It’s always nice to look back at what you have done in the last year, but for us, it’s more than that. We have had such a busy 12 months, I could write a full book about it!

From the first working day of 2018 to the last, we packed in as much courage, passion, creativity, inspiration and collaboration than you can shake a stick at. We have grown exponentially both in terms of our wonderful team, but also the project types we are working on. We have a plan and we know where we are going! 2018 was full of milestones and stepping stones, all part of our path for greater things in 2019. Let’s have a quick look and see what went on…

January – New Year New Us

That’s the plan everyone starts the new year off with and we were no different! We stripped the office of all chocolates, sweets, cakes, biscuits and anything else considered ‘bad’ for you. We planned to be healthy, we planned to be disciplined. But let’s be honest, nobody in this world can stop Bekkie from smothering her toast in full fat butter. It was game over straight away!

On top of the office antics, we started the year with some awesome news. We’d only gone and been shortlisted for a Red Rose Award! Creative Agency Award no less. We were so excited and couldn’t wait for the judging!

One of our favourite bits of client work was a large piece of hoarding designed for Lancaster BID to help hide the construction work that was happening at the Lancaster Museum. It was great to be able to showcase lots of local shops and really bring the Lancaster BID brand to life because of the area covered, and the size of the panels.

The start of the year also saw us start work on a top-secret brand for the now public, Absoluxe Suites. We loved working on a project all about the absolute in luxury stays!

February – Cold Outside But Boiling in Our Office!

The Red Rose Awards judging was upon us. Nobody had any nails left, we’d stuffed our faces with sweets and chocolates to help calm the nerves….or that was our excuse anyway. It was like having all of the lottery numbers and waiting on the last one to come out.

On top of all that we launched the new Single Malt website too. It was months of hard work all coming together. We love our site, it’s very us. Everyone in the team had input, a real collaborative project. And that is what we’re all about!

March – Busy! Busy! Busy!

By March everything had ramped up tremendously and we were getting ready to launch some more amazing client work. This month saw the brand spanking new website for our lovely client, VA Consultants go live. Rebecca from VA was a star and worked tirelessly with us to get everything in place, all with a tight turnaround.

Not only that but we WON the red Rose Award! That final lottery number came out for us! We got to attend the awards ceremony which was amazing. We screamed, we hot footed it to the stage, accepted our award and partied the night away to celebrate. Such an achievement for our team. It was only the second award we’d ever entered, both of which we were ecstatic to win. Following up on such a huge milestone led us to start our recruitment process. Our work was growing which meant we needed to add more talent to our team.

April – No April Showers Here

The weather might have been drizzly but we definitely were not. We worked on a hugely time-sensitive project for The Gaddum Restaurant who needed a new website completing in just a few weeks. Always up for a challenge we worked with Lydia and her team from the Lake District National Park Authority and created something beautiful. You should pop in for afternoon tea if you get chance, it’s absolutely stunning.

We also provided a large amount of artwork for one of Channel 4’s events, BVOD where ALOT of people got to see our design work. It’s great to get such fabulous feedback from everyone. Adding to the month we began working with a new client, Witherslack Group who are pretty much our neighbours as they’re only a couple of minutes down the road. Since beginning our relationship with them we have gone from strength to strength and enjoy working with them almost every week now.

Another highlight was the 1903 brand refresh that we carried out for Manchester Airport Group. As a longstanding client, it was great to push the brand, progress the purpose and refresh the existing artwork as well as work on new projects.

May – With a Spring in Our Step

Being in the countryside we love the different seasons, and Spring gave us a lot of motivation. Two new clients meant we could begin a raft of new and exciting work. Beijing Construction and local luxury property developer M H Staintons came on board, and we made some new friends at the same time. M H Staintons gave us lots to get our teeth into, to say the least!

We also launched another website for a lovely client called Laker Legal. A site with lots of text-heavy pages meant we needed to make sure the design was impactful but usable for the target audience. It had also suffered some poor SEO in the past! The Laker Legal team were fabulous to work with and the end result saw their SEO ranking sky rocket!

June – Summer is Coming 

Beautiful views from our office, lunches sat outside in the sun, and two work experience students joined us. June saw us have the pleasure of Aaron and Millie be part of our team for a week where they worked on personal brands, gained an understanding of the design process, collaboration and how you turn a client brief into an end result.

Busy with branding this month we saw the launch of the new Proof brand for Manchester Airport Group. Proof 65 being the new bar at East Midlands Airport which we branded from scratch, including logo, interior decoration, wall art, food and drink menus and much more. Branding project number 2 was Storage World which was a name change and brand refresh for a current client looking to increase awareness of the company, and very importantly – drive enquiries. We love helping our clients push their own boundaries and work towards their company goals.

July – School’s Out for Summer!

We love sharing our knowledge and skills with driven and passionate young ones. Work experience is hugely important so we always try our hardest to show a realistic slice of the Single Malt cake to anyone who comes to visit. July saw Lucy complete her work experience with us, she was a delight to have and she took away alot.

Our biggest achievement in July was seeing the hours and hours (and hours!) of hardwork running up to the Channel 4 London Upfront event come to fruition. It was a huuuuge project with many experiential design sets, way finding, branding points and programme artwork needed. We pretty much decked out the whole of the Roundhouse in London, and the event was attended by hundreds of people, all admiring our work. Such a proud moment for the whole team!

August – The real Life Broadway

We were proud to attend the Topping Out ceremony on the new Broadway project, one of the new developments for our client MH Stainton. If you’re like me and don’t know what Topping Out is, it’s the addition of the final block of concrete to the building structure. Rob and Bekkie were there, complete with hi-vis vests and hard hats looking amazing!

We also welcomed a new member to our team in August. The lovely Kate joined us as our Marketing Executive after finishing her degree at Lancaster University….and getting a first no less! Our team grew and so did our portfolio. August also saw our work with Rouge Events come to life at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Rob and Bekkie went along to say hello and see what freebies they could pinch! Again it was another chance to see programme work for Channel 4 in real life! You just can’t beat it.

Having the privilege to be the headline sponsor and attend the local Kirkby Lonsdale ball was amazing. We met so many lovely people, and the girls got to dress up and look all glam. OK, the boys looked glam too!

September – The Team Grows Again! 

This was a busy month for us as not only did we welcome new designer, Meg to the team – we attended a 10 year birthday bash for one of our corporate charities, Children of Hope. A lovely get together and traditional Ugandan food in a beautiful setting in Manchester made the perfect Saturday night. Not only that but we had been working on a new website for them which launched at the party. A total success and so many compliments for the team. We loved every minute of it.

More fantastic Channel 4 work in September for their 4Live event in Ireland. And a not so regular job of designing vehicle livery for our lovely client Majik House. If you see them on the road, give them a wave.

October – Design Manchester and Team Bonding 

This was the month where the whole team took a day out to attend the Design Manchester event at Bridgewater Hall. Not only was it great to gain insight and opinion, we enjoyed being together and learning more about our industry and the experience of the speakers. Followed by a lovely meal at Sapporo’s, we were in our element. 

We had the opportunity to work closely with Rouge Events on something with a twist, namely Mallice in Wonderland. Designing the stage set for such a dark and sinister Halloween event was interesting and caught the whole team’s attention! How many people can say they designed the box that a contortionist performs from? We can!

Always trying to keep our support for charities running, in October we sponsored a table at the Unique Kidz Once in a Lifetime Ball, which is a fundraising event to gain funds for the local charity. The pictures show a great time was had by all that attended.

Adding to a busy month was work for Channel 4 in the form of our help to design up a very business critical sales deck. We worked with some very important people within Channel 4 to gain content and create a design that basically needed to sell the broadcaster to media buyers. No pressure then! We smashed it and the senior teams were very happy to take our deck on the road. October also saw the #4Takeover period begin where the 4Sales team take over media agencies for the day and provide information sessions, Q&A’s and lots more. We were happy to provide the artwork in the run up to, and branding points for each agency day. Very proud to see our work in so many places!

November – Meg Becomes Famous

We are so proud of our designer Meg, who after only starting with us in September – delivered a professional talk to students at her University in Huddersfield about design and what it’s like to work in a studio. She did an amazing job and the students had loads of questions for her afterwards.

November saw the second Channel 4 Upfront event of the year in Manchester, which the whole team attended. Not only did we see more of our hard work in person, we also drank cocktails (that we’d designed the menus for!) and spent some time at some of the fun experiential stands (that we also designed) such as Tattoo Fixers. We all came away with a matching tattoo. It was airbrush paint but still!

A few of us had the opportunity to attend the Bay Business Awards where one of our clients, Lancaster BID were up for AND WON the award for Marketing Campaign of the Year, for Lancaster’s Festa Italia. We were heavily involved with the campaign branding and produced the marketing design for the event which you’ll have seen everywhere in the run up

Christmas is a busy time for lots of charities, especially foodbanks, so we supported our local foodbank in Morecambe by creating their Operation Secret Santa campaign which was very well received. Thanks to everyone who supported and donated.

December – Christmas is Coming

Last but definitely not least, December was just as busy as every other month! We said farewell and good luck to our designer Sarah who started her maternity leave. We’ll soon have a baby Malt crawling around and we can’t wait! We also began working on the Channel 4 Upfronts for 2019. Such prestigious events need huge amounts of time, collaboration and creativity for everything to be perfect.

Rob and Bekkie attended the Drum Awards with our client Channel 4 and partner Rouge Events who were up for an award for the Upfront event. You guessed it! We won it! So, so, so proud of every single person from all the partners who worked on the event. Our final achievement just before Christmas was the launch of the new Absoluxe site, which we have branded from scratch and worked tirelessly on. Absolute luxury doesn’t just happen! The suites will open this year in Kirkby Lonsdale so be sure to pay a visit and treat yourself.

It’s great to have worked all year (and previous years) internally with the Airport team based in the USA. We are proud to help them with designs for their lounges, it’s great to see our work presented in other countries with lots more to come in 2019. Keeping our world domination plan running we are ticking more countries off the list, ending the year working with amazing clients in not only the USA, but Italy, Germany, Beijing and Uganda too!

Phew! What. A. Year.

And we’re already just as busy in 2019 with 6 websites in the process and 2 brand reveals about to happen. Plus much more to keep an eye on!

We wouldn’t be doing any of this without our clients so a big thanks to them for their continued support and for making 2018 so amazing, we are already looking forward into 2019!

Keep your eyes peeled and see what we get up to.