Why tendering for creative services should take a different path

This has always been something of concern to us, and especially now. As the creative sector emerges from the pandemic, the way tenders ask for full blown creative solutions to the requirements/brief in order to take part undermines our industry’s recovery; having to carry out unpaid work in order to take the gamble of wining work. The organisations that don’t specify a creative response have studios scrambling to give one in order to stand out in the crowd, disadvantaging the studios who don’t give away the creative for free at this point, as we all know, a creative services buyer can rarely resist the eye candy.

Hopefully, by helping creative services buyers see there is another way, that change can happen.

We’d love to see these words appear as standard on tender briefs:

‘No creative work is required to tender at this stage. Any submissions with creative work in response to this brief at this stage will be disqualified.’

We’ve curated this short and helpful piece from our experiences and those of other leading figures in the creative sector.  Have a read through, it’s not too long honestly… it expresses why tendering for creative services should take a different path from a more generic tender approach, and how a different approach will get the very best out of your creative partner.

Dorothy Goodman Primary School interior

New look for DGS school Hinckley

Newenglish created a completely new brand for The Open Thinking Partnership and Dorothy Goodman school. As part of this rebrand, the dull and uninspiring entrance to the Primary School and corridor to the main classrooms and sensory room has been given a vibrant and exciting new look.

Super graphics and blocks of colour have completely transformed what was a dull space into a fun vibrant space for children and staff. The colour theme and super graphics ties into the new brand personalities.

New concept cycle studio

Nottingham city council leisure centres

Newenglish were commissioned to create a personality to the Cycle studios across all of Nottinghams Cycle studios located in their leisure centres.

With a natural theme the super graphic backdrops and window vinyls create a visually interesting theme to the spaces.

The ceiling and walls have been toned down with a rich dark colour palette, whilst the floors continue the natural feel with timber effect.

‘Get on your bike and ride’, is a fun and cheeky reference to the queen song.

The scheme has been extremely well received by members and staff alike.

The Gift Of Inscriptions (Guest Post by Tony Shelley)

“I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.”

Helene Hanff

My love for old books goes back to the late 1950’s, when I used to scour the bookshelves of my grandmother on my father’s side, every time we went there for Sunday tea.

I was an enthusiastic reader from about the age of four, but it wasn’t just the content that fascinated the mind of this small child, a book with inscriptions set my mind ablaze, as to who wrote it and why?

In later life, when I began to collect old books, mostly from charity shops, and ‘bargain boxes’, I deliberately sought out those with an inscription, message, school or college sticker, or even a ‘stamp’, detailing where the book lived or came to rest.

Inscriptions for me are a micro history, a fragment of somebody’s emotional outlet to another human being – reaching out with a few freehand lines, maybe a kiss or a coded message of affection?

The images here are from my own collection, which Ive amassed over three decades, all housed in a ninety year old cabinet, recently restored by my wife Cathy, during Lockdown. I’m certain that there are more hand written lines and scribbles awaiting discovery in my ever growing collection. This coming Winter, I will be delving more deeper than ever before. There is as an old English teacher once told me, ‘a delight in discovery’

I chose these particular inscriptions, because I read them every Christmas Eve, imagining they are presents to be opened the next day. What was the festive season like in say, 1947, did the giver save up especially to purchase this book? Was it opened on a cold, Christmas morning? And read throughout the day? More often than not I go through my book collection every Christmas Day, and spend a few minutes, as I feel they are now, precious gifts for me to enjoy.