Clean lines, precise detailing and shapes galore – these are just a couple of visual reasons why these 18th century garden plans are our #mapofthemonth.

The park and garden were merged into one during the Georgian era. Features like the ha-ha (a stock-proof boundary invisible from the house) helped to achieve this stylised look. Other features, like the walled kitchen gardens were sited out of view or screened by the latest craze, the shrubbery.

The concept of the ‘landscape park’ was ultimately a British style which would influence gardens throughout Europe.
We know – they aren’t exactly maps! But the skill in the technical drawing compares with a beautifully drawn map by a professional cartographer (and we really do love our hand drawn maps here at The Way!)

‘A Plastic Ocean’ reviewed

A sparkling deep blue view of the ocean beneath the waves, the opening shot of the film – and an impactful one at that – and this, a fantastic quote to kick-start an emotional rollercoaster…

“…consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself?” – Moby Dick

I was fortunate enough to land a ticket to Bristol Media’s recent private viewing of A Plastic Ocean. I knew I’d find this film a hard watch and I knew what I was getting myself into. But still, it grabbed me in ways I couldn’t even imagine.

Jo Ruxton – what a lady. Working for the WWF in Asia for 7 years, before joining the BBC Natural History Unit as a Producer. Today, she is the co-founder of the Plastic Oceans Foundation and Producer of the film A Plastic Ocean.

Her ambition and drive was immediately apparent as she introduced the film. Eight years in the making, she never gave up her dream of getting this film out into the public domain. And it’s paid off – going live on Netflix next week and ready to buy and download from the website. However, awareness is just the tip of the iceberg. Action is needed, now.

‘More than eight million tons of plastic is dumped into the sea every year.’

Just one of the horrifying stats revealed in the film, and one that is simply incomprehensible. You can’t even put it into context or imagine how, or more importantly, why this happening.

This is one of the reasons I believe this film is a game changer. Forcing us to ask these questions and not only demanding answers but also solutions. The realisation that we can’t keep being supplied with an idealistic view of nature; holiday brochures, TV Ads and even nature documentaries – they are all guilty of shading us from what is the reality of beaches and rivers full of plastic bottles.

“I’m positive, because it’s better than the alternative.” – Tanya Streeter, Champion Freediver and Plastic Oceans Foundation Ambassador

Hope is an emotion I didn’t think I’d feel after watching this film considering the amount of hard-hitting content it provided. However, the projects and initiatives shown at the end of the film tackling this monstrous problem are simply incredible.

To list a few:






Once the credits arrived, I don’t think there was a dry cheek in the house. The feeling of being in a room of passionate people, watching something so momentous, was just incredible.

After the credits, Jo Ruxton came back to the front and did a Q&A of the film.

Obviously, the response was overwhelmingly positive. There were quite a few filmmakers there and the praise for the production was sky-high. I still think we should have given her a standing ovation!

However, there was another prominent feeling in the room, frustration. It was palpable from some people – the lack of knowing how to go about tackling this problem as an individual.

Jo’s responses were pretty straightforward:

Spread the word and demand change.

There was an overall suggestion in the film that the ‘bottom up’ approach was possible – that maybe legislation wasn’t the only route to change.

There was a point in the film focussing on supermarket food packaging. The discussion turned to how maybe a way of combating this was taking your food out of the packaging and leaving it in the supermarket to deal with – can you imagine if everyone did this in one hour, or a day or a week in a supermarket?! There would be mountains of plastic for them to sort out. But the message is a strong one, it has to provoke a knee-jerk reaction.

She said that this was an extreme case. But another less dramatic method that could be initiated by individuals could be a plastic free aisle – like a lot of health food shops are now doing. Once the demand for this is strong from individuals who shop there, there is also pressure for the supermarket to open another plastic free aisle with more products, and another, and another, so on and so on.

I could go on and on about the questions that were asked. But overall, Jo took some pretty hard questions and dealt with them in a professional, concise but caring manner. I was seriously impressed.

After leaving the screening, I felt slightly shell-shocked. And all the stats, images and questions were spinning around in my head. But one slice of information really stuck with me…

‘Plastic pollution now reaches virtually every part of the planet. One of the most observable changes on the planet in the last 50 years has been ‘the ubiquity and abundance of plastic debris. It is likely that in the first ten years of this century we have used more plastic than we did during the whole of the last.’

And despite the fact my mind felt like it was racing at a hundred miles per hour, one thing was crystal clear. We need change, and we need it now.

Reviewed by Becky Root






Navigating yourself around a new city can be daunting enough – add a set of wheels into the mix, and it can be ever more confusing and intimidating.

No more! These pocket sized, beautifully but fuctionally designed guides from Rapha banish the big, clunky fold out maps.

Every guide is illustrated by individual artists to give each book and city a unique aesthetic. Providing locations, destinations and experiences all designed in functional layouts – they’re a visual dream.

So far Rapha have released eight guides for the following locations:

• Amsterdam
• Antwerp/ Ghent
• Barcelona
• Berlin
• Copenhagen
• London
• Milan
• Paris

We’d love it if that they designed a guide for every city in the world… however that would mean 4,416 guides! Here’s hoping!






Botanical gardens – Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Last month, I had the most wonderful opportunity to visit the isle of Sri Lanka. With its array of wildlife, stunning temples and tasty food – I was in cultural heaven!

As part of my trip I visited the country’s Royal Botanical Gardens. I was simply blown away by the colourful, huge and diverse trees and plants on show. It really was a real treat for all the senses.

I chose the garden’s guide map for this month’s MOTM for both simplicity and detail:


• The key areas are highlighted by the bold numbers, which are easily found in the legend – this allowed us to create our own route around the garden.


• Beautifully hand-illustrated – you can grasp a feel for the garden before you even step foot in it!


I urge anyone to visit this stunning place. And don’t forget to pick up a map if you do!








Can interpretation change the world?

Belfast Conference review
13 October 2016
“Can Interpretation Change the World?” – The Art of Making a Difference

Belfast 5th to 7th October 2016

This was my first Aautumn-newsletter-carousel3HI Conference, and I approached the rather impressive Hilton Belfast with a sense of trepidation, uncertain about the coming few days and whether a newbie like myself would be out of my depth, bored to tears, or both.I needn’t have worried.

At the initial workshop event, the eminent and rhymingly-monikered Sam Ham, Professor Emeritus and all round Guru put everyone at ease with his opening statement “I know what you’re all thinking: Did my parents have a sense of humour?” and we were off.This really set the tone of the conference; deep knowledge lightly worn (with a sense of humour), happily and openly shared with all comers.

The papers and conversations over the next two days built on this. The conference sponsors (Mark Leslie from Martello Media and Andrew Todd from Tandem) used their papers not for any hard sell, but to highlight the challenges, pitfalls and opportunities in interpreting aspects of Irish History through their recent exhibition work. It was a pleasure to hear about live projects that were so cleverly, sensitively and impressively realised.

Other more academic papers were no less inspiring. Sam Ham effortlessly demonstrated why he’s held in such high regard all over the world, prowling and eyeing the room delivering thought-bombs like “Everyone is capable of doing the ‘right thing’ – but for their own reasons”.

Dr Antonietta Jimenez came all the way from Mexico to talk about recognising universal, shared human values in ancient cultures, developing the theme to a conclusion that came across something like ‘mankind constructs and uses stories as group therapy to cope with crises’, which blew me away.

Apologies I haven’t mentioned all the papers; all are deserving of mention and all (at least) provoked thought and inspired action, even if that action was only to babble incoherently about them over dinner with similarly enthused and inspired delegates.

Oh and we managed to squeeze in a couple of in-depth, exclusive, behind the scenes tours of the incredible Titanic Experience and the Ulster Museum.

autumn-newsletter-carousel2I can’t wait to take my place amongst the seasoned conference veterans next year, attempting to follow the example set to me this year by being as warm, welcoming, enthusiastic and thought provoking as possible…

Thanks to all the AHI trustees and organisers

Howard Swift





Chantelle’s way

Starting off my industry experience, I really couldn’t have hoped for a better time here at The Way Design.

For the past two weeks I have been so lucky to have been involved with such exciting projects. It has been so refreshing to work on live briefs and in-house work, not to mention how useful it has been to see how briefs are tackled in the studio! My lettering and illustration skills have been put to good use too; drawing headings for ‘The Way Findings’ newsletter – this was really enjoyable and allowed me to draw in different styles of hand-lettering.


In amongst all the beautiful weather in Bristol last week, one rainy, grey day led me and Becky to a yummy lunch time at ‘Pieminister’, just what was needed. A lovely sunny day this week meant we were able to go on a little trip to Westonbirt, which was really beautiful! I’ve never been before so it was an exciting site visit to see a work in progress project for the team.


I have learnt so much from India, Becky and Howard and can’t thank them enough for having me join their team for the past couple of weeks. It’s a daunting prospect coming out of university but it was quashed by such an enjoyable and incredible experience!

Thank you lots and lots!!

Ed and Becky go down to the woods

Earlier this week I was asked to go along with Becky on a site visit to Westonbirt. The National Arboretum contains a stunning mix of trees from native oaks to Japanese acers and even some award winning trees.

Our visit started with a walk to the Tree Management Centre where we saw photographed the amazing interpretation piece The Way Design team had designed. The piece was difficult to shoot because of its location and the sun position but every good photographer should be able to think on their feet (or tummy in my case!) and adapt to the conditions. I decided that the best shot was going to be found by lying on the floor inside a tire tunnel. After rolling around on the floor looking down the viewfinder; probably looking like a lost seal looking for a way back to the sea, I found the shot and captured the image we had spent so long looking for.

Blog photo 1

Next we went to Silk Wood over the amazing Treetop Walkway. Whilst on the treetop walkway you feel at one with the Arboretum and get to see the trees from a whole new angle. Silk Wood was vast woodland with lots of winding paths through it. We also saw how the trees are grown to promote good growth and maximize their reproduction.

Finally, we explored the Old Arboretum where we were dwarfed by the huge trees ­– walking down Lime Avenue felt like going down a giants drive! The trees were all varied in colour and all had a slightly different look to them. I was amazed how many different varieties of tree were in such a small area. There was also a tree that particularly stood out because of its bright yellowy green leaves.

Blog photo 2

As my time with The Way Design comes to an end, I realised how much I have learnt about the creative industry and what clients really want. I would like to thank India, Howard, Becky and of course Betsy (the office dog) for allowing me to come and work with them, it’s been awesome!



This month map comes from Britain’s king of mapping – The Ordance Survey.

This beautiful data map was created by Charley Glynn, one of their cartographic designers. Charley extracted all of the public route information and created a series of stunning data visualisations to showcase town and city route favourites.

People who created routes for their outdoors adventures had logged almost every bit of British coastline. It neatly frames the rest of the data and gives the illusion you are looking at a map of Great Britain. The darker, thicker areas illustrate the higher concentration of routes and reveal popularity.

We love the fact this map gives a completely new view of Britain, with our National Parks playing the key role.

You can see a full list of the most popular cities and towns below.


Top 10 cities and towns and number of routes

Keswick – 1746

Ambleside – 1619

Guildford – 1146

City of Westminster – 1129

Richmond upon Thames – 1099

Winchester – 1089

Leeds – 1072

Sheffield – 1043

Bath – 1041

Bakewell – 1006








Checklist to artworking perfection…

Artworking your piece of design for print can seem like a daunting prospect at times – it can be a fiddly old business and there’s always a worry that you may have missed something. Have no fear! We have collated a checklist for you to use and feel confident when you hit the send button to print.

Artworking checklist







We’ve decided to come a little closer to home with this #mapofthemonth.

Our top two Bristol maps include:

1. A mind-bogglingly beautiful hand-drawn map from the super talented Gareth Wood. We feel this encapsulates Bristol’s quirkiness and highlights the Brizzle hotspots in a unique way. If you can, check out his London map too, it’s ace.

2. In contrast, this extremely useful wayfinding map has got many a tourist out of a pickle – with its clear roads, place names, parks and icons. We think this is a example of great urban cartography from City ID.

It’s a double thumbs up from us!


Wayfinding map



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