A day-to-day activity in the studios is the compilation of text and image specifically for a final outcome in print. Commissions include: books, magazines, newsletters, flyers, posters and even packaging. We have superb links with both local and national printing companies and are often ‘on press’ fine tuning the process to ensure the finished quality of our products meet our client’s standards.
To help inform our approach to design Neat regularly engage in continual professional development (CPD). This takes many forms from the attendance in design forums, print and publishing exhibitions and software training. One activity which we engage in regularly is letterpress printing workshops at Studio B.
Letterpress by its nature is time consuming and although linked securely to the principles of graphic design and typography, it’s method feels a million miles away from our regular siting, that adjacent to a computer. Letterpress printing is a physical process, each stage needs careful consideration as to alter it, as projects progress can be time consuming and laborious. Once printing is complete, the process does not end – letters have to be cleaned, returned to their specific sections in designated cases and the spaces between the letters put away too.
Neat is often approached to research, develop and design brand and corporate identities for our clients. One discipline, which differentiates our work from our competitors and informs our creative process, is our aptitude and ability for typeface design.
The process is complex but positively impacts on the originality of contemporary design work. Over the past two decades we have developed type designs for signage, brand, corporate and product identities and continue to generate ideas, which are used to inform our future projects.
The Z Twist identity is a good example of how a bespoke typeface professionally situates a brand well above where others simply apply an existing typefaces to a name.
If you are offering a unique service your identity should also be unique. To produce the Host identity Neat worked closely with the client to develop an alphabet using the minimum number of shapes. The marque had to function at the extremes of scale and be instantly recognisable in print, screen and throughout the built environment.
Thoughts, ideas and reflections relating to letterforms, type and typography are constantly documented in our studio sketchbooks…
James Gilray – The Art of Caricature for Tate Britain is a prime example of our exhibition work. The curation primarily documented Gilray’s satirical etchings, with a high proportion of the exhibits being hand tinted (and therefore would fade if displayed in daylight conditions). This resulted in the whole of the exhibition set out with very low lighting levels. To support the light conditions and ensure focus was directed to the exhibited works (where it needs to be) Neat elected to screen print lacquered section signage directly onto the gallery walls.
Interpretive materials were developed throughout the exhibition and coordinated with custom made furniture punctuating the different spaces, affording visitors comfortable contemplation spaces.
The project was carried out in collaboration with Cotterell & Vermeulen Architects Ltd.
Other exhibition commissions include:
- CIAM6: Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne – Bridgwater Arts Centre.
- Thomas Girtin: The Art of Watercolour – Tate Britain.
- J.M.W Turner: Permanent displays – Tate Britain.
- Magic Pencil, Children’s Book Illustration Today – British Library.
- 100% Design: Victoria & Albert Museum – Olympia, London.
- Timber Architecture in the Twentieth Century – CCANW, Exeter.
Neat is regularly commissioned to design and produce policy documents, guides, annual reports and technical specifications. We develop and design creative typo/graphic solutions. Our design work is always intelligently styled and exquisitely detailed.
We have been commissioned by the HMSO and publishing houses in the UK and across Europe. One project was a bilingual artist monograph, set in Mandarin and English – quite a typo/graphic test.
Neat are regularly commissioned to support and promote individuals, companies, organisations and events. We help to develop strategies, marketing collateral and front campaigns.
Considered, intelligent design is critical to get traction with any campaign. Design communicates brand, raises visibility, drives conversions and reinforces messaging. Our objective from the outset of any commission is to design creative, intelligible material that evokes response – specifically tailored and targeted at an intended audience.