Are you ready for some utterly beautiful photographs?
Last Thursday was such a special day. After months of plotting, planning and serious preparation it was time for another Colour for Creatives class in London.
Thirty super inspirational creatives from around the UK, Europe and even Jakarta (yes, really!) had booked to join Gudy Herder and myself for what promised to be a day packed with fun, creativity and learning. And judging by the feedback forms (best ever!) they had as much of a ball as we did…
“You have really transformed the way I look at colour and design, it all makes so much sense to me. I feel that I have opened up to a whole new world and I can see clearly now!” Sevim Husseyin, London
Photos by the always talented Katie Spicer.
We kicked off the morning with a whistlestop tour of the seasonal personalities. When I started running this course a year ago, there wasn’t much information out there on the personalities so I needed to spend much longer explaining each one. Now that my book is out, I was keen to change the emphasis from explaining to more action. So I collated images, brand identities and devices and the students worked on collages to capture the essence of each season.
There was certainly a lot to cut and stick (I might cut that back next time!) but I loved how it really challenged the students to think hard and increase their understanding of the personalities. You’ll see on the table above my snazzy new sketchbooks that I designed and also some lovely postcards I’d had printed up for the students to write inspirational messages on.
Just as with my last workshop, we mixed up the tables to put more of an emphasis on group work which created a great atmosphere.
I’d given everyone a detailed planning workbook to work through before they attended the class so that they could get as focused and prepared as possible. I like to use the time in the workshop for the more practical stuff and let people do their big thinking away from the classroom.
Everyone worked in pairs to define their (company’s) seasonal personality – crucial for branding a business successfully.
If you’re clear on what you want to be known for, this is pretty straightforward and almost everyone was able to identify pretty quickly which season their business should be. The challenge usually comes when you’re not entirely sure what’s most important to communicate, and that’s ok. You can’t rush big decisions and sometimes it’s as much about knowing what you need to work through as knowing the answer straight away.
Of course, all this thinking meant that sustenance was needed. And what better than Maddie Hatton’s delicious homemade cakes? The best granola bars, chai latte bundt cakes, the most gorgeous looking orange and passion fruit cake (I really regretted not trying that…) and a honey cake packed with fruit and topped off with a cream cheese icing. That plus coffee was a great interlude!
After elevenses it was time to get back to it. This time looking at how the seasonal personalities translate through to brand elements. We looked at pattern, texture, fonts and colour.
There was more collaging and questions before we moved on to picking colours for the brand identities.
Each student took away a mini book – The Absolute Essentials of Colour Psychology which I’d created especially for this class as well as their sketchbook and some delicious marshmallows.
Lunch was delicious as always. My philosophy is always to create an enormous feast packed with healthy, wholesome and nutritious mains and then sneak in a delicious pudding or two – after all, this is a day out! Maddie is a genius at this sort of thing and always creates unctuous salads piled high with herbs, vegetables and maybe a little flavour bomb or two and a meat and fish usually with a middle eastern influence and plenty of flavour and punch.
This time we had chicken tagging with apricots and cinnamon and a salmon with pomegranate and ras el hangout. The vegetarian goats cheese, pistachio and prune loaf was totally addictive and waaay more delicious than it sounds. Honestly!
After lunch it was Gudy’s turn. She’s an incredibly talented trend expert and professional mood boarder and talked to us about how to create a mood board with intention. I loved her tips on layering and bringing mood boards to life and she’s certainly inspired me to create more physical mood boards. It’s too quick and easy to create digital boards, but I’ve decided that’s a bit lazy and so I’ll be making time for more physical mood boards from now on. Can’t wait!
As well as talking to us about some of the theory behind designing a great mood board, Gudy had put a ‘real’ one up at the back of the room and talked us through how and why it worked. By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about mood boarding, Gudy has a free resource on her blog you might like to sign up for.
Then it was back to the students. Tasked with the challenge of creating a mood board that they could use as a jumping off point for their new brand identities. There were some really inspiring creations, but by this point the light was fading fast, so skip on over to Instagram for more examples…
We rounded off the day with actions to make sure that everyone got the most out of their investment. I work so hard to make these days memorable and fun, but ultimately it’s about moving your business forwards, and that means accountable actions.
And after all that hard work, we finished up with a cocktail or two: Silent Pool Gin and Tonic or a Pomegranate Mojito – yum!
Massive thanks and loads of love to the amazing and ever calm Stephanie Eastwood who is just an incredible help at all of our workshops and also the super lovely Charlotte, for whom nothing was too much trouble. Gudy was so lovely to work with- passionate about what she does and a fabulous spealI feel very lucky to be building such a talented team -with Maddie, Bex and Katie as well, of course, as the gorgeous Andy at Brixton East I think we might just be unstoppable!
“I enjoyed it so much and am totally conviced that this has been the best workshop I’ve ever attended. You prepared it with so much love for the details and I appreciated this a lot. Can’t wait for the next one.” Jessica Bormann, Switzerland
“The workshop was amazing, you really exceeded my expectations.” Andra Hanafiah, Jakarta
I’ve dreamed of running a workshop in New York for as long as I can remember, and am just finalising details for on on 5th April so save the date and I’ll post details asap. Those on my mailing list will be the first to hear, so if you’re not already on the list, do sign up!
I’m also hoping to run a workshop online, and am putting things into place to make that happen. Ideally it’ll happen early next year, but that very much depends on how I get on with writing book two. I’d set aside this term to make that happen and so far my to do list just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Before I add anything else to it I’m going to get at least half the book written. Wish me luck!