On common ground in Istanbul

Creative Concern’s partner agency in Turkey, Myra, staged its fourth annual conference on communications for social good in December 2018. Our CEO, Steve Connor, took to the stage to give one of the day’s keynotes entitled 'How to make mistakes if you don’t include emotion in your campaigns'.

Themed around ‘The School of Hard Knocks’ and how we learn from our mistakes, the event featured 17 speakers from NGOs, corporations and the creative sector, with 200 participants including academics, CSR managers from multinational corporations, NGO reps and communication/design professionals from 150 different agencies. 

A number of speakers from our European partnership of sustainability-focused agencies, the DNS network, featured on the roster. The conference also presented the opportunity to launch the English/Turkish edition of our network book, 'Be Good', which showcases the network's collective portfolios of responsible, sustainable and ethical creativity.

Forestry Commission Centenary launch

2019 marks the Forestry Commission's centenary year. To celebrate this achievement, the programme launched with Turner Prize winning artist Rachel Whiteread who was co-commissioned by the Forestry Commission and 14-18 Now to mark the centenary with one of her sculptures in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire.

Nissen Hut is a concrete cast of the interior space of a Nissen hut, the distinctive military structure invented by Major Peter Nissen during the First World War. These prefabricated steel structures were easily erected and had a variety of uses, such as field hospitals, housing and even churches.

Nissen huts were used to house labourers on Forestry Commission land after the organisation was established in 1919. These labourers helped to replenish the nation's timber reserves, which were almost entirely depleted following the war effort.

Creative Concern worked with the Forestry Commission on regional PR for the event. There’s more information about the project and visiting the Nissen Hut on the 14-18 Now website.

Arrive Happy

Our Arrive Happy campaign continues with the launch of several short films promoting the benefits of cycling and walking into and around Liverpool City Region as part of a healthier, happier commute. 

Made on behalf of our client Merseytravel, the films were produced and edited by Creative Concern and feature our Arrive Happy ambassadors walking and cycling around the city region, with dynamic scenery shots and on-screen messages explaining that whether you’re looking to get fit, clear your head, or boost your mood, walking or cycling as part of your daily commute could help to make all of that happen. 

The films were shared across the Arrive Happy Facebook and Twitter channels and promoted via advertising. From a modest budget the films have so far achieved 23,000 full-length views and a reach of almost 100,000 on social media alone.

The campaign is still in full swing, with lots of exciting projects planned for 2019.

Watch the Arrive Happy Film.

Discover more on the Arrive Happy website.

Population Matters new website

Last year saw us work with Population Matters for the first time – a charity that campaigns to achieve a sustainable human population, to protect the natural world and improve people’s lives by promoting positive, practical, ethical solutions.

The team were looking for a full review of their existing communications to refresh the way they talk about themselves, with a focus on being bolder, clearer and more positive about the work they do.

We brought their brief to life by developing a new website that clearly communicates their vision, who the organisation are and highlights the damaging effects of overpopulation to our planet, whilst providing clear actions that supporters can take to make a difference.

Head to the Population Matters website to find out more about the organisation. 

New brand, website and launch campaign for King’s College Hospital Charity

The new brand for King’s College Hospital Charity has just been launched across the group of hospitals supported by the Charity. The brand, developed by Creative Concern, is the result of six months of research and development including focus groups, drop-in sessions, online surveys and brand analysis.

The new brand reflects the Charity’s focus on 'changing lives through pioneering care' and the need to appeal to a broad range of potential donors. The Charity works to make the best care possible by raising money for cutting edge equipment and facilities, innovative research and pioneering treatment. 

As well as developing the brand, Creative Concern has developed the new King’s College Hospital Charity website, the Charity’s Annual Report and a range of high impact launch graphics currently being rolled out across the hospital sites. We also produced a series of design templates, tone of voice and brand guidance to help the in-house team work with the new brand.

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.