Back to School


The Scottish Parliament will come back from its summer recess next week for a short 5-week session taking it up to half-term and the Party Conference season but what issues will we see dominate the political discourse after a typically frenetic summer.

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Graeme Downie, Director.

Although looming over everything in the UK at the moment, the issue of Brexit is unlikely to be at the forefront of a lot of MSPs mind when they come back to work.  Instead a few issues already widely trailed are likely to dominate and all of them in the policy areas of most concern to the public.

Prime amongst those will be transport with a battle for the political narrative already under way.  On railways, the Scottish Government is attempting to keep the focus on the future of the railways, with the announcement that public sector companies will be able to bid for the ScotRail franchise in 2025.  At the same time September is likely to see the role out of refurbished High Speed Trains (HSTs) on key city routes across the country.  Although not delivered by the Scottish Government expect Transport Minister, Michael Matheson to be prominent in the pictures and interviews.  One topic Mr. Matheson and his colleagues will not wish to discuss in those interviews will be the seeming U-turn regarding the merger of British Transport Police (BTP) with Police Scotland.  These proposals has been controversial in the past couple of years and opponents will point to the policy change as evidence of government more concerned with centralisation and symbolism that delivery meaningful change.

Second, education reforms are likely to rear their head with the parents of children just beginning their school lives realising that Primary 1 children will face tests (sorry “assessments” as the Scottish Government prefer) during their first year.  Education Minister, John Swinney, has already been taking to the airwaves, press and social media to emphasise the informal nature of the exercise.  But teachers representatives have expressed their concerns concerning the effective of these measures and there appears to be confusion amongst parents as to their rights, or not, to remove their children.

With other policy issues such as business rate reform, consumer protection, NHS waiting times, future supply of energy, health & social care financing likely to have their place in the sun, albeit for less time, it is hard to imagine a more challenging set of policy debates, particularly for the Scottish Government, in the run-up to the conference season.

For the SNP, the only party in Scotland to hold its main conference in the autumn, there will be other more deeply political issues to content with.  For the First Minister, this will primarily be focussed around the vexed issue of a second independence referendum.  Noises are growing within the rank and file for Nicola Sturgeon to at least develop a timetable or possible scenarios for a second vote, particularly as the uncertainty and potential risks of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit are being spelled out by the UK Government.  In addition, she must face the deeply personal issue of allegations of sexual abuse against her friend and mentor, former First Minister Alex Salmond.  Thus far, the First Minister has navigated both issues with her usual skill but, on the referendum in particular, it feels as though some more definitive path or direction may have to be set over the autumn.

Top five reasons to rebrand your business

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Today’s brand is a complex thing. Decades ago it was defined as a name, slogan, sign or symbol, or a combination of these elements used to distinguish one product or service from another.

In today’s market, a brand can often get confused with a logo, but this is only part of a brand.

When you think about your brand, you really want to think about your entire customer experience… everything from your logo, your website, your social media experiences, the way you answer the phone, to the way your customers experience your staff. It is the sum of all touch points that come into contact with current or potential customers.

In short, your brand is the way your customer perceives you.

It is therefore really important to make sure that your brand is relevant. With trends constantly evolving, it’s important that your brand stands out in your competitive marketplace and communicates who you are as a business.

Sooner or later there will come a time when you’re brand needs a bit of attention. This can seem a daunting task but it can be a rewarding process that delivers significant commercial benefits.

Recognising when the time is right to rebrand your business or product may seem difficult, but in the life of a business various moments arise that lend themselves very well to a change, or even necessitate one.

Here are five reasons why now would be a good time to look at your brand.

1. To reinvigorate your image

Rebranding is a conscious decision to improve your reputation and image. Dated branding does nothing to instil confidence in your business and it is widely recognisable that a well branded product adds value. Apple is a prime example of this, where people buy into the brand.

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2. A merger or take-over of a company or organisation

This could mean a new name, a new logo, and a re-evaluation of all brand materials. This is where the benefits of using a full-service design agency are important – they can help you manage the whole project.

3. Change in Leadership

A new CEO will often want to breathe new life into an organisation. Successful leaders will have a clear direction in which they wish to take the company and will want to reflect this in its branding.

4. Repositioning

Rebranding can attract new audiences or become more appealing to their target market. Re-positioning a brand can help it differentiate and stand out in the market place and reflect your business as it changes. British Steel is a good example of re-positioning an iconic brand.

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5. Lack of Brand Clarity

A brand that has grown quickly or organically may not have taken the time to stop and consider its branding. Messaging can be inconsistent, messy and confusing to the consumer so visiting the brand and getting a strategy in place is essential

Heather Cumming, Senior Designer


FLIM FLAM 2 – Thank you from Orbit

Orbit would like to say a massive thanks to everyone that contributed to and attended out FLIM FLAM 2 exhibition on Friday.

As one of Scotland’s leading creative PR, public affairs and design agencies, we have a genuine passion for excellent art and design. At Orbit, we firmly believe in fostering creative talent, whatever that may be. Whether it is undertaking media relations or delivering a new brand or website, we bring this same creativity to everything we do. By hosting the work of our team and a range of leading artists and designers, we hope Gallery Flim Flam will stimulate and inspire that same drive for creativity and excellence in it’s attendees.

We are excited to announce that FLIM FLAM 3 will be curated by Orbit designers, Kiera Winfield and Kyle McPartlin.

Shout out to Orbit designer Kyle McPartlin, who not only created the FLIM FLAM 2 promo material but featured some of his own design work in the exhibition. Congratulations to our creative director John Ayscough and senior designer Heather Cumming who also featured art work in the exhibition.