News & Views
Rise from the ashes: how 2023 can be a year of renewal
Post-pandemic optimism at the dawning of 2022 was short-lived as Russia’s war in Ukraine stole the headlines. Like a wildfire, the impact on energy prices, inflation, and the cost of living spread around the world.
Why the cost-of-living crisis means brands should be more grandma
Only by knowing the true worth of their product can brands make sure they deliver value to consumers, while avoiding the race to the bottom, writes Mike Foster, our founder &
Time to clear out the cupboards: lessons in brand declutter
How can brands avoid creating confusion and help shoppers navigate clearly? Mike Foster, our Founder & Strategic Creative Director, talks to Brandingmag about how reducing cognitive load makes for seamless shopping.
Values open the door for talent
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Mark Twain said it more than 100 years ago and it’s still true,
Have a Heart: Why Brands Need an Emotional Reboot in Troubled Times.
The cost-of-living crisis will force a third of Brits to cut back on their household spending this year, according to research by KPMG. So, in a world where consumers can only justify spending their hard-earned cash on the brands they love – why should they choose yours?
Iconic Squirrel nut brand celebrates past and looks to future with new identity and positioning
John B. Sanfilippo & Son tasked Straight Forward Design with reinventing the Squirrel brand while celebrating its unique legacy and heritage, ensuring it would appeal to “Gen Next” and the food obsessed.
How do OTC products disrupt the category while retaining trust?
The world of OTC is awash with oval logos, bland brands, and garish colours. And in a category where everything looks the same, consumers can get tired of looking at it.
HFSS – The Opportunity
UK advertising restrictions come into force for HFSS brands next year. How can brands get creative to tackle the HFSS ad ban?
A total ban on paid-for UK advertising is coming for HFSS brands in late 2022 – primarily in the name of tackling childhood obesity.
The rise and rise of nutrition hacking
Eat me, drink me: the rise and rise of nutrition hacking
Much more than just a tummy filler or a thirst quencher, food and drink has gone through the looking glass to take on new meaning as a problem solver.
Finding the sweet spot
How can brands get creative and manage the HFSS ban?
As the UK government plans restrictions across HFSS brands in 2022, Campaign Magazine tackles the HFSS regulation issues head-on –
Shopportunities: how do brands solve the problems of shelf appeal?
Keeping market share and winning the battle for shelf space is an ongoing and ever more difficult challenge for brands. In a ruthless, highly competitive and fast moving market how do brands get shelf staying power –
What’s in store for the gummy vitamin market?
The global gummy vitamin market was valued at 5.9 billion USD in 2020, so it’s not surprising that brands want in on this multi-billion dollar industry.
Reclaim your style
How has lockdown inspired your creative side and changed your outlook?
A healthy future for NoLo brands that get it right
With the end of lockdown in sight and a growing movement to more healthy ways of living, attention is turning once again to the non-alcoholic drinks market. And there is a real sense of optimism about the growth potential for the NoLo sector, with the emergence of health-conscious younger audiences and new premium brands launching.
The responsibility of design
The late Steve Jobs was known and will always be remembered as a pioneer of technological design. Whether you’re an Apple lover or a Windows aficionado, you can only admire how Apple’s products made a name for themself,
How do brands seamlessly connect with their customers?
As shopper behaviours and emotions continue to change amid conditions thrust upon them by the pandemic, how do brands connect seamlessly across a variety of platforms and channels, embracing both digital natives and digital immigrants?
How do brands connect with their customers in the wake of the pandemic?
A year after the first lockdown began [March 23rd], life has been transformed beyond all recognition. With no theatres, pubs, restaurants or cinemas open for business, consumer habits have gone virtual. Netflix says its subscribers have collectively been streaming about 203,840,000 hours per day,
When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Traditional routes to market are serving big brands less well by the day, as social media enables smaller rivals to connect with customers. And with Covid-19 accelerating that shift, time is running out to move from playing in easy to hard mode, writes Mike Foster, founder and creative director, Straight Forward.
Capitalising on the new breed of pet parents
Many household pet care brands have been around for more than 50, 60, even 70 years, supplying pet owners with the very best products for their pets. But will these same much-loved brands cut it with younger,
It’s not what you do, but the way that you say it
Lockdown has resulted in a shift in shopping habits; what does this mean for brand discovery?
To Veganuary – and beyond
More than a meat-free Monday… food of the future is created by humans, for humans.
By Mike Foster, Founder and Creative Director,
2021: the fresh new (up)start?
As a great philosopher once wrote; the only constant in life is change. And 2020 has been full of it: from the arrival of Covid-19 and the WFH world, through the increased profile of the Black Lives Matter movement, to Brexit’s closing chapter, and the advent of a vaccine: a much-needed signifier of hope for injection (figuratively and literally) into beleaguered communities and economies.
A Christmas message from Straight Forward
So here we are — almost at the end of what’s been perhaps the strangest year of our lives.
Sanity break, anyone?
As we move from anytime, anywhere to always at home; how can brands gain a slice of our sanity breaks, asks Mike Foster, founder and creative director, Straight Forward.
Leading US sweet baked goods company, Hostess Brands, appoints Straight Forward Design
We are thrilled to be working with Hostess Brands, the leading US fresh baked goods company, whose iconic brand stable includes Twinkies, SnoBalls and Cupcakes – watch this space!
To be omnipresent, invest in omnichannel
As consumers have been forced to embrace change amid conditions thrust upon them by the pandemic, the ability of brands to connect seamlessly across a variety of platforms and channels is vital, especially as shopper habits, emotions and methods continue to change, writes Mike Foster, founder and creative director, Straight Forward.
Life in the slow lane
Roberto Bagnoli, designer, shoots straight from the hip when it comes to ethical fashion.
Now hear this
In the midst of so much big scary uncertainty, consumers are looking for brands they can trust. So it’s now more vital than ever to create open dialogue and listen to consumers. That’s why we have two ears, says Mike Foster, founder and creative director, Straight Forward.
The new pace of ideas
Who would have thought that a global pandemic could make global brand owners so much more nimble?
Life on subscription
Lenka Vomelová, designer, talks about her changing shopping habits and rides the subscription wave.
Mars Wrigley Extra campaign goes live as reported by Campaign magazine
A big thanks to Campaign magazine for covering the recently launched Mars Wrigley Extra ‘Mask Your Mask Breath’ campaign which we developed in collaboration with Nigel Roberts.
Shifting to DTC? Prepare for the long haul
Covid-19 is accelerating the transition to the direct-to-consumer model, says Mike Foster, Founder & Creative Director, but this is a long-term shift that requires smart tactical and strategic decision-making.
Brands are personal
Do you have a pet name for your favourite brand? Julia Ripley, marketing and business development director, keeps it up close and personal.
If you don’t tell them, how will they know?
There is a time for subtlety and nuance. There is a time for brands to play at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, helping us achieve our full potential. This is not it. This is a time for brands to be direct and show how they can help deliver more fundamental physiological and safety needs.
How do you get your first design job?
Our founder and creative director, Mike Foster, talks to Digital Arts about how to land your first job in a creative agency and how graduates can best present themselves in these times of flux.
Put your money where your mouth is
Grace Marsh, client manager, talks about brand values and shopping with a conscience.
Brands need to explore new routes to market
In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, how will your brand break through in an ultra-competitive groceries marketplace? One consequence of the crisis is going to be the squeeze on new entrants and smaller players.
Fair & ethical‽
Mike Foster, founder and creative director, covers a lot of ground on his hunt for the right trainer. But what is the right thing to do?
Unshackle the Corporate Entrepreneur
This is the moment for the corporate entrepreneur. As the virus makes its terrible way through our society, so a new world is taking shape, and businesses will play a vital role in that future.
Preparing for the emerging consumer. #50days
Mike Foster, founder & creative director, looks at what we can learn from 50 days of UK lockdown, and how to prepare for the emerging consumer…
Force of habit — the opportunity of a lifetime.
Mike Foster, Founder & Creative Director, talks about brands making new connections with people as old habits are swept away and new ones forged.
Keeping the love alive: How to breathe new life into an icon
Some of the most loved brands of today have been around for a very long time but they still manage to ride the zeitgeist.
In today’s fast-paced and multiplatform environment,
In challenging times how do you find the upside of down?
“Let’s put our best foot forward” a comment from a team member at our morning catch up meeting where half of us were in the studio and the other half being projected onto a screen from the comforts of their homes.
Nostalgic Brand Power
Our creative director and founder, Mike Foster, talks to It’s Nice That about meaningful connections and nostalgic brands.
Bringing Opal Fruits Back to Life
We are excited to confirm that, after 22 years of absence, Opal Fruits will be hitting the shelves again.
Why vegan brands must now cater to a broader market
Flexitarians are leading the plant-based revolution and brands must act accordingly.
Logo design trends to look out for in 2020
What are the big logo design trends to expect in 2020? We share our thoughts in Creative Bloq magazine.
Founder & Creative Director Mike speaks at the Global Design Forum
Our Founder and Creative Director Mike joined an impressive lineup of speakers at the London Design Festival event.
It’s about what you are, not what you’re not…
Who wants to be a substitute? Founder and Creative Director Mike looks at the Free-From movement and why brands in this arena should focus on what they have to offer instead of what they’re not.
Hush people, I need to be brilliant
Our Operations Director, Charlie, urges you disconnect to connect.
Has your business got real Pride?
Founder & Creative Director Mike features in City AM talking about the need for brands to be authentic in their support for LBGTQ+ to resonate with consumers.
Skittles Pride packs featured in Computer Arts
The Skittles pack designs we created for Pride 2019 are featured in the July issue of Computer Arts magazine.
Supporting mental health in the design industry
Founder and Creative Director Mike speaks to The Dieline about the Straight Forward approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing in the design industry.
Is the onus on employers to keep staff happy?
On Blue Monday, Founder and Creative Director Mike features in City AM discussing the benefits that keeping your happy can have for your business.
Straight Forward’s favourite seasonal packaging
We’re feeling festive in the Straight Forward studio. To further the Christmas spirit, we’ve got our thinking caps on and chosen our favourite packaging of the festive season.
Why every designer needs a bit on the side
We have these things called Stretch Projects at Straight Forward, things that interest us, take us into new areas and stretch our experiences. So when Mike had an idea for a book and Lenka wanted a book to design, we couldn’t ignore it
From periods to depression: how design can help us talk about taboo topics
How should brand and packaging designers treat the topics that have traditionally caused embarrassment or shame? Following our work on femcare brand betty, our Creative Director, Michael Foster, shares his thoughts in Design Week
How to make the jump from a junior to a middleweight designer
Our Creative Director, Mike, shares the Straight Forward approach to helping young designers reach their full potential
Limited (and distinctive) Edition
What makes a standout limited edition pack? Our Business Director, Matt, explores…