It can shift views, shape habits, change companies, and shake up our world.
For over 12 years, we’ve used intelligent and unique digital design to transform our clients' products, brands, and businesses.
We don’t do ‘me too’ or monotone, we create fresh and distinctive brand experiences that spark off the screen. Our work is thoughtful, thought-through and different—not different for the sake to it, but uniquely designed to cut-through.
We always think through the lens of how best to solve our clients’ problems, and tell an authentic story. We believe in the beauty of our craft, but also that when it comes to design, a clear purpose is what makes it truly pretty.
From the days of Web 1.0, to designing for the future of AI and voice, we’ve always been drawn to the space where brand thinking and innovative technology meet. Our sweet spot is helping New Zealand’s tech businesses accelerate ideas into reality, ultimately on a world stage.
There are 4 key ingredients that define who we are:
Entrepreneurs are visionary, creative, and in our experience, their energy is infectious! We've found that when keen leaders put design at the centre of shaping or reimagining their businesses, magic happens. Without a doubt, good design is good for business.
We bring a collaborative, iterative process to design, and understand pivots are inevitable when your road map needs to switchback as quickly as the market moves.
We’ll also recommend when to slow down and get the design foundations in place first. We steer the process to set design and product teams up to manage their own brands down the track.
Over the last 10 years design-led companies have maintained significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 211%.
Using design to transform business starts with a solid brand strategy. This grounding can crystallise direction for the whole company, bringing choices around marketing, product, or even team culture into focus.
Setting a meaningful direction means using a robust process to uncover audience insights and make considered, intentional decisions.
Getting to a clearly defined purpose and positioning is the goal. Then combine that with a distinctive brand personality and tone of voice, and we’ve wired together a trampoline-sized creative springboard from which to tell your story.
If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.
Creativity is the illusive magic ingredient that turns the obvious into the surprising; the normal into the special and the rational into the emotive.
It starts with big ideas and then runs through all the executional details; from typography, to imagery, words, and interaction.
There is an energy and intensity to our approach that clients can’t quite put their finger on. We’ve been called called "vibrant, provocative, powerful and unique.” We considered all this… and call it creative chops.
Digital is not a channel, it’s ubiquitous. Soon the world’s first language will be code.
Luckily we’ve been fluent since AOL Got Mail. From Flash websites back in the early 2000s, to complex CMSs, real-time data visualisation, and starting to design for AI and voice, digital is in Salted Herring’s DNA. UX and interactivity are fundamental, and we enjoy helping our clients navigate the sea of changing frameworks and platforms.
We’ve seen tech trends come and go. But for us, it’s never been about fads. A creative idea and it's emotional connection with an audience has always been our (toast &) jam.
Design is more than an output of our work, it's a creative, problem-solving process that combines strategic, conceptual thinking with considered, well-crafted execution, no matter what channel or touchpoint.
‘Creative’ and ‘Process’ sound like contradictory words, but method is what turns madness into magic and delivers successful work.
We follow a series of steps in our creative process, including checkpoints with you at each key stage. The scale or shape of the project may change, but usually the order, and definitely the logic behind our approach, stays the same.
Explore our core creative services below.
Desk-based digging. Customer & audience interviews. Key stakeholder workshops.
First let's get acquainted. We kick off with an intake session with you and your team. We want to understand your business, industry, and offering, your challenges and opportunities, what the competition’s up to, and most importantly: your audience. Who are they, how do they tick and why would they be interested in your brand? What research or interviews are needed here to get the insights?
Without Discovery, we'd be flying blind, or relying on assumptions. Good design doesn’t come from working in a vacuum (and personally, we prefer our workspace open, sun-splashed, and dust-free).
If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers.
Brand Strategy creation. Creative Brief development.
Enter the fun brain-cracking bit: making decisions that distil down everything we’ve discovered into a rich strategic direction (which doubles as our Creative Brief) to tether our design, and your brand conscience. This helps you make critical business decisions in the future from product development to hiring.
We work with you to map your business against the marketplace, lock on your ideal positioning, then refine until it feels right. What makes you unique? And how can we get your purpose, or your 'why' on the same wavelength as your audience? We nail that, and then work out how your brand will look, feel and act.
A confident strategy makes way for a distinctive, sticky brand. You can’t be all things to all people, and we don't make bland brands—why would we give you vanilla, when you've clearly asked for Hokey Pokey?
Logo creation. Graphic language. Colour palettes. Typography. Brand guidelines.
We translate strategy into brand swagger, creating an own-able visual identity and tone of voice that allows brands to stake their claim in the (digital) landscape, loud and clear. We go wide to get beautifully considered logos, distinctive colour palettes, font treatments, interaction styles and a tailored design language that makes all the hard thinking done earlier really come to life. This is the foundation for a valuable identity - it’s a critical investment in your brand.
Once it’s all established and tested on a few key pieces of collateral we’ll develop the guidelines and provide the art direction to make sure it can be delivered to your standard time and time again across a wide range of touch-points.
Customer personas. User journey mapping. Information architecture (site flows). User experience design (clickable wireframes). User interface design (static design of websites, apps, digital products).
We design for the audience, getting into their heads, to make every interface, app or campaign that leaves our studio an enjoyable and engaging experience. And not just because we say so, this has to be tested by those who will use it. Whether complex product functionality or a sticky bit of online storytelling, effective User Experience (UX) design is about creating things that users want to use!
But this can’t exist without a powerful visual layer. The User Interface (UI) design stage then goes deeper, amplifying the user experience with a layer of emotion and visual goodness. The detail in here is what can make the biggest difference to creating a unique brand presence online that audiences want to engage with over time.
Good design is the difference between a complex, frustrating interaction and a delightful experience.
Managing and art-directing digital & printed collateral (interactive reports, stationery, digital marketing material, packaging, you name it).
As well as the major touch-points like a website or digital product design we’re big on making sure all the supporting collateral around that is consistent and expresses your brand as it should. We help brands communicate powerfully, through smartly designed marketing material, stationery or even merchandise. From cracking an idea to attentive execution; typography, colour, imagery, layout, all the fiddly bits join into a sharp and memorable piece of brand expression. Whether it’s a LinkedIn header, or a 100 page interactive report, it’s always an opportunity to make an impression. If we’re not designing the detail here we’ll be guiding the team that does.
Human beings have an attractiveness bias; we perceive beautiful things as being better, regardless of whether they actually are better.
Infographics. Interactive graphs. Real-time feeds.
The world is full of data… that no one knows what to do with. Data is powerful, if it can communicate. We partner with our friends at Dragonfly Data Science who help us dive in and interpret the numbers—then we use design to make them speak. From synthesising a complex idea into a digestible, interactive infographic, to using data to show real-time stories about human behaviour, we help data become another means to connect with your audience.
Storytelling. Video production. Photography. Illustration. Animation. Copywriting. Art Direction.
Rich storytelling is a fundamental part of the online experience, and we consider all forms—from illustration to video, copy and photography. We think hard about the right approach for each brand and only recommend what we think can best express the right flavour.
We can manage and art direct it all, big or small. We have in-house skills, as well as a range of talented mates we tap regularly, from copywriters to videographers, photographers, animators, and illustrators. Our Little Black (Design) Book has yet to disappoint. We keep your brand truth at the heart of our process, and pick the right talent for the task each time.
Art direction of: Websites. Web apps. Data visualisation.
We partner with developers who speak both creative and code, working hand-in-hand with design to craft all the devilish details.
We pick the right horses for courses to deliver everything from beautiful front end interactivity and flexible, and easy-to-use content management systems to robust complex databases and large bespoke software products.
It's something you eat… If you’re Dutch. Or brave.
Our agency is named after an infamous Dutch delicacy. Not for the faint-hearted, Salted Herring is a mouth puckering raw fish cured in salt. When it comes to digital design, Pep, our Design Lead & Founder, believes that just like his favourite snack, the stronger the experience, the more likely you are to remember it.
You can call us Salted for short.