In the studio at NU Creative, we love to find new ways of delivering a beautifully designed product to you whether it’s with stunning print finishes to show off your brand effectively, experimenting with new trends in web design, or finding new ways to deliver your communications entirely.

As designers we are curious creatures and problem solving comes naturally to us. Problem solving, however, doesn’t just come in the form of creating a brand or choosing the best colours to engage your audience. It can come in the form of taking on the challenge of a new technology, learning how it works and how we can break the rules of convention and make it work hard for you and your brand.

We are often asked to create interactive pdfs for our clients who would like to offer their audience something a little different to a printed document. However, because of the ever increasing use of smart technology there are some limitations as to what an interactive pdf can do. Whilst click through buttons using hyperlinks can work on all platforms, other options available such as the animation features (which look really cool) often fall by the way-side in terms of compatibility as they heavily rely on Flash. If you’ve ever received a flash e-card (that your Auntie who’s still stuck in the dark ages has sent you) and tried to open this on your phone, you’ll be quite familiar with the fact that it simply won’t work.

Here’s our roundup of the three technologies to take your corporate materials to the next level for 2015.

1. Augmented Reality

What is it?
If you’ve ever seen Harry Potter, and wondered how they managed to get their books and newspapers to come to life and talk to them, well newsflash, this isn’t magic! It’s a wonderful thing that actually exists called Augmented Reality, or AR for short.

How Does it work?
You can have AR technology on any page in your document, or all pages. When one page has been designed, the AR platform (and there are lots) uses this page almost like a barcode. We can then place videos, links and sounds on to the page and publish it. All the viewer will need to do is download the augmented reality app on their phone, or tablet and it will scan the page, making elements of the page come to life. If you’ve seen the Christmas card we sent out in December, you may have seen this in action.

The only difficulty we find with AR is that often, amongst the tech-phobic particularly, it can be difficult to encourage them to download the app. But this is most often solved by providing a link to download it or instructions on the document so that people realise how simple it is. This tech has been used for consumer design purposes for a while, it’s used in magazines, above-the-line advertising and packaging but it can work for corporate too. If you’re sending a printed document out to clients or internally and you’d like to add a video to the brochure or post card for example. It can also be used in meeting materials as well as annual reports and prospectuses.

2. Ibooks

What is it?

iBooks is the e-reader programme that comes with Apple iOS smart devices, ipads and iphones. However, ibooks are not just books in the way you might think a book is on a Kindle. iBooks can be colourful, interactive, animated and downright beautiful. And simple to create too!

We can take a design that we’ve created for you and convert it into an ibooks authoring tool, as well as create widgets such as quizzes, games and all those fun things to engage your audience.

3. Animation

Animations are a great way to communicate in a simple, captivating way. They can be simple cartoon style animations, or beautiful title effects that help to convey your message effectively and bring out the personality of your brand. We can create animations for all kinds of purposes, they can be added to AR (as mentioned above) or to your website, or even embedded into HTML emails to send out to your clients and customers.