The Camlan Garden Centre and Garden Maintenance business have a unique approach and feel - the innovative and sustainable off-grid site location within the Snowdonia National Park, the locally-focused plants and products sold, and in Lisa & Ian and how their personality is as much a part of the business as the Garden Centre itself.
This uniqueness needed to be reflected in the branding & visual identity of their new business. A few key brand 'ingredients' were developed to convey the brand essentials:
- Practical / rugged
- Distinctive (memorable)
- Modern, but not trendy
- Bold / Confident
- Quirky / Creative
- Environmentally sound and in touch with nature
- Reduce / Rethink / Recycle
- Fun & hands-on
- Cost effective, but not ‘cheap'
The careful selection of a bold yet friendly FAKT Slab 'stencil' font creates a highly distinctive look for the key headlines and wording. The font is also bold enough to both read over images, be the container for textures or colourful floral images to add interest, meaning and a creative, softer feel.
The logo features the FAKT typeface as well as integrating an organic L-form and roundel bi-lingual descriptor text to create a simple and compact logo suitable for single colour or full-colour application.
A variant of the logo for the Garden Maintenance side of the business employs a hexagonal outline to differentiate it, with a nod to the 'hands on' practicalities of the work.
The toolkit of brand elements gives Lisa and Ian both a solid brand to build on over time, but the ability to apply it themselves in a cohesive and cost-effective manner as the business grows.
WHY NOT VISIT:
Gwella (meaning ‘cure’ or ‘make better’ in Welsh) approached me via Menter a Busnes to create a new identity and packaging for their innovative range of cooked & cured Welsh meats. Although ham is well established as a cured cold meat no-one has, until now, managed to successfully cure lamb – the livestock the family farms. However, after experimenting with various cures and methods, the Thomas family have created a new and truly delicious range of cured lamb, beef and mutton in a range of tasty combinations.
New packaging was required to take the business from selling at farmers markets, into the more competitive yet potentially lucrative sales in delicatessens, farm shops, foodie specialist stores and direct to restaurants, cafés and beyond.
The family farm is sited on the coastal hills with fabulous views overlooking Cardigan Bay and Aberystwyth. With a strong desire to capture the local clear air and lush green Welsh countryside that the animals are raised, it was felt early on that this should feature heavily in the design.
A half-day of photography gave us some fantastic images, conveying the stunning farm setting and healthy animals. These formed the basis of all the marketing – including 3 packaging variations, for each meat type, banners, leaflets, business cards and forthcoming website. The existing logo was also redesigned to give it greater impact and legibility, and a much stronger sense of their Welsh heritage (the double LL are neatly integrated, as it is pronounced as a distinct sound in the Welsh language). The logo also features traced silhouettes of their actual animals, true to the breed.
The new branding and bilingual packaging is already helping to sell the new product into outlets around Wales, after a very successful launch at the Welsh Winter Fair.
Keep a look out for packs, and make sure you try it!
A lovely project that required a simple and cost-effective design solution, but one that has made a huge difference to the all important first impression and commercial success of these hand made products.
Sandra has been making these hand felted soap exfoliators for some time, but sales were slow and few. The problem was how they looked in any retail outlet – a jumble of woolen colours that people just weren’t sure what to do with them.
The solution was to create simple packaging using readily available cellophane bags (to keep them clean and fresh, but show off the vibrant natural colours) and a dual sided tag, to display the product name and soap scent in English and Welsh. The suitably crafted looking design and branding feature a new Padbury’s logo and descriptors in stylishly handmade script fonts.
The natural kraft card looks great against the bright coloured felt, creating a distinctive look across packaging, PoS cards, and on the website too.
The custom-designed and built one-page website smoothly scrolls between the sections for a sleek and fluid feel. Customers can learn about the quality and natural soaps and felting techniques, as well as buy online with a simple PayPal e-commerce function.
The small investment in design has made a huge impact already, with several garden centres, homeware and gift shops in the region, as well as Natural Resources Wales outdoor centres and CADW Welsh castles in the Snowdonia National Park placing orders for their gift shops.
WHY NOT VISIT THE WEBSITE
Corris Craft Centre is more like a small scale village, with 12 artist/maker workshops, café, Tourist Info centre, play park and toilet facilities, as well as the underground King Arthur’s Labyrinth attraction and ticket desk located at the back of the site to guide visitors around. It was becoming obvious that their existing, visually cluttered and ageing signage was really failing at the task.
After a detailed assessment of the requirements, the smart new signage is designed to improve the visitor experience in a number of ways.
From the new entrance banners, through to wayfinding posts and toilet signs, the signage makes great use of the main brand colours. The striking orange for Corris Craft Centre itself and the deep burgundy for KAL ensures excellent visibility and helps visually distinguish and guide to each of the attractions. The bold use of the colours and brand typefaces also helps carry a cohesive visual identity into the centre itself.
Clean, clear typography and subtle use of text colour is used to differentiate the bilingual directions and guide visitors around easily. New custom icons for the toilet facilities also add a crafted and unique feel to the functional directions.
Importantly, the powder coated panels and chunky coated timber posts are designed to look good for years to come, even with the notoriously wet Welsh weather!
Initial feedback from both the resident retailers and visitors has been very positive, with a noticeable reduction in “where’s the...” enquiries to staff.
Sometimes, I just find a client that really needs some design help with their business. This was the case when I had (fantastic) lunch at the local deli-café in Machynlleth.
Blasau’s Italian owner makes an incredible range of tasty artisan breads, sandwiches, and freshly prepared lunches using quality, fresh local ingredients – and it really shows in the flavour. The deli is based in a quirky and charming 16th century listed building too. However, the menus printed on white A4 paper in poly-pockets, looked like something you’d find in a truck-stop greasy spoon. Messy, ugly and difficult to see what was on offer, they really let the place down.
The new menu design is printed simply but clearly to a single A3 sheet of thick, tactile and suitably natural brown kraft paper. The clear and bold typography makes it easy to see all the food dishes on one side, with drinks and cakes on the reverse. It’s clearly laid out and elegantly easy-to-read, featuring bold headings and traditional feeling serif typefaces that work together perfectly.
To finish off the improved new menu, a handmade display box was made to house them. The raw wood grain of the ply front face was laser engraved in the same font, for a stylish presentation piece that compliments the timber-beamed interior of the café.
The stylish script for the Blasau name provides a distinctive style for the masthead, and a great basis for a defining logo for the café. The listed building is currently known as Royal House, which must stay, so any applied ‘branding’ must work comfortably with this – watch this space…
For their new Gluten Free Fruit & Brandy cake, Welsh Cottage Cakes realised that they would need a new packaging format to give this new cake a more premium look, and appeal to the more ‘foodie’ consumers of the rapidly growing ‘Free-from’ speciality foods market.
In line with the roll-out of the new branding, the new pack style breaks from the cheap sticker over cellophane labelling of the main (as yet unrevised) range. The new design feature a smart new card inlay that encases both sides and underside of the cake (also covering the paper baking liner) to give the packaging far greater standout and a more premium feel. More space allows for bold branding, evocative fruit and brandy imagery and brand-driven copy about the authentic, honest baking and quality ingredients that make their cakes taste so good.
The simple but effective new inlay format offers a distinctive new look to position Welsh Cottage Cakes as a leader in authentic Welsh baking, and a great basis for rolling out the rest of the range in the new style.
*Two pack sizes were developed – the larger features the Welsh Cottage Cakes logo prominently on a top tab. The smaller pack size was developed specifically for a distributor that wanted to minimise the WCC logo as a more generic product within their range, hence this version not featuring the Welsh Cottage Cakes branding.
WHY NOT VISIT:
Fine Iron are specialists in architectural wrought ironwork. Based near Brecon in South Wales, the team create high quality, traditionally styled metalwork for private and commercial projects nationally and beyond.
For their range of Porches & Verandas, Fine Iron needed a new brochure to better showcase their range of designs, and clearly communicate their handmade craftsmanship and bespoke approach.
To move on from their existing single leaf landscape A4 sheets, a new portrait brochure format was proposed, to work well both in the hand and on screen as a PDF flip-book format to link, send or embed directly into their website.
The cover features a beautiful bronze metallic paper stock with clear spot UV ironwork design, for a subtle and prestigious feel. Inside the spreads feature large-scale imagery of example installations, detailed design options and engaging new copywriting to convey the made-to-measure approach and exacting attention to detail.
The new brochure format certainly helps to convey the range in a suitably stylish and clear manner to Fine Iron’s discerning clients.
See the full brochure flip-book here.
Website and branding for Bike Corris – a new business offering bespoke mountain bike guiding and accommodation packages in the Dyfi Valley in the stunning southern edge of Snowdonia National Park in mid Wales.
The fully responsive website design works beautifully across desktop and mobile devices, making the most of the client's own superb ride photography with full-screen parallax scrolling, for a seamless and engaging experience that makes any keen mountain biker want to get out and ride.
To establish the quality, personal approach to the guiding and local accommodation, the project also included creating a dynamic new logo, as well as establishing the wider branding look & feel, image selection and editing, and engaging copywriting for use across both printed and online marketing.
VIEW THE SITE:
2017 is a big year for Corris Caverns, with their three tourist attractions all hoping to benefit from Visit Wales’ year of Myth & Legend theme. To maximise the impact, a refresh was required for their key marketing materials.
King Arthur’s Labyrinth is an underground attraction based in the old slate mine caverns, with themed tales to bring alive the legends of King Arthur and Welsh cultural history. New for 2017 is a lighting & projection finale to the visit – but as this was still just a ‘vision’ in the mind of the MD, it needed a new visual representation creating to capture visitors’ imagination! A 'burnt hole' graphic really stands out and gives the right fiery impression. Overall styling for the campaign materials is based around a dark montage of themed imagery, expressive type styling to convey the mythical theme, and evocative headlines and copywriting.
Corris Craft Centre required a new DL leaflet and ‘bedroom browser’ to promote the various designer-makers and their hands-on workshops. The simple hexagonal image grid is based on the architecture of the workshops themselves, with images breaking out to give additional interest and impact. The distinctive shapes, along with the consistent use of their core orange brand colour and typeface gives a contemporary look that ties in perfectly with the new on-site signage too.
Finally, Corris Mine Explorers required a new leaflet and posters. The fascinating underground adventure explores this ‘virtual time capsule’ from the area's industrial past – the slate mining caverns of Braich Goch, pretty much as left they were when the mines closed in the 1970's. The new leaflet makes the range of trips on offer far clearer, from introductory 1hr taster to a 4hr trek for more adventurous visitors deep into rarely visited parts of the mine. To get a full understanding of the offering, I took a 2 hour trip with a group and Mike the guide – absolutely fantastic and highly recommended!
A lovely 'quick & free' job (literally) for the good of our village. As part of the local schooling in Corris, we are lucky enough to have a pre-school too. The Cylch (pronounced 'kill-kh' roughly translated as 'circle' in Welsh) is 'a place for children aged 2½–4 to learn through play in a safe, secure and stimulating environment, through the medium of Welsh'.
In order to secure future funding and staffing levels required, the facilities needed better promoting to the local and surrounding communities. With no logo in existance, I was asked by the committee if I could help by creating a simple new identity for use on signage and marketing materials to create greater awareness of the Cylch.
To be authentic, I created the basis for the new logo using 'playschool' poster paints, by hand – the simple swirl incorporating the 'circle' theme and C of Corris, with the colours inspired by the natural surroundings of trees, sky and the river Dulas. The resulting logo is striking and compact in its simplicity.
The colours of the logo also form the colour palette for the fuller identity too, along with a child-friendly VAG Rounded font for text.
A suitably child-like identity for a great local group.
Situated on the stunning Mawddach Estuary between Dolgellau and the Cardigan Bay coastline, Graig Wen has firmly established itself as one of the top 10 ‘Glamping’ sites in the UK, featuring in the Cool Camping guide and highly rated by numerous Sunday Papers and lifestyle magazines.
To promote and raise awareness of the secluded site to holiday-makers already in the area, a new leaflet was needed. A leaflet dispenser-friendly DL format was required, but to give the content more space, an extended 8-page variation was devised to make the most of the stunning photography of the views on offer, and a feel for the family-friendly outdoor adventures on site and locally. Although there’s a lot of content to convey, the pared back design and typography gives it a real sense of space and calm.
The choice of a tactile uncoated paper also helps to lift the feel of the print from the usual glossy tourist leaflets.
A second part of the project was to give the site’s Mitsubishi L200 some graphic decals to help raise awareness of the site whilst out and about. The logo and new strapline ‘Cool Camping & Cottages in South Snowdonia’ is applied in a tasteful but bold way across the bodywork, with simple graphic icons used to quickly convey the various types of camping and accommodation on offer. Now the pick-up is regularly getting spotted by campers all over the Snowdonia National Park.
Having worked initially on a simple local advert for Claire, she had become increasingly frustrated with the website she'd created herself and asked me to help.
It soon became clear that her current identity was not really reflecting her business well either. To build a stronger and more engaging message about how hypnotherapy can help almost anyone, across a range of common conditions, a new brand identity was needed.
The full project includes a refreshed logo and colour palette, a cohesive and professional choice of fonts, and new, more engaging imagery and text content used online and in print.
I suggested we base a new website on Squarespace, to deliver simple, stylish and responsive design on any device. The system offers a great cost-effective platform for easy and intuitive updating and management of the site from a users point too.
To complement the new website, new business and appointment cards were created. A new A5 leaflet flyer has been designed to drive interest to the website, where an online scheduling and appointment booking system has been integrated, offering online bookings at 10% discount.
Claire has been hugely impressed with the new look, and is seeing an increase in bookings already, as well as enjoying the feeling of pride in seeing her business looking so good.
VIEW THE WEBSITE:
When you don't have a big budget you need to get creative. This lovely project was for a start-up, home-based artisan baker committed to the 'slow food' fundamentals of using good quality ingredients and time for them to do their thing naturally – maximum tasty goodness, with no artificial 'nasties'. The client's proposed name 'Humble' was a great starting point, but required a suitably earthy and hand-made identity to bring it to life.
The hand drawn logo reflects the hand-made quality of the product, with a simple descriptor 'Good.Honest.Bread' beneath. The identity uses neutral, muted browns and floury beiges to give a sophisticated and understated tone, printed onto toothy off-white papers to give it a natural, tactile finish too. Two complementary typefaces are used throughout - Rosewood and Clarendon, to round off a quirky but sophisticated look.
To make the most of a minimal budget, packaging was sourced as off-the shelf brown paper window bags, with labels used to seal and brand them in one. Labels were laser printed on demand to fit cost-effective Avery label templates, with a rich colour palette used to define the different bread/product flavours.
A simple folded flyer and price listing was used as a door drop locally, featuring oven-fresh close-up photography. The response was excellent, generating enough regular orders to keep the small-scale bakery busy to capacity. A website was also developed using a simple 'site-builder' CMS platform, with the branding and imagery giving it a professional look from the start, as well as a great hub for social media activity.
Having gradually built up a loyal customer base locally in Machynlleth, as well as a growing reputation for quality new & second-hand books, talks and regularly changing gallery of local artists and photographers, owners Geoff & Diane decided it was time for a website to widen their audience and engage better with their existing customers.
Their requirements were pretty straightforward – it needed to reflect their shop and identity, showcase their range of stock and services (but not yet sell online), and provide a means of promoting and listing their regular events.
Crucially, the site had to be easy and intuitive to use and update, by the visually literate, but not particularly tech-savvy shop team.
The new site was built on Squarespace, selected for its simple but sophisticated content-focused design and intuitive user interface. It also offers reliable security and cost-effective build time, both real benefits for a small business that wants to focus on running the shop, not their website.
The resulting site is perfectly suited to the needs of the business and is proving a great platform to talk to their growing customer base. It certainly helped to organise and publicise a packed schedule of events when putting on the first ever [and hugely successful] Machynlleth Pop-up Poetry Fortnight.
VIEW THE WEBSITE
When two of Coventry's most established Quantity Surveying firms merged, they required a fresh new identity to take the company forward.
The design of the new logo and graphic identity system gives a clean, architectural feel with the bold use of slabs of sophisticated colour and clean geometric details. The precise and professional look reinforces the companies' solid reputation, as well as appealing to their audience of large corporations, architects and the wider construction trades.
The identity was applied across a wide variety of stationery and business branded merchandise, website and signage.
A timeless and stylish identity that still looks good over a decade later.
With a dated old red and blue logo from when the plumbing business started over 15 years ago, PlumbQuest really needed a new look to represent the high quality workmanship and service they provide in and around Northampton and Milton Keynes.
A new logo incorporates piping-inspired shapes into a distinctive and dynamic radial form, to reflect the themes of heating, swirling water and the Q of the name. The modern icon and type styling gives a professional and forward-looking feel to the identity.
The two tone logo works well on both black and white - giving flexibility to be applied effectively to key items such as workwear, stationery and website, as well as a pared-back application the very cool looking silver VW Sportline vehicle. Certainly not your average plumber's van!
Sibrydion Cymunedol (meaning Community Whispers in English) is very much a magazine for the community, by the community - and that matters a lot around here in Wales.
The magazine is a published 6 times a year, covering the towns and villages of Meirionnydd, South Snowdonia, with a valued mix of local information, community-focused news and events, as well as a platform for local businesses to advertise in.
Having created a much needed new template and design styling for the magazine (read more about it here) I now design and pull together each bi-monthly issue, including designing the editorial content to make each edition engaging to read.
Part of my reason for getting involved with Sibrydion was, and still is, to advertise my design services locally too. I am always keen to help good local businesses stand out and get noticed, and visually reflect how good they are through effective design.
As a Freelance designer, I am happy to create advert design and artwork for the variety of space sizes available in Sibrydion, but also take on fuller design projects such as branding, signage, websites and marketing materials to suit clients' needs.
Shown below are a few examples of recent adverts I have created for customers advertising in Sibrydion - please get in touch to discuss design rates.