Archives for posts with tag: Landmark Trust

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The final word

It was with great excitement that a parcel arrived at my door containing the printed Landmark Trust handbook and I could page through it. They are now for sale through Landmark if you wish to buy one whether it is to plan a holiday or to learn a little more about historical and quirky buildings, go to www.landmarktrust.org.uk to place your order which also includes a free calendar.

The cherry on the top was the email from Dr Anna Keay, Director of The Landmark Trust: “The new handbook looks absolutely wonderful, huge congratulations to Helen, Tessa and all who worked with you on such a terrific achievement. I defy anyone not to love it. Bravo! Anna.

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Which would YOU choose?
Poring over images and descriptions of so many properties set me daydreaming about perfect holiday locations. There are stately homes which would be ideal for a family event, there is Fox Hall with bright orange walls and gilt galore and there is Astley Castle, an award-winning building for combining an ancient castle with modern architecture. There is even a train station, a grammar school, a hospital, a banqueting hall and a lock cottage on a canal.

One that captures my imagination is ‘The Bath House’. Built in the 1700s, it has an upper room dripping with shells which holds the bedroom and a tiny kitchen whilst downstairs is a beautiful icy pool with rough stone walls almost like a cave. If I holidayed there, I would dive in each morning to enjoy the benefits of a deeply refreshing cold bath which are limitless according to the medical opinions of the 18th century. The Handbook calls it, “The poshest bedsit in Warwickshire” and I couldn’t agree more.

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Maps, snags and then off to print we go
I take my hat off to Paul, another member of the team who created maps for the Landmark Trust Handbook. There is a highly detailed map of the UK at the front of the book as well as maps of each section of the country and individual maps for each property with much attention to detail.

Once maps, text, images and plans were finalised, we needed to ensure there were no inconsistencies such as checking that quotation marks, hyphens and dashes were used appropriately. (Hyphens are longer than dashes and I’m sure a poet could make up a poem about the dash that wishes to grow at speed…)

Finally, each page and each section was approved and signed off and I created high-resolution PDFs. The handbook was off to the printers and Helen and I reunited in Wales to see it on press and to ensure we were happy. We were satisfied with it, kissed the handbook goodnight and I caught the train home, crawled into bed to sleep.

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Photography and Images:
Landmark commissioned 30 of their UK properties to be photographed so we had new and up-to-date images in the handbook. With properties stretching from Cornwall to the outer regions of Scotland, that is no easy task. Fortunately Paul Grundy and Jill Tate both architectural photographers were up to the task and took about 15 – 30 photos of each property. Some of the images showed a building in all its grandeur and others depicted intimate and beautiful details. My difficulty was that there was only space for two images of each property! It was a pleasure sifting through the images but so hard to choose only two photos. Fortunately some pages were double page spreads and Helen and I had ways and means to sneak in extra photos such as on the insides of the covers or in the introduction section. You can see examples of the photography above or have a peek at Paul’s website: www.paulgrundy.com and Jill’s website: www.jilltate.com.

Another aspect of dealing with images was to improve on some of the existing photography and in some cases, ‘paint’ the odd door or two which was now a different colour. I used Photoshop but also worked with another colleague, Meghan, who waved her magic wand – have a look at the examples of her work below – ‘now you see it, now you don’t’!

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The Project:
For just over 4 months of last year I was working flat-out on a fascinating and all-consuming design job. I had the opportunity to update the 300-page Landmark Trust Handbook and it’s been one of my biggest freelance jobs to date.

Landmark Trust is a building-conservation charity and for the last 50 years they have bought buildings that are of historic interest whether grand or humble and restored them before they fall into irreparable decay. Once restored, the buildings are let for holidays to generate income and to earn their keep. They vary from follies to castles to towers and even a classically inspired pigsty (for humans to inhabit now)!

In April 2014 I was approached by a friend and colleague, Helen, who worked in marketing for Landmark and asked if I would quote to update their special 50th edition of the handbook. I was delighted to be awarded the job and then the hard work began.

I was updating images, text, plans and maps and correcting 101 changes from the previous edition. The handbook was paginated into areas of the country rather than being produced alphabetically and the first 40 pages which formed the introduction were totally redesigned. Some properties were ‘out’, then ‘in’ then ‘out’ again and there were ‘new kids on the block’ such as Belmont in Lyme Regis. It hadn’t even be photographed properly yet as it was still being restored which is always a challenge for a designer. The handbook had to be perfect as Landmark Friends like detail and are excellent at spotting errors in historical information or on maps! Even the floor plans of the 196 properties were changed if sofas were moved to other parts of the house and fireplaces were enlarged. I worked very closely with Helen and her team checking amends and between us deciding on images and how to approach the trickier pages.

What impressed me was that as a team we were all working remotely and yet were so connected by commitment and technology (including many PDFs). The whole team kept their sense of humour and even in stressful situations remained calm. Landmark Trust is an excellent client to work for with a product that is interesting and taught me much. I felt quite bereft in September when the handbook went off to production and my part in the process was complete.