Virtual Design Studio based in Bristol



Distinctively Different Design


It’s a pretty bold statement for us to make, isn’t it? You may even think it a little arrogant. How can we claim to be so different? And why’s that worth shouting about anyway? 

If you care to gather around the fire pit, we’re going to tell you a little story about a wickedly wonderful woman, Hedwig Von Restoff and The Isolation Effect.

The year was 1933, and Hedwig, who was a psychiatrist and pediatrician, decided to conduct a set of memory experiments to test out isolated and distinct items.

You see, she had this feeling -  an inkling if you will - that things that stick out like sore thumbs get seared into our memories much better than the things that conform. And would you believe it? She was right. Items that jump out, that look different, that don’t fit the proforma - those are the ones we remember both in the short and long term.

In today's world, dull design dies

Now at this point in our story, you may well be thinking ‘that Hedwig sounds great and all, but 1933 was a long time ago, worlds moved on, buddy’ and you would be correct (kind of). The world has moved on, we have flashy tech to use and we feel super smart about it. But, we’re all still the same animals behind the scenes - and our base motives and drivers haven’t changed that much. 

Tell you what, we’ll prove it. Here’s a modern-day, relevant example for you to get your head around.

Here is a list of words - tell us which one stands out to you:

  • Coco-pops

  • Cheerios

  • Cornflakes


  • Crispix

  • Clusters

We’re going to take a wildly educated guess here and say it was FENTON. You see, different is definitely better. And here all we’ve done is change a word - imagine what changing the font, the size, the colour could do to an item’s distinctiveness? Oh, the possibilities!

Artboard 6@2x-100.png

“It’s very hard to buy something you can’t remember” 

Okay, you get the theory and you’re on board with the fact it works but right now you still may be wondering why you should give a damn. 

The short answer - in this noisy, chaos fuelled, if you don’t stand out, you don’t get remembered, and if you don’t get remembered as a brand, you don’t get bought. 

“It’s very hard to buy something you can’t remember” 

The long answer - It’s estimated that the amount of ads the average Joe gets served on the daily stands at 5,000. That’s 5,000 different messages, 5,000 different brands all clamouring for just a split second of attention. It’s no wonder that we all have banner blindness, and it’s no wonder that the amount spent on trying to gain just a smidge of share of voice is accumulating at an absurd rate.

So really, the question isn’t why should you - it’s more about whether you can afford not to. 

How Vaughan + Company grabbed the isolation effect by the balls

We don’t just know about all this la-de-dah, we use these biases every day to create tangible results for our clients. 

On the record_Logo Rework-22.png

We’ll leave you with this.

Whether it be a Facebook campaign, a 2D animation or even a gorgeous brand identity  - if it isn’t distinctive, will they remember it?