Since launching AskMark 18 months ago, Marc Owen has been sharing his refreshing mix of advice and action to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
So it’s lovely to see him gain recognition for doing things a little bit differently by winning the Northern Enterprise Award for Most Innovative Emerging Business Consultancy of 2021.
What can we say that hasn’t already been said about 2021.
Nothing, really… other than to wish you a joyful, restful and peaceful festive break with your friends, family and loved ones.
*May not be true… or anywhere close.
It’s been a few years since our Daughter arrived on the scene – and as time became increasingly valuable, something had to give… which turned-out to be my lecturing role at Chester University.
Fast-forward a few years and it’s been a real pleasure to tentatively get my educative-eye ‘back in’ with Preston University (UCLAN) – and help-out on a course which has such a thoughtful and ideas-led approach to design.
Irlen Syndrome is a little-known perceptual processing disorder where the brain has difficulty handling visual information… And as it’s Irlen Syndrome awareness week – we thought we’d tell you a little about the condition that our Daughter was diagnosed with at seven years old.
She struggles with reading, depth perception, light sensitivity – and sometimes she just can’t sit still! There are ways to manage it though, and a natty pair of pink-tinted glasses help vastly reduce her symptoms. If you’re curious to know more, please visit the Irlen UK website.
We’re really chuffed that our truck livery design for Construct IT has won the Motor Transport Awards 2021 Livery of the Year.
For a young business in an established market, amongst such esteemed company – to win such an award is pretty remarkable.
And aside from the award, the fancy London ‘do’ was a nice opportunity to get dressed up and let our hair down.
The final frontier… No, not that space.
Space to breathe, space to think, space to switch-off.
We managed to steal a week away from the office to enjoy one of the most outstanding areas of beauty we have on our doorstep.
The Lakes… Keswick, Buttermere, Grassmere. Wonderful.
It’s been a long time since we’ve entered any work into the design awards circuit and 2021 has been no exception.
However, our client, BJS, has… entering the BJS Haulage and Construct IT livery into the Motor Transport Awards, and happily both have been short-listed for the big prize.
For us, it’s actually just nice to be recognised by industry specific judges who commented that “a lot of thought has gone into this”… That’s all we need to hear.
It’s not easy moving bricks, blocks and tiles up and down the country… in fact, the construction haulage business is pretty heavy shIT!
So in helping create a stand-out brand in a seriously safety-conscious industry, we literally had a bright idea – to ensure the Construct IT livery could be easily seen on even the dreariest of drizzly days.
Full case study coming soon…
The Anne Duchess of Westminister’s Fund supports charitable projects that focus on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing, living in disadvantaged communities or providing learning and training.
To reflect the recent evolution from the original charity (ADWC) to a newly named fund (ADWF), we were asked to redesign their website, highlighting the change whilst creating a more user-friendly experience.
To have a look please visit the ADWF site here.
Hot on the heels of the BJS Haulage brand launch, we’ve helped the team reappropriate one of our motorway junction designs to support Pride History Month.
We’re sure there’ll be extra bonus points available for spotting this gem up and down the UK motorway network.
BJS have expanded their broad offering of logistics-based delivery businesses by launching a dedicated general haulage service.
Inspired by our love of maps, we’ve helped create their brand-new brand – and you’ll now be able to ‘spot’ over 20 junction designs rolling up and down the UK’s motorway network.
We’ll add a full case study shortly, but in the meantime you can visit their site here.
We can’t go into the mind-bending complexity of this project – other than to say that some very clever people, intricate management processes and highly technical production standards resulted in 4,000 utterly unique digitally printed Fedrigoni 2021 calendars.
What we can say is that we were given the number 27 and the word point to ‘illustrate’ – which became the selection of 27pt type… obviously.
Our worst fears became a reality as 2020 continued to challenge like no other in living memory, so we haven’t posted any work related news for an entire six months.
However, whilst juggling home-schooling and an almost ever-present Manchester lockdown, thankfully we’ve been surprisingly productive and hope to share more of our projects in the New Year.
COVID 19, BLM, Brexit… 2020 continues to cultivate division.
So we really don’t want to talk about our working lives at the moment – as it doesn’t feel particularly important right now.
All we would like to say is that during this crisis, let’s try a little bit harder to treat people the way we’d all like to be treated.
Marc Owen asked us to redefine the next stage of his working life – specifically, helping him offer his expertise and experience to a wide range of ambitious companies whilst avoiding the term ‘business consultant’ at all costs.
So whether it’s a peculiar time or the perfect time – perhaps you could AskMarc for a little extra help with your business.
We love creating strong narratives, especially when a really quirky film project comes along.
And after shaking hands at the end, we all used plenty of soap and water – to be safe as well as sound.
When we renamed and repositioned Lime Creative’s brand identity to become Flood Studio, we created a constantly evolving logo idea that could support and sell their photographic talents whilst highlighting their sector specialisms.
We’re really pleased the team at Flood have fully embraced the idea, as they continue to create playful little photographic vignettes from time to time – which never fail to bring a smile.
We love a good map, and so we naturally loved receiving these snaps of our most recent campaign for BJS Home Delivery which hit the road just in time for their busy festive period – adorning dozens of their liveried vans.
Based upon the premise that All roads lead to home – the campaign celebrates their full nationwide coverage and highlights a multitude of UK locations by using some great maps, a bit of quirky copy and plenty of pins.
No politics, no sceptics.
No arguments, no judgements.
No angry debate, no hate.
No offence, no nonsense.
Oh, and no doubt…
Die Hard is definitely a Christmas film.
We’ve contributed to Fedrigoni’s 2020 calendar, being one of 366 design studios who were invited to submit a graphic idea based upon a given day of the year – we bagged 6th March.
If we do one thing well, it’s being interested in all sorts of things.
So in keeping with our desire to constantly vary the projects and people we work together with – take a look at how our ideas-led approach can help lawyers, image-makers, automotive manufacturers and powder processors stand-out from the crowd.
Sempai is a digital lean management and training consultancy which helps ambitious manufacturers develop a culture of continuous self-improvement.
To accelerate their journey we’re helping Sempai develop their story, a key part of which is their new collaboration-based logo which has recently achieved a registered trademark – something we encourage all our clients to do in order to protect their brand.
A thorough strategic assessment led us to recommend that British Rema merge their three separate businesses under one common name – simplifying and transforming their organisation to create a monolithic corporate structure.
To join the dots between each division – we created their ‘know how’ proposition to underpin over 90 years of experience and specialist knowledge in powder processing, process equipment and rotary engineering.
An events venue with a difference, White Syke Fields in North Yorkshire has a lovely rustic charm and their historic farm buildings ooze personality and quirky originality. Events range from weddings and networking to foodie gatherings and ‘little explorers’ clubs.
We created an identity which feels a little bit raw, utilising textures and features from the environment to distinguish their unique event spaces – whilst helping guests to create distinguished memories too.
Optimec provide measurement and inspection technology for the world’s best contact and intraocular lens manufacturers. So if you wear contacts, there’s a good chance they’ve been quality tested with Optimec’s inspection equipment.
Based upon the proposition, Driven by precision – we’ve helped Optimec to refocus their sales and marketing activity, firstly to promote their latest technological advancements but also to celebrate their 40th year in business. We’ll post a full case study here on our site shortly.
We’ve really enjoyed helping Chester-based law firm Jolliffes rejuvenate their brand to better reflect their forward-thinking legal expertise – built upon over a century of hard-earned experience.
Taking Sun Tzu’s The art of war as our inspiration, we’ve created a visually rich and playfully copy-led identity to express the many reasons why Jolliffes have got their legal skills down to a fine art. Visit their new site here.
There’s been much consternation here in the UK due to the threat of short-term panic buying and the damaging side effects it could cause, all thanks to Brexit… the rift that keeps on giving.
As we’re enjoying a really busy spell here this has got us thinking. If we’re in the midst of a panic buying period in the design world too – will we need to start scrapping for our favourite fonts when the inevitable hits the fan??
In fairness it’s been a while since our last misdemeanour, but we’ve again broken our own rule and failed to post something of interest at least once each month.
We’ve given ourselves detention and a good talking to.
And who said it had to be boring?.. That was the challenge – to create an engaging campaign that raised staff awareness of information security in the workplace.
We created a series of fun weekly ‘guerrilla attacks’ offering bite-size advice from characterful animals which popped-up in various places – including behind the monitors, desks, bins and notice boards of our client’s UK based offices.
2018 has been quite a year with much contention, conflict and downright hostility flying around – sadly splitting our nation in two.
Perhaps we’re typical of our ‘breed’, but we believe that we work best when we work together. So let’s make the most of the little things that bring us all together… and kick Brexit into touch come the New Year.
Mark’s great portraiture will be the cornerstone of an upcoming public awareness campaign, of which we’re happy to play our part.
Coupled with our recent brand work, we helped Fontaine Fifth Wheel launch their fresh lick of paint at IAA Hannover 2018 – one of the world’s most prestigious international automotive shows.
After a gruelling but productive week, the show team enjoyed not only record enquiries but also high-praise as the best stand ever produced by a Marmon Highway Technologies group company (of which Fontaine Fifth Wheel are part of).
Through our close working relationship with Grosvenor Estate, we are extremely proud to be a small part of an inspiring collective effort to raise vital funds for the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC).
The centre was instigated and heavily supported by the late 6th Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor – to ensure that seriously injured soldiers, sailors and airmen receive the best possible care. If you would like to support the DNRC, please donate here.
Specialists in truck and trailer coupling, Fontaine Fifth Wheel products enable HGV’s to excel across a variety of on and off-road conditions, including cornering – which is pretty useful in post-Roman Europe.
Coupled with the strategic proposition ‘Fit for the long haul’ – we created a sales-driven brand based upon clearly defined USPs and a long-term commitment to strong customer relationships. A full case study will follow but in the meantime please visit the new-look site.
After completing several stages of campaign livery for the BJS delivery fleet, we’ve now turned our attention to their heavy rollers – the HGVs.
Our cab design directly references the door-to-door nature of the home delivery business, whilst also pinpointing their West Midlands headquarters at the same time.
We’ve been Telling Stories for seven years now, which feels pretty special given that we didn’t know whether we’d even last seven months after starting up in the midst of a recession.
We’ve had our ups and downs but it’s been a roller-coaster journey that we’ll keep riding for a good while yet… Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way.
Having recently completed our well overdue renovation project, we’re now settling in and ready to push on with the next chapter in our story.
Taking the opportunity to design not only our environment but also our whole work/life balance has been a privilege and is something we don’t take for granted. If you’ve got five minutes, we’ve written about our search for the good life here.
Hannah was looking for an elegant identity to demonstrate her creative talents – transforming interiors for both residential and public spaces.
We came up with Creating spaces and places – as her transformations are much more than just a fresh lick of paint. The resulting typemark and hw motif emphasise Hannah’s bespoke approach and positive use of negative space.
We’re currently in the thick of an interesting brand refresh for the European arm of a global truck parts manufacturer, but until it goes live we can’t really talk too much about it.
However, we can talk about the great CGI product rendering and animation work that Boardwalk Studio are producing for us. It’s been a fascinating learning curve and we can’t wait to show it off.
It’s par for the course we suppose, but after much wrangling of floor plans, drainage plans, lighting plans and plans of plans – construction work has finally kicked-off on our long planned studio renovation project.
Every time we open our mouths the budget opens our wallet, so from now on we’re keeping schtum.
If there’s one thing we impress on our clients, it’s our insistence that if you have a news page on your site – update it regularly or don’t have a news page at all. Our own rule is to add at least one story per month.
But for the first time in nearly seven years we’ve missed our monthly entry! So to mark/commiserate the occasion we’re filling the offending month with this confession along with a promise to try harder in the future.
The inaugural Deer Park Dash saw runners endure a challenging 10km circuit of Eaton Park to raise almost £12,000 for the DNRC and Alzheimer’s Society.
They say that life is a marathon and not a sprint… but alongside the Grosvenor Estate we moved pretty fast to encourage locals to lace-up their running shoes.
Lime Creative are a bunch of good guys who specialise in beautifully produced lifestyle product photography with an emphasis on ‘natural’ lighting… They actually shot our recent Kirkpatrick campaign so we’re obviously big fans of their work.
One good turn deserves another so we’ve helped the team reposition their brand offering with not only a new lick of paint, but a name change too – all to help potential new customers see the light (sorry). Take a look at the new site here.
After five years working in the historic Granary building, we’ve made the short move across to Broadway – a lovely tree-lined avenue situated behind Parr Fold Park in Worsley.
In the coming months you’ll probably find us despairing over delays, ballooning budgets and build issues as we embark on a new office conversion – and we’ll let you know how well it goes (or not) as the project progresses.
We’re happy to say that due to our brand refresh and ongoing relationship with Jesmonite, their days of being the ‘best kept secret’ of the building material world are fast fading.
So much so, they have been awarded ‘Material of the year’ at the London Design Fair – so it looks like the cat is well and truly out of the bag.
Read the Evening Standard article here.
They say the harder you work, the luckier you become – so Bee must have worked their socks off to achieve two outstanding accolades.
Congratulations to Paul Wardell who, with the help of his Bee race crew, has become the NGRRC Mini Twins Champion… and well done to the whole team for winning the Chamber of Business Awards Best British Small Business of the Year 2016.
See our brand work for Bee here.
Faye loves shopping… So when it’s time to refresh the Kirkpatrick product and lifestyle imagery, naturally she gets the gig to plan and art direct the shoot.
From products to props, every detail is planned with military precision – and you can see the results of Faye’s eye for style very soon.
David Appleton, a wonderful actor and all round lovely chap has narrated our very own brand film with character, warmth and clarity.
Once we’d settled on the script (probably version 101), finalised the storyboard and chosen the music, it was essential that we found the right voice to stitch the whole film together. David’s subtle Northern charm coupled with his quiet but self assured confidence is music to our ears.
We (David & Faye) are adopted Mancunians who have lived in the great city of Manchester 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. You can view our full case study here.
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 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.
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.
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.
The impact of Muhammad Ali’s words were far greater than his massive fists.
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.
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!
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 Look at Cheshire here.
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.
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 their unique people who make it all happen.
Take a look at our case study here.
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 refreshed 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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 view our case study here to get the full (moving) picture.
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 our full case study here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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).
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…
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.
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.
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.