Category: blog

Graphic Design Sustainability

From web design to brand identity, every aspect of our industry, and of course, our lifestyles in general should be streamlined with sustainability in mind. But how do we go about this?

Here are some general ways graphic design can be more sustainable:

By adopting these sustainable practices, we can contribute to a more environmentally conscious industry and help promote a more sustainable future, together.

Do you need a designer on your wavelength? Contact us at Jili Allen Creative.

Opinion: Specialist Design

My instant thought was yes, as this is advice that I would give to my clients without blinking – to focus on their USP and what they love to do, and the rest will follow. However, talking to myself now, I can understand that this may be a difficult decision to make. 

Having originally qualified (with a first class honours no less – cue trumpet blowing) in Consumer Product Design, my specialisms were in product and fashion. However, as my career and business has evolved, the skill of being able to sit myself in a consumer, client or colleagues shoes and to be able to look at any design project from all perspectives (as we are taught to do in product design) has far reaching advantages for all aspects of design. I have also found that the great richness and complete and utter diversity of my clients; from a pioneering engineering firm, to a self-employed celebrant; keeps me vibrant and excited about what I do.

Could this excitement be distilled into one category? Would I get the same joy from designing a website for an internationally established drinks brand, while also working on a care home brand? Monday, designing pumpkin picking illustrations, and Tuesday, a brochure on decking? I’m not sure.

How narrow to our specialisms need to lie to be effective? Is graphic design too broad a stroke?

We all know the great adage of Jack of all trades, Master of none, but within a trade there are so many facets, where do the boundaries lie? Matt Wheeler of claims “if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one,” which is certainly true when it comes to brand design. You focus on your ideal client base, and be inoffensive to the rest and you’re on to a winner.

Would you prefer a ‘generalist’ or ‘specialist’ design studio to handle your project? There’s no denying a specialism makes you stand out.

This has genuinely made me think.

Perhaps I need to talk to myself a little more often…

For the moment, however, for any and all graphic design, we’re here for you. Contact us at Jili Allen Creative before we close the open door and pop a bouncer on there with a list.

Read the full article here: Sector specialisms: are the risks worth the rewards?

Design vs. Creativity

The word ‘design’ has evolved and I would argue that it has been somewhat diluted from its original form. Design and creativity have always been assumed to be synonymous with each other, with the assumption that all design encompasses creativity.

Design and creativity are closely related but distinct concepts.

There are web ‘designers’ everywhere, who in reality are web ‘makers’ or web ‘builders’. Many Graphic Designers are in fact more ‘artworkers’, either adapting existing templates or putting a given idea into practice. This does not make either of these roles any less valid, but this is where Creative Design stands apart.

Creativity refers to the ability to generate new and original ideas, concepts, or solutions. It involves thinking outside the box, making connections between seemingly unrelated things, and approaching problems from different perspectives.This fundamental human trait exists in numerous areas including art, science, technology and everyday life, and within each domain, it involves idea generation with the ultimate goal of creating something unique.

Design, on the other hand, is the process of intentionally creating and shaping something with a specific purpose or goal in mind. It involves applying creative thinking and problem-solving skills to develop solutions that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and meet the needs of users or clients. Design is often guided by principles, constraints, and objectives, and it requires a systematic approach to transform creative ideas into tangible outcomes.

While creativity is the foundation for design, design develops the practicality of creativity by incorporating additional elements such as functionality, usability, feasibility, and context. Designers use their creative abilities to come up with innovative ideas, but they also consider practical considerations, user needs, market trends, and technical constraints to create effective and meaningful solutions.

So, creativity is the ability to generate new ideas, while design is the intentional process of applying creativity to create purposeful and functional outcomes. Design harnesses creativity to solve problems, meet objectives, and create value.

Now…imagine you had someone at your fingertips that could do both?

A Creative Designer. Someone that could imagine a concept, and action it into reality.

Well, here we are! Contact us at Jili Allen Creative.

Pictured: Conceptual research for seating design from my days as a student in Paris

The font of all knowledge

I’m a self-confessed fonts geek and own more books on font and typeface than is strictly appropriate, so this is something I really am passionate about.

Sarah Hyndman, (another wonderful font aficionado) is also known as Type Tasting and is a great advocate for the power of font. As a self-professed fonts geek, I have always found this to be the starting point in any branding process. Different fonts say, or indeed ‘taste’, different to your audience. This works on the subliminal layering of graphic meaning, which is a topic for a later discussion, but what you need to know now is why it’s important.

Let’s start with the basics:

Choosing the right font is an important aspect of branding that should not be overlooked. By selecting a font that is consistent, legible, reflective of your brand’s personality, and unique, you can create a strong brand identity that resonates with your target audience.

So, take the time to choose the right font for your business – it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run. Subtle differences in font, may have larger consequences in the communal physche.

Do you need to add consistency to your brand or review the strength of your typeface choices? Whether it’s consultation or actively creating brand guidelines, we can help. Contact us at Jili Allen Creative.

Design Education: what’s your take?

I was shocked to read an article in Design Week re: redundancies of part time staff members at the Royal College of Art, in favour of full time lecturers. As a design student, I found the tutors that were within industry, and shared their time between professional practice and lecturing, the most effective tutors.

People with real industry experience, in an industry that doesn’t stand still, are a highly valuable resource. “..the restructure: “effectively jettisons the crucial role of practitioner-lecturer at the RCA, which is also a core principle of art and design education.”

For those interested in the field of design, pursuing a degree at a university used to provide numerous advantages and open doors to exciting career opportunities, but with this new take on design education, are there any advantages to looking at a university degree vs. an apprenticeship? I can only see three advantages left, but let’s explore them anyway…

Some of the most important aspects from when I was at university; expert staff with real jobs in our industry, industry connections, networking and collaborative opportunities are clearly taking a backseat. These do not prepare the student for ‘real world’ design.  University education seems to be a different beast to what it was and moves like this surely just widen the gap between further education and the working world.

As someone that was looking to complete a research masters in design and go in to teaching alongside my design career (to ultimately better serve my students) I find this a worrying turn of events.

What are your thoughts? Contact us at Jili Allen Creative.

Launch of the Ullswater Virtual Gallery

We have worked with the Ullwater Heritage team since they built and launched their own highly informative website, a living database of the landscape, people, places and more in and around this magnificent lake.

The Virtual Art Gallery brings together over 40 works of art from the 1700s to the present day. It provides a unique insight into an evolving landscape of people and place.

You can experience the virtual art gallery in three different ways:

An incredible resource where you can find the sites that inspired the artists, see the landscape through their eyes, step back in time to imagine life in the past, and explore how the landscape has evolved. 

Visit for more information.

Do you have a project in mind? Contact us at Jili Allen Creative.

Rebranding done right.

This brand refresh was handled particularly well. If you’re thinking of rebranding, here are ten steps to follow before, during and after. Launching a rebrand requires careful planning and execution to ensure its success. Here are ten steps to follow when launching a rebrand:

Remember, a successful rebrand requires careful planning, effective communication, and a deep understanding of your target audience, but most of all, it requires involvement and the ability to see your brand from the outside and adjust accordingly.

Time for a rebrand? Contact us at Jili Allen Creative.

Web hosting + maintenance offer!

We already offer fantastic value for our Secure SSL web hosting and maintenance packages, but we’re looking to extend this even further by offering a limited deal to fellow business owners.

50% off your first year of web hosting + maintenance, PLUS a free website review!

What makes our hosting different? Apart from Secure SSL web hosting as standard, we are at the end of the phone, or a mere email inbox away if and when you need us. That’s right, actual humans, helping other humans navigate the wonderful world of web hosting. What’s more we’ll throw in a free website review to set you off on the right foot.

Based in Cumbria, we offer our hosting nationwide and have been quietly doing this for years. Now is the time to come into the sunlight and help our fellow independent businesses weather this unseasonal storm.

If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, visit for more information, or email to get yourself started.

Are you one of our wonderful existing hosting clients? Take advantage of our refer a friend offer. If you refer a friend that takes up our hosting and maintenance offer, we’ll give you the following year at half the price!

The importance of secure web hosting

By investing in secure web hosting, businesses can protect their reputation, increase customer loyalty, and avoid costly legal issues. If you’re worried about your hosting, or have a question, we can help!

Find out more about our Web Hosting and Maintenance packages, contact us at Jili Allen Creative.

AI: should designers be scared?

I believe that creatives should not be scared of AI, but they should be aware of its potential impact on their profession, as we have seen it impact other professions. Take supermarkets, for example, and scanning your own shopping. I am an advocate of always going to the human I have to admit, but by automating certain tasks, the role of the staff member shifts and changes – they are more about customer service and helping us with the damn machines, you can in fact, have more of a conversation and feel better served by your mutual frustration of unknown package in the bagging area than you would from the rush of scanning and asking for your card. So we need to look differently at this. An adaptation rather than an obsolescence; a chance for growth, rather than a closed door.

AI is not capable of replicating the creativity and originality that graphic designers bring to their work. AI can assist with certain tasks, but it cannot replace the unique perspective and artistic vision that human designers bring to their work, as well as their understanding of local subtleties, tones of voice and experience gained nuances.

AI can therefore be a valuable tool for graphic designers, allowing them to work more efficiently and effectively. So, let’s highlight some positive aspects of this somewhat disconcerting development.

Interesting take from Design Week, and Swedish furniture designer Ebba Lindgren, who are encouraging us to invite AI as a member of the team and celebrate its strengths. I also heard earlier this week that quiz questions on BBC Radio 1 were written by AI rather than the production team themselves!? However, I saw this quote on a LinkedIn post and thought it summed up the situation well. “In order to replace creatives with AI, clients will need to accurately describe what they want. We’re safe.” With this in mind, I would like to thank our AI overlords for helping with the content for this blog post. (beat em, join em, etc)

If your brand is looking for the human touch, however, contact us at Jili Allen Creative and let’s discuss face to face, your fabulous design plans and how to conquer the world…