Creating a sustainable healthcare masterplan

We’ve enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust over the years, developing their Green Heart behaviour change branding and associated campaigns, and supporting the sustainability team with a wide range of communications.

Our latest project saw us working with the team at MFT and Hillbreak to support the development of the Trust’s new sustainability strategy, known as The Masterplan. 

As the biggest acute Trust in the UK, we all had lofty ambitions for this strategy. It was crucial the first step should be to consult with the Trust’s diverse staff base to understand what the Trust’s sustainability goals and objectives should be – and how the Trust could lead the field.

Using our combined knowledge of sustainability reporting and governance in the healthcare sector and beyond, we worked alongside Trust staff to develop The Masterplan: Making Sense of Sustainable Healthcare, 2018-2023, which has already been deemed by NHS Improvement (NHSI) as exemplar. We look forward to supporting the Trust further with promotional activity relating to this strategy.

You can read the strategy here.

Frontline Care: Saving the NHS?

Focused Care is a model of care revolutionising the NHS. It works alongside GP practices in Greater Manchester to assist patients who have complex needs such as homelessness, long term illnesses, substance misuse and domestic violence.

Creative Concern has worked with the team at Focused Care and ITV Shiver for a number of months on a 30-minute television programme that followed two Focused Care workers, Ruth Chorley and Lisa Chattington, as they helped their patients to rebuild their lives.

The programme Frontline Care: Saving the NHS? was aired by ITV Tonight in November and was watched by 2.5 million viewers.

People's Powerhouse: A charter to transform the fortunes of the North and its people

People’s Powerhouse came to us to work on developing the design for their new charter, which was launched at their conference in Bradford in November. 

The People’s Powerhouse is a movement made up of a diverse network of people who came together to help shape the debate and ensure that people and communities are at the centre of Northern Powerhouse plans. 

The People’s Powerhouse charter outlines their vision of trust, change, fairness and diversity, setting the foundations of the movement to which individuals and businesses can subscribe to. 

With such potent core messages, it was vital to design a document that highlighted and presented them in a clear way, while at the same time remained in keeping with the People’s Powerhouse’s current branding. We therefore integrated their logos characters throughout the document to illustrate the messages of the people.

We designed a charter that encapsulated the location of the North with a ‘Northern skyline’ including not only the most famous landmarks but distinguished and diverse structures from across the North of England. The design was then incorporated into event signs and boards for their conference venue and widely shared by the organisation’s supporters on Twitter.


The full charter is available to read and sign up to here.

Manchester Museum: It's in our nature

In the summer of 2018, Manchester Museum came to us to reveal their exciting new plans for their future. 

As the Museum closes a number of its galleries to enable essential building work to take place as their new South Asia and Chinese Culture galleries take shape, the Museum needed to communicate to visitors that their renowned natural history galleries are still open for business – and their dedication to natural history and environmental issues as steadfast as ever.  

As the Museum and Creative Concern share a similar outlook and approach – with shared values, especially regarding sustainability and environmental stewardship – we are excited about the Museum’s longer term ambition for this much-loved Mancunian institution. 

We came up with the Change? It’s in our nature strapline to demonstrate how Museums are continually evolving their exhibitions and gallery spaces to adapt to new influences and to accommodate new ideas, much like the natural world. A physical change to the space, we hoped to convey, shouldn’t be something to fear. This new strapline also signals the Museum’s ‘back to nature’ focus: examining its roots and celebrating its history whilst looking forward. 

Manchester Museum has long had a strong, distinct and memorable visual identity. We wanted the Change? Campaign to work within this well-established framework, but also to evolve and push its boundaries. To carry the strapline, we introduced a bright, bold colour palette, with a gradient to illustrate moving and shifting. We also sought out images of natural phenomena synonymous with change and evolution, such as weather and migration, to further lift the creative and provide visual interest.

On approval, we supplied the campaign assets for the Museum team to roll out across signage, building dressing, interpretation and digital channels. You can read more about the plans for the Museum’s transformation on their website.

We wish Manchester Museum all the best for the forthcoming programme of activity and we look forward to enjoying the new-look Museum when it opens in 2021.


A Cycling and Walking Strategy for Greater Manchester

Following our work on the Made to Move strategy, which set out the ambitions of Chris Boardman, GM’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, we teamed up again with Chris Boardman and his teams at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester to show the region – and the world! – the exciting new cycling and walking infrastructure planned for Greater Manchester.

Working with Peter Saville, we took the region’s much-loved icon, the bee, and developed a marque that we hope will become synonymous with cycling and walking in the region as it will feature on the signage for the new cycle and walking pathways which will make it easier, safer and more enjoyable for the region’s residents to leave their cars behind. We also designed the document that outlines the plans and shows local residents where the new pathways will be constructed, and exhibition boards for the event that launched the scheme to the public. As the initiative evolves, we have remained involved, designing and producing lapel badges and consultation documents, and we look forward to sampling the new infrastructure when it goes live! 

Libraries Connected

In June 2018, Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) announced it would now be known as Libraries Connected, and unveiled an exciting new visual identity.

We worked with SCL on this branding project since Autumn 2017, following a competitive pitch, and were excited to see our new brand launched at the organisation’s two-day conference in June.

SCL is a membership organisation made up of every library service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, that seeks to advocate for public library services and share best practice. After a successful bid to Arts Council England, SCL entered into a new chapter in its history: to become a sector support organisation for public libraries, strengthening the sector by providing best practice, training and events, promoting the value of libraries and brokering beneficial partnerships with third parties.

Getting the name right for this organisation was critical, especially given the number of different stakeholders involved. The organisation wanted to be ambitious with its naming choices, but also wanted a name that would be easily understood at-a-glance – something that SCL no longer achieved. 

We began with a period of extensive research to better understand the crowded private and public library brandscape in the UK and consultation to interrogate motivations and barriers with diverse stakeholders: the transformation steering group, regional chairs and members, former presidents, and key influencers and partners.

Once a shortlist of names was created, we embarked on a further period of testing and consultation to decide on the correct route. Libraries Connected proved a clear winner and once this was confirmed, the visual identity development began.

We needed an identity to invoke the heritage of the organisation and its solid, well respected reputation, but also one that speaks loud and clear in a contemporary context. 

Since the brand has been approved, we have been working on a suite of marketing and communications collateral, stationery and the design and build of the organisation’s website: 


Student mentoring

In 2017 we started delivering our inaugural mentorship scheme with graphic design students from Manchester Met. Working with six third year students, we have been helping them develop their design skills ready for when they graduate.

Each student has been paired up with a designer at Creative Concern who – through one-to-one sessions – has critiqued their work, providing advice on how to develop it.

The scheme aims to help these students get a more realistic and practical idea of what a career in graphic design will be like and what will be expected of them when they start applying for roles after graduating.

We’ll be working with this group of students until May 2018 and we’re looking forward to developing the scheme further for a new set of students in September.


Lakes Ignite

We are really excited to be working once again on the Lake Culture programme to promote Lakes Ignite 2018. We're supporting the festival with digital, social media, PR, content and creative to showcase this unique collection of contemporary art in Cumbria.

Lakes Ignite launched in January and runs through to July, with six specially commissioned artworks. Each installation celebrates the Lake District’s UNESCO World Heritage status, providing a different perspective on the cultural landscape of the Lakes.

Presenting a broad spectrum of media including metal, wood, mirrors, inflatables, performance and virtual reality, the artworks are free to visit and explore at six venues.

Check out our illustrated map and find out more on the Lakes Culture website.

Inspiring stories

You Can Foster is a major project that’s been very close to our hearts for the last year, and one that’s involved almost every aspect of Creative Concern’s multi-disciplinary team from PR and social through to design and digital.

The 2017/18 campaign has also seen us working right across the North of England hosting events, working with media (TV, online, radio and good old print), working with foster carers and young people in their care, heads of City Councils, even the good people of Knowlsey Safari Park, culminating in a fantastic high-profile competition – Inspiring Stories – that reached out to young people in foster care to write personal short stories that were judged by our all-star panel of writers.

We’ve worked with our friends – the performance poet Tony Walsh and Frank Cottrell-Boyce – and some of the UK’s most gifted children’s authors to encourage even more foster carers to come forward and sign up to their local authority to change a young person’s life by fostering. The project has involved working with councils across Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire East and Merseyside.

As a unique one-off prize each category’s winning story has been recreated by the Creative Concern design team to have its own imaginary book cover.

Find out more at


Arriving happy in Merseyside

In January 2018, we helped Liverpool City Region transport chiefs launch a powerful new campaign to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of walking and cycling to work on so-called ‘Blue Monday’, the UK’s ‘saddest day’ of the year.

The launch of the first ‘Arrive Happy’ campaign took place at the vibrant Avenue HQ in Liverpool. Walkers, cycling groups, mental health campaigners, health experts and local businesses were on hand to explain how walking or cycling for just 10 minutes a day as part of your commute to work, can help to lift your mood, give you more energy, reduce your stress levels and help you sleep better, too.

Many of the campaign's ambassadors – who can seen in the advertising campaign across the region for months to come – were on hand to talk to fellow commuters about the small changes they have made to their daily commutes to improve their health and wellbeing and share their top tips for getting started.

Arrive Happy, backed by Merseytravel, runs through to July 2018.

Getting Greater Manchester moving

Successful cities have something in common: a happy, healthy population that makes short trips on foot or by bike. When Chris Boardman MBE was made Greater Manchester’s first Cycling and Walking Commissioner, he made this his priority: to double and then double again our region’s cycling rates and make walking the natural choice for as many short trips as possible. Made to Move is Chris Boardman’s report to the Mayor, Andy Burnham, setting out exactly how he intends to achieve this and calls for £1.5 billion investment over a decade to make it possible.

We worked closely with Chris and his team to write, edit and design the report. We also commissioned photographer Jonathan Keenan to capture perfect shots that reflect the report’s ambitions and aspirations.

Read the report

Photo credit: @mayorofGM