Nick Bell Design

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About us

What we do

We are visual communicators designing for three dimensional interactive environments.

Most of the time –
we work with architects, curators and museum directors. Together, we try to make museums absorbing and inspirational places to be.

Some of the time – 
we work with heads of marketing and communications. With them, we help hone the voice that best captures their organisation’s relationship with people.

Occasionally –
working with publishers, editors and writers, we make books, catalogues and magazines objects of beauty and substance.

The last ten years –
we have spent collaborating with architects, museum directors and curators on exhibition interpretation design, digital interactive/audio visual media design and wayfinding.

During that time –
we have developed a visitor-centred editorial concern for the voices and visual language of interpretation and interactivity within physical information-rich environments.

How we do it

By always aiming to  –
make it easier and more appealing for people to strengthen the connections they have with an organisation (in our case, usually museums and visitor attractions).

By always striving to –
deepen this affinity by developing ways of communicating that spark interest, encourage participation and provoke action.

We fuel action by –
making visitor engagement tangible and intelligible through building distinctive graphic identities specific to the content each attraction offers and that serve the experiences to be had there .

These identities are –
interactive, interpretive, communication strategies played out through the design of exhibition graphics, digital interactive/audio visual media, networked media and wayfinding.

These strategies are –
cross-platform, conceived with every visitor's own experience and personal connections to the content in mind – and increasingly will be making heavy use of the content visitors bring with them.

Who we are

Nick Bell
Founder, Strategic and Creative Director

Nick has ultimate responsibility for entrepreneurial/ editorial/ creative vision and for maintaining the quality of our outcomes. He provides creative guidance and leadership. He has spent the last ten years collaborating with architects, exhibition designers, curators and museum directors on exhibition design and wayfinding signage projects. During that time he has developed a visitor-centred editorial concern for the visual language and voice of interpretation within physical, information-rich, distracting environments. Prior to this, Nick was Creative Director of Eye, the design magazine of critical writing. His experience on Eye enabled him to develop a more curatorial method of editorial design – one he has since adapted successfully for environmental design. He is Visiting Professor of Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art, Special Consultant to Eye magazine and a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). He lives in London with his partner and their young daughter. He is a fan of Norwich City FC and the films of Patrick Keiller.

David Sudlow
Creative Design Manager

David oversees and leads exhibition graphic design and way finding projects. Being Creative Design Manager means he is involved in projects from conception through to completion, working with clients to define scope and content as well as with contractors on details and finishing. He is one of our main client contacts and manages both creative output and project programming. Prior to joining us in 2007, David spent three years working for the London studio of established museum designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates. At RAA he led the graphic design for nationally recognised projects including London Transport Museum and the Culloden Battlefield Memorial visitor centre. During this time, David lectured in graphic design at the London College of Communication (LCC) and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He has an MA in Communication Design from the Royal College of Art. He lives in London with his wife and his passions include French films of the 1960s, hill walking and Test Match Special.

Julie Riley
Business and Office Manager

Julie manages the contractual and financial aspect of all of our projects as well as assisting with client management and liaison. Internally she also oversees the resourcing of projects and other organisational and administrative aspects of the day to day running of Nick Bell Design. She joined us in 2006 to oversee the Finance, HR, Legal/Commercial and Administration aspects of the company. Her experience equips her with knowledge of the business and the skills for communicating well with people both internal and external to the company. Julie keeps our projects and working relationships on track. She has a musical background as a performing/recording artist, following which she worked for six years within the cultural sector of the design industry in both administration and PR roles. Most of this time was spent working for Casson Mann, the museum and gallery exhibition designers, with whom we have collaborated regularly for many years. Born near Southend in 1968, Julie lives in central London with her husband and their three children. Her passions are still music, live performance, literature, East Sussex (especially the seaside), people and connecting with communities.

Nic Carter
Designer

Nic joined the studio in 2011. He is involved with projects at every stage, from concept and design development to overall project and production management. Having originally trained in Fine Art at Goldsmiths Univerity, Nic worked with London’s White Cube for six years, reaching the position of Operations Manager for the company’s Hoxton Square gallery and other east End sites. Nic returned to university to study Graphic Design in 2008 at the London College of Communication, gaining a distinction upon graduation in 2011. He has also spent time working with London-based studios SEA and SAS, and is a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers. Born in Sheffield in 1981, Nic lives now lives in East London. Aside from visual arts, his interests include cycling and music.

Rongkai He
Design Assistant

Rongkai studied Industrial Design in Beijing before moving to London in 2009 to study Typo/Graphic & Media Design at the London College of Communication. He graduated from the LCC in 2011 and joined us on an initial three month internship before becoming a Design Assistant. Rongkai supports our designers on exhibition design projects, working on concept visualisations through to final artwork. He lives in east London where he spends his nights soaking up the best gigs and cinema screenings on offer.

Memberships

Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), Nick Bell
Design Business Association
Eye magazine editorial board, Nick Bell
Museums Association
Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), David Sudlow

Collaborators

All of our work is heavily dependent on interdisciplinary collaboration to succeed – especially our environmental design. Our long-established and growing network of collaborators gives us access to the best and most appropriate expertise, insight, talent and support out there. This is a list of the highly valued project partners we have had the pleasure to work with and the projects we worked together on.

AllofUs: digital interactive strategy and design consultants
– Stanislavsky Museolobby
atmosphere: exploring climate science

Azman Architects: architects, exhibition and interior designers
Communicate exhibition

Casson Mann: exhibition, museum and interior designers
– BNFL Visitor’s Centre
– Churchill Museum
– Stanislavsky Factory signage
– Great North Museum
atmosphere: exploring climate science
– Benjamin Franklin Museum

Chris Chesney: project manager
– Stanislavsky Factory signage

Cogapp: digital media and user experience design group
– Great North Museum

Coombe Architecture: architects and exhibition designers
– This Was Tomorrow
– Posh
– The Heart
– Museum of the Post Office in the Community

Dan Bosin Associates: museum and exhibition project managers
– Benjamin Franklin Museum

Endpoint: signage design engineers and production consultants
– Stanislavsky Factory signage
– Great North Museum

Engage Productions: interactive software and hardware production
– Churchill Museum
atmosphere: exploring climate science

Fraser Randall: exhibition and museum project management
– Churchill Museum
atmosphere: exploring climate science

John McAslan + Partners: architects, landscape architects
– Stanislavsky Factory signage

Made by Many: social media experts
– Manchester United
– Amnesty’s protectthehuman.com

Martin Lee Associates: print production consultant
– Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita
– Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material

Metaphor: architects, museum and exhibition designers
– new exhibition project

Nissen Richards Studio: architects, exhibition designers
– Nature’s Library, The Manchester Museum

muf architecture/art: architects, exhibition designers
– Gainsborough
– Art of the Garden
– Martin Parr retrospective

Nord Architecture
– Making Modern Communications tender proposal

Remer & Talbott: museum and exhibition curation
– Benjamin Franklin Museum

Soda Ltd: digital interactive designers and artists
– Churchill Museum

Terry Farrell and Partners: architects
– Great North Museum

Studio ZNA: lighting designers
– Nature’s Library, The Manchester Museum

Clients

Atlantic Books
Barbican Centre
British Council
British Postal Museum & Archive
Casson Mann
Chris Boot
D&AD
English Heritage
Four Corners Books
Haymarket Publishing
Hayward Gallery
Horus
Imperial War Museum
Laban School of Dance
Laurence King Publishing
The Manchester Museum 
Manchester United
National Portrait Gallery
National Trust
Newcastle University
Phaidon
The Royal Mail
Science Museum, London
Taschen
Tate Publishing
Tate Britain
University of the Arts London
Universities UK
Victoria & Albert Museum
Virgin Classics
The Wellcome Trust
Warner/Chappell Music

Awards

2011
DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2010 Winner
Gold Award
for Great North Museum
(with Casson Mann)

MUSE Awards 2011
Honourable Mention: Interpretive Interactive Installations
for Atmosphere: exploring climate science

2010
D&AD Awards 2010 Yellow Pencil: Writing for Design
for D&AD Awards 2010 Call for Entries Campaign
(with copywriter Tim Riley of AMV BBDO)

Arts Fund Prize 2010 Longlist
for Great North Museum

Design Week Awards 2010
Commended: Museums, Galleries & Visitor Attractions
for Great North Museum

National Lottery Awards 2010
Best Heritage Project shortlist
for Great North Museum

2009
Culture Journal Awards 2009
Renaissance Museum Award 
for Great North Museum

World Architecture Awards 2009: Best Interior
for Great North Museum

2007
FX Awards 2007 Finalist: Exhibition Space
for The Heart

2006

D&AD Awards 2006 Yellow Pencil: Exhibition Design
for the Churchill Museum

D&AD Awards 2006 Nomination: Digital Media
for Churchill Museum Lifeline

Design Week Awards 2006 Winner:
Museums, galleries, visitor attractions
for Churchill Museum

Design Week Awards 2006 Winner:
Interactive Media/information
for Churchill Museum Lifeline

Creative Review Annual 2006 Best in Book: Graphic Design
for Churchill Museum

Creative Review Annual 2006 Best in Book: Graphic Design
for Churchill Museum Lifeline

The 2006 Council of Europe Museum Prize
for Churchill Museum

The AHI (Association for Heritage Interpretation)
Interpret Britain and Ireland Award
for Churchill Museum

The THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement
for Churchill Museum Lifeline

Wallpaper* Design Awards 2006: Best Books of 2005
Louis I Kahn, Phaidon

2004

Higher Education Information Services Trust (HEIST):
Gold Award for best prospectus
for London College of Printing

2003

D&AD Awards 2003 Yellow Pencil: Exhibition Design
for BNFL Visitor's Centre

D&AD Awards 2003 Yellow Pencil: Applied Graphic Design
for BNFL Visitor's Centre

Art Directors Club of Europe Gold Award
for BNFL Visitor's Centre

The PhotoEspaña Book Prize
for Martin Parr, Phaidon

2000

Design Week Awards 2000 Winner: Print
for British Council tablecloth

1999

Design Centre Germany: High Design Quality
for Eye magazine

1998

International Society of Typographic Designers Awards:
Certificate of Excellence
for London College of Printing prospectus design

1992

American Typographers International Association
Gold Award
for BBC Schools Television typographic interior

Contact

Address

Nick Bell Design
Unit F
Reliance Wharf
2-10 Hertford Road
London N1 5EW

+44 (0)20 7253 4015

info@nickbelldesign.co.uk

Work with us

Do you collaborate all the time? We do. We work with specialists from many fields on every single project. The multi-media and environmental nature of our work demands it. These days we can’t claim the sole credit for anything! On those awards nights, when you see a whole studio troop up onto the stage, that’ll be us. Well, one of us outnumbered by several of our highly talented collaborators. We would like to think that they think they couldn’t have done it with out us. We know it couldn’t have even been contemplated without them.

Are you an architecture practice, 3D design studio or digital/interactive agency? We are always interested to hear from you. We team up frequently to make joint contributions to tender returns that are regularly successful, even award-winning, eventually. Find quite a few of your competitors listed on our site under ‘Collaborators’ here. To arrange a meeting, call us or email Nick Bell.

Work here

Are you a talented graphic designer with a passion for typography wedded to a keen interest in audio-visual media and digital interaction within physical environments? If so, you are a rare animal and we would love to hear from you. We might not have anything to offer you at the time but don't let that stop you. Pdf samplers with CVs no larger than 5mb should be emailed to Julie Riley.

Downloads

Company profile

29/08/12: Company Profile (5126 kb, .pdf)

Biographies

21/01/11: David Sudlow (151 kb, .pdf)
19/08/12: Nic Carter (147 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Nick Bell (152 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Julie Riley (143 kb, .pdf)

Project PDFs

21/01/11: Atmosphere: Exploring climate science (1357 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Museum of the Post Office in the Community (1113 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Great North Museum: wayfinding (1335 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Che Guevara: Revolutionary & Icon (1327 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Gainsborough (1211 kb, .pdf)
28/01/11: Great North Museum: follow-up (1260 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Bodelwyddan Castle (1370 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: The Heart (1059 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Great North Museum: exhibition graphics (1361 kb, .pdf)
21/01/11: Stanislavsky Factory (823 kb, .pdf)

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The content that appears on this site is the digital and intellectual property of Nick Bell Design. Any use of said content requires the direct permission of Nick Bell Design. © Nick Bell Design, London 2013

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