Cost v Quality V Speed

This may well be an old saying, but after this week it’s one that seems particularly poignant to the design industry.

If it’s Good and Cheap it will not be Quick

If it’s Cheap and Quick it will not be Good


If it’s Fast and Good it will not be cheap

Perhaps we need to make our new mission statement

If it’s Fast, Excellent Value and Good it must have been done by design101…


The Designed in Sheffield brand identity

Designed in Sheffield is a newly formed organisation aiming to promote and unite designers from all industries to work together and collaborate to become a strong and powerful platform for attracting new business to the Sheffield.

In order to introduce the organisation to the designers within the city a competition was opened allowing any designers to submit ideas for the brand identity of Designed in Sheffield. design101 were shortlisted in the top 5 from over 30 entries to develop our ideas further.

Detailed below are our ideas, thought processes and visuals that were part of our final presentation to the board of Designed in Sheffield:

We wanted to establish a brand identity which is fitting for the multitude of industries represented by Designed in Sheffield and also reflect the skills and expertise available from designers in Sheffield.

The brand needs to be a powerful identity in its own right and yet, be flexible and adaptable for use as an accreditation or alongside other branding.

Our concept was to take inspiration from the Hallmark. An instantly recognisable icon steeply bathed in Sheffield heritage and yet a perfect visual symbol which would happily compliment and work with other brand identities.
The logo utilised the initials from Designed in Sheffield (DiS) to allow for the graphic symbol part of the brand to be instantly recognisable, with or without the full graphic lettering for the logo.

The logo was applied to various marketing and promotional materials including: a website; posters; membership pack; merchandise, and more.

The full presentation can be viewed here…

The competition was finally won by Ray Jepson from JepsonOne. Congratulations Ray.

I’m sure we will all start to see the brand evolve and become part of scenery in and around Sheffield and hopefully further afield too.

Click here to see Ray’s designs…

5000 year old type

I’ve just spent 2 weeks in Egypt on holiday, relaxing, enjoying the sunshine (more accurately, sat in the shade trying not to get burnt) and trying to forget about computers and design. But, there is no escape.

One of the most fantastic experiences ever was a trip to Cairo, into the ancient world of the pharaohs and deep into the tunnels of the Pyramids. Seeing huge statues carved in marble, thousands of years old, the hieroglyphics carved so neatly and exactly as if carved by modern machines was amazing. Hieroglyphics took modern man decades to decipher before many of the ancient pharaohs secrets could be revealed. Now, tourists like me can buy, pretty much any naff ornament especially guilt, plastic gem encrusted, Tutankhamen mummy heads, with their name etched on in hieroglyphs.  

How mundane and ordinary is ABC compared to:

So where next, china?

Mat Lam and Spot UV – It’s the future!

Just the thought of a design project for your own agency is enough to send dread to the heart of most designers… and I’m no different.

However, designing the next generation of design101 business cards has been both a pleasure and a blast. The concept was simple; we wanted each card to reflect the skills and personality of the team member and also to inform people about design101 and what we do.

Each card was produced with a matt laminate to ensure a high quality feel and the unique design element for each person’s card had a spot UV applied. This added extra emphasis and depth and has resulted in a tactile and irresistibly ‘touchy feely’ set of cards.

design101 Business Cards

design101 Business Cards

Want to see the cards up close and in their full shiny glory?
Then drop us an email to!

Static HTML or CMS?

Do the benefits of flexible and updatable content out weigh the cons of allowing clients to ‘fiddle’ with your prized website design?

NO! After many years of designing CMS based websites I find it hearbreaking to see once treasured and carefully constructed designs ruined when clients decides that some new important information needs adding to the home page and choose to use 76point pink text!

The solution – at design101 we have spent years developing a CMS system that gives the client all the flexibility they need to update and maintan their site – yet ensures that the design integrity of the interface and content pages is retained. The CMS stsyem allows in context editing, so you can see what effects your new content has on the actual page without the need to preview the page.

In this blog I will keep you posted of all the new elements and features of the design101 CMS…