Four (4) reasons big brands jumped on the Royal baby congratulations band wagon

Comparing the creative ways in which many Companies in the UK chose to jump on the welcoming of the royal baby and comparing it to the sad and characteristically similar manner in which Kenyan Companies chose to welcome President Obama during his visit to Nairobi, it was disappointing to see how little creative effort went into the Kenyan version of adverts most plainly stating their welcome as if the entire creative community was completely bi-passed in a bid to ‘save costs’ on such a ‘simple design matter’. I truly hope the same mistake will not be made by Companies hoping to make public ANY message to the Pope when he makes his visit. Engage the creatives and you will never go wrong, also, any publicity intent should be thoroughly analysed and taken full advantage of, always!

  1. To flaunt creative ideas aside of the brand guidelines

For Companies tightly bound by their brand standards dictating minute details of advert design and limiting creativity of design of various collateral, this is an opportunity to go all out and do something that even the brand guidelines could not anticipate – the birth of royalty, Obama comes to town.

British Airways


  1. For increased brand visibility

Trending topics are good for SEO and visibility because they have a high number of clicks. Audiences will normally click through as many different links to a trending topic in order to receive perspectives of as many news sources as possible. Because of this, users will “see right through” insincere attempts by brands to take advantage of a trending topic, if your brand is considering this type of marketing it must turn the “authentic and genuine gauge up a notch”

Some identified fails sound like this:

estate agents Gavelsmotors

  1. To be part of the unspoken competition between brands with consumers as the unwitting judges

This kind of creative publicity provides a platform for brands to put on their creative hats and step out and “strut their stuff” alongside each other in an unplanned competitive atmosphere that gets them judged by a larger audience than their target market. Brands that don’t have the natural affinity to the topic need to be more strategic and clever in their marketing. For instance, the birth of a second royal baby is in line with Pampers UK brand language and core product, not so much for COCA COLA.

Coca Cola Pampers

  1. A chance to be gauged outside of their core business

A larger audience due to the nature and level of appeal of the trending topic, genuine creative output has the ability to effectively create an emotional connection to your brand with a new psychographic. The ones who admire the brand for its creative innovation, they may not consume the product or service but may be quick to recommend the brand to users of similar products because they are drawn to the brand style. This creative output must of course be sustained beyond the trending hot bag.

royal toastNissanJPG

5 design terms everyone needs to know

Learning the design lingo is important for everyone because it helps everyone appreciate the design process. It is crucial to know what you are dealing with same way it’s important to know what you are buying when in a supermarket. Knowing the rules of the shop also helps make the design process smoother and you are able to appreciate each step during the progression of the design process. In the same way we carry our visa cards to the supermarket and don’t expect discounts for purchases, it is crucial to understand the perimeters within which design operates.

  1. Design brief

A creative brief is the core of the client service process and may lead to the success or failure of the creative output. The creative brief is a descriptive document that containing information about the client, what they do, how they do it and explains their requirements for the project. Our briefing process is aimed at collecting comprehensive information from the client in order to eliminate any ambiguities in the design process. We always urge our clients to take this step very seriously and not address it hurriedly in a bid to ‘get to the fun part’ because it is the basis of the entire project. It tells the story of the project – why it is to be undertaken and provides a strategic foundation on how it is to be undertaken and for whom it is intended.

It is this strategic input that enables us to provide an effective design solution to the clients business and not merely a decorative art piece.

  1. Design scope

The scope outlines the general aims and goals of the project design and lists the major deliverables and milestones.  Project scope management plan is a planning tool that documents how the project team will go about defining project scope, how the work breakdown structure will be developed, how changes to scope will be controlled, and how the work of the project will be verified and accepted. This document is important because it keeps everyone on their proverbial ‘side of the fence’. It contains the following crucial elements:

  • The project scope statement contains a detailed description of the project deliverables.
  • A process for creating the work breakdown structure (WBS). The WBS further defines the work of the project (as defined in the scope statement) by breaking down the deliverables into smaller pieces of work.
  • A definition of how the deliverables will be verified for accuracy and the process used for accepting deliverables.
  • A description of the process for controlling scope change requests, including the procedure for requesting changes and how to obtain a change request form.


  1. Logo vs. Brand

According to creative bloq, a great logo works as a reminder of a company or product, for designers they represent the challenge of encapsulating a client’s essence into a single graphic.

What a logo design isn’t, though, is branding. While the logo is usually the stand-out part of a brand, there’s much more to branding than a logo. A good brand identity is carefully built out of a number of elements, and the logo will reflect these elements and work within the brand system.

But creating or refreshing a brand can be a massive undertaking, involving a deep understanding of the brand’s personality, how it’s perceived, its history and function and much more.

  1. Resolution: DPI vs. PPI

Resolution is a measure of dots per inch (DPI) for printed works and pixels per inch (PPI) for digital work. If the resolution of an image is too low, your final product will come out looking grainy or pixelated. Even if you’re smart phone shoots 41 megapixels, trust your designer if he or she says the image won’t work (Rebecca Swift).

  1. Typography

This is the art of using typefaces to communicate. This skill encompasses both the typefaces and the negative space surrounding them. Typeface research is a process that takes up a lot of time during the design especially of logos and brands because the font selected sets the ‘mood’ and ‘feel’ for your brand.

You will want to know something about fonts because the two convey different feelings. Serif fonts have a line crossing the ending of a stroke and are sometimes described as having “wings” and “tips.” Serif fonts like Times New Roman make printed materials easier to read but can be difficult to read in online body copy.


Corporate gift giving in Kenya, a seasonal trend

In order to remain competitive in the marketplace and recognize employees, clients and vendors, gift giving is a great way to build strong and lasting business relationships, foster trust and loyalty and for staying ‘top-of-mind’ with your clients. It’s your company’s way of showing its clients and partners that you truly appreciate them in a genuinely thoughtful way.

Nairobi end of year corporate gift giving has always had a typical aspect to it. Anyone who has worked in a large office has likely experienced the influx of calendars and diaries and pens and all manner of branded items from The Company’s suppliers. We have established that all these items have their place despite their generic nature – any manner of token that expresses appreciation and gratitude and that is put to daily use by employees goes a long way in making an impression. So feel free to create calendars, diaries, notepads, t-shirts, caps, pens, umbrellas, flash disks and mugs. Keeping your brand top-of-the mind is a brand awareness tool that still works.

This year, set yourself apart from the pack and keep yourself top of mind by giving your 2015 gift in 2016. Check out our four tips to keep you differentiated this season:

  1. Timing: Find out when your client will be coming back from their end year holiday whether January or February and have their gift waiting on their desk on the day they report.
  2. Stay subscribed: Different clients appreciate (or resent) different greetings, and these preferences can be hard to keep straight, but a three-month lunch subscription to the specific team you are working with is likely safe and it’ll serve as a reminder of you for the entire first quarter.
  3. Customize: If your company has a small number of clients, try to customize their gifts as much as possible. Pay attention to each client’s habits or get some information from the sales people who have dealt with them. Listen closely to cues they give in meetings and send something you’re sure they’ll like, or play it safe with standard corporate gifts that can be easily shared among a team.For instance, if a client orders wine during dinner meetings, wine is a safe choice. If you’ve met with the client over golf, then a small token from their favorite course could be more appropriate. These personalized gifts can make your clients feel like they’re special and really important to your business.

    If your business has too many clients for you to manage individual purchases, smaller more general items will do such as a picture frame or a desk clock or a personalized card.

  1. Gift your employees
    Employee appreciation in form of a small token like a restaurant gift card or a shopping voucher can make them feel appreciated.For employees, stick to the same type of gift or at least gifts of similar value; however, if you have one or two employees or colleagues who you work with more closely, like an assistant or partner, larger gifts are more appropriate.

    The most important aspect of giving employee gifts is to remember every single person including the day and night guard. Internal exchange of information will lead to people feeling under-appreciated or forgotten if you choose whom to gift.

  1. Gift your suppliers
    A gift basket for your service provider makes for a good selection since you can choose the style, size and the budget that fits each of their tastes. Keep in mind that a very expensive gift can backfire because it can make the recipient feel uncomfortably obligated and sometimes even get them into trouble at the office.



Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation Advertisement

That Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation approached AKSENT in Nairobi to develop a double page advertisement that would not look like an advertisement, but, would also not look like a newspaper article.

The advertisement was to celebrate the life of Kenya’s first Vice-President and the various things that were achieved by him, both for his people and for his country.

The two full page advertisement appeared in full colour in Kenya’s Standard Newspaper.




Armstrong Movers advertisement in Safesteps Magazine


Armstrong movers is a fully Kenyan moving moving company based in Nairobi’s industrial area. They approached AKSENT with a brief to design a one off advertisement that would run in Kenya’s premier private schools magazine.

As the magazine would target individuals who take their children to private schools the advert had to appeal to lifestyle associated with parents of children in private schools, people who work hard and want good service. We designed a quarter page magazine advertisement.

tyremasters advertisement in expat link

Tyremasters advertisement for Expat Link

Tyremasters Limited approached AKSENT to develop a series of advertisements that they wanted to run in Expat Link. The adverts were based on a style of creative developed in the U.S. by Cooper Tyres global that we then modelled to ensure that clients who had seen the U.S. communication identified with waht they were seeing in Nairobi.

The adverts were developed to market a series of tyres designed for luxury SUVs such as Range Rovers Sports’ and Toyota Land Cruisers. The selling point of these tyres being that they work equally as well off road as they do on road. A feature welcome in Kenya where a driver is likely to find equal measure of both in their regular driving.

See the designs we did below:



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