MBA Christmas Gift Guide 2011

UK Designer/Maker Gift Guide Easter 2012

MBA Christmas Gift Guide 2011Last year I collaborated with some fabulous designer/maker friends and we produced a cracking Christmas Gift Guide. Due to budget and time-scales we were unable to get it printed in time for the holidays, but we did release the interactive online version (you will need flash enabled on your browsers to view – sorry iPad users).

We had such a positive response to the guide that I was asked if I would consider producing a new one for the new year. I would love to produce a new guide, but I need to make sure that I have enough designers signed up in order to make it viable project.

I put out a tweet asking for interest and was blown away by the level of interest it has generated. Thank you to everyone who responded. So, as promised here is my idea for the new guide. Please bear in mind that these details are in no way set in stone and may be subject to change.

Time frame

I would like to make this gift guide in time for Easter (weekend 6th April), which would mean starting work on this w/c 13th February 2012 with a delivery date of leaflets to Designers on w/c 5th March, allowing enough time for people to distribute accordingly. It’s a very tight time scale of three weeks, from initial design, proofing and printing so I would need massive organisation and co-operation from everyone involved.

The spec

1. Produce a 24 printed page A5 gift guide.
2. Showcase 11 Designers – varied disciplines (no duplicates of products).
3. Each Designer will get a double page spread. Each spread will contain 10-12 products from each Designer.
4. The entire 24 page guide will be produced as an interactive brochure (hosted on my website).
5. Each Designer will get delivered 250 x high quality printed leaflet versions of their individual double page spread laid out as an A5 double sided leaflet. The full brochure will not be printed in its entirety due to prohibitive costs and wanting to keep it affordable for each Designer. Although, this may still be an option if enough people tell me they want a full printed brochure, so never say never.

The cost

The cost for the design work, printing and delivery will be around the £135-150* per Designer (*actual costs TBC).

This is a purely design and print project, each Designer will have to make their own arrangements for distribution and marketing. This would suit individuals or businesses that already have a mailing list of clients they can send out or those who attend regular fairs and exhibitions to utilise as a method of distribution of the leaflets.

What I will need from each Designer:

1. Logo artwork.
2. 10-12 high resolution professional products photography.
3. Summary copy/blurb about your business and a profile photo 🙂

If you think this is something that would suit your business/products I would love to hear from you. You can leave a comment below or you can drop me an email via the contact form.

Thanks again for your interest and taking the time to read this.

No such thing as too much orange

I love being a designer. I don’t get to travel around the world (yet) in my job, but I get to work with companies all around the world.

Most recently I was asked to work on a concept for a New Zealand ISP for their pre-pay site which was aimed at students. Their corporate colours are orange, grey and grey.

I was given free reign to go wild and wacky and so I thought, what is the opposite of funky and cool?

Flock wallpaper.

In orange.

Imagine my delight when they opt for that design. Sometimes clients just surprise me in the best sense of the word.


Quiet on the western front

I have been neglecting my blog and more importantly reading my blog roll, to the point that my google reader is having kittens at the amount of unread posts that is awaiting my attention.

The reason is a good one, I have been busy working on a couple of branding projects and even had a trip into the big smoke the other day for a client meeting. Alongside that, I have also been beavering away at a new idea for a business venture designing wedding monogram identities, stationery and websites – all rolled into one lovely package.

I have been inspired after visiting some wedding shows and seeing what is on offer for prospective bride and grooms and thinking , ‘hey, I could do that’. The proof will be in the pudding, or is it eating? I can never remember the saying, I just know it is something dessert related – the best kind.

Anyway, here is a little sneaky peeky at my stationery set, it is an invitation-come-pouch-holder, still has to past the ‘good taste test’ with my usual focus group before it can be unleashed on the unsuspecting public…


Christmas stationery giveaway

I am giving away a matching set of five christmas cards and five gift tags. The set has been digitally designed and produced by me and will probably be a limited edition (as I won’t have time to make many more of these – children, artisans fair, cake eating etc. all seem to get in the way – bah-humbug).

The cards are made of very pretty pearlised thick card with matching envelopes and the gift tags mounted on thick card with raffia ties.

To enter, just tell me what epitomises Christmas for you and feel free to spread the word by linking back to the giveaway on your own blog.

For me, Christmas is about food (surprise surprise) and logistics. It’s worrying about how many are coming for dinner and did I order a big enough bird. It’s also about watching my children tear into the wrapping paper and sometimes prefering the paper to what’s actually inside.

Closing date 18th September 09.

If you can’t wait and want some tags now now now, you can purchase a similar set from my folksy shop.


Commissioned invitations

The spaces for the next Made by Artisans fair in Peterborough is now pretty much fully booked up.

I am just so thrilled with the artists attending. I can pretty say that the quality is just outstanding and I hope that we have a good variety to interest everyone.

The next stage is the marketing and PR to the public and to the media. I have consulted with my PR guru and she has advised me on a game plan to lure in the interest of all those media lovies.

I have commissioned some original artwork and will be designing and sending out a beautiful invitation. I have already seen some sample mock ups of the invites and very excited. Will post some sneaky previews once the design has been agreed with the artist.

This is a flyer for the event which will be distributed as a little A6 handout.


Christmas in August? Say it isn’t so!

Don’t panic, I haven’t gone completely bonkers. I have had to dust out my elf hat though and get into the Christmas spirit as I am designing some posters for the Made by Artisans Christmas Fair. It’s very weird thinking about snowflakes and christmas trees and the festive spirit when it’s stinking hot outside and BBQ season.

Anyway, here is a rough design, I can’t decided on which colour palette I prefer. What is more Christmas-y, maybe I just need more eggnog…

UK Artist Diary 2010

A heads up for everyone.

There are a team of crafters, designers and artists getting together to create a UK Diary with contributions from artists around the country. This is being organised under the UKhandmade umbrella. If you would like to be involved in the planning and organisation (contributions will follow later) and have relevant skills (print, pr, marketing, design etc.) please contact Ann (Snowdrops and Daisies) via UKHandmade.