Stuart Pearcey
Words and Spaces Ltd
Tue,2nd June, 2015

Watch any of these outdoorsy types lighting a fire with half a dozen wood shavings, a twig and a two dry leaves and you're getting a glimpse into the creative process.

Like their spark that, correctly nurtured, will become a blazing fire, creativity begins with a fragment of thought; a half-formed idea, a word or a phrase, all of which need similar careful nurturing.

One of Words and Spaces' latest creative sparks came when we were asked to help promote a classic motoring event. Organisers wanted to get classic car owners to gather in a Lincolnshire park to commemorate a pioneering motoring event from the beginning of the 20th century involving a party of intrepid motorists driving the length of England. Phew, what a mouthful! Obviously in need of distilling into a short, simple message to capture classic car enthusiasts' imagination and incorporate into social media.

So; where to start?
In motoring, as in the rest of life, things have changed. In fact, things aren't what they used to be. There's the spark, falling onto the wood shavings and leaf mixture. Did you spot it as it drifted by? But it's too general. It needs to be refined and focused. Let's move on. 'Things ain't what they used to be' takes us a little closer, and smoke is coming from the wood shavings. But this is a motoring event. What did cars have that they no longer have; something that indicates the passage of time through their non-existence today? Unreliability? Yes, but that doesn't help. Poor fuel economy? Ditto. Fins? Fins! That's it!

Fins ain't what they used to be
OK; now we have the phrase, and the fire's burning strongly. Lets add more fuel. What the promotional creativity needs is a picture; a picture in step with the phrase, and a picture with simple and bold colours, and big blank spaces to carry text. Cue the royalty-free stock picture libraries. Use the right search terms to turn up the right shot, and admin details like date and venue, the artwork's complete. And it's useless. At this stage it's visible to the individual who created it; the fire is going out. Add more fuel – but carefully!

Pick a printer
To get the message shared with the widest possible audience it needs professional printing, and in the right format for the job in hand. The 'Fins ain't what they used to be' message was entrusted to Aura Print in Huddersfield, and came back – in double quick time – as a three metre-wide vinyl banner that certainly made a statement. To quote Jim Carrey in The Mask, we were Smokin..! This event was being run by volunteers, so cost was a consideration, and Aura Print came up with a good price without compromising quality, and fitted perfectly with social media engagement.

The result
Did the combination or creativity and quality print work? Judge for yourself. The target was to bring together 300 cars and drivers. The actual turnout was 600. We'd say yes; it worked. And Words and Spaces has been back to Aura several times since then. Thanks, guys!

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