We’ve ridden out four recessions, numerous software / hardware upgrades and some dizzying changes in the communications landscape – and even a pandemic – and we’re still delivering the goods. Why? Because we’ve never lost our passion for creativity, or our lust for the next great idea.
BTL Creative started out with a coming-together of two ambitious young men (Steve Braden and Rob Threadgold) who’d been working out their day-job frustrations with freelance work in their spare bedrooms, along with a nagging sense that they could run a design agency better than their respective bosses.
Steve and Rob are still the driving creative force in the business, maintaining a hands-on role with virtually every project which goes through the studio... it’s just that now they’ve surrounded themselves with an excellent, dedicated team to help make things happen.
Some things haven’t changed since we launched back in 1998. We still endeavour to balance great ideas with a practical, budget-conscious approach. We still bend over backwards / jump through hoops / go the extra mile for our clients (often all at the same time). And we still insist on sticking to our core principle: that Creativity is King.
Long Live the King!
Since 1998, our commitment to our clients and our creative principles have remained a constant in an ever-changing economic environment.
Each of our team brings something different to the table
(or the chair). Put us together, and great things happen.
Like all the best teams, ours is made up of lots of different personalities, which we like to think helps to spark the ideal creative environment. Everybody has ideas to contribute, everybody has their own take on how to approach a particular project – which means that we tend to cover all the bases for our clients.
We’re extremely proud of the loyalty of our team, which mirrors that of our clients. Both seem to stick around. This makes life easier for everyone, because it means that there’s a deep understanding of each other and the work that we do together; which enables us to deliver the goods with maximum efficiency.
“Great team to work with - creative, lots of ideas to deliver projects, give great advice and will never miss a deadline or let you down.”Althea Taylor-Salmon
At the top level, what we ‘do’ is design and produce a wide variety of electronic and printed communications for very appreciative clients. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface.
Take a closer look at our work and – in addition to some visual samples of recent projects – you’ll get an insight into what it is that we actually do on a daily basis; the extra thinking and experience we put into the job, which makes the crucial difference between simply producing excellent creatives and our goal of designing and producing communications which genuinely deliver the goods
Or skim-read How we think below, which tells you more about our processes and approaches. We make no apologies for going into a bit of detail; we think that,
before you spend money with us, you deserve to know that there’s some substance beneath the style.
Our aim is that this website leaves you with an understanding that not all design agencies are the same. And that you then give us a call.
We look forward to doing great things together, with you.
We’ll always take the time to give each new brief proper consideration; asking ourselves (and our clients) all sorts of questions about who a communication is aimed at, what the key objectives are and how they might best be delivered.
And then we dive into the creative process, bringing all our experience, inspiration and (sometimes) a bottle of Jack Daniels to the table. Once we’ve come up with some ideas that we love enough, we’ll test them for practicality and affordability before sharing them with our clients.
Jack Daniels to the table. Once we’ve come up with some ideas that we love enough, we’ll test them for practicality and affordability before sharing them with our clients.
We think you’ll love
our ideas too.
We’re brimming with them. Positively overflowing.
And we’re not just talking about conceptual ideas – although we like to think that we’re no slouches in that department. We’re also talking about ideas on communications strategy, production processes, media...and how to solve design conundrums such as trying to fit a big message into a small space.
It’s not just about having great ideas; it’s also about knowing how to implement them, and we’ve got the expertise to do so in a practical way to fit in with your individual requirements.
What’s your problem? We think we’ll have a good idea of how to solve it.
Slow down. We’re all looking for quick solutions, but there’s no point in producing communications that look the business if the message hasn’t been carefully honed to really achieve your objectives.
We’re passionate about copy. Few things are more pleasing (or persuasive) than a carefully crafted headline, but informative long copy has an important role to play too – so long as it’s in the right place – and now has the added benefit of being helpful for SEO.
It’s about finding the right voice for your market, your product, your media, and then applying it consistently and persuasively. Content counts, but how that content is delivered makes the difference between success and failure. We’re only interested in success, which is why we’re prepared to take the time.
Art direction is a pretty generic term. For us, it means that every project that goes through our studio requires the input of a senior Creative – to make sure that, whatever the content, the creative potential of the communication is maximised.
These days ‘art direction’ more commonly applies to photography, and it’s a skill which – sadly – is commonly overlooked in the rush for speed and economy.
Great art direction can be the difference between a photograph being just a space-filler on the page or one that truly brings your product or service to life.
Great art direction creates a unique, original image that can absolutely nail your message and speak volumes about your brand.
Great art direction adds an extra dimension to all types of photographic images; whether shot in a studio or on location, regardless of subject matter.
Great art direction requires: technical knowledge to maximise the potential of the photographer and equipment; a thorough understanding of the subject matter to be shot; an eye for design to bring it to life; a feeling for people, backgrounds, locations and how to get the most out of them; a familiarity with the design context in which the image is going to appear.
BTL Creative offers great art direction.
These days, everyone thinks of themselves as a bit of a typographer…playing around with different fonts and sizes in their presentations. But typography is about so much more than that, and we make no apologies that our designers and artworkers can get a little obsessive about it.
It’s not just that we’re traditional enough to know our ‘ems’ from our ‘ens’, it’s because we appreciate how much careful typography can change – or even create – the whole feel of a communication. In most cases, the effect on the reader will be subconscious...but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
We’re devotees of the art; taking the time to ponder over our choice of just the right font, exactly the right leading, precisely the right kerning, absolutely the right tracking.
It’s about polish, and it underpins just about every successful communication.
We seem to have developed a habit of sorting out mess. It doesn’t always make life easy for us, but our clients have learnt that they can throw us a cobbled-together multi-faceted brief – with a tight budget and frighteningly optimistic deadline – and somehow we’ll get everything sorted and delivered successfully.
This is because we’re able to combine clear-sighted strategy planning with careful project management; meaning that we’re not only able to help you identify objectives and map out how they might best be achieved, but can also ensure that everything happens in the right order, to the right standard, at the right time.
Because great design work doesn’t just happen.