Wandering around with a camera

Wandering around London (or Manchester, or Liverpool, or any city for that matter) with a camera and a notebook…

Inspiration.

That’s something every designer needs. Without it you can’t be a designer. It’s our lifeline. Where we get our ideas. Our new thoughts. Our ‘lightbulb moments…’. For our clients. And for ourselves.

Inspiration is everywhere. All around us. I get mine in lots of ways. I’ll tell you one of them. 

I like to put on a favourite pair of trainers, jump on a train with a small backpack, a notebook (paper and pen, not a small laptop!) and my camera. I plug in my Apple Airpods, play the Spotify playlist that I’ve prepared for the day, then go wherever the train takes me. I like to get my ‘city fix’ – it’s something I need, I don’t miss London but I need city air once in a while.

I did just this a couple of weeks ago. Got on a train, decided to go to Manchester. Got off the train at Manchester Picadilly. Then I walked for about 5 hours, must have covered about 12 miles I think. Starting off ‘on-piste’, covering the main streets, looking at some high street stuff that I like; then venturing ‘off-piste’, discovering some cool galleries, eateries, bars (no alcohol, obviously). Even wandering into some, er, dodgy areas where a short bald man with ‘designer’ specs and an expensive camera is, ahem, ‘not welcome’. But it was all exciting, inspiring stuff.

What’s inspiring about this? Well, I get to see stuff that I like. Graffiti. Cool window displays. People wearing the latest fashions (good and bad!). I pick up flyers and leaflets. Visit bookshops. Search for typographic prints in small galleries. Check out places that I’ve seen on Instagram or Pinterest. Visit some old haunts. Look at cool, new packaging design. It’s all there and it all inspires me. 

The temptation for some designers these days is to just stare at a computer looking for inspiration (I know it’s true because some people have told me that they do just that!). Pinterest. Instagram. Online magazines. Websites. That’s all fine. But nothing beats getting out there and just looking, watching and seeing.

As well as being a source of inspiration, it’s good for the soul.

Try it some time. You might even enjoy it. And if you see me wandering around, headphones on, you'll know what I'm doing.

Carl Jones is Lead Designer & Creative Director at Carl Jones Design Ltd, a brand design, graphic design and digital design agency. Based near Shrewsbury in Shropshire, working with clients locally and around around the UK.

We are a graphic design and branding consultancy. We help businesses and organisations to be more effective and stand out.

Carl Jones Design is an experienced, business-minded creative consultancy established 15 years ago in 2003. We specialise in strategy-led design for branding – including brochures, websites, packaging and logos.

From our busy creative studio in the picturesque Shropshire Hills, we bring together over 50 years of combined design experience to create compelling brands for a diverse range of sectors. 

We believe great design is about so more than just aesthetics; it’s about understanding your audience, reflecting clear values, shaping perceptions and building instant recognition. 

At Carl Jones Design, we work in close partnership with our clients to understand their ideals, their challenges and their objectives, fusing our creative expertise with a strong focus on strategy and sharp commercial awareness to build inspiring brand personas. 

Our clients are at the heart of everything we do – our goal is to bring brands to life and empower businesses and organisations to successfully compete in their marketplace. 

Growth through connecting family values

Branding Case Study – CBSL Accountants

A world class website for a global business

Branding Case Study – OMNETRIC, a Siemens Company

What are your brand qualities, your mission statement & your aims and goals?

To be successful you need to be positioned correctly in the context of your marketplace. You need to know who you are, what you do – and who you do it for.

What is brand design?

Brand design is a tool for improving business effectiveness. It’s that simple.

Naming the new jewel in Shrewsbury’s independent retail crown

Case study – Thomas Glover

Brand storytelling

Brands need an authentic story something that connects with people, and we need that story to create successful design.

Find out more about Carl & Clare, our founders & directors

From Lancashire Polytechnic, to London and back to Shropshire

Want to have a meeting or a chat?

Get in touch to arrange an initial complimentary consultation with no obligation — at a location and time to suit you.

Creating the extraordinary

Each brand identity or logo that we design is crafted and created with attention to detail. The same applies to brochures, packaging and websites.

Do you want to know more about Carl Jones Design?

Founded over 15 years ago and based in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, we have clients throughout the UK and in Europe

Gallery

Here is flavour of some of our work

Carl’s blog?

From Obsessive Compulsive Designer, a client’s wife hating the colour pink, creating the Tesco logo to where he finds his inspiration – some occassional musings from our Founder and Creative Director, Carl. 

Benefit from our experience

We believe that our combined wealth of experience of working in London agencies, on leading brands across a whole range of sectors, is highly applicable and valuable to all types of client.

We are a small team of experienced graphic designers, specialising in brand and logo design, graphic design and brand consulting. We are based near Shrewsbury in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, and serve clients around the UK. We create solutions that are business oriented, with an approach based on research and strategy.

Our company was started in 2003, when we (Carl & Clare) were based in London. Since then we have developed and adapted our business considerably including a move to Shropshire in 2004. During this time we have established Carl Jones Design as one of the Midlands’ most unique graphic design and branding consultancies, with a reputation for clear, well thought-out, branding and graphic design solutions for all types of businesses and organisations around the UK.

Carl Jones Design was born out of our desire to create simple, effective solutions that work.

We bring together Carl’s experience as Design Director at some of London’s top design agencies, and Clare’s experience as a fashion and accessory designer for some of the high street’s biggest names.

Our mix of skills enables us to approach our clients’ requirements from a variety of different angles, and to provide an approach which is individual to their needs. We don’t offer an off the shelf solution, we offer a unique, bespoke approach in everything we do.

So what’s our secret? The first thing we do with any new client is to get to know them. Their business, their customers, their marketplace, their challenges, their requirements and their people. In effect, we become a part of their team! Only when we’ve done this are we able to put together a brief. Once the brief has been agreed, we are then able to start the exciting part – the creative process, coming up with ideas and design concepts. We take a considered, measured approach to our work – our creativity isn’t based on what’s in fashion or the latest trend – it’s about communication, setting our clients apart. 

We are always happy to meet and discuss your requirements and to put together a written proposal, with no obligation.

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Why would you need our brand design services?

Your new business needs a name, a brand, marketing material and a website design

Your business requires a brochure, some branded stationery, vehicle graphics or signage

You’re running a social media campaign and need some striking images

Your catalogue looks dated and you don’t sell enough products

You’re frustrated with your current design agency, they don’t listen to your requirements

You’re launching a new product and it needs a name, a brand image and packaging design

Your business branding doesn’t allow you stand out from the crowd

You have an exhibition coming up and you need a display stand, a brochure design, and some advertising

Your company logo design is dated and tired – you need a full rebrand