The Big Book

Having quoted and sent off work samples in a pitch for The Big Book, TinCat was very excited to be engaged by Bristol Healthy Schools to be its designer.

A BIG project, and not just in format, the book would involve one highly organised project manager and copywriter (Liz Mitchell), one photographer (Frances Gard) and eight schools, as well as TinCat for design and print management.

The vision: to create a large format book (almost A1 when open) full of photos and illustrations made by school children to showcase the broad extent (it’s not just about food!) and value of the Healthy Schools initiative. It needed to be bright, cheerful and appeal to children and parents as well as other schools not yet part of the scheme.

A scrapbook look and feel were generally agreed on as the right approach and after an initial mockup by TinCat we were off! Frances visited each of the schools in turn to take photos whilst Liz collected together all the artwork. I then arranged a meeting to go through everything, discuss and understand the messaging for each page spread (one page per topic and school) and select the images which would work best.

Each drawing was then individually scanned, photos and illustrations were cut out as needed (in Photoshop), words were gathered, backgrounds were sourced, and then everything was arranged with infinite care and attention to detail on the page. I could almost hear the computer straining under the weight of all those images! A huge project indeed.

When it was finally complete (and I was very pleased that Emtone were engaged to print it – on an uncoated paper they really excel!) the Big Book really lived up to expectations. Everyone was over the moon and I’ve since had some great feedback and comments.

Bristol Healthy Schools’ feedback

It is not often that the finished product, for a commissioned piece of work, totally exceeds all expectations as significantly as the Big Book produced by TinCat Design. The finished result is a stunning piece of work and I am delighted with it.

The creation of this book was a partnership but I have to praise the considerable design skills of Ruth Wellman from TinCat Design who worked on the layout. This was by anyone’s standards a difficult piece of work. Ruth invested important time gaining a full understanding of our requirements to enable her to interpret our needs successfully and then brought her own originality to the creative task of marrying together a variety of visual images into a balanced page spread. Ruth also demonstrated enormous patience as we agonised over decisions and changed our minds!!!!

The aim of the Big Book is to educate citizens in Bristol about the Healthy Schools programme running in our schools through a visual representation of its impact. A brief glance through the pages of the Big Book and you will see this aim has been totally achieved. The Big Book has been sent out all over Bristol and has had praised showered on it – you can’t help but be impressed.

It stands as a clear testament to the quality of the work of TinCat Design.

Julie Coulthard,
Bristol Healthy Schools Programme Manager,
Public Health Principle for School Health

ClientBristol Healthy SchoolsServicesDesign for Print