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16 October 2014
Hannah Lane: The Interview

by Belphoebe


What motto or saying do you live by?

The core of man’s spirit comes from new experiences.

What made you want to work in graphic design?

When I was studying on my art foundation I knew I wanted to have a career in the creative industry, but had no idea which route do go down. I took the graphic design module to try something new and instantly loved it. I loved how diverse and open it was, that you could use any media to create an outcome, and collaborate to produce some really interesting work.

What is the worst thing about being a graphic designer?

Spending a lot of time in front of the computer.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Will Ferrell

Pick a non primary colour. Why did you pick it?

Neon orange. It’s my favourite colour!

Tell us about your favourite photograph.

A very scenic family photo of my parents and a 6 year old me on Vancouver Island in Canada. Brings back vague memories of trekking through forests, looking for bears, and cheekily pushing my dad into lakes.

How good are you at making tea on a scale of 1 to 10?

Well, I find my tea excellent, others probably find it too weak.

2 October 2014
Igloo Reacts: Ello

by Belphoebe


You’ve almost certainly been said ‘Ello’ to in the past few days. It’s the new social network that prides itself on being ad free. As a matter of fact, it comes with the shareable manifesto that ‘you are not a product.’ The layout is so simplistic and ‘clean’ that it makes Facebook look overdone. The logo is simply a smiley face, and they’ve even managed to make that look minimalistic.

‘Sounds great, sign me up!’ Not so fast, Ello have been inundated with thousands of sign ups on an invite only system, averaging almost 40,000 requests an hour. If you want to get in on the action, you’re going to have to beg someone for an invite code, or even bid for one on Ebay. Is it just a fad that we’ll inevitably forget about in a week before returning with our tail between our legs to Facebook, or is it going to change the way we use social networks completely? The Igloo team decided to throw in their two cents:

Hannah – Graphic Design Intern

Another social network?

When does anyone have the time anymore to be updating and checking all of these many networks? From a designer’s point of view it is becoming exhausting having to update every social media platform in order to stay in the loop and keep networking. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Behance, Flickr, Linkedin, Vimeo, Youtube, Google Plus and now Ello?

Agreed, being add free is a massive plus, however Facebook and Twitter started off being limited to a certain group, blogs come with themes which you can make as minimalist as you like, so does Ello really have anything new to bring to the table?

James – Partner:

Social networking sites are more about traction than features – they succeed only if they can gain enough momentum, people have to feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t sign up. I’d love to think that an ad free network that doesn’t sell your data could work, but realistically I don’t think it’s possible. Ello will be very popular with the bearded gentry, but the masses are happy with what they’ve got.

Thoughts with my technical hat on: Hosting data is expensive! By selling our data, Google and facebook have made hosting seem cheap, but it’s not. The people who pay for Ello’s advanced features will be subsidising the majority of users and so expect some surprisingly big charges if this is to succeed.

Also, don’t get too comfortable… Maybe Ello wont sell your data, but who else will? Google’s already got an index of 37’000 Ello profiles. I’ve just done some research – users are 60% male, 40% female, that information’s undoubtedly worth something and there’s plenty more I could harvest for the right price…

Ben – Senior Graphic Designer

Here’s my quick two pence:

As much as Facebook makes me angry on a daily basis, this is usually the cause of baby photos and mindless updates rather than targeted advertising. My data being captured in general doesn’t bother me and I don’t believe there is an evil agenda for the majority. I think once the hype for Ello has run its course and they require massive funding to stay running you will see how fickle people are, especially when being asked to part with cash.

Goodbye Ello.

Olly – Partner: 

We’ve seen a lot of new social networks fail to challenge Facebook. There was Google’s Buzz that turned out to be more of a Fizzle, MySpace, Bebo. Interestingly Google+ launched off the back of privacy complaints about Facebook, but it turns out when everyone limits what anyone can see, there’s nothing to see… Then there’s the new kids on the block: Path and Diaspora based around other complaints about Facebook.

Like it or lump it though, Ello has managed to get more excitement than most social networks have managed, and it seems to be getting a bit of traction. So two questions leap to mind:

Is it any good? Well currently it doesn’t work well since it is still in development, and it looks very on trend and hipster, which will age fast. Presuming they’ll fix the functionality if enough money is thrown at it, I think the hipster look is helping it at launch but could be its downfall if it can manage to become popular. A social network is ultimately a tool, and the design wants to be transparent to showcase the content. This might soon become the network for idiotic trend followers, you know the sort, who buy shabby chic from Prada and only drink free-range vegan wine.

So the second question is can it fund itself? It’s all very good and well saying we won’t use advertising, but can it work? Let’s remember that most social sites don’t make money for many years, this is based on the fact that with a big enough user base they can eventually make money (from advertising) or they can be sold to one of the giants for the same price as buying Luxembourg. Will large numbers of people buy features? I’m not sure they will. Ultimately I think people will prefer a free social network with advertising than one they have to pay for.

Perhaps Ello will be the wealthy thinking-person’s Facebook, but as is shown with Google+, all a social network really is is a userbase, ubiquity is everything, and I’m not sure Ello’s payments will stick. Perhaps they’ll just gain traction and then start advertising anyway, just in a different (read: the same) way. Now there’s an idea…

Bel – Copy and Digital Marketing:

I’m ever so slightly suspicious of an online company whose main ploy is lack of advertising, that in itself seems to be its marketing gimmick, which is an uncomfortable standpoint. It’s always the same formula with these businesses, Californian guys in flip flops who think they’re really sticking it to the man with their Macbooks and rebellious ideas, it’s enough to make you raise a cynical eyebrow.

There’s got to be a catch, surely? Well, apparently Ello are hoping to bring in paid features, so maybe that’s it. That said, the layout of Ello profiles reminds me more of Tumblr than Facebook, and I like how it seems to combine elements of both twitter and a blog. I think it could be especially beneficial to online businesses and creatives who want to get their work out there on a social platform rather than having it tucked away on a specialist site. The minimalist layout makes it an artist’s dream!

I also think the invite only feature is particularly clever as an initial marketing tool. With people selling invite codes for around a tenner on facebook and immense waiting lists, everyone is scrambling to get themselves signed up to the site. I’ve already signed Igloo and myself up just in case it really takes off. What can I say? I’m gullible.

Will you be saying ello Ello or Ello goodbye? 

10 September 2014
Igloo reacts to: Apple watch

by Belphoebe


Dubbed their most personal product to date, the hype surrounding Apple’s announcement of its first wearable gadget, the Apple Watch, was unprecedented. Before the release, there was apprehensive discussion as to what exactly the Apple Watch would offer, apart from telling the time. Would it be, as cynical commentators argued, just an iPhone for your wrist? Well, sort of.

As well as the ability to make calls, send messages, and access apps, the watch apparently innovates sensory technology, allowing you to simply swipe to view your applications, as well as send drawings, and even (somewhat eerily) the sound of your own heartbeat, to your contacts. Its main new features are the fitness tracker, and Apple Pay, a contactless way to transfer money, already being accepted in McDonalds and American pharmacy Walgreens.

There’s been a significant amount of buzz and discussion around the release in the Igloo office, and each of us have shared our first thoughts on the Apple Watch. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.


James, Partner:

Back in July 2013, Pebble demonstrated the worldwide appeal for a smartwatch by crowdfunding a staggering $10 million via Kickstarter. Despite the huge potential market, it’s taken the big names over a year to catch up and create their versions.

Although I can see the Apple Watch being incredibly useful in many cases – I love the thought of accessing messages and maps while cycling, and I’ve got nothing against wearable technology – I still can’t see myself getting this: The screen goes blank after a few seconds so you can’t actually check the time without two hands, plus I’m also worried that this will look like a mountain on my skinny geek wrists.

Finally, watching the use videos online, I can’t help but be reminded of the Macbook Wheel… I’m sure I’ll be wearing a smartwatch in a year’s time, but I don’t think they’ve sorted it yet.

Is James on to something here?

Is James on to something here?


Olly, Partner:

We have come to expect ground-breaking new products from Apple and this watch doesn’t deliver on that promise, instead it fits in neatly with pre-existing products.

I think it’s interesting that they have attempted to make a much fuller and more usable operating system for the Apple Watch than the Android Wear has, but in the demos the combination of different ways of interacting with the device combined with the small screen make it look very complicated to use.

Ultimately it doesn’t look as good as the Moto 360, it doesn’t seem to be as easy to use as any Android Wear device, it doesn’t appear to be properly waterproof, and there is no news on battery life, which is the major problem these devices are struggling to overcome. When was the last time that an Apple product felt so second best?

Olly's heart lies firmly with the Moto 360.

Olly’s heart lies firmly with the Moto 360.


Bel, Digital Marketing:

I can imagine that the Apple Watch will only be popular amongst real gadget fans. It seems to be an add on to your iPhone, something for the really hardcore techies to get involved in. It’s the sort of thing you’ll wave in the face of your friends for a few months to impress them, then eventually get bored of. Either that or it will really take off and nobody will bother giving their iPhone a second glance.

I think Apple have certainly kept to their reputation of innovation with this one, in terms of the connection to your heartbeat, and its ability to differentiate between a touch and a press. But call me a traditionalist, but I think I’d just like my watch to tell the time, not do my dishes.


Ben, Senior Graphic Designer:

My first impressions are not great to be honest, and I am usually a fan of Apple products. My main issue is with the aesthetics which I certainly didn’t expect from them and the ease of use looks to be a problem, although I will reserve complete judgement on that. I love watches and in my opinion the more functional (read clean) the better. Whilst some of the features look impressive, it seems bizarre to me that you would need your iPhone at all times to make it work. I can think of many occasions I want a watch, but not my phone.

I think I will stick to my Braun thank you Apple.


Tom, Web Developer:

I have no doubt that people will love the new expensive & uninspiring watch recently released by Apple. It looks cheap, it’s complicated to use and has no real use, what more could you want? It doesn’t even have infrared, give me one of those bad boys any day! 


Tom would go for a Casio any day.


Hannah, Graphic Design Intern:

How can something so small do so much?! It is an impressive addition to the Apple products, although there is certainly a lot going on. The watch is slick and has a very ‘Apple’ look to it, however it seems quite overcomplicated for a ‘user-friendly’ watch, almost as if they are trying to pack too much into it. The changeable straps do make it wearable for a range of occasions, which I think will be a success.  They have kept the battery life quiet which suggests it isn’t that great. We’ll have to wait and see…


What do you think about the release of the Apple Watch?

3 July 2014
Type tour of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014

by Kirsty

A selection of the National Pavilion façades at the Giardini site. Have a look at what’s on display inside them here.



















25 June 2014
The new .uk domain name – should you switch?

by James


As most website owners in the UK will be aware, the new .uk domain names are now available.

This means that instead of having:


as your domain name, you can have:


We think this is a great move by Nominet (the non-profit company that manages UK domain names), and expect .uk to become the UK domain of choice over .co.uk.

But what if you’re currently using a .co.uk? Should you swap? We think the answer is yes, but it’s worth considering the following.

  1. If you already own the .co.uk then there’s probably no rush. The .uk has most likely been reserved for you until 2019. There are a couple of caveats here, so we recommend using this tool to ensure you do have the rights.
  2. It will take the general public a while to get used to .uk, so it’s important to have both the .co.uk and the .uk in case your potential clients enter the wrong address.
  3. If and when you do swap from .co.uk to .uk, you can keep the .co.uk and forward all visitors on to your new .uk site. This way you won’t lose any visitors who didn’t know about the change.
  4. What if you’ve spent time and money on SEO for your .co.uk domain? This is a very relevant question. If done right, you can guide Google (and the other search engines) through your domain name change, and although you are likely to get a temporary (a few weeks) drop in SEO rankings, these should get back to their previous state very quickly. However, as Google is a fickle thing you can never be completely sure. We can assist you with this to make sure everything runs smoothly.

So in summary, we recommend .uk over a .co.uk domain. If you want to switch give us a call and we’ll make sure it’s done right.



8 April 2014
Webby Awards top 5!

by Afy

We're a Webby nominee!

We’re incredibly proud to announce that our website for Patentise has been nominated by the Webby Awards as one of the top five law websites – in the world! – this year.

Winners are announced in the next two weeks – show your support by voting for Patentise here.

21 March 2014
Film title sequences: 15 of our favourites

by Kirsty

Here are a few of our favourite film title sequences, including some of the most influential and iconic, that play with audience expectation and memory through style, execution, timing and placement.


Under the Skin (2013)

Look out for the unbearable pause during the title sequence of­­­ this film by Jonathan Glazer, leading to a sense of ongoing descent into an abyss from which one never emerges.

It’s film title sequence design at its best: arresting, hypnotising, fixating the viewer and demanding their full attention.


I am Love (2009)

Recalling film title design from the ’30s and ’40s, with snowy shots of Milan almost completely devoid of colour, this feels like film noir. The assumed setting highlights the film’s occupation with time, even as it moves towards the present.


Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock, director, without Saul Bass, designer? Hard to imagine. Bass’s distinctive work was central in marketing, and immortalising, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.



Dr No (1962)

The Bond title sequence that started them all. The visual indicators – like that gun barrel circle – are to this day a key part of marketing the James Bond franchise. Shaken and stirred by Maurice Binder.


Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

This book-burning dystopia gives us no written credits – they are entirely narrated. As well as mirroring the destruction of the written word, denying us the act of reading, this creates a direct relationship with the audience – an alternative and powerful participation.


Bullitt (1968)

Designed by Pablo Ferro, who also designed the title sequence for Dr. Strangelove –a beautiful intersection and harmony of type, movement and image. Compare with the title sequence for Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro (2009).




Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

An unapologetic sweep through the history of title design ending with a nod to Saul Bass’s typography for Nine Hours to Rama and credits to the on-set llamas. (And then apologising for it. Twice).


Alien (1979)

Cryptic markings slowly emerge on the screen leading to the awful realisation of what the Nostromo crew, and we, will confront. Designed by Richard Greenberg.


The Shining (1980)

The sublime landscape overlaid with the reverse scrolling credits makes for a truly disconcerting effect. Created by Chapman Beauvais & National Screen Service with helicopter photography by MacGillivray Freeman Films.


Se7en (1995)

The sequence credited with inspiring the resurgence of film title design in the 1990s. The close-ups of John Doe’s materials are an unsettling glimpse into the mind of the methodical, relentless, meticulous serial killer. Designed by Kyle Cooper.


The Matrix (1999)

The power of a single colour – oily green – to define a film.


Enter the Void (2009)

What David Fincher wished for Fight Club – typography that burns onto the retina. Directed by Tom Kan.


Drive (2011)

The typeface Mistral – used by Sandals Resorts and Only Fools and Horses – is given a whole new persona in the title sequence and marketing for this Nicolas Winding Refn directed feature.


Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Wes Anderson – a director as devoted to typography as centred composition. Jessica Hische designed the typeface that appears in the opening title sequence and end credits.

As shown by recent films, the creation of distinctive, beautiful opening title sequences is in no danger of waning.

20 February 2014
Post-it note manifestos

by Afy

colourful manifestos

Inspired by the Manifesto project, we’ve written our own mini manifestos.

What would your one-line manifesto be?

7 January 2014
my prognosticating genius

by Afy


Here’s this week’s most beguiling blog comment — posted, it seems, by a troubled clairvoyant:

But isnt enough. but I will not allow those type of trifling details to derail my prognosticating genius. pilloried and disparaged is about to deliver a season of redemption. bringing in a financial professional can take the emotion relationships out of the process,If such an opportunity comes you way,Police report that she?

…that she…?

that she what?


20 December 2013
Five things that happened in 2013

by Afy


A new development

At the beginning of the year, Tom joined Igloo as our second developer. He
makes your websites look amazing, using the fine art… of magic.

Sorry I’ve just been told that’s CODE he uses — code.


Igloo moves studio

We’re now in a sunlit, spacious unit on the fifth floor of Regent Studios —
come visit, the view’s great.


Bye, Mike

After six years and some stunning identity, print, and digital projects at Igloo,
we say goodbye to our senior designer Mike, who’s moving on to focus on
freelance work and his own projects.


Webby Award Success

Our website for Interior-iD has won us a Webby Awards honour (kinda like
an Internet Oscar). The site’s been listed in the top 20 for Aesthetic Visual
Design this year. We’re chuffed.

More on the Igloo blog


Welcome, Bel!

This year we welcomed Bel to Igloo, as our new SEO assistant. A
fashionista with a self-confessed Peter Pan collar complex, she’s a
marketing natural, too.

Not your standard interview
Or read Bel’s very own blog

21 November 2013
Cutting, engraving, wood gluing, varnishing, sanding, drilling, fixing

by Kirsty

Here’s our new projecting sign for the studio. Designed in birch plywood with a 0.5mm engraving, it was produced by Cut Laser Cut and fixed by a needlessly large team of five.


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