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June 7, 2012 / James Cronin

Brand Extension

Strong brand names are able to move into other areas once brand equity and recognition are established.

‘Brand Extension’ is the term used when referring to a successful brand name launching a new product. A good example of this is how Fairy extended from a washing up liquid household name to become a washing up powder brand too.


Lucozade have also managed to successfully extend their brand from a children’s health drink to a sports and energy drink and now even bottled water.

Lucozade are able to achieve this extension because their brand name has become recognisable and trustworthy for consumers. From the point of view of retailers and consumers there is perceived less risk with the new product if it carries a familiar name. They associate the quality of the brand with the new product.

June 3, 2012 / James Cronin

Branded Content

Red Bull

After a recent trip to Monaco to watch the Formula One World Championship, I realised how strong the Red Bull brand is and how saturated the world of Formula One racing is with Red Bulls logo and brand identity.

The Red Bull driver, Mark Webber, led from the start and controlled the race before winning the Monaco GP for the second time in three years. A result that can only do good for the Red Bull brand.

The Product

Red Bull has become the worlds most recognisable and profitable energy drink and that is down to Dietrich Mateschitz’s marketing and brand vision.

He said that while the brand is supporting sport culture it also works the other way around. The message through various forms of advertising, events and sponsorships is an ‘invitation to be active’. Red Bull is supporting a way of life.

To promote their public image, the Red Bull marketing team have used related content such as viral videos of extreme sports which portray the companies philosophy while subtly increasing brand recognition.

By using content it’s target audience would want to see, Red Bull can engage with the viewer and gain trust in the brand and the product. The branded content is not seen as an advert but rather a message from Red Bull telling consumers about their athletes, achievements and next projects.

Marketing is not just a department within Red Bull, its a part of the brand itself. Its part of Mateschitz’ bigger vision.

March 22, 2012 / James Cronin

Olympic Design

Today saw the release of Great Britain’s Olympic uniforms designed by Stella McCartney. McCartney, former Creative Director of Chloé , rekindled her collaboration with Adidas to create these Union Jack inspired kits.

It’s the first time a leading fashion designer has designed the clothing for a country’s team across all competitions for the Olympic games.

“The first place to start on a project like this is to look at the Union flag, for me it’s one of the most beautiful flags in the world and it was important for me to stay true to that iconic design but also to modernise it and present it in a contemporary way.  Ultimately, we wanted the athletes to feel like a team and be proud with the identity we created.”

The designs themselves have come under some scrutiny for the way in which the Union Jack has been altered. The red has been taken out and replaced by turquoise, allowing the red to then be added as an accent on the collars and shoes.

You can view the full collection on the Team GB website below:

February 23, 2012 / James Cronin


Throughout Professional Development 1 I’ve been required to look into different areas of Graphic Design and start to consider choosing specialism, an area I’m interested in and feel my skills are best fitted to. During my 1st year I thought it would be best to stick with general Graphic Design in order to investigate Graphic Design as a wider subject. I thought this would allow me to research the subject, work out what I’m interested in and make a move to that area.

During the summer I was lucky enough to sit in on a pitch from the advertising agency, Leo Burnett, one of the top ranked ad agencies in the world. From entering their office and meeting their staff, I realised this is what I want to do. The designers were so motivated, enthusiastic and obviously loved what they were doing. The whole day was really inspiring and made me start to think about a career in advertising.

When I returned to university to start on my 2nd year of study I realised that there was still so much to learn about the design industry and about myself as a designer. I decided I didn’t want to specialise in advertising just yet, I wanted to learn as much as I could about a career in design first.

Advanced Digital Communication got me to consider an audience and ways of interacting with them. I became really interested in the communication process and advances in design technology. It wasn’t until my recent portfolio review that I was reminded that one of my strongest traits was my ideas and idea processing. I like to create ideas that solve problems graphically.

This was reinforced by my approach to the A3 Blog Handout. We were given an audience (1st Year students), a medium (A3) and content (our blogs). I took this task as an opportunity to explore inforgraphics, a part of design I had been interested in for a while.

Upon reflecting on my time as a design student so far I’ve gathered that I am a designer that communicates graphically and have therefore decided to specialise in Graphic Communication, a term often used to describe Graphic Design.

February 16, 2012 / James Cronin

Reflective Report

The ‘Professional Development’ module is coming to an end and I thought it was best to reflect on what I’ve achieved through the module and areas that need improving in the future:


  • Developed new skills, not just on the PD1 module but also in ADC.
  • Increased awareness of the design industry and certain areas of design such as Advertising.
  • Discovered how important ‘professional practice’ is to a designer. Paying attention to detail for example is essential when submitting a piece of work or sending out a CV.
  • Taken risks and opportunities to develop as a designer.


The weakest part of the PD1 module has been the physical self promotional item:

  • Not enough time was taken to get it up to a professional standard (time/project management)
  • Strong original idea but not developed enough to a final solution


I’ve put together a list of goals that would help me develop as a designer and avoid errors that occurred during PD1:

  • Develop the promotional item concept in PD2
  • Incorporate the “James – Ambigram Logo” into the physical design
  • Look into professional printing options (for example
  • Think more about the packaging of the self promotional item
  • Continue to blog in free time and keep up to date with current events in the world of design
  • Start the next project with more consideration for time management and planning (a more regular timetabling system)
February 9, 2012 / James Cronin

Importance of a Deadline

Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law is a quote from Cyril Northcote Parkinson and it was first published in ‘The Economist’ in 1955. It states that:

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

I think this is particularly true in the context of Graphic Design, as I feel a design is never really finished. It can always be worked on, improved and evolved. In the run up to a deadline, its essential to manage your time well in order to make your work the best it can be.

Why is a deadline so important?

  • Makes you budget your time
  • Alows you to work out what’s most important
  • Once time is limited, you need to spend it wisely
  • Gives you incentive, a goal to work towards
  • Schedule improves productivity
  • Increases work ethic and discipline
  • Creates a sense of accomplishment
  • Doesn’t allow for procrastinating
  • Prevents overload of work