Author Archives: Black Sheep - news from the pen

Happy 50th Birthday Jack


There have been many milestones celebrated at the pen, but none more special than Jack’s 50th birthday yesterday. Here’s to the next 50!


Up skilling at the Pen with Certitec (Adobe Authorised Training)

Keeping up-to-date with new developments in our industry has always been something that we’ve been keen to do. However, when it’s a new skill sometimes attending a training course can be the fastest and most efficient way of up-skilling. So we sent Jack on a Certitec Digital Publishing Suite, 3 day Masterclass  in London to further his knowledge and improve our offering in the process.   

Here’s the basic info of the course, taken from the Certitec Website: 

DPS Masterclass – 3 day
In this highly detailed Adobe Authorised DPS training course which includes hands-on project building on the afternoon of the last day, you will learn how to use the Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite to build Single Edition and Multi-folio magazine apps to deliver innovative reading experiences and dynamic content on leading tablet devices such as iPad, Android and Kindle Fire. This course is delivered by an Adobe InDesign and Digital Publishing Suite Certified Instructor.

Quietly beavering away

Its been while since we popped our heads out of the pen and into the blogosphere. With summer now finally arriving and a well earned holiday on the cards, it’s probably a good time to bring you up-to-speed with what we’ve been doing over the last few months.

We’ve re-branded ‘Broneirion’, Girlguiding Cymru’s outdoor centre in Mid Wales, as well as providing them with a new visual language and marketing collateral.

We’ve also provided promotional support to Hybu Cig Cymru with exhibition banners and marketing brochures as well as producing the latest prospectuses for Cardiff Business School.

But a large chunk of the work that we’ve been producing over the last nine months, has seen us focus on developing and growing on one of our long term clients; multimat®, one of the UK’s leading outdoor equipment manufacturers.

From the ground up, we’ve looked at brand perception on the high street and gaged the opinions of the end user, to how they are supported by the retail sector, which culminated in the production of a complete audit review of the market and their share in it and how their brand stacks up against the competition, together with recommendations for advertising and a social media strategy.

After approval of our recommendation, we’ve undertaken a complete redesign of their packaging, specifying new range colours and imagery to support their products. We’ve supported this by the inception of two new ad advertising campaigns, one for their ‘superlite air’ inflatable mattress, the other; for their family premium range of self-inflating mattresses.

We’ve also produced our first a short form video to promote the brand online via YouTube & Facebook and have just competed their 2013 outdoor & military collection catalogue.

This refocusing on brand profile is in anticipation of their launch into Europe next year, starting at the 2013 OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Where we recently visited the show to recce the venue and check out the competition.

This is my videoblog/visual diary/reference material from the trip.

OutDoor 2012, Friedrichshafen – a visual diary from Neil Asher on Vimeo.

Selling Wales and the need for a stronger Welsh Brand

In the news this week is the report ‘Selling Wales: The role of agencies in attracting inward investment‘, that we recently designed for Cardiff Business School & Cardiff Business Partnership.
Selling Wales Report Cover
Having been shortlisted for a ‘Best of Welsh Design Award‘ at the Cardiff Design Festival in 2011, for the last report (Cardiff Employee Survey) that we created for them, we were recommissioned December 2011 to produce their latest report for CBP by author Dr Andrew Crawley, a research fellow at Cardiff Business School on the subject of selling Wales.


To see the report, click here and you will be magically transported.


‘Its design style and aesthetic of breaking down the data into bite-size chunks, follows on from our previously designed report, maintaining consistency and tone of voice’.
Neil Asher, Creative Director at Black Sheep. 

‘We love it!’ was the feedback we received from our client, Laura Davies, Director of External Relations at Cardiff Business School.



Find out what BBC Wales had to say about the report and its findings here.
As well as what Cardiff Business School had to say here.

To all of our Clients, Friends & Followers, Merry Christmas

Studio space for rent, now available in Cardiff Bay

We currently have one studio space available for rent at our Bute Chambers building in Cardiff Bay. The studio is situated on the first floor – size 200sq ft aproximately and whether you are an established small business in need of more space or start-up company looking for your first office, it is suitable for one – five people. The studio is individually secured and alarmed, which works in conjunction with the building’s alarm system. It is let, part furnished if required, with up to five desks and a few storage/book shelving units for filing etc, a shared meeting space that can be booked via an online calendar (on a fair usage basis), communal kitchen, as well as male and female W.C.s.

Is all inclusive of services & rates etc. To be discussed upon application.

Viewing is by prior request only, please enquire for more information. 

103 Bute Street, Cardiff – 1st floor studio TO LET

Cardiff is the principal commercial and administrative centre of Wales with an urban population of approximately 315,000 and in excess of 500,000 living within 10 miles of the City Centre.  The City enjoys excellent road, rail and air communications. Theses include the A470, A48 and A4232 which lead from the M4 to the City Centre, Cardiff Central Railway Station which is part of the Great Western Rail Network, and Cardiff International Airport.

The property is located within the heart of Cardiff Bay approximately one mile south east of Cardiff City Centre.  Mermaid Quay Festival Shopping and Restaurant Complex, The Millennium Centre, The Welsh Assembly Building and Cardiff Bay Waterfront are all within the near vicinity.

The Taff Crossing and the Butetown Tunnel which provides dual carriageway access to the M4 Motorway at Junction 33.

The available accommodation is situated to the first and second floors of a three storey property built at the turn of the last century. The offices benefit from wooden flooring, some with inset service boxes and central heating. Tea-point and W.C. facilities are provided for. The offices are available combined or individually on an all inclusive rent. There is also a boardroom facility to house 10 – 15 people available subject to prior booking.

Street level view of the building

Meeting room with space for 12 people

Second floor stairwell

The accommodation briefly comprises:
(this image is a reference example of the finish of the available studio & desking, but not the one on offer)
These units are available to lease on flexible terms. Further details are available upon application.

Upon Application. This unit is leased with all services inclusive of rent.

Cardiff Business School look to Black Sheep

Cardiff University’s Business School have, for a fifth year running, engaged Black Sheep to produce their annual prospectuses for Undergraduates and Postgraduates interested in studying at the University in 2012.
(Click on the images below to view these prospectuses in all their glory)

We believe that this continued relationship is testament to our understanding of their specific needs and desire to recruit students of the highest standard, in order to maintain and build on their ranking of 4th in the UK for the quality of its research quality. With 70% of the School’s research ranked as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The School is ranked 2nd in the UK in terms of the proportion of its research which is ‘world-leading’ (the highest possible category), placing it second only to London Business School.

The School uses research-led teaching across its full portfolio of programmes, giving students the cutting-edge knowledge needed to forge a successful career.