New political report design for the Higher Education Commission

New political report design for the Higher Education Commission

We have just completed another major piece of print as part of our long-running series of work for the political think tank Policy Connect.

This project is the latest report for the influential cross-party body the Higher Education Commission. Entitled ‘One Size Won’t Fit All – The Challenges Facing the Office for Students‘, the report was published last week to wide media coverage and a great launch at Portcullis House, next to the Houses of Parliament.

We always enjoy these reports as they provide a challenge to find a fresh way of presenting quite dense, detailed information. However this one is a particular success as a set-piece of new political report design.

With its bold, graphic cover it stands out a mile and supplies the report with a great identity as its finds its way into the hands of higher education policy decision-makers.

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Solutions Awards for print design – our nominations for Shine 2017

Solutions Awards for print design – our nominations for Shine 2017

This time last year we were celebrating our nomination for the print industry’s Solutions Awards for print design – our brochure for the Shine School Media project we support had just been recognised in the Environmental category.

This was a real thrill because, as a small agency, we tend not to worry too much about awards. They are nice when they happen (and clients love them) but the whole process of payment and reward from the major prizes has sometimes felt like a but of a cash cow rather than something that is all about the talent. However, in part because the project we were nominated for was such a personal labour of love for me, this one felt rather different. And then – we won.

Isn’t it funny how winning changes everything? Firstly in terms of how you feel about the work you did. It feels… golden, special, recognised. Somehow it stands apart from the rest of the work this year and becomes more significant. And then, secondly, winning again becomes somehow less critical. It won once, so attained this fantastic standard. Wouldn’t winning again be somehow… greedy?

Well possibly, but we certainly have been nominated again!

Our work for Shine this year has been shortlisted for two Solutions Awards for print design, in both the environmental category but also the paper section too. We might have a sneaky nomination in best design too. I thought it might be worth putting down a little more detail how our work relates to these two categories and how we came to make the decisions around that work.

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Hat trick! Three nominations for the Solutions Awards 2017!

Hat trick! Three nominations for the Solutions Awards 2017!

I am incredibly proud to say that we have been nominated in a fantastic THREE categories for our work this past year in the print industry’s Solutions Awards 2017 – which come up in November.

The nominations are for two major projects – the Shine Winners Book which we completed back in June and the Scarfes Bar menu for Rosewood London which was introduced back in the Spring after several months work.

I am going to write in more depth about on our work for Shine – particularly from a paper specification and environmental perspective – next week, but this post focusses on a new introduction to our work for Scarfes Bar which hopefully gives some interesting in-depth background about the design process we went through.

 

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New luxury hotel print design – The Mirror Room

New luxury hotel print design – The Mirror Room

At the outset of our work for Rosewood London, back in January, one of the key projects we were asked to complete was a redesign of the menus for The Mirror Room, their restaurant and afternoon tea space. A great piece of luxury hotel print design, this new menu is cool and elegant – while being practical for everyday use at a busy hotel where things change quickly.

Our previous work for Rosewood focussed on a custom, raspberry leather-covered menu for Scarfes Bar. We loved the opulence of that project and the unexpected illustrations within. But this project for The Mirror Room is rather different, representing a new sort of challenge – and perhaps another design approach.

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Embracing creative change, however it arrives

Embracing creative change, however it arrives

If I’ve learned anything over my years running a design business it’s that what I call ‘creative change’ is essential. In fact, our very business model depends on the evolution and improvement of the our clients’ branding.

This can come in many forms. Perhaps a new staff member has a great marketing idea that needs a clever execution. Something completely new.

Maybe the overall look of a website we’ve worked on for many years needs an overhaul. Being precious about work completed in the past is time wasted when this is an opportunity – the design could be refined and reimagined. Made fresh.

Just recently though, change of a different kind was visited upon me in an unexpected way which inspired this post. After six years, our chief digital designer Riccardo, much beloved of our clients (and me!) decided to take his career in a new direction. So… having absorbed this news and determined not to panic, it begged the question: what next?

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Understanding luxury hotel branding – FBR Consulting

Understanding luxury hotel branding – FBR Consulting

Over the years I’ve had some really great experiences working within the hospitality industry – and more specifically, within luxury hotel branding. Interestingly that’s often involved hotels outside the UK rather than here at home. In particular, fantastic experiences doing a photoshoot in northern Italy and a boutique hotel Cape Town come to mind.

Then more recently we’ve been involved working on print projects such as menu systems for the Rosewood Hotel here in London which has been a great experience.

Now however we have a fascinating combination of the two – a London based agency with a client base almost entirely in southern Europe. This lovely project is the branding of an emerging marketing business focussing on luxury hotels.

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