New year, new gongs

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Some people think it’s important to start a brand new year with a resolution or two. Something about self-improvement, perhaps. A determination to kick a bad habit, maybe. We’d definitely concur that a new year resolution helps to focus the mind on the twelve months ahead. A sort of January-based determination to make that extra bit of effort. So if you asked, we’d probably say that 2018 will see Baxter and Bailey more determined then ever to deliver design that counts. Work with substance that makes an impact. Work that we’re proud of, which our clients love and which is recognised. All of which makes it especially thrilling to discover right at the start of 2018 that two of our recent projects are up for Transform Awards. Our brand identites for the amazing and innovative Threefold and the brilliant and brave Brighton Women’s Centre have both been shortlisted for a Transform Award in 2018, a year in which the scheme has received its greatest ever number of entries. The winners are announced in March. We resolve to keep you posted...

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High five

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Whoa there. Before we come hurtling at a fair gallop to the end of 2017 and sink into a mince pie and port-fuelled reverie, we’d like to pause and give ourselves a brief and quite British pat on the back. Why the self congratulatory pause, we hear you ask? It’s because Baxter and Bailey celebrated five years of business this year, a milestone we marked with the V nice card above. A small milestone in the grand scheme of things perhaps, but a birthday worth celebrating we think. Because it means that our growing band of clients agree that design for good means good design. So here’s to V more years. Who knows, maybe even X.

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What’s that creaky groaning sound, I hear you ask? That, dear blog reader, is the sound of the Baxter and Bailey library shelves struggling valiantly under the weight of some lovely (and especially hefty) new books. We’re thrilled to see our brand identity work appearing in two ace new books this month. Firstly, Los Logos 8 from Gestalten features three logo designs from our back catalogue (Brickworks, Eight Outdoor and Bog Eyed Books). And secondly, the aforementioned Bog Eyed Books logo also features as an award-winning entry in this years lovely, Studio Sutherl&-designed D&AD Annual. As if all of that isn’t enough, this week also sees the launch of the beefy new Me & EU book which features two contributions from the Baxter and Bailey team. I think we’re going to need a bigger bookshelf...

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There goes the summer

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And just like that, summer buggered off. Well, that’s certainly how it feels right now. The school holidays are over, our shorts are reluctantly back in the drawer marked summer clothes and we’re bravely resisting the temptation to pop the heating on. All of which prompted this summer 2017 review, if only to rekindle those sunny vibes. The BB summer trip saw us bowling down the Sussex coast to Chichester, where we visited the ace Pallant House Gallery before heading out from Itchenor Harbour in a boat skippered by friend of BB, Warwick Johnson Cadwell. When not skippering boats, WJC is a world-renowned comic book artist, working with the likes of Alan Martin on Young Tank Girl and Mike Mignola on Mr Higgins Comes Home. A man of many talents, as you can see here. In other summer news, we began work on exciting projects with two major new clients. The Royal Mail and Goldsmiths University have both been keeping us happily busy through the summer weeks. More on both of those projects soon. In the meantime, pop a cardie on. Brrr.

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Brighton Pride 2017

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A notable increase in rainbow flags a-fluttering, spangly boob tubes a-glittering and euro techno a-pumpin’ can mean only one thing. The mighty Brighton Pride is upon us. And as relative newcomers to Brighton, we feel especially chuffed, thrilled and proud to call this open-minded city our home. Here’s to three whole days of fierce fun, hot sun, saucy wonders, camp pop, crazy cabaret, sailor hats, cycle cops, glitter in yer pockets and grins on yer chops.

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Are you (deep breath) an excellent communicator, a natural collaborator, focused, motivating and persuasive, cool under pressure with a great eye for detail, knowledgable in all aspects of digital and print production, financially astute, passionate about the power of design to create positive impact, intelligent, articulate and fun to work with and adept in iWork and Microsoft Office software suites? Yes? In that case: we need you.

We’re looking for a Project Manager
Full or Part-time (30 hours minimum per week)

We’re looking to recruit a mid-level Project Manager to join our award-winning, five-strong brand design team in Brighton. If you have the relevant skills and experience alongside being bright, meticulous and fun to work with then we’d love to hear from you. In addition to the above attributes, key responsibilities will include:

• Pro-active day to day management of live design projects
• Contribution to planning, resourcing and management of workflow
• Monitoring of resources against budgets
• Providing continuity of communication with clients and the design team
• Supporting Directors with the co-ordination of new business opportunities
• Planning, writing and proofreading of project proposals and schedules
• Writing of production specifications and management of costs against budgets
• Supporting Directors with financial administration and bookkeeping
• Supporting Directors with planning and implementation of the studio’s marketing and PR

Salary: £24-30k (dependent on experience)

Please email your CV along with a covering letter expressing why you’d like to work with Baxter and Bailey to
by Friday 18th August 2017.

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Oxford dons

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Team BB has been happily spending time in the intellectually-stimulating, bicycle-loving, tourist-attracting city of Oxford over the past 12 months. The reason for our visits is an as-yet unannounced – but VERY exciting – project for Oxford University Press. The resulting visual identity work will be up on the BB site in the next few weeks, as soon as we’re allowed to share it. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the wonderful building pictured above: the beautiful, inspiring and ultra-functional Blavatnik School of Government, where we launched our work to an audience of OUP folk last week. What a building. What a project. More soon...

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It’s been emojinal

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Design Week was back in touch this week. Their burning question? They wanted to find out what Matt’s most used emoji is. Here’s what we said:

“Hard as it may be to believe, I’m a child of the 1970s. Which means that I’m well versed in the art of the thumbs-up. There was a time when no self-respecting celeb would dream of appearing on the cover of Look In, Smash Hits or Jackie without framing their famous/frightening face with at least one raised thumb, preferably two. Or in the case of Slade, eight.

It’s a practice that Sir Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft still diligently observes to this day. However, my favourite emoje (singular) isn’t the default fat, yellow thumbs-up offered by Apple to the frequent thumb user. Oh no. My favourite is a Photo-moji thumbs-up, personally handcrafted by Jon Link of Modern Toss – the first of a full set to be released by the House of Toss later this year. As soon as this emojinally intense thumbzilla lands in your text thread, you know you’ve been thumbed. I’m just glad he hasn’t sent me the poo one yet.”

You can read the rest of the vox poppage here at the Design Week website.

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The ace reporters at Design Week have been back on the BB studio hotline again, this time to ask our Creative Director Matt this question: what has been your biggest failure? Assuming that they meant design failure rather than anything more personal, here’s what Matt said:

“My biggest failure as a designer isn’t a poorly built website, a shoddily constructed exhibition or a fatally flawed piece of print (though I confess to some or all of the above). It’s a bit bigger and broader than that; a failure of focus. Once upon a time, I’d say ‘yes’ to pretty much any project or client, regardless of sector, size or ethical stance. I’ve learned from experience that a more considered, tailored and pragmatic approach to the kinds of jobs we take on is better for me and our business. We’re more focused and in control of our destiny as a result, and happier too.”

You can read all of the other disastrous anecdotes here.

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Good news about bad news

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Listen. Can you hear it? That polite but excited tootling sound? That’s the sound of us proudly tooting our own trumpet with some more exciting awards news. We’ve just found out that we have been nominated for a 2017 Design Week Award. The nominated project is a self-promotional piece we sent to clients, friends and collaborators right at the end of 2016. In it we listed 2016 reasons why 2016 was a lousy old year: from Bowie and Brexit to Southern Rail and Syria, it listed twelve months of bad news. Yes, 2016 individually listed and lovingly typeset nuggets of newsworthy negativity. You can see the rest of the shortlisted work on the Design Week site here, which includes loads of lovely stuff and is well worth a look. Toot!

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