Bunch Design are an award winning UK & Croatian based design studio, with an eye for the unusual. Not only do they boast an impress portfolio, but their extensive online presence clearly augments their quintessentially, quirky visual language.
My first online interaction with Bunch was via their website. http://www.bunchdesign.com and I was immediately beguiled by the dynamic, full screen showcase that offered tantalising glimpses of the creative, eye-candy on offer within. However, I did find the transition from showcase to homepage, to be less than effective and only after a flurry of mouse clicks and some frustration was I directed to the main website. Had the showcase not succeeded in arousing my curiosity, I think I would have moved on before I’d even reached the main site but in this case their creative carrot dangling was a successful lure to prompt me to persist.
Upon entering the site, the navigation was far more intuitive. The ‘work’ menu presented 18 different, in-depth projects, each utilising a variety of presentation methods to display the varied creative output. I particularly enjoyed the ability to scroll down through each project and then to be able to click through, right and left, at specific points of interest, where more detailed shots or alternative angles were available. The use of video was also highly beneficial in demonstrating successful, digital creative outcomes.
However, it must be noted that there were no written descriptions to accompany any of the
projects, with the viewer left to ascertain Bunch’s creative involvement. It could be assumed that this was a conscious decision by Bunch based on a target audience of fellow creatives and visually literate clientele; they simply chose to let their work do the talking.
Each project corroborates Bunch’s attention to detail. It is evident that great care has been taken in the creation and selection of each image in order to achieve the cohesive visual narrative that they present as a whole. Ergo, there is a strong continuum throughout the Bunch website; leading the viewer on a journey which could be perceived to be through the client’s eyes, as there are no work-in-progress, or development sketches; only the most beautifully polished and refined work is deemed worthy.
It is in addressing this communication gap where Bunch utilise social media. They have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo; all of which are utilised to show their creative development and, in turn, propound a more human, approachable perception of the design studio. The Flickr stream, in particular, advances an extensive window into the workings of recently completed projects.
The third level of presentation is via the design portfolio site, http://www.behance.net. Here, Bunch choose to, again, only showcase their completed, refined projects but they do choose to accompany their stellar visuals with, albeit, brief written explanations of the said project.
Conclusively, Bunch seem to have a three tier self promotional strategy; a ‘look at me’ trophy website which is consumer facing with plenty of enticing, creative eye-candy. A broad social media spectrum, aimed more towards the general public and offering a friendlier, more personable face to the company and lastly their behance portfolio, which by it’s very nature is aimed more towards the creative community.
Across their online material, Bunch are proficient in retaining the integrity of their quirky, cross-platform persona. Their work demonstrates high-level design thinking, strong brand awareness and intelligent creative strategy, with one major exception: that of their own brand.
Referring back to their website, both their profile and contact pages struck me as decidedly lacklustre. They seem obvious afterthoughts with little or no care for the aesthetics, layout or presentation. In-short, the contact page is something I’d expect to see from one of my first year design students; certainly not a well established, award winning and creatively competent design studio such as Bunch! For me these 2 pages are the weak links in what is otherwise a very strong creative chain.
In summary, it is my opinion that, on the whole, Bunch Design successfully package themselves as an innovative design studio at the forefront of their industry. Their website, in particular, suggests that attention to detail and the professional photography of work are key concerns when attempting to communicate a cohesive visual language.
It is also evident that self promotion cannot be viewed as, merely, the perception of the work created for others, but that the same creative thinking should be applied to your own brand image, in order to retain the image of integrity and professionalism.
Bunch have therefore given me a benchmark for successful online communication as well as a few pointers on what not to do! I intend to continue to reference their successes and failures and apply some of their visual strategies to my own creative presentations.