England might not have actually managed to bring football home. But the football fans in Newcastle had a blast roaring them on at the World Cup 18 Fanzone, part of our work for the Live from Times Square team.
We designed all the graphics and supporting materials for the Fanzone from large screen surrounds to classic football shirt themed t-shirts for the bar staff, alongside a comprehensive social media campaign. We don’t need to tell you this as you will no doubt have seen it on Match of the Day accompanied by a throng of cheering fans throwing lager in the air. Funnily enough, the outdoor venue proved to be a very popular place to watch England’s run having a drink in the baking sun. Oh how we miss the summer…
Kromek Group plc is a leading developer of radiation detection solutions for applications in the medical nuclear and security screening markets. They came to us requiring the design and build of a website that needed to look great but handle the large quantity and complexity of their products.
Firstly we looked at developing the brand. We used a strong stylish colour way of yellow, black and grey which just screams DANGER, allied with strong, bold typography.
See the site here
Issue 3 of GNE music magazine has hit the newsstands. We love the test of designing the 48 page mag to very tight deadlines with last minute changes aplenty. There is always a fresh new band, amazing last minute gig announcement or a killer album the world just has to know about.
You’ll find them in all the usual pubs and coffee houses. It’s definitely worth picking one up. Not only for the frankly superb design work but it’s a great read for any discerning music fan.
JP Mauger are a high end builder based on the wonderful island of Jersey. Our brief was to design a luxury brand to differentiate them from their competition with a website that could work in harmony with and showcase the beautiful buildings they create.
The site has subtle moving imagery paired with stylish photography to create a stunning visual experience. A dream project working with amazing photography of amazing buildings. What’s not to love. Apart from not actually living in one.
Visit the site here
We were commissioned to design both print and digital communications to encourage the next generation of young composers to apply for places on this much in demand course. The campaign had to appeal to 18-25 year olds, a difficult to reach, discerning audience. Our solution was a sophisticated multi-layered visual campaign that echoes the creativity in the music making process.
Read more about the NYCGB here
We’ve been working on the branding for this huge summer festival featuring Jon’s hero Noel Gallagher and Pete’s hero John Lydon (who bizarrely is not top of the bill?). We designed and illustrated all the materials giving it a real summer vibe. We then took it one stage further by animating all the birds and hot air balloons giving it great stand out in a very crowded social media space.
Find out more and grab tickets here
Our long creative collaboration with estate agency Sarah Mains continues. As they continue to improve their services we felt the time was right to refresh their brand. We used their iconic circles as a holding device to hold all the different messages to great effect. The identity can be currently spotted in a lot of north east driveways!
We were delighted to be chosen to brand the new exhibition and artist trail ‘Where Your Wings Were’ and ‘Winged Tails of the North Trail’ for Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s books. The exhibition showcases the Carnegie medal winning children’s author David Almond who grew up in Felling. We designed an identity using loosely brush stroked wings filled for imagery for each poster whereby when placed together the posters form an elegant pair of wings.
We’ve been working with Gigs North East on their new music festival This is Tomorrow – which all kicks off this Friday down at Spiller’s wharf, Newcastle
British indie darlings, Catfish & The Bottlemen, are headlining the first night while US superstars, Thirty Seconds To Mars, fronted by Oscar winner actor Jared Leto, headlined Saturday.
Friday also features North East indie stalwarts Little Comets, BBC Sound of 2018 artist, Sam Fender as well as innovative alt-pop band Everything Everything. While Saturday sees Don Broco and Marmozets in support.
The identity was inspired by the vision of innovative pop artist Richard Hamilton, who lectured at Newcastle University in the 1960’s and his boundary pushing ideas, this brand new music festival is planting it’s roots in Newcastle with an ethos of experimentation, daring and down right defiance of the norm.
Find out more and grab tickets here
We were delighted to be asked by the design council to look into the branding of the award winning Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust. After a lot of creative workshops and consultation work the ‘bloom’ icon was chosen, representing a new beginning in a caring environment the identity has been rolled out to great acclaim across the trust.
We’ve been working with NGI on a series of films to promote inward investment for NewcastleGateshead’s technical and creative sector. The films involved shooting various companies around the area to encourage like minded companies to locate here. Part of the ploy was to basically highlight what an amazing area we work in which wasn’t too hard. Fast cuts and dynamic camera angles coupled with our easy-to-follow infographics led to a slick and informative series of films which were very well received by client and the end users.
We were approached by Utilitywise PLC, one of the UK’s leading energy and water cost management consultancies, to produce a film to be shown to their 1500+ staff at The Odeon Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne. The filming encompassed their head office as well as the surrounding countryside and industrial premises to show the spectacular progress Utilitywise PLC have achieved over the last few years to motivate and congratulate the staff on the excellent job they’re doing. We storyboarded, designed and animated key facts and figures which appear throughout the film to help tell the story of Utilitywise PLC. We also provided and recorded the voiceover artist and background music to tie it all together. It was amazing to see our work on a huge cinema screen in front of a full house eating popcorn receiving a round of applause after each showing!
We designed and built an app for ‘Hit the North’, Newcastle’s biggest inner-city music festival held this year. A stellar multi-venue event in the city centre, the festival boasted top acts such as Slaves, Lethal Bizzle, Frightened Rabbit amongst 85 other bands!
As well as providing all the essential festival info, such as line-up, times, venues, news and tickets, the app was designed to enable festival goers to create their own festival. Each artist had their own profile which the user could favourite if they wanted to see them perform. The profile included their venue, stage time, a link to the artists’ You Tube channel and Google maps information for location of each show. The app then used the users’ favourited artists to create their own personal festival timetable.
To help distance the festival from the typical ‘summer of love’ branding of southern festivals, the branding of the festival (also used across print, web and digital) was influenced by Newcastle’s strong industrial heritage and utilised yellow and black, colours that usually signify danger, for maximum stand out.
Home Group are a social enterprise and a charity, one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and supported housing services and products with a turnover of over £350m.
Part of their operations is Stonham BASS, which offers housing for offenders on bail to help keep them out of prison. We were approached to help engage with this group which was a challenge as traditionally they have low level literacy levels and a poor understanding of the services Home Group have on offer. After much research we demonstrated that video vastly improved understanding for their clients and provided the best chances of making a connection. We storyboarded, designed, filmed and animated a series of videos to explain the benefits of serving your sentence in a ‘BASS house’ which helps keep reoffending rates a lot lower, and means the clients avoiding a custodial sentence.
The series of films have been a great success and are constantly in use throughout the prison service and legal system.
We are immensely proud to work closely with Newcastle Building Society, helping them build their brand across all media. For the last few years, we’ve designed and built a Christmas themed game which they use as a competition for their clients where the top scorer wins a special prize. We design and build everything from the characters, the background environment to the technical back-end build of the game.
We have worked with Sage Gateshead for many years on lots of different flagship projects including the branding of SummerTyne – the amazing Americana festival. A smorgasbord of vintage typography makes it an easy-to-recognise brand which is now held in great affection by Americana fans. You can buy limited edition screen prints of our posters from The Sage Shop. Our design work for SummerTyne has been recognised for its excellence by ‘Fresh’ the national design awards.
We were commissioned to design a suite of reports and magazines for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, an amazing organisation that provides a range of mental health, learning disability and neurological care services across North East England. In 2016, they were one of the first NHS Trusts to be given an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission.
Following a thorough design process, the reports had to be attractive while pushing the brand forward with easy to understand infographics. In total for this large and important project we designed and produced a 252 page Annual Report, 100 page Quality Report, Internal Magazine and Strategy Document in under 3 weeks.
You can read more about the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust here
Solution Group won a competitive pitch to design two websites for Jersey based Lawyers, BCR Law. The two sites were designed in conjunction to help promote their offer and build the BCR Law brand. The main site was designed to hold a lot of information in a clear way while still allowing easy to navigation. Including a comprehensive team section which links each lawyer to their notable cases and highlights what the legal directories have said about them. All branded with a fitting professional feel in a strong colour way of red, grey and white.
The sister site, BCR Consulting, is a stylish one page site where all the information is easily accessible. Following the same graphic styling, BCR Consulting site uses yellow rather than red to promote their offer to businesses requiring day to day and specialist services to continue to develop and to be successful.
Check out the BCR Law site here
Check out the BCR Consulting site here
We’ve designed the identity and website for our good friends at Gigs North East, who help promote live shows and bands in the North East of England. The site is jam-packed with great content including latest listings with links to buy tickets, a live news feed, track of the week including videos, support slot info for up and coming local bands to name but a few. All designed in a stylish contemporary manner to make sure the site appeals to it’s audience.
Visit the new website here and get yourself along to some cracking live shows.
As part of our on-going work for the North East Culture Partnership, we have designed and built a visually stunning website to help promote The Case for Culture (C4C). A positive statement of ambition for the next 15 years, building on the strengths of the North East’s diverse communities and pointing to the opportunities for further investment in arts and heritage right across the region.
Check out the website and read more about C4C here
We’ve designed the new website for InfoTrack, a truly multi-national organisation with offices in UK, USA and Australia.
InfoTrack are provider of award-winning technology that challenges the legal market and evolves the way law firms access and utilise data from a range of sources including Land Registry, Companies House and HMRC. They required a website which would handle a lot of content whilst ensuring the user could easily locate the information and services they were looking for.
Check out the website and read more about InfoTrack here
We are very excited to announce the launch of the Solution Group branded ‘Hit The North’, Newcastle’s biggest inner city music festival, happening right here in Newcastle 28 April 2017.
Utilising Newcastle’s industrial heritage, the identity has a strong industrial feel to help distance it from the typical ‘summer of love’ branding of southern festivals. The colour way normally used to signify danger, yellow and black, was chosen for maximum stand out.
The festival will feature established headline acts such as Slaves, Frightened Rabbit and Lethal Bizzle. Alongside some of the newest and most existing acts around including The Hunna, and DMA’s.
Follow Hit The North and find out how to grab tickets here
We designed and illustrated this cool animation for Utilitywise plc to explain their Utility Management Plan.
Musical genius David Bowie dies age 69.
Star Wars film Rogue One is released.
Prince sadly dies aged 57.
The Queen turned 90.
Tragically Newcastle United were relegated.
The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union.
Muhammad ‘The Greatest’ Ali dies aged 74.
Team GB wins a total of 67 medals at the Rio Olympics.
Comedy genius Gene Wilder dies aged 83, Fidel Castro dies aged 90.
Actress Jean Alexander best known as Corrie favourite Hilda Ogden dies aged 90.
America votes Donald Trump in as their president.
Our favourite interior designers, Abercrombies, asked us to help them celebrate their 30th birthday with a design that reflects their classic design aesthetic. We crafted a graphic solution around the number 30 using a font designed in the 30’s intercut with a graphic pattern to suggest decoration. The identity was rolled out across print, digital and signage receiving great response from a very discerning customer base.
As part of our ongoing work for Newcastle Building Society, we were asked to work on their marketing materials for ‘The Big Talk’. A series of talks across the region offering advice on Pensions and Retirement Plans. We designed a series of literature aimed at an older discerning market which clearly explained the offer.
We were commissioned to brand Switch Gas &?Electric, an exciting new energy comparison organisation. Our solution was to design an interactive logo where the colours of the logo switch reflect the company’s name. The brand was developed and rolled out through a comprehensive identity scheme to help users integrate the brand across all media. The identity is being successfully applied across print, digital and signage. In fact, a scootering elephant can now be seen strutting his stuff on the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge.
Skincare Innovation is a revolutionary new skincare product developed by scientists at Newcastle University. They looked to Solution Group as they realised the branding and web presence had to be strong and clear to promote the new product in a crowded market place. Our solution was a clean fresh timeless identity with stunning contemporary photography to show off the product to best effect. The design was rolled out across print and digital to a great response. This is the reason everyone at Solution Group looks so young and beautiful (apart from Pete obviously).
We are breaking up for Christmas Friday 18th December and return Monday 4th January 2016. Thanks to everyone we’ve worked with over the last year, we’ve had a great time and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone next year!
Here is an unofficial version of our Xmas e-shot kindly done by ‘Wor Lee’ (Lee Newton).
We branded and designed the promotional materials for the launch of The Association of North East Council’s Case for Culture (C4C) project. Which will set out an ambitious vision for cultural development in the North East over the next 15 years, informed and shaped by people living, working and creating in the region.
Taking place at Durham Castle, the literature was presented amongst others to the Chief Executive of Arts Council England and the Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, to promote the case for investment in the arts in the North East. Along with being treated to a performance by Royal Northern Sinfonia there were some great moving speeches made by actress Gina McKee and writer Michael Chaplin on how investment in the arts can change lives.
The services we delivered included the overall design of the brand, printed materials including an introductory brochure with an accompanying more in-depth digital report and a PowerPoint presentation incorporating film clips of both Lauren Laverne and Kathryn Tickell talking about the impact the arts has made on their lives.
Read more about the Case for Culture (C4C) project here.
We were delighted to fly the flag for the North East’s Creative Industries as the only agency from the region to be nominated for two National Fresh Creative Awards. We came home from the Manchester event with two Highly Commended awards. ‘Art Direction’ for our work on The People Show for the University Gallery and ‘Best Poster’ for the Allen Valleys Folk Festival.
We’ve had a great time rebranding ‘Juice’, a yearly event organised by NewcastleGateshead Initiative for children and young people aged between 1 and 25. With such a diverse range of events it called for a flexible design solution, which could hold all the disparate imagery together while still holding it’s own as a coherent piece of branding. Designed in an easy to follow format for parents while making it lively and inviting for younger people to get excited by.
We’ve been working with the South Yorkshire Credit Union to help set-up a network of high street stores called ‘My Living’. The stores sell affordable household goods to customers with what they feel are fair repayment schemes (unlike certain other high street lenders). We designed a friendly and easy to follow identity scheme which is being rolled out across all stores nationally.
Our very own Jonny ‘Boy’ Sams has just completed the Budapest Marathon clocking in at a very respectable 4hrs 24mins. Made all the more remarkable after his strict training regime of five a side football and the occasional bike ride. If you look closely you can see Jon with his favourite energy drink…
We are looking for an enthusiastic talented web developer join our team. Read more about the role and how to apply here.
Sage Gateshead commissioned us to design the programme for Wallsend’s favourite son, Sting’s, new musical production. ‘The Last Ship’ is a musical based around his hometown, telling the story of the demise of the local ship building industry. Showcasing great shots of Sting and evocative pictures of the Tyne in it’s ship building heyday, the programme has become highly collectable. We have a few copies here at Solution Towers and we’re open to any sensible offers…
We were thrilled to work with Newcastle Building Society on their exciting new CustomISA campaign. We worked with the client to design and build a website clearly explaining how their new ‘CustomISA’ benifits savers by spreading their annual tax-free allowance across multiple ISA accounts.
Our brief was to visualise this process in an easy to follow format. We designed a website which allows you to see how all the different ISA’s perform alongside each other. By simply keying in the amount you have to invest and selecting how you wanted to invest, you can see how much interest you would make with each ISA in real time.
Jonny, being the financial whizz kid at Solution Group, was in his element checking all the numbers were working correctly and more importantly checking the whole thing was user friendly. The site has gone down really well with customers and the press alike having already been picked up by moneysaving expert.com and moneyexpert.com
You can view the site and try to save yourself some pennies here
We’ve just designed the promotional material for the regions most celebrated open art competition, The People Show. Organised by the University Gallery, the only criteria is the subject matter. Which is, yes you guessed it, ‘people’ (we’re not going to mention at this point the fact that Pete is a past winner…).
We came up with the idea of an image of a bus queue with one person highlighted in colour in a gold frame, encouraging artists that you can turn anyone into a work of art. If you look closely you’ll see Solution Group’s very own Helen and Pete (accompanied by his kids and Dad). So as you can see no expense was spared on the models!
We’ve recently designed and built a custom exhibition stand for Esh Group at the Ideal Home Show in Olympia. Promoting the Future Proof Home they’ve developed with Swedish House builder Trivselhus. Paving the way in showcasing energy saving initiatives and thermal efficient building in the UK. The stand had to compliment the real, fully working house that Esh Group built in only three days! Our solution was to design a stand that looked and felt like a Trivselhus interior complete with wooden floorboards, white furniture and tongue and groove walls. We decided to frame all the imagery to add to the domestic interior feel. The end result was a stand that made you feel right at home.
We’ve just built a full e-commerce website for local charity, Equal Arts. The brief was to promote the organisation as well as provide them with a platform to sell their products online, including HenPower Easter Eggs! The charity works with older people to promote the positive effects of creativity for older people involving them in activities such as music and dance, creative writing, arts and crafts, gardening and hen-keeping. Basically they’re just a great organisation.
Check their website out here
We’ve made a series of films for NewcastleGateshead Initiative to promote inward investment into Newcastle and Gateshead. The shoot involved interviews with council leaders, destination footage of Newcastle and Gateshead and motion graphics. The film was shown on the large screen at the Tyneside Cinema to potential investors. But even more exciting than all that was the fact we got to fly drones over the city to film some amazing aerial footage!
Check it out here
Helen, a close friend of Jonny’s partner, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 18. Over the past 11 years, she has lived with both the physical and psychological impacts of the disease. In May this year, she suffered an extremely serious hypoglycaemic attack which left her severely brain damaged.
We are always happy to help out a great cause. So we are very proud to have designed the logo for the inaugural ‘Take a dip for Diabetes’. A brand new event set up by Helen’s friends to fundraise for diabetes by doing something Helen loved to do every year, a mid-winter dip in the North Sea! So, on the 10 January 2015, Helen’s 30th birthday, Jonny will be donning his togs, heading to Saltburn-by-the-Sea and taking a dip in the freezing cold North Sea along with the other fundraisers aiming to both celebrate Helen’s 30th birthday and raise money towards the great work Diabetes UK and Investing in Children are currently undertaking.
If you would like to sponsor Jonny please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Takeadipfor-DiabetesUK/ If you would like further information please visit www.facebook.com/events/679437845496904/
We’ve been working with the School of English at Newcastle University to design a series of short story books aimed at people with low literacy skills in the UK and developing countries. Each book was illustrated by a different artist including our very own Pete. We made sure all the books followed a strong design style and importantly making sure they didn’t appear childlike as the project is all about encouraging adults to read.
There’s a new kid on the block at Solution Towers, Jonathan has joined us as a web developer. He has vast experience in all aspects of web design and build from CMS to e-comm sites along with expertise in animation and film editing. Boasting a first class degree in interactive media design, he’s worked extensively on the British Airways website and even more impressively has recently won gold at the ‘io Datalabs 24-hour science hack’ with an App he designed and built which responds to speech to help people with disabilities use the web. A?great new asset to the team with a passion for anything tech, Coca Cola and Punk Rock…
We were commissioned to designed and build a website for Utilitywise to promote The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Utilitywise partnership on a pilot programme in response to business concerns over volatile energy prices. We designed a clean and easy to use site to reflect both Utility Wise and the Chambers branding, which was no mean feat! You can check it out here: chamberenergysolutions.co.uk
We’ve written and designed the branding guidelines for construction giants Esh group. The guidelines explain all the different elements of the Esh Group identity, along with instructions on using them to design or produce materials. The purpose of the guide is to give users the tools to ensure consistency in both message and design, to properly communicate the Esh Group brand internally and externally whether on printed documents or online materials.
We designed the logo and illustrated posters for the inaugural Allen Valleys Folk Festival. A sell out success attracting over 2,000 visitors who came to watch the likes of Bridie Jackson & the Arbour and Martin Stephenson. The posters show animals native to the Allen Valleys made entirely of musical instruments, while the logo depicts the famous Allendale chimneys and if you look closely there’s even a Curlew in there!
We’ve worked with the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University on a multi-media exhibition at The Guildhall, on Newcastle’s Quayside. We branded the exhibition which included the design of 30 info graphic boards telling the stories of Newcastle and Gateshead’s iconic developments including the Byker Wall, The Metro and Gateshead car park to name but a few.The exhibition was a great success attracting 2,300 visitors.
We had a great day out at Newcastle Racecourse as guests of our lovely client, construction giants Esh Group. Pete & Jonny well known experts on everything Equine (ahem) were asked to pick the best turned out horse for ‘The Solution Group Handicap Stakes’. They picked Hakuna Matata who only went on to win the race! and the reason they’re both smiling is they actually managed to back it as well.
We’re delighted to announce we’ve just become a Bronze partner of Sage Gateshead. We do a lot of work with the fantastic venue so we thought we should really be a partner. It also means the Solution team will be popping round the corner on a regular basis to catch all the latest bands, we’re a bit excited to say the least!
Pete was asked by NBSL to write a piece on how to brief a design agency, if you’ve ever had to write a brief it’s definitely worth a read. There’s some great tips on how to get your thoughts across succinctly and how to get the most out of your agency.
Pete our Creative Director (in his other life as an artist) recently entered the prestigious Ruth Borchard Self Portrait competition held at Kings Place Gallery, London. Not only was his painting accepted they bought it for the permanent collection!?He was somewhat chuffed to say the least. Not only that he got a nice review in The Spectator (para 4, 3rd line from the bottom) check it out here:
Pete was recently invited to speak to a sold out audience in the Tyne Theatre at a ‘Pecha Kucha’ night, a quirky idea where each presenter picks 20 images to speak about for 20 seconds , once the slides start, they don’t stop, it’s fast and furious and slightly terrifying! Pete’s talk was based around the influence of drawing, lateral thinking and the Sex Pistols (obviously…)?on his career
Nice review by Insider Media on the website we designed and built for Esh Group.
Lovely review by our friends at The Drum Magazine on our work for Esh Group.
An interesting feature on the work we did for Energy giants Utilitywise:
Our fab pop up brochure for Premier Waste got a lovely and unexpected review by marketing magazine The Drum check it out.
Yet more Esh coverage from business site B-daily.
Made in Gateshead.