magneticNorth

Strategy, Ideas, Design and Development

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MMU & Neurodiversity

MMU & Neurodiversity: helping new minds to think differently

20th December, 2016

Background

How should neurological differences impact the way we design experiences? This is a question we’ve been asking ourselves ever since we worked with the BBC to design the visual identity for their neurodiversity initiative CAPE.

Initially, CAPE (Creating a Positive Environment) was developed by the BBC to address the need to improve access to work for people with hidden cognitive or ‘neurodivergent’ conditions, such as autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia. Since its inception, the project has grown exponentially and as a result, its reach has expanded to areas beyond access to work.

New Andy Burnham

Design Manchester's Great Debate: a recap of the night

26th October, 2016

It’s been a fantastic two weeks of talks, workshops and exhibitions from Design Manchester 2016 and we’re sad that it’s over for another year! We’ve been proud to be a partner of such a successful event, and even prouder to be involved in their annual Great Debate. Our very own Lou Cordwell had the fun task of mediating between some of the country’s most talented and influential creatives at The Old Granada Studios to a sold out audience.  

Design Manchester group

In conversation with Design Manchester: partnerships & DM16

10th August, 2016

“Design thinking is the key to making the best of the emerging digital world”

As an official supporter of DM 16, we’re excited to see that this year’s festival is going to be bigger and better than ever. In the months running up to DM 16 (12-23rd October), we’ll be sharing a series of articles sharing the story behind the festival.

In our first piece the Design Manchester team discussed the impact of Brexit on the creative industries and the steps that need to be taken to ensure we continue to innovate and grow.

In the second part of our series, we chat to them about the importance of collaboration and partnerships for Design Manchester and this year’s festival.

DM Brexit 1

In conversation with Design Manchester: Brexit & the creative industries

28th July, 2016

“Now is the time to do something.”

Malcolm Garrett, Design Manchester co-founder and creative director at Images&Co, could be talking about a new city-wide initiative here, but he’s not. He’s talking about the fallout from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Malcolm reflected on the result in a chat with us, and he had plenty to say. 

“You’ll have seen that I wrote a tweet immediately saying that now is the time more than ever for creative industries to actually stand up and do something,” he says. “It’s all our responsibility. That has been the most re-tweeted of our tweets so we know there is an appetite for the creative industries in Manchester, or the followers of Design Manchester because let’s not forget Design Manchester was always about balancing the UK. It’s as important to London as it is to Manchester and the North.”

Abi follow up interview

Abi joins the mN design team

25th February, 2016

Last summer we had grad-to-be graphic design student Abi in the mN studio for some work experience. Abi came in for a taste of digital design within an agency environment and after two busy weeks working with the mN design team, we knew Abi had great potential to be a brilliant designer and equally enjoyed her time here, so we hired her!

Six months later, now seems like the perfect time to catch up with Abi to see how she’s finding life at mN…

500 Words 2016

Getting kids writing with BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words (and other projects!)

18th February, 2016

When Chris Evans shared his idea for a children’s writing competition back in 2010, even he couldn’t have possibly predicted the roaring success 500 Words would become six years on.

The much-loved writing competition asks children under the age of 13 to write an original story in no more than 500 words. Since the first competition, Chris and the BBC Radio 2 team have received stories from nearly half a million children from across the UK. The number of entries has grown year on year and shows no sign of slowing down for 2016, with over 120,000 stories submitted in 2015 alone! 

Design Manchester 2015

Malcolm, Kasper & Design Manchester

17th December, 2015

Design Manchester is an ‘originative week-long festival celebrating creativity, collaboration and inclusivity in art, design, film and music’. The theme for this year’s festival, ‘the how, the what and the why’, brought together a rich programme of talks, workshops, exhibitions, screenings and debates, with a full weekend celebrating the love of print with the Manchester Print Festival at the People’s History Museum.

Two of the key players behind Design Manchester, Malcolm Garrett & Kasper De Graaf, were kind enough to share some thoughts with us…

Reasons To

Our highlights from Reasons To Be Creative

9th October, 2015

It’s almost a month since we headed over to Brighton for the annual Reasons To Be Creative conference. Every year the very best international creative and developer speakers take to the stage to wow, inspire, inform, entertain, thrill, teach and mix with web designers and coders that attend from all over the world. One month on, we’ve been reflecting on the highlights from this year’s event that have stayed with us left us inspired for the winter months ahead.

If the unlimited free Redbull or the crazy opening titles weren't enough to blow our minds, then the abundance of brilliant speakers absolutely did.

Mark Atkin Crossover Labs

In conversation with Mark Atkin: Interactive Filmmaking at Thinking Digital

21st May, 2015

This week we’re up at Thinking Digital in Gateshead; a conference for those curious about how technology is shaping the future. If you haven’t already got yourself a ticket there’s no need to miss all the fun, you can Livestream the event by registering online (which we highly recommend you do!).

We kicked off our visit with the Interactive Filmmaking workshop, brought to us by Crossover Labs in collaboration with Sheffield Documentary Festival.

After the workshop we caught up with Mark Atkin, Director of Crossover Labs, to give us his thoughts on the emerging field of interactive filmmaking.

Abi

Abi Nelson: my week with mN

5th May, 2015

It’s always refreshing to have new and exciting talent in the building. So when 20 year old graphic design student, Abi Nelson, asked to join us for a week’s work experience, we were delighted to accept.

Abi is currently completing the final year of her degree at Leeds College of Art and has aspirations of becoming a world class graphic designer. Go Abi! On her final day at the mN studio, we sat down with her to see how she got on.

2014 highlights

Ta-Ta 2014: Our CEO Lou Cordwell takes a look back at 2014

18th December, 2014

It has been a cracker of a year at mN. 

It’s also been an incredibly exciting year for Manchester and the North. There have been some momentous announcements – firstly around Devolution and TechNorth which were swiftly followed by news in the Autumn Statement about the staggering investments planned for Science and Culture in Manchester. All of which has helped to put Manchester well and truly in the spotlight for 2015. Our CEO Lou Cordwell looks back at some of our company highlights in 2014 and outlines things everyone in the 'tech' sector can look forward to in 2015. 

Lou Cordwell 2

What I've Learnt

15th April, 2014

Recently, our CEO and founder Lou Cordwell sat down with the team at Prolific North; an online publication who cover the media and creative services sector in the North West, to talk about the lessons learnt over her career for a feature called 'What I've Learnt'. The piece talks about a whole host of things including Lou leaving her role in the advertising world to set up a digital standalone in 2000; "Somebody actually said to me 'isn't it a bit niche?'", winning Kellogg's as their first client; "We had one dial-up laptop and were working from my mum's dining room table", through to the ambitions for the company over the next few years; "It feels like we are just getting going. What I do believe is that if you focus on doing great things for the right reasons with great people, commercial success follows."

You can read the full interview on the Prolific North site.

Battle for the Living Room

The Battle for the Living Room

20th March, 2014

When the promise of connected TV (or Smart TV) began to capture people’s imagination a few years ago, there was a lot of talk about ‘the battle for the living room’ – who was in the best position to create the killer connected TV platform?

Was it a broadcaster such as Sky or Virgin Media who already delivered their TV services via proprietary set-top boxes? A hardware manufacturer such as Samsung or LG who had started to release ‘Smart TVs’ with platform software built into the TV sets themselves? Could Microsoft Xbox or Sony PlayStation (who already had an impressive install base) reposition their games consoles as entertainment hubs? Or maybe it would be a new player in the market – did Google have an interest in TV? Could Apple do it again and disrupt another market? Or, not forgetting our trusty terrestrial broadcasters, would Project Canvas (or YouView as it later became) prevail? 

Reflections and predictions image

Reflections and predictions

18th December, 2013

We asked the Head of our Digital Media team (Adam) and the Head of our Digital Cities team (Ray) to give us their highlights from the last 12 months and tell us a bit about their thoughts for the new year. Here are their reflections, insights and predictions as we go full steam ahead into 2014...