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.

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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.

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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!


Ed goes walkabout in Bristol

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My name is Ed – I am an aspiring photographer from York and love going into town taking street photos and telling stories through my images. I am spending two weeks interning with The Way Design to experience the real world creative industry. I have really enjoyed my time here so far, despite being Betsy the office dog’s new favourite toy!

So there I was, standing on a busy Bristol street after disembarking my bus. It was a feeling that I could only describe as if I was Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon for the first time. Although, in reality it was only one small step off a bus it really felt like a giant leap. Suddenly I found myself alone in an alien city with nothing but my trusty camera bag and a tourist map with a highlighted route marked on. India had selected some places for me to visit and explore the city including local attractions.

Once I had worked out where I was, I aimed for the Christmas Steps. This seemed like it would be a simple task as it was so close to where I started. Little did I know that the distraction of a new place to photograph and confusion of road and building work would throw me off course so much! I suddenly found myself standing on the Harbourside looking over to the M Shed. I had no idea how I had managed to get there but decided to explore the next attraction on my list.

The M Shed was fantastic! It was lovely to learn a bit about the history of Bristol and see how it has changed over time. Around the M Shed there were some fantastic photo opportunities with some amazing riverside railway tracks and other industrial equipment.

Next, I visited Underfall Yard. I had a good look around the visitor centre where I learnt how they control the river and keep the industrial and residential properties safe. There is also a fantastic water taxi service that can take you across Bristol via the Avon so I decided to take advantage of it to get back to the city centre.

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After that I went to explore the streets more and really focus on getting some photos. After walking around aimlessly looking for some interesting subjects, I stumbled across a dark, grimy alley. Now dark alleyways are my usual stomping ground in York, however being in a new city I had no idea what I would find. I cautiously entered and was immediately blown away by the quality of the graffiti, or street art as I like to call it. The artwork ranged from a really detailed image of Charles Darwin to crudely painted images with powerful statements plastered all over them. I was really in awe of one piece of art which was an angry looking wolf, hand drawn with biro on a wooden panel. I saw it and instantly fell in love with the piece and had to get a photo that would do it justice. Moving further down the street I was suddenly greeted by the darker side of the alley. The floor suddenly became littered with needles and rubbish. It was at this point I realised I didn’t really want to hang around there too long!

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To finish my trip, I decided to visit the local camera shops and browse the range of brand new cameras. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I wanted ALL of it. But I was especially happy to try out the brand new D500 which I can only wish for.

After fantasising about future camera equipment, I finally decided it was time to head home and I made my way back to the bus.

You can check out more of my photos and find out more on my Flickr, Instagram and Facebook pages. #ExploringBristol

So much to Do

The Do Lectures, Wales, 2016.

In July I was fortunate enough to be one of the attendees at the Do Lectures in Wales. It’s a cross between a small festival, a networking event, a series of lectures, workshops and a professional and personal development course.

We camped in bell tents, ate glorious local food, enjoyed inspiring talks, great live music and discussed everything under the sun with new friends by the camp fire long into the nights.


great Speakers

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I won’t go through every wonderful talk, you’ll be able to see them all online in the near future, but here are some of my speaker highlights:

  • Kicking things off on Thursday was Mr Bingo with his eclectic, impassioned talk, ‘29 Things I’ve Learnt’ covering how he makes a living out of vulgar drawings, rap videos and charging people for insults.
  • Later on, Daniela Papi-Thornton spoke about ‘Tackling Heropreneurship’. A tantalising insight into social businesses and entrepreneurs working towards social change, the pitfalls and psychology of impact and effective change. I wrote pages and pages of notes on that one so I’m still processing it!

Friday went by in a blur of phenomenal speakers, which included:

  • Michael Burne of Carbon Law Partners talking about how the legal system is broken and how his company is going about changing it.
  • Severine Von Tsarner-Fleming of Agrarian Trust, a fascinating woman with a passion for communal farming and bringing commoning and community back to the next generation of farmers in the States.
  • Will and Guy from the British Pilgrimage Trust. Two blokes who are single-handedly trying to resurrect the art of pilgrimage in the UK (Will having unsuccessfully tried to make a living previously as a travelling minstrel) and brought their unique ‘double-act’ to Do. Speaking about their four-day pilgrimage to the sea from the source of the River Teifi, via the Do Lectures for the weekend, the people they met, things they learnt and history they discovered along the way.
  • Stephen Russell, the Barefoot Doctor, blew everyone away with his positivity, Taoist approach and loving confidence. Ending with ‘Essentially, everyone just wants to be loved. Even bigots.’

Saturday continued with excellent speakers, starting with:

  • Chris Sheldrick of What3Words, the universal addressing system giving a viable address to every three square metres on the planet using just three words. A phenomenal mapping system changing the way businesses work, improving the lives of nomads, how emergency services access people in crowds, helping people find their friends and driving social and economic development in countries all around the world.
  • Heather Le Fevre, author of Brain Surfing, whose talk and separate workshop on reciprocal generosity I attended, is a global-based American strategist. The take-away lesson learnt from her talk was that ‘Everything we need to know is in other people. You just need to ask.’ And to always bear in mind the Ratio of Help; Offer 2: Ask 1.
  • Holley Murchison of Oratory Glory followed. An astounding person and inspiring soul who spoke about owning your voice, leading with love and leaving your mark.
    I attended her workshop before the talk which was ‘The Art of Making a Great Introduction’. So now, rather than asking what people do when I meet them, I’ll ask what they’re passionate about. It’s a much more interesting conversation to have with someone new!


new opportunities and adventures

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One of the best parts of Do was having the opportunity to meet and discuss with the speakers and other attendees over dinner and evening drinks. I used this opportunity to have a more in depth chat with Will of British Pilgrimage Trust as well as Michael of Carbon Law Partners and others. There are certainly lots of people whom I plan to stay in touch with and may hopefully work with in the future.

On the final morning at 7am, I was fortunate to join Will and Guy and a small group of Doers for the last leg of their pilgrimage to the coast. It was an enjoyable couple of hours; singing an old folk song to a yew tree, pausing for thought at a ruined abbey, discovering hidden wells and the meaning of Mount Joy. We questioned a blessing stone, sampled samphire on the beach and paddled in the waves at the end of our journey. There is so much hidden heritage on Britain’s public footpaths and byways and I’d love to do it again sometime, some place new.

I met many amazing people at Do Lectures and have since been in touch with a handful of them, particularly the Bristol cohort of which there were quite a few! I left feeling inspired, enriched and with a very, very long To Do List. One of which was to write this blog post. So at least that’s one thing finally done!

Interpreting the Tree Team

The project

April saw the official launch of the final phase of the Westonbirt Project. The project started with the 2014 opening of the Welcome Building and new parking facilities, and finished with the building of new areas at Westonbirt – the STIHL Treetop Walkway and the Wolfson Tree Management Centre (comprising the mess room and machinery store). If you’ve not been to Westonbirt Arboretum, or haven’t been for a while, now may be a good time to discover it!

We thought it might be useful to share our experience and the process from concept through to completion…


The brief

We were tasked with creating an engaging, low-tech interpretation area for visitors to learn about the work of the Tree Team and to connect them further with trees through a deeper understanding of what it takes to care for a living collection.





Following a site meeting to discuss the project, the concept went through various phases of development, taking into consideration the stakeholders involved in the project. Here you can see how it developed from our earlier initial sketch through to the approved final design.

The team were keen to use the skills of a local artist from the start and so following concept approval we briefed in Jody Thomas to visualise the elements (bottom pic).




Working with Antomic Woodworking on the production and build; they measured, cut and base painted the elements, built the frame to hold it all together and designed, cut and built the interactives. The flat sheets (made from 18mm Tricoya) were then delivered to Jody’s studio for spraying.




On a freezing day in December, Antomic installed the project on site. The following day they installed the panels then we went along with Jody to meet Antomic and the Westonbirt team to spray the back and do the finishing touches.

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Part of the project also included design and production of a Hotspot sign in their house style to guide visitors from the main path through to the interpretation area.


Following the build and finish, the interpretation area can now be viewed by visitors. It includes a toolbox which is changed regularly and allows people to see smaller items which the Tree Team use, as well as a blackboard which is updated monthly by the team so visitors can see them at work around the arboretum and will know what they’re up to and a ‘book’ which gives further details about the science behind their work.




The official opening ceremony was held at the end of April when the walkway, mess room and machinery store were officially opened by Ellie Harrison of BBC’s Countryfile.

You can see a summary and finished photos of this project on our portfolio page.

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Recommended Agency Status

We’re chuffed to bits to have just achieved Recommended Agency Status. Only possible thanks to our wonderful clients who’ve said some lovely things about us.

The Recommended Agency Register is a database of design and advertising agencies whose clients have recommended them above the benchmark required. And it’s a pretty high benchmark too! Clients use the database to find agencies they can trust and agencies use it to stand out and attract new clients.

Thank you again to all our clients who’ve helped get us here.

We’re recruiting!

Creative, outdoorsy and want to live in the best city in Britain*?

We’re looking for an exceptional all-round graphic designer to join our small team, in a role that has the potential to become something amazing.

At The Way we specialise in engaging, useful design for print, brands and interpretation. We’re pretty new as a business, but have an enviable client list including national parks and forests… and we’re growing fast! We create everything from complete brands to magazines and newsletters, visitor guides, interpretation, signage and wayfinding systems, mapping and illustrations, marketing campaigns and reports.

In this new role, we’re looking for a self-motivated graphic designer to join us at our office in Bristol. You should have at least five years’ experience working in house or agency side in a fast-paced studio, where you’ve gained proven experience in running projects end-to-end. Being both creative and an accurate artworker, you should have the confidence to take briefs and present your ideas to clients, from concept stage through to delivery.

Experience working in interpretation, the public sector, museums and heritage – and a love of the great outdoors – is a big plus.

Must have:
• A great portfolio showing your creativity and breadth of project experience
• Expert Adobe CC skills
• Print process knowledge
• Conceptual thinking and scamping
• High standards of execution
• Excellent communication skills
• Design degree or equivalent
• A desire to get involved and push the business forward

We’re looking for someone who will help our business grow, winning pitches while keeping up with day-to-day work (and hopefully having a lot of fun too).

If this sounds like you, email telling us what you can bring to the business, plus your salary expectations. Please attach your CV and a PDF of your three best pieces of work.

Salary negotiable, dependent on experience. Benefits include 25 days’ annual holiday and CPD. Flexible working and reduced hours also considered.

Deadline for applications: 6 March, 2015.

Interviews will be held in Bristol city centre on 16 March. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

See the full ad here.

*It says so here

South West agency The Way Design joins the Design Business Association

Bristol-based design agency The Way Design have just been granted membership to the Design Business Association (DBA).

With only 450 members nationwide of which 48% are London based, The Way Design joins a select group of agencies, meeting the standards required. The DBA is the trade organisation for the UK design industry, focused on promoting professional excellence and building productive partnerships between commerce and the design industry. The association champions effective design, communicating its value and the impact it can have on business performance.

India Rabey Director said, “We’re thrilled to become members of the DBA. Their ethos and focus on professional excellence matches well with our belief in creating engaging and useful design for brands, print and interpretation. With DBA membership we aim to bring these values and skills to a wider audience.”

The Way Design is a relative newcomer having formed in September, 2014. From their offices in North Bristol, they specialise in design for outdoors and heritage visitor attractions as well as printed media, they’ve successfully carved a niche in a digital-heavy industry and are expanding rapidly, taking on two members of staff and a second base in Yorkshire within a few months.

John Scarrott, Membership Director of the DBA, comments, “We are thrilled to welcome The Way Design to the DBA. There are many design businesses working in the UK and producing fantastic work. A particular focus for the DBA is to attract those creative businesses that work to a set of business values that benefit them and their clients. We look forward to supporting The Way Design on their journey. ”

Editor notes:

For further information please contact India Rabey, The Way Design Director,, 0117 9898 206
For further information on the DBA please visit their website:

The Way to sponsor Discover Heritage Awards category

The Association for Heritage Interpretation is re-launching its prestigious awards for interpretation projects in Britain and Ireland.

The Discover Heritage Awards – for excellence in cultural and natural heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland will be the only awards for all kinds of heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland where professional interpreters visit and judge the shortlisted entrants to choose the winners.

We are proud to announce that The Way Design will be sponsoring the Landscapes Category which covers forests, nature reserves, parks and gardens. We like to think of ourselves as especially knowledgeable in that field.

We’re pretty pleased that this means we’ll get a seat at the gala dinner awards ceremony at the 2015 AHI Conference, and possibly get to meet Loyd Grossman. More importantly though we’re delighted that our support will contribute towards the training and mentoring of interpreters in site evaluation – so helping to develop the profession for the future.

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