Bath creative agency draws on heritage to rebrand city’s American Museum in Britain

Bath’s American Museum in Britain has been renamed the American Museum & Gardens and given a new brand identity by city-based design agency Touchpoint in moves aimed at attracting a wider audience.

The new garden is the first stage of an ambitious plan to boost visitor numbers to the 57-year-old museum at Claverton on the outskirts of Bath. 

The new identity repositions the museum as a country house experience with gardens – a complete day out that will appeal to young families in particular.

The garden was the first European commission for renown Washington-based landscape architects Oehme, Van Sweden. It was funded by £2m donated by friends of the museum in the UK and the US.

The new logo takes as its starting point the internationally recognised M symbol for a museum, which has adapted to reflect the neoclassical style of the museum’s main building, Claverton Manor, with its four Ionic pilasters and pediment.

The red and blue colours symbolise America and the design echoes elements of the US flag with its red stripes and star symbol.

The rebrand also aims to acknowledge the museum’s heritage while incorporating elements of the surrounding landscape and buildings. The curve at the base of the logo mirrors the shape of the Winding Way footpath through the new gardens, which is modelled on the Winding Walk at Monticello, president Thomas Jefferson’s home in Virginia.

The wordmark also draws on American design and is set in News Gothic, a sans serif typeface created by acclaimed designer Morris Fuller Benton and released by the American Type Founders in 1908. Garamond is used as the secondary typeface and reflects the heritage of the museum. 

Touchpoint Design Project manager and deigner Sue Bush, pictured, said: “We were delighted to win the competitive tender for this prestigious Bath museum. Everyone at the museum was really engaged and open to making the brand identity more contemporary and distinctive than previous iterations”.

Touchpoint Design’s new identity has been applied to printed literature, staff uniforms, and exhibition interpretation panels. The agency also carried out a complete redesign of the museum’s wayfinding.

The new brand identify was launched on Saturday to coincide with the opening of the museum’s New American Garden.

The American Museum & Gardens opened to the public in 1961 with the aim of showcasing the achievements of Americans in the decorative arts and promoting Anglo-American understanding.

Touchpoint Design works across the full range of brand touch points including brand identity design, graphic and digital design.

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Emmy-award winning Bristol firm to share sound expertise with aspiring music creatives

Professional workshops focused on developing the early careers of Bristol’s aspiring freelance sound and music creators are being launched this month by city-based Emmy award-winning firm Radium.

The Sonic Data and Sonic Motion workshops will take place at the company’s 3,600 sq ft production hub in Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios complex. 

The short, intensive courses will offer practical exploration of creative and technical approaches to sound and music, coupled with guidance on how to improve commercial skills and effectively negotiate business terms with clients.  

In addition to creative upskilling gained during the course, all participants will finish with an exclusive Radium-created sound design library and toolkit, a visual self-promotional package and a new showreel piece for their own commercial use and to share with new potential clients.

Radium was founded in 2007 and relocated its music and sound production, pictured, to Bristol in 2014 while retaining client services in London.

It has created sound and music for film trailers, game trailers and TV campaigns including Sicario 2: Soldado; Battlefield 5; Bladerunner 2049; Black Panther; Avengers 3: Infinity War; Game of Thrones and Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom.

Its work has received international recognition and a host of awards including Emmy, Promax UK & USA, Cannes Lions and International Music and Sound Awards.

Working with major clients around the world including many based in Hollywood, Radium is dedicated to pushing the creative sonic envelope, often constructing bespoke instruments and devices to invent rich and authentic musical tones and sounds which cannot be made electronically or sourced from standard sound libraries.

Founder Andrew Diev said: “AWe’re frequently approached by creatives from around the world who are keen to visit our working studio.

“Often they have solid technical grounding or a degree; but most are looking for advice on how to conceptually approach new briefs, boost their creative offer, commercialise their talent and attract future projects.

“When we hire graduates, despite having studied a formal degree or qualification and bringing loads of enthusiasm and passion, we still find we need put a lot of time into training and mentoring them before they can make a real contribution to what we do, they’re often not coming prepared with the skills and the mindset needed to operate successfully in our world. 

“We’ve noticed a general lack of provision of current, real-world guidance for aspiring music and sound professionals to get their careers on the right track for growth.

“In response we’ve developed a package of tools and know-how that the creative community can access through our workshops, which combines creative exploration and upskilling with practical business modelling that can help aspiring professionals forge commercially successful careers, in the real world. As well as providing real world upskilling in our working studio, we offer a takeaway toolkit which participants will keep and use to promote their careers.”

The Sonic Motion workshop provides a personalised ‘next steps’ roadmap for each person who joins.  

Andrew added: “The team has so much to offer in terms of mentoring, we’re looking forward to connecting with other sound professionals out there, inviting them into our world, helping them develop the tools they need to really move forward, and strengthening the talent pool of emerging UK sound and music creatives.” 

Bottle Yard Studios site director Fiona Francombe said: “We’re working to ensure The Bottle Yard Studios becomes an established training ground for professional development. Radium’s workshops complement our work in this area in the specialist field of sound, it’s great to see such an internationally renowned company opening its doors to share expertise with those at earlier stages in their careers. With our Media Production Diploma also beginning this month, this is a great period of opportunity for skills development on site.”

The two workshops now open for bookings are:

Sonic Motion (two weeks): Taking participants through a sound design project from start to finish including creative briefing, scoping, preplanning sound, pitching, fee and contract negotiation, sound fx recording and creation, sound design to picture, and creative industry structures and working practices. Including creative tips, tricks and techniques tailored for each participant’s individual stage of development, & personally tailored plan for career progression. All participants will finish with an exclusive Radium created sound design library and toolkit; a visual self-promotional package; a new showreel piece for their own commercial use and to share with new potential clients; and a “next steps” personalised roadmap for their creative and professional evolution. Commencing 24 September & 8 October 2018 (four spaces per course)

Sonic Data (two days): A detailed workshop exploring Graphic User Interface & Heads Up Display sound design. This subset of sound is very much in demand, used in sound to picture context and also to design for app store games; software interfaces, retail environments and products, and manufactured products in automotive, medical and other industrial settings. All participants will finish with an exclusive Radium created sound design library and toolkit; a visual self-promotional package; and a new showreel piece for their own commercial use and to share with new potential clients. Commencing 19 September & 3 October 2018 (four spaces per course).

Tech ‘super-cluster’ report names Bristol as sixth biggest in Europe

Bristol has been placed among Europe’s top 10 tech ‘super clusters’ in a table that ranks it above Cambridge, Cologne and Vienna.

The city appears at number six in the table based in research from global real estate adviser CBRE. 

The report EMEA Tech Cities: Opportunities in Technology Hotspots, provides a framework for occupiers and investors to assess the characteristics of technology clusters in terms of their economic, leasing and employment strengths at regional and city level.

The analysis identifies four separate categories of technology cluster in the EMEA region, based on a city’s level, concentration and growth of tech sector employment.

This approach reflects the fact that technology clusters are very diverse in their structure, cost base and attraction to specialist technology sub-sectors.

The ‘super clusters’ are locations with between 50,000 and 70,000 people working in hi-tech jobs. While locations such as Thames Valley, which is at number one, and the M3 corridor, in third place behind Zurich, are long-established tech hubs, Bristol is among the examples of a location where tech has grown to support a specific sector or set of sectors.

The report says Bristol makes the list due partly to the presence of major telecoms companies such as EE, BT, Nokia and Vodafone, plus other large employers of tech talent including Lloyds Banking Group, IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

It also describes Bristol as a centre for software development and engineering talent, with the former being dominated by younger millennial talent. In total, employment in the Bristol’s tech sector has grown by 25% since 2008.

CBRE Bristol office managing director Tom Morris, pictured, said: “It’s no surprise that Bristol has been included in the ‘super cluster’ ranking. Our strong universities and vibrant urban environment have made Bristol a magnet for young development talent and the city is attracting tech companies of all sizes.

“Here, a number of smaller start-ups and fintech companies sit alongside more established telecoms and IT services companies, contributing to a thriving tech scene that’s a big driver of office space demand.”

CBRE head of EMEA occupier research Richard Holberton added: “Labour is not only fundamental to the success of the technology sector, it also has distinctive characteristics including a high incidence of contract employment, greater transparency of rewards and use of online channels both for job-checking and brand development.

“In addition, talent perspectives are changing, with millennial workers accustomed to taking risks and often not aspiring to work for large brands. Start-ups, where they can take ownership of a product or activity is where they turn to for advancement.

“Analysis of the characteristics of tech labour markets should be integral to location decisions, and many smaller but fast-growing cities in the EMEA region offer favourable possibilities.”

Remarkable Bath marketing campaign re-imagines city’s historic figures to draw in new kind of tourist

The second mini-campaign targeting a different type of visitor to Bath has been launched by the city’s destination marketing organisation.

Visit Bath says the Remarkable Bath campaign showcases what makes the city a UNESCO World Heritage site and seeks to “inspire visitors to extend their stay, look deeper, explore more and uncover lesser-known stories about its impressive landmarks and attractions”.

A set of newly commissioned illustrations by artist Finn Dean, who graduated in graphic design from Bath School of Art and Design in 2004, is supporting its launch as the latest in the series of eight mini-campaigns.

The first, Unexpected Bath, has been highlighting the quirky and more unusual side of the city. It is making use of extensive social media to target millennials and students – audiences Visit Bath has never directly targeted before.

Remarkable Bath’s distinctive artworks depict 10 of the characters who have helped shape the city, including Jane Austen, above, Ralph Allen, left, and the Herschels, below.

Visit Bath said the illustrations re-imagine the heritage and history of Bath in a contemporary, colourful and playful way and aim to capture the imagination of new national and international audiences. 

Bath design agency Mytton Williams, which worked on the Unexpected Bath campaign, has also created illustrations for Remarkable Bath featuring key landmarks such as Prior Park, owned by the National Trust.

Visit Bath executive chairman Craig Jenkins said: “All of our new marketing campaigns are focused on positioning Bath as a city steeped in incredible history but at the same time ensuring Bath appeals to a modern audience.

“We are delighted that partners including the National Trust and Bath Heritage Services have come on board with us to help us reach a wide national and international audience and elevate Bath on the global stage.

“Bath is a remarkable city to visit all year round and the autumn months, when the leaves are turning gold and the light is drawing in on the honey-coloured stone, is a particularly beautiful time to come, which is why we are launching this campaign now.”

The Remarkable Bath campaign is being part-funded by businesses an organisations including Bath Heritage Services, The Abbey Hotel, The Francis Hotel, The Gainsborough Spa Hotel and Bath Thermae Spa, The Holburne Museum, The Jane Austen Centre, The National Trust and Roseate Villa.

Two more staff join interior design firm Etons of Bath as it finds room for growth

Etons of Bath, the specialist interior design practice, has appointed two new team members as it continues to grow. Kelly Parfitt joins as a senior interior designer and Caroline Kontas as a design assistant.

Kelly, pictured right, has more than 12 years’ experience of residential, commercial and hotel interior design with a track record of delivering large creative projects for clients on budget and on time. 

Caroline, pictured below, studied interior design at The Inchbald School of Design in London after graduating with a degree in Psychology in the US. 

Etons of Bath, which specialises in classically inspired interiors particularly Georgian and Regency, opened its showroom and curtain workshop on Walcot Street in September last year, less than two months after it was formed through the merger of Bath firms Latham Interiors and Eton Design.

Since then it has continued to expand. The firm provides advice, design, window dressings and product procurement for residential, commercial and hospitality clients.

Its services include full interior design, from design concepts, space planning, procurement and installation to mentoring and sourcing as well as curtain making and upholstery on site in Bath.

The showroom also houses the largest selection of fabrics and wallcoverings west of Chelsea with collections by more than 50 leading suppliers including De Gournay, Porta Romana, Brabin & Fitz and Silk Avenue.

Latham Interiors was founded by Sarah Latham in 2006 as the UK’s only interior design company specialising in Georgian and Regency properties. Sarah had previously worked in marketing roles for large corporates and in branding and communications agencies before training in interior design.

BBC Good Food brand acquisition puts Immediate at head of food media table

Immediate Media, the Radio Times publisher with a major office in Bristol, has become the UK’s largest food media firm after snapping up the BBC Good Food brand.

The group, which publishes more than 60 titles ranging from You and Your Wedding to The World of Cross Stitching and Bikeradar, previously published the Good Food magazine under licence from the BBC’s commercial arm BBC Studios.

Immediate’s other food titles include Delicious, Olive and the Healthy Food Guide.

BBC Good Food is the UK’s largest food website with 22m global monthly visitors while the magazine is the country’s best-selling title of its kind with 1.3m monthly readers.

Analysts said titles such as BBC Good Food have very loyal, more mature subscribers and pointed out that the acquisition had additional value through the regular BBC Good Food roadshows, which feature top chefs, tastings, shopping and entertainment. Last year they attracted 300,000 visitors who spent £27m.

Future growth could also come from audio media – BBC Good Food already delivers recipes via a skill on Amazon Alexa.

Immediate chief executive Tom Bureau said: “Not only is this the biggest brand in food publishing and media, but is absolutely on strategy for Immediate, given our focus on high-value special interest communities, and cements our market leadership in the food sector.

“We see significant opportunity in growing the brand, which we know well from working closely with BBC Studios.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming the hugely talented BBC Good Food team to Immediate, and we are committed to continue to produce the world-class content they are known for, whilst developing the brand across all platforms.”

The acquisition is the first since Immediate’s acquisition by German magazine giant Hubert Burda Media in January last year.

Immediate publishes nine other BBC-branded magazines, including BBC History Magazine and BBC Music.

Some, like BBC Top Gear, are published by Immediate under contract while still owned and operated by BBC Studios, while others, including BBC Gardeners’ World, are owned by Immediate.

BBC Studios UK president Marcus Arthur said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve not only found a terrific new home for the BBC Good Food team and brand, but also the right home.

“Immediate Media is a long-trusted partner of BBC Studios and has already guided several of our former magazines to even greater heights.

“Tom and his team’s plans to invest further in the Good Food brand will build on its continued strong performance and consumer popularity.”

Immediate was formed in 2011 when the BBC sold its magazines division to Exponent Private Equity. It was then combined with Bristol-based Origin publishing.

The Bristol office was further expanded in 2014 when Immediate paid £24m for Bath-based media group Future’s sport and magazine titles, including Cycling Plus, Simply Knitting and Mollie Makes. Around 130 Future staff were transferred to Immediate.

Immediate now employs around 1,300 staff.

Future eyes higher earnings after scoring with World Cup campaigns and product launches

Shares in Bath-based media group Future rose by more than 5% today after it said it expects its financial performance to be better than expected thanks to successful campaigns linked to this summer’s World Cup and a string of new products.

In a trading update to the London Stock Exchange, the highly acquisitive group, which owns the world’s biggest football magazine FourFourTwo, said it was also benefiting from a spate of takeovers earlier this year. 

As a result, its earnings for the 12 months to September 30 are likely to be stronger than the board’s previous expectations, it said.

Over that period, Future snapped up four specialist titles from Haymarket, including FourFourTwo, for £13m and US-based information and events business Newbay Media, the publisher behind Music Week magazine, for £9.7m.

And in July it announced its largest acquisition to date – the £100m move into the US consumer market with the proposed takeover of the B2C (business-to-consumer) arm of Purch, adding popular US tech and science platforms such as Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, Space.com and Live Science to its burgeoning portfolio. 

In today’s statement, Future said: “We have seen a positive performance from World Cup-related campaigns and we have also benefited from some larger-than-expected product launches.”

It added that strong contributions continued to be made in all areas of its media division. “We are very excited about adding the network and titles that are part of the recent Purch acquisition to our existing franchises,” it said.

Adding the four Haymarket titles – What Hi-Fi?, FourFourTwo, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome – to its magazine division had continued to add scale and operational efficiencies, as well as broadening its audiences and range.

The integration of Newbay, which expanded its reach in the US market, and the Haymarket titles had progressed as planned, it said, and both were trading in line with expectations. The Purch transaction is expected to complete within the next couple of weeks.

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne said: “We continue to grow our audiences and diversify our revenue streams both vertically and geographically. As a result, the group has again enjoyed an active and successful year, driven by our strategy of focussing on our vibrant, passionate communities, whilst harnessing technology to deliver growth in the business both organically and through acquisition.

“The year was characterised by several acquisitions. At the same, the underlying core strength of the business has continued and has led to the stronger than expected outcome to the year.”

Future expects to publish its full-year results for the year to September 30 on November 23.

Future shares closed up 5.3% – or 22.5p – at 447p.

TEDx comes to Bath with pledge to ‘light up the future’ of the city

Bath is to stage its first TEDx, the globally recognised idea-sharing forum, later this month with a wide-ranging line-up of speakers.

The half-day event – which has the theme of ‘Light up the Future’ – is being backed by some of the city’s top firms as sponsors. 

TEDxs have proved extremely popular in hundreds of towns and cities across the world, including in Bristol, as a way of sharing ideas through presentations by a wide range of speakers.

TEDx Bath, which takes place in Bath Abbey on Saturday, September 29, will include 12 inspiring speakers on topics concerning the city’s future, including social welfare, mobility, mental health and the role and character of the city. 

The conference is being staged by a diverse team of local volunteers united by the desire to share ideas and encourage positive change. It will also be live-streamed to The Guild co-working hub.

Lead organiser Rhodora Baguilat said: “TEDx Bath is for everyone and anyone who is interested and enthusiastic about ideas for the future of Bath and its community, both now and in future.

“We hope people from all backgrounds and walks of life in Bath will come together and join us at our first event to share and explore new ideas.”

Curation lead Geoff Rich added: “We have assembled a brilliant line-up of speakers for our inaugural event and will be exploring a broad range of important topics including social welfare, mobility, mental health and the future role and character of our city. 

“It promises to be a really momentous day for Bath and we hope it will kick-start a brand new and inclusive debate about the future of our community and city.” 

The 12 speakers are:

       Prof Andrew Brewerton, Principal & chief executive, Plymouth College of Art

       Andrew Grant, Founder and director of Grant Associates

       Penny Hay, Director of research, 5x5x5=creativity, senior lecturer in Arts Education, Bath Spa University

       William Heath, Local co-operation and personal data

       Joy Nazzari, The power in cities — using purpose to drive change

       Claire Henwood, MakeLunch (Bath) co-founder and coordinator

       Piers Taylor, Architect

       Dominique Thompson, GP and director of Buzz Consulting

       Philip Raby, Director Bath film Festival

       Adam Reynolds, Chair of Cycle Bath/Transport Policy Advisor

       Jake Curtis, Jamie’s Farm

       Dr Rob Wortham, Teaching fellow, University of Bath

Sponsors include web design agency Storm Consultancy, Bath-headquartered regional law firm Royds Withy King, trade mark and patent attorneys Abel and Imray and software developer Rocketmakers.

Tickets for TEDx Bath 2018, costing £40 each, are now available. To find out more, or to register to attend, visit http://www.tedxbath.co.uk

Boss behind nine-day fortnight at tech agency Edo steps up to managing director role

Bristol-based technology and insight specialist agency Edo has promoted its head of people and partnerships Claire Moyne to become its new managing director.

Claire takes over running the business from Nick Torday, who led Edo for six years. He is now working in an advisory role and leading on some consultancy engagements with Edo clients. 

Edo rebranded from its original name Sift Digital last year following its demerger from parent group Sift in 2016. Sift founder Ben Heald, pictured with Claire, remains chairman of both firms. The agency’s clients include Amnesty International, British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance and Bristol Energy.

Claire joined Edo in 2011 as an account director before being quickly being promoted to head of client services the following year. She was then promoted again in 2016 to head of people and partnerships, guiding the business in becoming a progressive employer and building lasting relationships with clients.

In that role she brought in initiatives such as a nine-day fortnight, which led to Edo being awarded the ‘best place to work in tech’.

She will continue this in her new role while also setting Edo’s direction and drive growth by inspiring its team to deliver results.

Edo has also made a number of other promotions with Alex Barker becoming experience director, Paula Heasman taking on the role of operations director and Claire Lewis moving to people & wellbeing lead while Lauren Howells is now business development lead.

Claire said: “I am delighted and honoured to take on this role at an exciting time for Edo. Nick has developed our consultancy offering which has seen Edo really grow as a company and deepen the relationships we have with our clients.

“I look forward to continuing to build these relationships and helping to ensure our clients are better prepared to compete in the future.

“I’m so proud of the team we’ve built; the culture and talent at Edo is unique and I have absolute confidence in creating opportunities for growth ahead.”

Nick Torday added: “I’ve tremendously enjoyed the past six years of leading and shaping Edo’s growth and felt that now was a good moment for a change. Working with the fantastic team here has been a privilege and I’m delighted to be handing over the reins to Claire.

“We’ve worked closely together for many years now and I know that Claire absolutely has the best interests of our people and our clients hardwired within her. Edo will continue to flourish under her guidance.

“I’m really pleased that I will still be a part of the gang and able to continue working with and adding value to our great client base in my consulting capacity.”

Edo chair Ben Heald said: “It sends a fantastic message to the team when promotions come from within, so I’m delighted that Claire gave such a compelling case to the board that she was the right person to take the business forward.

“And based on Edo’s recent new client wins, it’s much better to be making these changes from a position of strength.  I’m very much looking forward to supporting Claire in her new role; and also delighted that Nick stays with the business as an advisor and lead consultant.”

Unique list that identifies South West’s top disrupters back for second year

A project that identifies the 25 most disruptive firms in the South West is to return for a second year.

Disrupt South West recognises innovative ventures with headquarters in the region which hold the greatest potential to influence, change or create new markets. Bristol firms dominated the inaugural list last year – with seven of the top 10 based in the city. 

Disrupt South West is again being produced by Tällt Ventures, recruitment firm ADLIB and regional law firm Foot Anstey. It aims to highlight the disruptive business success stories from the South West, furthering the region’s growing profile as a global technology hub.

Last year’s index contained start-ups and scale-ups from a wide range of sectors – spanning artificial intelligence and machine learning to 3D printing technology. Across the 25, some 20% were using artificial intelligence and machine learning, 20% were developing cloud and 16% were using 3D technology.

The top three disrupters were all based in Bristol: Ultrahaptics, which creates cutting-edge technology that allows people to ‘feel’ virtual objects, FiveAI, a start-up building software for autonomous vehicles that will be safe to use in complex urban environments, and Graphcore, a tech start-up changing the way machines operate by altering the way they learn.

ADLIB managing director Nick Dean said: “Since launching the Index in 2017 we’ve witnessed unprecedented demand to meet the needs of the South West’s thriving and recognised tech cluster. Over the course of the next 12 months we are looking to increase our own headcount to close to 50 people primarily across our digital, technology and data teams.”

He said the Scale Up Yearbook launched this month by Bristol’s Engine Shed innovation centre in partnership with the West of England Growth Hub, showed there are 700 scale-up businesses in the South West alone.

“This is the tip of the iceberg and demonstrates the size of what’s happening out there,” he added.

Foot Anstey partner and head of technology Martin Cuell said following the success of last year’s event, the firm was delighted to be launching the DisruptSW Index in a reimagined format.

“Recognising the diversity of businesses, organisations and investors that are at the heart of the flourishing tech and creative scene in the South West has been a key part of the initiative,” he said.

“Our aim is to bring these organisations together to celebrate, collaborate and ultimately make connections that will enhance and add value to these organisations in the future.”

Tällt Ventures founder and CEO Matt Connolly said: “It’s brilliant to see the local talent the South West produces and that ventures here are getting the recognition, investment and support they need and deserve to scale.

“We’re really proud to have our HQ here in Bristol and to be a part of such a smart, creative and disruptive community; DisruptSW is a great celebration of that.”

The 2018 Index will be revealed at an invitation-only launch celebration called DisruptSW reimagined on September 27 in Bristol.

The launch event will be sponsored by fast-growing Bristol-based (R&D) tax credit consultancy ForrestBrown.