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The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically driven cross-national survey providing methodologically robust data with which to explore public attitudes and behaviour on some of the key issues facing society today.

Blackwood were tasked with the design and creation of a fully responsive website with supporting 28 page print report to showcase the wide-ranging scope of the ESS and convey its complex research.

24 Jun 15Read article ›

Consciously creative


At Blackwood we make our living out of being creative. It’s why our clients come back to us again and again for help with their communications design and ideas for reaching wider audiences.

We work collaboratively with clients and we love it when clients share their creative ideas with us. If you’re thinking about enhancing your approach to your annual report and you’d like to play a more creative part, here are some tips for tapping into your creative being…

18 May 16Read article ›

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Multiple channels help to tell a great story

By working in partnership with the client, we evolved an infographic project into an altogether larger – and more far-reaching – piece of work. The project was centred on the Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB) Reverse Linkage scheme, a complex but inspirational initiative that helps Muslim countries to grow and share knowledge.

We condensed scores of pages of information into two infographics in poster form. The client was so pleased that we went on to develop a short animation to showcase the scheme at the IDB’s AGM, attended by delegates from nearly 60 countries.

The animation was produced in three languages and explained the scheme and its benefits. We also produced a delegate pack, including leaflets and posters as well as the animations on a USB stick. All of the assets were completely reusable. Within one month of the animation’s launch it had become the IDB’s second most watched video.

Islamic Development Bank (IDB): Corporate reporting/publishing/editorial/print management/infographics/animation

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Appealing to a worldwide audience

Up until 2015 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Law in Transition Report had only been produced as a printed report. This year the decision was made to commission Blackwood to build a new dual-language English/Russian microsite. With an emphasis on a heightened user experience, content was brought to life using interactive data charts, sharing and bookmarking functionality and incorporating expandable and collapsible ‘read more’ sections.

The homepage adapts the distinctive cover grid system prominent in the print report while building in the level of functionality required from a modern reporting microsite. Key articles are colour coded using a web safe palette achieving consistency with the accompanying print journal. Promoting the visibility of the individual authors, embedding source footnotes and displaying academic references underline the credibility to each article.

EBRD: Digital reporting/website design/dual-language

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A simple approach that lets great work speak for itself

When the Sisters Hospitallers English Province asked us to produce a new website to enable them to showcase their work and attract new donors and supporters internationally, we were careful to create an accessible and modern looking site that held true to their values and history.

The new site that we designed and built (and wrote content for) showcases the Sisters’ varied work, as well as the people they care for and those who support this inspirational Catholic charity. Their work is varied and geographically dispersed, so an interactive map was an effective device for demonstrating the breadth of what the charity does and the populations it serves in the UK and Africa.

A user-friendly content management system was all-important to minimise the amount of the Sisters’ time that would be spent doing web updates. We produced a training pack and provided training to give them everything they needed to ‘drive’ the system for themselves. We also launched the site with an HTML email. This was opened by over 70% of recipients – almost 40% above the industry average.

Sisters Hospitallers: Digital/strategy/editorial

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Providing strategic guidance. Plus hands-on expertise

We worked with the Waitrose Communications team to offer strategic art direction and design support on the successful redesign and launch of a new-look weekly in-store customer newspaper. We also gave it a helpful promotional nudge by producing product advertorials and targeted newspaper supplements.

Specialism: consumer publishing

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Putting ourselves in the audience’s shoes. Making learning fun

Who doesn’t love Top Trumps? That was our thinking when Crossrail told us they needed a tool to take to schools to introduce young people to the scale of this world-class engineering project. We produced a Crossrail version of the ever-popular game because it was information-led (so perfect for highlighting the project’s big numbers) and great fun. The packs caused a very positive stir when they were launched at an event for the top 250 industry leaders and partners. In fact, so popular were they that we later produced a second edition.

Crossrail: illustration/marketing/education

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Making data intuitive. Creating a versatile reporting tool

Blackwood was tasked with designing, building and updating a dynamic, accessible and intuitive online tool that would provide accurate, comparable sustainability data in an engaging format. The sustainable assessment matrix tool provides a top-line summary of sustainability information for stakeholders, and new data can be fed into it to monitor progress and performance. This has been a ground-breaking approach to sustainability reporting for the client, and goes to show what’s possible with lots of data and a good dose of imagination.

SAB Miller: digital/corporate reporting

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