Why choose between being a furniture maker or interior designer?

furniture maker or interior designer

Some people prefer not to be pigeonholed. That’s certainly the case with cabinet-maker Gary Worth. His work has a tendency to bend around his clients: getting to know them, then making a piece of furniture that is the right fit. Personally and literally.

This understanding of lifestyles and a great use of space is essential in a craftsman of his calibre but makes categorisation tricky. As a result, he’s hard to define and is no fan of a label. Furniture maker or interior designer? He reckons there’s no need to choose. The best way of thinking about his work, he says, is that it bridges the gap between the two.

As a result, our new brand and website for him does just that as well.

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How to see through political uncertainty and keep selling

keep selling

The last decade I’ve been running my design business has felt rather like being on a rollercoaster. The financial crisis was tough, but three general elections, a referendum and the Article 50 deadline has resulted in a recurring nightmare. I wouldn’t wish that little lot on my worst enemy.

As each of these events has drawn closer, it has had the identical effect on clients, colleagues and friends. That of anxiety, uncertainty and an understandable caution resulting in an unwillingness to commit to big projects.

It got me thinking about how I’ve navigated each of these five events – especially as the fifth is midway through and may even be postponed, causing a double-big-dipper effect. How does a service-industry business keep selling and steady the ship in turbulent times?

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New design for financial services – Oxford Investment Consultants

New design for financial services

For a few of our clients, the journey from the briefing of a project to the full, finished product can take some time. This is particularly true when collaborating in the financial services industry where there are stringent regulatory constraints around promotions and marketing.

One such client is Oxford Investment Consultants. We designed their branding over a year ago and launched a small website at the time. The bulk of the work we had done however remained under wraps. However – the wait is over. Following their full FCA authorisation, this past week has seen the launch of the complete site we had planned from the outset.

It’s a project that I’m really proud of and a great piece of new design for financial services. It’s a strong case study of the work we’ve been doing in that industry over the last couple of years.

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Maison Marques et Domaines – new print design for the wine trade

Every January, wine importer Maison Marques et Domaines holds a tasting of their new portfolio of wines at a central London venue. With buyers from across the UK attending, MMD hand each visitor a spiral-bound notebook covering all the exhibitors and wines.

Experiencing perhaps dozens of wines in a session, this notebook acts both as each visitor’s guide to the event and reference to the tasting.

We were approached by Maison Marques et Domaines to create a new version of the notebook that felt both considered and professional, giving a fresh look to the piece. Having worked in this industry for many years, it’s a real pleasure to complete this piece and create some new print design for the wine trade.

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Elegant new brochure design for lifestyle management business Thadeus

How best to convey a sense of exclusivity? Whenever designers face the challenge of creating something that stands out, the best way is to define the brand in a distinctive way. That’s great but in a world of aspiration, the fundamental question is… how?

Devising the brochure design for lifestyle management business Thadeus, we quickly realised that they work in a very distinctive way. So designing for them could follow this lead.

A simple way of describing this difference is to say that Thadeus are as likely to be sourcing a pair of limited edition trainers as an Hermès handbag.

There’s a combination of thoroughness with informality and they apply the same vigour to both searches.

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Which comes first for a brand – tone of voice or visuals?

brand tone of voice

Working with a new client this week, we’ve been talking extensively about the personality of their brand and its essence. What has been so interesting is that this conversation has been happening in the wake of our initial set of creative work for them. It’s been the trigger for that series of questions.

One would usually imagine that to create successful new design work for a brand you would think all the ‘values stuff’ through beforehand. This is particularly the case with what we call their ‘brand tone of voice’. While it’s true that thinking and writing first is the best method in theory, sometimes to draft a new set of ideas based on a rough brief can help define the truth of that brand.

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