Archives for category: Feeling Happy

I have two children, a young boy and a younger girl. The boy has swimming lessons on a Sunday and the girl doesn’t. The older boy was teasing the younger girl that he was going swimming and she was staying at home. Nah nah nah na… you get the idea.

The younger girl was getting upset by this and in an attempt to make staying at home with her daddy a bit more exciting than it really was, I had an idea. I saw that she was holding a Hello Kitty toy and then engaged my mouth before my brain had thought through the consequences and said that we were going to ‘Hello Kitty Land’. As I talked through ‘Hello Kitty Land’, I envisaged a make believe game that I would be playing later with the small girl. However the lie just got bigger and bigger and out of control.

The young boy didn’t believe that there was a ‘Hello Kitty Land’ and to be honest I wasn’t sure either, however I thought quickly on my feet and we decided to look on the internet for our make believe ”Hello Kitty Land’. I had though I might find a picture of a shop and then convince the skeptic that ‘Hello Kitty Land’ did exist. I was surprised and secretly pleased to find that there is one as I was fully immersed in my lie and couldn’t see a way out of the situation.

We looked at all the pictures, discussed all the rides and the skeptic was convinced that his sister was going to have more fun than him at his swimming lesson. Phew! I’d made it and would have 40 minutes to come up with reasons why we didn’t go to ‘Hello Kitty Land’ while he was swimming. However I’d done such a good job of presenting ‘Hello Kitty Land’ to my two children, that when the youngest made the statement, ”We’re off to Hello Kitty Land, see you at lunch time’ , I had to reveal that we couldn’t go to ‘Hello Kitty Land’ for the main reason that it is Malaysia and we didn’t have any plane tickets etc etc. My small girls reaction was as you would expect, annoyed, angry and upset. As she is a small child, it was quickly forgotten when I promised her an ice cream.

In the grown up world, ice creams don’t always solve self-made problems and as Creative Director of Happy Creative, I had not followed one of our most important mantras which is ‘delivering on promises to our clients is an integral part of our business’.

Each time we make these commitments, we build trust. At Happy Creative we always do what we say, because our reputation is incredibly important to us. It is our responsibility to give our clients the best possible service so that they are confident in our abilities and have no reason to think otherwise. Keeping our promises has created satisfied customers, that speak highly of us, for our creative and marketing services and regard us as people who are a pleasure to do business with. Clients that speak highly of you also talk to other people and referrals from existing clients has become a cornerstone of Happy Creative’s success and growth over the years.

If you break a promise, all that hard work and energy you’ve spent keeping a good relationship can be quickly become strained. Keep or over deliver on your promise and you will have a client, colleague or friend for life. High expectations of our standards keeps the bar at a high level and creates a cycle of success. We maintain our high standards by following some simple steps.

1) Don’t over promise. 

We are always very clear in what we can deliver.

2) Thinking Time.

Before we commit to a promise, we analyse the situation, consider the possibilities and weigh up any variables.

3) Expect the unexpected.  

“NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!” and projects can sometimes throw up a situation that is so out of the blue, that it impacts on every component of the project. We allow time in a project so that these unexpected events can be faced and their impact on the project is minimised.

4) Be happy at every stage. 

At Happy Creative, we ensure that your project meets your expectations at each point of its journey, from start to completion.

Keeping a promise does ensure business success and promotes that hard to earn but quick to lose commodity of trust. By making this commitment that you can keep –or, even better, exceed –you will build a foundation for future successes and growth.

James Chantler is Creative Director at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

This week is world book week. I know because my son came home clutching his Lego Ninjago book and my daughter her make your own fairy princesses and unicorns book.

But, leaving child gender stereotypes behind… what defines a great book cover? And how much to we judge a book by it’s cover?

A great cover, can easily be just defined by it’s author. From George Orwell’s 1984 to Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange are easily recognisable and deservedly have their places on the pantheon of greatest book covers ever.

However I do like the re-imagined covers  that are produced.

Penguins updated cover for 1984, delights with it’s bravery and raises a wry smile to anyone who has knowledge of the book. It would also intrigue new readers. I’m very guilty of judging books by their cover, as  a designer, I would look at the book first and then turn to the back to find out if would be on a subject that I would read and I have  been persuaded to purchase a book, purely because I found the cover interesting.

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My favourite book cover is a Brazilian edition of Jules Vernes’ “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by the artist Carlo Giovani.

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I love the context of this book.  How the layers have dual meaning by delving deeper into the book or the earth, you will discover more.  Have I read this?  Well my Brazilian is a little poor… but I have watched the film if that counts.  The original one with James Mason!!

If you have any favourite book covers you would like to share, let us know and we’ll feature them.

James Chantler is Creative Director at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

Since the start of time the word ‘failure’ has always had a negative connotation attached to it. The very mention of it in the same sentence as your name is an excuse to feel ashamed and inadequate. The average human being is overcome with emotion as he/she makes a mental list of what went wrong in their lives and how it all led to this devastating day of doom. However it’s never wise to have a defeatist attitude over a simple thing like failure.

As a designer we have to develop thick skins as it is sometimes the case that we are deemed to have ‘failed’ with an idea.  The reality is often very different.

This is the perfect time of year to look at it as a life’s lesson in human development. Here are some of the reasons for why failure can be a good thing.

Making Mistakes.

Making mistakes is a very important process in the world of design. It allows you to take in all the data from your latest endeavour and analyse what you did wrong and how you can improve. It’s highly unlikely that someone gets something right the first time of asking. Everyone will have a different approach to dealing with their failure. Every mistake should be treated as a lesson.

Taking Risks

With accepting failure as a possibility in your life you also invite the urge to take risks. Years ago most businesses would discourage this type of mindset and as a result would settle for mediocrity. However recently with the economy suffering the only way to survive and be noticed is to take risks that would set you apart from the competition. In fact its been reported that current employers recently choose to look at both the success and failures of candidates mainly for the reason of separating the risk-takers from the regular workers. The risk-takers have a better record of being hired.

Learning Curve

With every failure you are building up a deep understanding in your field. Something that, in the following years, is known as experience. Thomas Edison failed 1000 times when inventing the lightbulb. When asked about it he remarked “I have not failed a 1000 times, I have found a 1000 ways that won’t work”.

Persevering in your field of study ensures that you have a better understanding of your subject than someone who has only studied it once. You, through experience, know what you should or shouldn’t do therefore giving you an edge against someone who doesn’t have that level of experience. Through your past failures you end up gaining a better understanding of how things function.

Innovation

There will always be a correct method or certain rules for doing things. There is always a right way and a wrong way. However to do something unprecedented certain rules need to be changed or bent accordingly.

Only by ignoring what’s already been advised several times can you really hope to create something unique.

Trying out strange new methods can take you to different paths and help initiate new ideas. After all someone, somewhere, must have broken a rule or two in order to stand out from their competitors today.

Failure should never be viewed in the negative sense. Every failure should be viewed as an opportunity to try harder next time and learn from your mistakes.

Remember, you are in the same company as many others who have failed.

1. Albert Einstein – 1921 Nobel Peace Prize in Physics

Wasn’t able to speak until he was almost 4 years old. His teachers said he’d “Never amount to anything”

2. Michael Jordan – Professional American Basketball Player

After being cut from his high school basketball team, he went home, locked himself in his room and cried.

3. Walt Disney – Co-founder of Walt Disney Productions 

Was fired from The Kansas City Star newspaper. His boss told him he ‘lacked creativity and imagination’

4. The Beatles – Winners of 7 Grammy Awards 

Rejected by Decca Recording Studios, who said ” We don’t like their sound” and “They don’t have a future in show business”

5. JK Rowling – Author of Harry Potter book series

Had her first Harry Potter book in 1995 rejected by 12 different publishers. Including Bloomsbury (who finally purchased her manuscript) who told her to “get a day job.”

Hakim Shujaee is a Designer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

If the Christmas Story was told via Social Media, it might look something like this…

I was going to write about brand audits today. In fact, I had most of my blog written down already but then, for some reason, I completely lost my inspiration. I think it was all the Christmas and New Year thinking going through my head.

As with many of us, the approach of a new year makes us look at life and analyse where we are, what we are doing and how we want things to happen in the future. This thinking is what forms goals and plans for the times ahead. However, no matter how great it is to have a plan for the future, it is also an amazing thing to be in the present, feel it and discover happiness in it.

The happiest people aren’t the ones with the most money, things, friends, power, attention, health or even love. Neither are they always the ones with the least. The happiest people  are the ones who practice gratitude and focus on loving life consistently (and ok, having goals and trying your best to achieve them helps too!).

So in this post, I would like to take the opportunity to list a few reasons to be grateful and HAPPY about this crazy little maze that we call life.

1. Nature: who doesn’t love the sunset? It’s my favourite part of the day. I like all the colours turning into one, the sun going smaller, smaller and smaller until it disappears into the ocean or behind the hills. It makes me feel calm. And it’s free, with access to anyone who cares to open their eyes to appreciate it.

2. Random kindness: a chat with the neighbour, some unexpected help when you need it, a smile when you don’t expect it. These little surprises make life what it is, a little magic trick waiting to happen.

3. Art: it’s everywhere, even you make it, I bet! Again, it’s a case of opening your eyes to the new, to the crazy, to the inspiring and let your newly found perspective broaden your mind. Seeing it, reading it, watching it will only enhance your life.

4. Nice food, especially if cooked in good company. Chop, chop, chop, chat, chat, chat (drink, drink, drink). The greatest recipe I’ve ever known.

5. Great people around you. Happy people are infectious, so the more ‘happies’ you have around you, the more are the chances of you being happy too. Surround yourself with positive people and your mood will reflect their joyful spirit.

6. Great working environment. Working with people that inspire you, understand you and value your work makes the 9-5 part of your life a pleasure, not a chore. If you love what you do, even better! Just don’t forget to count your blessing here, as many people work for the weekend.

7. A great network. A big family that likes to interfere in everyone’s business (like mine), great close friends and a partner that ‘has got your back’ is all you need anytime: when you are down, to pick you up; when you are happy, to celebrate with you.

8. Fun times. Appreciate having fun when you can. Our crazy daily lives don’t always allow specific times to have fun, but you can make the time for it. Have a laugh with your colleague at work, make a joke when you can, laugh with others. And always remember to find the funny side of things. There is always one.

9. Good health. Be grateful for being healthy and enjoy looking after yourself.

10. Live in the present and savour every moment as if it was your last.

So there you go: these are my reasons to be happy and grateful. Would you care to share yours?

Marilia Spindler is an Account Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or
contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

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