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A photo retouch breakdown

July 28, 2015

For Helly Hansen’s gruelling trail Marathon ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Drive Creative Studio created a number of Facebook social media campaigns and apps.

The ‘Bring On The Beast’ campaign prompted the trail running community to show us their ‘game face’ ready for the Beauty and the Beast marathon, uploading photos to Facebook and voting for the contenders in the gallery that they thought really meant business.

As well as a shopping spree at, the winner would have their photo professionally retouched to make them look tough as nails and be made a Helly Hansen ambassador as the ‘face’ of the event in the run-up promotional activity.

Existing Helly Hansen brand ambassadors also featured as part of the ‘Bring on the Beast’ Facebook campaign promotion. We thought we would share a Photoshop breakdown of how we made adventurer Inge Solheim look even more macho than he already is! Maximise the video in HD for full detail.


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Innovative Trends in Web Design – 2015

During the last three years, many web design experts have created websites that feature split screens, eliminated borders and peripheral advertisements and added sizable background images to websites. Moreover, some marketers have developed grids that contain more than five blocks and placed distinctive ads in each section.
Utilizing Blocks

Web designers commonly add blocks that have equal sizes to a page. Each section of the grid may feature pictures,
short descriptions of products or quotes, and generally, every block only has one link.

In some cases, a marketer will design one major block that utilizes more than 55 percent of the page’s space. Subsequently, the advertiser can place several small sections underneath the main does this beautifully.

Borders and Peripheral Advertisements

Between 2005 and 2009, most popular websites had borders and ads that were positioned next to the main content.
Currently, many web designers have eliminated these side ads; however, some marketers still place a website’s navigational links in the outer section of each page. Several studies have shown that this design can substantially boost a webpage’s conversion rates by reducing distractions, and the layout frequently increases the amount of page views that each guest produces.


This type of design allows marketers to decrease the number of outbound links on a webpage, and consequently, a website’s PageRank may be substantially augmented. Furthermore, this layout gives marketers the ability to place most links in the upper section of each webpage. Google’s algorithm typically gives more value to backlinks that are in a page’s upper section than to links at the bottom of a webpage. This design, also known as “no chrome” is beautifully displayed on




Create Better Content to Capitalize on Ads

Social media advertising turned the industry on its head with affordable pricing structures that publicize brands at a minimal cost. Last year, Facebook reported advertising revenues of $3.59 billion dollars. Now, the social media mogul is growing the cost of their advertising resources. The dollar increase is 53 percent more for ads than in 2014.

With higher prices comes a more selective curating process. Most companies have no qualms about paying more for coveted social media ad space, but what they don’t realize is that they need to change their tactics, as well. To remain a leader in the space, businesses need to improve their approach. Money can’t be the only thing that talks, your brand has to also.

On Facebook, advertising is more than a visual; it’s an experience. Consumers and users expect brands to engage them in dynamic ways, including stimulating content. One-way ads are now a piece of advertising history with interactivity dominating desktops.

To keep up with the changing online advertising industry, businesses can create more engaging ads by injecting humor, wit, topical information and emotions into their content. Those that don’t grasp the idea of branded content versus display advertising will quickly lose out to those that do.

When it comes to catching up on social correspondences, mobile devices are the content cruiser of choice, and you can bet users aren’t looking to the side menu for ads. So what’s a business to do? If a brand wants to see a return on their investment, they’ll have to think more seriously about the content they share; because in the world of Facebook, sharing is caring.



Outdoor brands at Exeter event

Living and working in Devon certainly has its perks, we can’t deny it. Miles of beautiful coastline and beaches, and further inland the rugged wilderness of the moors, countryside and ancient woodland – Devon is a playground for outdoor activities. The team at Drive Creative Studio therefore unsurprisingly love the great outdoors and inherently love working with outdoor brands too.

To indulge ourselves in all things outdoors we recently headed to the first South West Outdoor Leisure Show at Webpoint Exeter.

The first of its kind in the South West, it was promoted as a showcase of the wonderful outdoor lifestyle that the South West has to offer. Although the exhibitors and attendees were in short supply we were treated by guest speaker, living legend and national hero, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE – ‘the World’s Greatest Explorer’.

After Jon got his copy of “COLD” signed, we took our seats in anticipation of hearing stories from Sir Ranulph. The hour-long inspirational talk was full of trials and tribulations, high points and low points of the many adventures he has led, circumnavigating the globe, crossing the Antarctic against all odds and testing his limits of endurance to the maximum in the most hostile environments on Earth. What was unexpected was his captivating tales – full of good humour and mischief – about his younger days when he was thrown out of the SAS due to his extra curricular creativity with explosives, or exposed secret training missions to rob Barclays bank. What resonated the most however, was his humble nature as he described the realities of losing limbs but never strength of character and his great fondness and respect for his late wife, Ginny, who he considered his “greatest achievement”. At 71, he’s still working hard on his next expedition, the details of which he was unable to disclose for fear of not being first to achieve another world first – incredible.



Destination Productivity

July 27, 2015

On the road to recovery, acceptance is the first step. If your work life has merged into the lane of your personal life or vice versa, you’re in need of a roadmap to productivity recovery. Take ours. We’ll show you the way.

Admitting You Have a Problem

While technology is undeniably incredible, sometimes it creates unproductive habits. If you’re working on a project but check your inbox every time it pings, the project will likely finish later than expected. We’re all guilty of it, but that’s no excuse to indulge in a bad habit. The remedy is to focus on the task at hand, not the 15% Seamless code that will still be waiting for you when you finish.

*For extreme cases of time killing, there are apps that track how much time you waste on by automating and providing a weekly analysis.

Get Into the Zone

Have you ever left your phone at home and brought a book to the park to read for an afternoon? It’s called “unplugging,” and gives you a chance to break-free from the chains of technology, even if it’s only for an hour or two. In the office, there are phones buzzing, meetings happening and lots of keyboard clacking going on, so sometimes your best option in getting in the zone is taking your laptop or docket of files to go through to the downstairs coffee shop.

Stop to Refuel

It’s important to recharge if you’ve been spinning your wheels. Typically, we begin the workday before we’ve even gotten out of bed, sifting through emails with half-closed eyes. To-do notes only intensify and grow as the day goes on. The same applies to social media. If you create a post in the morning, the likes and comments continue throughout the day. It’s overwhelming. You can, and should, recharge yourself before your device.

There you have it, the roadmap to productivity recovery. It’s not easy and certainly has its bumps, but the destination is worth the drive…just make sure to stock up on snacks.