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6 Things Your Website Can Use To Convert Visitors

Do you have a beautifully designed website that attracts lots of visitors or a great product/service that basically sells itself and still find that you’re struggling to make sales? Well, it sounds like you’ve got a problem with conversions.

It’s not enough to get visitors to your website; you need to convince them that your goods or services are worth buying.

The good news is that there are techniques you can use on your website to make this happen. There are certain aspects that can be added to your website and pages to engage visitors and move them further down the sales funnel until they eventually make a purchase.

What are we talking about?

Read on to find out.

1. Pop-ups

Adding a pop-up to your website gives you a chance to be creative and can catapult your conversion rates. If done right, the average pop-up conversion rate can reach over 11%. Think about it like this that is more than one in 10 visitors to your website converting to a sale!

By making this one change, you can get results, though it might take a bit of trial and error. You should consider:

  • Newsletter sign-up forms
  • PDFs and helpful guides
  • Premium content
  • Offers or free stuff
  • Games, such as spin to win

Just remember there are some important things you need to do if you’re going to add a pop-up to your website. Leave at least a 30-second delay before it comes up on the screen and make it easy to close down, so it’s not annoying. You should also set the cookies so that it only pops up once per visit. 

Get this right, and you could see a huge boost in conversions without complaints of an annoying pop-up ruining the user experience.

2. Testimonials and reviews

Social proof is very important to today’s consumers – but don’t just take out word for it; the figures speak for themselves.

A staggering 87% of consumers will check out local businesses online, and 93% will read online reviews before making a purchase. Plus, two out of three (66%) of consumers agree that they are more likely to buy a product that has received positive reviews.

By simply adding reviews or testimonials to your website, you can help to put your visitors’ minds at ease and convince them to make a purchase. This way, they can see what other customers have said about your goods or services, and they will have more trust in your brand.

3. Live chat and automated FAQs

Lots of visitors to your website will arrive still unsure as to whether they’re going to buy something or not. Sometimes, they might have a few queries about your goods or services that they want answering before they part with their cash.

Having a live chat window can be a quick and easy way for them to ask questions, and for many users can be easier than taking time out to make a phone call.

More than this, adding automated FAQs to your website can help you convert visitors to sales at any time of day. Unfortunately, you and your team can’t be on hand to deal with queries 24/7, but automated FAQs can help visitors to find the information they need outside of working hours.

Some of the FAQs you might want to automate could be about delivery charges, shipping times, returns, refunds, sustainability practices, etc.

4. A countdown timer

There have been lots of studies conducted about consumer behaviour and one such study found that time pressures can affect their purchase decision-making process. By feeling the time pressure, particularly of a deal that is running out, customers are more likely to make a purchase because they don’t want to feel regret later once the deal has run out.

In fact, a recent study found a strategically-placed timer on your website can increase conversion rates by a staggering 400%.

For this reason, adding a countdown timer to your landing pages can help you capitalise on this need to make quick decisions. Of course, you don’t need to have this all the time, just when you’re running deals or offers for a limited time.

Best of all, adding a countdown timer (or removing it later) is a relatively quick and straightforward process. So you can add or take this away when needed.

5. A strong call to action

A call to action (CTA) acts as a prompt that is supposed to get an immediate response from a visitor or encourage them to make an immediate sale. We see these in a lot of places without even realising it, but weak CTAs can easily be missed or ignored.

So although you might have added a couple of CTAs to your website already, ‘sign up’ or ‘start trial’ won’t always cut it. By being more creative with your content and making these small tweaks, you can improve your conversion rate in just a few minutes.

Try to avoid generic copy wherever possible and instead focus on creating something unique and engaging. You can also run some A/B testing on your CTAs to see which buttons are clicked more and which are more likely to lead to a sale. This way, you can perfect your web pages and use CTAs to boost your sales.

6. A money-back guarantee

Finally, although it might sound counterproductive to offer money back when trying to make sales, you’ll be surprised what a money-back guarantee can do for conversions.

Of course, you might not be able to offer this on every good or service, so it will very much depend on the nature of your business. However, consumers are cautious, particularly in these tough times, and will therefore avoid risk as much as possible.

If they see your goods or services as a potentially risky purchase, they will simply leave your site. So, by offering a money-back guarantee where you can, you can help them move past their objections and make a sale. In fact, research has found that providing a money-back guarantee can increase sales conversion by up to 25%.

And, if you’re confident in what you’re selling – and you should be – then you shouldn’t have to worry too much about people cashing it in. Just be sure to set a limited time on your guarantee. For example, offering a 30 or 60-day money-back guarantee.

website template

10 Signs Your Website Needs Revamping

Your website is one of your most powerful marketing tools. And in the case of e-commerce, this might actually be how you make most (if not all) of your sales. As such, you need to make sure your website is the best it can be.

In the early stages of your business, you might have thrown a site together, but as time passes, it’s likely that this site is no longer fit for purpose.

If this is the case, it might be time to revamp your website. But how do you know whether your website is tired and in need of some TLC?

Well, you should look out for the 10 signs we’ve outlined below.

1. There is too much branding disconnect

If you’ve worked on your branding and slowly changed it over time, you might find that your website no longer reflects your current branding.

But it’s so important that you offer visitors the same look and feel as all your other channels. For example, your social media, blog posts, packaging etc.

Not only this, but you need to make sure that all the different sections of your websites are consistent and that all your branding is the same. If this is not the case, it could be time for a revamp.

2. Your navigation is confusing

Websites need to be easy to navigate so that visitors can find all the information or products they need. If your website is very confusing and your main navigation is packed with different tabs, this can be very off-putting and frustrating to visitors.

So if you look at your website and realise the navigation wasn’t properly thought out and that actually, it onset facilitate the best possible user experience, it’s time to make a change.

3. It is not optimised for mobile

If your website is not yet optimised for mobile, you need to act fast. With so much of today’s traffic and sales being made through mobile devices, a responsive website is a must-have.

Not to mention Google uses mobile responsiveness as a way of ranking websites. So you could actually find that your website has dropped down on search engine results pages (SERPs) or is really hard to find.

4. It’s old and outdated

OK, so there is no expiration date on your website, but you’ll definitely be able to tell when it’s old and outdated.

If you haven’t updated your website in a while, it’s probably time for a revamp. Take a look through and determine if you need to add new functionality, update your content, change your images, etc.

You should be able to tell just by looking at your website if it needs some love.

5. Your website is really slow

The ideal website loading time is two seconds. After this, you run a higher risk of the visitor leaving your pages. In fact, the bounce rate increases by as much as 32% if the page load time is three seconds or more.

This can have a negative impact on your conversion rates and traffic and can also damage the user experience. As such, you need to make sure your website loads as quickly as possible.

There are tools out there that can help you to test your page load times and let you know how this can be improved. You should also check on your website loading time at least once a year.

6. Your bounce rate is high

If you track the various analytics for your website, then you should have some good insights into how it’s performing. If you notice that your bounce rate is really high, this is a sure-fire sign that it needs some work.

But how do you know whether it’s high? Well, a good bounce rate is generally considered to be in the range of 25% to 40%, so if yours is much higher than this, it is probably not good enough.

Of course, it’s worth noting that some pages will have higher bounce rates naturally. Online forms should have higher bounce rates, but home pages and long-form content shouldn’t. So be sure to look carefully at all your pages individually.

7. Your conversion rates are low

If you get lots of traffic to your site and your bounce rate is quite low, that’s great. But if those visitors don’t convert into a sale, there’s a problem. Keep an eye on your stats and if you notice that conversion rates are low, your website could be a direct contributor to this.

8. You have security concerns

Unfortunately, web security is often one of the last things people think about when setting up their website or contemplating a revamp. However, if you start to notice issues with your website, such as pop-ups, lots of outdated plugins, a security breach, etc. this is a sign that you need to update your security.

But even if you haven’t noticed these issues just yet, it’s worth thinking about the last time you updated your systems. Especially if you have an e-commerce site that collects financial and other sensitive data.

Older websites tend to be a higher security risk generally, so it pays to keep updating your website and security measures regularly.

9. You start getting bad reviews

If you notice that you start getting lots of complaints or bad reviews left about your website, this is absolutely a sign that it needs updating. If customers are struggling to make a purchase or use your services, they are likely to just abandon your site.

So keep an eye out to see if anyone is leaving reviews or comments and then act on these immediately. After all, you don’t want to get a bad reputation due to a poor website.

10. Your website is falling behind your competitors

And finally, have you noticed that your website pales in comparison to your competitors? If so, then you need to make some changes.

It’s advisable that you keep tabs on your competitors to see what they’re doing. If their websites are easier to navigate, are much faster or offer a better user experience, then take some inspiration from them and give your website some TLC.

If your website is in need of a revamp get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

Web Design - Cornell Studios

Why is Web Design Important?

A functional website is a big part of any business. The first thing most people do when they hear about a new business is search for a website and according to Adobe, when ‘given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something that is beautifully designed than something plain’. Therefore a well designed website has now become essential for not only keeping viewers attention but converting those viewers into customers. Web design is hugely important to any digital marketing efforts as websites tend to be the first place potential customers come to find important details such as location and contact information.

To put it simply, people are naturally attracted to good design whether they know it or not. Here are some reasons why we think web design is important.

It Leaves a Good Impression on Viewers

Everyone knows how important first impressions are. Why would your website be any different. Adobe have said that, “38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive”. Well considered web design is important as it makes a good first impression on your viewers and it is how they will begin to perceive your brand. A pleasant experience on a website will make first time viewers want to return.

It’s an Opportunity to Show Brand Consistency

You should use your website as an extension of your brand. Consistent branding will signal to your viewers and customers that your business is professional. Website branding that is consistent with your current branding will encourage your viewers to take your brand seriously and will provide a sense of familiarity for returning customers.

When designing a website you need to think about aspects such as colour, layout, typography, accessibility and navigation. Choose you colours based on your current branding and stick to one simple colour scheme. Keep your website’s layout simple and clean and only include the most important information. It’s important to make websites feel accessible, so use minimal typefaces which are easy to read and make sure they fit in well with the company branding. Make sure to keep the look and feel of the website consistent by using the same fonts, colours and layout across all webpages.

It Helps to Build Trust

An unpleasant and overcrowded looking website can cause viewers to doubt the legitimacy of a company and may even drive them to a competitors website. A well designed website communicates to the viewer that a company is trustworthy and serious. If your website is poorly designed viewers may be deterred from trusting you with their custom and will search for another company that offers the same service. By providing a well designed website, companies let the customer know how much they and their user experience are valued.

It Encourages Engagement

Everyone is well aware of the information overload that is on the web. Therefore it is important for websites to be engaging and to cut through the noise. Your website design should provide a pleasant experience for viewers and encourage them to stay and browse. Include engaging content that is concise and try to use images to illustrate the information you are trying to get across to the viewer.

It Provides a User Friendly Experience

When a website is user friendly viewers are more likely to stay and explore further. Web design can be used to guide the viewer through what they need to know about a company or it’s products. An enjoyable website will use well designed navigation to engage with the content without any roadblocks. If a website is overcrowded, chaotic and generally unpleasant to use viewers are more likely to go back to their search to find a better source.

Web design allows you to curate websites which suit the user’s lifestyle. Responsive web design optimises a website so it will work well with any device viewers may use. With most people accessing websites from mobile, responsive web design is of high importance and something every business needs to consider.

As a web design agency based in Northern Ireland, we would love to help you create a user friendly website. If you have any questions about web design or how you can give your business a boost, contact us today to start your project.

Content Marketing Tips

Content Marketing Tips

Using content to accelerate a business is in no way a new concept to the world of marketing. However content marketing uses a more tactical approach in order to bring in more returning customers. Content marketing focuses on creating interesting and relevant content which is in some way valuable to your customer base. Instead of constantly bombarding your target audience with your products and services, you are providing information and building up an audience who will actually want to receive newsletter or read your blog posts. This essentially builds an audience in a genuine way which encourages customers to return. If you feel like your digital marketing efforts are becoming dated and want some tips on how to begin using content marketing strategies, read on to find some tips.

Understand the Customer’s Journey

Knowing your target audience is one of the most important aspects of growing a business. In the world of content marketing you need to make an effort to not only know your customer but to understand their journey. Create inclusive content that will support and interest customers from each stage of the buyer’s journey, from those who are only becoming aware to those who are almost ready to buy.

Make Sure Your Brand’s Voice Remains Consistent

The main thing when beginning to write content for a company is to know your brand’s voice. Once you find the right voice for your brand, you need to make sure that your brand’s voice is consistent across all media, from your blog posts to your Instagram account. Before posting content, ask questions about what you have written. Does your content further develop your brand’s voice? Does your tone of voice sound genuine? Is your content representative of your company’s values and brand message? You should aim to provide a cohesive experience for your audience.

Use Data

Track your marketing efforts by studying your analytics. Carefully monitor the numbers to understand what works and what doesn’t. Although numbers are important, don’t forget the significance of conversion rates. There is little use in creating meaningful content if viewers are not converted into customers.

Quality and Consistency is Key

There are so many things that can consume our attention in today’s world therefore you should aim to only put out your very best content. It is better to post less content that is high quality. However this will only work if you are consistent otherwise you will lose your audience. Our tip is to create a content calendar. This means you can keep on top of consistent posting and you can create a longer term content marketing strategy.

Use Specific Keywords

Remember that the easiest way to bring in traffic to your blog or website is from search engines. Therefore you should incorporate any relevant keywords that may help your content rank highly on search engine results. Make sure to do this without seeming disingenuous. A good way to do this is to answer complex questions. Through this you will not only show off that you know what you’re talking about but you will cover relevant keywords and you have a chance of your answer appearing on Google’s Feature Snippet.

Include a Strong Call-to-Action

Make sure that your readers know where to go next. Whether that is to your website or a suggestion to check out your other social media accounts, you need to provide a user friendly path to get there. For example, you may take a look at your data and find out that you have more readers on your blog than instagram followers, however, your instagram may have a higher rate of conversion. Create a call-to-action that encourages your readers to visit your instagram. No matter what the case is, try to promote what is critical to sales.

If you need some help with the world of content marketing, as a digital marketing agency, we would love to help! Get in contact with us at 028 3833 9100 or send us an email at

SEO Tips - Cornell Studios

SEO Tips for Beginners

For those in the digital marketing industry, SEO has been around for quite some time now. However, for many, search engine optimisation is still a confusing term that gets thrown about, and it can be difficult to know what exactly it is.

Search engine optimisation (commonly referred to in it’s abbreviated format ‘SEO’), has the express purpose of getting your website content ranking higher on search engine listings.

It can be tricky to know where to start when optimising your website. As a digital agency, we are here to help you get started, here are our top 5 tips.

1.Keyword Research 

Though it may seem counterproductive, our number one piece of advice is: write for humans, not for search engines. Yes – you want Google and other search engines to see your content, but this is 2020 and search engines are smart enough to know when you are keyword stuffing and filling your content with technical jargon for the sole purpose of ranking well. This sort of content is of no interest to the average reader and because of this your site won’t be ranked well by google. Place your users first, write content that they want to read, that they will find interesting and engaging – the rest will follow.

Getting your keyword research right means you know what people are searching for in your niche and will allow you to write relevant content. Try to only have one keyword or topic per article to allow you to keep your content focused.

2. Optimise Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are the small sections of text that first appear under a websites URL when you search for them. This is the first piece of information that a user will get to see regarding your website, and if it is good, they are much more likely to click on the link through to your site. This is often a neglected piece of SEO but one that is well worth spending some time on. If any of your pages are missing meta descriptions, take some time to fill in a little bit of information about that page to show users what they will find there. Likewise, if there are pages that have duplicate content, not only could Google penalise you – but you are not giving users a good experience with misleading descriptions.

3. Optimise page content

All the same rules as above apply: write with your user in mind, write knowledgeably, and don’t duplicate content on your site. Never duplicate content from other websites either as this is plagiarism.  Look for content gaps on your website – these are keywords that your competitors rank for but which you don’t. Whenever you are writing an article, make sure you keep your keyword in mind at all times: it is often a good idea to have it in your introduction. When someone reads your article, they should be able to know immediately what your keyword is as that is what your content should be all about. Our top tip for any piece of content is to make sure it is easy to read and digest, this will draw users in and keep them engaged and looking more.

4. Optimise Images

Images enrich a website: they are aesthetically pleasing and visualise the product or object that the text is describing. However, search engines can’t read images and therefore it is important to add alt tags to each of your images to describe what they show. This is also beneficial for text-only browsers. Images also need to be optimised so they are mobile friendly and do not slow websites down. Page speed is a critical factor for websites. A website that takes too long too load is frustrating for the user and can cause them to click away from the site. You even risk users not clicking back into the site again. A slow site is often regarded as an untrustworthy site, and this is not what you want search engines to be thinking.

5. Link Building

When Google sees that you have a high number of trustworthy sites linking to your own website, it will deem your website by association to be of a similar standard. However, you can’t expect to receive if at first you don’t give. Show your willingness to link out to other blogs from your own content and show yourself to be a trustworthy source. Others will trust the content on your site and will be willing to give you links in return. Link building is about quality and not quantity, so don’t waste your time getting links on any website you can – it’s worth putting in the time and effort to get good links. Social media is a good platform for building links also as you can build relationships and reach out to other users to share content and encourage interactions.

We hope these SEO tips have encouraged you to spend a little more time on your SEO strategy. The effort you put in will always show in the rewards you reap. If you would like any more SEO tips, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Cornell Studios, we would love to help!

Email Marketing - Cornell Studios

Why Email Marketing is Important in 2020

Digital Strategy

When it comes to your digital strategy, there are so many routes to take. SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, having a responsive web design – all of these are important. The right strategist knows to target each of these areas using their budget to get the highest user interaction. One of our favourite, and perhaps least talked about digital strategies is email marketing. Almost everyone you know with internet access will have an active email address so the importance of email marketing is higher than ever in 2020.

Email Marketing

If you’re working on email campaigns, you are perhaps wondering how best to reach your audience. What is the most relevant content? When is the best time to reach out to your audience?

It’s not unheard of (in fact, it’s rather common) for people to have more than one email address. Often one is personal, one is a work email address – and there might even be one especially for mailing lists and other subscriptions.

Emails are so important in 2020 for our marketing strategies. There is a vast array of options available for media and advertising, but how many bring your campaign directly to a users phone? Consider how many times a day you check your phone. (A lot.) There is no better place for you to focus your campaign than directly in the consumer’s pocket.

Email Marketing Advantages

The great thing about email marketing and having an email marketing strategy is the flexibility to include your other digital marketing services. Your content marketing can be included – emails are a great way to share and promote your blogs. Similarly, your social media platforms can be linked in your email marketing. A link to your social icons and a call to action mean your content can be shared – reaching an even further audience.

The simplicity of setting up an email newsletter is another reason for why they are so important. You can set up a template to return to and simply enter the email addresses that you have. Unlike many contemporary advertising mediums, the consumer has the power in the relationship when it comes to emails. They have voluntarily given you their email address and have the option to unsubscribe at any time. While this makes it all the more important your content is good – this control is why so many people prefer emails, as it is permission based.

Personalise Your Emails

Therefore we recommend you delve in to this very unique type of marketing. Give your consumers MORE control. Personalise their emails (because who doesn’t love personalisation!), give them the option to control how often they receive emails from you, and what they wish to be contacted about. No one wants to be spammed with content that is of no interest to him or her.

Technology is on the rise faster than ever and email marketing is not going anywhere, so put some time and effort in to it. Think through your subject lines; prioritise valuable content and not selling of things. It’s vital you make your emails eye-catching and your content easily digestible.

As with any campaign, monitor your analytics and use it to build upon further campaigns.

We hope this blog has made you look at email marketing with fresh eyes and consider it’s importance in 2020. Do you have any tips for email marketing services?

Digital Trends 2020

Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

Digital Marketing Trends

Digital Marketing is constantly shifting and evolving, you have to keep up to date or you’ll soon get left behind. Here at Cornell, we love what we do and are always trying our best to keep up to date with the latest marketing trends. That’s why we’re taking a look at what we believe to be the digital marketing trends coming your way in 2020.

Here are our top 5:


Did you know that posts with images have 180% more engagement. Social media is a visual platform and this is going to come more and more in to play in 2020. Research has continually proven that consumers respond better to visual content that plain text. Of course, the growth of platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram further prove this point.


Who doesn’t love personalisation? We love getting our names on mugs and pens, or our company receiving branded water bottles. Where traditional advertising falls behind, personalised marketing creates a connection with customers. Over 80% of consumers are more likely to interact with a business that provides a personalised experience. Furthermore, loyal customers help increase the reputation and awareness of your brand – so it’s worth putting in the effort! Happy customers are the answer to free advertising of your brand.


According to a recent survey, up to 50% of searches in 2020 will be from voice search. Siri, Cortana, Alexa and friends are not new to the market – but they are becoming a great marketing tool and a way for marketing agencies to get their brand out there and to convert sales. Voice searches are extremely popular and aren’t slowing down any time soon, so it’s important your content is optimised for voice search. Voice searches use longer, more conversational queries so keep this in mind to help drive traffic to your website. Be conversational, understand language, and make sure your content is answering questions.


Digital marketing and content marketing is no longer a sales pitch, it’s a relationship. 2020 is going to be about working alongside consumers in a way that keeps bringing them back for more. Potential customers are not passive bots – they are going to go out and do their research and you need to have a great experience in place to offer them more than just information. Great experiences mean convenience, friendliness, easy payment options and interesting technology.

Employees are everything and research shows that clients will often leave a business if they believe the employees are not knowledgeable in their field. As the human face of your brand, you are responsible for employing people who know what they’re talking about and provide an experience that keeps bringing clients back for more. Of course, employees will be passionate about their field if they are happy where they work. A great employee experience means a great customer experience!


Having an SEO campaign or SEO strategy is nothing new in an advertising agency, but with so many companies claiming they can provide SEO now, it’s time to up the game to pick the amateurs out from the professionals. Google is striving to make it’s search engine smarter and smarter, picking up the nuances of everyday language and getting more accurate results for what searchers are looking for. If your website is poorly written or lacking clarity – you’re definitely going to see a decrease in your traffic. Keep the customer at the fore of all your strategies; if you ensure you are writing for clients and keeping in mind that they are real people, that’s when you’ll see results.

So there you have it: Cornell Studios’ thoughts on what the digital marketing trends of 2020 will be. Is your business ready to take on these new developments?

Digital DNA


Tomorrow kicks starts Digital DNA 2019 and the Cornell Team are excited to be in attendance – perhaps none more so than myself, as this will be my first time attending!

This is Northern Ireland’s biggest digital event, an estimated 3,000 are going to be in attendance and there will be over 150 speakers.

Digital events are becoming a huge deal in Northern Ireland – and for good reason. This is a great opportunity to network, to meet like-minded people and really learn more about our industry from the experts.

So why should you too be excited about this huge event?
Here are my top 3 reasons why you need to get yourself to Digital DNA 2019:
  1.  There has been a shift in digital marketing in recent years. Companies are realising the importance of this industry and new budgets are being allocated to digital marketing to help businesses grow. This is your opportunity to learn more about this sector and what it can do for your company.
  2. Time to learn. There are over 150+ speakers at this event! All experts in their field. I recommend picking out in advance the talks that are most applicable to you (I already have a list of talks I’ll be making my way to). Take notes, soak up all that information and make sure you’re ready to action it by the time you’re back at your desk. Some talks will be more light-hearted than others, but i’ve been informed many talks can quickly become active & instructional workshops (with lots of technical tips & tricks being deluged).
  3. Networking. This is a great opportunity to bring exposure to your company. You’ll never know who you’ll meet that can help your company, or likewise who you can help out with your services. Be sure to speak to lots of people, browse the stands, spark conversations, get involved in the various activities taking place throughout the venue.
So if you’re heading to Digital DNA this week, we hope you’re excited.
The Cornell Team will be in attendance both days, so make sure you say hello!
Logo Design - Cornell Studios

The Art of
Artworking a Logo

Logos are everywhere. I can guarantee that wherever you are reading this – you can see several logos around you. At first glance you might see one or two – but keep looking – how many can you really see?

As I write this at home – at my desk – I stopped counting when I reached 40 unique logos (not including multiples of the same logo) and there are many more. They are as diverse as my Apple MacBook Pro, a Panasonic vinyl record player, a Stanley screwdriver, a little bottle of Loctite super glue, a Sharpie pen and over 100 Coca-Cola bottles and collectibles (yes… I collect international Coca-Cola ‘hobble-skirt’ bottles).

Graphic Design

Why did I list some of the items I can see? Because as I listed them – you can imagine what they look like –because I put a brand name to them. Why is that important? Because brands are important – it’s what makes them stand out. Or as Marks & Spencer put it “… this is not just food, this is M&S food”.

So… what is a ‘brand’?
A ‘brand’ is much more than just a logo. Your brand is how your business is perceived – mainly by your customers, your suppliers, your competitors and even your staff.

So… how is your business perceived?
Is your business reliable? Is it dependable? Is it liked by your customers, your suppliers and your staff? Is it on top of its game? Is it in front of its competitors? Is it doing things that others can only dream of?

Art Work Logo

So… what has a logo got to do with your brand?
If the answer to the previous list of questions are yes – then a well designed and thought out logo is only going to help reinforce your brand message to the outside world. It’s a peg to hang your hat on – so to speak. It’s a visual representation of your brand – it identifies the business, product or person.

Take two of the largest brands in the world – Coca-Cola and Apple. Both of their logos speak volumes. When you see their logos on their products – you know exactly what you are going to get. Why? Because their logos conjure up feelings and emotions based on years of being reliable, dependable, liked by their customers, suppliers and staff, on top of their game, in front of their competitors and doing things that others can only dream of.

Blog Images-840x293px4

So… have Cornell Studios any experience designing a new logo?
Over the years – Cornell Studios have designed many logos, for many companies, from many different areas of business – and each logo is unique to each client.

But this year we were asked to design a logo that would help our very successful client take his brand to a new level. Well – it’s not everyday you have the opportunity to design a logo for a Three-Time British Touring Car Champion.

Colin Turkington

Not that we were giving Colin Turkington special treatment – we treat all of our clients as special – but Colin’s new logo was going to be seen by his many followers on his new website (we designed and built that too), on Twitter, on Instagram and more importantly on TV. Like all the logos we design – we had to make sure this one was as well built and looked as good as Colin’s new 2019 BMW 330i M Sport BTCC racing car. What a challenge!

Brand Design

So… what is The Art of Artworking a Logo?
Just as Colin’s new BMW doesn’t just roll out of the garage on race day – because an engineer went down to their local Bavarian garage and purchased a car the night before – so a logo doesn’t just appear out of thin air because a designer sketched an idea on the back of a napkin. A lot of thought and research goes into preparing a logo. Of course ideas sometimes do start at a basic level – but they are built upon, crafted, refined and after being approved by their new potential owner – are constructed with precision – like the race car.

Digtial Agency

I’m not going to elaborate on the design process – mainly because I’m not a full-on Graphic Designer. I’m what is know as a Creative Artworker – or what was previously known in the industry as a Finished Artist. The Creative Artworker is not the most glamorous of jobs in the design studio, but getting your final artwork right is crucial to any branding project – especially for a new logo.

In short – I pull the design apart and rebuild it from scratch, paying particular attention to typography, making sure things line up properly and that, in this case, the corner radii (the plural of radius) are considered and accurate.

Rather than waffle on too much more – I thought it was easier to show you the building process as a short animation. (Expand to fullscreen to understand the detail)


Dynamically beautiful web animations, style over substance?

I love new tech as much as the next guy. I see the latest phone release with only one extra feature that doesn’t add up against the ever growing price tag – yet I want it. Sometimes web animations can be viewed like this: new tech that we all love. Something that’s flashy and new, we all want it, but it doesn’t seem to add up against the price tag… or does it?

Some avoid animations as they consider them to hamper download time, lack the full understanding of their use and benefits, or don’t have the time/budget. However, this is a dated view point as now they can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be. Advancements in technology means it’s more feasible than ever to create and incorporate complex animations into your website, with increased internet speeds making little difference to download time. They can be a simple css or javascript effect, a creative SVG with coded various outcomes depending on user input, or an embedded mp4/gif. The simplest can be super small as it is primarily in the code and there is no physical transfer. More complicated embedded animations have a larger file size – but in short, with the right consideration this can be minimised.

For me, animation in web design alone is all about improving the users visual experience; aiding them on their journey to find what they are looking for, or helping them understand a certain element of what they need to know, making otherwise dull information fun and interesting to learn about. As a designer, my aim is to make things as aesthetically pleasing and creatively on point in its medium as I can. In print you do this using what is available to you: interesting folds, foil blocks, or a clever choice of stock for the project. In web design you use parallax scrolls, considered navigations, fixed and unfixed elements. Animations like other elements shouldn’t be ignored but rather used appropriately. For example, they are a great way to fill dead space that can’t be resolved, like downloads, I mean who hasn’t wasted ten minutes watching those Wetransfer animations before you catch yourself on?

Animated elements create another layer of differentiation in the visual hierarchy of information. For the user they act as a quick visual guide for what they need to do, or where they can find what they are looking for. Used correctly with the right knowledge of how we all knowingly (or unknowingly) psychologically interact with technology, it can be a real asset. Unconsidered animations give their use a bad rep. An animation should always compliment a users experience and consider their predicted path. This done right can be a truly beautiful experience indeed. With this in mind and the ability to create interactive designs that are becoming more accessible and easier to achieve, we should start seeing these beautifully interactive elements becoming the norm. Here are a few animated sites that caught my eye for combination of aesthetic, purpose and function:

The actual facts as to why you should use them are also staggering and increasing year upon year. Biteable have a really good resource of statistics relating to video trends and marketing statistics that’s definitely worth a read. . In short, people seem to prefer and outright demand video content. The thing that seems to be stopping a meteoric rise of its use is the perceived time and budget limitations from marketing teams. While this is a fair concern, and indeed the biggest problem to curb with clients, designers and technology are adapting to meet these current trends. The benefits of improving SEO on a google search, minimising bounce back, massively increasing click through rates and even increasing product sales (85% are more likely to buy a product if they watch an explainer video), are only some of the major benefits that should encourage this.

In summary, animation in web design is totally beneficial from a marketing point of view. With improvements in technology and designer skills adapting it’s getting easier and easier to produce good results in a reasonable time and budget. The masses love video content for their ability to convey emotion, speed of information uptake, and making a message memorable. They are a useful tool, but as with anything the issue on whether they are effective or not is whether they are considered and implemented correctly. Personally I’m a big fan, they make every considered website a more interesting and pleasant experience, and I hope the growing trend means we start seeing more and more. {Nathan}

To view some of our recent animation work please visit