the desired effect if the images chosen aren’t adding relevance, authenticity and emotional ways to connect with the audience.

The American Alfred Stieglitz, one of the most significant contributors to the history of photography once said that “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” Good photography is an art of observation. Great imagery gives meaning to the subject matter and finds something interesting in the ordinary every day.

Whether it’s a piece of literature or a brand identity, you have small window to convey the sentiment and companies’ values – framing them with a clear visual representation. From the original innovators to modern day designer, the same theory applies to making an impact – choosing the right image is vital in making the work sing.

Now we have to be realistic – budgets and time constraints means images need to be chosen at pace. Gone are the days when every project involved a bespoke photoshoot. Enter stage left – the powerful stock photo library.

We need to ask ourselves are we really that satisfied with what there is to offer out there? Many company brand guidelines that we come across contain image sections that diligently attempt to capture the brand in a unique way but often fails on its application, leading to bland, meaningless support imagery that neither gives those companies clearwater nor conveys their messages in meaningful ways.

For these reasons we’re always pushing ourselves further to ensure that imagery chosen is always relevant and speaks with as genuine a voice as possible. Using stock is often the easier route and we accept it for all its faults, but it still needs a good eye to choose the good from the bad, a relentless attitude to sourcing appropriate images and rigour in its application. We push our clients to be brave and consider imagery that works as hard as possible – to be emotive, surprising and most of all be authentic.

Please contact us if you wish to explore how we can help support you on getting the most out of imagery and finding better ways to connect with your audience.

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Santa sees Red

St Nicholas traditionally was always portrayed as a mythical character dressed in dark green and was more likely to be seen wandering aimlessly around a forest setting with firewood in his arms than presents. So, when did he change into his famous red coat, with a welcoming glow, and become the universally recognised image we know so well today?

Many people still believe that Coke is responsible for inventing his persona, dressing him in their trademark red and white colours to push their own brand marketing strategies in 1930s America. The reality is Coke didn’t create the famous Santa Claus image but nevertheless took full advantage of the colour red being aligned with their own.

Santa Claus in his many forms, has been a prominent figure of Western folklore for centuries, inspired by numerous historical and mythical figures including the Christian Bishop “St Nicholas of Myra” – a monk living around 280AD in what is now Turkey.

The modern-day image of Father Christmas was popularised in Victorian times by poems and short stories. The cartoonist Thomas Nast did a huge amount to spread the modern characteristics of Santa in an 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly, as part of a large illustration titled ‘A Christmas Furlough’. There are also numerous popular depictions of him wearing red with his large white beard in the 19th century including advertising campaigns for the US Confection Company’s Sugar Plums, as well as being featured on the cover of humour magazine Puck.



During 1931, Coca Cola commissioned a Swedish-American illustrator called Haddon Sundblom to create an oil painting of Santa Claus drinking a coke on Christmas Eve. Based on the Cement Clarke Moor poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ published in 1822, he gave him a huge white beard, rosy cheeks and a fuller figure.

Though the Sundblom image of Santa wasn’t what the public was used to at the time, it quickly became an iconic image, replicated by writers, filmmakers, and artists throughout the world. People everywhere were keen to embrace this new idea of a playful, fun, and welcoming Father Christmas. With a little brand know-how, Coca-Cola was ableto associate itself with the joy of Christmas turning it into the definitive iconic Santa we know and love today.

Today, colour continues to be a vital aspect in the recognition of a company, along with your image, personality and the way you communicate with your customers it plays a huge role in how you are perceived. Brand engagement begins by creating something your customers feel compelled to connect and associate with.

Our skills lie in making the most of what you stand for and to make the most of your personality. Over the past few years, we have seen brands having the confidence to flex their colours to get behind movements such as LGBTQ or offer support to the likes of our NHS. It appears a simple thing, but colour can say such a lot about who you are.

Please contact Creative if you wish to explore how your own company or organisation can have more impact that’s not just for Christmas.

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