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Why Strawberry Field matters to us

A brand-new interactive visitor experience in Liverpool has opened its famous red gates to the public for the first time. Experience designers Cubit3D invited our team at StudioLR to help create the visitor experience at The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field Project.

As Strawberry Field welcomes the public, the red gates open new job opportunities to young adults with learning disabilities, and visitors can interactively experience stories about John Lennon’s childhood.

Their space – it matters to us
The Project also sets the scene for The Salvation Army to counter another of Lennon’s famous lyrics, “It doesn’t matter much to me” with “it matters to us” which is reproduced in the exhibition and the café.

In 1934, The Salvation Army was gifted the Strawberry Field, Victorian house and grounds. A few years later it became a children’s home for girls and then boys and has provided some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable children a safe place for many years.

Fast forward to the present
Developed by The Salvation Army, and in partnership with The City of Liverpool College and local employers, the ‘Steps to Work Programme’ aims to allow young adults with learning difficulties the opportunity to gain the skills and experience they may not have access to elsewhere.

The Salvation Army has identified that there is a gap with national government programmes – 93% of the one million people with learning difficulties in the UK are unemployed. Barriers are now being broken through The Salvation Army’s scheme as these young people have the support to unlock their full potential. 

StudioLR Designer, Nicola Laurie says: “Once you get there, you see that it has a bigger purpose than remembering Lennon and his story. The Salvation Army has made it a place that helps people and does some good.”

Continuing Lennon’s Legacy
It was at Strawberry Field that John Lennon was inspired. As a child, he would often play in the grounds. Subsequently, the song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, was penned. Lennon found sanctuary at Strawberry Field, and this is ensured to continue; with a new hub allowing trainees to develop their skills, socialise, and ultimately move into future employment.

Dave King, our Design Director says: “Strawberry Field inspired Lennon, and The Salvation Army is allowing this to continue for the young children of Liverpool for future generations to come.”

Your space
A mural of Lennon’s face created from built up pictures of the public is also on display; allowing the space to be the public’s as well as The Salvation Army’s. This is expected to develop and grow as more people donate to have their face appear on the wall.

Strawberry Field celebrates pop culture and nostalgia – while supporting the charity through donations and visits. Our team has really enjoyed being part of the creation of such a significant place where Lennon’s words will continue to resonate … “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

We need a designer who can make things happen. Someone’s who’s not afraid of the unexpected, who can manage projects with confidence, and who can transform good ideas into great results. 

Do you want to get stuck into the juiciest briefs? Do you want to create work that sparks something in people? Fancy getting your name on a D&AD pencil? Good! Keep reading…

Who the LR we?

We are StudioLR – a brand design studio in Edinburgh made up of creative people, strategic people, and people people who keep us all in check. Our expertise is in brand strategy, design and activation across digital, print and environments. We’re champions of inclusive design and over the years we’ve had the chance to make a serious impact on people’s lives – from children with care experience to people with hidden disabilities.

We care about big, purposeful ideas that mean something to people. We push ourselves and our ideas as far as they can go and start every single project with the same aim – how can we spark something in people? Provoke them. Get a reaction. Get a result.  

Our work has won a lot of awards – from two D&ADs, to a shelf full of Scottish Design Awards, the Grand Prix at the Nods, and SME Agency of the Year 2019 at the Marketing Society.

The details

We’re looking for a Senior Designer to start immediately with:
1. Minimum 5 years experience (ideally agency experience across
all channels – from concepts to delivery)
2. Experience of managing projects, clients and team members
3. A love for design and a genuine belief in the power of good
strategic and creative thinking
4. An open mind 

We offer a competitive package and a great environment to learn and grow. As well as standing desks, yoga, mindfulness, birthdays off, volunteering opportunities, and some pretty ropey Spotify playlists.

How to apply

Get in touch by 11th October with examples of your three favourite pieces of work, and a brief note explaining why you’d like to work at StudioLR, your ambition and what you’ll bring to the role, and salary expectation.

Email: Michelle@StudioLR.com
StudioLR.com

Finance: just because your industry is serious, doesn’t mean your brand has to be

When we say ‘financial planning company’, what does that make you think of? Important life decisions? Lots of jargon? Does it feel scary / risky / overwhelming? Does it make you think “maybe later”?

We wouldn’t blame you for feeling this way.

But let us introduce you to Spentwell

Spentwell is a new kind of financial planning and investment management firm. Whatever image that brings to mind, think the opposite. Spentwell is transparent, relaxed and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It puts people at ease – making finance easy to understand and relevant to people’s lives. It might even be fun. It’s not all about attainment of a huge end goal in a future that’s unimaginably far away. It’s about building an understanding of finances, so people feel comfortable, confident and able to enjoy all of life’s surprises… now and in the future.

We’re here to help people enjoy their financial journey and ultimately live the life they want.

After all, what’s life if it isn’t Spentwell?

Spentwell was started by Keith Boyes – an experienced Chartered Financial Planner with over a decade of industry experience and a hatred of industry jargon. Keith’s worked in many of the industry’s biggest financial planning firms and had a spell in Hong Kong, advising ex-pats.

Keith is motivated by providing the joy and security that sound financial planning allows. He genuinely gets a kick out of helping people get the most they possibly can from life. It’s important that his brand conveys this – as well as helping people to see that finances well-managed is a happy, accessible thing.

The Brand

It started with the name. We needed something that would plant the idea that sound financial planning can help you make the most of your time – giving you the freedom to spend it well. It’s that simple.

Your money. Your life…

Let’s make sure it’s Spentwell.

Dare we say the F-word? Visually, we wanted the brand to convey a sense of Fun (without taking away from the importance of the service). From bold colour choices to playful charts, the brand is designed to stand-out from the competition.

Are you having a graph? Inspired by the familiar patterns of finance-sidekick Microsoft Excel, the Spentwell brand playfully uses charts to highlight the joy that planning your finances can bring – whether it’s saving for a big event or giving you the peace of mind to enjoy the small things.

All together now. With a strong series of patterns, holders and bold colours we’re sure Spentwell will be able to take its new brand and creatively run with it. It’s versatile and flexible across different media, leaving the door open for unique and distinct marketing.

“How do you create a brand that embodies your vision, excites you about your firm and the possibilities, and leaves you with an immense sense of pride – You work with StudioLR.

The team has turned my vague, muddled ideas into a real brand that has impact. They took the time to listen and understand, drilling down into what’s important, using their expertise to turn my vision into reality. I’m delighted with the process I’ve gone through, all their tireless work and the fantastic outcome. True experts in design and branding who I can’t recommend enough. ” – Keith Boyes, Spentwell


To find out how we can make your brand cut through the noise of your industry then get in touch.

Why enter a Marketing Society Star Awards paper?

Submitting a Marketing Society Star Awards paper can be time consuming, and we all know that time is precious.

So, why do we bother?

  1. It challenges us to look deeply at our work and ask our clients Did we add value? And can we prove it?
  2. A nomination gives reassurance to our clients and prospects.
  3. Award wins are a great morale boost for our team who put everything they have into their work.
  4. And of course, we love to party.

Marketing Society Star Awards 2019

Winner: Chairman’s Award for SME Agency of the Year
StudioLR

Gold: (Tourism, Leisure and Sport – marketing)
– The D-Day Story / Portsmouth Council

Gold: (Best Brand Experience)
– Volvo CE Rigid Hauler Launch

Also nominated …

Brand Development
– The D-Day Story / Portsmouth Council

Brand Development
– Volvo CE Rigid Hauler Launch

Drink
– Cushiedoos Premium Scottish Tonic Water

And congratulations to Volvo CE for winning the Chairman’s Award for First Time Entry, and to Jacqueline Reid of Volvo CE, for her nomination as Inspirational Marketing Leader of the Year.

We’re on the hunt for a Senior Designer

We are StudioLR, a design studio made up of creative people, strategic people, and people people who keep all the other people in check. We come to work every morning with the same goal to make people’s everyday experiences better.

Our expertise is in brand strategy, identity design and activation, marketing campaigns, environments, print, digital and inclusive design. Most importantly, our work isn’t for our clients – it’s for the people they want to reach.

What this looks like day-to-day varies from designing purpose led brands, to designing and testing inclusive symbols that make a difference to people from all walks of life, to making a 100-tonne truck disappear in front of a live audience. 

We’re a bunch of hungry fighters always pushing ourselves and our ideas as far as they can go to create work that sparks something in people. At the Marketing Society Star Awards 2019 we were awarded the Chairman’s Award for (SME) Agency of the Year.

We’re looking for a Senior Designer to start immediately with …

  • Around 5 years experience across all channels, delivering purposeful design that’s executed beautifully from concept through to delivery
  • A real belief in the value of great design  
  • Experience managing projects and clients, as well as team members 

If this sounds interesting and you feel like a new challenge then please do get in touch with a brief note explaining why you’d like to work at StudioLR, what you’ll bring to the role, your ambition and salary expectation.

Please apply to Michelle@StudioLR.com

StudioLR any disability symbol, copyright StudioLR 2019

New ‘Any Disability’ symbol launched at Commons debate

Building on the campaign by Grace Warnock, StudioLR (funded by Life Changes Trust) has designed a new ‘Any Disability’ symbol to encourage awareness of people with invisible disabilities.

Today (Wednesday 5th June), Martin Whitfield, MP for East Lothian, will lead a Commons debate on invisible disabilities and accessibility challenges.

The debate in the Commons’ Main Chamber will also see the formal launch a new Any Disability symbol to more accurately represent the full range of people with various disabilities who use accessible toilets and other facilities.

The development of the new sign was inspired by the success of the Grace’s Sign campaign, developed by Mr Whitfield’s constituent Grace Warnock, a pupil at Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans. Grace, who has Crohn’s Disease, designed her sign following her own experience of using accessible toilets, including receiving negative remarks from adults who did not appreciate or understand her disability.

Grace has received high level recognition for her inspirational campaign, including a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister and a British Citizen Youth Award.

The new Any Disability symbol has been designed by StudioLR as an evolution of Grace’s Sign with the aim of becoming recognised by the British Standards Institution as the generally accepted sign for accessible facilities, including toilets, parking areas and assistance points.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Martin Whitfield MP said:

The impact of accessibility challenges faced by those living with ‘invisible’ disabilities has too often been overlooked or ignored.

“However, thanks to the dedicated work of numerous charities and inspirational individual campaigners like Grace Warnock, the issue is finally starting to receive the attention it deserves.

“This Commons debate will provide another opportunity for MPs to speak out on behalf of their constituents who live with hidden disabilities and describe the challenges and negative responses they can experience while going about their daily lives.

“I hope the debate will help to increase awareness around these complicated issues and lead to greater understanding about the daily challenges faced by so many people living with a wide range of conditions.”

Lucy Richards,  Creative Director at StudioLR, who designed the new sign, said:

“The wheelchair symbol is commonly used on accessible toilet signs and Blue Badge parking permits, however this symbol doesn’t represent the people with wide-ranging impairments who use these facilities and services. 

Having followed Grace Warnock’s campaign to raise awareness that some people who use accessible toilets have an invisible disability (for instance Crohn’s disease or dementia) the design team at StudioLR saw an opportunity to build on this. With a Life Changes Trust Award (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund) StudioLR has conceived, designed and tested a new, inclusive symbol that can be rolled out across toilets, parking signs and assistance points. Testing was facilitated by Innovations in Dementia.

We created the new Any Disability symbol because people with a hidden disability have the right to access facilities and services without having to explain their personal circumstances. It’s about building awareness as well as preventing prejudice.”

Grace Warnock said:

“The story of my sign came from my own experience of an adult questioning my use of an accessible toilet this ignorance drove me to design the first Grace’s Sign to educate others on invisible disabilities and to encourage everyone to have a heart”

StudioLR win Nod for Best Out of Home for D-Day Story

Seeing double

Oh hey! We’ve got some great news to share. StudioLR has won The Nods award for Best Out of Home for our campaign for The D-Day Story.

In response to our work, a judge said “The D-Day Story in Portsmouth was a work impossible to forget. Ironic, but yet so striking, in the way it brought humanity to such a delicate subject.”

We also received a Wee Nod of recognition for our work on launching Volvo CE’s R100E Rigid Hauler in the Best Brand Experience category. Here is our client, Jacqueline Reid (Marketing and Communications Director) looking rather chuffed about that.

Volvo CE Wee Nod Award StudioLR
Volvo CE R100E launch StudioLR

Will we get the Nod?

The Nods award ceremony is right around the corner and we’re pretty chuffed to say that StudioLR and our clients have been shortlisted for six awards.

This is the second year of The Nods. They were set up with the support of the creative community, for the benefit of the creative community in Scotland – aiming to recognise and celebrate great work, organisations and people. At last year’s inaugural ceremony we scooped the grand prix, The Big Nod, for our work with Terex Trucks. (Does that make us the Noddy Holder? Sorry.)

This year we’re up for:

  • Best Brand Experience (Your New Rigid Hauler Global Launch – Volvo CE)
  • Best Out of Home (The D-Day Story – Portsmouth City Council)
  • Best Client (Jacqueline Reid – Volvo CE)
  • Best Print Design (Gathering by Alec Finlay – Hauser & Wirth)
  • Best Creative (Mark Wheeler & Dave King – StudioLR)
  • SME Creative Agency of the Year (StudioLR)

Looking forward to the big bash at Brewhemia on Thursday. 

We’ve got our fingers crossed…

The Value of Listening

Co-design in Practice.

At the International Masterclass on Dementia Care, Design and Ageing, Lucy will share insights from our Inclusive Symbols work funded by Life Changes Trust.

Initial research indicated that many of the symbols we encounter in life are not easily understood by people with cognitive challenges. So, we set out to create a new set of 15 symbols, designed to make finding the way easier for everybody.

Sharing progress and revealing the latest work, Lucy will highlight the value of listening to the views of people with dementia to inform the creative process.

The International Masterclass brings together experts from across the globe to discuss ideas from design innovation through research to policy development to support independence and well-being in people living with dementia. 


Co-design in Practice

International Masterclass on Dementia Care, Design and Ageing

Wednesday 15th May, 11.30am

Iris Murdoch Conference Suite, University of Stirling

Tickets available here

If you want people to visit you, visit us first.

The Museums + Heritage Show takes place in London this May – aiming to share insights, hints and tips that you can put into practice in your own destination organisation.

We’re hosting a session in the ‘Engaging New Visitors’ theatre alongside the National Trust for Scotland. Our design director, Dave King, will be joined by NTS Head of Commercial Enterprises and Estates, Connie Lovel, to share what we learned from our work together at Inverewe.

How can you stay true to your heritage and attract a wider range of visitors? We’ll take you behind the scenery at Inverewe, and show you how we unlocked the eccentricity of the garden’s founder Osgood, and developed a new creative positioning and visitor experience. 

A Marketing Society Gold Award Winner, the project led to a 28% increase in family visits. Join us to discover new ways of working and top tips to help you welcome more visitors.


Welcoming the world: How to build brands and experiences that people love

Museums + Heritage Show

Wednesday 15th May, 3.15pm

Engaging New Visitors (Theatre 2)

Register for your free ticket here

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