Author: PedroMartins

Signpost Employment Charity Website

Restated Brief

The aim of this project was to rebrand a charity website, the charity (Signpost) being based in Essex with the aim of working with people who are struggling to find employment and training. This was my first real job project so I must admit that nerves got the best of me and that I didn’t start off as soon as I did, such as with organising a meeting with the client and supervisor, but when I did eventually get there it ended up being quite alright. My first supervisor meeting basically informed me of everything to do, there was a lot to remember going into this project so having this meeting really helped me make heads and tails of the whole process.

After that the next stage was to set up the client meeting and establish the brief, since the client was in Essex it would be more beneficial for everyone if meetings were organised via email and happened over Skype video calls. The client’s old website was hosted on wordpress, so this would be the program that the rebranding would be happening on, and it certainly wasn’t the greatest looking website ever made.

Research & concept

The next stage was to look for inspiration of other websites, Signpost already has its own branding however it was necessary to see what other charity websites were doing with their website and establish a similar look/structure through a moodboard. Websites such as ‘Rainbow Trust’, ‘Action for Children’, and even ‘Freebooks’ all have a consistent design style with appropriate use of the branding colours on the screen making the overall page more vibrant and friendly to look at over a plain white background.

Screen-capture from branding proposal doc, showing an analysis on ‘Action for Children’ website.

This developed from a moodboard and into a branding proposal mainly because I began to add things such as proposed branding colours and typographic and designed treatments of what the new website design COULD look like, this helped the client visualise the sort of things that the new website could do and feel like once designed and he was pretty happy with it to say the least. There was a lot of back and forth on this document as a branding proposal turned out to be more complex than I thought, there were a lot of considerations to take into account such as making it clear that the type used for the document wasn’t actually part of the branding proposal. Another aspect which I’ve found interesting (and will never forget) was in how I showed the colours, Having them simply in a row doesn’t really say much to the client meaning that it would be more appropriate to make the boxes bigger or smaller depending on much of that colour would be used on the page (such as with green being the most used whilst gold and dark green being the least used).

Proposed colour hierarchy.

Design Development & Deliverables

Next began the wireframing, the document for this was straightforward as this was basically a duplicate from the previous document, however the things shown on here were completely different to before. The design for this had to be compatible to show a sort of contents page for the wireframes, so that the client could easily go back and forth between pages from corrections (which was actually what happened, this was also useful for his board meetings), I didn’t go all out with the overall style of the wireframes as I mainly wanted to quickly show where certain elements could be placed. However for future reference it may have been more useful to have had some text prepared for this stage, as later on it was awkward building the page and then realising that the column that was meant to have a certain amount of text on the wireframes only had less than half intended, this was not such a huge issue along the road as I worked with the client in terms of telling him whether or not a page needed text and how much of it/what needed to be said along the lines of.

Wireframe contents.

The next stage would be to actually start drafting the website on wordpress. Admittedly this project had originally began as a pair, however there were problems which caused progress on this project to be halted, from this it was in the end sorted out and drafting of the website could begin

WordPress drafting

This was my first time using wordpress therefore going into it was very overwhelming, the UI seemed very complex to grasp and a lot of the features are there without any explanation as to what it does (leaving the only solution to basically look for online tutorials). However I did find that wordpress’s way of building a website was very groggy, what’s meant by that is that the way in which images and text work on here is very reminiscent to how images and text works on Microsoft Word. This obviously could not do so I delved deeper into what could be done about this issue, I was more concerned as to how the client would be able to work on the website and update it in the future after I’m gone (especially if he or anyone in the charity didn’t know how to code) so anything to make it easier for him would make me happy.

In my research I found that wordpress ran on themes and plugins that were basically like having extensions with special functions built in added onto the website, to explain in brief a number of plugins I used added:

  • Image carousel for the home page.
  • Contact form, although this is off the client can simply turn this on and it will appear on the contact page.
  • Optimised search engine, and so on.

The number one plugin that resolved the problem of maintaining the website for the future was definitely the ‘Elementor’ plugin. It eliminated the tedious use of wordpress’s default way of adding stuff to the page by simply drag-and-dropping elements onto the page, there is a row based grid at work but that’s okay because the website was built using this one plugin which made the whole process fast and efficient especially when compared to coding which would’ve taken not even 5x as long.

There was a lot of back and forth with the client in terms of what was needed on the website and what could be added on/changed next, this was a very lengthy process which after discussing this with my supervisor it basically came down to what was necessary on the website as it had been in a launch-able state for quite some time. However this does not mean that I had to make changes all based on the client’s wishes, a lot of what he said came from members of the board and also funders of the charity which made the changes in a way necessary to be made in order for the website to be able to launch. In the end we sat down together and went through the content on the website one last time before it was finally in a launch-able state.


I must confess, this project took a lot longer than it should have taken. There were a lot of problematic factors that occurred throughout sure, but I blamed mostly my inexperience with time management for the client and also pushing people to do things that need to get done. With this project I feel like I’ve gotten confident with talking to clients about projects and making sure that they basically stay on task as well as making sure that I work efficiently by being more ruthless with my time early on so that I have more time to work on things in the future.

Another interesting aspect I’ve learned is about wordpress and appreciating the things that it is able to do, from my understanding it is very good at making posts (such as blog posts or articles) especially since the typo network is on wordpress. Mentioning that, the client did have an idea of having a sort of blog posts for each of the charity’s centres, even though I couldn’t do this I let him know that through wordpress it was certainly possible to do in the future.

Loddon Catchment Consultancy 2018


The brief was to design a set of branding deliverables for two groups of environmental science students for a consultancy that they’ll be setting up in two months.

Soon as I was given this project I was given the opportunity to go and meet with my clients for the first time, this meeting was set up by my supervisor and the student’s lecturer making me think that this is something that happens every year and is set up by the two departments. My first meeting with the clients was very brisk as I spoke to each of them one by one, and we didn’t have much time, however I took the opportunity to ask and get as much information from them as possible including contact information (for direct contact and in case anything was missed).

The students weren’t able to answer all of my questions, such as “who will you be presenting to” as they have just been given this brief probably the same as I have, therefore I cut them some slack and asked if they could find out the information and send it to me later so that I could begin to write my brief.

The students also seemed very opened to the idea of me designing just a logo for them and were more than happy to do the powerpoint presentation and word doc by themselves, they were respectful of my time since we’re fellow students however I assured them that I would work with them on the branding and do as much as I could.

Research & concept

Whilst waiting for the brief to be signed off by my supervisor, I went ahead and organised a meeting with both groups to discuss possible concepts and directions to help each other in realising what kind of logo they wanted. To elaborate, we looked at already existing logos and discussed what elements could be taken forward, no sketching was done at this stage as this was primarily a verbal meeting with on screen visuals containing logos of similar concepts to basically make sure that both groups and I were on the same page (I saw each group at different times again).

The on screen visuals shown on screen were literally some quick google searches for logos with key words such as “water” and “leaf” which were concepts that the groups were thinking of going with. This meeting was certainly helpful as this was in a way helpful to again get on the same page, for example one group has a rough idea of doing a very complex illustration styled logo whereas I had to explain why something so detailed would not work on screen or on documents where it would be scaled to be small so this certainly saved some headaches along the way.

Design Development & Deliverables

Riverbank Erosion logo

Once the brief was signed off, I began sketching a number of rough logo drafts to show the students. The intention would be to show these to them, make sure that they are happy with the overall look and direction of the logo, and if not then the concepts will be reviewed and new sketches produced, rinse and repeat until they were happy with them so that I could then move on to digital illustrations.

My supervisor was overall happy with the pace in which I was going at, however concerns were raised with the first set of B&W illustration, the main concern being that because I used various levels of grey that some of the logos were looking a little bit too busy and also potentially losing the focus of the illustration (especially when viewed smaller).

Another thing that I admit didn’t go as planned was when I showed the first set of sketches to the groups, one group were very happy and voting on the best logo was a very smooth process, however with the other group it was quite clear that they weren’t too convinced with them yet as they were set on a concept which I ultimately wanted to avoid (especially since it tends to be overused in these styles of logos). I quickly mended the situation by producing a few digital illustrations that were not sketched out at first but rather I took the concepts that DID work which produced a better reaction from the students.

Water Quality logo

The stages that followed for the logos were mainly establishing branding colours, which fun and simple to do, and a lot of back and forth iterations and positive feedback from clients and supervisor. With the logos nearing completion I was confident to start creating the powerpoint presentation for them.

This was a first for me and admittedly I wasn’t too proud of the final design for either, it had a similar concept to InDesign as PowerPoint used master pages that acted as “templates” for the entire presentation. What this meant for this scenario was that each group were going to show pages with images, graphs, and tables therefore my responsibility was to create templates that were compatible for what the students wanted to use them for and once the file was sent to them I in a way supervised how they would design it to make sure that the pages were remained consistently well designed with the branding and pages. I didn’t have to do much as the pages mostly did their job, there was just one page that they created themselves which used a different typeface and such therefore I helped them fix that. However, as can sometimes be expected when working with students, there was only radio silence from the other group despite my efforts to contact them, this led me to believe that they were busy at the time as they did indeed reply back to me after their presentation.

Both groups were extremely happy with how the presentation went, there was also some good feedback from other groups particularly with regards to how professional the logo looked, there was no way that I could have been there at the presentation to access how well the deliverable worked but that feedback certainly told me that it did.


It was a shame that I was unable to produce a word template for them as time drew closer to the deadline, the priority for them were the logo and presentation slides as the students let me know how they would only need the word document until way after the presentation. However I did offer to stay in contact with the groups with regards to any questions or suggestions they might have for when they did design the documents themselves.

My supervisor was very happy with my designs, particularly with my logos which I tend to be good at, however I would’ve like to spend a little bit more time learning about making templates on PowerPoint as this was the first time that I made a template and felt like it could have been designed better to at least meet the standard of the logo.