Archive for : January, 2012
We Don't Just Do Digital
2 years, 3 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog

Many design companies just do digital – it is all they can do. By digital we mean websites, email marketing, SEO, PPC and social media. In fact, the market place is saturated with digital design agencies that will badge a website template with your logo, shoe horn your product images and populate social media sites and promise to get you ranked on page 1 of Google with keyword dense copy that usually misses the point. (more…)

2 years, 3 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Web

Clear Creative are an experienced web design company in Manchester, producing high end Ecommerce platforms, whether that is a backend database system or great graphical front end. From our base in Bury, Manchester we have been designing and creating websites for clients throughout the United Kingdom. As most clients know it isn’t just a case of building a website and loading in a MySQL database onto a server, a website has to be thought about. At Clear Creative we will list your businesses online objectives and deploy clever online marketing techniques via viral advertising, email campaigns, social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and even offline marketing in support of your website such as brochures, advertising campaigns, exhibition stand designs and builds and direct mail. (more…)

2 years, 3 months ago 1
Posted in: Blog

Last night I went to my local restaurant and asked the chef to serve me all the dishes on his menu. I decided I liked one of his dishes and went home informing I would call him later to discuss which if any I would want to pay for. I also visited two other restaurants and sampled all their menu dishes telling them I would call back if I liked any and if I was prepared to pay for them.

All the dishes I tasted were delicious. Then I thought I could make a couple of those dishes myself.

I rang all three restaurant owners a couple of weeks later to tell them that I was going to cook the dishes I liked best myself. I also asked them to tell me their secret ingredients and that I may consider paying for those recipes once I had cooked the dishes.

All three restaurant owners hung up on me.

The above story sounds very familiar to many design agencies who get the request to pitch for potential business. It is a legacy left over from when large advertising agencies pitched for large accounts, unfortunately this has filtered down to small accounts and is now seen as the ‘way to do it’ by ill-informed clients.

“Pitch work” invariably leads to frustration for the client and encourages sub-standard creative work from the designers pitching. The success rate statistics of winning a pitch are at best 30% and less if you consider that it may be a five way creative pitch. In our experience we have often found that the work being pitched for is either spoken for, non-existent or we have just been invited for a beauty parade of our ideas.


Good design, creative and strategy is informed. This process only comes through research and collaboration with the client and a clear understanding of their market, business proposition and budget. A visually pleasing ‘best guess’ created up front as part of a sales tactic is never a good design. Anything created without being informed is at best a pretty picture.

Unlike advertising agencies, we are not in the business of selling. We have a passion for our creative work and we love showing off the diversity of work we’ve done – just take a look at our portfolio, but that’s because every project we produce for our clients is crafted with thought and research. By doing it this way we are respecting our clients’ business and not devaluing it. At Clear Creative we put all our resources into every client that engages us because we don’t need to save our best ideas, designs or strategies just to sell ourselves to potential new clients.

We aren’t unusual in our position on declining to partake in speculative or free pitch work. In fact the majority of good creative companies are declining to pitch freely. Here are some links to just a few respected industry colleagues who feel the same way, and why:

We’d be delighted to show you how our best projects got off the ground, and how we could do the same for you. This however comes at the cost of all our experience, talent, infrastructure and service.

So if you want us to ‘free’ pitch our creative, ideas and technical know how for your business we will decline.

There is after all no such thing as a free meal!

2 years, 3 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog

Microsoft has been keen to kill off the old version of their browser and persuade users to move to IE8 or 9. IE6 (Internet Explorer 6) usage has now officially dropped below 1%. The good news for developers and web designers like ourselves at Clear Creative is that we can concentrate on designing content rich websites in the knowledge that IE6 is in its final death throes!

In the past we have to accommodate our client wishes to make their websites IE6 compatible although we don’t officially support IE6. From a design and development perspective it is like taking 3 steps forward and 20 steps back – a bit like using Betamax video cassettes to hold HD video.

IE6 doesn’t render or support modern XHTML technologies such as Jquery scripts. Simple graphics like rounded corners are not supported, of course you can employ default CSS to get round this but shouldn’t we look forward instead of backwards.

IE6 is a web browser that has had its 11th birthday – and last one by all accounts from Microsoft.

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