We felt it only appropriate to end this year with a BANG, and roll our November and December snapshots together into a neat little parcel for you all. 2016 has been a strange one, hasn’t it? A veritable rollercoaster of world events that have both shaken and delighted, but ultimately a year that we’ve learnt a lot from, in design, in business and in life.

With all the new projects we’ve got underway over the past two months, it’s been hard to keep up the new snapchat filters, Planet Earth, the new Red Cups and those darn Turkish UFOs! Y’know, priorities though…

It was great to see our clients Meat & Greek launch another highly successful pop-up taverna in the Bay – Alice and Fran couldn’t resist a visit and the food didn’t disappoint. We’re currently working with Meat & Greek on some juicy bits and pieces to be released in 2017.

Our client, The Studio Cardiff, opened its doors in late November and we have to say that we couldn’t be more chuffed for them. From the very start of working with these guys, their appreciation of quality design and attention to detail shone out, so working together was a match made in heaven; a sterling example of how brand and interior design can work so beautifully together. We’re so impressed with their vision and mission for The Studio and wish them the best of luck in their first year of trading.

November also saw us launch the brand, strategy and website for gofod3; a pilot project from the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action that will enable easier and more creative communication between third sector organisations. The turnaround for this needed to be speedy with a launch date of early 2017, but we’re really pleased with the finished package, and with the results that gofod3 have reported back to us.

We were super excited to see the packaging we designed for Smith & Sinclair on one of our favourite design-led gift websites, OhhDeer, and have been so thrilled to see what the guys at the S&S HQ have been up to; sherbert walls, edible bubbles, flavoured vapour orbs, we could go on! Again, we’re honoured to have been part of their journey.

One of the biggest parts of the past two months has been setting the wheels in motion for our #builditbrandit campaign; a crusade (we use that term fairly loosely) to encourage people to get creative at Christmas and understand the concept of ‘brand’ a little better. Our thought is that brands aren’t just exclusive to businesses and companies;  people have brands too, shown by the way they dress, their interests and their beliefs; all the things that make up a person’s personality. It’s a ubiquitous concept but one that some people find strangely intimidating. With BuilditBrandit, we wanted to give people the opportunity to express themselves, get creative…and build a miniature version of our pallet Christmas tree. We were lucky enough to find Bespoke Laser UK on instagram who totally smashed our vision for the project and supplied us with our lush lasercut tree kits! Thanks Laura *waves*

To wrap up, here are 15 valuable lessons that we learnt this year and thought would be prudent to share with you. Knowledge is power, as they say. You can thank us later:

  1. Never trust Adobe’s autosave.

  2. It’s always quicker the second time (see above)

  3. Don’t shut doors on fairy lights – they break.

  4. Web developers are magic – treasure them!

  5. The fold is something to appreciate, not fear (evidence here).

  6. Never trust Abi with a marketing budget.

  7. It never ‘only takes 5 minutes’.

  8. Yes, it really does cost that much.

  9. Your choice of email address as a teenager WILL come back to haunt you.

  10. Ezra Hames has the ability to ‘break the internet’.

  11. 6 slices of bacon at a time on a George Foreman grill WILL set off smoke alarms.

  12. Partake in your local creative community – you will be rewarded.

  13. Wholeheartedly celebrate your victories, work on your weaknesses and discuss your losses.

  14. Finding the right project management software to suit your team pays dividends.

  15. Always make sure that you measure your filing cabinet before buying suspension folders in bulk.


We’re going into 2017 with the mantra: A GOOD BRAND IS ALWAYS EVOLVING and we can’t say too much yet, but the new year will see us launch some awesome brands, websites and apps within the health, food and recruitment industries. We’ve also managed to make laundry look cool…stay tuned for that one. So until then, from all of us at designdough:

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a tidy New Year!