Fresco Flooring

By Sarah Bates

Fresco Flooring commissioned me to digitally update this illustration which humorously highlights the differences in the professions involved in the commercial flooring business. It is displayed in Fresco Group’s boardroom for all to enjoy the differences.

I think it is paramount for any successful not treat everyone in their team the same, nor have the same expectations for everyone but to use the different skills people have to an advantage. This also has a positive impact on the individual who responds well to this approach and so team working is crucial to success.

A really interesting article from Skills You Need talks about just this – click here for more information.

Hope you enjoy the illustration and perhaps it will make you think about the different skills within your team or business…

University of Leeds’ Window Graphic

By Sarah Bates

The Brief

I was recommended for a commission to design a window graphic in the reception area of School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds as part of their refurbishment. The windows are incredibly large and in a prominent area and are south facing so the intensity of light was important. Full design coverage was needed but the light still had to pass through the material and so the level of opacity had to be considered.

The window graphic had to represent the Schools’ taught subjects, high level of research, links with industry – so their past, present and future vision. I researched the Schools’ history, interviewed academics and technicians, undertook photo shoots and began to understand the phenomenal research work carried out at the school, which continues to impact the industry.

The image had to have depth, so people could revisit the image and see other things they hadn’t seen before as this would be seen by every visitor, staff member and student visiting the school. I was conscious it had to reflect the history, the present and the future. The design was approved, printed and materials tested and finally installed in August and immediately boarded up for protection until the construction has finished.

The installation

Below are some of the photographs of the reception area and window – before and afer, and the full graphic – it looks brilliant and certainly has an impact when you walk in. There is a depth and talking with a few people yesterday they keep returning to see new elements in the design they hadn’t seen before!

This project has been exciting, incredibly interesting to learn of the wide range and depth of research undertaken at the School and to design a window graphic that will stand the test of time and be there to inspire future generations is a priveledge.

reception area before
south facing as it stood while the refurbishment happened
Reception area refurbishment
Window graphic designed and installed
Full scale view

Logo and Signage design

By Sarah Bates

The Brief

Prohibition Hair Salon needed a logo design as a result of The Elements hair salon relocating within Leeds’ city centre. Reece and Matthew are inspired by the emerging art movements in the 1900s; William Morris and his Arts & Craft movement and the beautiful sumptuous Art Deco period with its angles and indulgence of the speakeasy salons, as a result of prohibition in America. They knew they needed a logo designing professionally in order to ensure originality and to fit in with their theme.

Logo Design

Their new salon lends itself perfectly to the idea of a speakeasy salon as it is above a shop. Leeds’ best-kept secret – kept behind closed doors. They wanted their customers to have an experience, not just a haircut! I designed a series of  1920 style inspired logos and a final design was chosen for their new salon. The doors opened this year on The Headrow after lots of Pinterest boards, sweat and tears to get the salon ready. Cutting edge hair design, great surroundings and brilliant staff – perfect!

Salon Design

I also helped and advise for the graphics for the inside of the salon and the signage for the windows, doors and outside the salon to ensure some presence.

branding and logo design
Print flyers for Prohibition Hair Salon



Trials of Engagement – Solo Exhibition July 2016

By Sarah Bates

My first solo exhibition was an innovative research study. It focused on the developing interdisciplinary, zeitgeist movement that brings together a unique collaboration between creativity and healthcare. It was the last project in my Master Degree in Creative Practice at Leeds College of Art. The course widened my practice, extended the breadth of engagement and was the most challenging 2 years of my life; emotionally and physically.

The Project

I worked with Leeds Hospital NHS Trust, Clinical Research Facility and the Cancer Research UK Leeds Centre, and using their data as a storytelling mechanism. This exhibition is designed to raise awareness of clinical research through the production of aesthetically pleasing, visual responses with the potential to be displayed in a research setting. The aim is to engage, enlighten and inform people involved in clinical research through originality and uniqueness – a refreshing approach that breaks away from the usual staid vapidity.

Through my work and research words (verbal communication) became fundamental and integral to this project through the dialogue between patient and clinician. This collaboration of research, healthcare and creativity resulted in an exhibition at Leeds College of Art. This short film is a summary of the course and my practice.

I donated the exhibition panels to Leeds Hospital NHS Trust and were installed in their new Innovation and Research Centre’s boardroom at the hospital June 2017. This is a perfect setting to generate discussion, raise awareness and connect healthcare and creativity together. The feedback to the installations was immense and overwhelmingly positive which makes me feel very proud to have embarked on this journey with Debbie Bernie and her team. I hope the installations in their permanent home will continue to create a unique opportunity to develop a narrative for the future.



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David Dutson – Logo Design

By Sarah Bates

David Dutson, a landscape architect from Jersey got in touch and wanted a logo design for his new start-up company. I give all my clients a bit of homework and so David was set to task with visual researching things he liked, disliked and what he thought was successful. This can be done simply in a Word document, Pinterest board or just through email. It is important to research your client’s business thoroughly as this is the first part of the ideas generating process.

Researching into the target market and what he wanted to visually communicate through the logo design had to reflect the landscape architecture business. The design had to be clean cut, simply and understated yet strong and confident. The colours I felt needed to relate to the materials used in the sector and reflect the work undertaken.

To my surprise and joy David loved my own logo design and especially the font, which was the ‘God of All Fonts’ – the legendary typeface Helvetica Neue. I set to work, researched and sketched, developed and experimented which resulted in a range of logo designs presented on email.. David was decisive and clear on his vision which is great, allowed the design process to be a quicker process in developing the final design. The logo design was applied to a range of stationery; letterhead and business cards.

The results were stunning; beautiful, matt laminated business cards which will immediately give David’s customers a reassuring feel of quality and instill confidence.

Print is not dead yet and I hope it never will – as the tactile experience should never be under estimated.

logo design

A World Without Words – International Exhibition

By Sarah Bates


world without words

International Exhibition

My 2nd international exhibition was the visual exploration and response to the city of Tronto, Italy was through a super macro lens. I used self generated data whilst investigating graphicacy (which is the ability to communicate visually) and is considered as important as literacy and numeracy and the ability to read and count.

I was inspired by this quote:

"The world around us is chaotic. In order to live in that world, we must find ways to grasp it, establish some sort of order in it. We are not alone in that endeavor. Others face the same problem. And we can make contact with those others. That contact helps us talk about the world, order things, bring order onto the chaos. We do that by naming things, so that others know what we are talking about. We do that through signs. The most familiar and complex system of signs is language. Human communities are impossible without some form of language. Language is the most highly developed sign-system, a sign-system which allows the conveyance of the most complex observations, views, thoughts." (Ball, 1994)

Visual communication as we know it today

Is the process of sending and receiving messages using images and signs, and yet it is not dissimilar to the earliest forms of communicating 6000 years ago were developed. These first symbols used in their primitive forms were called pictograms which covered cave walls and depicted early the activities of early civilization. They could be used to represent an object; fish, rain, woman etc. and remarkably pictograms are still used in our society today, as there is an ever growing need to overcome language barriers, symbols (pictograms) which can be internationally recognised are now in demand more than ever before. Examples such as men and women’s toilets, navigation systems in airports and travel systems on our roads etc. Our need to immediately recognise and navigate these systems as we go about our lives, not only enhances our lives but it makes ‘it’ more efficient.

I was particularly inspired by the Futurist archive museum where I had the privilege of viewing and handling the journals, works, designs of Depero which was truly amazing to see these things in real life and a recent book binding course.

We see so many things in our lives but don't actually see the detail and so a super macro lens is really an analogy for the media bombarded lives we live in today.







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Data Visualisation

By Sarah Bates

Using data to make imagery

Working with Dr Paul Genever and Dr Amanda Barnes at York University I was interested in how data visualisation might be able to produce imagery to raise awareness of what they do in the department. I began with a data set of 12,000 entries, results from 4 experiments using a stem cell. One of their funded sponsors is Arthritis Uk and their research explores how stem cells can be encouraged to grow into bone cells – ultimately for joint replacements in the future, instead of metal or plastic, which is revolutionary.

I visualised the data using Excel, Tableau and Raw Data to produce some very beautiful and completely different data visualisations, which were turned into postcards, as a possible promotional flyer to give away at exhibitions and events.

I was drawn to a particular image as it resonates with a person’s experience who have arthritis of suffering and pain which was the circular spiky image. A music lecturer colleague when looking at the image could resonate with the feelings of arthritis and produce a music score to the image. This was very modern score with a huge baseline beat. I experimented and explored Adobe After Effects and Premiere resulting in 3 motion graphic responses which can be viewed here.


RT Gas & Oil Heating – logo design

By Sarah Bates

A logo design was commissioned by Neil from RT Gas and Oil Heating who was just setting up his new business. He needed a logo that reflected the services he offered, and the logo needed to communicated a strong, confident and trustworthy message to his customers.

Design Process

As part of being a good designer you have to know how to manipulate the formal elements to communicate the right message to the right audience. You also need a clear brief, know the customers target market, know and understand their competitors, what is the market placement and what the client visually likes and dislikes. Therefore visual research is required to be able to generate ideas to ensure your logo design is unique, creative and original. Some of the best designs look the simplest but have taken a phenomenal amount of talent to get it to the final stage.

So we embarked on a design journey, fist presentation of the logo designs won the client over, the logo was chosen and develop a little to ensure the colours worked. We did some market research and received feedback which is always an effective approach to find out exactly what people think in order to refine the design.

The logo design was applied to a range of stationery, van graphics, business cards, flyers and website. Neil is highly delighted by the results.


The Nought-E Food Company

By Sarah Bates

Victoria Giannini approached me to re-brand her new business, the additive-free take away foods shop on Blake Street, York, hence the name Nought-e because it has none of those nasty E numbers in anything they make – which is great!

The name was staying but we just had to streamline and make things clearer and a little fresher. The new logo was designed and I then had the task of measuring up the inside and outside of the shop to get the signage and vinyl graphic inside right! Bit of a task and Vic was on the top of a ladder in the middle of lunch time rush hour aiding me in my quest!

The results were brilliant; new graphics for inside the shop, so the menu and all their delicious things to eat, can be easily viewed because it’s now on the walls and the outside the shop looks fresh and slick, all courtesy of Tony and the lads from Ceejays, who worked around the shop opening hours to get the job done and were rewarded by the best and healthiest, bacon and egg sandwich there is!!

We have also designed and produced business cards, flyers (promoting the business lunch and catering service) and menus, all with a prompt & reliable service from Mel at Print Plus and also compliments to Gareth, who  did a brilliant job on the photography, with an on-site photo-shoot. All in all a great job with a very happy client.



Lazaat – car graphics

By Sarah Bates

This is an exciting project where the client has been inspired by an image, Jeff Koon’s BMW design. I had to interpret this and apply it to the Lazaat’s branding style. The design chosen was this one which is a full wrap around design, Ceejays from York are currently preparing the graphics and are due to do the livery tomorrow and Thursday – so I will keep you posted with the results in a few days time!

And it’s done! Fantastic result – it looked amazing this morning and will certainly attract peoples attention, which is exactly what Naveed wanted to achieve!

“Over the past few months I have worked closely alongside Sarah to complete a number of different designs for both eye catching road signs and promotional flyers for our re-launched restaurant. Sarah’s work is always completed to an exceptionally high standard and I have no reservations about highly recommending her or using her for any future work.” Naveed Choudry