CRESR is an applied research centre affiliated to Sheffield Hallam University. To mark the organisation’s 30th Anniversary, CRESR came to TruthStudio with a proposal for a series of five thematic reviews which would act as centrepieces of their past and ongoing research expertise: welfare reform & labour markets; housing; economic development; community; vulnerable groups; sustainability.


Our creative approach

We worked closely with our client to structure the brief, proposing the creation and implementation of a 30th Anniversary logotype to brand the reviews as a series, which could also be adopted across associated collateral, both online and in print. We ensured the mark would work alongside Sheffield Hallam University’s existing brand guidelines.

We were inspired by data visualisation and information graphics and the depiction of datasets – bar and pie charts and scattergraphs – which we adopted to construct our 30th mark. Influenced further by the circles, dots, Venn diagrams and interlocking and intersecting lines in datasets, we looked at the art of Bridget Riley, and how her art drew on the psychology of perception and sensation – causing the eye to perceive a sense of movement – changing, shifting, fluctuating – a perfect abstract metaphor for the research presented in the reviews. Our page design and layouts had uncluttered clarity. White space – removed potential distractions and helped the reader concentrate on the text and get a better understanding of the content, while allowing for more diverse layouts and a greater mix of elements like sidebars, infographics and pull quotes.


The first review, ‘Jobs, Welfare and Austerity’, was published and launched in Sheffield at the CRESR 30th Anniversary conference, and simultaneously in the Houses of Parliament. The primary audience were policy makers – not academics – so our design solution was unapologetically authoritative yet elegant, visually engaging, distinctive and memorable.

The series of reviews caused a stir among Members of Parliament and were subsequently picked up and featured by the UK National Press.