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The Month That Was August 2023


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Does that mean that summer is…over?

It’s September – time for back to school and back to routine. But before we bid a complete farewell to the disappointing British summer, let’s recap on the month that was August 2023.

A month of transitions and transformations, here’s what went down in the ever-changing landscape of design and digital marketing.

A look at paid media in August

One key update in paid media this month – Google is phasing out Smart Shopping for Performance Max! Let’s see what this means, what Performance Max actually is and whether you should make the switch over early doors.

  • Out with the old, in with the Max: So long Smart Shopping, hello Performance Max!

Google making the smart move to Performance Max

Google’s plan to sunset Smart Shopping is no secret. But in case you’re late to the party, here’s the lowdown: any existing Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will automatically morph into Performance Max campaigns by the end of September. But did you know you take the reins and make the switch yourself?

While Performance Max is nothing new, Google has updated its offering. So, first things first, what is Performance Max?

In simple terms, it’s a goal-based campaign type that leverages the power of artificial intelligence to autonomously optimise your ad campaigns. It’s all about pinpoint accuracy when reaching your target audience, all thanks to clever machine learning that deciphers their behaviour patterns. The result? Tailor-made ads delivered precisely when they’re most effective.

Fear not, Performance Max still covers all the integral features of Smart Shopping, plus additional Google platforms such as Search, Display and YouTube. Consequently, advertisers unlock a wealth of new opportunities to reach audiences.

Now, the million-pound question: should you make the switch ASAP?

Well, why not? There’s no reason to wait to elevate your game.

Historical data from your Smart Shopping campaigns are still accessible, and campaign learnings will seamlessly transfer to your new Performance Max campaign. No complaints there!

Diving into August’s designs

August was busy, busy, busy for graphic designers, with two iconic identity refreshes and a new platform for those interested in typography. Interested? Let’s get into it:

  • Hyde Park Picture House, legendary local venue, gets a new rebrand to match its refurb
  • Thanks to Nomad Studio, the Premier League saw an identity refresh with the lion at the forefront
  • Phones for people and the planet – the new Fairphone 5 is the phone of the future
  • Introducing… The Foundry Program! Monotype’s investment into typography

Hyde Park Picture House rebrand

This is one close to our hearts! As proud Leeds residents ourselves, we’re happy to see iconic locations right here in our city getting the love they deserve.

The world’s last gaslit cinema has thrown open its doors once again, sporting a fresh new look. Thanks to the creative prowess of Leeds-based design agency Rabbithole, Hyde Park Picture House (HPPH) has received a makeover that brings a new lease of life.

The brief? It was a complex one, to say the least. Rabbithole had to seamlessly blend seemingly contradictory concepts – preserving HPPH’s cherished heritage while infusing a “super trendy” vibe.

The result is a nod to the cinema’s rich history with the elegant Edwardian architecture effortlessly merging with the vibrant new Technicolour palette, which is said to echo the vividness of the silver screen era.


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A post shared by Rabbithole (@rabbithole___)

Rabbithole’s newly-designed logo is an animated creation, mirroring the Victorian moving-image tech of a zoetrope, which breaks out into all the colours of the Technicolour. When static, the logo is a glowing yellow colour – a colour frequently used in the cinema.

The timing of this rebrand couldn’t be more perfect. Coinciding with HPPH’s three-year closure while the cinema underwent a £4.8m redevelopment by architects Page/Park, we’re excited to see the curtain rise on a new era of cinematic excellence right here in Leeds.

Premier League: Bigger, bolder, brighter

One for the football fans – it’s time to kick off the Premier League’s new identity!

Nomad Studio and the Premier League have been inseparable partners for a solid six years, tackling everything from hard-hitting anti-racism campaigns to delivering vital COVID-19 lockdown messaging. Their collaboration extends to sub-brands and activations like ePremier League and Fantasy Premier League.

But now, it’s time for a change.

Premier League’s last major rebrand was in 2016, so an overarching brand refresh is in order.

The brief that Premier League supplied was to make their branding “bigger, bolder, brighter”. They aspired to join the ranks of iconic brands like Apple and Nike, and rightfully so – they hold an equally iconic status among football fans worldwide. Nomad Studio saw the lion logo as the undisputed figurehead of the brand, and they knew it had to take centre stage.

The majestic lion is not just a logo; it’s a symbol of strength and pride – take a look here:


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A post shared by Nomad® (@nomad_studio_)

While the core essence of the brand remains intact, other elements underwent subtle refinements. The color palette, for instance, was streamlined into six bold hues that stretch into gradients, and the typeface received a simple makeover to ensure clarity and impact.

The main thing the brand desired was to make sure people felt like the Premier League were always up to speed, rather than lagging behind. In an ever-evolving landscape, they’ve crafted an identity that remains at the forefront. Take note, this is how to stay at the top of your game!

For the future: Sustainable smartphones

In a groundbreaking collaboration, Dutch smartphone company Fairphone and the Scandinavian agency Above have introduced the world to the future of smartphones – the Fairphone 5.

De-technified and designed for the future, the Fairphone 5 is all about stripping away the unnecessary and focusing on what matters. Cluttered design has been shown the door, reducing the number of screws, attachment points and fiddly pieces that hold your standard smartphone in place.

But that’s not all. The Fairphone 5 boasts a larger screen compared to its predecessor, the Fairphone 4, yet it manages to maintain a slender profile with soft corners, ensuring a more ergonomic and user-friendly grip. It’s a smart move that saves space without compromising usability.


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A post shared by ABOVE (

However, the Fairphone 5 isn’t just about its user-centric design – it’s about saving the planet, too! It’s an embodiment of sustainability, with more than 70% of its 14 focus materials sourced from recycled or “fair-mined” origins.

But Above and Fairphone’s work is not done just yet. The two brands are committed to an enduring journey of building “more sustainable products and experiences,” signalling a promising shift in the technology landscape towards a more eco-conscious future.

Monotype’s game-changing Foundry Program

Type designers, listen up! Say hello to the Foundry Program, a groundbreaking initiative aimed to streamline your processes, provide quality checks, offer marketing assistance and take your type game to the next level.

Rather than creating this alone, Monotype put thousands of designers in the driver’s seat to help steer the way. After rounds and rounds of rigorous testing and various iterations, the Foundry Program is now up and running, open to designers of all experience levels at any stage of their career.

Mary Catherine Pflug, Monotype’s Director of Partner Product and Operation, is the force behind this revolution. Designers can upload fonts and add merchandise effortlessly, with real-time human quality checks and advice. As a result, your fonts have the best chance of hitting the market promptly.

Calling it an investment in the type industry, Pflug’s ultimate aim is to “grow the type industry as a whole” by helping it respond to “ever-changing design ethos and trends”. So, designers, get ready to push the boundaries, embrace change, set trends and ensure the type industry thrives.

August’s hottest social media secrets

Trends, updates and new features – it’s all go in the world of social media this month. Ready to see what’s new? Here’s the latest:

  • TikTok reveals its hottest tracks of a not-so-sunshiney summer
  • Threads launch keyword search – but is it too little too late?
  • Screen-sharing is here on WhatsApp, making presenting easier than ever!

What’s trending? TikTok’s Songs of the Summer 2023

Dances, lip syncing, the Barbie takeover and whatever else you could think of – TikTok never fails to keep us entertained. But what soundtracks these short videos? Well, TikTok has provided the answer.

TikTok’s Songs of the Summer 2023 are a celebration of the platform’s vibrant community of talent. They’re not just songs; they’re the fuel for creativity, the backdrop to viral sensations, and the launching pad for aspiring artists.

So, have you heard THE global Song of the Summer?

Swapping shifts at the supermarket for the charts, Mae Stephen’s catchy bop ‘If We Ever Broke Up’ became an instant smash hit across the globe.

Bringing the heat back to the UK, the official UK #1 Song of the Summer was Dave & Central Cee’s ‘Sprinter’, which took the streaming app by storm.

If you’re craving more sunshiney tunes to soundtrack your summer, TikTok has got you covered. Head over to TikTok’s full rundown here.

Threads launches initial test of keyword search

Wondering how Threads is doing? Well, Zuckerberg’s Twitter copycat app is now adding another key feature, where they test keyword search with users down under in Australia and New Zealand.


Post by @zuck
View on Threads


So, what’s the deal? Keyword search on Threads will show you all the posts that mention your chosen term. While this is a great, and functional, update for the app, it’s nothing groundbreaking.
It essentially just puts Threads on par with any other social media app. But with Threads launching so quickly in response to the Elon Musk-Twitter-X drama, Threads currently only works as a simplified alternative to Twitter, missing various key elements.

After all, the door of opportunity was there, so launching a basic, upgradable version of the app was better before a competitor swooped in. It’s a strategic move that shows promise, but it’s not the whole picture just yet.

Threads downloads are slowing after a momentous debut week, potentially because potential users were given a basic version of the app at the start. So, the question remains: will Threads win users over for the long run, or is the excitement unravelling? Time will tell…

Screen-sharing on Whatsapp

As the WhatsApp user base grows, new features are added. Video is being brought to the forefront of the app, with video messages and picture-in-picture support for video calls being added to the platform earlier in the year.

Now, video calls just got even better. As you would on a Teams or Zoom call, you can now share your device screen with other participants in the call (which can host up to 32 participants!) This allows users to host presentations and demonstrations, all within the private chat platform.

So long, summer

And now that’s the end of a short-lived summer, it might be time to shake up your marketing game in time for the changing season. If you find yourself needing a guiding hand in your digital marketing endeavours, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

We're here to help you navigate the exciting landscape ahead. Let’s chat about your strategy today!

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