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Blog

We’re a creative bunch here at Toast.

Check out our blog for articles about design, creative ideas, thoughts and more from all the team at Toast.

 

Improve your hosting

How much should you spend on hosting?

Hosting charges are often an interesting debate. With so many hosting companies to choose from, how do you pick what’s best for your site? If you are looking to improve the performance of your website, your hosting is the first place to start. Most businesses will tell you that their website is a crucial part […]

Improve your hosting, improve your site
Brand consistency

The importance of brand consistency

  A successful brand is one that has considered all aspects of how engages with its customer and brand consistency is vital in this day and age. So what is brand consistency? Your customers have never had as many chances to interact with your brand as they do today. Gone are the days where a […]

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Improve your site speed with managed hosting

Improve your site speed with managed hosting

Site speed is one of the most important factors in getting ranked in Google. If your site is slow it will have a direct impact on your rankings. If your site isn’t as quick as you think it should be, we can improve your site speed with managed hosting. We know that trying to improve […]

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Website planning site build

Website planning – the stages of a website project

If you are thinking about getting a new website, read on to find out how a good website planning process will make it more effective. Web design and build can be quite complicated. It’s very important to plan your site way before you get involved in any design or build – this will help to […]

More about website planning

Why sketchbooks are important when applying for design jobs

If you’re a design student or currently looking for your first design job,  sketchbooks can make all the difference at an interview. As designers, we all have portfolios of what we consider to be our best work – we should also have sketchbooks full of our ideas. We know to put the best bits at […]

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interactive brochure design

Interactive brochure design

Toast can create or convert any professionally designed brochure into an interactive format that can be used across digital channels. If you go through the time and effort to plan and create a brochure then it makes commercial sense to get the most out of the process. You want to be able to share that brochure electronically as well as in hard copy. 

More about interactive brochures
Branding Tunerfish Luglocks

Branding and Packaging Tunerfish Luglocks

Tuner Fish lug locks are an essential bit of kit used by professional drummers worldwide to keep their drums in tune. Designed by drum designer Mike Bigwood and professional drummer Mark Richardson of the band Skunk Anansie. They designed and manufactured the Tuner Fish Lug Lock after Mark had tried every available lug lock on […]

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Why your business needs a branding agency.

Working with a branding agency can make a real difference to the success of your product or service. It’s a well-known fact; businesses that invest in design are more successful.  Working with a branding company should be seen as an essential service. Start-up businesses can use a branding agency to get the best start in […]

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Building your brand

What is building a brand all about?

How do you build a brand? If you need to create a new brand or rejuvenate a flagging/unsuccessful brand then there is no shortage of articles and advice all saying that you should build you brand but gloss over exactly how! Simply put – Brand building is the combined result of a well thought-out and […]

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Kombucha Drink Branding by Toast Design

New Kombucha Drink Branding & Packaging Design

Toast have recently completed the branding and drink packaging design for a new brand on the market, The Kombucha Tea Co. Kombucha is a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks, packed full of probiotics, antioxidants and vitamins, so there are lots of health benefits, and it’s great for the immune system. It originated in China around […]

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Brand Workshop

Planning your WordPress website

How you plan your new website is crucial to make it work hard and win you new business.  It’s often said that planning, designing and building a new website is only 25% of what you should be doing online. That means, even once you’ve got your shiny new website live, you still have three times […]

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Rebranding baby food with Goodness Gracious Foods

Toast recently collaborated with Goodness Gracious Foods to complete a total rebranding of their range of baby foods. The branding team at Toast win opportunities to work on a wide variety of projects and were excited when Goodness Gracious Foods approached us to work on a rebranding project in a new and exciting sector.  As we started speaking to […]

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Identify the marketing challenge…

The best creative design agency is one that is as eager to understand the problem, as it is to create the solution. When choosing a creative design agency, you obviously want to make sure that they can deliver creative solutions, but the difference between a good and a great creative agency is the ability to understand the marketing challenge before trying to answer it.

What's your challenge?
Brand vs Logo

Brand vs. Logo. What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between a brand and a logo? These days the two are often mixed-up, even by designers, with the word ‘brand’ incorrectly used for a few different meanings, we’ll try to set the record straight. A new business enquiry that we often receive here at Toast is “I’m looking for a branding agency […]

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Fundraising brochure design

Fundraising brochure design

Toast redesigned the layout and typography of this fundraising brochure whilst keeping a unique size of the brochure. More room was made available for images and an infographic was created to illustrate the key facts.

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The benefits of sketching

Sketching is a vital part of the design process with lots of benefits. The design process that we follow here at Toast design agency is one that we have developed over the last 20 years, allowing us to achieve the best possible result for each project that we work on. Our process is fluid and flexible […]

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What's your brand story

What’s your brand story?

A compelling brand story is now seen as an essential element for all brands, both large and small. First of all, what is a brand story? It’s not a narrative that you read out in a presentation, and it’s not the copy about your brand on your website or the text in your product brochure. […]

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Brand Workshop

Branding workshop for startups, that pay dividends.

Three reasons why you should invest in a Branding workshop and get your strategy right from the very beginning. In the last few years, we have seen an explosion in the number of startups in a whole range of sectors from food and drink through to brand new niche consultancies. This increase has meant that […]

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Artisan Kitchen branding and packaging

Artisan Kitchen branding and packaging

Branding and Packaging Design for a foodie startup. The Artisan Kitchen produce Award-winning Preserves, Jams and Marmalades in the heart of Gloucester. The requirement was to develop the existing logo, create a brand styling for labels and packaging. Toast developed the existing logo so it was more legible and stronger on the label. We created […]

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Creative design agency

14 ways a creative design agency can add value to your business

Do you need the help of a creative design agency? If you’ve been handling all of your marketing, design and web presence in-house so far, it can seem like a huge jump to be joining forces with another company. If you (or your financial department) still need to be persuaded to get a new creative […]

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Working with a design consultancy

Design consultancy – the benefits of working with a larger agency

When your design ambitions outgrow freelancer capabilities, it’s time to bring in some extra creative clout to push your business forward; you need the benefits of working with a design consultancy.

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The Restaurant Man with Russell Norman

Toast and The Restaurant Man

Back in October 2013, Toast were approached by Twenty Twenty Television who were filming a new BBC programme with restaurateur Russell Norman, the man behind Polpo, who we’re big fans of. The show that they were filming follows Russell helping and advising six different couples in realising their dream of setting up a restaurant, and […]

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13 Tips to help Choose Between Graphic Design Agencies

13 Tips to Help Choose Between Graphic Design Agencies

Choosing the right graphic design agency is an important first step in creating an ongoing and profitable relationship.

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What is Hubspot

Hubspot integrates all your inbound marketing activities on one platform Hubspot is a powerful Inbound marketing tool that helps you to attract, convert, close and delights your customers. Talk to Toast Design a leading UK Hubspot Partner. Toast are a UK Hubspot partner – but we don’t just implement HubSpot for clients! We use HubSpot […]

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Re-engage your brand

Using a brand workshop to review and re-engage your brand

It has been said that working on your brand “as you go” is like trying to change the tyres on your car while you’re still driving it! Well, it might not be that bad but it certainly isn’t the best way of using a brand workshop to review and re-engage your brand or update your […]

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Clever use of Infographics in Annual Report Design

As the audience for Annual Reports broadens the use of Infographics is now more popular than ever as a way of presenting information in a quick, clear and informative format.  The clever use of Infographics in annual reports is an ever-growing trend, as the audiences for annual reports grow. The need to make complex and data […]

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Moving WordPress to a new theme

We quite often get asked to quote for moving WordPress to a new theme. Depending on how complicated your site build is, this can be an easy or complicated task! So you’ve been working on your website for 12 months, adding new content, optimising pages and promoting via social media. The site looks great, but […]

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WooCommerce websites that we have recently launched

Let us bring your WooCommerce website to life Here at Toast we build responsive WordPress and WooCommerce websites and have been doing so for the last 4 or 5 years. Using the flexibility that the powerful WordPress CMS offers, our experienced team of WordPress developers can deliver high-quality, bespoke e-commerce solutions for any business. We’re […]

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Apprentice

New Apprentice

We’ve recently taken on a new apprentice in the digital team. After a long search, we’ve just found our new team member! As well as offering work experience to local students, we decided to offer an apprenticeship for one simple reason; there’s no degree course out there at the moment that will get a student ready […]

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Oxfordshire Design Agency for Marketing Professionals

Marketing professionals have enough stresses and pressures on them without their design agency causing more. Toast is a full-service Oxfordshire design agency and we truly appreciate the various demands put on hard working marketing teams and we’ve evolved our offering to reflect this. We understand that busy marketers do not want (or have the time […]

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No more death by Powerpoint

So your Powerpoint presentation looks boring and amateurish, which is having a negative effect on your audience. End this misery by letting Toast design you a Powerpoint template that you can use, is on brand and is visually exciting. There are some simple steps (and here comes the list) that we follow to help make the experience of your Powerpoint presentation a […]

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Making your website responsive

Making your website responsive will have a beneficial effect on how hard it works for you. If you use Google Analytics on your site, you’ll have probably seen an increase in the amount of mobile traffic coming to your site. If you’re a B2B business, visits from prospective customers don’t always arrive 9-5. Prospective new […]

Responsify your website
Toast is Twenty - BOO YA

Toast celebrates 20 years

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Toast design. Back in 1996, we cooked up the idea of setting up a design agency straight out of University. So in 1997, with no cash, no clients, no office and a weird company name, we decided to go for it – we figured we were skint anyhow, […]

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Happy Website

Website annual service

To keep your website in tip-top condition you need to make sure it’s up-to-date and fully optimised. To make sure your website performs at its best in 2017, we recommend an annual service in January. Safety & security Our ‘WordPress service’ will update your site to the most recent version of WordPress and update all […]

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Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Banbury

Based in the centre of Banbury, Oxfordshire, we work with B2B companies to improve their digital marketing. Your website and digital marketing should be an ongoing process; it’s not something that you can ‘set and forget’. Marketing in the digital realm needs to be reviewed often and continually tweaked to increase performance and conversations. Before […]

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creative inbound marketing

How do I improve my marketing?

How do I improve my marketing? If you are asking this question then you are ahead of the game of those that think that their marketing can’t be improved. Convention suggests this is where we should sell in Toast but instead we will answer your question. To do this we keep things simple and focus on the most important (we don’t apologise if these seem obvious) questions, which are…

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Logo & Brand Design for Startup Businesses

Creating an effective logo and brand identity for a startup business is vital to it’s success.

More about startup logos

Creative ideas for promotional giveaways

If you go to any conference or trade show then you are more than likely to walk out with at least one branded carrier bag filled to the brim with promotional items. The different types of items available can be staggering, and to be honest a little bewildering – just because you can put your […]

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Website optimisation

Marketing Agency

We’re a full-service marketing agency. If you’re looking to place all of your creative marketing requirements in one place, we’d love to talk to you. Toast are a large design and marketing agency based in Oxfordshire. We work with SMEs across the UK to plan, design and produce everything you need in your marketing toolkit. […]

Get the full service
Brand-Audit

How do I audit my marketing?

Most marketing teams have a whole range of marketing materials; some of it new but most of it will be historic. In some cases pieces will have been created purely to address a short term tactical need but doesn’t necessarily support the overall brand strategy. Different creative teams may have created some with different expectations on brand or corporate styling. However you have got there, there is a feeling of needing to get to grips with what you have but where do you start? Can you be objective?

Find out how
WordPress website design and build from Toast

WordPress for small businesses

WordPress for small businesses makes good sense.  While the platform is perfectly at home as a CMS for many enterprise-level businesses, it’s also a perfect starting point for any small business site – it provides a rock-solid platform, allows you to manage your own content and can be scaled up as your online marketing grows. Below […]

Get WordPress
Different formats for brochures

Different formats for brochures

Using different formats for brochures can really make them stand out. Just because it’s a brochure, it doesn’t mean that it has to be A4. We’ve designed 100s of brochures – below are a few of the non-standard brochure designs we’ve produced.

Check out brochure formats
Branding designers

Hachacha Curry Branding and Packaging made by Toast

Bursting on to the Asian food scene soon, Hachacha brings an innovative answer to cooking a traditional Indian dish – in half the time. With tasty branding and packaging created at Toast.

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integrate-online-offline-marketing

Integrate online and offline marketing

If you are looking to Integrate online and offline marketing, you’re it’s best to choose a full-service agency that does everything in-house. Using one agency for digital, another for print and a different one for branding can be tricky at the best of times, but if you are trying to integrate your marketing, we think it’s […]

Get integrated
Brand Auditing

Give your brand, design and marketing a full service

Give your brand, design and marketing a full service: Are you happy with your brand & marketing performance? Are you hitting your targets and achieving your goals? Would you appreciate an impartial opinion and help to Identify & resolve any issues?

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Marketing collateral

Creating brand consistency in Marketing Materials

How to create brand consistency in marketing materials Due to the high level of integration that is now demanded by modern marketing campaigns, brand consistency should be achieved across not only the campaigns but the underlying strategy. So why is brand consistency important in marketing materials? The importance of consistency of brand across marketing materials […]

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How designers and marketers can work better together.

It’s no secret that design and marketing go hand in hand. Marketers understand that their business clients need a design agency to help with their campaign. However, it’s often the case that marketers see design in the wrong way. They see it as something they need to buy as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

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Do’s and don’ts for annual report design

What you should be doing, and avoiding when creating your next annual report. The do’s Do –  Plan – Creating annual reports take longer than you think. You should set a date of when you need the printed report on your desk and work backwards, allowing for collating of the data, writing of the report, […]

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Reasons to use Inbound Marketing

12 Reasons to use Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing techniques and software will undoubtedly have a beneficial effect on the performance of your digital marketing. There are so many Reasons to use Inbound Marketing to increase conversions and sales, but you don’t have to dive in head first and try to do everything at once. The key to successful inbound marketing campaigns is […]

Get started with inbound

Why design-led businesses benefit from using a full-service design agency.

Design-led businesses are becoming more and more popular every day. Companies realise how important design can be to business. It can bring lots of benefits and lead to more sustainable success. A design-led business puts an emphasis on design and makes it the main focus of everything they do.

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Ten things Marketers should look for from a full-service design agency.

There are loads of marketers that buy designs from various design agencies, big or small. But, how can a marketer know that they’re getting the best service possible? We’ve used our experience to come up with ten things that marketers should look for in a design agency:

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Report design

Formats and finishes for annual reports

Selecting the correct format and finish to your annual report will add that extra finesse, making it stand out and communicate more than just the facts. There are a huge variety of formats and finishes to choose from for your annual report. Here we take a look at what you could do to help add that extra wow factor. Paper size […]

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The benefits of a long-term relationship with a design agency

All businesses rely on other companies for various products and services. Firms have to pay energy companies for gas and electricity supplies. They also need the expertise of IT providers to ensure their computers are operational. And logistics service providers make sure customers gets their orders shipped on time.

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Inbound Marketing

We solve marketing problems with design

I am quite regularly asked what Toast Design does and the simple answer is: we solve marketing problems with design. This does throw some people as they were expecting a menu of different design services. We do have a list of services, but that’s not what we do, we use these services to solve problems. […]

Let's solve your problem
Benefits of Content Marketing

The Benefits of Content Marketing – win new business online

Whether you’re winning business online already or planning to improve your digital marketing, the benefits of content marketing are clear; it will help you win more business online. If you sell a product or service via your website, getting sales and new business conversions is a numbers game. You need a healthy number of visitors to […]

Content benefits

How to engage your target audience with effective marketing design

What is your target market and how do you engage with them? This simple premise is the bedrock of marketing, so it is essential to get it right from the very beginning. Toast are the perfect partner to help you identify who the target audience are, what profile or persona they reflect and then how […]

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Looking to create marketing materials that are integrated and on brand?

Consistent and coordinated marketing materials project a clear and uniform message Toast create a broad range of well-designed materials that support your marketing needs, these include newsletters, posters, exhibition stands through to a range of online advert formats. The following topics look into more detail on how we can help you with your campaign.  How to create brand consistent […]

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Magazine design

Creating stylish and modern design layouts is something we love to do. Here are some concept layouts we have produced for a luxury architectural magazine.

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Annual-report-planning

Planning your annual report design

Tips on how to plan a successful annual report design. Assign a project leader As there will be a lot of people contributing to this project it is good to have a project manager to spearhead this and ensure the project runs smoothly. Define who needs to be involved Everyone likes to make an input but […]

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Make the logo bigger

Rolling out a new “bigger” brand across all marketing materials

Make the logo bigger – branding Creating brands can be fun and we have taken a much-used phrase “can you make our logo bigger” (heard a lot in the design industry), to illustrate how you can roll out a new brand across a whole range of marketing materials. We look at how we can apply this fresh […]

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Some helpful tips when creating your next newsletter design

Newsletters have always been the go-to option for marketing design teams that want to update or advise their various audiences. The popularity of this format of marketing material is one of its biggest challenges when creating a new one. The question often lost is how do you make the newsletter engage with your audience? If you […]

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Launching a new food product

Are you planning to launch a new food product?

If so there are some key points to consider, and we will certainly be able to help you achieve the right look for your brand. In 2013, the UK grocery market was worth £169.7 billion, an increase of 3.7% on 2012. The market is very well populated and competitive with thousands of new products launched […]

We can help you

Successful product launch – designed for maximum impact

If you are looking for help launch a new product in the market or even just a simple new product launch checklist then read on. The most successful product launches are ones that are prepared well and are based around a solid product launch idea with comprehensive marketing materials support, as Benjamin Franklin advised – […]

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Exhibition stand design

What are pop up exhibition stands?

Its a term you have seen used when it comes to exhibitions, but what are they and is it the right exhibition format for you? Pop up display stands consist of a pre-constructed folded down metal frame that ‘pops’ up into place to form a skeleton frame from which you can then attach display graphic panels via magnetic strips. As […]

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Report design

What is the best process to deliver Annual Reports correctly

Our process to create Annual Report design. Some design agencies may approach an Annual Report design project like any other print job, but they would be unwise to do so as there are some unique considerations that they need to appreciate. An Annual Report is a key publication on any organisation’s marketing calendar. It is […]

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Food branding

Marketing Food Products

How to get your food products noticed, you’ve worked hard to develop a great tasting product, but how do you now get your product noticed and sell? – A clear brand identity is key.

Market your product
display banner designers

Display banner designers

Creating engaging and informative display banner designs are essential when showcasing your products or services. Toast are display banner designers that have vast experience in creating stunning display materials. Let us help you to generate sells and promote key messages whilst maintaining a strong consistent brand. How do we do this? There are a number of things we […]

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Annual report designers

Annual Report designers

Toast are annual report designers that will help you create an awesome Annual Report. One of the main issues you can face when considering your next Annual Report is the design. As these projects come around every year, it can sometimes be difficult to produce something different from last year. That’s where we come in, […]

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Beer bottle design

Creating great food packaging design

Based on our experience, we have put together 10 tips that we help you to create great and effective food packaging design for your product.

Packaging design

Key tips for great food label design for food and drink products

There are currently around 10,000 new food and drink products introduced in the UK each year. So what do you need to do to ensure that your new product gets noticed, or your existing product doesn’t get lost under the raft of newcomers?

Well designed, clear and consistent food label design is key.

Get some tips
graphic-design-agency

Why You Should Choose A Large Graphic Design Agency For Your Business

A larger agency can help you get the highest quality, creative design work for your money. Choosing a large agency means that you will have access to a range of creative people and their unique take on your project, helping you develop the best design solution possible – many heads are better than one! Here are some […]

Find out more
Magazine design

Stunning magazine design

If you are looking at launching a new publication or thinking of refreshing your existing magazine design then toast are the ideal agency to help you with this.  There are some simple rules you can follow to ensure that the design of the magazine increases readership and promotes your product/service successfully, these include: 1. Identify and engage […]

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Food and drink branding

The key stages of great logo design

Here at Toast Design we have developed a unique 5 Stage process for creating great logo design.

More about logo design
Brochure design

What is the best finish for your brochure?

There are a multiple of brochure design finishes that you can add to give your brochure that extra wow factor. Toast are experts in this field and our knowledge and experience can help your brochure really pop. Lets take a quick look at some finishes and what they add. Lamination and spot UV varnish Lamination is […]

Check out finishes
Pop up banner design

Outstanding exhibition design

If you are displaying at a show or an event you’ll need some form of exhibition design to promote your product or service. Toast are the ideal agency to help you with this. Depending on what event and where you plan to display can make a significant difference to the format and system you use. Keeping […]

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Fix my WordPress site

Fix my WordPress site

If you’re looking for a UK specialist that can assist when looking to fix your WordPress website, you’ve come to the right place.  Click here to get your site fixed!   Toast are WordPress experts and we develop exclusively on the platform, so we know WordPress inside-out. From small fixes, to big problems, we’re on […]

Get your site fixed!

Pocket folder designers

Pocket folders come in all shapes and sizes and establishing the purpose, content and use is important before you start as this will define the type of folder needed.  Toast are experts in pocket folder design – we can help you create the ideal pocket folder. Following some simple rules can ensure your pocket folder design is a success, these include: 1. […]

See more pocket folder designs
The Swan Pub Branding

Creating Effective Logo Design

There are lots of opinion pieces on logo design and it can be rather confusing, but with over the last 15 years experience working with many businesses we have put together a guide to creating effective logo design.

Effective logo design
Hubspot and WordPress

Hubspot and WordPress

Hubspot has a pretty hefty content management system for sites hosted on their COS, but what if you need to integrate Hubspot and WordPress? As WordPress experts we help businesses that want to retain their existing WordPress install and integrate all of Hubspot’s functionality into their current site. Hubspot and WordPress can play very nicely together if everything is […]

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Infographic design

Infographics are becoming ever more popular as they are great at presenting information in a quick, clear and informative format.  Infographics can also be used in annual reports, presentations, websites and brochures, giving you a powerful tool that can be applied to various materials. Infographic design also provides a great visual shortcut to complex information as […]

More about infographics
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