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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!

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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!

Copper load of this!

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A large part of our work goes unseen. You wouldn’t think it of a design agency. This is because some of our larger projects are often Round 1 or Round 2 bids for the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), so it’s all very hush hush until we hear the outcome and can share the news.

Last year, we were involved with such a Round 2 bid to secure funding for the restoration and interpretation of the Coniston Copper Mines and Penny Rigg area in the Lake District National Park.

Following a successful tender, we worked alongside Lisa at Minerva Heritage, the chosen interpretation consultant, to help support the development of the interpretation plan for the site in order to submit the Round 2 proposals.

Well we’re thrilled to finally announce that the hard work paid off and the project has now secured Round 3 funding which covers implementation. This is great news for the site and all the volunteers involved as it means the somewhat crumbling archaeology can be saved and visits to the site promoted, further enriching the tourist offer and increasing knowledge of the area and its history.

We developed the site brand, creating a guidelines document to help steer the look and feel as it goes through implementation, as well as promotional event materials and visuals for digital elements.

A key part of the plan was visualising the site interpretation which needed to withstand harsh winters and summers, grazing livestock and rock falls! So we chose low-lying interpretation which could be built up and enforced using the local materials to hand.

See more of our work for this project on our portfolio page. Or you can find out about the project bid here. There is currently a call for volunteers from all backgrounds and experiences, so if you’re local and want to get involved, get in touch via archvol@lakedistrict.gov.uk.

 

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#MapoftheMonth

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.

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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

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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

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#MapoftheMonth

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!

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Wayfinding map

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