The Mental Health Foundation has a clear mission, to help people to thrive through understanding, protecting, and sustaining their mental health. For the second year we worked with with the UK based charity on their flagship annual campaign Mental Health Awareness Week. We helped to define the campaign objectives, key messaging and call-to-actions, and created the campaign branding. The theme for this year was Nature, and specifically the mental health benefits of spending time in and connecting with nature. The campaign style fed through a range of deliverables, including animation, supporter packs, OOH advertising, case study films, reports and social media content.
The biggest challenge in this campaign was creating a broad appeal that resonated with a very wide and diverse audience. The MHF was trying to reach literally every UK adult, a huge task but a worthy ambition to help as many people as possible at a time when we all need a boost to our mental health. The look and feel for the campaign, the messaging and the call to actions had to be accessible and appealing for them to reach and engage with the UK’s diverse population.
To make the visual style of the campaign appealing and relevant we used a mixed media approach of combining quirky illustrations, photography, film and bold hand drawn typography. This enabled us to create an adaptable campaign that resonated with each platform’s audience, no matter what their personal circumstances were. We also ensured that we showed a diverse mix of races, abilities and environments to help the content connect with everyone in the UK.
We worked with a typographer and hand lettering artist for the hand-drawn typography element, creating positive short messages that would uplift people and inspire them to find out more. These were used in a range of different ways, from the main campaign lock-up to a suite of social assets and print documents.
The Illustration style was playful and fun, showing a diverse range of people connecting with nature in a huge range of ways. These illustrations were used across all comms assets too, enabling the campaign to feel accessible and friendly in tone, while delivering serious content and guidance.
We created an animated hero film in the mixed media campaign style to help them share the message and talk about the importance of Nature to our mental health. The script had to be fun and engaging, to get across the seriousness of the message, but in an accessible and friendly way. The quirky, illustrative style mixed with filmed footage and photography makes a rich and widely appealing look that that enables the film to be accessible to a diverse audience.
Our work with the Mental Health Foundation enabled them to gain more reach and resonance this year than ever before. Through a bold creative style, clear and inclusive messaging, they have grown their following and, hopefully, helped a lot of people to improve their mental health through connecting with nature.
Some of the key highlights for this years MHAW were:
Thank you for your amazing work – it's been very important for growing us and Mental Health Awareness Week as a brand.
Blackpool Council asked us to make a film reassuring parents that sending their children back to school is the right choice. In the time of a new normal, parents and children might feel nervous returning to education. Blackpool Council needed a film that showed every precaution being taken to make sure nothing gets in the way of children enjoying their learning. Appealing to both parents and children, the style needed to be accessible, bright but packed with useful information.
The campaign was rolled out across animation, print, vans, bus stops and social media advertisements. Positive and uplifting, the tone of the animation remained approachable – easing the anxieties of returning to school. Balanced with serious information, the design informed parents whilst exciting children for their new school term.
The campaign was successfully rolled out onto several different touch points. Bold and playful, the animation was used on social media and in schools to help ease everyone back into the new term.
From start to finish, the team at Flow Creative have delivered above and beyond. Working to a very tight deadline, the team created a bespoke multi-channel campaign with flair, dynamism and patience. It completely nailed the brief and brought our vision to life.
The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity whose mission is to help people to thrive through understanding, protecting, and sustaining their mental health. This year they asked us to help create a look and feel for their annual Mental Health Awareness Week. As part of the official government response to COVID-19, the theme for the week was kindness. We helped establish a brand which fed through animation, fundraising packs, reports and social media content.
We created a brand that dealt with serious issues but felt positive and left the UK feeling optimistic. The style championed the Mental Health Foundation green along with a character-led illustration style. The combination of geometric shapes and abstract textures communicated subtly how mental health can make you feel off-balance and muddled but the friendly characters kept the topic of mental health approachable and reassuring.
As part of the suite of materials for this campaign we created an animated film to help them spread the message and talk about the importance of Kindness. We wanted the script to be fun and engaging, to get across the seriousness of the message, but in an accessible and friendly way. We developed the script into a poem, and the comedian Mark Watson, an ambassador for the charity, recorded the voice-over for the film. The quirky, illustrative style comes alive in animation, and bespoke sound design adds the finishing touch.
The animation and digital materials are currently part of the UK government’s official response to COVID-19 and has encouraged people to fundraise for the Mental Health Foundation during May, staying active during the current pandemic.
“We were really impressed by the creativity Flow brought to the mix and they felt like a great fit for this important campaign for us. We’ve loved collaborating with the team and the campaign materials they’ve produced are amazing.”
The University of Liverpool approached us to develop a brand identity for their MBA course. The brand needed to reflect the ambitious nature of the university and the fact that its students are considered as future leaders. Alongside the main MBA brand we were asked to produce a brand identity for the Catalyst Programme, the course’s careers arm which offers specialist links to industry and exciting speakers.
We developed a sophisticated brand system that hinted at the course’s heritage whilst positioning it as forward-thinking. Using a muted colour palette and lightweight stroke crest brand mark, we developed a series of icons to represent careers, immersion, alumni and guest speakers – the four pillars of the course. A contemporary liverbird became the main brand mark of the MBA course, again tying it to Liverpool’s heritage. The brand was then rolled out across printed material, a brochure and branded merchandise for students enrolment.
The new brand and collateral launched in September 2019, to welcome the new students enrolling onto the course.
Flow are amazing. Their work is incredibly contemporary and the team are really talented. Everything was done very efficiently and we have had so many compliments on our new branding.
You Are Not Alone (YANA) Festival is a Manchester-based music festival in aid of mental health charity, Manchester Mind. The festival needed a positive, playful identity that could be rolled out across all communications, from ticket sales build-up to the event itself.
We developed a friendly illustrative style that reinforced connection and inclusivity; the main motif of the festival is two elongated arms coming together in harmony. We used mismatched typography of different weights and sizes to complement this, giving the brand a playful feel. Social cards were released in the run up to the festival to announce artist line-ups and new venues!
YANA debuted on 30th March 2019 in Northern Quarter venues The Whiskey Jar, Jimmy’s and Night & Day. It was a sellout festival and the sun even shone in Manchester for the occasion! Plans are underway already for YANA 2020, so watch this space…
We want to give a huge big ups to Flow. Can’t recommend them enough. Standout work, the nicest and easiest staff to deal with, literally 10/10. Thanks for everything.
With the new Flow website ready to launch, we wanted to share the best of our design and print expertise through our very own mailer campaign! The challenge was to give people a taste of the work we do here in the studio, introduce the team, and get potential clients excited about working with us.
The mailer combined different hand-crafted pieces: a luxurious brochure of our work, a meet-the-team fold-out (complete with bespoke illustrations), business cards, and a personal thank-you note written in gold ink. Each bundle was wrapped with a Flow-stamped belly band, and sealed in premium gold and black envelopes!
The One Powerhouse Consortium is an organisation that aims to create spatial plans for the ‘mega regions’ of England, and integrate them with existing plans for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They needed an identity to put them on a platform, and make their audience sit up and listen to what they have to say.
The brand feels clean, contemporary and ready to be taken seriously. A ‘grown-up’ palette of dark blues and white complements a modern accent of coral. We developed a dot matrix mechanism to reinforce the idea of connection and strength across the regions, which will later be developed into a suite of icons and illustrations.
We delivered a contemporary and intuitive brand, website and print material which successfully launched in July. With backers including Gordan Brown and John Major, the One Powerhouse scheme sets to develop its plans for Britain.
These important reports from IPPR North look at the future of energy production in the north of England, and set out a vision to create 100,000 new jobs by 2050 as part of an energy economy worth £15 billion.
We were tasked with designing the reports in a way that presented the information in a considered way, appropriate to the content, while making complex information easy to navigate, and as accessible as possible to a diverse audience.
Our vision was to help give IPPR North a voice independent of it’s head office in London. Using existing brand guidelines as a starting point, we developed a bold, contemporary look and feel for brand.
We created a stylish but technical illustration style and an icon set based around iconographic road signage. This was applied to all aspects of the design for both documents, and used for data visualisation in an energy map of the north of England.
The design presented complex information in an easy to understand way, whilst taking seriously the content of a document of this nature.
The Northern Energy Strategy Report was printed with 300gsm inners and a 450gsm cover, ring-bound with a clear spot UV finish on the cover. An interactive digital version was also created for download.
The Energy Futures document was printed with four colours on 270gsm Mohawk Everyday in a gatefold design. It’s a 4 colour print on 270gsm Mowhawk Everyday paper, with gatefold design.
The Northern Energy Report is a really important document for us, the culmination of years of work and so the design of it was a big deal. We’ve worked with Flow before and knew we could rely on them to deliver the exceptional standards we expect.
Manchester Digital wanted something extra-special to mark the 20th anniversary of the Big Chip Awards. Each year, the event recognises the best northern digital and tech companies. They asked us to bring the 2018 edition to life with an opening animation, event branding, printed programmes, and award countdown videos.
Two themes stood out: digital progress, and the mighty North. So we wrote a script combining computer games and bad northern puns! A fearless female lead appears in all animated scenes, morphing and adapting for each genre. And with a sparkling “special edition” palette of purple and gold throughout, the printed programme took the form of a 90s game cartridge, complete with 8-bit font and “Game Over” message.
Our opening animation definitely went off with a bang. It attracted spontaneous applause and cheers from the crowd, building excitement and getting the night off to exactly the start that Manchester Digital wanted.
We couldn’t have been happier with the work Flow Creative have produced. The brochure this year has been the best one yet and we were blown away by the animation.