If you are looking for one of New Zealand's best kept secrets, look no further than Whangarei Heads this summer.
We were lucky enough to be able to spend two weeks there this Christmas, shrouded underneath the rugged mountains of Manaia and Aubrey with the ocean at our doorstep.
When heading north from Auckland you will first spot the coastline from the top of the Brynderwyns as the stunning vista across the water comes into view.
Whangarei Heads is host to a plethora of activities, from swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up-paddle-boarding, fishing, boating, skiing, sailing, wind-surfing, kite-surfing, diving, hiking, camping, running, and many more. It is an adventurers paradise.
The illydic coastline is dotted with a series of bays that have the support of gorgeous esbalished Pohutukawa trees for picnics and resting on long hot summer days. If you're in the mood for adventure and don't mind a wee drive, I would book a spot here over the next few months.
Here's a video of me and the family enjoying the break up at Whangrei Heads in McLeod Bay. We can't wait to go back! With a rejuvenated focus and a clear direction for the year ahead, it's back to business for now though.
I was so excited last week to finally 'bite-the-bullet' and organise the sign-writing of my own vehicle last week. You'd think as a designer with sign-writing experience this would be easy. But I was stuck for choice with all the options I knew were available and I've had to have my logo and branding for at least a year to ensure I'm really happy with it and don't want to make any further changes! We also just bought a new vehicle a few weeks ago and I made sure it was white to match my personal branding and make the whole process easier (we had a silver car before). So now it's all done what are my top tips for getting your sign-writing sorted?
Firstly, get a few quotes:
Make sure you have checked on each quote how long the life of the vinyl they'll be using it. Have they included options at different price points? Just as digital or vinyl cut graphics. There are a range of prices around but it's not always a good idea to go with the cheapest. Ask friends and family who they have used. The application of the vinyl is really important to ensure it lasts. There are also things that can cost more such as window vision ( a vinyl for your back windscreen) that can be taken out or adjusted on the quote.
Secondly, think about where your vehicle will be seen:
If you park your car in the garage and don't go to a lot of events or public places then it's most likely all you'll need will be sign-writing on the back, people will mostly see your vehicle in traffic so having your design on the back windscreen only is where it'll be seen the most. In this case you just want to ask for window vision only. If you are going to have your vehicle on show, make sure your design scale can be seen from a distance so that people really take in what you do and how to contact you.
Thirdly, think about the lifespan of your vehicle:
How long have you had your car? Will you have it for much longer? Is the paint in good quality? Is sign-writing just going to draw attention to a not very attractive vehicle? If you answer yes to any of these questions a magnet may be the option for you in the short term .Please if you do find yourself on the Vistaprint.com website buying a $15 magnet try to maximise the design to still look good, for example matching the background colour to the colour of your vehicle so it doesn't look so much like a cheap magnet. If the magnet looks cheap and tacky this will be lowering the standard and value of your brand.
Finally, Keep it simple:
There are a lot of options out there from full vehicle wraps, half wraps, digital printing, colour changing, metallics, etc but in the end a good quality subtle yet clear logo with a web address and phone number goes a long way to making sure you're remembered.
Lastly as a final note, always work with a good designer to keep your branding consistent and make the most of your budget. If you have any further questions please leave a comment below. Also a huge thanks to my local sign-writer TCC Solutions based at the end of Aviation Drive, Mount Maunganui who did an amazing job putting my sign-writing together on my new vehicle. They even picked me up from home to come and collect it when it was done. www.tccsolutions.co.nz
Thanks Zoe :)
Case In Point Design Studio will be taking a mid-winter vacation from the 25th of July - 5th of August. Please get all all projects through asap or at the latest by the 15th of July to have completion before the break. Back on board Monday the 8th of August. Hope everyone is keeping snug and making holiday plans of their own.
If you've been before please let us know your tips and fav spots!
Bye for now
I'd like to start by saying I'm not suggesting this is a 'quick-fix' to the power-struggle that is faced daily by parents of pre-schoolers. The battle is as old as time and it is completely natural for children to assert their independence. I was recommended to create something like this by a friend as a parenting support tool and as a designer I thought I would share it with others facing the same daily run-ins with their strong willed wee ones. I have found it helpful with maintaining consistency with my parenting and also the imagery is clear to the kiddies what the message is about.
Feel free to download this resource as a reminder both to yourselves as parent/s or to caregivers or guardians in the household that this is what we do in 'OUR' house and it's also a reminder for other children and parents that come to visit.
I always check when at play-dates with other Mums how things operate in their household. So this checklist may not be applicable to you. In our house we have a limited amount of space inside but a lovely garden outside with a range of climbing and jumping toys so the 'horseplay' issue is for safety which I always explain (repeatedly to my son).
I would love your feedback on what else you have found helpful for setting clear and fair boundaries for your children or children in your care.
The parenting adventure continues....
Thanks for reading
The right designer is priceless
A logo and branding package design is priceless if you find the right designer that understands what your business is about, your likes and dislikes and has the skills to collaborate these ideals into an image that encapsulates your brand. You could end up paying the same price all over again a wee way down the track, if you find out the design you have isn't working for you.
Don't pay overheads
That being said I don't believe you need to pay the earth to get a great solution that works for you. Boutique agencies struggle with variable workflow which means that they still have to cover rent and staffing costs whether the work comes in or not, therefore extras charges are often occurred for the convenience of a central location. Sometimes these costs are fair if there are a lot of manual tasks involved in the design ( such as sketch many elements), however the basic initial development of a logo that works for you doesn't need to cost the earth.
Behind the scenes
A good designer should be able to show you their process and include you in this development. This ensures you are on the right page all the way through the concept development and you aren't handed a final set of concepts that you either can't stand the look of, or don't particularly identify with. Research and development must go into finding out what your business is about. Who your competition are in the industry and how you personally feel about visual elements and icons. Not only this but a range of options needs to be explored in the development process, on the journey to an original result. Often creativity strikes at the most random times ( like in the shower) so your designer isn't actually 'clocking off' just because they've stepped away from the sketchpad or computer screen.
So what's the $ figure you now ask?
This can vary anywhere between a pre-made $50 off the shelf logo you put your name to ( but may not have authenticity with) to a $1500-$5000 figure offered up by the top agencies. I think to be fair to your designer and the work entailed roughly $300 for a full brand package covers off the time required to do a thorough development process with the client; work the ideas up digitally, present ideas and amend as required, and finally create final files in various formats. This is a very good deal and you will be pleasantly surprised with the creative and eye-catching results.
Drop me a line if you'd like to discuss your new branding/logo project I'd love to have a chat about what it is that makes your business special.
It's something I've been meaning to get onto for a few years and only really had my first crack at a home-made Advent calendar last year, due to my son being allergic to dairy therefore not being able to have a store bought version. I have very fond memories as a kid of opening the little windows to often find a partly melted wee chocolate each day. Last year I hurriedly threw together a felt and PVA version that highlighted ( after many tantrums) that I would need to do either full sweets or not as the daily ritual.
Therefore this year I have been organised, I have sewed my 25 little baggies. I have scoured the beach to find driftwood for the hanger, and I have created the daily events. I have done my research and chosen to include daily activities and a puzzle piece rather than any sweet treats. I have made a little bag and the two children will share the goodies each day.
I hope this will help us as a family to remember the Christmas spirit amongst chaas of the silly season and instill lasting memories for my children about what the magic of Christmas really is.
I have included my 24 days of Christmas list here for you to download for free and use in your lead up to the Christmas Day celebrations. Wishing you all a safe and happy holidays this year. Only 37 sleeps!
Cheers Zoe :)
It’s something I have been meaning to do for a few years now after I heard about it, but juggling running my own business around two wee kiddies on top of the inevitable artist block that ensues when faced with a tool that offers endless possibilities means that it is only this month that I have finally gotten around to creating my first fabric design with www.spoonflower.com.
This amazing site enables you to upload your own designs and then convert them to multiple types of fabric as well as wallpaper and gift wrap. It was a friends child's first birthday that inspired me to final take up the challenge and create one of my own designs. I still need to work on pattern designing in order to create reporting multiple directional designs, however the site is full of wonderful resources to help designers and non-designers alike and has even put out a book for the dedicated crafty following the site has now taken on.
The endless possibilities for creation in this digital age are still mind boggling to me as daily new apps emerge for more things than you can imagine really and 3D printers become something you can easily purchase for your home office.
I look forward to getting stuck into some more options this summer and getting back on the sewing machine over the Christmas break. Watch this space and check out my profile on Spoonflower if you do happen to be checking it out: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/zoesizemore
Merry Christmas prep everyone
'Sustainability' it's the new it word, to some it causes eye-rolls and an instant rejection of a concept they associate with hippies and compostable toilets, to others it hits a nerve as their suppressed guilt raises an ugly head above the justification that life is just 'too busy' to deal with all the malarkey that goes on when rejecting the conveniences of a disposable lifestyle. To me it just means teaching the next generation that we have a choice about how we live on this planet and how we interact with our environment. We certainly can't expect it to look after us if we do not look after it.
I am always reminded of all this most strongly when visiting 'the dump' as a crafter and designer I am always at odds with wanting a clean and minimal lifestyle whilst also wanting to hold onto things that potentially could be up-cycled into something else.
So 'the tip' or 'dump' to me is my place of guilt where I reminded that all the things we dispose of do not just disappear each week as the truck rolls by and collects it. Another factor in my reflection was taking my 3 year old son who is full of the questions of life. He had many regarding what we were doing with his great grandmas ENORMOUS broken entertainment system and what was going on around him and why?
I wish there were more in-organic collections where I live, as I know there are a lot of talented craftsmen around and I would have been happy to donate this object if I could have found someone willing to take it off my hands. I try to use the localy op-shops where I can, FB free groups to donate, friends and family regifting, reusing for kids toys and crafts, composting, buying natural, buying quality and the biggest of all not buying unnecessarily!
I read the other day that every piece of clear food wrap ever made is still in existence today (unless burnt of course but that gas is still harmful) and that was enough to make me stop buying it. Now it is a PIA not having it thats for sure but we make do and we find ways around it. It's taking away those little things that make you realise it takes an active thought to prevent the upsurge of 'convenience' waste that has become a common and acceptable part of modern society.
To paraphrase our local 'nappy lady' who runs seminars on using cloth nappy systems, it was only a generation or two ago that landfill didn't exist and the norm was to compost, and reuse, and sell cans to the local collector. It is our responsibility now to actively change our mindsets. Make small incremental changes to our lifestyles and reverse the current 'norms' of society to protect the next generations future.
The cleanup starts now and it takes all of us one piece of food wrap at a time.
Variety is the spice of life