Right from the get-go we want Printed by Us to be something that is co-created with the homeless and vulnerable people who are going to be making it all happen. So we decided to run regular group activities to get input, ideas and feedback throughout the process of starting this exciting project.

So we gave an intro to the Printed by Us idea and openly admitted that we have no idea what we are doing. Thankfully we’re working with uber talented local artists, and have the expertise of Sheffield Print Club to teach us the screen printing skills.

The next step was to start thinking about the Printed by Us brand values and visuals – what people should think and feel when they come across anything that we do. Our website, our logo, our social media, our prints – everything we do should communicate what we are about.

So we did a couple of brand workshops to help form the creative direction for creating the Printed by Us brand 

Card sorting workshop

The first workshop was about agreeing what words we would want people to use when describing Printed by Us. So we started with 200+ cards each with describing words on such as; fun, serious, luxurious, cheap, modern, retro, etc.

So some of the words are we want the brand to be like, and some are not . One end of the table has a sign saying “YES” and the other side “No".

So everyone got involved and arranged the words to each side of the table depending on what they thought Printed by Us brand should be like.


As a group, we then talked about the placement of some of the different cards that we thought were incorrect at each end of the table – moving a few cards around.

Out of the 200+ cards, each member of the group picked a card which thought was the most important. So the group thought that Printed by Us should be:

Forward thinking

And should not be:

Guilt tripping

Dot voting workshop

Taking the words from the previous workshop, the next step was to look at how these words can be translated into the visual aspect of the Printed by Us brand. We started by all looking at a table full of examples of different flyers, posters and leaflets from various organisations.

Each person in the group was given two green sticky dots, and two red sticky dots.

We then had to stick the green dots to the favourite two examples that we thought Printed by Us should be like, and the red dots to the two examples that we thought Printed by Us should not be like.

From this workshop, we agreed that visually, Printed by Us should be:

Fun, simple, colourful, bold, friendly, young, hand-made, and have lots of white space. 

So from these workshops, the next step is to start creating some logo and brand ideas...

Mark Musgrave – freelance designer and doer