We love working on high street improvement schemes, especially when we have a chance to do something that builds on the character of the area. We are proud to be part of the Specialist Assistance Team to the Mayor of London and the GLA on high Street Regeneration.

People shop mostly for things they want, how an area looks and feels is incredibly important. We are emotional beings. Making an area feel proud of itself, making them visible in ways that are also emotive and respectful to it’s heritage and built environment is something that really excites us.

Bromley Council, who we have worked with before on shop front schemes, high street regeneration and as consultants commissioned us to design a ghost sign on the end of this building, incorporating the branding we had already designed for Bromley North Village.

The white panel was already there, but any trace of a previous ghost sign had long since vanished, so we created a new one to add some signage announcing the area at one of the main entry points to Bromley North Village.

It was painted by Peter O’Connor, a signwriter we have worked with many times before.


We created a few different designs, here are the other versions.


We researched the history of the building and found that it was originally Eastmans butcher, which we incorporated into the  first concepts. This evolved over time to the version that was painted on the building. A friendly landlord, good council officers and great sign writing made it all happen. Many thanks to Richard, Virgil and Peter.

Here are some other similar signs we have designed:


You can find out more about the Kirkdale sign above by clicking here.

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Ariana Designed By Good People


I’m Ariana, one of the partners at Designed By Good People, but I almost became a lawyer.

This is my story.

I grew up in El Salvador during the civil war. We (my family) lived in the capital but most of the war happened in the countryside. But in 1989 the guerrila entered the capital attempting to overthrow the government. We were trapped at home during the fighting until we were evacuated by the Red Cross. Before leaving, my mum and dad made a white flag using one of my small pillowcases and a wooden clothes hanger. I was in charge of carrying the flag. We had to walk for what it felt like an eternity to an uncle’s house looking for shelter. I was only 9 years old at the time, but I found it rather bizarre, we went from what essentially was a war zone to a peaceful residential area. What I left a few hours before was still going on, but this time I was watching it on TV.

Other members of my family weren’t quite so lucky. One evening an uncle was giving a lift to my mum and other relatives, my mum (with me in her belly) was one of the firsts ones to be taken home. Later on, as they carried on with their journey, they got caught in the cross fire between the army and guerrila, everyone in the car tried to duck down to avoid the bullets, but a cousin was shot and killed. Another uncle was kidnapped and tortured by the army and had to leave the country. He was a priest back in the the days when you’d hear the far right in the government say ‘be a patriot, kill a priest’.

As I got older I intuitively knew there were a lot of injustices going on around me, committed by people of different backgrounds on both sides of conflict. Resentment grew depending on what side or circumstance affected you. Perhaps it’s because of that that my dad wasn’t surprised that when it came to college, I was torn between 2 careers. I enrolled myself in 2 different careers, in 2 different universities at the same time. In one I was studying to become a lawyer, in the other I was studying Graphic Design. This didn’t go on for long, after a couple of weeks it became very obvious to me that I had to make a decision as things became unmanageable. I loved the discussions about democracy, justice and fairness in one, but ultimately I fell in love with the problem solving approach in design. I saw graphic design as a way of getting key messages across, the worthiness of those messages would be essential of course. But I ultimately found out, that was something I wouldn’t have control over.

After graduating from Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado I worked at McCann Erickson and Ogilvy in El Salvador. While I was there I worked for clients like Dove, Hellman’s and Unilever. I then decided it was time to study an MA. I was waiting to hear back from my application to Central Saint Martins, when a mutual friend from Ogilvy introduced me to a graphic designer from the UK. We briefly met at a lecture he gave in El Salvador back in 2002. This time he was in El Salvador for a wedding which would turn out to be life changing.

In 2006 I came to London to study my master degree at Central Saint Martins. My main project during the then called MA Design Studies was an eco / ethical labelling scheme. This would allow people to know how fair and responsible for the environment, the people who made it and its ultimate user / consumer a particular product or service was. When I came to London I became aware of initiatives and schemes like Fairtrade, the Organic Soil Association and FSC. During my research I found that, more often than not, these type of schemes operate like a switch. You either have the accreditation or you don’t, it’s black or white. Consumers weren’t able to find the shades of grey that might be part of the journey to the ideal scenario. I thought a system similar to the energy efficiency labels on appliances would be more effective. We’d like to re-visit this at some point, but that’s a subject for another post.

After my MA I worked at different London design agencies and inhouse design studios, these included Marks & Spencer, Whittard of Chelsea, Whitestone, Smith & Milton, Saffron Brand Consultants and P&W Design Consultants. Clients included ECB, ICC an UEFA Cup pitch, Legal & General, branding projects for Visit London, Rio de Janeiro and Baker & MacKenzie, packaging for Tesco UK and Fresh & Easy in the USA. I met lovely people along the way and learnt a lot. This, together with my MA project, ultimately made it very obvious that I enjoyed working on projects I believed in the most.

Finally, the opportunity to have control over the projects I worked on arose. I wasn’t going to do this alone, the graphic designer I met back in 2002 was now my husband. Luckily for me the wedding he went to in El Salvador wasn’t his! We formed Designed By Good People in 2010 and years later we’re still here. One curious fact for you: one our clients is Liberation Nuts, their Fairtrade Cashews come from El Salvador, I feel I’ve come full circle.

We genuinely enjoying what we do and are very aware of the fact that this is something not everyone gets to do… but probably should. After all, work takes a big chunk of your time and ultimately your life, you should enjoy it. You do better work when you believe in what you do…

Like this…


Designed By Good People Landfit


Designed By Good People The Book & Record Bar1 Designed By Good People The Book & Record Bar2

Designed By Good People Iam By Nature Web

Designed By Good People Iam By Nature Pods

Designed By Good People Iam By Nature Packs

Designed By Good People Muswell Hill

Designed By Good People Roadrunner Web

Designed By Good People Roadrunner Cup Designed By Good People Roadrunner iPad

Designed By Good People Roadrunner Poster Bus


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SAINBURY'S logo by thomas age 3

Recently we took a walk in a place we hadn’t been before with our toddler.

We turned a corner and suddenly a little voice said ‘look, Sainsbury’s’. He recognised the bright orange logo despite having only been in one Sainsbury’s store before. 

The things is, he can’t read yet. He recognised it, he didn’t read it. To him it was just an image, a picture.

But we shouldn’t be surprised, we are programmed to communicate in pictures more than words. Roadsigns are deciphered faster than words and our earliest forms of communication were cave drawings, way before language had even evolved.

Yet despite this, so many businesses consider their names in isolation and then add branding to the name. The two things should be considered together. The two are linked.

Our son is only a little over 3, so at present he has not attachment to the image he recognises as ‘Sainsbury’s’. It’s just a symbol to him, like a butterfly in the picture book. Over time an emotional attachment based on the experiences associated with that picture will form. This may be good or bad depending on those experiences. Sometimes clients expect a name, a logo, an identity to do too much. In essence, outside of first impressions, they are just flags, just something to say ‘this is what I’m called, remember me’.

This applies to any business, large or small.

If you think it’s important that your business is recognisable, and you should, perhaps the ultimate test isn’t to ask your friends, family or customers.

Perhaps it’s better to ask a 3 year old.

Then treasure them, nurture them and ensure the relationship they have with you is a good one.

Designed By Good People

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It’s halfway though Fairtrade Fortnight so we thought we would share a liberating story with you.

We have had a long relationship with Liberation Foods. They are the UK’s only fair trade, farmer owned nut company. In fact we were there right at the brands birth when we worked for a different agency. The people running it are passionate and believe in what they do. They are inspiring to work with and it was working with Liberation on their original branding that was in part, inspiration for us starting up on our own.

We believe you do better work when you believe in what you do. The only way to take control of who we worked for was to start up on our own. So Designed By Good People was born in 2010 to work for clients who believed what we believed: that the world should be more ethical, less wasteful, more sustainable. Continue reading

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Image Designed By Good People

Three friends were walking past a river when they saw lots of children in the river floating towards a huge waterfall. One of the friends jumped in to try to save the children from going over the edge but there were far, far, too many of them.

The second friend started building a raft to save more children. He looked around for the third friend who was swimming up river. “Aren’t you going to help me build the raft?” he said.

“No” he replied, “I’m going to stop who or what is throwing the children in the water”.

Sometimes the wrong brief is set because the wrong problem is defined to be solved. Time spent at the beginning of the project, working with your creatives and forming a relationship will pay dividends.

A good designer should always swim upstream, otherwise once they get out of the water, the problem is still there.

Many thanks to Rishi Manchanda MD MPH for his enlightening talk on

Related posts:


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50/50 Christmas



7 years ago (before we started Designed By Good People), Lee and I were getting married just a few days before Christmas in Suchitoto, El Salvador. During the wedding service it is traditional (in El Salvador) for the man to give the woman 25 coins (arras) and say something along the lines of ‘these arras represent that I’ll care for you and will make sure I provide our family with everything we’ll need’. Traditionally the woman would receive them and say she’ll look after them and make sure to administrate them carefully. The tradition has changed, during our wedding I also gave Lee the arras and said to him the same words he said to me. We were told a good marriage should be 50/50, equally sharing responsibilities, chores and laughter. Making sure we were equals in the relationship. We liked this. And this has been the inspiration for our next project.

In 2015 we’ll launch 50/50, we’ll design crafted products with a message and half of the profits will go to a good cause, the 1st  prototype is done and soon we’ll be ready to start production (more details to follow soon). At the time of the year where we’re reminded of the importance of sharing with others, we thought it’d be good to share this news with you.

We can only do this because of the support you’ve given us, so thank you.

Have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

See you again next year.

Ariana & Lee,

Designed By Good People.

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By British Cartoon Prints Collection [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

At a business lunch we were asked about trends in design. We said ‘ignore them and be yourself’.

You never get anywhere trying to be someone you aren’t. 

It’s best to wear clothes that suit you rather than clothes that suit other people. Better to stand out for being you rather than blending in by trying to look like everyone else. This is especially true if you are a business. We remember the 70’s and we’re not sure Roger V’s jumpsuit would be flattering to anyone,

Often, small businesses (including high street shops) emulate large brands in look and feel, while the large brands are trying to look and feel like smaller businesses. There are many shabby take aways that state on their signage ‘our cuisine is excellent’. But you don’t believe it because the image they portray doesn’t match what they say.

So either the business needs to look like the statement, or the statement needs to be more honest (what if they said ‘we may not look like much, but that’s because we put all our effort into our food’ instead?).

The point is that you should be yourself. Be honest, both in what you say and how you look. If something doesn’t feel like you, then don’t do it. A designers job is to take all the information they are given (the brief) and articulate it in words and pictures that are unique to you and communicate how your brand should look and feel. Without lying.

That’s what we do anyway, otherwise we couldn’t say you were Designed By Good People…



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TOMATO shutterstock_112333907

We have worked for a lot of agencies over the last 20+ years working in design and branding before we started Designed By Good People back in 2010. During that time we have worked with Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, M&S, Asda and many other supermarkets both in the UK and other countries including the USA. And Tesco.

Today we hear that Tesco has had declining sales (yet again) and profits are down. We aren’t surprised.

The experience of working with Tesco wasn’t particularly pleasant. Head office seems to run under a culture of fear. Management styles weren’t inspirational, they were autocratic. The atmosphere was one of penny-pinching, it felt unfriendly and very corporate. In the main entrance an LED display showed the share price like it was displaying results of an important news story. We met suppliers and no-one seemed to have anything positive to say about them. Very often we were asked to design for reactions to the competition rather than for an innovative idea that make the competition react to Tesco.

But it wasn’t always like that. Once, Tesco were the innovators. Good, better best, Tesco Finest (which we used to design the packaging for at previous agencies), out of town supermarkets, Tesco Metro,, Tesco Express petrol station convenience stores and the Clubcard were all exciting innovations . They weren’t the biggest supermarket but challenged Sainsbury’s and overtook them, making them look old fashioned. Their advertising was groundbreaking and they had a charismatic leader in Sir Terry Leahy. We met him when we were working on Tesco’s ill fated adventure into the US and he really is really sharp.

Go back even further and Tesco stood for something: pile it high and sell it cheap and again they had a really great leader in Jack Cohen.

These were the glory days for Tesco. They were a Great British company, doing well and innovating and leading. But sometimes success and growth means you lose sight of what made you what you are in the first place. You become defensive. The culture changes.

We believe the problem is connected to the culture of the company. What we saw was a culture that stifled innovation, it didn’t support it’s staff or encourage them. It had a huge sense of it’s own importance, using this to squeeze suppliers. It became too big and too top down in it’s management structure. They seemed to be too intent on their share price and forgot the basics: they are there to sell things that PEOPLE need AND want.

Tesco were recently approached to help out with a local arts festival. They declined to help, but The Co-operative stumped up over £1000. Tesco seem to have nothing to do with local communities. Their staff seem uninterested, they haven’t really come up with anything particularly new or exciting in recent years. They are perceived as being big, uncaring, unfriendly and dull.

What’s the solution?

We believe in transparency and truth. Be honest. Say they have made mistakes, be human, be seen as a personality, an organisation run by human beings that have the same concerns as the people who they want to shop there. Listen and solve the problems they face. They need to stand for something.

What if Tesco said: Our customers wanted us to switch to Free Range Eggs in all our products. So from the x of (insert name of month) all our products will ONLY use Free range Eggs.

What if Tesco said: Our customers wanted us to treat them better. We are sorry, we lost signs of what’s important, and that’s you. Not our profits. Without you we are nothing.

What if Tesco stood up for their suppliers, customers and their local communities.

What if Tesco were there for you instead of being there for Tesco?

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