We do a lot of work in sustainbility reporting and I discovered this really good piece by designer Ben Terrett about the role of designers and sustainability. You can read the whole thing here . There is also something interesting going at McDonalds sustainability blog here.
Meanwhile, back over at the Eurostar terminal, one of my favorite artists, Quentin Blake, has produced an illustration to greet passengers leaving the new St Pancras International station. The 16m high building wrap will cover the Victorian Grade II listed Stanley Building during its refurbishment. People can enjoy the largest-scale Quentin Blakes ever produced. All images © Quentin Blake.
We have recently overseen installation of new, branded, external signs which we have designed for United Utilities’ headquarters in Warrington. The six sets of brushed stainless steel signs, manufactured and installed by Evolve Group of Haydock, brand and provide identification of the four Lakeland-named buildings on the established, but now rapidly expanding, Lingley Mere Business Park. The signs have been designed to integrate with the high quality architecture and landscaping of the parkland site, as well as providing a signage model for the growing number of businesses and amenities which will increase this strategic North West development to circa 120,000 sq.m.
I was interested to learn that one of our regular printers, Synergy, has recently achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation. This means that their business practices, and purchase of FSC certified forest products, support and comply with the Council’s mission to “promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests” and are therefore not contributing to their worldwide destruction. Congratulations!
Currently, there seems to be a shift in the way major companies are tackling communication between themselves and their stakeholders. This seems no more apparent than in the innovative Plan A campaign from Marks & Spencer.
There was a time when sustainability reports were the ‘be all and end all’ of communication to company stakeholders, a slick tool used to rally support of new issues on responsibility and their effects on the business. But it seems that CR reporting is coming of age. Either CR Managers are now trying to reinvent themselves, or someone has noticed that, in delivering such dry corporate communication, they miss out the most important stakeholder of them all, the customer. M&S, with their Plan A campaign, seem to have got things just right and, like many of the large companies, are now developing a campaigning approach to corporate responsibility and sustainability. Although to some it might seem like a £200 million punt to drive new business, to me it is a brilliant campaign, ‘nicely realistic’ in its approach, combining an openness to customers which sets out the company’s stall when it comes to CR issues moving forward, whilst also delivering the facts and figures needed from a stakeholder perspective in order to make solid business decisions.
I just hope, after all that hype, M&S don’t have to suddenly design a ‘Plan B’.
I picked up a battered old paperback in the local Oxfam store the other day – for £1 – a ‘Pelican Special’ on ‘DESIGN’ by Anthony Bertram, published almost 70 years ago (1938). Fascinating to read about, and see photographic examples of, ‘modern design’! – but with words which stand the test of time…
“Good design is not a matter of wealth, much less of the chic, the latest thing. It is not a matter of novelty for the sake of novelty, but of the production of cities and houses and goods which will best satisfy the needs of people; their need of practical, honest, inexpensive, lasting and beautiful things to use and see in their everyday lives.”
With LF’s interest in airports and wayfinding, here is someone’s wry look at the subject! (from bbc.co.uk’s ‘h2g2’ site): http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2356085