Highlights of The Usual Studio’s best bits from last year, reflecting on the rest and revealing two new things that are about to be launched:

2016: The good bits

Project wise

It's been a busy time print-wise, designing and copy editing 3 issues of Candid Magazine and 4 issues of the St Thomas Court Group magazine. Designed a website for gynaecological cancer campaign the 'Lady Garden Campaign’, I was chuffed to see the campaign make the front cover of the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Saw our work on the hight street again with a restaurant identity for Dough & Brew. There was also website design and branding for Director of Photography Stuart Grahamcandle labelling and packaging for Milliner Alexandra Harper, Illustration, branding and a website for Drama and Co and branding for Cov Ideas Factory.

The blog

After much thinking, list making, draft writing and content planning, I launched this blog in February 2016. 21 posts published so far, working on my ‘voice’, getting good feedback and loving writing. Covered a wide range of topics including:

  • EBacc debate and the future of creativity in schools
  • Why you should create a brand magazine
  • How to be a dream design client
  • Write as you speak, accent and all
  • Ditching email formalities, so long 'Kind Regards'
  • Let's change the free pitching culture

Press features

Quite a bit of press in 2016, there was a Design Week piece by John Scarrott where he and I discussed how to forge long lasting partnerships with clients. Enjoyed answering the questions for this Future Rising interview. They also re-published one of my most popular blog posts from 2016, ‘6 careers I almost chose instead of design’. Took part in the Entrepreneur Friday feature for the Female Business Hub. Candid Magazine hit the shops with a full shop window display and I had my first experience on the red carpet. 

2016: The not-so-good bits

In the interest of balance it's only fair to reflect on these... Brexit started to have an impact with 3 great projects slipping through our fingers thanks to the knock on effect of voting to leave and the uncertainty this then caused for our prospects investors and manufacturers. 

The design industries freelance and small business community continued to grow, which is both good and bad. Good that the Creative sector is being recognised and generating employment but also bad as it sometimes feels there’s too many chasing the same work. You only need to look to a social media post casually asking: ‘does anyone know a designer/branding agency who can do ___________ project” and watch the flurry of activity.

What's next then?

Celebrating 10 years! 

2017 marks The Usual Studio’s 10th year in business on the 19th February, there will be cake and bubbly that day! 

New Content Writing Service

I've noticed that clients have a growing need to create great written content but don't necessarily have the time or writing skills to do so in-house. I love to write and have a background in journalism, copy editing magazines and creative writing, so it's a natural fit to start offering this service alongside the design and branding work The Usual Studio does. 

The new content writing service will cover blogs, articles, editing and writing either on a monthly basis, or as a one-off for a project or launch. If you could make use of this service, or know anyone else who would, get in touch

Newsletter coming very soon

Plans are underway to launch a newsletter, more on this very soon! Early adopters can sign up to the newsletter here 

Charlee Sully

By Charlee Sully, Designer at The Usual Studio. Twitter: @TheUsualStudio
I work across design, ideas, strategy and content, writing about branding, design, innovation and entrepreneurship. I love sushi, tea's my cuppa of choice and BBC6 music's always on. Unlike a former housemate - I do find comedy funny.