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Experts in graphic design and branding
for retail & lifestyle businesses

+44 (117) 949 3020


September 2016

Women in Innovation Awards

Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency – driving the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. Just Design was engaged to develop a brand for ‘infocus’; a new initiative to encourage diversity in innovation. Alongside this we developed a campaign for the 'Women in innovation awards’ which offered support to businesswomen with the potential to be successful entrepreneurs and leaders. We delighted to say that this was (apparently) Innovate UK's most successful competition ever; an unexpectedly high number of expressions of interest. The scope of this ‘quick turnaround’ project ranged from naming to brochures and animated web banners (watch it here) and it was great to have the opportunity to employ the copyrighting expertise of Sharon Tanton from Valuable Content!

July 2016

We're in the movies...

Well, sort of! The lovely people at DoubleshotTV just created a lovely little film for us using purely an Iphone – and obviously their brilliant creativity and skill to edit it into 1 minute 39 seconds. Adrian did all the talking – for a change! We hope it gives you a little bit of insight into us, and that you like it! Watch now>

March 2016

Insider's Guide to Independent + Creative Bristol

Two years hard work and finally our map + guide is in the shops! We've been working with a small team from the West of England Design Forum to put together this illustrated map and guide to - in our opinions - the best bits of Bristol. There's no advertising or paid for listings. All of the entries have been curated by our small team of Bristol creatives. Here's just a taster of how it looks. We've also built a website so that you can find out more. We hope you like it!! bristolguide.info

January 2016

In the City… (thanks to Paul Weller for title!)

Did you know that there’s a thriving design community going on in this city? And that we are right at the heart of it?! The West of England Design Forum put on talks every few months at the Arnolfini which always sell-out, we are running courses with D&AD, and our newly designed website has loads of interesting articles: one from our business adviser Chris Thurling, and another about copyright from Withy King – both illustrated by Adrian. We are also involved in an exciting new promotional piece which we are keeping under wraps for another month or so – watch this space!

November 2015

Beyond Friday…

Happy Friday! Here's a quick post and a couple of snaps at the end of a busy week about a cafe we've just finished branding: Beyond the Wall. We've loved working on this project and hope it will be beyond success for its owner! Currently Adrian is working on designing the barriers for the exterior - we'll have more pics to show you when it's finished finally with everything in place. BTW: it's just off Millenium Square if you're passing and fancy a good coffee and a healthy but yummy cake!

October 2015

A new identity for a Sixth form

Sixth form is about providing building blocks to discover who you are in the world. This new identity needed a really bold approach, one that would inspire but we didn’t want to pretend to be 'down wiv the kidz…!’ Our solution is flexible, playful, crisp and professional… And, on the suggestion of the Executive Headteacher, we got to use Gills favourite colour: green!

October 2015

Bristol Mental Health - understanding the user experience

Our latest piece of design for Bristol Mental Health is a Directory of Services. A tiny piece of print with big ambitions: provide an accessible guide to the 13 mental health services featured, plenty of information, a look interesting enough to attract attention AND make the varied target groups pick one up. Our customer at BMH reported back: "Everyone absolutely LOVED the directories – they were played with, read, scribbled on, stolen, talked about and generally admired … long time coming but it really hit the spot!” We've done our job!

October 2015

Spaces for Dementia – listening, consulting, trialling…

We were delighted to be awarded a project with Willis Newson and Southmead Hospital to produce work for the dementia wards. The designs need to engage those in hospital in both early and late stages of dementia, and also their carers and families. We haven’t yet supplied the final designs – we’ve been listening, consulting and trialling designs… talking with experienced staff, patients and families – we’ve had to keep evolving our initial thoughts – putting the right solution above what will just look nice…

September 2015

Secondary school prospectuses (not prospecti apparently!)

Hot-off-the-press this month is our latest prospectus for Downend School and our first publication for Mangotsfield school. We art directed the photography before the summer hols – always a challenge to genuinely capture a school's environment and the energy of the students without too many silly faces! – but everybody’s delighted with the results. We’re already underway with more work with Mangotsfield and looking forward to seeing the same positive effects for the school as our work has achieved at Downend.

August 2015

Crest Nicholson, Honda and Japan…

Here we are in a very wet, dark August – although it makes it much easier to work when Gill isn't able to sit in the sun! Lately we've produced a map of Bristol city centre for Crest Nicholson, some showroom DVD artwork for Honda, and we're about to start work on another book for our friend, photographer Paul Bullivant – we produced a book last year for him all about Japan.

July 2015

Happy New Year...

"What?! In July?!" ... Well, we've just taken delivery of the 2016 Bristol Impressions Calendar. Our design has been very well received; the gift buyer from Foyles bookshop complimented us on it’s beautiful design. Other stockists will include the Mshed, the ss Great Britain shop and Bristol Guild. Now is actually the best time time to be thinking about Christmas and New Year promotions – after many years of designing calendars we can produce one for your business very cost effectively. Call us to chat through how we could improve the impression of your business!

July 2015

2B or not?

We've been working on the new season brochure for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Adrian has created these fab illustrations for their next Shakespeare production; including some nifty photoshopping of an old engraving to cheer up the Bard, plus some ‘old skool’ drawings of all things Shakespearean. I think they would all make fab tattoos – any takers?!

July 2015

John Perkins Construction brand book

We've just received copies of the 'on-boarding' brand book we created for John Perkins Construction. I love working with their colours and it's great to see them doing so well after years of working with them. We've been doing lots of updates to the website and they've been winning lots of new work – a perfect partnership!

July 2015

Words, words, words…

We're very privileged to work with lots of really talented wordsmiths. Copywriter Lindsay Camp has been sharpening up our elevator pitch – and left us with a copy of his fab book about the art of persuasive writing; ‘Can I change your mind’. Our friends Sonja and Sharon over at Valuable Content have just realeased the second edition of their book. And yesterday we met with Made in Bristol TV about creating a commercial for Sofa Magic, so we'll be working with long time collaborator Liz Davidson pretty soon on the script… Exciting!

July 2015

Shaun in the knitty welcomes visitors to the city!

Ewe might have heard about Bristol's next big sculpture trail launching on 6th July, with #shauninthecity. Visitors coming to Bristol through Temple Meads station have already had a sneak peak of 'Knitwit', designed and painted by Adrian. Knitwit will be on show on Castle Park shauninthecity until the end of August. More Shaun news next week! Baaaaad jokes a plenty…!

June 2015

CRO, SxSW, BBMN and WEDF – acronyms are us!

This month we've been busy keeping up to date and getting more connected! We learnt about website conversion rate optimisation at the Applied Behavioural Science Group, got insights into digital innovation at SxSW from Chris Thurling at BBMN, and picked up some innovative approaches to brand development from top London agency, Moving Brands, at the West of England Design Forum. WEDF is a key professional network for design in the South West and it’s where we put a lot of our ‘off duty' energy – Gill is the Treasurer and Adrian is Vice-Chair. wedesignforum.co.uk

June 2015

The camera never lies

We were styling and art directing for Sofa Magic again last week, bringing a bit of glamour to their fabulous summer offer. We needed to find a cool interior for their crazy mulitcoloured creation, designed to show the colour ways available, and also a sumptuous teal sofa. What always amazes me on a shoot is what a difference using our professional photographer, Jesse, makes. The images below on my mac are our two shots side-by-side – amazing!

May 2015

Paris for charity, Marbella for sun, and erm jugs...

Two lovely bank holidays in May. For the first one, Adrian joined around 70 others and cycled 430kms from Bristol to Paris over 4 days and raised over £100,000 for the Above and Beyond Golden Gift Appeal. For the second one, Gill went and sat in the sun in Marbella – very nice too! In the middle of the month, Gill had her first (almost) ceramics commission (whoo-hooo) to throw some jugs for a small gallery – watch this space!

April 2015

Our sunny studio

April has been busy working on ideas, credentials pitches – fingers crossed! – and lots of getting out and about and meeting new people. Consequently we've not had time to photograph any of our latest work! So here's a snap of some new posters for Sofa Magic and Adrian hard at work in our #sunny #studio! Happy May Bank Holiday!

March 2015

Infographic of the month...

We have been getting an increasing number of requests to create images, icons and ideas for infographics and data visualisation so Adrian has prepared this tongue-in-cheek guide to this dynamic data-driven world - we hope you’ll find it helpful.

March 2015

Spring shoot of reupholstery for Sofa Magic

Thankfully it was a sunny day last week as we got a new campaign underway for Sofa Magic. Thanks to all the local shops on Coldharbour road for their help. New reupholstery ads and micro-site coming soon!

December 2014

Final blog post for 2014

Just a quick thank you to everyone who's kept us busy this year! And to our brilliant suppliers too. We're away until 5th January, giving Adrian time to finish his brilliant Shaun the Sheep, and me time to ponder on my next project! Happy Christmas All! xx

October 2014

Day trip to (that) London

Gill went to London last week to visit the studio of Louisa Taylor, award winning ceramicist, writer and lecturer. She's just completed some gorgeous work for the Conran shop – fabulous colours and shapes, and, drying nicely, waiting to be biscuit fired, were a ton of little jugs – she makes it all look so easy! We're starting work on her new branding and website any time now – watch this space!

October 2014

From Post-16 to Sixth Form

We've just completed some more work for Downend School, changing the look of the Sixth Form, and helping communicate the plan for the building work happening in the Sixth Form block to potential new students and their parents and carers – looking forward to going back and taking a look!

September 2014

Our bits on the side (fnarr fnarr)...

Last week was busy with our side projects! Adrian created an image for Artcrank, a worldwide poster party for bike people, while I went off to West Dean college for a few days learning how to throw porcelain in the most gorgeous of settings. Here's his poster silkscreen printed in yummy metallic ink, some of my wobbly pots and the view from my room at West Dean – I think the white spots are sheep!!

September 2014

Day trip to Mostyn

We've just been up to the wilds(!) of North Wales for a new project working with Mostyn Gallery. Very excited! The gallery has such an amazing history and what a gorgeous place, old and new all mixed up to create a fabulous space. The gallery pic below is the one everyone takes – apparently – and not surprisingly! They also have a nice line in chairs!

August 2014

Magical Mallorca (again...)

We're very sad to have just come back from Mallorca. What a fab hol and what an amazing place - still surprises me at every turn even though I've been there so many times! Hoping to open the first Apenas Diseño España office soon – in my dreams!

August 2014

Bristol Impressions Calendar

Adrian has designed and produced the Bristol Impressions Calendar as a side project for a few years. Working with other local artists, the calendar is selling out faster and faster every year! Here's a preview hot off the press of the 2015 version. This year, Adrian illustrated various local galleries for his page in the calendar – including our workspace at Spike Island.

Illustrations of buildingsillustration of a building

July 2014

LOVE Sofa Magic!

I love popping into Sofa Magic – preferably while the shop is busy and the staff otherwise engaged! Then I get time to browse fabric books and tassles and curtain poles and ooo all manner of lovely tactile stuff! Popping in always gives me ideas – either for their next bit of marketing – or my next house project!

July 2014

Day at the seaside #2

Another day out in this fantatic weather. This time over the bridge to Wales. No need to organise the rocks in Southerndown...

July 2014

Vespa joy!

Finally, after far too many years of lusting... I've bought a Vespa! Next thing to do was pass the basic training. Tick. Next is learning to ride. Tick. Erm kind of...! If you see (you'll hear it first!) a green and white Vespa scooting around Bristol, steer well clear – It might be me! If it's Adrian scooting you'll be fine!

June 2014

Bristol Mental Health launch

For the past month or so we've been working on branding for 'Bristol Mental Health'. 19 local organisations are coming together, city-wide, to deliver mental health services in Bristol in a new way. Tuesday was the public launch and consultation. We went along to see how our banners and leaflets looked. We’re delighted that our design was so well received by the large number of groups involved.

June 2014

Day at the seaside #1

You can take the designer out of the studio...but you can't take the...erm...well...desire to create clean lines and organise out of the designer! Fab day out in the sushine at Ogmore.

April 2014

Marrakech magic!

We've just come back from Marrakech – what a place! – when can we return?! The highlight for me (apart from the local rosé and the sunshine, oh and the shopping...) was the Jardin Majorelle, designed and built by artist Jaques Majorelle and later saved from hotel developers by Yves St Laurent in 1980. The garden was gorgeous and housed a gallery with some graphic prints by St Laurent. Joyous! Oh and #nofilter

March 2014

Tutto Italiano: new look and feel for a languages magazine

We've just received copies of a new magazine we've designed for learners of Italian. We hope it has the 'feel' of Italy from a British perspective: colours, choice of font and symbols all relating to a visit to Italy a couple of years ago; thoughts, too, of neopolitan ice-cream – though there's not much chocolate, strawberry or vanilla in the final printed copy! A lovely job to work on and I'm sure my comprehension of Italian has improved already by the copies sitting on my desk - ciao!

March 2014

Growing investments...

Not quite a case of 'money growing on trees' but apparently there's money in trees! Kemia, a finance company Adrian has worked with for a number of years, are now investing in teak – so we devised and illustrated a tall thin tree for a tall thin leaflet and a long thin website to show potential growth...

Visit website >  

March 2014

Limetree PR branding

We've just finished this little mailer for a PR company in Manchester. Adrian designed a fab logo and identity a few yeas ago. This mailer is straight to the point content wise. And what a brilliant colour to work with!

February 2014

Bristol talks cancer launch

I've just been to the launch of the Bristol talks cancer campaign at City Hall, learnt more about cancer prevention and early detection, seen some familiar faces and took some snaps of our design work in place and in action! March 2014 is ovarian cancer awareness month. And our website for the campaign went live today too.

Visit website > 

January 2014

Happy New Year! What a week...

Happy 2014 everyone! We've been a bit hectic here at Spike this week...I'm really not used to getting up early after Chrismas – or working late! However, it's really good to be busy and we've got some nice new projects on, including an Italian languages magazine, loads of new stuff for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and a cancer awareness campaign going live at the end the end of Feb. Phew! Watch this space!

December 2013

Like us or re-tweet and we'll share some Christmas goodies!

It's nearly Christmas and we've re-packaged some goodies for our lovely customers! For a chance to share some yummy wine or a scented candle – like us on Facebook or tweet about this cheeky bit of festive marketing and you could recieve some goodies too! Merry Christmas!

December 2013

New comms for SecondStep

We've been enjoying working with the new comms person at SecondStep, Jane Edmonds, upping the impact of the brand. Today we signed off the 2013 Impact Report at the printers – not even printed yet – but available to look at via issuu...

See brochure > 

November 2013

Art from the Archive...

It's 'Art Trail' time in North Bristol. Adrian took part in the event and designed all of the flyers, maps and badges for quite a few years. Love the first one...

November 2013

'Failure' followed by a Master Class...

We were out and about last week – getting inspired, challenged and generally keeping in-touch and up-to-date! TEDx Bristol at the Colston Hall on Monday and a day of Master Classes with Brisol Media at the swanky offices of Osbourne Clarke on Friday. We listened to amazing experts speaking on a whole heap of useful stuff including publishing in the digital age, latest iPhone apps and top tips on using social media for business… And, because the tickets and badges weren't very exciting to look at, here's a pic of the Colston Hall and some flowers at the Riverstation where we had lunch!

October 2013

Technology Strategy Board

The third edition of our little book for TSB: 'The Facts' has just been delivered. It works so well it's now not only 'A pocket guide for staff,' but 'A pocket guide,' full-stop!

October 2013

Business brochures...

We had a meeting yesterday and these brochures were pulled out of the file...I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed working on corporate stuff! Happy Friday!

October 2013

The Design Programme

Another leaflet for The Design Programme: Construction and Eco-design. The concertina-fold info leaflet got everyone talking at their recent event – and was even on local news! And hooray – it's mostly designed in Gills favourite colour!

October 2013

Maps for Downend

We've just finished designing all of the signage, including an illustrated map, for Downend School. Here is one of the postcards – making negotiating your way around the school very easy. There's also a 3m wide perspex, highly detailed version of the map in reception to give visitors a sense of the scale of the school, a quick overview of where they want to be, and, most importantly, to look beautiful. I need a sunny day to get up there and photograph it...

October 2013

From the archive...

Just been looking through the archives and found this – created for Business West a while ago. No reason whatsoever for putting it on the blog today - but I do love a flag!

September 2013

Just a card…

We've just taken delivery of our new business cards. We found this gorgeous paper by GF Smith which happened to be just the right colour – Gmund Alezan Crocodile cut – we duplexed it with a grey in the same range and foiled it in white. Oooo – never been so excited about a card before! 

September 2013

Third Bristol Festival of Literature

Adrian has just finished designing and illustrating this years Bristol Festival of Literature leaflets. This is our second year of producing all of the graphics for the event. Find out all about it and book your tickets: unputdownable.org

September 2013

You tonic

September already! – and first off the press with a new brand are some business cards for a personal trainer working in Bristol and Devon. Stangely for 2013, we had the cards printed in pantones rather then cmyk - making them look much more zingy. The logo rolls out with a complete set of guidelines for when he's ready to expand.

August 2013

Scouse sunshine!

Gill has just been to Liverpool for a couple of days. Oh how exciting it is – still! – for a Scouser to see the Liver Buildings! Sorry Adrian – I simply had to upload some quick snaps...

August 2013

Magical Mallorca

We've been to Spain for our summer hols. From the bustle of Palma to the tranquility of Deià in the mountains...all gorgeous. The iPhone panoramic widget is pretty good too!

July 2013

Downend School new prospectus

Another brochure hot off the press...the new Downend prospectus, just before school is out for the summer. Photos by Jesse Alexander (thanks Jess!), art direction by Gill and sunshine for the shoot, supplied by 2013, made life much easier than last year! We are now busy working on signange for the school, with Adrian drawing up a 3D map – more pics to follow later in the year!

Downend School prospectus design

July 2013

We've been to the East...

...well, Suffolk, not as east as The East, but erm east for us... Anyway, we had a lovely time and saw this gorgeous sculpture on Aldeburgh beach by Maggie Hambling, inspired by the music of Benjamin Britten. It was amazing. So busy too - in the half hour we were there, there must've been 50 other people checking it out, sitting on it, hiding behind it... I love public art like this. And what an amazing setting - especially when the sun shone.

June 2013

Theatre, performance and music in the Park

Adrian has just created some fab illustration and designed posters and flyers for a family friendly arts event happening in St Andrews Park in July. The event is called 'Reveal'. And it's all free – though donations into the donation buckets on the day would be perfect – thank you!

June 2013

Freedom to Ride

We've just created a brand, logo, a leaflet and postcards for the manifesto of the Bristol Cycling Campaign. Freedom to Ride is a new campaign which aims to get the attention of the Mayor and eventually get us all on our bikes. Visit their website: bristolcyclingmanifesto.org.uk, have a read and sign today!

May 2013

Sofa Magic new identity and responsive website

Yipee! The new Sofa Magic website is finally live. We’ve been designing and building the new responsive site for the last few months, at the same time putting together lots of leaflets, flyers and PoS for the shop. Here’s some pics of our work in progress – more finished work coming soon! Visit website > 

April 2013

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Yipee! We just got our latest project for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School back from the printers. Actors are supposed to love the smell of face paint – I love the smell of freshly printed stuff! BOVTS marketing manager is very happy with the results for the prestigious graduate book and the latest season brochure - I love that too!

April 2013

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School again!

We've just had a meeting with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School about another project we're working on for them. Since the job involves a bit of their history, we got to go through some archives – ooo! Lovely, lovely typesetting and design from days gone by – I just had to take some snaps!

April 2013

Barefoot Bride design and build

We had an enquiry this morning about designing for a new business making and selling wedding cakes. It reminded us of all the work (logo, brand, website, stationery, leaflets and brochures) Gill did a couple of years ago for 'Barefoot Bride' – a one-stop shop for all things wedding abroad. The boutique hotels and sandy beaches were a joy to look at and work with on a cold and dark UK January day...!

Visit website >

March 2013

Penny Brohn Cancer Care newsletter

Our first Penny Brohn newsletter! And they are so pleased with it, the whole thing is available online too. Gill is looking forward to the ‘Ladies Long Table lunch’ - we are very pleased to be supporting the great work of the Penny Brohn team.

March 2013

Sofa Magic

Friday was spent plumping cushions and shifting furniture to get some sumptuous sofa shots with our favourite photographer; Jesse Alexander. We are rebranding Sofa Magic and re-designing and re-building their website – this will be the third site we’ve produced for them in the last 13 years! It’s being rolled out gradually in print – look out for the ads locally…

February 2013

International Spring Fair

We whizzed up to Birmingham on Tuesday to see what's happening and what the future trends in are furniture, gifts, jewellery etc., at the Spring Fair. Trollbeads were there looking good. And it looks like green is still in vogue - phew! 

February 2013

Plant Iberia

We've just finished designing a tiny site for one of the other businesses in our studio. Plant Iberia imports plants from Spain and Portugal. Some of Gills favourite things – green, plants and Spain!

Visit website > 

January 2013

Designer Doors

Gill was approached to design a new identity for 'Designer Doors', a subsidiary of Universal Aluminium — wood-look aluminium doors so wood-like it would confuse a termite! — and she had to work fast! In the space of a month a new logo, brand, a brochure including new photography, an exhibition stand, stationery and a new design treatment for the web site were created.

January 2013

Community Opera

Just found this job in the files – Adrian worked with composer Mark Lawrence to produce posters, flyers and a programme for this exciting community opera which was performed at the beautiful St George's.

Get in touch and see how we could help your business

Gillian Marles

T +44 (0)117 949 3020

Adrian Barclay

T +44 (0)117 949 3020