Design

Beautiful Beijing, wish you were here by Thomas O'Malley

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The (rather strange) task: Create a postcard for a Chinese-run Italian restaurant chain in Beijing, to be given free to foreign tourists who eat in the restaurant.

Firstly, if you were on holiday in China and decided to pop into a cheap and cheerful Italian restaurant for some familiar chow - would you write home about the experience? Probably not. So, important to play down the restaurant and play up Beijing sights as much as the client will allow. I dug out suitable photos I'd taken over the years, and arranged a quick shoot of a pizza delivery driver in Beijing's old hutong alleyways.

But it's still a weird idea - a Chinese-run Italian restaurant handing out postcards, presumably in the hope of global marketing. With that in mind, the only solution seemed to have fun with it. The restaurant in question is a much-loved institution, but it hasn't exactly moved with the times. So a consciously 'retro' postcard sort of plays on this, with (hopefully) just the right level of raised eyebrow.

That meant aged filters on the photos, a 70s template, and the addition of some scratches, grain and light-leaks courtesy of the awesome Mextures app. Et voila, Beautiful Beijing. (The idea that Beijing is beautiful is kind of part of the joke.) But come on, she has her moments.

Create, produce: SIEM consulting brochure by Thomas O'Malley

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The challenge - to write and produce a glossy, quick-to-digest brochure that introduces the consulting talents of British Council's Services for International Education Marketing (SIEM) team across the globe.

A compelling cover message was critical - I felt this slogan captured the right balance of formality and chutzpah, with some elegant wordplay that tweaks just as you read it.

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Design is courtesy of the wonderful and ever-inventive Jane, who took British government blue to new heights of royal blueness, and created this really appealing triangular motif background, and some trademark infographics.

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This gate-fold mechanic added a little extra aesthetic functionality, with the right-hand page linking when folded and the pattern extending with the content when opened fully.

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Because the consultants are based in different countries we weren't able to organise a photo shoot for portraits, and so ended up with a bit of a hodgepodge of picture styles.

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The high gloss coated finish was the preference of the client (I suggested a more muted eggshell / vinyl look), but glossy talks in the world of international education marketing. Just so you know.