22 / 11 / 13

High five!

5 things I've learned as a designer

This is a big year with big numbers: I'm about to turn 50, I've just celebrated 30 years marriage, 20 years as a professional designer and Lennon Design blew out the candles on it's 5th Birthday cake. In my 5 decades I've picked up a couple of nuggets, here's 5 things I've learned along the way.

It’s important who you work with

Surround yourself with good people who's judgement you trust. Appreciate their honesty and opinions and don't encourage sycophants. Empower people to show their capabilities rather than just doing what you tell them. Learn from them.

Bring something to the table

Don't just tick the boxes and meet the requirements of a given brief. Making the copy fit is just the start. Always reassess the objectives against what you've been asked to do. Look for gaps in thinking and opportunities to add value. Be more than just a MAC monkey and become a valued part of your clients team.

14 / 11 / 13

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - Sea Change

We've been working with the Royal Botanic Gardens team recently designing an exhibition that highlights what it means to care for one’s ‘place’ in the context of climate change

Sea Change - Bird

The Botanics often host and organise exhibitions relating to environment, geography and adventure. We've been lucky enough to work with them in designing the signage used in the exhibition as well as promotional material distributed throughout Edinburgh.

Sea Change is a four-year project that brings together artists and scientists to investigate the relationship between people, place and resources

The exhibition runs from 8 November 2013 to 26 January 2014 at the John Hope Gateway.

08 / 11 / 13

How We Rebuilt Sacro

We were asked to improve usability, organise content and provide a better experience for the Sacro website.

When we were approached by Sacro to help create a new website we jumped at the chance to work with such a renowned organisation.

Founded over 40 years ago, Sacro works independently and collaboratively within Scotland’s communities to provide support, prevent conflict and challenge offending behaviour wherever the need arises.

You can visit their site at or you can read on and find out how we worked with them to overcome their challenges and help solve their problems.

Focusing on Users

When we design and build websites we make it as easy as possible for users to get to the content - we don't want to hide things away, we want users to find the information quickly. Using a website shouldn't be a challenge, we believe it should be intuitive.

06 / 11 / 13

Can't Buy Me Love

Can't buy me love graphic

Our business sense tells us that everything has a price and nothing is free but there are some things that money can’t buy...

Our creative talents gives us the skills and opportunities to make a positive difference in the non-profit world. Whether a design student, fledgling freelancer or fully formed agency, our skills are always in demand.

It’s true that we often work for no reward, free pitching being the curse of our industry, additional hours that never get invoiced not to mention the unpaid sleepless nights as we wrestle with design conundrums. However setting out with a philanthropic attitude, actively getting involved and contributing to our community or good cause is a different mind set. This is normally referred to as ‘pro-bono’ work the term being short for the Latin ‘pro bono publico’ which literally means ‘for the public good’ and can yield rewards on many levels.

05 / 04 / 13

...for art's sake

Lennon Art brochure cover

In case you didn't know, Lennon Design has an alter ego, can I introduce you to Lennon Art.

Art and Design were never meant to separated; the worlds for me are connected. The work shares a common language - both embrace clarity and simplicity; exploring the potency of unspoken communication.

I've alway been drawn to the figure, intrigued by subtle, simple human gestures that seem to be charged with energy and loaded with meaning. I love it the moment the spirit of the painting appears from the oils, when the rough daubing of oil paint and a splash of solvent takes on life.

I won't say that painting for me is a way to relax, in fact it's often a struggle, but like design, every venture opens up new challenges and can be hugely rewarding.

Enough words though, I can't talk about unspoken communication and then witter on! I'll let the work speak for itself. Let me know what you think.

25 / 02 / 13

Let's talk brand

What is it, what does it do and how do we get it right?

Branded cow

History tells us that the word brand derives from an old Norse word 'brandr' meaning to burn, hence branding cattle enabled people to claim ownership. Fair enough. Its modern context and usage though tends to tie us up in knots - brand equity, brand engagement, brand expression, brand this and brand that and all said and done most people think it's a logo!

Just to clarify, here are the definitions: