Category Archives: Print Design

For any design in print

Little Book Valentine

Not so long ago at Harmony, we made the Pocket Book of Creativity

From the Harmony website in 2012 about the project:

It began as a creative exercise turned into a beautiful piece of marketing that can be enjoyed by all. Sometimes creativity strikes when you least expect it, and at other times it appears to be beyond grasp.

Creativity is the cornerstone of Harmony’s work – it is where our clever, innovative solutions for all manner of requirements and challenges shine. We dare to be bold and create solutions for our customers to give them a unique edge in their markets.

We wanted to share our love and investment in creativity – to inspire our clients, potential customers and friends to make today different, and try something new, so the Pocket Book of Creativity was born – a guide to making sure today is different.

The process was simple – as a team we discussed how creative ideas were born, how great inventors found solutions to problems and how ideas could be dashed. The ideas tumbled onto paper to create our vision on why creativity is important.

The ideas were organised into stages of decision making, to ideas of how to induce deeper creativity, and then a set of the creative people we admire through history and across many different disciplines.
“Without ideas and creativity, we lose the ability to solve, evolve and inspire. Too often, we let the needs of the moment occupy our creative minds and forget to look beyond today, to step back and to allow the idea machine between our ears to move us forward.”

“If this pocket book does anything for you, let it be to give you time and inspiration for creativity. Enjoy.” – Company Director, Jason Higgins.

The Pocket Book was lovingly designed by Sarah Francis in her freelance capacity as Creatingle. As well as being a dear friend, Sarah is a brilliant and quirky designer and a great person to put together our ideas and text. Her design was inspirational and drew from our work and her interpretation of Harmony. We wanted the project to be different – to not instantly look like Harmony, so this outside input was invaluable.

The book was printed up by UK company Little Book who do different versions of their book layout, and supply many recognisable brands and events. As they send out samples to interested people, we found out that the Pocket Book of Creativity gets a regular outing in their set of samples. (Edit: Sarah went on to design some more for Autism West Midlands)

Little Book were considering their branding and asked for opinions on their old branding using red bubbles. I was surprised to discover that my comment about the bubbles had been selected as a winner of some champagne and bright red balloons on Valentines Day! Subsequently we were featured on the Little Book blog. I don’t remember ever winning a little competition like that, so it was a lovely surprise!

Poster Design for Girlguiding UK

As a member of Girlguiding UK in Bedfordshire County, I celebrated the Guiding Centenary in 2009 & 2010. During the year there were a lot of events happening locally and nationally which had to be advertised, and I found that some of the publicity was lacking in inspiration to the Guides. To improve the attention the events received, I designed a set of posters for our unit and to be used by division and county if they wished.

Here are the results:

Poster Design for the Elisabeth Curtis Centre

The Elisabeth Curtis Centre is the Bedfordshire branch of Riding for the Disabled, a national charity in the UK. As the Elisabeth Curtis Centre is its own charity, they run events to raise awareness and funds, the posters for which I have in the past put together for them for significant events on request.

Here are some examples of artwork created for the charity:

Poster Design for Hull University Union

During my degree at the University of Hull, I was the Academic Issues Officer for Scarborough Campus as part of Hull University Union. (I’m now a lifelong honourary member for my work to change the way student academic representation worked.)

Here are some examples of design work I put together, mostly posters.

New Harmony Takes Shape

British Computer Society Membership

I strangely found myself renewing my BCS membership for £48.00 tonight. Its been on my Rememberthemilk list for about a week, as it expired at more or less the same time as my young person’s rail card. However, that cost £26, and I always see it as a valid investment. The BCS, each time they survey me, I wonder if I’m really getting the full value out of them.

Its always somewhere down my list to do, that I rarely pay high attention to, to the point I somehow maintained my student membership after graduating, and eventually after several letters from them asking if I wanted to upgrade, rolled it up to full MBCS membership.I’m the only one in the office who is, as far as I know. My course was partially accredited by them, which is why we all joined as freshers.

Puzzling Business Card Results

At work, our sets of business cards were printed without any titles or qualifications after them (not that this bothers me). Unfortunately they are too thin, and the spot uv wasn’t great either. For the sake of the few that most of us may give out, we ended up sticking them together to double the thickness. We were each issued a whole box full, which was a surprise.

Taking one over to the folks (look at the shiny thing and my new job title!) the first thing my family remarked on was not the lovely logo, not the thin card, but the fact my degree status and MBCS status wasn’t on there. This made me chuckle over priorities. We’d been typically more preoccupied with presentation, given our industry.

Changing Rooms

Our rebranding is finally reaching the office (we worked from outside to inside).  What with the news that we have some land in Biggleswade (nearest town) which we plan to build an office on from scratch, if all goes well. [Update March 2011, it is going well see: Office space in Biggleswade ] I’m not holding my breath, there’s been enough 80% jokes already (80% being the point a lot of projects in web/software development gets stuck at).

Its brilliant if it does happen. In the existing office, we’ve had more furniture than IKEA stocks arrive in the last three weeks. Lovely cupboards for upstairs so we no longer see a pyramid of archive boxes. Just a bit more light up in our loft, and our designer might be able to stop sitting by the window on a regular basis to stop his creative talent wilting (he’ll get used to it soon enough – the light I mean)

Retrospectively, it would have been more useful to have photographed other areas of the office, but a lot of the more impressive additions are still being settled or rearranged downstairs where clients are received. However, we have all been issued with bright orange chairs.


Orange chairs

It will be good to see the meeting area settled. At present, you can see the elements of it like jigsaw pieces, but the puzzle is not completed. Of course, being web people, not DIY or interior designers, we’re not flying along with the changes as quickly as we might otherwise. Here was the upstairs office about two weeks ago:


Upstairs Office

Though, its an awfully long way from where it used to be, when half of this room was used for storage.