TL/ News

/

The Rainbowworks Vintage Bike project is complete. She’s polished and all set for her first outing around the Peak District for the Eroica Brittania festival ride this weekend.

Our vintage bike has been lovingly pieced together over the last few months in preparation for a celebration of British vintage at the Eroica Brittania festival ride, around the English peak district.The bike is a 1980 Rayleigh Zenith with Reynolds 501 frame.

 
Check back to see how we get on!

/

One of our primary schools recently jumped up to Ofsted Outstanding for the first time and we’re proud our website design played it’s part.

Corpus Christi RC Primary School Website Mockup

Corpus Christi RC Primary School, in Oldham, has just jumped up to Ofsted Outstanding, after a recent inspection in December.

As reported in the Oldham Chronicle, it is not only the first time the school has achieved the top Ofsted level, but they are also the first school in the borough to be awarded ‘Outstanding’, following changes to the inspection process introduced in September 2015. You can find out more about the result and what it means to the school, in the headteacher’s post inspection narrative, on the school’s website.

We’ve worked with Corpus for several years, having designed and maintained the school’s website, along with several other projects including logo design, prospectus and class badges, so we’re very proud to have played our part in the result.

The importance of a primary school website

A primary school website plays an ever increasing role and is now frequently the first port of call for Ofsted, at the start of the inspection process.

A lot of effort goes into ensuring that our school websites meet and maintain the latest Ofsted and DfE statutory requirements and guidelines and hence, were pleased to hear the website was regarded very highly by the inspection team. Chris Hanson, the school’s headteacher offered the following:

“The inspection team were really impressed with the website and said it proved how broad and balanced our curriculum is.”

 

Development of our primary school website platform is ongoing, to ensure we maintain these highest levels and provide a product and service that can really make a difference to daily school life and the school community. 

Find out more about the Corpus website here or read about our latest primary school website here.

If you are interested in a new website for your school and think we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

 

/

The young designers at Holcombe Brook Primary get the school logo design process off to a flying start.

Holcombe Brook primary school are refreshing their school identity and rightly want their pupils to be integral to the process. So we created a half-day logo design workshop for the Year 5 pupils, to help us achieve this. We could discuss their thoughts and ideas, and in return introduce them to the logo design process and some tablet based professional design tools. The results were fantastic.

The Logo Workshop Format

The half-day program was intended to give the children a jam-packed introduction to the different aspects of the logo design process, while establishing ideas and preferences that could underpin the new logo design. Click the image below to view the workshop slideshow for more information about .

 

Logo design Workshop Presentation title slide with link to the full presentation.
 

The Results

We started with some discussion about what a logo is and what makes a good one, followed by a guess-the-logo quiz. After some initial brainstorming, the children then got straight into some concept sketching in black and white. Preferred black and white designs were then developed into colour.

Logo concept sketches in black and white.
 
Logo concept sketches in colour.


logo-workshop-hb-2
logo-workshop-hb-3
logo-workshop-hb-4

 

To introduce new design tools and technology, best sketches were then converted into digital format, as if to ready for further refinement. This was done on iPad using a combination of Genius Scan and the Sketchbook Apps. We finished of with a collaborative review to help the children evaluate their work.
 

 

Analysis: Making use of the findings

The concept work can now be used to provide direction for the final design; by providing inspiration and by allowing better informed decisions. For example, the figure below summarises the most common elements featured across the complete set of B&W concept designs. This can help make better informed decisions on content. Despite ‘Brook’ being part of the school name, a river/brook only features twice and as such doesn’t seem particularly important to the children, when visually representing their school. The results also say that the pupils like to represent the school with a lot of different elements (nearly 6 per design, in addition to the tower and hill). Circle vs. Square (75:25) shaped design is another property with clear direction. Colour assessment may also be relevant for wider identity design, in order to create a picture of the school that best resonates with how the children view it, or would like to view it.

By using this analysis to guide subsequent design decisions, the children’s collective work here will become integral to the further designs.
 
Histogram showing the range and frequency of different elements featured across in the all logo concept designs.

 

I was so impressed with what the children achieved in the session. Undeterred by a challenging programme, the children applied themselves throughout, working well with the new software and each other, to produce some excellent results and get the project off to a flying start. The young designers in Mr. Bradshaw’s class are a credit to their school and they should be very proud of their contribution toward the new school logo. A top effort.
 

/

Top Finds from my five-week mission into Data Journalism, having just completed the Data Driven Journalism course.

I’ve done a lot of data visualisation in an engineering context in earlier Formula One work, but never in a Journalism context. The five-week online course by Data Driven Journalism seemed a great opportunity to broaden my horizons – to see data visualisation in a different context and to get up to speed with a few of the latest tools.

The course did just that – good structure, communications and pace. More surprising was the energy around the course boards – some of which have now developed into useful resources in their own right!

I’m chuffed to have just completed the final exam with full marks, but better than that, have picked up some neat tips and tools to take forward. These are a few that stood out:

 

1. Data ‘Scraping’ Tools – Outwit Hub and Import.io

New to me, these tools can quickly pull large data from web pages or directories into a useable, structured set. Have only used Outwit so far, but have found it a bit flaky with macros and automated jobs, so will be giving the online based Import.io a go too.

2. Email notifications when a web page changes

ChangeDetection.com will fire you an email whenever a web page changes. You just configure the pages you want to watch. A handy way to keep updated on pages that don’t have an RSS feed. Works well, sometimes a bit too well!

3. Comprehensive World Cup Data Set

Quite current, but I love World Cup data. Had struggled in the past trying to get any data from Opta, but in practicing advanced search techniques found this amazing FIFA data set with great detail on all previous world cups.

4. Google Public Data Explorer

Google’s very effective data viewer – so much value in being able to do the simple things well. Some large common data sets are available for interrogation (e.g. world development indicators) and you can upload your own. Scatter plots with colour, point size and timeline dimensions at your fingertips. Also a map view, where appropriate. Views can be exported or embedded. This World Fertility Rate vs Life Expectancy is a great demo example to have a play with.

5. World Development Indicators

Incredible set of world data indices that is updated annually by world bank and ‘compiled from officially-recognised international sources’.

6. OpenRefine tool for easy manipulation of large data sets

Most namely – Numerical Facet and Clusters. Ok it doesn’t have the most welcoming nomenclature but, after a quick tutorial, can see this having advantages of excel in certain areas – particularly for initial tidying of large data sets. It’s ‘Facets’ are an alternative to Excel’s Pivot Tables but the Numerical Facet gives frequency distributions at the drop of a hat, that are great for a quick initial interrogation of the information you’re dealing with. The program runs locally and is operated through your web browser. Available here.

7. Meteorite Landings

Definitely the coolest data set I found in the five weeks! Information on all the known meteorite landings from The Meteoritical Society. Available here, along with some great accompanying visualisations.

 

You can find more Data Journalism related news on twitter, with #ddjmooc. The course was provided by Data Driven Journalism: website, twitter.

/

An awesome series of technical illustrations that pair iconic Formula One liveries with classic aeroplanes, created by Clavework Graphics.

Back at the end of October I found a set of iconic F1 liveries that had been put onto a modern Formula One car. They were pretty cool but these are the next level. Flying Formula One is pretty special – if you’re anything like me!

Bill’s Fantasy Racing Teams Series contains flying racers from Formula One and other motorsport series, including NASCAR. His awesome fleet seems to be growing all the time and Bill has been kind enough to let me share a selection of his fantasy racers with you here.

Hope you enjoy looking through and then just imagine that race (perhaps with a Le Mans-style run to the cockpit to start!).

Supermarine Spitfire F21 in McLaren-Mercedes Formula One colours
English Electric Lightning in the Williams/Rothmans Formula One colours
Gloster Javelin FAW4 in John Player Special Lotus colours
SEPECAT Jaguar A in the Renault Formula One colours
Angel Interceptor in the Mercedes F1 colours
Messerschmitt Bf-110C in the Gulf-Porsche colours
FIAT G.55 in the Ferrari colours
Polikarpov I-15 in the Benetton colours
Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A6 in the Red Bull colours
BAe Hawk T1A in the Williams-Honda Formula One colours
Gloster Meteor F.8 in McLaren-Honda colours
BAC TSR-2 in McLaren-Mercedes Formula One colours

 

Bill, of Clavework Graphics, is a technical illustrator specialising in aviation and military vehicle profiles. See more of his great designs on the Clavework Graphics website or via his deviant art gallery, where you’ll find hundreds of other planes in various shapes and disguises. Prints are available too.

 

/

It’s been a pleasure to work with St. Mary’s Primary School again – this time on an identity design pack for the school, based upon themes created for the school’s recently developed website.

Earlier this year the school was declared ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, with our website design getting some great feedback, hence I was delighted when St. Mary’s got in touch about updating the school stationery and branding to match the website design.

It’s been a fun project that will hopefully further improve the school’s communication and overall function. I’ll hopefully be back to elaborate in the near future but in the meantime, here’s a glimpse of the pack I’ve just shipped out, with a few little things to complete the school’s new identity!

Stationery pack Goodies For Primary School Identity
Stationery pack as part of primary School Identity Design
Branded Notepad Pack For Primary School Identity

/

Congratulations to all at St. Mary’s, on being ‘Outstanding’!

In a recent Ofsted inspection, St. Mary’s R.C. Primary and Nursery school was awarded ‘Outstanding’, Ofsted’s highest primary school classification. Not only are St. Mary’s now up on the top Ofsted tier, but they impressively leaped straight up two levels to get there.

It was really pleasing that the school’s website received such positive review as part of the inspection, with the Ofsted report describing the website as ‘excellent’ and ‘comprehensive’.

We’re very proud to work with St. Mary’s and it’s great to see how effectively the website is being used and just how quickly it’s become an integral part of the School’s community, as their primary information feed and resource.