SUPPLEMENT: DESIGN AWARDS 96; Industry Sector awards: Best use of design in public services and charity marketing sponsored by MCA Group



Client: Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills Steering Committee and

Prince Research Consultants

Consultancy: Typearea

Project: Museum identity and promotion


Client: Healthlink Anglia and Oxford

Consultancy: Arena Communication and Design

Project: Anglia and Oxford Healthlink campaign


What happens to Ministry of Defence sites when they become redundant? In

the case of the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills, a former R&D and

explosives manufacturing complex, it was a case of nothing without

extensive public consultation. The site itself was ideal, lying within

the metropolitan green belt, although needing to be decontaminated.

First, a committee was set up, representing local and national bodies

which decided to develop a museum on the site. Its plans gained

government approval, which agreed to part-fund them, subject to a

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) partner being found and other funding


It was at this stage that the steering committee decided to promote the

project and continue the wide consultation and research process through

media, requiring an active design element. The design had a number of

aims, such as: to create a distinct identity for the project; raise

awareness across a range of audiences; act as a focus and encourage

participation; and general promotion.

An additional factor was that the Mills site had been the largest

employer in Waltham Abbey for many centuries, so the local community had

to feel involved in decisions about its development.

Typearea’s solution was an exhibition and brochure which reached a

number of audiences through seminars, conferences and public debates. So

far, pounds 8m has been committed to the project by the public sector

and PFI partners, while a pounds 6.3m bid has been submitted to the

National Lottery Fund. Local and regional businesses are also interested

in sponsoring the project, while there have been many offers from the

community to act as trustees, volunteer guides, conservationists, or

just to provide information about the history of the site.


Healthlink, an 0800 confidential health information service for the

Anglia and Oxford region, was hiding its light under a bushel. The

service provides unbiased information on a range of subjects, from

hospital waiting times to availability of NHS dentists, yet research

showed take-up could be higher.

A design brief focused on four key concepts: unbiased, confidential,

free, and open to everyone. Publicity material needed to be more direct,

uncluttered and bold, featuring the free number and stressing its place

in a national scheme. And the design had to have a shelf life of at

least two years.

Arena’s solution was an eye-catching design which can be translated into

A3 and A4 posters, leaflets, POS dispensers, credit-card sized

information cards, and advertorial campaigns. Since its launch, calls

have increased by 40% a day.


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