Plan. Design. Print. Code. Test. Play.

A behind-the-scenes glimpse
of life at Design Portfolio.

Account Manager, Marianne, visits First Touch at St George’s Hospital

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The DP team has spent time collecting toiletries to provide families with freshness and comfort when they unexpectedly stay over in hospital to be close to their new born babies.

Last week we received some kind words from Louise Williams, Charity Co-ordinator at First Touch thanking @WeAre_DP for our contribution to the charity.

“On behalf of everyone at the neonatal unit here at St George’s Hospital, I am writing to offer our heartfelt thanks to you and your colleagues for the amazing amount of toiletries which you have collected and donated to us. We are so very grateful to you and your colleagues at Design Portfolio for supporting First Touch in this way, it is very much appreciated.”

Account Manager, Marianne Grier, visited the Neonatal Unit (NNU) at St George’s Hospital in Tooting last week to deliver the products that @WeAre_DP has collected over the past few months. She met with Louise, who explained how our fundraising efforts can provide comfort in these overwhelming situations.

The cost for a single night’s stay in the NNU is £1,200, and the unit has space for 39 babies at a time. The majority of money raised by First Touch goes towards equipment such as incubators, critical care monitors and ventilators. The charity also supports specialist training for nurses to ensure the best possible care for babies in the unit. The charity is always looking for fundraising volunteers; for anyone feeling sporty, First Touch has places for both the Royal Parks half marathon and the British 10km London run!

@WeAre_DP was first introduced to the charity through client and friend Kerry Andrew, from Canary Wharf Group/Songbird Estates, and agreed the work First Touch does is an excellent cause to be involved with.

Meet the newest member of our team!

Hi, my name’s Chris and I’m a graphic designer currently based in Hertfordshire. I graduated with a BA (Hons) in graphic design from Southampton Solent University in 2008 and have been working in various agencies for the past three to four years producing design for branding, print and web.

I enjoy playing football and am a big supporter of my not-so-local team, Norwich City FC. I am also a keen drummer when I get the chance to play! 

Design Portfolio attend the bccs Valentine’s Gala Dinner

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bccs, the children’s charity that is focused on helping children in Essex and East London, benefited to the tune of some £5,000 following their Grand Valentine’s Ball on Friday night. Design Portfolio took a table at the event (our Chairman is also Vice Chairman of bccs) and a good time was had by all. We didn’t do so well in the charity Heads and Tails, but Account Managers, Joce and Marianne carried off raffle prizes, making the evening even more fun (and rewarding!). This is a major fundraising event for the charity and we will be there again next year, without fail!

And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the Daffodils – William Wordsworth

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You wouldn’t think it with the UK looking not too dissimilar to the opening sequence of The Day After Tomorrow, but spring is almost upon us.

To celebrate, and to brighten up the office, each of us here at @WeAre_DP has a daffodil bulb to nurture and nourish on our desks ‘till they toss their heads in a sprightly breeze.

And of course, in true DP style, the competition is on to see who can grow the biggest and most beautiful flower (those with window seats have already been targeted for unfair advantage!).

Cheese and Biscuits with First Touch Children’s Charity

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For the last four months the team at DP have been supporting London-based charity, First Touch. First Touch supports sick and premature babies in St. George’s neonatal unit. The First Touch appeal, launched by DP client and friend Kerry Andrew of Canary Wharf Group/Songbird Estates, is an initiative that involves collecting miniature toiletries so that parents who find themselves unexpectedly in the hospital as early as 24 weeks have something small to provide them a little freshness and comfort.

Since late September 2013 the team has collected many different toiletries, enough to fill 5 shoe boxes. More recently the appeal has been particularly short on toothbrushes so last week, DP had a final push to encourage staff to bring in toothbrush contributions. In exchange for a toothbrush or two, DP staff were able to enjoy an afternoon of biscuits and cheese sampling. DP collected an impressive total of 107 toothbrushes, which will be delivered to the charity later this week. 

The results: Leeds bake-off

After twelve weeks of icing, kneading and whisking, the Leeds bake-off competition has sadly drawn to a close. Our recipe books have been raided, our culinary skills have been thoroughly tested and our sweet tooths have been gratefully satisfied.

The calibre of the showstoppers made judging the competition very difficult. Even Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would have struggled! Nevertheless, one baker had to emerge victorious and the queen of the bake-off was none other than Emma!

Emma’s black forest chocolate roulade proved to be a crowd pleaser thanks to its impressive appearance and naughty combination of dark chocolate, double cream and morello cherries. The roulade is surprisingly easy to make and is perfect for both a dinner party or after a comforting Sunday roast.

Sand was awarded second place for her rich and moreish carrot cake, while Jess’ gooey and mouth-watering chocolate brownies saw her claim third place.

A big thank you goes to everyone who took part in the bake-off. We hope we have inspired you to don your apron and experiment in the kitchen.

Happy baking!

Our web team just got even stronger

I’m a graduate of Loughborough University with a Bachelors in Computing & Information Science. I’m a resident of Fulham; although I was born and raised in Bristol; with no interest in Fulham FC, Chelsea or any aspect of football for that matter!

I have been working as a freelance web designer/developer and personal trainer for the past 2 years in order to fund various travels - my favourite place to go is Mexico. I’m thoroughly enjoying my new role with DP where I’ve been warmly welcomed by everyone at Ensign House.

Meet James, our graphic design intern

My name is James Tibbott Davies. I am currently studying Graphic Design at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. I enjoy illustrating and find inspiration for my work from my interest in the world around me and its history, classical and contemporary art, and nature.

Working at Design Portfolio, London is proving to be an invaluable experience. The internship has been a challenge at times with making the jump from University to a real work environment; however the team at DP has been welcoming and incredibly helpful in making me feel settled in. I value travelling, and spending time in foreign countries.

The experience of visiting new countries keep my ideas fresh and innovative. I aim to begin my professional career abroad as an international designer.

Christmas Jumper Day

Last Friday hundreds of thousands of people donned their woolly knits for Christmas Jumper Day - a day dedicated to wearing your festive yarn whilst raising money for an excellent cause.

The campaign by Save the Children, a charity which strives to better the lives of disadvantaged, poverty-stricken children in the UK and developing countries, asked for a one pound (at least) donation by all who took part.

DP put in a good effort and, with jumpers ranging from the stylish to garish and a few decorated with tinsel, raised a grand total of £300.

Week 12: Leeds bake-off

Much to the dismay of the Leeds team, this week the bake-off competition came to a close. Mike pulled out all the stops to deliver a fitting finale, frying his vanilla flavoured doughnuts late into the night.

Mike made a batch of ring doughnuts, which had a fluffy centre and were enriched by strawberry sprinkles. For those who craved a festive and spicy flavour, Mike provided cinnamon glazed doughnuts that were filled with cinnamon and vanilla. This second batch had an impressive crispy coating and were equally as delicious as the first batch.

Mike’s take on this iconic sweet treat proved a big hit in the office. Georgie said to him: “It was worth being up until midnight baking! The doughnuts were amazing… five stars!” Krispy Kreme had better watch out!

Next week, all the bakes will be judged and the king or queen of the bake-off will be announced.