Disegno Book Club – 26th February

On 26 February, Disegno Book Club, a group dedicated to discussing the books shaping debates around design, architecture, technology, craft and more will be reading journalist Mark O'Connell's To Be A Machine (2017) which investigates transhumanism, a largely Silicon Valley-based movement that is bent on using technology to edit, alter and prolong lives.

Join them for a discussion and book your free ticket here.

Not had time to read the book? Check out these articles below for a brief taster of some of the topics on discussion.

The Guardian's 2017 review of To Be A Machine.
The story of transhumanist Zoltan Istvan, who ran for the 2016 US presidential election and has subsequently entered the 2020 race.
Colour-blind artist and cyborg Neil Harbisson and his interventions to allow him to "hear" colours.

Wednesday 26 February

6.30pm doors open, 7pm start

Rose Lipman Building, 43 De Beauvoir Road, London N1 5SQ

Complete Ltd hires consultant creative director

Complete Ltd is delighted to announce that Marcus Agerman Ross has joined the agency as consultant creative director. 

Founder and editor-in-chief of revered, culture and lifestyle magazine Jocks&Nerds, Agerman Ross began his career in the 1990s where he worked at i-D magazine for five years rising to the position of fashion editor. He also worked at Vice magazine in the 2000s, as part of the team that helped develop the publishing and media company into a global business.  

In a career spanning over two decades, as well as his extensive creative direction portfolio, Agerman Ross has worked as a photographer, stylist, writer, brand consultant, editor and lecturer. It is this broad experience, alongside his vast cultural and historical knowledge, that gives him his unique perspective. The numerous clients he has consulted for include Nike, Tudor Watches, Absolut Vodka, C.P. Company, Baracuta, Barbour International and Fred Perry, to name just a few. 

Having collaborated with Agerman Ross in various ways over many years, Complete Ltd is proud to welcome him as the newest member of the team, in this formal role.

“I’ve known Gerry and his team at Complete for over 20 years, since my first job at i-D when they worked closely with the founder Terry Jones, on i-D's publication, campaigns and worldwide events. The care, attention to detail and talent throughout the company is second-to-none, they set the bar for production standards. I’ve spent so much time either in their London studio or on location with the team, seeing first hand how the agency is continuously evolving under Gerry’s leadership, Complete are a team in every sense of the word and I’m really proud and honoured to become a member of this great company"

Utilising unrivalled skills and knowledge, Complete’s portfolio over the years has provided fully integrated creative services for Adidas Y3, Levi’s, Dior are able to manage all aspects of a campaign, from conception through to delivery.

“Having worked with Marcus over the years, we have witnessed first-hand that he is experienced in this industry and is the perfect fit for this agency. We are looking forward to merging his talents with our renowned in-house production and post-production skills. Exciting times ahead” - Gerry McKeown, Complete Ltd CEO


In the world of digital agencies nearly 20 years ago, it was very common for web designers to complain that non-digital designers (which made up 95% of designers at that time) just did not understand how to design for the web, as all they knew was print.  

Now, two decades later, it feels like the media world has gone full circle. We would assume the majority of all designers these days are digital specialists as the world of advertising/marketing has moved away from offline to online. This issue of designing for different sized screens is not the problem it once was. However it seems the industry has lost some skills and experience in terms of creating the best print designs.  

And this lost craft is not just in print design, it’s also in the expertise of print reproduction. London used to be awash with repro houses, as they were known, working with publishers, agencies and printers on all forms of print media production. Now most of these companies have gone or move more towards more digital work, so high quality reproduction is now a rare commodity. Hence there seems to be more mistakes in the area of print, even with luxury brands in good, quality publications.  Soon, we will publish an article about the most common “F**k Ups” in print production, so watch this space... 

However, we like to think at Complete, with our long heritage in the luxury print space, along with our long-serving (and long-suffering some might say!) repro experts we are keeping the art of high quality repro work alive as the print revival makes it come back as a popular content and advertising medium. 

The Invisibles

For one night only, an exhibition of work by photographer Jermaine Francis in support of Shelter was held in Shoreditch's Protein Studios. Originally for i-D's The Post Truth Truth Issue, The Invisibles is a powerful series of photographs documenting the tents which act as temporary homeless shelters across British cities.

Highlighting the UK's homelessness epidemic, Jermaine explains the concept of the exhibition “This project isn’t just about homelessness itself. It’s about how we think about society and the most vulnerable people in it. Things need to change, both in terms of the system and of ourselves.”⁣⁣⁣⁣

In addition to the photos themselves, there will also be an auction of prints donated by various photographers, with all sales in aid @sheltercharity.⁣ Although only at the moment a one event pop-up, Jermaine has plans to exhibit the images again in the future for a longer period of time.

Announcing our nomination : International Content Marketing Awards

We are delighted to announce that Complete Ltd has been nominated by the International Content Marketing Awards in the category of Best Use of Imagery for the William & Son 2019 Luxury campaign. The entries for this years awards were at an incredibly high standard, with huge competition in the categories.

Catherine Maskell, Managing Director of the CMA said 'It has been another incredible year for branded content, with our Awards demonstrating above all others that branded content continues to be at the heart of all notable marketing strategies across the world; with entries flooding in from 23 countries, and from nearly 150 individual agencies. 

The accolade of a being awarded a Nomination should not go unnoticed, so congratulations to the nominees and their achievements.'

The awards take place in London on the 28th November 2019 and Complete Ltd are thrilled to part of this year's event.

Luxury Watches – The New Marketing Battlefield

The luxury watch has long been a sign of status, a signal that you made something of yourself in the world.  It’s a fiercely competitive space with a small number of large competitors and lots of niche, small players. The way that luxury watches market themselves has probably gone through more changes in the last 5 years than in the previous 50 years.  

Luxury items were slower than traditional mainstream products in moving to ecommerce sales.  This is definitely true of luxury watches with its centre in conservative Switzerland. For example, Rolex only joined social media in 2013. However now there has been a significant shift from the traditional retail market to a much bigger ecommerce share of the market, mainly driven by younger buyers who expect to buy everything and anything online.  

The good news is that even small, niche luxury watches can sell to customers all round the world, especially if they market themselves properly.  The growing economies of countries like China and India mean that there are more and more people who can now afford the finer things in life.

The other new development is the power of social influencers. People like Justin Hast, who featured recently in our Complete Creative series, help consumers navigate the options and provide independent reviews. Although, not all of these reviewers have a sincere and expert opinion like Justin. The problem arises when these reviews are presented as independent but in fact have been paid for by the brand itself. There is growing discussion that some paid influencer marketing is creating consumer resentment.

According to Deloitte, 60 percent of consumers now use digital to research prices and information when purchasing watches. Therefore it is key to ensure that the imagery used to promote the product on a website, online advert or social media is of the highest quality.  This not just about great photography but also high quality reproduction to ensure that the colour is pixel perfect. This is where Complete’s 20 years experience in this field comes to the fore.  

With the growth of wearable tech, the new explosion of new digital channels, the conservative nature of the luxury watch industry is definitely changing.  Exciting times

Tips To TV Ad Production

Despite many predicting the demise of TV advertising over the last 20 years, the medium has actually has become more accessible to lots of smaller brands.  The digital revolution has driven a fragmentation of channels, and also the audience, meaning that, these days you don’t need huge budgets to get your brand on TV. Here are some key tips to ensure the make the most of the opportunity:

Target Audience

Make sure you target the right audience and using all the tools available to be as precise and focused as possible. Targeting technology has really become more much sophisicated in recent years, a good example is Sky's AdSmart. This technology allows you to pick and choose from a range of household attributes. There are thousands of ways you can mix the attributes .

Joined Up Marketing

To make your budget go further its vital to ensure that your have a “joined-up” approach to all your marketing channels.  For example, with paid search you have schedule your campaign to coincide exactly with your TV campaign, to take advantage of the “second screen” phenomenon. 

Understand the TV Ad Production Process

The key to any TV ad campaign is planning. From pre-production, production, post and Clearcast everything should be signed off according to the plan as it will risk ads not making it to air.  Linear TV ads require the Clearcast approved ads a min of 2 days prior ad is aired. If late they could also incur a hefty fine. Be aware of Tech specs for the channels you are supplying in the PRE production stage as this could also affect how your ad will reproduce or broadcast.

Work with experts who understand the process in-depth will ensure that you don’t miss your ad slots!  At Complete, we work with Adstream, who we have found to be brilliant partners in this space. 

To summarise, the key to keeping your campaign on track is to understand the entire end-to-end process and be advised and work side by side with the experts.  

The Face is back!

Recently we posed the question is Print The New Vinyl? In an era of the digital revolution, print publishing has taken a bit of a beating. One such heavyweight tome, The Face was one of the print titles that got knocked to the floor by it’s digital opponent.  The Face is arguably the most culturally influential magazine of 1980’s and 1990’s.
The publication closed in 2004 after 24 years of being the authority on British popular culture, music, fashion and style. While online challenges print, it does have it’s disadvantages. For a start less sensory and tactile, digital is then challenged by print who offers the reader kindred cultural loyalty and well researched, informative long form journalism on emerging trends and cultures. 
Original readers of The Face recall the time when they discovered in their local newsagents a magazine that opened up a whole new world of speaking and engaging with to them, garnering a loyal audience who is made to feel like a part of the gang. 
Now returning in print this month after the digital version launched this April 2019. Richard Benson who edited the magazine in the nineties says that “Like anything, it depends how it’s done – it had several different incarnations anyway, so there’s no reason it can’t have another. You have to remember, social media or not, there’ll always be 19-year-olds in the suburbs and arse-end-of-nowhere market towns wanting to know what’s going on, and those kids can never know enough – and it is never boring to them.
The owner of The Face, Jerry Perkins, CEO of Wasted Talent has been trying to buy the brand for the last 15 years.  Perkins told the New York Times,  “The really interesting new stuff always grows between the gaps that no one really expected,” he said. “With digital media now, there isn’t anything that can identify new stuff and say, ‘Yes, this is interesting and important,’ and talk about why it’s important.”

We agree 100%, so let’s embrace the return of The Face in print this September. 

Defining Demi Fine – The link between luxury and costume jewellery.

Demi-fine jewellery has been evolving for the past few years and into everyday fashion parlance but what exactly is it actually and who is buying it?

Blurring the lines between fine and costume, demi-fine jewellery is a more considered purchase compared to a one-season-wonder costume piece as it is crafted from precious metals and stones and offered at an affordable price point.  

We asked Paris based, gemmologist, Clemence Devaux of NYF Jewellery, who offers an entire collection online of demi fine jewellery, how it is possible to offer fine jewels at these prices? Buying 14ct gold in bulk quantities and substituting H Si quality diamonds which are a little less expensive for 18ct gold and higher grade diamonds along with minimal overheads is how NYF pass the saving on directly to the customer.  

The demi-fine buyer is mostly made up of women who like to reward themselves the finer things in life and embrace the whole idea of luxury self-gifting or as a delightful present to their nearest and dearest.

Featured here in our montage are Anissa Kermiche, Astley Clarke, Zoe & Morgan and NYF Jewellery.

Living With Living Coral

Colour expert Pantone has chosen a peachy orange shade named Living Coral, or Pantone 16-1546, as its colour of the year for 2019.

The colour is researched and selected based on what is taking place in our global culture at the time. Pantone recognises that Living Coral is already being spotted on catwalks in fashion shows, as well as on social media. This year's vibrant shade of golden orange according to the brand, is meant to reflect the "innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits" as a response to social media and digital technology. "It's an animating and life affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge" In response to this we compiled a mood to reflect living with Living Coral.

Restaurant du jour, Gloria, opened early 2019 and is possibly the hottest table in Shoreditch right now. The maximalist exterior and quirky interior design is new and pioneering in an area synonymous for its stark, ultra modern, rows of copycat facades and interiors. Breaking away from the crowd, Gloria's below street level dining room makes good use of the colour on dining chairs, as a base colour for the swirly patterned carpet as well as curtains and the velvet lined walls in the dining booths.

"The engaging nature of Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity," Cooking with Le Crueset's classic Volcanic coloured cast iron certainly satisfies the need for joyful pursuits. Ligne Roset's iconic Toga sofa, available in a vibrant shade of coral is summed up Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute statement "It's an animating and life affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge"

"Colour is an equalising lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral," And if it's fitting enough for the Tenenebaums 4th floor Ballroom, then we concur that 2019 is the year of living with Living Coral.