Interpretation board – Flixborough Nypro Memorial

Flixborough Nypro Memorial interpretation design

Memorial to those died in the Nypro disaster, 1st June 1974.

This site is a memorial to the 28 people who were killed when an explosion occurred at the Nypro chemical plant, owned by the British Coal Board and Dutch State Mines, just before 5 o’clock on Saturday 1st June 1974. This was the largest explosion in Britain’s peacetime history, completely destroying the plant and demolishing a row of adjacent houses. Damage was also caused to hundreds of houses in Flixborough, Scunthorpe and the surrounding villages. The explosion was heard across the Humberside region and beyond.


Crayfish Design were asked by the Flixborough Parish to create a single A1 sized interpretation panel to be part of the Nypro memorial at local All Saints’ church.

Flixborough Nypro oak lectern A1


  • Concept design
  • Photo manipulation and compositing
  • Project management of deliverables


The design needed to illustrate the dramatic event, but also be sympathetic in its approach to the community. We wanted to give an indication of the scale and devastation caused by the explosion without sensationalizing the event and so created a muted background scene on which we could build a story.

To achieve this we utilise a few photographs from the media at the time and worked them into a scheme, combining factual reporting objects such as newspapers and government inquiry reports together with those of human emotion and remembrance with candles and flowers. The supplied images were quite small for a panel of this size, so this compositing approach allowed them to be used at a scale in keeping with the objects.

Details were added such as the time of the explosion shown on shattered watch face and a sketch of the chemical plant process showing the suspected cause of the explosion. In addition, the design used a combination of colour and typography reflecting the 70’s style of the time.

Flixborough Nypro Memorial close-up watch

Flixborough Nypro Memorial close-up bypass pipe diagram

With the format being an A1 lectern, we composed most of the smaller text towards the bottom half to aid legibility and access.

The theme and subsequent designs incorporated:

  • Main interpretation panel
  • Photo-composition
  • Supporting diagrams

Flixborough Nypro memorial All Saints’ Church

What the client said:

“The memorial to the Nypro Explosion in 1974 is situated outside All Saints’ Church, Flixborough. The memorial consists of a pond, around which are some birch trees, and a name plaque containing the names of the 28 people who died in the explosion. It was felt that we needed an Information Board to explain to today’s generation, the reason and purpose of the memorial. We gave Crayfish a set of ideas which focused on the key facts of the disaster and the text we wanted on the board; Crayfish did the rest.

Crayfish Design did an amazing job in producing the artwork for the Information Board. The result was a piece of art that should really be in the Louvre but is instead, now part of the Nypro memorial. It is clear that the artwork must have taken many hours to complete; it must have been a ‘labour of love’ for those who worked on it. The Information Board now enables the Nypro memorial to be meaningful to today’s generation; helping to fulfil the hopes of those who recall the disaster, that neither the disaster nor those who died in it, should ever be forgotten.”

Dr Jeremy Jolley, Churchwarden – All Saints’ church, Flixborough

Report design – Research Consulting

Open Research Data Task Force report and theme design

Report of the Open Research Data Task Force – realising the potential

‘Researchers are creating, gathering and using data in hitherto-unimagined volumes. These vast data resources dramatically increase the capacity of science to infer patterns in phenomena, whether physical, chemical, biological or human, or in the complex systems that are at the heart of most global challenges.’  Report – Executive Summary.

The report entitled ‘Realising the potential: Open Research Data Task Force’, provides independent advice on Open Research Data (ORD), outlining ambitions for ORD in the UK and recommendations for achieving them.


Crayfish Design were asked by Research Consulting to create a visually engaging design to reflect the findings of the Open Research Data Task Force. The report itself was to be composed of six key sections, each with a significant proportion of text, including; recommendations, conclusions, reference links and supporting case studies.

The report was to be set as a screen PDF and hosted on the website


  • Identity and theme
  • Brochure design and layout


We sought to create a range of design options that would reflect the connectivity and harnessing of open data, but also look to avoid the stereotypical binary representations of ‘zeros and ones’ that are often seen in data related materials.

The chosen theme for the report utilised a series of crossing connection lines and node points to reflect the differences in data volume and pathways. Colour was then used to differentiate each of the sections.

Central to the theme was the creation of a Open Research Data Task Force logo. This was a simple circular formation that was constructed by interconnecting nodes with an alternating balance to represent the shift and flow of data. Furthermore, on the front cover of the report, the connection lines were used to represent of a pair of supporting hands that in turn nurtured the glowing logo form.

Open Research Data Task Force logo design

As the report was produced, it became clear that it should be split into two separate documents, the main report ‘Realising the Potential’ and a supporting ‘Case Studies Annex’ to provide easier referencing and to improve the on-screen navigation by reducing the number of pages being accessed at any time.

For legibility reasons and on-screen accessibility, the majority of the report needed to be set on white pages and have a ‘readable’ font size. Consideration was also given to the layout grid and content flow, as although the report followed a set hierarchy, each section also included non-linear requirements for cross-referencing and notes.

To support the case studies document, a series of icon forms were created using the same node construction method as the Open Research Data Task Force logo.

Open Research Data Task Force case study icons


What the client said:

“We worked with Crayfish Design to develop the design and branding for an independent report to the UK government. They quickly understood our requirements, and produced excellent conceptual options for us. Throughout the design phase they were professional, responsive and flexible, and delivered a really high quality end product. It was a pleasure to work with Jim and I’ve no hesitation in recommending Crayfish Design to others.”

Rob Johnson, Director, Research Consulting Limited

Interpretation board theme – Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

SWT Doxey Marches Interpretation sign on reclaimed railway sleeper boards

Doxey Marshes – improving the visitor experience

Doxey Marshes is Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s largest nature reserve at around 300 acres. It is comprised from a quilt of grazing marsh, wet grassland, swamp, open water, subsidence pools in the valley of the River Sow.

It has an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) status, due to the presence of regionally important numbers of breeding and wintering birds. Of particular importance are snipe and lapwing, along with an array of other wetland flora / fauna, and mammals including otters.


Crayfish Design were invited to assist with enriching the visitor experience at Doxey Marshes, primarily through designing a set of interpretive themes and subsequent display boards to communicate the reserve’s stories.

The designs were to engage with audiences across a range of entrance location boards, key feature points and some of the the site’s interpretive installations, including a family and bird watchers hide.

SWT Doxey Marches Octagonal Hide Interpretation Boards


  • Icon design and illustration
  • Map and infographic design
  • Photo manipulation and compositing


Our approach was to create a underlying theme which would lend itself to a range of interpretation boards but also reflect the tapestry and diversity within the site. Building on from the Wildlife Trust’s brand colours and illustrative elements, we utilised a structured methodology to construct a grid based mosaic, upon which imagery and typographical elements could be applied. This approach allowed us to be flexible and to add details to key features around the location maps. On to this framework we used combination of cut out images and photo composition techniques to highlight and enhance select wildlife from the background.

SWT Doxey Marches Interpretation Board

This layering and grid mosaic style has since been used across several interpretation projects for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust by Crayfish Design and their internal communications team.

As the Doxey Marshes site covered a large area, a stylised map was constructed and set in two different locations, with north and south facing orientations. Furthermore, with the West Coast Mainline Railway running through the site the primary interpretation panels were set on reclaimed railway sleeper boards which gave a juxtaposition of reclaimed and new style aesthetics.

SWT Doxey Marches Interpretation Board map design close-up

To support the maps, a series of hand drawn sketches / illustrations of highlighted wildlife species were developed into icons.

SWT Doxey Marches key icons


The theme and subsequent designs incorporated:

  • Interpretation panels
  • Map illustrations
  • Wildlife species and feature icons
  • Leaflets

What the client said:

“Fantastic, thank you for all your hard work. I really love the lapwing board layout – combining photos to create the scene is really powerful for telling the story visually.”

Cathy Taylor, Visitor Experience Coordinator, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Interpretation boards – Colton Local Nature Reserve

Colton Local Nature Reserve - Main board and magnifer

97% of wildflower meadows have been lost.

The Meadow is a joint enterprise of the Village Hall Management Committee and Colton Local Nature Reserve to transform a rural field into a Wildflower meadow. Wildflower meadows are not just for wild flowers. The flowers and the associated grasses support a range of insect and other species which attract birds and animals making a complete eco system.

The Meadow is intended to be not just a nature reserve but also an educational facility for the village school and an amenity for the local area.

Many wildflower seeds have already been sown and young plants planted by volunteers to improve what was already there. The Meadow will take many years to reach its full potential.


Crayfish Design were asked to develop a single interpretation board for Colton Local Nature Reserve. The design was to support conservation and transformation of a grass field into a rich and colourful wildflower meadow – to be used seasonally for grazing sheep and now for the first time to be enjoyed by the public.


  • Infographic design
  • Photo manipulation and compositing
  • Project management of deliverables


Our approach was to create a single interpretation board with several fixed and interchangeable panels, together with a colourful design theme that reflected the vibrancy and colour variation of the wildflowers. A flexible design format was used to communicate a wide range of information across two principle panels, along with a set of extra panels to reflect the change in wildlife and fauna across the seasons.

Colton Local Nature Reserve - The Meadow's seasons

To achieve this we enriched a background photograph of a wildflower meadow with additional elements to tell a story and to support the cycle of the seasons. We also wanted to engage with visitors to visually take a closer look, employing a simple magnifying glass representation to inspect each of the species and things to watch out for.

Colton Local Nature Reserve - Range of boards

Furthermore, with the ongoing transformation of the site we also sought to provide longevity and an ongoing plan for the interpretation panel, by providing an easy-to-use template for the client to display additional information or events in the same style.

The theme and subsequent designs incorporated:

  • Main interpretation panels
  • Seasonal posters and wildlife focus charts
  • Document template for self populating

What the client said:

“Colton Local Nature Reserve commissioned Crayfish Design to produce an interpretation board that would introduce the native wildflower meadow to visitors. Funded from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme grant we received, we worked with Crayfish Design to translate and enhance our ideas into artwork. The service received was great and always responsive and the final product is on display in the meadow for our visitors. We would have no hesitation in recommending Crayfish Design to others.”

Alice Hadridge, Colton Local Nature Reserve

Toolkit for internal comms – Travelodge

Travelodge - HR brand toolkit

Travelodge is the UK’s largest independent hotel brand with more than 500 hotels covering the UK, as well as parts of Ireland and Spain. With a vast multinational workforce, their HR department required a more efficient means of communicating with their employees.


To develop an internal brand toolkit that will enable Travelodge HR to develop cost effective comms solutions internally, with the aim that only print and publishing requirements should be outsourced.

The internal brand needed to fit with, yet be distinguishable from their public brand and tone of voice. It was to be delivered to Travelodge HR in the form of a templated toolkit for a range of collateral including letters, presentations, email signatures, posters and certificates.


  • Branding
  • Design and layout
  • Template creation
  • Guideline documentation
  • Training

Concept and understanding

Our initial concepts for the look and feel of the internal brand, were steered by a sense that it should reflect the customer focused material, so that it should not look out of place in instances where it may be displayed in areas accessible to the public.

The conceptual/developmental stages were pivotal in defining a coherent brand, with the emphasis behind these stages evolving throughout the process, eventually leading us down quite a slightly different path to the one we had originally started on.


What had remained constant throughout the developmental phase was a reference to four main areas of engagement. It was this element mentioned in our first meeting that had ultimately defined the entire brand based on four icons, in conjunction with a free-flowing aesthetic extracted from the notion of a ‘journey’.

Through the creation of the toolkit we provided a set of predefined formats and artwork elements to allow Travelodge to easily implement their own communications. Our objective was to allow the client to focus on applying the content rather than having to consider design or formatting issues.

Travelodge - HR brand toolkit document examples

It was originally proposed that the templates may be generated in a suite of online software that the eventual users had used previously, but after extensive testing in these alternative software packages we determined that this option was not practical going forward. Therefore, the template files were created in Adobe InDesign and optimised for ease-of-use.

Travelodge - HR brand toolkit training

The internal staff were then given training by a Crayfish Design representative over the course of a few hours and supplied with a bespoke instruction manual for reference.

About the client

For more information about Travelodge visit their website:

Logo branding – Ian Bursill

Award winning wedding photojournalist Ian Bursill, contacted Crayfish Design to refresh his logo and brand identity.

As an established reportage wedding photographer Ian Bursill is highly regarded within his industry, merited with a distinct style and exquisite ability to capture the moment. Ian was looking to change the emphasis of his existing logo in order to more accurately portray the nature of his talent.


The existing logo was purely typographical, so as part of the transition Ian was keen to explore the potential for a motif that would allow him to be more versatile in developing his company brand.

To retain a familiarity of the brand and to extend the longevity of existing material, It was agreed that Crayfish would utilise the existing gold, black and white colouring.


  • Logo and brand identity
  • Social media imagery
  • Concept and understanding

It was imperative that Ian’s name should remain a significant element within the final design. However, the solid block aesthetic of the existing typography failed to reflect the personality and emotive aspects that were so inherent within his work.

This set of circumstances helped to define our direction in creating a logo; that was more refined and engaging; embodied the essence of a wedding; highlighted the empathy involved in Ian’s timing in capturing significant moments; exhibited a timeless quality. It was also important to keep it relatively simple to ensure that it would work across a variety of media and allow for a flexibility within the brand going forward.


Our initial creative phase was to present a range of simple logo designs looking at combining some of the many different aspects, from his initials, traditional representations of love such as hearts and diamonds to the physical framing nature of the camera and looking through the lens.

The chosen logo design combined a pair of entwined ribbons forming a knot in the shape of a love heart and letter ‘B’ for Bursill, which were cropped within a circle to relate back to the viewfinder of a camera lens.

The motif by itself could be used as mark or seal of quality without distracting too much from the photographs and also for a range of social media branding.

What the client said

“I’m a documentary wedding photographer and I document my couples weddings with little intrusion and no direction or staging. My ethos is to capture the wide range of emotions on display at a wedding – so real people, real moments, real weddings.”

I also used to work in the print and advertising industry so have a creative background and an appreciation of good design. My self created logo that had stood me in pretty good stead for 9 years was in need of a refresh. I needed it to strongly reinforce my approach, look a little less masculine & appeal to my target market.

I know a lot of designers, but the only one that was ever in my mind to hire for new branding was Jim & the team at Crayfish Design. I’ve admired their work for years having been shown his work by a colleague when I worked in the advertising industry in Leicester.

The process started with a meeting so that I could give a brief and Jim could get to understand my business. He asked loads of questions about my company ethos, values and my target market. Before he’d left, he had a collection of doodles on his pad as he was thinking of ideas while talking.

Within a week or so I had an email containing some creative logo concepts. After canvassing the views of others and settling on the design I wanted to proceed with, Crayfish Design made some tweaks and the new branding was ready for launch. A thoroughly painless process!

Crayfish’s ability to understand what my business is all about and translate that into branding that works is fantastic. I’m more than happy to recommend them to anyone I know.”

Ian Bursill, Wedding Photojournalist

See some more of Ian’s work at

Event theme branding – LATi Showcase

As part of the 2016 Leicester Business Festival, LATi hosted a showcase event entitled ‘From earth to space & beyond’.

The showcase attracted over 100 attendees and 40 exhibitors containing representatives from Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) as well as LATi members. The event highlighted the rich diversity of expertise within the LATi membership, including space science and engineering, automotive, industrial design, bioscience, life sciences, energy, materials science, information technologies, business services, and more.

Below is our short animated sequence for the event …


As design sponsors for the event, Crayfish Design suggested the need for a brand to galvanise the separate elements into a cohesive theme. This approach not only helped LATi to promote the event to their membership and potential visitors, but also gave the organisers some criteria in determining who they would ask to speak at the presentations.


  • Logo and brand identity
  • Animated logo sequence
  • Presentation template
  • Exhibitions and events flyers
  • Digital communication templates

Concept and understanding

The final concept utilised a figure element that inhabits the LATi logo identity and was replicated to form a circular configuration that symbolises the LATi community of members. The resulting form was then used to emphasise the vast physical scalability that is transcended by science and technology in the search for understanding and advancement – from subatomic particles via the iris of an eye and through to a space hub formation with outreaching connections. Colour was employed in an array of softly morphing, yet vivid hues.


The brand was applied to a wide range of traditional print and digital formats for use at the event and online through social media routes. This included:

  • banner stands
  • posters
  • event leaflets
  • exhibitor lists
  • event badges
  • social media templates
  • presentation templates for the speakers


In addition to the above applications the theme was also used on 200 promotional gift packs that were to be gifted to each of the attending exhibitors, plus an animated sequence that was employed as an introductory piece for the presentations and online promo to extend awareness of the event through social media platforms.

What the client said

“The benefit of working with Crayfish Design on this project was their attention to detail and careful project management. Creating material for an event is never as simple and straight-forward as it looks, but it all ran incredibly smoothly. We were thrown a few curveballs. However, Crayfish Design took all the amends and changes in their stride. Nothing was too much trouble”

“The animated sequence was a wonderful surprise: it showed the design imagery unfolding, telling the “earth to space and beyond’ story in visual form. It cleverly set the scene, creating an exciting introduction to the conference.”

Gillian Hunter, LATi Manager

“Thanks to Crayfish Design, we were able to deliver a professional looking event that the LATi community and our supporters were proud to be associated with. We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Crayfish Design for brand identity and design projects.”

John Duncan, LATi Chairman

Read the full client testimonial here

Charity shop – Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

To assist Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in setting up their first high-street charity shop. The shop is intended to support their ongoing fundraising activities and also raise awareness of the work they do in maintaining sites that are strategic in wildlife conservation.


To produce a proposal for the SWT’s first high-street outlet that will help determine a template for any future projects of a similar ilk. Crayfish Design will advise and help co-ordinate the trust on their own responsibilities, as they gain experience in implementing such a project.

Ultimately we will provide all of the relevant artwork, whilst corresponding with suppliers and ensuring that the trust has gained local administrative approval where necessary.


  • Concept proposals
  • Design and layout
  • Illustration
  • Client-Supplier co-ordination
  • Project management of deliverables

Concept and understanding

Even though we had done many projects for the trust before, it was imperative that we transferred the core values and messages into materials that would be effective in a setting that was unfamiliar to the SWT.

The trust was experienced in creating a commercially focussed environment to a captive audience at a nature reserve. This experience needed to be channelled into creating a shop that would be part of a high-street community and would inform customers of their vital conservation work.


We defined everything from the sign above the door to the colour on the walls, using the existing guidelines as a basis and expanding on them to create a theme that would merge the SWT’s core message with a commercially viable offering.

A combination of permanent, semi-permanent and temporary fixtures were utilised to create a look and feel that could be altered from season-to-season or even week-to-week, so that the staff could tailor the displays accordingly. This would also allow the shop to evolve as the trust gleaned more information regarding customer habits and feedback.

What the client said

“Crayfish Design did a fantastic job designing the signage for our new charity shop and made it really stand out from the rest. They helped us to create a unified look that reflects our charitable aims and values.”

“They are reliable, met all our tight deadlines and are easy to work with. I’d thoroughly recommend them.”

Liz Peck, Communications officer, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Website refresh – Evolve Consulting Services

Redeveloping an existing website and migrating it to a content managed environment to allow the site owner more control. The new site will improve natural SEO results and enable a more dynamic use of content.


Crayfish Design were tasked with transitioning the essence of the old static HTML site into a new CMS-based system. The updated site will be compatible with a range of web enabled devices and will also increase SEO performance.


  • Design and layout
  • HTML, CSS and PHP coding
  • CMS integration

Concept and understanding

For the previous 10 years Evolve Consulting Services Ltd had relied on a website that used a static content template and had virtually no search engine optimisation. Changes to content had to be implemented by somebody who was familiar with HTML coding, and that meant every change would be subject to a fee. As a result, the site was failing to entice any interest and was not delivering any meaningful benefits to the company.

Since the site’s original incarnation, web-based media has moved on considerably and with it the expectations of the internet community. Our job was to add functionality to the system that would emphasise the value of its content and would display it to users in a more appropriate format.

The client was generally happy with the look and feel of the existing site, with that in mind we set about creating a set of visuals that would reuse the core elements in a template that would work more effectively in a modern context.


As Evolve is a small company with no dedicated marketing personnel, we decided that the day-to-day administration of the site needed to be as simple as possible.

We discussed specific functionality requirements with the client, helping us to assemble a solution that would allow the client maximum control with basic system knowledge.

The content fell into three sections; Business, Enterprise and Personal – each of which had its own distinct branding. We decided that the branding would need to be applied with minimal client input and integrated a dynamic feature within the template, that would filter colour themes, menu options and testimonial quotes automatically.

Last, but not least, we added stylesheet coding that would optimise the page format in response to the viewers device i.e. PC/mobile/tablet.

As a result the client now has a site that they can add content to at will, at no further expense to their business and is setup work on all manner of web enabled devices.

What the client said

“Crayfish Design has reinvented and refreshed my website so that it is possible to be viewed from all technical devices with ease and is becoming more visible on Google. They did a tremendous job of refreshing my brand identity and website experience so that it is still congruent and integral to the brand, but is even more engaging and impactful than before. I am very pleased with the work that they have done and I would totally recommend Crayfish Design as a provider to establish or reinvigorate your brand identify and website experience.”

Cathy Brown, Director, Evolve Consulting Services Limited

Reference guide – Sue Ricks

Sue Ricks is an independent therapist. As part of her considerable knowledge in her vocation Sue provides guidance and training for other therapists, including releasing several reference publications for distribution.


  • Brochure layout
  • Illustration
  • Branding

What the client said

“Crayfish Design are super to work with. I have worked with them for many years now and am delighted with all of the projects that they have done for me. I find them really approachable, very professional and brilliant at what they do. I really value the work that they have done for me, ranging from charts, CDs and DVD, to books and web design images and much more. I love their almost intuitive touch to their work and feel lucky to know and work with such special people.”

Sue Ricks School of Complementary Therapies