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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.


Here at Think Design, we love working with clients big or small, so when The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman contacted us asking for our help to celebrate their new direction by acknowledging their past achievements for an internal campaign, we jumped at the opportunity! 

The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman are an organisation that make final decisions upon complaints that haven’t yet been resolved by the NHS or other public organisations.

The project required us to create ten posters, all of which were highlighting achievements from their 50 year history. The posters had to be scalable and transferable between both the offices in London and the offices in Manchester, as it was pointed out to us that not a lot of the PHSO’s staff were aware of all of their achievements, and this internal campaign was going to change that.

The design process required us to use eye-catching graphics and illustrations with a focus on accessibility. It was important that the poster designs were inclusive and diverse, as these qualities are core values for the organisation.

The first stage was to conceptualise the posters and provide the PHSO with a written treatment of them for approval before any time was spent working on the illustrations. An important stage of this project was to create posters that not only followed the brand guidelines, but also create illustrations in the same style for each poster design. As the theme for each poster was varied, this was quite a challenge, however this was achieved by creating a main focus for each poster; the concept for the set of posters was to have characters and features centralised, which symbolised the fact that the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman’s main focus was always the client. The type below each illustration also symbolises the fact that the PHSO got ‘to the bottom’ of each case, which the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman were really impressed by. Overall the client was thrilled with the poster series and have rolled them out across their multiple offices across England.