Thursday, 23 December 2010

Mince Pie and Mulled Wine Mayhem

Christmas has officially hit Assembly Studios with the arrival of these amazing hand crafted mince pies and mulled wine, courtesy of Matt F... roll on Saturday :-)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


Our Creative Director Ross Cunningham has been super busy recently! Not only working on several exciting Assembly projects (keep your eyes peeled!), but also helping out a charity called Retrak. They're a UK based company that works with street children in Africa to "give them a real alternative to life on the street";

"There are numerous reasons why children live and sleep on the streets such as poverty; family strife; abuse; being orphaned, often as a result of HIV/AIDS; war and famine. Often abused or violated on the street, regarded as barely human and on the very fringe of society, they eke out an existence, begging or scavenging through rubbish for food. Our aim is that these children can realise their full potential and discover their inherent worth.

Retrak began in Kampala, Uganda in 1994 as a football club providing street children with the opportunity for play and, for a short while at least, escape their day to day problems and dangers. Recognising both the need and the potential, Retrak expanded the scope of its work beyond football and, by 1997, had become a UK charity and was registered in Uganda as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called the Tigers Club Project; later renamed Retrak.
 Programmes were developed by working with the children individually, to find what worked best for them; and grew to include education, vocational training, health care, counselling and more, while keeping the much loved football sessions. The common aim of all of Retrak’s programmes is to work with the children as individuals, with their own individual hopes and circumstances, to enable them to take their place back in the community and, where possible, within their own families.
Retrak has enabled hundreds of children to move off the streets and back into their communities. As well as Uganda, we now also have a centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia which has been hugely successful and we work with partners in Kenya."

A pretty worthy cause I'm sure you'll all agree. So what Ross has done, is to put his design skills to work and he has created a range of t-shirts for the charity. They are trying to increase funds by selling more merchandise and hosting events - something the whole Assembly team may be taking part in, but more details on this to follow!

So if you fancy looking swish and helping some very desrving children out at the same time (or are just in need of a new t-shirt), you don't need to look any further!

Click to visit the Assembly Studios homepage.

Place UK - The UK Mission to MIPIM 2011

We have just finished work on an interesting project and one a fair few of you may be clapping your eyes on in the not too distant future: the logo for Place UK - The brand which is the UK's mission to MIPIM next year. The Place UK stand will be showcasing the work of a number of regional councils who are not taking their own stand. The design challenge was to produce an engaging logo that was recognisable, yet could work with each of the participating councils' existing logos and branding.

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Share Your Imagination.

We came across a website a couple of days ago with a competition that seemed too good not to share with everyone we know!

The website is and the brief looks a little like this:

"Share your imagination.
Sony and WWF want to hear your smart ideas about using technology to make the most of our planet's resources. And to get you started, we’ve pulled together a showcase of technologies that are ripe for re-purposing. Now it’s up to you to put them together in radical new ways… and shape a cleaner, more sustainable future for our planet. How can we make better use of our scarce natural resources? How can we actively change people’s behaviour and encourage more sustainable lifestyles?
These are the environmental challenges that clearly matter most to you...
Take a look at our technology showcase and start thinking about how you could re-use, combine or mash-up these and any other technologies - to address the challenge. Everyone in our community’s invited to get involved. You can applaud other people’s concepts or refine them further: best of all, why not contribute a concept of your own?
Our expert panel will select, along with the community, the concepts that most excite them. Once the winning concept is chosen, its contributors will work together with these experts to make the final concept real."

One of the themes is 'Cleaner by Design', which is where our ears pricked up:

"How can technology help us design products, services and infrastructure with fever environmental impacts in their manufacture, use and disposal? Smarter design approaches could improve products' energy efficiency and reduce the materials used in products – but that’s just the start. From car sharing clubs to cloud services, we can reduce environmental inputs and enjoy the results. Technology can also help us re-think conventional approaches to urban planning, building design and food production & distribution."

This is an example of one of the (many) entries, entitled 'Ecological House'. You can read a bit more about it here;

Can't wait to see the winners!

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Cobalt Parklife

We were pretty excited when Highbridge Properties appointed us to deliver a new website for the UK’s largest business park. The project is split into two phases; phase one being design and production of a marketing site, and phase two the addition and integration of a community site. The core priorities for this project were to deliver a solution that really made Cobalt Park stand out from its competitors and demonstrate the lively and bustling nature of the development. To achieve this impression, we elected for a hybrid site of Flash and HTML. The core functionality and site framework were built to be both strong and flexible and the end result was an extremely effective sales tool for the park. The site is enhanced by the integration of a number of creative elements, including dynamic media galleries, video streams and interactive maps and floor plates.

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

The Perfect (Bilingual) Storm

When Moscow-based Storm Properties were looking for a brand refresh they chose Assembly Studios as just the creative minds to help them achieve that. We were tasked with updating all their marketing materials and website with a fresh new look and feel for the Russian real estate market.

As anyone who has been through the process will testify, the brand refresh is an extremely delicate matter. There is a fine balance to be struck between retaining the positive elements of the existing identity and enhancing and moving the brand forward. On this occasion we achieved this through a considered approach to colour palette, typology and spacing. After a number of client meetings and brand investigations, we unearthed five key brand values that defined Storm. We interpreted these values into brochure chapters throughout the course of a two day photoshoot. Phase two of the project was to translate this material to web. The client opted for a simple html site, with a subtle use of flash on the homepage. The website reflected the brochure through its clean typographic layout and together they complete a cohesive suite of material that distinguishes Storm as a fresh and dynamic proposition.

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

The Big CMS Question

So, driving more relevant customers to your website…a compelling proposition so far. But how does it happen? Who carries it out? What are the extra elements that can make the difference between engaging with your targets, and losing them to a competitor's website? By selecting the right CMS (Content Management System) for your business, all the functionality you need, news, SEO, social media integration etc. can be integrated into your day-to-day website updates.

To advise organisations on how to select the right CMS system from the thousands on the market, we have produced a Web White Paper which will be available to download free of charge in January. The paper covers:

- How to select the best website system for your business
- How to fully integrate your website into multiple marketing channels
- How to compare various site offerings and must-have elements
- How to understand the behavior of the digital media consumer
- How to keep your website “alive” and ensure your site performs consistently over time

Subscribers to the Disrupt, Create, Communicate newsletter will automatically receive a copy of the Web White Paper on release. If you know anyone else who would like to receive a copy of the Paper, please ask them to email us to be added to the distribution list.

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

Zayed National Museum Design Revealed

Abu Dhabi played host to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip this week, as they began their first state visit to the UAE since 1979. There had been a genuine sense of excitement in the run up to the visit, and one of the Queen’s key engagements whilst in town was the unveiling of the design for the new iconic Zayed National Museum by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The museum is set to open on Saadiyat Island (Abu Dhabi’s new cultural hub) in late 2014.

The facility, which is being developed with the help of the British Museum, will include five galleries, a library, educational facilities and a fine dining restaurant. The cornerstone of the Saadiyat Island cultural hub, it will simultaneously honour the life and achievements of Sheikh Zayed and celebrate the rich history of the UAE.

A Foster & Partners designed project, Assembly has been working with TDIC (Tourist Development & Investment Company), who are responsible for the delivery of the museum. Not wanting to miss out on the action, some extremely late nights/early mornings were put in to ensure the client had a range of top notch CG Illustrations, which appeared online and in the press following the unveiling.

The museum's architecture resembles the wing tips of falcons, a symbol of UAE heritage and culture. The tallest of the five wings will be a spectacular 124 metres. Five towers, made of lightweight steel and made to look like feathers, will rise up from a man-made hill housing a public lobby.

We had amazing feedback from our client, Erica Lewis the Marketing Manager from TDIC, who said ‘Thank you so much for all your hard work…We really appreciate it and shows what a good company you are to work with.’ We look forward to continuing to develop our blossoming relationship with TDIC, as they fulfil their role as ‘master developers of major tourism destinations in Abu Dhabi’.

Go to to find out more about this innovative client.

London East Meets the Middle East – UAE Office Now Open

We are delighted to announce the opening of our first Middle East office, located at twofour54AbuDhabi, which is fast becoming the creative centre for agencies in the region.

The office is ideally located to provide design services to your Middle East operations, ensuring ease of communication, whilst delivering the same high standard of design work that is synonymous with Assembly London.

The office has been working on a variety of projects, from animations and CGIs to email flyers and print material, for local clients that include the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, ENEC (Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation), KEO International Consultants and ADAC (Abu Dhabi Airports Company).

To find out more about working with Assembly Studios Abu Dhabi, or if you would like to arrange a visit, contact Jon Wells in Abu Dhabi or Matt Fairman in London.