It’s holiday season in the UK, Brexit is biting some and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro are taking place.

So, a poignant question to business owners… is your company stuck in a jam, at best just cruising along waiting for something advantageous to happen or are you the type that embraces change, takes calculated risks and is now standing on the blocks ready to go: Faster – Higher – Stronger, and gunning for gold!

If you find yourself in the former situation, then as Captain of the ship you know in your heart of hearts that you must plot a new course in order to avoid the under currents and turmoil, into calmer, flatter seas where you can do more business on your terms and at a healthy rate of knots.

Is that the “bosun’s call” I hear?
The whistle used on naval ships by a boatswain to pass commands to the assembled company when his voice could not be heard over the activities of the crew and bad weather.

In fact it was a call from Thomson Holidays back in the winter of 1996 asking us to come aboard and help them launch two new vessels into their cruising fleet – the Emerald and Island Breeze. The demand for cruise holidays on Thomson’s first cruise ship – The Sapphire had been phenomenal and Colin O’Neill, General Manager was intent on seizing this opportunity to grow their exposure in this region of the holiday market.

This invitation was a spontaneous one as we had been working with Thomson Holidays for the previous four years, devising and implementing eye-catching and engaging launch packages for their Summer and Winter Brochures which were then distributed by reps into travel agents across the UK.

Like the brochure launches, the brief was no different.
The product had to reflect the affordability and quality of Thomson Cruises, but also their enchanting nature too.
This included:

• Introduction letter
• Two horizontal A1 width window/wall posters
• Three double sided fact sheets (one for each cruise ship)
• Double sided itinerary sheet
• Single sided competition sheet
• 76 page Thomson Cruises brochure guide to cruises in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean

All marketing elements were to be colourful, vibrant, informative, conform to brand guidelines, compact and robust enough to go into a Thomson Cruises A4 folder and then into an outer C4 envelope for the Thomson Reps to leave with travel agents.

After the Victorian transatlantic voyages of the 1900s, the second era of cruising the world’s oceans was ready to launch and set sail!

From a design point of view the whole job was relatively straight forward following the corporate guidelines (we had previously worked with the Thomson Holidays internal design team to devise and implement this), using specified fonts and colours, including the two accent colours (Pantone Yellow 116 and Orange 032), as well as supplied logos and photos.

The challenges were:

• To design a variety of different marketing elements that fitted together as a coherent information pack
• To write engaging, themed copy to encourage travel agents to sell the various cruise packages
• To devise and design a typographic style to highlight the text and integrate harmoniously with the photography
• To litho print on sheet fed presses for high quality, large quantity runs of each element
• To collate and pack nine items sequentially into a branded C4 envelope, then seal
• To co-ordinate the distribution of these launch packs nationwide to participating travel agents

Needless to say Thomson Tour Operations were suitably impressed with the design, implementation and delivery nationwide of their launch material for their Summer 1997 Cruise season.

If you are a Captain of Industry or a business owner and your ship is in distress or limping home into port yet again, then it maybe time to give us an SOS call or if you feel more comfortable simply say “ahoy there” on the form below and we’ll see if we can right your vessel and get you and your crew sailing the seven seas again!