We are an award winning design agency working for leading cultural, heritage and tourism organisations and businesses in Wales
Click on the images below to see some of our work – and take a look at the blog for what’s happening in the studio.
Our interpretation design projects connect people to place using effective bilingual design and innovative, sustainable materials. Highlighted here are two projects completed in 2013 for the National Botanic Garden of Wales. We developed a fresh new branding for the Garden’s signage and used environmentally friendly and durable materials to produce two striking displays.
Rock of Ages
This display along the Garden’s broadwalk up to the Great Glasshouse provides a dramatic and fascinating insight into the rocks our country is built on, and needed bold and accessible interpretation. We managed the design, artwork and installation of the project, sourcing images from throughout Wales. Innovative materials were chosen for both durability and sustainability, as weather conditions can be very challenging. The signs are printed on metalphoto, an aluminium product with combines exquisite detail with extreme durability, and mounted at a low level to integrate subtly with this sculptural display.
These signs are designed with children in particular in mind, as they love to play around the giant tree trunks, which are fun and quirky. The signs also tell a fascinating story, linking the Garden’s conservation ethos with the rainforest in Ghana. Children can interact with mirrors, and compare tree sizes. The panels are die-cut to a wobbly tree trunk shape and have colourful designs. The signs are mounted on actual (locally sourced) tree trunks.
We produce a wide range of publications for a number of major tourist organisations in Wales, from leaflets and booklets through to interactive pdfs and websites. We offer a variety of services, from design, maps and print management through to research and advice, developing trails, and providing knowledgeable and vibrant bilingual copy. We know and love Wales – and helping others to get the most out of a visit is one of our aims.
A recent project was Tywi Valley Trails for Carmarthenshire Tourist Association. In response to a brief to research and develop trails in the East Carmarthenshire area we developed a website and interactive pdfs to be used as a resource for local businesses to provide visitors with useful information, as well as by tourists. The project has been well received by CTA members and we have recently been commissioned to undertake a similar project for the Teifi Valley.
Please visit the leaflet section of the porfolio for more about our tourist publications in print for clients such as the Brecon Beacons National Park, Powys County Council, Dyfed Archaeological Trust and the National Botanic Garden of Wales
A book is to have and to hold, and our passion shows in the awards the books we have worked on have won. From cover designs to lavishly produced special editions, we enjoy making books come to life. With our cover-to-cover books we work closely with editors, photographers and illustrators to produce books that are both beautiful and interesting, spanning a variety of themes including landscape, art, history, music, cookery, gardening, (auto)biography, kids and sport. Here are some of the books we’ve designed:
The Tomb Builders Steve Burrow (Amgueddfa Cymru / National Museum Wales)
Winner Book Award at the British Archaeological Awards 2006
Rara Avis Manon Rhys (Gomer)
Shortlisted Wales Book of The Year 2006
Dauwynebog Ceri Wyn Jones (Gomer)
Shortlisted Wales Book of the Year 2007
Aberglasney Graham Rankin (Aberglasney enterprises)
Winner Inspirational Book of the Year 2009, Garden Media Guild Awards
Gemau Olympiaidd Alun Wyn Bevan (Gomer)
Winner Tir na n-Og Welsh Award (secondary school) 2013
Wales: At Waters Edge Jon Gower and Jeremy Moore (Gomer)
Shortlisted Wales Book of The Year 2013
Sold out! We’ve designed several books (left) for Amgueddfa Cymru / National Museum Wales including Discovered in Time, Things of Beauty (we organised a reprint of this in 2013) and The Tomb Builders, winner of the Book Award at the British Archaeological Awards 2006. The judges declared it:
We are proud to work for some of Wales’ most important cultural institutions – from Amgueddfa Cymru, Big Pit and St Fagans to more specialised organisations such as Trac and Canolfan Twyi Centre. Welsh culture is rich and varied – and the Welsh language is an integral part of that. The dynamics of bilingual publications are crucial to our work. In 2013 we designed a new edition of Glo magazine to celebrate Big Pit’s 30th anniversary as a museum. We’ve designed 5 issues of this fascinating and often moving publication since the first one in 2006, which, together with Y Ffrynt Carretf / Homefront magazine for St Fagans (above), was awarded a Special Commendation in the Corporate Publications Design Category of the Welsh Language Board Awards.
Effective environmental design can be fun! Our design for a warning sign for the National Botanic Garden of Wales caused a mini-facebook furore when it first appeared …
We design a range of signage for the Garden. Recent projects include signs for the Conserving Rare Plants display, and a new information panel for the Garden shop which launches a campaign Gwenu ar y gwenyn / Give bees a chance to promote and inform about pollination. We commissioned Penarth based illustrator Ifan Bates to produce beautiful illustrations for the panel – and a bee who is just the right side of scary, to front the campaign.
More examples of signage can be found in the interpretation and heritage sections of the portfolio.
Gemau Olympiaidd Alun Wyn Bevan (Gomer)
Winner Tir na n-Og Welsh award (secondary school) 2013 We designed this book with all ages in mind, but with a particular emphasis on school children, to inspire and inform about the history of the Olympic Games.
Byw Bywyd Bwyd Ant Anthony Evans (Gomer)
A lively mix of travel, fun and cookery, by one of Wales’ most popular kids TV presenters.
The Ghost Forest display which we produced for the National Botanic Garden of Wales is a playful, child friendly environmental design. Children can not only read the fascinating story of these rainforest trees, they can play on and around them and interact with the display.
Our work for heritage organisations include leaflets, booklets, online, interpretation and exhibition design. Clients include Canolfan Twyi Centre, Trac, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and also Dyfed Archaeological Trust. This is some of the work we’ve designed for them:
One of a series of booklets, Exploration Tywi records a community exploring their past with a playful, documentary style design. The Lost Lands of our Ancestors tells the story of the submerged landscapes of prehistoric Wales using a combination of scientific diagrams, informative text and emotive illustrations which evoke prehistoric people and landscapes.
Our interpretation signs for the Trust on Mynydd Llangynderyn involved design, map-making, sourcing and supply of illustrations and photography and site visits to discuss placing and type of signage and material – panels were mounted onto stones sustainably sourced from the local quarry. The area is common land, and has varied and interesting geology and history. A wide variety of age groups visit, many of them local. The designs needed to be bilingual, clear, informative and educational, and appeal to a wide public.
We are at present working on signage and a booklet for the Calch project interpreting the former lime quarries on the Mynydd Du, a project close to us in many ways, here at Nantrodyn (trans: stream of the kiln). Look for updates in the blog!
We produced a series of Local Distinctiveness Toolkits for Carmarthenshire Tourist Association in 2013. Designed to be used by local businesses, these interactive pdfs were produced in both Welsh and English. They explain in detail the local area in terms of tourist attractions, history and culture, and are a dynamic resource which members can download and use to inform both themselves and visitors to the area. Extensive local knowledge and an ability to communicate this in an accessible and attractive way was central to the success of these toolkits – a new series has recently been commissioned.
Recent projects also include designs for the recently launched Archwilio app, and on a regular basis, the app and epub versions of New Welsh Review magazine – see also next item.
Our background is in magazine design – initially for high-end newsstand magazines such as Esquire, before starting our design agency in Holland, back in 1996. Our core business then was rebranding and designing innovative customer magazines such as the award-winning Panda for the WWF, with 400,000 subscribers.
New Welsh Review is Wales’ leading literary magazine, with a lively mix of the best new writing from Wales, including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, opinion, photography, essays and reviews written by award-winning writers and newcomers alike. NWR is now produced in print, app and epub versions, and recently celebrated its 100th edition.
With a very different feel, in 2013 we designed a new edition of Glo magazine to celebrate Big Pit’s 30th anniversary as a museum. We’ve designed 5 issues of this fascinating and often moving publication since the first one in 2006, which, together with Y Ffrynt Carretf / Homefront magazine for St Fagans (above), was awarded a Special Commendation in the Corporate Publications Design Category of the Welsh Language Board Awards.
We design leaflets and booklets for a variety clients including Brecon Beacons National Park, Powys County Council, Dyfed Archaeological Trust and the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Our services include design and print management, and we can also develop trails and maps, provide research and knowledgeable bilingual copy.
In 2013 we developed a leaflet to promote a food trail around Brecon highlighting the many fantastic producers and establishments along the bus and cycle routes between Brecon, Crickhowell and Talgarth. We provided research, bilingual copy and images to create a leaflet with an accessible, attractive and practical design. Following it’s success, Powys County Council recently awarded us another project and we produced a leaflet to promote the bus route between Brecon and Swansea, which passes through some fascinating and relatively unknown parts of Wales.
We recently designed over 100 leaflets for The Valleys Regional Park (Capital Regional Tourism). The Valleys has recently been shortlisted in the Best Responsible Tourism Destination category in this year’s Responsible Tourism Awards. Our leaflets contributed to their achievement in establishing and implementing a successful Community Tourism Ambassador programme – ensuring local stories, traditions and histories are passed on and form part of the visitor experience.
Our exhibition design portfolio includes pop-up banners and information panels for projects such as The Lost Lands of our Ancestors for Dyfed Archaeological Trust, and the Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre.
We recently designed around 60 paddles for the castle at St Fagans National History Museum, to be used as interpretation tools by visitors. These have been very well received, and encompass both lighthearted accessible drawings for the children’s paddles and historical images and information on the adult ones. The brief was to create a design which was suitable to the historic environment of the castle, worked effectively bilingually and also fitted with the design ethos of St Fagans. The choice of material and production was another important element as were the environmental considerations such as poor lighting. Two large interpretation panels were also designed and produced as part of this project.
From the well received Patagonia by Matthew Rhys, Byw Bywyd Bwyd Ant by Anthony Evans and the glamorous Only Men Aloud, our celebrity and lifestyle publications range from high class to fun. We’ve designed book covers for Welsh Journeys by Jamie Owen and Whatever the Weather by Derek Brockway, not forgetting the cover-to-cover design for the beautiful and fascinating autobiography Gwreiddiau by Wales’ top gardener Medwyn Williams.
Issue 111 of new welsh reader out now – and new welsh review at Hay Festival on Monday 30 May.
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We bring a personal and effective approach to every project we work on.