AI Article


An over-reliance on AI to produce your brand risks bypassing the humanistic process which uncovers the essence of what makes a brand feel truly alive.

With so much talk about AI right now, here’s something really worth noting.


We need to resist the temptation to let AI do all the thinking, because understanding the “why” is critical to success. Mindlessly asking AI to produce something such as a brand, bypasses the humanistic process which uncovers the essence of what makes a brand feel truly alive.

Any design school worth its salt teaches the critical creative process of generating ideas that produce eureka moments. I like to think of this process as connecting three or more insights from research and brainstorming, which when married together, will create the unique DNA for a product, campaign or brand.

As creatives, before we begin the design process, we embark on a strategic process to understand why we are doing what we are doing. This is a sensitive process that requires a lot of verbal engagement between ourselves and our clients.

We think of computers as the tools used to further develop our human-led ideas, and not the source to come up with them. In fact, us designers teach a funny little phrase called GOFC, or “GET OFF THE F**KING COMPUTER!” This encourages us to start the creative process with conversation, thinking, sketching, and experimenting, which can produce wonderful ideas that help us generate authentic and meaningful outcomes.

It’s important to remember, AI is machine learning, which means it’s pulling content from existing ideas. In fact, I recently experimented with some AI artwork generation using Midjourney and was surprised to see that some of the artworks produced included an artist’s signature in the bottom right corner. In the process of pulling content to create my AI art, it had pulled an artist’s signature from an original source!

This will open an interesting new chapter in copyright law, and I am intrigued to see how that plays out. Perhaps offenders will use ChatGPT to mount a legal defence! Perhaps ChatGPT will win! Who knows?

My prediction for the future is, as machines take over much of our professional day-to-day lives, we as humans will crave authentic human interactions. We’ll be fine with our computers automating our work life, doing more, more efficiently, and while it will also influence our social lives, we as social beings will place more value on authentic human interactions. So restaurants, festivals and events – real-life experiences, the experience economy, will boom as a result.

In summary, my advice is to use AI to improve your work, but not to generate it, and that is what will give you the edge.

Article by Lloyd Seymour, Creative Director, Map Creative.
AI Article
Read More
brand evolution blog post - thumbnail


Discover how updating your brand identity instead of developing a new one can increase customer loyalty and trust.

In the world of brand management, the temptation is often to create an entirely new brand when you have become tired of the old one. However, it is important to remember that it is the perception in the mind of the customer that really matters. So, unless you are going through a PR disaster, it is likely that the best approach is to evolve and refresh your existing brand identity to inspire an exciting new chapter.

Brand identity development typically falls into one of three categories: creating a new brand from the ground up, rebranding an established business or product, or refreshing an established business or product. Today, I am writing about the subtle art of refreshing an existing brand identity and why you don’t always need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Evolving a brand retains the intellectual property and goodwill the business has built over the years. The process is intended to instill the perception of progress in the customer’s mind, even if there have been no improvements within the brand itself. Often, we don’t notice when a brand has successfully been refreshed, and that’s a good thing. It works on a subconscious level, as if the brand is just somehow better, more relevant, and more aligned with our expectations, so we as customers continue to engage with the brand. On that basis, evolving the existing brand builds trust and loyalty and safeguards it from becoming irrelevant. Strategically speaking, incremental improvements are often more palatable to investors and stakeholders who perceive large rebrands to be exorbitant.

Google is a great example of how a brand identity has successfully evolved. The initial logo, which first appeared in 1997, would be a front-runner for the worst logo in history! Google went through a few years of changing their logo almost annually as if they were publicly stating they knew it was wrong and were trying to fix it. “Please stand by” it screamed, not ideal for a brand that built its reputation on delivering instant results with accuracy. But Google had an exceptional product, so powerful it dwarfed the brand aesthetic. However, that is not a luxury most businesses enjoy. Various iterations of the logo continued to appear, all with toy-like aesthetics which were almost certainly created by web developers in a rush. It would seem they didn’t engage a proper designer until the 2000s.

Eventually, around 2015, the Google logo evolved to become a visual representation of the sophisticated brand that it is, staying true to its heritage and maintaining the intellectual property the brand had built over the years. But had it not evolved, had they not refined and resolved their brand, it would have left the door open for other brands to have competed more effectively.

In summary, we can fast-track the desired perception of a brand with the target audience when we lay the foundations for success by following proven brand design processes and brand development strategies. So, unless you’re sitting on the next Google, establishing why your brand looks, feels, and behaves a certain way will be critical to the success of your business.

Read More
Laptop and coffee


With the Covid lock-down, you may be asking yourself WTF do I do now? Well, this could be the time your brand always needed.

With the Covid lock-down, you may be asking yourself WTF do I do now? Well, this could be the time your brand always needed. Here lays a fantastic opportunity to evolve and plan. We’ve partnered with our friends at The Weekend Edition to come up with six tips to get your ducks in a row.


01. Review Your Website

Now more than ever, your website is the face of your business, so it’s essential to ensure that its functionality and design is up to scratch. The creation of new websites and upgrades can be entirely managed remotely, so this is an excellent opportunity to work on your brand’s digital health without leaving your home or office.

If your site is not mobile friendly, difficult to navigate, looks dated or is simply not performing the way you had hoped, then contact us to see how we can help. We have designed websites for some of Brisbane’s best brands and pride ourselves on helping our clients create kick-ass content for a truly engaging user experience.

Laptop and coffee
Evolving a brand

02. Evolve Your Brand

Brands build trust and loyalty, and it’s a huge (and often time-consuming) step to evolve and rebrand. If you have been considering elevating your brand to the next level but have been struggling to find the time, well – now you’ve got it! Alternatively, depending on your industry, an evolution in this current climate might be essential. We say, seize the day!

Focus on the positives and use this as a reintroduction to existing and new audiences. Remember that your brand, both current and future, deserves time and careful consideration, especially when you are identifying your brand’s values, objectives and outcomes. Time consuming, but damn exciting.

03. Is your SEO an SE-NO?

If the term SEO sounds foreign to you, it’s time to get yourself acquainted. In short, search-engine optimisation (SEO) increases the quality and visibility of your website in search engines when someone searches for you or your related service/industry. If you want to see your business on the first page of Google (and it’s not already), then you need to seriously look into your SEO.

Investing in excellent SEO will greatly assist in driving traffic to your website, however if you’re starting fresh, it can take weeks to index (or register) with Google. This downtime is ideal for creating searchable content, populating your site with stories, features, case studies and more, and ensuring your keywords are in place.

Map Creative’s team of exceptional writers can tailor make content to appeal to your audience, in your business’ voice, while still ensuring it’s reaching its maximum SEO potential. We can assist you with keywords and searchable content relating specifically to your industry and audience.

SEO work
Writing a brand strategy

04. Write a Strategy

When was the last time you wrote a 12-month strategy for your business? Even if it was recently, we can bet that the landscape is significantly different to the one you projected.

Questions you might be asking yourself are – how will your business recover from this downturn? What are your revised goals and objectives, and how will you achieve them? What are the tools you need to succeed?

Now is the perfect time to create effective strategies and plan for the future – think about how you are planning on communicating with your audience when the dust settles.

05. Plan Your Re-entry

Remember how we promised that we would come out on the other side? You should already be considering your re-entry. Both your business and your industry will be marketing hard when this situation is under control, so we highly recommend starting to plan and develop your campaign strategy so you are ready to go.

Your key objective will be getting customers through the metaphorical (or physical) door again and you will want to strike immediately, while the iron is hot. Pull together a bag of tricks to whip out once things settle down so that you are forward-thinking and ahead of the pack.

Brainstorming with post it notes
Laptop and coffee

06. Learn, Baby, Learn

If you’re finding yourself with a fair amount of time on your hands, it might be the perfect opportunity to upskill. Regardless of our position and experience in business, it never hurts to further our education. As is particularly apparent at the moment, the world is a wild and ever-changing place, and we are constantly being challenged with new information and technology. Be honest with yourself and consider the areas that are holding you and your business back, then look into investing in further education, tutorials or new software that can benefit both you and your business in the long run.

The Weekend Edition’s top sites for online learning

Read More
SEO work


Join us on this growth journey with a superb suite of online learning resources to help keep you productive.

At Map Creative we’re determined to rise out of the COVID-19 downturn stronger than before. Join us on this growth journey with a superb suite of online learning resources to help keep you productive. We’ve partnered with our friends at The Weekend Edition to bring you the best online learning resources to upgrade you brain game during these crazy times…

We’ve all got quite a bit of extra time on our hands now. Time that we’d normally spend being well within 1.5 metres of our friends and family, going into an actual workplace and enjoying the convivial hospitality at our favourite cafes, bars and restaurants (oh, how we miss that). If you’ve found yourself spiralling into the Netflix vortex and want to utilise this ‘free time’ you’ve been unexpectedly given a little more wisely, then perhaps it’s time to train your brain and get stuck into an online course. If you’ve considered dipping your toe into a different field of work, yearn to learn a new skill or just want to satisfy your hungry mind, the time is now – and there are plenty of online courses at your fingertips.

Even the Federal Government is giving us a nudge to have a study binge rather than streaming the latest must-see series. A higher-education relief package was announced this week to encourage us to use our self-isolation time to develop skills via remote learning, which has seen a drastic slashing of costs to study short online courses. Right now, the government is working with large and small universities and education providers to pull together short, six-month courses – ranging from diploma level through to graduate certificates – which will begin in May. The courses that fall within this package will be delivered online and will focus on ‘national priority’ areas like nursing, teaching, health, IT and science. If you’ve found yourself out of work recently, this is a great way to explore a new area so you can hit the ground running in the post-pandemic world. We can expect to see more details about these government-funded courses in the coming weeks.

Though, not everyone is looking to upskill in that way, and in those industries. Perhaps you want to learn a language? How about culinary skills, photography, design or music? Over at Deakin University, there’s a series of (free) two- and four-week courses – from humanitarian aid to infant nutrition and leadership skills – that you can instantly enrol in. Worldwide online learning platforms like Udemy and Alison are brimming with thousands of ready-to-start online courses, some free and others available for a small fee. Over on Coursera, you can strum your way through a beginner guitar course, explore the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, master a data-science course with IBM or let international professors school you on hieroglyphs and pharaohs in an introduction to ancient Egypt. For those looking to push their limits in the IT world, technology-skills platform Pluralsight is currently offering free access to 7000 expert-led video courses until the end of April. While there aren’t modules and guidelines as such, you can also access a plethora of skill-building content through MasterClass – right now, you can get two-for-one annual memberships giving you access to classes like photography with Annie Leibovitz, creativity and leadership with Anna Wintour, creative writing with Margaret Atwood, Texas-style cooking with Aaron Franklin and acting with Natalie Portman.

Never stop learning, friends.

Read More
Laptop and coffee


Preparing to write an annual report can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and organisation, it can be a relatively seamless process.

Preparing to write an annual report can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and organisation, it can be a relatively seamless process. Here are our 10 tips to make yourself look like an annual report expert.

01. Present the Future

An annual report is inherently retrospective, but it should ultimately communicate an optimistic view of an organisation that is looking to the future. This may not need to be said explicitly – a stunning annual report can present a business that practices excellence through design, language, imagery and even the choice of paper stock.


02. Appoint an Editor

Consistency is key when it comes to annual report writing. It is likely that the text for your annual report will come from several different departments within your organisation. Having multiple writing styles, inconsistent terminology and messaging that is off-brand will appear unprofessional. Appointing an experienced editor to manage the overall editing of the document will ensure that there is one consistent, on-brand voice throughout. At Map Creative, we have editors and copywriters who specialise in corporate writing to ensure that we get the terminology and tone of voice right for our clients.


03. Use Infographics

Annual reports tend to be very text-heavy, so it is important to present large chunks of facts and figures in a clear and concise manner. A great way to do this is by using infographics. When done well, infographics can be a highly engaging feature of your annual report’s design and highlight the key takeaways that your organisation needs to communicate.


04. Engage an Experienced Designer

An annual report designed in Microsoft Word screams amateur. This is a celebration of your organisation’s hard work and achievements – now is the time to use professional designers and put your best foot forward. It is essential to produce a product that you, your colleagues and stakeholders are happy to be a part of. At Map Creative, we design documents that are highly engaging and enjoyable to read – anything less is damaging to your brand.


05. Use Professional Photography

The saying goes that a picture speaks a thousand words, so what does a poor quality picture say about your organisation? The best annual report designs feature inspiring, high-resolution, professional photography. If you do not have professional photography available, talk to your designer about an alternative approach.


06. Make it Easy To Navigate

Your document will be reviewed by numerous stakeholders including investors, government, industry specialists, staff and perhaps even the general public. It is unlikely that it will be read in order from front to back, with readers instead opting to review specific parts of the document based on what is most important to them. The best annual report designs ensure the document is quick and easy to navigate – for example, using colour to demarcate different sections such as colouring an environment section in green.


07. Proof Read

If you have had your head in annual report writing for weeks, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. Having a professional proofreader who can give your document a final check before going to print will, we guarantee you, reveal some typos and inconsistencies that need addressing. At Map Creative, we have proofreaders who specialise in corporate communications.


08. Print or Digital?

Consider how readers want to consume the information. Annual reports can be produced in print, as a downloadable pdf, or as a web-based online experience.


09. Prepare for Amendments

Pre-design phase, finalise the copy and ensure it has been signed off by the CEO before commencing the design layout to reduce endless rounds of changes and save you time and money.


10. Schedule a Buffer

Expect late amendments from the executive team and schedule a week buffer.


Finally, get in touch!

Map Creative is a design agency with 20 years of experience in publishing.

Contact us for a free consultation for your next project.

Read More

Results: 1 to 5 of 5

Stay up to date with
our latest projects

We only send occasional e-news
and never share your details.