An equitable future for (and by) 10 million Angelenos: LA Countywide Sustainability Plan

Background: The LA Countywide Sustainability Plan aimed to identify a comprehensive set of the most pressing issues in the region and to set out a bold action plan to tackle them. One of the strategic outreach and involvement challenges required by the LA County Chief Sustainability Office (CSO) was to equitably appeal to the county’s 10 million diverse residents through the plan.

Role: Brand identity design; project visioning workshop facilitation; communications and messaging strategy; website design; and stakeholder engagement.

Design research question: “It’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it”. How might a communications and messaging strategy help to enable the countywide sustainability plan to resonate with a broader spectrum of people and their values?

Response: During the first stage, we sought to understand the project’s cultural identity through contextual research during visits to the county. These observations formed the basis of workshop materials for an exploratory brand visioning workshop during which we facilitated project stakeholders and partners to explore values that resonated with them and the County at large. The synthesised workshop outputs informed the design of a suite of communication and messaging materials for a variety of in-person and virtual channels, which included an interactive project information website, workshop materials for consultation sessions, and a brand and writing training guide.

Impact: With an ‘equity-meets-design’ approach and both inclusive and accessible in-person and virtual methods, the project bridged the complexities of LA’s broad and diverse audiences. Ultimately, the Plan enhanced the voices and influence of Angeleños and received the NLA Sustainable Communities award.

For more: see the article featured on or visit the project information site.

Exploring public aspirations for a future UK town: Bedford Placemaking Study

Services: Public Insight Survey Campaign & Persona Building

The Challenge: Buro Happold were commissioned to explore the opportunity for a new town outside of London that would be unlocked by East-West railway plans. The project considered the economic case, related to the level of jobs and housing growth it could potentially accommodate, along with investigating how the site could appeal to high-value employment sectors.

The Solution: As part of the study, Buro Happold delivered a public insight survey by convening a team of researchers to collect and analyse qualitative data on people’s ‘current experiences and future preferences for places and their homes’. The survey’s research question and place-based focus areas were defined based on the quantitative research from the wider baseline work, as well as drawing on a synthesis of trend analysis. These included push and pull factors for people leaving and moving to London along with placemaking measures for the social sustainability of new housing developments. The survey targeted key demographics in the South East of England and was distributed via targeted social media ads and with broader professional and academic networks. Some of the key insights revealed during data analysis showed that over half of respondents currently living in London would prefer to live in smaller places if they could still access high-quality jobs; the proportion of people willing to move for a dream was over 15% higher in the South-East; a third of people surveyed would walk or cycle to work most days if they lived within distance; 1 in 10 people would be willing to transfer both living and working locations at the same time through their current if an alternative campus-like location was available.

The Value: While Buro Happold had not previously delivered this type of study in-house, the findings uncovered substantial insights that also led to the development of a set of demographic personas – both of which strengthened the project’s overall case. Ultimately, the research study enabled the broader project to deliver a stronger case and richer understanding for the client to attract both national and international investors, build national and local government support, and establish public brand awareness through early engagement of existing local communities.


Supporting the future leaders of the built environment: Happold Foundation branding

Overview: A brand identity and website design for The Happold Foundation.

Background: A non-profit organisation that uses engineering skills and experience to make a positive impact on people’s lives by building and supporting a global network of young people, educators and researchers in the built environment sector.

Response: The brand identity and website were designed to express the foundation’s bold, curious and pragmatic approach to promoting how engineering can improve the built environment for all.

Six unique colleges within one cohesive university brand: UAL digital product design

Background: The University of the Arts London (UAL), Europe’s largest arts and design university, partnered with Pentagram to redesign its brand and website. The project aimed to unify the competing identities of UAL’s six colleges within one brand and online presence while giving each a platform to showcase their own unique characters.

Role: Brand & Digital Product Designer

  • Conducted user research in stakeholder workshops to understand the individual digital experience needs and challenges of the six colleges.
  • Collaborated with developers to understand technical constraints and with visual designers to develop a compelling identity, information architecture, design systems, wireframes, and user journey flows.
  • Formulated a strategy to uphold each college’s unique character, achieve their key priorities and attract target audiences online.
  • Conducted usability testing to refine the designs based on feedback.

Impact: The meticulous research, rapid prototyping, and user testing led to an engaging and user-friendly digital experience for stakeholders. The brand and website reflect the unique character of each college, while also conveying the shared values and identity of the university as a whole. The university’s satisfaction rate has since increased by over 6%, and its ranking has improved, moving up 5 places to enter the country’s top 10.

University of the Arts London Website

Rewarding local and green spending: Get More Local branding

Brand design, art direction and marketing of a start-up that rewarded green purchasing and aided councils in increasing local economic activity. Local neighbourhood engagement through projects such as ‘Edible Garden’ competitions and weekend fairs. In 2011, Get More Local was awarded a UK Sustainable Business.


Zest Fest

As a sister brand of Get More Local, Zest Fest celebrated the cultural heritage and local artistic talent of the boroughs of Islington and Camden.

  • Created and managed all branding and promotional material.



Bargain connects consumers with producers by facilitating communities to find, share and gain from local deals.

  • Developed brand strategy including strategic visioning, visual identity design and copywriting.
  • Won the London Entrepreneur Challenge 2010/11.


Planet Innovations

Voluntary visual identity and website design for non-profit company, promoting projects based around climate change between scientists, engineers and designers. While generating the identity and website, we engaged in online consultation for site features, as well as the eventual logo. Our intentions with the Planet Innovations logo was to invoke ideas of international communication, human interaction and connection with the planet, and open dialogue on technological platforms.

A new mark for an old friend: Japan Society

The UK’s leading body dedicated to enhancing the relationship between Britain and Japan embarked on a comprehensive rebranding project. The project revitalized its visual identity, logo, print materials, and website. With a membership base of over 1000 people, the society organizes numerous events and provides a wide range of resources to promote deep and lasting understanding between the two countries.

The rebranding process involved a strategic approach to effectively represent the society’s mission and values. The visual identity received a modern update, capturing the essence of the organization’s commitment to fostering a strong relationship between Britain and Japan. The new logo design symbolizes the harmonious connection between the two nations and serves as a visual representation of the society’s purpose.

The website underwent a comprehensive transformation, which included information architecture to enhance usability, content planning to deliver relevant and engaging information, and user interface design to provide an easy and visually appealing user experience.

The fresh visual identity and website positioned the society to continue its impactful work, attract new members, and reflect its commitment as the primary facilitator of cultural and business exchange between Britain and Japan.

Compass of Resistance

Voluntary visual identity design and art direction for the first two years of the festival. Developed logo and brochure to celebrate the local community and linked, broader cultural heritages. Developed logo and events brochure. Continues to operate as Community Interest Company and awarded ‘Venue Film Festival of the Year 2010’. Event material used experimental typography to appropriately present the festival’s four film locations (north, south, east, west) in the context of the year’s film theme of ‘resistance’.

Compass of Horror

Voluntary visual identity design and art direction for the first two years of the festival. Developed logo and brochure to celebrate the local community and linked, broader cultural heritages. Developed logo and events brochure. Continues to operate as Community Interest Company and awarded ‘Venue Film Festival of the Year 2010’. Event material used experimental typography to appropriately present the festival’s four film locations (north, south, east, west) in the context of the year’s film theme of ‘horror’.