Yamaha Music London store window designs at Christmas

’Tis the season to be looking in shop windows, bathed in the glow of their Christmas promotions…

Needless to say these store window designs were completed months ago, probably on a boiling hot summer’s day. We designers tend to sit in tee shirts doing creative work for the coldest time of the year. We look forward to our summer holidays while trying to imagine how we might feel wrapped in knitwear and hunting for presents.

Our client providing this particular festive brief was Yamaha Music’s UK flagship store, on Wardour Street in central London.

As a 1990s art school student in London, the idea that a business I lead might one day actually design something on the amazing and iconic Wardour Street would have been … bonkers. And yet – here we are. Best of all, it looks really great. A colourful, modern celebration of all things musical from the classical to the bang up to date in a extravagant festive motif.

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Elegant custom design folder for London Base

custom design folder

We’ve recently completed work on the first phase of a new project for our long-time property management client London Base.

The team had a requirement for an imaginative solution to how to present the detailed information that comes with each apartment. This could be from the mundane such as wifi passwords or how to operate an air conditioning unit to something a little more trip-enhancing such as cultural information about the neighbourhood.

Having worked on a series of menu design projects recently we had seen some prototypes of the sort of custom design folders that many luxury hotels use. These are leather-bound, hard-wearing and still very beautiful. With this in mind, we pitched the idea of this sort of folder to the London Base team.

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New website for the Shine School Media Awards

Shine School Media Awards

We’re really proud of our association with the Shine School Media Awards which goes back several years now.

Our work has covered the gamut in that time. From rebranding the Awards, designing their book of winning students each summer over the last four years, to now creating a completely new website.

It had long been our intention to rework the site which we originally laid out in 2014. Time moves on and the build from three years ago needed a fresh start.

We’re keen to attract the attention of students who are teenagers from 13 or 14 years old…  and these guys are smart! So we’re needing to appeal to some of the most tech-savvy young people you’re likely to find in the UK.

No pressure then…

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Re: Awarding! New print design for further education

design for further education

We’ve just completed the layout and artwork of a long handbook – proving once once more that print is very much alive and kicking. People love reading a physical object, so where it’s needed digitally, it just finds different ‘ways of being’. In this case, we have a book which has an initial print run then will be used in tandem as a digital publication.

Our client for this has been FAB – the Federation of Awarding Bodies. FAB is the leadership team that guides further education awarding organisations in the UK. FAB works across the FE sector – including government departments, regulators and funding agencies.

The first creative project for FAB is a classic example of print design for further education – a dedicated handbook for its members. It’s turned out particularly nicely – and is a great example of detailed, user-friendly information design.

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New political report design for the Higher Education Commission

New political report design

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

Awards for print design

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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