in development

SGE Travel Coach Tours reaches out to the Midlands from the Highlands

SGE Travel based in Dunoon has recently launched tours to the wild highlands of Scotland from the Midlands via Executive Coach Tours and offering a fantastic deal on their chain of wonderful hotels. We have developed, as part of an ongoing update for the group on their hotel websites, the new tour operator’s website. Available here, the new website also displays the new logos for SGE Hotels’ chain of hotels. Including a hefty element of picture research, illustrator and photoshop work alongside social network integration and a live help system, this site (and her soon to be launched sisters) are state-of-the-art.

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Our other development blog at Argyll Communities

During the last 6 months, ARBU has been engaged in one of the most complex installations of WPMU we have ever had the pleasure of working on. With a standing 40 websites already in place on the original Argyll Communities website and requirements for newsletters, community toolkits, external search engines, a portal-wide announcements engine and sundry other items, we had our work cut out for us. But throughout it has been an utter pleasure — not only because the AVA team are feedback positive and precise about what they require, but because the work has involved working with many of the individual communities which run sites through the Argyll Communities site. To gather more insight on the process, and how we have developed the project since November last year, visit the Development blog, here.

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Something Lairdly this way comes …

We have just finished design and writing the copy for the new A4 Presentation Folder for the project. This is the first version of what will become a series of souvenir presentation folders which existing lairds and ladies can purchase. To market this new development we have produced a ‘3D’ artwork for the website.


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Branding the Hope MacDougall Collection

The work we have done for The Hidden Jewel Project has been so successful that we were asked by Dunollie to create a basic branding concept for the Hope MacDougall Collection which is about to move into a museum space in Oban. The logos were required for a multitude of applications, from creating merchandise such as t-shirts and mugs (and no doubt I’ll post the results here) to creating a sign for the museum. What was lovely was that we were given a very clear brief and were able to turn this around very very quickly.

Hope MacDougall Collection Logo Hope MacDougall Collection Museum

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A Bejewelled Debut at Spirit of the West

Finally the artwork is at the printers and the design project nearing completion (I am just sending off the poster pdf): the Hidden Jewel, as designed by us, will hit the streets on Saturday, or rather, the stands. If you attend Inveraray’s Spirit of the West family weekend, you’ll find the Dunollie House team selling tickets to July’s theatrical extravaganza.

We’re particularly pleased with the work we have done on this project, not because we have found ourselves an excellent printer in the form of CypherDigital, nor because we have been working with the delightful Catherine Gillies, but because the artwork looks really great. Often design happens in an instant, and this was the case here: the central device of the Dunollie Brooch combined with the play’s title was a gift. The rest flowed.

This is the first major treatment we have done which has been developed exclusively using illustration. No photos were used at all.  This gives the whole event a timeless quality, attempting to echo the practice of illumination rather than structuring the artwork around fashionable design trophes. And indeed this is entirely applicable, when one considers that the production covers a period before the printing press, books and modern design.

Making a Roadside Impact at Dunans

We’ve just sent these out for printing with a signage firm. The brief was to create roadside impact to ensure visitors don’t miss Dunans. The red is designed to contrast with the surrounding rhododendron foliage and also ties in with the existing signage we designed over two years ago.



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ABMHF Map First Draft

This is in development, but is sufficiently advanced to show here as a piece in and of itself. We particularly like bringing the 2D cartographic environment into the 3D with our square, Frappr-like pins. Evidently the ongoing “map-everything” meme which Google began with GoogleEarth is infecting all areas of the design industry, and in this case for the better:

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A Big Signage Revision for the Dunans Charitable Trust

The Dunans Charitable Trust have commissioned ARBU to create and revise existing signage which guides walkers around the Dunans Project’s Woodland Garden in Glendaruel. We have been working on the first element of this: the revised map sign. Of course edits have to be made, but in addition the trust has extended the path network (and has plans to extend it further) and is in the process of creating a new visitor facility in the grounds. These works have been enabled both by active directors and the project which has made available several hundred man hours as well as trees for planting and material for the new path elements through the sale of laird- and ladyships. In the next week we will be producing small direction signage as well as a new panel to celebrate the tallest tree in the UK, the Stronardron Fir, of which the Dunans pathways have the best view.

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Branding for Argyll & Bute Museums & Heritage Forum

We’re drafting up the branding for the Argyll and Bute Museums and Heritage Forum at the moment, and have created the following which, bar a few tweaks and the creation of a version for high contrast small scale applications, have been approved. We love them!

To Conquer or Die!

Such is the translation of the McDougall motto, which the new Homecoming Production, the Hidden Jewel is using as its strap-line! We have just completed phase 1 of this project (and thoroughly enjoyable it is proving to be too), and we’re now working on the reverse side of this ticket, including maps and terms and conditions, as well as an A4 poster and DL format flyers (all of which more later). In the meantime, here’s the ticket artwork — some of the text isn’t finalised, but the graphical side is ready for go.

To Conquer or Die