ABG Design

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by ABG Design's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from ABG Design is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.abgdesign.uk.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | ABG DESIGN
Managing Director Howard Miles
(left) and Creative Director Chris
Hubert (right)
Auckland Tower at TheAuckland
Project, County Durham
Specialising in brand identity, interpretation design,
exhibitions and signage, ABG Design was founded over 20
years ago in Truro. The firm has since delivered campaigns
for clients that include the RAF Museum, the Houses of
Parliament and the University of East Anglia. Jointly owned by
Howard Miles and Chris Hubert, Howard took over as Managing
Director seven years ago. Howard tells
The Parliamentary Review
that after taking the reins, he had to change his way of working
to deliver a renewed focus on collaboration.
When I needed advice on the best way to run a thriving design practice, I
approached Oxford Innovation, who allocated a great mentor who coached
me for two years, helping our company to act more strategically. Within a year
collaboration started to deliver tangible results with press releases and advertorials
written about the company and our first Design Effectiveness Award won through
the Design Business Association. The two-year mentoring programme proved to
be invaluable and has taught me that you never stop learning and diversifying how
you look at your business model.
Since that time, I have ensured we are part of the right types of associations for
our business. We are currently members of the Sign Design Society and Association
of Heritage Interpretation here in the UK and the Society for Experiential Graphic
Design in the USA, which has recently launched a London chapter. It was great
when we were asked by the Sign Design Society if they could use ABG’s work for
the RAF Museum, London to launch the case study section of their new website.
FACTS ABOUT
ABG DESIGN
»Managing Director:
HowardMiles
»Creative Director: Chris Hubert
»Founded in 1999
»Located in Truro
»Services: Brand and media,
wayfinding and signage,
interpretation and exhibitions
and publications
»No. of employees: 5 with
further consultants
ABG Design
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | ABG DESIGN
Managing Director Howard Miles
(left) and Creative Director Chris
Hubert (right)
Auckland Tower at TheAuckland
Project, County Durham
Specialising in brand identity, interpretation design,
exhibitions and signage, ABG Design was founded over 20
years ago in Truro. The firm has since delivered campaigns
for clients that include the RAF Museum, the Houses of
Parliament and the University of East Anglia. Jointly owned by
Howard Miles and Chris Hubert, Howard took over as Managing
Director seven years ago. Howard tells
The Parliamentary Review
that after taking the reins, he had to change his way of working
to deliver a renewed focus on collaboration.
When I needed advice on the best way to run a thriving design practice, I
approached Oxford Innovation, who allocated a great mentor who coached
me for two years, helping our company to act more strategically. Within a year
collaboration started to deliver tangible results with press releases and advertorials
written about the company and our first Design Effectiveness Award won through
the Design Business Association. The two-year mentoring programme proved to
be invaluable and has taught me that you never stop learning and diversifying how
you look at your business model.
Since that time, I have ensured we are part of the right types of associations for
our business. We are currently members of the Sign Design Society and Association
of Heritage Interpretation here in the UK and the Society for Experiential Graphic
Design in the USA, which has recently launched a London chapter. It was great
when we were asked by the Sign Design Society if they could use ABG’s work for
the RAF Museum, London to launch the case study section of their new website.
FACTS ABOUT
ABG DESIGN
»Managing Director:
HowardMiles
»Creative Director: Chris Hubert
»Founded in 1999
»Located in Truro
»Services: Brand and media,
wayfinding and signage,
interpretation and exhibitions
and publications
»No. of employees: 5 with
further consultants
ABG Design
39ABG DESIGN |
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
We believe that the best endorsement
is when an industry body wants to
share your creative work.
Creating a sense of place
The number of overseas visitors to the
UK has grown by over three billion
since 2013 and is estimated to keep
growing, so ensuring all these visitors
get the best possible experience
iskey.
We are proud to have delivered
focused, creative solutions for some
of the top UK visitor destinations.
In the words of my fellow director,
Chris: “Unlocking our heritage and
making it accessible to a broad range
of audiences is our passion.” We have
delivered a wide range of services,
from signage and wayfinding schemes
for the Houses of Parliament and
National Army Museum and visitor
guidebooks for Edinburgh Castle
through to visitor orientation maps for
The Tower of London and Hampton
Court Palace. The quality of a visitor’s
journey is key and if done creatively
adds to continued footfall and a
memorable experience.
The effectiveness of our design work is
often substantiated by user research,
feedback and sales at these venues,
showing that it really is working
and enabling our clients to generate
income while providing a better sense
of place.
We also help a number of universities
here in the UK and Europe to deliver
a better student experience through
our signage and wayfinding and
brand identity projects for clients
such as the University of East Anglia,
University of Liverpool, University of
West of England, School of Oriental
and African Studies and Université
DuLuxembourg.
Our changing towns
The collapse of a number of large
retailers in recent years means that
the landscape of our towns and
cities is at a point of change. We
are currently engaged in two great
projects in Bishop Auckland and
Doncaster in the north of England,
which are working to reposition their
respective town centres.
The Auckland Project is an ambitious
one that will help turn Bishop
Auckland into a heritage and cultural
destination. We are the appointed
signage and wayfinding consultant
alongside a number of other experts
such as architects, lighting designers
and landscape architects. Houses of Parliament
visitor signage across the
whole estate
We were asked
by the Sign
Design Society if
they could use
ABG’s work for
the RAF
Museum, London
to launch the
case study
section of their
new website
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
40 | ABG DESIGN
We are also working with Doncaster
Metropolitan Borough Council on
mapping and signage across the whole
town. ABG has designed a new town
map that is at the core of pulling the
town’s offer together, showcasing
Doncaster’s famous markets and
highlighting some of its new museums
and destinations.
With both of these projects we are
proud to be delivering something that
will not only help to improve the look
and feel of these towns but will also
benefit the people living there, a great
thing to be a part of.
Challenges for change
We work with a range of European
projects, which has proven particularly
challenging of late due to Brexit. The
current political climate does not
lend itself to the certainty we need in
order to be able to work with a range
ofinstitutions.
We also note that companies are
delaying making decisions until they
know what is happening. While tourist
destinations conventionally commence
their marketing at the beginning of the
year, recently we have noted moves to
market in the spring instead. Things
are moving far slower than usual
when compared with previousyears.
This air of tension has also meant
that clients are unwilling to commit
to long-term projects. In times of
downturn, we note the importance
of finding other ways to make money
and have made a considered effort to
tender new clients. Indeed, at times
our reputation precedes us, and we
have been approached by a number
of high-profile clients in order to work
with them in the future.
Changing dynamics
In future we hope to change our dynamic
a little. We will take on graduates who
bring a different perspective to our team;
our current student programme, run in
conjunction with Falmouth University,
has proven to be so successful that we
currently work with between three and
four graduates each year.
We will also follow through on the
suggestions of our team. In previous
years an intern wrote a compelling
argument for the importance of social
media, a policy we swiftly adopted.
We hope to continue to provide an
exceptional quality of service, while
also growing further.
»THE IMPORTANCE OF FEEDBACK
Sometimes when we gain a new project or win a tender, we ask,
“why did you choose us?”
It’s good to be told the reason is because you presented with a
passion and have a genuine interest in the project. People want to
know you can deliver but also that you truly understand their project
and the desired outcomes that our creativity has to deliver.
The
effectiveness of
our design work
is substantiated
by user research,
feedback
andsales
Brand identity for
Telegraph Museum,
Porthcurno, Cornwall

www.abgdesign.uk.com

This article was sponsored by ABG Design. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development