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Wow, what a summer it has been! As well as enjoying the scorching hot temperatures, the Bluestep lot have kept busy inside and outside of the office. So, what exactly have we been up to?

Charity Softball League

This summer, Bluestep headed to Hyde Park for the annual Charity Softball League final. It was another great year, with an amazing turnout of many fabulous charity teams. As a sponsor of the event, Bluestep provided the food, as well as the laughs and great chat…and a coconut shy!

The Softball event also saw the finale of our Flip cup challenge. This year, we tasked the charities with getting their flip on. In teams, everyone has to go around in a circle drinking a beverage and then flipping their cup over. Once it lands successfully, the next person can begin. Simple enough, right? You can watch the highlights of the challenge here!


Bluestep Party

To celebrate all the hard work and effort the Bluesteppers had put in for another crazy year, Bluestep partied in style, and boy do we know how to party!! The teams battled it out through 24 holes of crazy golf followed by cocktail making at Revolucion De Cuba.  Whilst the sangria was flowing, the teams went head to head shaking up some rum-based cocktails which were judged by the professionals on the taste and presentation. The evening concluded with a delicious Cuban spread (and of course a few more cheeky cocktails into the night)…Cheers!


Birmingham Design Fair

A few weeks back, the Bluestep design and digital team headed to the Birmingham Design Festival. It was a true celebration of the design industry, full of big names in the field with top-notch talks, advice and fun workshops.

The festival was also a great chance to let the creative juices run wild and the team came back full of inspiration and motivation. There were many highlights of the festival. We learnt more about variable fonts (which we blogged about here!), women in design and designing when based outside of London, each with inspirational personal stories.

Alpaca My Bags

We all know that sometimes you need a break from being creative, and what better way to relax and unwind than… alpaca walking?  Yes, you heard correct.  The management team spent the afternoon trekking through the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside with some furry friends at Arkadia Alpacas.  Sadly, we weren’t able to bring one home as an office pet!


Alice Says “I Do”!

September saw our own Alice Goddard tie the knot to become Mrs Threadgold!  It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple followed by a 2-week honeymoon to Mauritius – Congratulations Mr and Mrs Threadgold!

100% Design

The Bluesteppers headed down to the big smoke for the annual 100% Design Fair at Olympia, London. We were there to support our luxury lift client, Aritco. Bluestep designed and created an interactive configurator app for Aritco to use at the show and online, for their massive 2018 competition to win a home lift. We took this to the next level if we do say so ourselves, aiming to provide a slick user experience. You can check it out in action here.

As well as showing support for our client (and taking starring roles in their promotional video – Hollywood here we come?), we spent the day in awe of the amazing interior designers and companies showing off their best products and skillsets. We left feeling excited and inspired!

Phew, so there we have it! Summer 2018 was a great one. But now that’s all over, did someone say Christmas?!

When keeping up with the ever-evolving market, brands often seek to refresh and rebrand themselves. Whether this is a minor tweak or a complete overhaul, as designers, we always get excited to see how agencies tasked with the job have brought a vision to life and the creative direction they have taken.

We asked the design team for their thoughts and opinions on some of the most recent rebrands and redesigns to hit the market.

John Lewis Partnership

Pentagram has recently given the iconic British company John Lewis Partnership, home to John Lewis and Waitrose, a revamp. Placing emphasis on their business model, whereby every employee (all 85,000 of them) have a stake in the company, ‘& Partners’ has been added to the names.

Inspired by the original pattern for the brand that was originally created in the 60’s, the parent brand, John Lewis and Waitrose are unified by the use of ‘brandlines’ – with a variety of weighted lines for each entity.

So, what do the Bluestep designers think?

“The new style has transferred well across the brand materials whether that be the logo to tote bags, using the same essence of their brand allows continuity, but keeps the different section of the companies fresh. By rebranding the companies together, it brings the two closer and more recognisable as a joint venture whilst still keeping their own personalities.”

“I particularly love the new typeface and linear font created for JL. This is used on the new bags that have the enlarged text bleeding off – a modern design element which you wouldn’t really expect from such a traditional brand. I like the use of lines – makes for a flexible identity which can be applied to a variety of applications and is a nice way to connect the two parts of the partnership by both using the parallel lines but in different orientations. However, it looks a lot like M&S in my opinion with a similar typeface and the use of black and green.”



The global ride-sharing and ride-hailing app Uber has revolutionised the way people get from A to B. Uber needed an identity that would work and translate universally across cultures, and so sought the help of Wolff Olins. The result is a stripped back, simple brand look.

Over to the Bluesteppers…

“I really like this – much simpler and cleaner than the old one, gives it a much-needed modern refresh! You can tell they’ve drawn inspiration from transportation icons in the arrows and rich blue colour that you see on road signs for easily legible text – a nice way to coherently transition the brand by using elements that are already commonly associated with the road/ transport/ travel.”

“I think the choice of a softer typeface and the move away from an all-caps lockup allows for a different tone of voice and universal brand message, this can only help with all the bad publicity that the brand has received in the past year. A more dignified and classier look will add a little more luxury when travelling and using the Uber brand where its seen to be a quick and cheap alternative to calling a taxi. This rebrand is a nice step forward from the rebrand that took place in 2015, which was highly criticised. “


Bringing things closer to home, with their head office in good old Northampton, we couldn’t pass on talking about Carlsberg’s (albeit small) changes to their brand identity. This new look has been rolled out onto the bottles, cans and glassware, creating a unified new product family. This comes at a time where the brand is releasing revolutionary innovations, such as the ‘snap pack’ in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

Here’s what designer and part-time beer drinker Andrew has to say:

“The revamped logo has seen small but effective changes, with small tweaks to the typeface and enhanced colour pallet, it sees the brand become lifted and refreshed. With the introduction of a clean and crisp typeface to partner the elaborate logomark, it brings a whole new look and feel, which almost brings hipster vibes with the cleaver typesetting and brand colours. Carlsberg has stripped back all the extravagance and have allowed for the brand to speak for itself with flat colours and a signature mark of approval on every bottle.”


So, what do you think? Do you agree with what our designers have to say?

We have worked on a handful of great rebrands here at Bluestep, which you can find out more about over on our case studies page.
If you are looking to give your brand a little re-vamp, get in touch with us today!


Images in this post are courtesy of ‘Brand New’

A sentimental storyline, an iconic soundtrack and a loveable furry friend …it’s the Nation’s sign that Christmas is officially on its way. As the hotly anticipated seasonal masterpiece went live this morning, the Bluesteppers congregated in the meeting room over mince pies and crackers to enjoy a premier of the ad together. #BustertheBoxer had us all entranced as we watched intently, and as with every other UK creative agency, wished it was us who made the ad!

As a bunch of big kids (and looking for any excuse to eat mince pies), we saw the release of the video as the perfect excuse to hold our own Christmas launch party, and we’re now on the official countdown to Christmas 2016!

And if you haven’t already seen/heard/read enough about the ad yet, we’ve put together a list of five fun facts about the John Lewis Christmas ad for you!

  1. The ad was actually filmed back in July this year, the after effects and post-production was only signed off this week. #cuttingitfine
  2. The total cost of the John Lewis Christmas campaign is £7million, including production and TV slots. Yikes!
  3. The little girl in the ad (Summer, aged 6) is going to have her very own trampoline delivered today as gift from John Lewis.
  4. Viewers are taking to social media to express their concern and confusion over the fact the little girl’s dad is building the trampoline in the garden, and not Santa Claus!
  5. John Lewis have vowed to make a donation to The Wildlife Trusts from the sale of toys of the characters which feature in the advert.

Each month, one Bluestepper takes on the task of hosting a breakfast seminar on a subject they are particularly passionate about. Not only have a we found this a great team morale and bonding exercise – but getting together an hour before work over croissants and OJ, and brushing up on subjects we might otherwise not come across, is a great learning experience and helps keep the whole team up to date on relevant skills and subjects!
So what has been presented so far and how is it benefitting the team?

Shanice Martin – Social Media for business

Media savvy Shanice kicked off the seminars as a tender newbie back in May this year. She wanted to fill the team in on the latest social media trends, strategies and success rates.
Always have a strategy. It’s all well and good if you’re posting x3 times a day but if you have no strategy or relevance, your audience will tail off.
Consistency is key. Consistency across TOV, imagery and posting times is a must to ensure you keep audiences engaged and active.
Pick the right channels. Twitter is great for exposure…if you have plenty of followers. Know your audience and know their preferred platforms.

Ben Johnson – Negotiation skills

Straight talking Ben chose to educate the team on negotiation skills. With a clever multiple choice quiz, we were soon able to point out the softer team members from the feistier negotiators.
Find a middle ground. If you’re struggling to make a deal, try and meet the customer half way.
Negotiation is a fundamental part of life! We negotiate every day, even if we don’t realise it, so you may as well be good at it.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. As with most business scenarios, it’s essential you’re adequately prepared. Know your facts and figures before confidently closing a deal.

Rebecca Tyler – Branding

Becca’s passion for all things design shone through in her branding seminar. After taking a course on branding earlier this year, Becca wanted to share some of her insight to the team.Find your brand personality. Where do you sit in the world of brands? Are you the hero? The lover? The optimist? Establish your personality and stick to it!
Consider a rebrand. It’s worked for some of the biggest brands in the world. Keep up to date with the fast paced industry and keep your brand fresh.
More than just a logo. A brand is so much more than a logo. People connect with a brand on a higher level, and remain loyal to a brand that has served them well. Remember this when communicating with your audience.

Ben Skinner – Business Development

Bluestep MD, Ben, built up a business from scratch, so it was only natural he should brief the team on the ins and outs of business development. As you might already know, Ben is a fan of putting people before business and it’s worked pretty well for him!
Know your customer inside out. Where did they go on holiday this year? How many dogs do they have? Where’s their favourite place to eat?
Be fun to be around. Ever get on so well with a client/supplier that meetings just seem to fly by? It’s always nice to do business with someone you get along with.
Keep in touch. Make regular contact with all clients and customers, even if work is quiet. Make them feel special and remember who you are!

Mark Chamberlain – Websites and Digital

Our go-to coder, Mark, was constantly bombarded with techy questions from the rest of the team, so decided to give us all the low down on everything web and digital!
Not all websites are created equal. Custom-coded, wordpress, e-commerce, one page… with so many options on the market, there’s something for every type of business.
Consider WordPress. If you’re not overly tech-savvy, but low on budget, it might be worth considering a WordPress template. WordPress is super user-friendly and with a content management system, you can easily make updates yourself.
Be responsive. Making your site responsive should go without saying these days, especially since 80% of internet users now own a smartphone!

Nicola Risi – Copywriting

With super speedy typing skills & an eye for typos, Nikki has naturally become Bluestep’s creative copywriter come dictionary. During the seminar, she presented the team with some of the world’s greatest copy ads, and some handy hints & tips on how they can polish up their own copywriting skills.
Write drunk, edit sober. Well, not literally…! Do an initial braindump of everything you want to say, then come back later to edit, correct and refine.
Be flexible. Some days you could be selling shoes to twenty-something London commuters, the next you’re selling cars to middle class family men. Never underestimate a copywriter’s power to adapt their personality and language.
Don’t use big words when a smaller one will do! To quote Joey from friends “They’re prepossessing, humid homo-sapiens with full sized aortic pumps”