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The Made of Manchester photo book

Following on from our Creative Director Paul‘s Industrious Manchester photographic exhibition from three years ago, we were delighted to work on his first photo book which launched in March at the MancMade 52Two festival.

The design followed the Madchester design influences from the late 1980s and early 1990s, with strong emphasis on yellow and simple yet stunning typography on the opening pages. The rest of the book was designed to show off the images, in a beautifully paced 100 page book design that makes the reader want to turn the page to see what awaits.

With a foreword from Manchester’s chief unofficial ambassador, Andrew Nutter, and from local poet David Scott aka Arghkid, the book explores areas of Manchester most non-Mancunians will never see. Dark corners, decay, shadows and signage from another era sit alongside new glass skyscrapers, all taken with his unique perspective of the city Paul was educated and worked in for the last 25 years.

The book was printed by Galloways Print on a short run special edition version that even has a sneaky nod to the exhibition in the form of a digital varnish on the cover. The paper was kindly donated by Fenner Paper from Kent and the book is still available from www.paulgroganphotography.com

A percentage of the profits will be donated to the Forever Manchester charity.

Designed by Manchester, a Poster to celebrate our home city

At Think Design we believe you should love your work. Well, we do. So much so we spent 2 weeks coming up with a poster that celebrated our home city, Manchester. As well as being proud Mancunians, our Creative Director spent the best part of 25 years studying and working in the city centre of our great city, Manchester. And of course, as designers, the self-imposed brief to come up with a poster that celebrated Manchester turned out to be a creative challenge.

Paul firmly believes that Manchester helped shape his career and life so the idea of ‘designed by Manchester’ was put on the table. But how? Building blocks, elements, all different visual ideas were put forward until the simple idea of the periodic table was decided on. The concept was eventually changed to Made of Manchester.

So after a tonne of research, and hours of relentless style and typography experiments, we created the Made of Manchester poster. 114 items feature, from sporting, Mancunians, architecture, music, culture and historical acts and innovations and discoveries make up the 7 areas, with each one containing various facts.

It’s important to understand that this was designed last year (when the business was named Grogan Creative), but we did donate a framed poster for a charity art auction. The proceeds of which went towards the We Love Manchester fund – the charity formed to help the victims of the recent bombing in Manchester. 76 artists and designers donated work and raised over £75,000 for the charity.

If you want a copy of the poster, buy one online today.

Branding a Manchester Band

A great project for a local band, the Manyanas. With a growing local following in the Manchester music scene, they decided it was time to launch their first E.P. But first they needed a visual identity.

With all 5 band members having a say, we felt it was best to approach this from a collective point of view. So we asked them to pull together a scrapbook of visual styles and influences they had. This would give us a better idea of what it is they might be looking for with the brand or visual identity for the band.

After presenting a number of logo designs the band unanimously chose the one shown below. Inspired by the visual styles from the 1960s and 1970s Mowtown music scene, the logo encapsulated the ‘Mañana’ attitude they had adopted. Showing a burst of a sunrise.

Art direction of a photoshoot with them was carried out on an old disused railway station in Radcliffe, Manchester. The photography was by Mike Black, a local photographer with plenty of experience in the music industry. Once this was done and we had chosen the favourite photos, the design was rolled out. This included design for posters, bus stop advertising, pin badges, teaser flyers and postcards and of course the CD on body and sleeve design.

Sometimes jobs come along that need a little bit of everything. Fantastic.