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Welcome home

After 18 fantastic months at 55 Grove Road we have relocated the studio to the Innovation Centre at Harrogate’s Hornbeam Park. We’ve more space, more light and a fantastic new boardroom that’ll be up and running early in 2019.

We’d love to see you at our new home, so if you’ve a moment, give us a shout and pop in – as always, the kettle’s on.

See you soon, Team NY!

London calling…

Last week we were lucky enough to get invited to the private view opening of the brand new exhibition, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War at the fantastic British Library on Euston Road in London. The exhibition is mind-boggling when you actually stop and think of the age of these treasures and features some truly amazing artefacts including the beautifully illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels, Beowulf and Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, alongside other magnificent finds from Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest discovery of Saxon gold ever discovered. The world-famous Domesday Book offers its unrivalled depiction of the landscape of late Anglo-Saxon England while Codex Amiatinus, an absolutely gigantic Northumbrian Bible taken to Italy in 716, is being displayed in England for the first time in 1300 years.

The critics said:
★★★★★ ‘by some distance, the most significant exhibition in London’ – Evening Standard

★★★★★ ‘discover a culture of barbaric splendour and fierce vision’ – The Guardian

Don’t just take our (and their) word for how good it is though, get down to have a look yourself, it runs from now until February 2019.

Brace for impact

We’ve just taken delivery in the studio of our sample copies of the spangly new ‘Social Impact report and Annual Statement 2017-18’ for our lovely clients, the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) and don’t they not only look great but they smell (almost) even better.

BEF is straight outta Little Germany and provides funding and business expertise to some of the most innovative, entrepreneurial and just plain exciting (I know Kingsley, always in three’s) businesses right across the north. We were briefed to reflect their bold, fresh and unique take on business support in the look and feel of this year’s report and we’re happy to report that they are as delighted as us with the finshed piece. Print’s not dead!


Some members of the team have just had the most magical evening at the official open evening of one of our very special clients, Wharfedale Grange. We worked hard to achieve a brand and website that match the vision and ambition of Claire, the force of nature behind this most wonderful of venues.

No detail has been overlooked in creating this super-luxury-neo-industrial-dreamtime-fairytale venue in an incredible location overlooking Harewood House, midway between Leeds and Harrogate.

So, if you’re thinking of getting married (and let’s face it, who isn’t) then this place should be at the very top of your wish list.

They’ve paved paradise and put up a parking lot…

As we’re all aware, we’re living in challenging and changing times and nothing is more of a barometer of this change than the openings and closings of restaurants, bars and shops (and, erm parking lots) on high streets and town centres up and down the land.

Now, being lucky as we are and having the studio in Harrogate these comings and goings are under the microscope like never before – in recent times we’ve seen big household brands such as Jamie’s Italian, H&M, TopShop, Byron Burger and Thorntons and more unfortunately perhaps independents like James Brindley, Norse and Van Zeller open in town only to then close down pretty sharpish too; and the rumour on the streets is of more closures as the year goes on.

So, we’re wondering in this ever-churning retail, entertainment and parking landscape that maybe, in say 10 years time, and not just in our beautiful town centre, but in urban centres all over the UK whether the traditional notion of the high street will have gone forever and in its place will be parks, lakes and gardens… I guess that’ll be paradise then Joni.

Branding matters

It’s tough to make an impact in any market and with the uncertainty swirling around in business at the moment post-Brexit and pre-Trump, building, nurturing and loving your brand has never been more important.

So, if sales are a little stagnant, it’s worth taking some time to consider how your customers perceive your business.

After all… Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

So here are our top three tips to give your business branding a shot in the arm!


Try to think of your business as a brand and define your brand personality. Imagine your brand is a person, tricky but not impossible, then consider:

● What sort of person are you?

● What are your strengths?

● What do your clients like about you?

● How do you look?

● How do you sound?

Try and write down the words that best describe your brand personality and how your customers feel about it.

Why would you do this? Well, because people don’t just buy from people, they like to buy from people they like, I know I do, so why wouldn’t your customers?

Your target is to be the brand of choice for like minded customers; customers that share and believe in your brand personality.



Now, quite a few of your competitors will be able to list very similar features and benefits to you, so what makes YOU so different?

Think about:

● How do you deliver your products and services?

● What do you believe in?

● Why do you do what you do?

● What is your deal-breaker?

You really want your brand values to make you stand out from the crowd, and attract and retain those like-minded customers you have identified when thinking about your brand personality.

List the things that really matter to you in the way you do business and why. Your brand values will attract like-minded people who will then engage with your brand, your business and you.



Colour is the first thing we notice ahead of anything else, before words, before icons and symbols. Colour is a very powerful tool to reinforce your brand personality and values.

Colours carry meaning of course, so be careful and remember what colours are associated with and what they symbolise.

The key is to choosing a colour palette that reflects your brand personality and values can also help attract your ideal customers. Sometimes this means conforming to the colours of a category but sometimes, of course, it means being totally different.

Building a brand isn’t simple and like a rowdy toddler it needs some loving, some guidelines and occasionally an early night.

So if you’d like some help with your brand, wherever you are in your business journey, we’d be delighted to help.

Typography was my first love, and it will be my last…

Typography was my first love
And it will be my last.
Typography of the future
And typography of the past.

To live without my typography
Would be impossible to do.
In this world of troubles,
My typography pulls me through.

Typography was my first love
And it will be last.
Typography of the future
And typography of the past
And typography of the past
And typography of the past.

Typography was my first love
And it will be my last.
Typography of the future
And typography of the past.

To live without my typography
Would be impossible to do.
In this world of troubles,
My typography pulls me through.

(Not) John Miles

True colours

This month, rather than looking at the science behind colour and how blue means, well, you know, business and red means we’re all doomed, I thought it would be nice to take a look at what colour kings Pantone are predicting in their colour trends for spring 2017.

This is something they do annually and are usually spot on (no pun intended);  the colours they choose can be seen across all creative disciplines from interior design, fashion and, my great love, branding.

Pantone describe this year’s selection as a ‘Mixture of Vitality, Relaxation and the Great Outdoors’ and I think that sums it up very neatly. The overall feeling I get when I look at the colours is one of earthiness, fresh air and nature, so what’s not to like about that!

As we in the northern hemisphere shiver our way through the frigid winter months, a quick glance at these gorgeous hues immediately lifts my spirits and transports me to spring and early summer when the nights start drawing out; bluebells and daffodils start springing-up in the woods and hedgerows; the warming sun is on your face and you have a cheeky al fresco gin and tonic in the yard.

The list in full is below, so if you’re feeling a little glum on those drab grey February Tuesday mornings, take a look at this little lot and hang tight, spring is just around the corner…

Comfortable and dependable, Niagara leads the Pantone Colour Report as the most prevalent colour for spring 2017. Niagara is a classic denim-like blue that speaks to our desire for ease and relaxation.

By contrast, Primrose Yellow sparkles with heat and vitality. Inviting us into its instant warmth, this joyful yellow shade takes us to a destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.

Conveying even more energy is Lapis Blue. Strong and confident, this intense blue shade is imbued with an inner radiance.

A red-based orange, Flame, is gregarious and fun loving. Flamboyant and vivacious, this wonderfully theatrical shade adds fiery heat to the spring 2017 palette.

Island Paradise is a refreshing aqua that calls to mind a change of scenery. A cool blue green shade that speaks to our dream of the great escape, Island Paradise is emblematic of tropical settings and our desire to unwind.

Continuing the tranquil mood, Pale Dogwood is a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.

Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Tropical and festive, Pink Yarrow is a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalizes. Bold, attention getting and tempestuous, the lively Pink Yarrow is a captivating and stimulating color that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.

Evocative of the great outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, Kale is another foliage-based green that conjures up our desire to connect to nature, similar to the more vivacious Greenery. And, just as we see in nature, this lush and fertile natural green shade provides the perfect complementary background to the more vibrant tones in the palette.

Rounding out the spring 2017 colours is Hazelnut, a key neutral for spring. This shade brings to mind a natural earthiness. Unpretentious and with an inherent warmth, Hazelnut is a transitional colour that effortlessly connects the seasons.

If you’d like some help with your brand, wherever you are in your business journey, we’d be delighted to help.