Manchester’s about where you’re at
We (David & Faye) are adopted Mancunians who have lived in this great city for a big part of our adult lives now.
Personally speaking, Manchester is probably the only place outside of my home town of Newcastle where I’ve felt no bias whatsoever. Nobody cares what you look like, what you sound like or where you come from… only where you’re at.
Terrorism won’t change that.
Getting to the point
We often give each other needle in the studio. Sometimes it’s about our taste in kerning, other times it’s about our taste in music (or lack of) – and we also regularly partake in acupuncture sessions with Phil Trubshaw.
So we’ve created an identity for Phil that gets straight to the point of what he does… naturally.
A genuinely world wide website for Jesmonite
Our successful strategic rebrand for Jesmonite has resulted in a significant increase in international sales enquiries – so we’re helping the team extend their global reach and, quite simply – simplify their conversations.
We’ve just completed and launched the first phase of a staged roll-out to provide a comprehensive selection of language options for website visitors – making it easier for international customers to understand the key benefits of Jesmonite’s premium decorative building materials.
A big hand for the BJS team
As part of our commitment to build and nurture a strong brand culture for BJS Home Delivery (on the inside as well as out), we’ve helped the team to create their inaugural Stars of 2016 awards ceremony.
Trophies were handed out in recognition of the tireless effort and dedication provided by the delivery, customer service and warehouse teams – who overcome demanding operational and service-led challenges week in, week out.
Congratulations to the winners and the whole team.
An eye-opener… Ways of seeing by John Berger
Early last year two great storytellers, Bowie and Eco, passed away. Now, early in 2017, we have also lost John Berger – not only a great storyteller, but also a phenomenal theorist and critic of storytelling in all its forms.
Many of us who studied Art & Design have read his renowned book of critical reflection on the visual world – helping us form a stronger understanding of how, as practitioners, we shape the ‘media experience’.
John Berger helped us all to see more clearly.
Enjoy the sprouts
2016 has been a mixed bag to say the least – a funny old year, a real roller coaster of ups and downs where it feels like the whole world doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going… It’s been exhausting.
So let’s have a laugh, take some time to unwind and drink in those precious moments with family and friends – oh, and enjoy the sprouts.
An innovative thread for Dent
Dent manufacture innovative sensors which check thousands upon thousands of miles of thread running through colossal textile machines – all to ensure production doesn’t get tied up in knots.
To highlight Dent’s thoughtful and technologically progressive approach – we recently launched their ‘sense of innovation’ campaign at the world-renowned ITMA Asia expo in Shanghai.
A good old fashioned experience for Kirkpatrick
We’ve produced a 100 page product guide to support and promote the customer-focused rebrand, intuitive website and ongoing transformation of our long-term collaborators at Kirkpatrick.
Although many people prefer to view online, there’s plenty of us who still prefer the good old fashioned experience of ethically sourced, beautiful print. If you feel the same, why not request your own copy?
The CBM – a cast-iron support network
The Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM) are the only UK-based specialist manufacturers’ organisation for people who work with metal.
We worked closely with the CBM team to let Forgers, Fasteners, Press workers, Cold rollers and Sheet Metal workers know why they should join up, connect with their peers and benefit from the CBM’s cast-iron support network.
Put your steel toe caps on and take a look here.
Crafted by Ciarán
Ciarán Ó Braonáin is a highly skilled woodworker who hand-crafts bespoke furniture and specialist gun box commissions, as well as teaching woodwork courses from his workshop near Delamere Forest, Cheshire.
He thought it was about time his brand met the high standards of his furniture – so we’ve sanded the rough edges to create an identity which clearly defines his position as one of the foremost furniture craftsmen in England. See for yourself by visiting the website here.
An uncommon thread
Recently, long-time collaborator Mark Howe visited us to shoot our 2016 Dent Sensors campaign. Dent think-up, create and make bespoke sensing devices to ensure vast textile machines do exactly what they’re supposed to do.
If you’re familiar with our approach, you’ll know that our work often employs a ‘thread’ (idea) which runs through everything we do but in this case, Alice’s idea employs an actual thread which playfully interacts with a series of quirky illustrations – which we’ll be showing-off very soon.
All greatest things must come to an end
The impact of Muhammad Ali’s words were far greater than his massive fists.
KAWS for thought at YSP
We’ve been making the most of the nice weather and popped across the Pennines to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as they are currently exhibitiing an incredibly broad range of work by the renowned American artisit KAWS.
If you’ve not been, the YSP is a truly inspiring place to visit time and again, come rain or shine – and if you’d like to see the KAWS work inparticular, his impressive open-air sculptures will be exhibited for the whole of 2016.
From Bishop’s Castle to Milan (via a rebrand)
When we first met Jesmonite, the team fully understood the creative potential of their product. However, their brand needed to work much harder to promote this highly specialised material – not least because of their remote Shropshire location.
Since the rebrand, Jesmonite has made it all the way into the top ten trends at Milan Design Week and attracted coverage from a wide range of both design and business related publications… so we’re having a gelato to celebrate!
It’s time to Look at Cheshire
Cheshire is a wonderful place to work and live, but it’s also one of the UK’s best kept secrets. So Marketing Cheshire asked us to produce a short film to highlight the best bits – whilst being careful to avoid the pit-falls of the often misguided Cheshire-set stereotype.
With the help of Daylight Moving Image we created a narrative and tone-of-voice which really shows-off the good stuff, without actually showing-off at all… Take a #LookatCheshire here: investincheshire.com/look
Great storytellers live forever
Umberto Eco’s work spanned all four corners of literature, creating seminal works in academic texts, fictional novels and children’s books. David Bowie was a musician, actor and cultural icon who created and celebrated difference in everything he did.
They were from different worlds and appealed to different audiences but both were prolific storytellers, and their influence will continue to echo through time as we continue to enjoy their enthralling stories for many years to come.
Turning the spotlight on Bee Lighting
The bright sparks at Bee create and make pioneering exterior and interior lighting for some of the most renowned vehicle manufacturers across the globe – including Lamborghini, Bentley and McLaren to name but a few.
We’ve helped Bee to strategically reposition their business, creating a clearer brand story which not only celebrates the sublime finished products – but also the achievements of the unique experts who make it all happen.
See more of their great work by visiting the Bee site.
An extra pair of hands for BJS
We’ve been working with furniture delivery specialists, BJS, to promote the expertise, experience and dedication of their two-man home delivery teams – where moving large and often awkward items means that two heads are most definitely better than one.
The new brand we have created helps them to stand-out from a generic distribution market by expressing their friendly and service-led approach – attracting some of the UK’s biggest retailers such as made.com and The Cotswold Company.
160 years and counting…
Since our rebrand of Kirkpatrick ironmongery, we’ve been busy working to create a website which can truly live up to the quality and reputation of an outstanding British company with a proud manufacturing heritage.
To help promote the launch of the site, we’ve developed a campaign based upon their 160th year in business, highlighting the fact that they are the only black iron manufacturer in the UK who pour their own metal.
A hard-working rebrand for Clovemead
Sometimes a complex communication problem can be solved with a simple idea – like our recent rebrand for Clovemead.
Clovemead offer a wide range of services across multiple sectors but struggled to convey both their abilities and commitment to quality. Once we pinpointed their problem, our answer was to make their brand work just as hard as their construction, minor works, fuel systems and signage experts.
A full case study is on the way, but until then please visit Clovemead’s new website.
Hard hats & steel-toe caps
We’ve been up and down the M6 more times than we care to remember recently, art-directing photoshoots for a wide range of subjects from the precision manufacturing of niche precious metal objects to the mass-production of automotive body panels, and plenty between.
From high-end to high volume, we have a wide variety of brand projects in progress covering all-sorts of market sectors to keep us on our toes – which is exactly how we like it.
Unlike the Style Council…
The Design Council are a charitable organisation who promote design as a powerful and transformational tool, providing help and advice to improve business performance (and not simply to make companies look pretty).
We’re really pleased that our work for Jesmonite is now a case study on the Design Council’s website, which covers the bigger picture – their specific business challenges and our rationale for the rebrand.
You can view our own Jesmonite case study here.
Over the past 23 years, The Watergate Street Gallery in Chester have promoted an eclectic range of affordable art whilst helping to launch the careers of many talented and emerging artists.
Today, the gallery are extending their offering to include temporary exhibitions, artists talks and refreshments – so we’ve reframed their proposition with a fitting new identity and gallery signage.
EcoGo Go Go…
We’re in the process of rolling-out a brand new brand for EcoGo, an ambitious product development company who design, prototype and manufacture highly energy-efficient electric wheel hub motors for mobility applications. Or to put it simply, they make little wheel motors to help people move around more easily.
Take a look at their website and a little animation we’ve created at www.ecogo.co
As light as a Feathercast
Feathercast design and make beautifully unique and intricate objects and surface textures for a whole host of envy-inducing clients, including world-renowned artists, sculptors and interior designers.
We’ve just helped Emma Pearson and her team to relaunch their brand with an updated identity and website to better reflect their creativity, craft and expertise – which you can visit here: feathercast.co.uk
Who owns the sky?
Skype recently failed to register their logo as a trademark after failing to convince a European court that their business will not be confused with Rupert Murdoch’s Sky. In the court’s opinion, they failed because of similarities between the pronunciations of the words Skype and Sky and that the Skype logo design does little to distinguish the two words from each other.
Now we’re all for brands protecting their IP – but Orange didn’t own the colour so perhaps Sky shouldn’t own the air above us?
It’s not rocket science*
We were recently invited by the Design Council to take part in a credentials pitch for the University of Liverpool’s Department of Physics – to promote their work in atom research and create a brand identity for the team itself.
To win the project, we spent time researching not only what they do (which is pretty mind-bending) but also clarifying who can benefit from their discoveries – so we’ll be helping them tell their story, as simply as possible, very soon.
*It’s way more difficult than that
Cooking-up interest at the Spring Fair
In early February we took a trip to the Spring Fair at Birmingham’s NEC – a huge exhibition chock-full of homeware, furniture, fashion and even Christmas gifts and decorations (we know, in February!).
We visited specifically to learn more about our new client, Wilstone, who source authentic Indian products for outdoor living. We look forward to working with their team to help fire-up the culinary imagination of the masses.
The pencil is mightier than the sword
There are no words to describe the horrendous attack on the Paris office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo which killed 12 people – including world-renowned satirical cartoonists; Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, Jean “Cabu” Cabut and Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac.
Creative peers have responded with their own powerful counterattack, a few of which you can see here. Our thoughts go out to all those who have suffered from this senseless violence.
A cobbler and his shoes
We’ve been trying to update our site for ages, but have regularly failed to meet our own deadlines. It’s a common conversation amongst our creative peers too, who are often too busy helping their clients to make time for themselves.
Well, finally we’ve done ‘most’ of what we set out to achieve. So now there’s plenty of recent projects to view alongside an additional ‘Thoughts’ section, and of course – we’d love to hear your thoughts too.
Real personality for Realtime
Realtime animation studio produce epic trailers and moving stories for the games, advertising and automotive industry, but their existing brand didn’t reflect the skill and personality of either their work or their team.
We’ve bottled their enthusiasm, drive and expertise so you’ll be left in no doubt that Realtime are in fact the real deal. You can visit the new site here to get the full (moving) picture.
From ISSL to IQHQ
The R&D team formerly known as ISSL are pretty clever – they research, design, develop and manufacture cutting-edge wireless radio communications – but their name and external brand perception really wasn’t living up to the reality.
We’ve given them a new name and identity to set the record straight, simplifying their story and getting the big ideas across in a more interesting way. You can visit their new website here or see the brand film here
Made from Jesmonite
A spectacularly decorated palace, a beautiful frieze and a stylish hotel wall are just some of the things that can be made from Jesmonite – a versatile building material that’s been around for over 30 years and yet, you’ve probably never heard of it.
We’ve helped refocus their business with a stronger design and results-led rebrand in order to raise awareness and build recognition. You can view our full case study here and also visit the new Jesmonite site here.
Good things come in threes
This month saw the launch of a new website for the Grosvenor Estate, designed to clearly display the structure of the organisation and its various activities and act as a portal to other online communication. A simple structure was required to present a snapshot of the three key elements of the Grosvenor Estate and to redirect site visitors to the individual operating company links.
A new addition to the flock
After an initial one month paid internship that gradually turned into six, Alice Worthington did what all good creative graduates must do when given an opportunity to shine… made herself completely indispensable.
So we’re happy to announce that Alice is now a fully fledged member of the Telling Stories team.
Taking charge with Unplugged
The renewable energy market can be very complex for homeowners who want to reduce their usage. You could blow a fuse yourself just thinking about the terminology, comparison charts and kWh equations involved!
We’ve helped GB Energy launch a new consumer focused brand called Unplugged Energy – who simplify the whole process to help people to take control of their energy bills and save money too. You can see our full case study here.
Handmade and British from start to finish
Our Design Director and all-round style guru, Faye, has art directed a series of very smart room-sets to show the versatility and character of Kirkpatrick’s new Argent range of architectural ironwork.
Lovingly crafted by hand, Kirkpatrick are the only ironwork company whose products are genuinely handmade and British from start to finish – and we’re really happy to be helping them spread the word. Click here to see more work…
Scratching the surface of Jesmonite’s potential
One of the building industry’s best kept secrets, Jesmonite is an innovative material which can be shaped into a multitude of applications – from refined sculptures and beautiful wall tiles to gleaming palace exteriors and everything in-between.
We recently worked with Tim Ainsworth to shoot a small selection of ways in which this very creative product can be used – hopefully meaning that Jesmonite won’t remain such a big secret after all. View our full case study here.
A blank canvas for a new gallery
Art at 41 is a new venture from the Watergate Street Gallery (aptly situated on 41 Hoole Road in Chester) which aims to make art accessible for all by showing a wide range of contemporary fine art pieces at affordable prices.
We have created a flexible typographic roundel which will be filled with the work of exhibiting artists – highlighting key pieces from the monthly exhibitions and reflecting an appropriate and engaging mood for each and every show.
One better with Eleven
We’ve never liked the phrase giving 110 percent, that’s not possible. But going one better than your competition is – which is why we’ve helped E4 Learning Solutions change their name to Eleven.
Their software covers all sorts of staff performance and compliance criteria, helping businesses to manage their people better. So we’re really pleased to have helped the team launch their new brand to better reflect the quality of their business, products and people.
Eight out of ten clients prefer Telling Stories
We’re not usually prone to self-congratulatory gestures and there’s no high-fives, chest-bumps or Champagne corks flying around the office when good news arrives.
But we’re dead chuffed and a little bit proud that we won eight out of ten credentials pitches in 2013 – and would like to thank all our clients for choosing us to help tell their stories (sorry for the smug face).
Shaping products, people and potential
Yorkshire-based manufacturer, Boxford, have been building 3D machines for the education market since the 40’s… So if you studied design & technology at school – you may well have drilled, turned and shaped your work on ‘a Boxford’.
As part of a brand refresh project, we visited the factory where the machines are made and the Priory school in Preston where some of them are used – all to take great images of the people whose lives are shaped by Boxford. See the results here…
From cute and cuddly to scaly and scary
If you’re an animal lover, you may like this lovely little book entitled ‘Animal logo’ which contains a myriad of lovingly crafted trademarks and symbols ranging from angry birds to dapper dogs and everything in-between – including the duelling unicorns which we created for Trafford Sword Club.
A grand day out with Kirkpatrick
To help Kirkpatrick launch their refreshed brand, we got hands-on and headed down the M6 to visit Grand Designs Live at the NEC.
Over a busy three day exhibition (hosted by Kevin McCloud himself), the team spread the word that Kirkpatrick is the only architectural ironwork company whose products are genuinely handmade and British from start to finish (which is something worth celebrating). Click here for the Kirkpatrick case study.
These little piggies went to Alty Market…
…and found that there was so much lovely food, drink and trinkets that they bought-up most of the stock!
We’re pleased to be part of a great team of planners, architects and designers working on the rejuvenation of Altrincham Market. The project is led by the energetic duo, Nick Johnson and Jenny Thompson, who aim to celebrate the very best of the North West – so keep an eye out for some great things happening in Altrincham soon.
The little symbol that makes a big difference
We’ve successfully registered Telling Stories, meaning we can now add the coveted little ® symbol to our trademark.
In a world where it is increasingly important to stand-out, a business should take all necessary steps to defend their identity from the threat of imitation.
And we work hard to differentiate and express personality using original ideas and design, and that’s something worth protecting.
A new workshop for an old foundry
After being invited by the Design Council to take part in a three-way credentials pitch, we’re happy to say we are now working with Kirkpatrick – the only remaining manufacturer of traditional black architectural ironmongery in the UK.
The project kicked-off this week when we ran a brand workshop with their enthusiastic team to help us define Kirkpatrick’s own unique voice. We’ve got some great feedback and are now looking forward to building a unique story for the 150-year-old business.
Two joyful years of Telling Stories
To celebrate two years of Telling Stories, we’re happy to announce the launch of our new site. Starting a business in the middle of a recession has been an experience – it’s empowering and unnerving in equal measure and the saying ‘every day’s a school-day’ has never felt so appropriate.
So we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way, whether they be clients, family, friends, or clients who’ve become friends.
Sorting the wheat from the chaff
We’ve just completed the identity for Wheatsheaf Investments, a new Grosvenor Estate enterprise.
We undertook a substantial research period in order to truly understand the nature and direction of the new venture, and have created the tools for the teams to develop sustainable food and energy initiatives.
A wordmark for Stu the Copywriter
Some ideas are found right under your nose, which is exactly where we discovered Stu’s name hidden in the very tools of his trade… The alphabet.
Alongside the wordmark, we’ve designed a very simple website from which you can view a catchy showreel of Stu’s work. Be warned though, the tune will be stuck in your head for days!
Tackling poverty with the Westminster Foundation
We’re proud to tell you about the launch of a new website for the Westminster Foundation, which represents the charitable activities for the Grosvenor Estate and the Grosvenor family headed by the Duke of Westminster.
The need to highlight a new funding strategy and provide an online application procedure were the main drivers for creating an engaging site which conveys topics such as youth homelessness and supporting communities.
2 partners, 5 disciplines, 7 stages…
We’ve just completed the first stage of a comprehensive rebrand for 257, a Manchester-based product, brand and development company. We successfully avoided the usual clashes of opinion when two design studios collaborate, with the added bonus that this client regularly asked to make design elements smaller rather than bigger.
A sustainable start to 2013
This month we completed a wayfinding project for the Grosvenor Estate’s Diamond Jubilee Wood in Eccleston, where almost 12,000 three-year-old UK-sourced saplings have been hand-planted. Local charities and members of the community took part in tree planting days to help create the site which was formally opened by the Duke of Westminster.
We worked with talented illustrator, Mark Howe, to create a lovely map of the wood and what can be found in it.
Making a difference with design
We were recently asked by the Design Council to take part in a three-way credentials pitch for Brent Stevenson Memorials, a Blackburn-based company who have enlisted the help of the DC to improve their business through strategy and design.
We’re pleased to announce that our presentation was successful and we look forward to working with Brent and the team in the New Year.
Thinking inside the box for JM&D
JM&D source and deliver branded products to Europe’s leading retailers and wholesalers.
They asked us to create an identity to promote the stock, service and value of their offering – we just hope we ticked all the boxes.
We’ve moved to the Granary
After recently celebrating our first year in business, we’ve now outgrown Farm Lane and have moved across the road to the Granary, a lovely old building next to the canal in the heart of Worsley village.
After the usual teething problems — the dust has just about settled, the biscuit cupboard is stocked, and the kettle is ready to go… So why not drop by for a cuppa?
Winning the shoot-out at the SUN awards
Our identity and marketing work for photographer Graeme Cooper was awarded ‘Best Promotion of a Photographer’ at Shot Up North’s 24th SUN awards.
Some judges comments for the work included ‘beautiful’, ‘very of the moment’ and ‘a joy to look at’. You can find out more about Shot Up North and view some great photography by visiting their website here.
Or see the winning work here.
British craft and design at its peak
After recently being asked to help develop a high-end British craft brand, our research took us to the David Mellor Visitor Centre — which is nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of the Peak District.
What we found was an exquisite mix of craft and design, along with a working environment which was equally well considered… And a café with great chocolate brownies too.
Adding more sparkle to Gemma Lister Jewellery
Quirky, cookie, eccentric, hectic, stylish, outlandish, colourful, original, intriguing, exciting…
Just a few words to describe the truly wonderful jewellery of Gemma Lister, who we are currently helping to refresh her look from head to toe.
Say hello to Ember, our newest recruit…
We believe in giving raw talent a start in the creative industry — helping them to ‘cut their teeth’. Ember’s good looks and puppy dog eyes can melt the frostiest of potential ‘leads’, so we’ve made her our New Business Director.
If you have a project to discuss, why not pick up the dog and bone and ask for Ember.
Shades of Graeme hot off the press
Shades of Graeme, the limited edition quarterly publication we’ve produced for photographer Graeme Cooper has now been printed. Our team has collaborated with Graeme to create his new identity, portfolio mailer and website… All to be launched soon.
Thinking about your very own B&R?
We’re applying the finishing touches to the identity and marketing collateral for B&R, an ambitious start-up company who design and build very smart bespoke mobile bars.
Shooting the chic-house for ChicSeats
We recently took advantage of a lovely spring day to photograph the ChicSeats portable loos — set against the rolling hills of North Wales.
Photographer, Tim Ainsworth, took some great shots which you can now see in our updated case-study.
From brand to bottle for Bloom, Bump & Baby
We’re just adding the finishing touches to the new identity and bottle packaging for Bloom, Bump & Baby — a really interesting little company who make lovely oil-based products for babies, new mums and mums-to-be.
A fresh lick of paint for Realty Insurances
This Mayfair-based property insurance business required a rebrand to reflect their momentum in emerging property markets.
Collaborating with their parent company, the Grosvenor Estate — we developed a modern take on their historical wheatsheaf motif.
Two for Joy to help Macmillan Cancer Support
We popped across to Liverpool to attend SB Studio’s 2nd birthday fundraising bash for Macmillan Cancer Support, based upon the theme of ‘two’.
We caught up with some old friends, made some new friends, and bagged some great artwork — swopping our own ‘two for joy’ submission for the wonderful ‘Hai/Yes’ print by Telegramme.
Help David decide which tash style to go for…
Our Design Director is currently cultivating his facial hair to support Movember, a charity event where men (and women) across the globe donate their face to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health issues.
Escanciandro sidra in the Telling Stories Studio
We’ve been working on a lovely brand development project for a refreshing new South American cider product — while partaking in some traditional ‘cider-throwing’… We now have a very sticky floor.
Celebrating Cheshire with Grosvenor Estate
Grosvenor Estate is a group of businesses and rural estates based across Cheshire and the globe. We were asked to graphically display their local business offering at the recent ‘Celebrate Cheshire’ Expo.
Find out more from BBC News
Take a ChicSeat & make yourself comfortable
Here’s a sneaky peak at our identity for ChicSeats, a high-end mobile loo company based in Cheshire. Hopefully we won’t be caught short and make the deadline as it’s a great brief.
Stocking up the bar for Cocktails & Dreams
Our friends at C&D asked if we could add as much punch into their identity as they’ve put into the delicious cocktail menu… So we’ve given them a refreshing new look and the website is now live.
A sweet identity for Apple Charlotte
Charlie at Apple Charlotte describes herself as a cake-baker extraordinaire — and after our comprehensive ‘research’ stage while developing the identity, we all wholeheartedly agree!
Smoothing the road for O’Connor Construction
There’s a good chance you’ve driven on a strip of tarmac laid by OCC — who build roads and lay cables across the UK. We hope this new identity goes down as smoothly as their tarmac.