Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Yo ho ho!

What a year it's been! Big thanks, we couldn't have done it without you:

And everyone else we worked with in 2011

We hope you have a great break and come back refreshed in the new year. Hughes Design will be closed from Friday 23rd December 2011 and will be back properly on Tuesday 3rd January 2012 to address all your digital, design and copywriting requirements.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Mike, Julia, Dan | HUGHES DESIGN

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Life's too Short's Warwick Davis' Willow Management Website

We recently put the finishing touches on a new website for Willow Management, the real life talent agency run by Warwick Davis, star of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's new BCC's Comedy, Life's To Short.

Willow Management - The biggest agency for short actors in the world - approached both us and DJA Online late last year to redevelop their talent agency's website. The main objective of the site was for it to be easy for casting directors to view the pictures and videos of all the talent that Willow has to offer, and for the agency to easily update the profile of all the actors on their books.

Another part of the brief was help develop the brand - both Peter and Warwick believe passionately in using real actors for 'short' roles in TV & movies, as no matter how good the technology is, it still can't replicate a real actor. 

We helped with the tone of voice and art directed the photoshoot, while incorporating existing elements of their brand into their design.

Warwick's film roles include most of the Harry Potter movies, Willow, Return of the Jedi, Leprechaun, along with TV Roles including a cameo on Extra's - where Ricky Gervais appears to kick Warwick in the face.

In the new show, Warwick plays a version of himself, an actor, who runs an agency for short actors, but who keeps all the best jobs for himself, is divorced, owes the tax man thousands and is struggling to stay afloat, but agrees to let a film crew film him for a documentary...

It will be broadcast Thursday 10 November on BBC2.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

EMIN BARIN - Turkish Typographer

We love the work of Turkish Typogrpaher calligrapher, design and bookbinder, Emin Barin.

The following text is extracted from a website dedicated to his work:

Emin Barın was a multi-faceted graphic artist. In his own field, he was a distinguished example of the harmony of art and craft, which is to say creativity and craftsmanship. First and foremost he was a master of script; the last link of in the chain of traditional Islamic calligraphic art and the beginning of a new calligraphy that was both Western and secular. Yes, he was a passionate lover of calligraphy, but it wasn't just calligraphy. The art of the book is a nexus that brings together writing, paper, illumination/illustration and binding. And that is the art at which Emin Barın was passionate about and in which he excelled.

He put the loops of a broken chain back together in a highly creative way. He was able to raise a form of alphabet the top that was new to Turkey, while also working in reviving a past heritage which had the danger of vanishing.

Emin Barın the calligrapher, Emin Barın the bookbinder, Emin Barın the teacher, Emin Barın the art collector.  Talking about Emin Barin, one cannot overlook any of his many identities. However, he first comes to one's mind as a calligrapher. Not just because he was a master of script, but because he was the end of an era as well as being the beginning of another era. With his life and work, Emin Barın, was one of the best examples the new Turkish Republic's modern and universal way of approaching the heritage of the past culture and art.

Learn more about the man here and see examples of his work here

Sunday, 28 August 2011

It's nice to be appreciated

We like to help out where we can by offering our services to a local school to help promote their Summer and Christmas fairs - and so were delighted when we received not only a bottle of Pimms but this delightful "ice cream' themed thank-you card from a future designer/typographer in class 2B.

In reply we'd like to say: Thank-you for the "thank you" & excellent design work, well done.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce Identity and Website

The Mongolian economy is expected to grow at an increasing rate over the next few years, as the yet untapped copper reserves at Oyu Tolgoi (possibly the largest copper reserve in the world) and others mines are set to become available. With that Mongolia is likely to become the focus of massive international investment as it's neighbours to the south and north (Russia and China) likely to be  Mongolia's first customers for Mongolia's resources. These developments mean there are opportunities for British expertise in the this region, hence the newly established Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce.

We have just produced this logo for the Chamber, along with developing a website with our Digital Partner DJA Online.

The logo incorporates elements from the Mongolian flag combined with the British Red White and Blue: The symbols from the flag have deep cultural meaning within Mongolia and we have been careful to be respectful :  The fire at the top of it represents prosperity, contentment and regeneration. The three flames represent the past, present and future. The sun and moon symbolize the universe and are believed by Mongolians to be the mother (sun) and father (moon) of their nation. The triangles pointing at the ground are arrowheads and represent Mongolian's willingness to defend their nation. The horizontal rectangles stand for honesty, justice and righteousness. The middle circle can be interpreted as the Buddhist yin and yang symbol, which represents complementary opposite forces existing together in the universe - such as positive and negative, male and female, passive and active, fire and water, etc. The circle can also be interpreted as two fish that never close their eyes, representing the watchfulness and vigilance of Mongolians. The vertical rectangles represent pillars which symbolize strength, resolve and hardness. We have worked this into a typographic arrangement, to create a unified logo type that is both British and Mongolian.

The goal of the identity is to represent the spirit of economic co-operation being forged between Britain and Mongolia.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Monday, 16 May 2011

Quick Website

We've just set up a very simple website using Flavors.me, an easy-to-use online website creation tool - and all for under £30 (not including the person of hours, writing, design etc).

http://flavors.me is simple to use. They supply hosting and a domain purchasing service, so all you need to do is create the content and upload it to one of their free or premium templates. You can also pull content from other sites like Flikr, YouTube, and SoundCloud so that your site has a rich media feel, and as standard all the social media tools one needs are there to let the world know you're new site is up.

In the above example we created a nostalgia site for a band that no longer plays together, but is fondly remembered. Being a band they had plenty of artwork and photography to choose from, plus songs and some fan made videos. After a few minutes of familiarising ourselves with the flavors.me controls, we were building the site, creating pages with music from SoundCloud, videos from YouTube and a map from Google.

The design controls are pretty intuitive too, allowing you upload background images, change the colour and transparency of overlays and choose from a huge family of fonts of which you can customise size and colour. You can add pictures to the text pages, however to do this you need know a little about ftp and html. You also set up a contact form to receive comments form visitors and create links to your favorite sites.

While it's not the perfect solution for every need - it has many design customisation limitations -  for this particular project it was perfect.

It's also perfect learning tool if you are new to web building - it's a great way to use trial ideas to get accustomed what works and what doesn't, because you can quickly test designs, font sizes and add and take away content with a click. For the novice enthusiast this is a great way to learn and showcase your work.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Some new infographics:

The mobile phone infographic was inspired by a news report we heard yesterday about the National Billmonitor Mobile Report, that studied 28,000 mobile phone bills and calculated that in the UK nearly £5bn is wasted annually by subscribers being on the wrong contract.

They state that most subscribers overestimate how minutes a month they use their phone, to avoid "billshock". And they conclude that the £5bn figure is set to rise as more and more users are adopt smartphones for internet access and downloading data to their handsets.

Below is a time line of "platinum events" produced for the Platinum Guild.

Monday, 28 February 2011

We liked these...

by Photographer Oli Kellett

It's quite common to find AMERICAN towns named after noted BRITISH places:

See the full set here...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

cost of wedding infoGraphic

Inspired by some figures we came across in a survey by You & Your Wedding magazine, we created this following infoGraphic.  Just under £20K is the average cost of a wedding in the UK.

The biggest single wedding expense, according to You & Your Wedding magazine, is entertaining guests. Couples spend on average £7,382 on their wedding reception, entertaining on average, 96 guests. This includes £2,448 on venue hire, £3,075 on catering, £1,205 on drinks and £654 on entertainment. The second highest cost is the honeymoon, with the average post-wedding holiday costing £2,935. The third most costly item is the bride’s engagement ring, with the average groom shelling out £1,730 for his proposal.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Make you smile info graphics from coolinfographics.com

How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? By Colin Harman 

Should I Work for Free? By Jessica Hische

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Double take! What happened here?

Great News! The Southbank Centre has announced details of its 60th birthday celebrations, which will take the shape of a homage to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Not so good news though, someone has somehow decided that what the Festival of Britain logo was lacking first time around was bloody great MasterCard logo hanging off the side of it.

It's great that the event is being sponsored by MasterCard. It's important that exhibitions like this should take place, and in these austere times corporate sponsorship should be received gratefully. But that said the balance/relationship between the sponsor logo with the Festival of Britain logo is just baffling.

We can all imagine the scene:  The designer looks at the his customer facing colleague with barely concealed contempt and says 'So, let me get this straight, "you've" agreed with the sponsors that they could slap their logo where?'

But seriously, this complete disregard towards the heritage of the event so that MasterCard can associate their brand with it sends out completely the wrong message for both the event and the Credit Card. It screams "Brazen opportunity to stick our logo somewhere!" rather than a more sober "MasterCard are proud to sponsor this important event".

The more you look, the more it smacks of corporate bullying, as if an argument took place where they threatened to pull the funding if they didn't get it their way. An argument played out in Adobe Creative Suite. That probably wasn't the case, it just looks that way.

However, let's go back a few years to the 1998 World Cup in France, which was also sponsored by MasterCard. We know first hand that they at one point proposed suspending a giant MC logo between legs of the Eiffel Tower  - only to be turned down flat by the Parisian authorities. Our point is, even though MasterCard didn't get their way back in '98, it didn't stop them from continuing to sponsor the event. Sometimes you just have to stand up and say, thanks for the money, but the sponsor's logos go in these allocated spaces.

I think the real explanation is that in this case MasterCard just got lucky with a spineless "Yes Boss!" at the South Bank Centre, and, grateful for the cash, they decided to let MC do what they like, for an easy life.

Which is a real pity.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Bespoke Beer Invitation

We've just completed work on these British Summer Themed Beer Labels that double up as invitations for a  press event on March 1st 2011 to promote beer as a healthier alternative to wine when dining.


Beer in summer – a perfect match
While many people associate summer with lazy days spent in a traditional English beer garden, people rarely realise beer’s true potential as one of the season’s most refreshing, enjoyable and wholesome drinks.  Alcohol is a flavour enhancer, helping to bring out the natural flavours in food. That’s why chefs use alcohol so often in cooking and why alcoholic drinks are so often paired with food. And, summertime is no exception to this rule. Beer is a naturally good partner for many seasonal summer foods – often even a better ‘match’
than wine.  

Summer eating is naturally convivial, allowing us to not only enjoy the tastes of seasonal food outside, but also to cook outdoors. Weather permitting this summer, people across the country will enjoy riverside picnics, garden BBQs and long lazy lunches - all of which can be perfectly accompanied by beer…

The Sunshine Ingredient 
Not only is beer a wonderfully flexible and flavoursome partner as a drink to ‘wash down’ flame-grilled food straight from the BBQ, it’s also an innovative and tasty ingredient to use as part of summer recipes.
The hops in beer gives it the bitterness to slice through rich textures as well as providing a citrus, fruity character that makes it the perfect accompaniment to seafood. The malt provides sweetness to parry charred and caramelised flavours, while the bubbles are light and refreshing enough to cleanse your palate.
In fact, the diverse range of flavours and aromas, wholesome ingredients and age-old brewing processes which characterise our national drink make it the perfect, natural accompaniment for meat, fish and seafood, fruit, cheese and even chocolate. And, as an ingredient in its own right, beer is a great addition for marinades, batters, sauces, salad dressings, breads and sorbets.
With more than 50 classic styles and an abundance of tastes and aromas, beer mingles effortlessly with pretty much anything that’s flipped off the grill or packed into your picnic hamper.

Keeping in shape for Summer
If you’re worried that summer beer and a bikini body don’t mix, then you may be surprised to learn that, in moderation, beer is actually one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks you could choose.

According to a new report ‘Beer, the natural choice?’ beer is a rich source of vitamins, fibre, minerals and antioxidants.  And perhaps most surprisingly, it has a relatively low calorific value compared to other alcoholic drinks – putting paid to the myth of the beer belly.  So, a half a pint of lager generally only contains 94 calories which compares favourably to a standard (175ml) serving of wine with 131 calories.  A quick look at the ingredients and processes that go into beer will confirm the logic – beer is around 95% water and the major ingredients barley and hops are both plant materials which contain virtually no fat at all.

Client: Trinity/BBPA

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Beer, the natural choice? Part 2

Last year we worked with Trinity PR, the Beer and Pub Association and journalist Isla Whitcroft on a report about Beer and how on balance it is a healthier drink than wine. 

Well, we don't know if American blogger J Wilson - a beer lover - has seen our report, but he plans to live on only a home brew beer for the lenten period. More details are in the link below.

Man vows to fast on beer during Lent | CatholicHerald.co.uk