• The jubilee, great British brands and… our 21st birthday!

    It’s been a busy and exciting time here at ICM recently, and we’re only just getting started! We all enjoyed the jubilee weekend, celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 years of service – That’s 70 years of loyal, hard work, and dedicated service – qualities that we share here at ICM as we prepare to celebrate our 21st birthday this summer.

    As part of our 21st birthday celebrations we’ve been looking at some great British brands, starting with the Union Jack. As well as the history behind the Union Jack, we have of course loved learning about the design features (some of us more than others!). We thought we’d share some of them here:

    The flag was designed by King James I

    King James I designed the flag when he inherited the thrones of England and Scotland in 1806. He wanted to combine the two crosses of the respective nations. Ireland’s Cross of St Patrick wasn’t added until it became part of the United Kingdom in 1801.

    3 in 1

    The flag houses England’s Cross of St. George, Scotland’s Cross of St. Andrew and Ireland’s Cross of St. Patrick to form a hybrid of red, white and blue patriotism.

    Wales’ famous red dragon is missing though – this is likely because Wales was historically a part of England, so they were not considered a separate entity.

    We wonder whether all of this was in the original brief…!

    It’s not symmetrical

    Instantly noticeable to eagle eyed designers like us, but maybe not to some. This also means there’s a right (and a wrong!) side up.


    The colour specification for the blue is Pantone 280 C and the red is 186 C, worth remembering for the next time you’re feeling patriotic.

    Keep following us on social media as we get ready for our 21st birthday and explore other Great British Brands, some of which we’re thrilled to work with.

  • Climate change communications

    During the run-up to the Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow, a study looked into the climate change communications of 57 companies across different industries*. The study looked at their environmental data and the reach of their climate change communications – both on and offline. It also took company leadership and the message from the top into account. 

    Interestingly, not many of the companies excelled in all three categories. 

    Some were guilty of ‘greenwashing’ by giving vague or generic commitments to action. Others were not communicating enough to engage their customers with their positive commitments and actions. In some cases, it was found that the leadership did not do enough to encourage stakeholders to change their behaviour.

    Actions ~vs~ Words

    A balance has to be struck between actions and words with climate change communications. Between commitments and positive messaging. 

    Too much communication and too little commitment, and a company can be accused of ‘greenwashing’. 

    On the other hand, too little communication, and companies are not successfully conveying positive actions through brand messaging. In this way, they risk alienating their customer base by losing engagement and support for any green initiatives. Therefore, there is a happy medium when companies use creative messaging to tell a story around their actions.

    Engaging customers

    During the pandemic, there was a wake-up call for businesses, encouraging them to take more action on climate change. Indeed, many have started new green initiatives. 

    We have seen our clients redoubling their efforts to be as green as possible, encouraging staff and local communities to become involved.

    At ICM Creative, we feel that this is something clients should shout about, setting an example for:

    The local and wider community
    Their industry

    Consumers are now making more informed choices about where goods come from and their impact on the environment. A company can lose out through ineffective or too general environmental campaigns. Therefore, climate change communications to inform and engage the public about your green initiatives, actions, and policies have never been more important.

    Corporate Communications

    Of course, customers are the life-blood of any business, and we need to get your message across.  But companies also need to concentrate on prospects for future business and suppliers. 

    We can produce informative graphics for your reception area or exhibition stand. These will highlight your environmental actions and credentials.  Advertisements, brochures, and posters can reinforce the digital campaign message throughout your corporate communications. 

    Building a comprehensive campaign across all media will maximise the effect of your actions and make sure stakeholders are engaged with your climate change communications.

    Creative communications

    We would love to hear about your company’s actions against climate change. Whether these are well-established green initiatives or brand new measures, there is a story.

    Creating a campaign around your environmental ethos should reflect your company’s actions. We understand climate change communications and can help you talk positively to your audience. We can help you create a conversation about your actions, invite feedback, and build your customer relationships.

    Let us help

    How do we do this? By listening to you! We want to understand your business, policies, and actions around climate change. Our team can create messages that perfectly balance your climate change principles with your business goals. These messages will voice your actions and will be on-brand for your business.

    Our skilled team can put together a campaign for you across both digital and traditional media. They will create an environmental vision for your climate change communications.

    Through email marketing, social media campaigns and content creation, we can use digital channels to convey your message and prompt customer engagement by inviting their participation.

    Today, customers expect businesses to be responsive, so let’s give your environmental campaign a voice on social media. It is a sure-fire way to start the conversation! Once customers are fully on-board with your message, you have a chance to change their behaviour.

    Internal Communications

    Are your employees on board with your environmental policy? 

    Are they fully engaged and willingly helping, or do you need to engage your staff and win their support? 

    Is your internal environmental brand getting old and jaded? 

    For example, your priorities and principles may have changed since it was first introduced.

    Consequently, it is important to ensure your employees know about your climate change communications and what your company stands for. This is where ICM Creative can help you. We can create an internal brand for your environmental objectives to help you communicate or refresh your green initiatives.

    From strategic decisions about how your environmental policy plugs into your overall brand vision and messaging to engaging messages to help to win over your employees, we can provide creative services to convey your company ethos.

    Our green credentials

    At ICM Creative, we have been making a positive impact by reducing waste in our businesses for years. 

    For instance, we decided to reduce, reuse and recycle in the office before it became a ‘thing’. 

    We love getting involved in environmental initiatives. The latest was Green Jumper Day last month. Everyone joined in, wearing green jumpers to keep warm and turning down the office thermostat to save energy. In addition, we donated £80, so Green Jumper can continue its work around educating the next generation about climate change.

    Also, we have produced climate change communications collateral for our clients. This included a recent infographic for the Canal & River Trust (above). Our client asked us to focus on nine points that demonstrated how canals can help to tackle climate change. We put together this eye-catching graphic that explained their message in clear and simple terms.

    Why not talk to us?

    We would be happy to discuss your new environmental goals or breathe new life into an existing message or campaign. Clients love our attention to detail, and in addition to creative talent, we never have, that’s right, NEVER missed a deadline! This and the quality of our creative services ensure our clients work with us time after time.

    For more information about working with ICM Creative on climate change communications, please email Louise at louise@icmcreative.co.uk.

    Study: “Sustainability Communications Must Be In Perfect Lockstep With Actions” (provokemedia.com)

  • Why the time is right for outsourcing creative services.

    Does your business need additional marketing support?

    Now the worst of the pandemic has passed (or so we all hope), businesses are starting to move forward with their marketing plans. Many are looking for extra support by outsourcing creative services.

    The last 18 months has left its mark on many businesses, with depleted staff numbers and services. Some have had to lay people off or have experienced employees not returning from furlough. While others may be uncertain of the future and so cannot commit to expensive recruitment drives.

    These factors are leaving some companies overstretched, without the internal resources to fill the gaps. 

    The benefits of outsourcing

    The uncertainty of the marketplace and the rapid emergence of many online channels, especially during the last 18 months, has increased the need for creative services to engage both old and new customers.

    Having additional marketing support at the point you need it, rather than permanently, may be the right fit for your company at this moment in time. It requires little financial commitment and places no obligation on HR and your management team to spend time and money wading through CVs, organising interviews, and then providing inductions and training. You only pay for the creative services you need, not another full-time employee and all the associated costs.

    We are a cost-effective, fresh pair of eyes

    We understand that recruitment drives are expensive and time-consuming. With no guarantee of finding the right candidate to fill the gap in your team. Outsourcing creative services guarantees you expertise in the areas you need when you need them. It can simply make more sense to have additional marketing support from a creative services agency. Especially one who will dedicate their talented staff to helping your team achieve their goals.

    Outsourcing creative services help to provide an objective view but from within your company. Bringing in somebody new who already has innovative services knowledge and experience can encourage a fresh approach to new campaigns or give an insight into a possible new customer base. Your business will benefit from having this fresh perspective. 

    We are ready and can hit the ground running

    Another benefit for your business is the speed of service. You will not have to provide training and the outsourced team will be up to speed very quickly. This is because of their existing knowledge base of creative services and their ability to understand your brief. This will result in a quicker turnaround time on creative projects, where experience can have a significant impact.

    And this is where ICM Creative can help by providing additional marketing support for your business. Whatever you need, we can help you achieve your marketing goals. We provide creative services in partnership with your marketing and management teams.

    Our ‘thinking beyond design’ ethos is what keeps our clients coming back for more. We regularly work successfully with companies outsourcing creative services as an extension of their existing teams.

    We can help with all aspects of creative services including:

    Design for print

    We combine outstanding graphic design skills with extensive print knowledge to assist your team in producing everything from vibrant catalogues and brochures to direct mail campaigns or even vehicle livery.

    Brand creation

    We ensure that the messages are right for your business. Whether it’s a whole new brand, a rebrand, making strategic decisions, or working with your team on communications campaigns. From creating brand imagery to brand strategy, we can handle it all.


    Our specialist packaging design team can help create innovative, cost-effective, on-brand packaging.

    Point of sale

    Ensuring your products stand out and drive sales to their maximum potential. Your team can harness our POS knowledge to enhance brand engagement.


    Working in partnership with you, we can create an impactful exhibition stand design and promotional products which engage your existing clients and attract new ones.


    Our specialist skills in custom WordPress website design and build, email marketing, social media and content creation will help to support your team in their online communication goals.

    Why choose ICM Creative as your creative overflow?

    Firstly, we will listen to understand your business and your customer base, what you want to tell them about your company and how you want to achieve your business goals.

    We will immerse ourselves in your business because we consider ourselves your partner and your go-to resource for creative services.

    Our knowledge will be invaluable, not only for our design knowledge and experience but for our specialist expertise in key industry sectors:

    Manufacturing and Industrial

    Our experience within this sector means we are already one step ahead in understanding manufacturing businesses and the technical language often used in business to business marketing campaigns.

    We are here to help your in-house team capitalise on national and international markets. Please read one of our Manufacturing and Industrial case studies.


    Over many years, we have filled a niche in product development work within this industry, from the germ of an idea to sale.

    We can offer you additional marketing support and work with you at speed and with meticulous attention to detail and clarity. Please read one of our Automotive case studies.


    Providing communications expertise for the healthcare industry requires the ability to talk to diverse audiences ranging from patients to care home staff and key business decision-makers to sales representatives.

    Our copywriters and designers can provide invaluable support to your busy teams. Please read one of our Healthcare case studies.


    Whatever part of the leisure industry your company is in, we can help you maintain brand consistency and manage efficiency and costs for high volume print. Your team can rely on us for speed and creativity across all marketing collateral. Please read one of our Leisure case studies.

    Shall we pencil in a call?

    We are well-known for our attention to detail, and in addition to our wealth of experience, we have never, that’s right, NEVER missed a deadline! This is an invaluable asset that ensures our clients return to us time and again when outsourcing creative services.

    For more information about working with ICM Creative when outsourcing creative services as an extension to your in-house marketing team, please email Louise at louise@icmcreative.co.uk