Archives for posts with tag: Tessa Case

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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 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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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.

1up1down colI was asked to design a logo for a 10km run in the Oxfordshire area. Because the run is local to ‘The White Horse’, I used the beautiful, stylised shapes of the chalk horse that is engraved into the hillside as inspiration. The run will be up and down a hill so I based the logo on the profile of a hill and two people running with shapes suggested by ‘The White Horse’. The colours are contrasting with a bold, legible text. Better start training!

Concept Board for client

Concept board for client

I will backtrack as one of my best advisors, Megan Kerr, who is incidentally also my sister suggested that it would be helpful to see the processes behind designing a logo. Helen Hartstein is starting up a new company and didn’t have an enormous budget for a corporate identity. However, she recognised that it is very important to have a well designed logo that looks professional as it sets the tone for the company and will also give potential clients confidence. She gave me a clear brief and to keep the price down, I explained that I wouldn’t explore lots of different avenues but stick to the brief. Some clients give a looser brief and may want to see 3 – 4 completely different solutions but that would be a more expensive option. Other clients would want a logo designed and then ask me to design stationery (business card, letterhead, complimentary slip), a brochure, flyers as well as a website. Helen just needed the logo at this stage. Other items may follow as and when they are required. The first concept board that I emailed to Helen showed a variety of fonts, different positions of the stone and colour ideas. One of the logos has the texture of stone within the text.

Mood Board 1

Concept Board 1

Helen chose the font and wanted to explore the option of a hand drawn heart. I also looked at the text graduating in colours and showed her how the logo would look in greyscale and in black and white.

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Concept Board 2

We were nearing the end of the journey. After seeing the third concept board, we finalised the colour and Helen decided to have the photographic stone as her main logo but to have the hand drawn heart as an extra icon.

Concept board 3

Concept Board 3

I supplied the final logo in various formats such as eps and jpegs to cater for its various applications. And Heartstone now has a logo!

heart logoI’ve recently completed a job for a new client. Helen Hartstein has opened her own marketing agency called Heartstone. Heartstone assists with marketing strategies, campaign management and all the marketing needs for small businesses. I used an image of a heart-shaped stone and a clean, modern font – one of my favourites. The colour scheme is greys with muted greens and purples as accent colours. I worked through a number of variations for the logo by creating concept boards until we agreed on the final one and we’re both pleased with the result. Have a look at her website – – and best wishes in your new venture, Helen.

websiteOne of my resolves this year is to increase my freelance design work. To this end, I have created a website – – although a website is merely the equivalent of a business card and has to be marketed. I decided that it was worth advertising in my local community and start spreading the word that I was working as a freelancer. I was also asked to write an article about myself although my suspicions are that this is to pad out the newsletter but one can hardly turn down a free advertorial. It was a tricky article to write as I know so many people in the village so it needed to be written personally but I also aimed to find an angle that would interest people reading a newsletter. Here is the finished piece and many thanks to my long-suffering sister for editing and advising!

Tessa Case: Graphic Designer

The Henchman loves to know more about new advertisers and we have asked Tessa Case, a graphic designer, to tell us a little about herself.

I arrived in London from Cape Town as a graphic-design graduate with £300 to my name, planning to travel and discover the art I had only ever seen in books as a student. I lived with two friends in a tiny studio flat and when we went out, we could only afford to share a coke between the three of us. But it was an adventure and for me seeing how big a Monet was or the richness of a Van Gogh when all you’ve had is A3 reproductions filled me with wonder. During that year I dabbled in secretarial work, nannying and cared for a 90 year old man – anything to keep body and soul together. Towards the end of the year I met Richard, my husband, and I never ended up returning to South Africa. It was about that time I started working as a graphic designer.

I have since designed for a number of companies with a wide variety of clients from luxurious spas to blue chip construction companies. I have also coordinated photographic shoots, most recently in a house with ten bedrooms. We had complete run of the place and rushed around discovering billiard rooms and new wings of guest rooms. The shoot involved a photographer, his assistant, a stylist, our team and the stars of the day – six children aged from 10 months to 4 years wearing pyjamas. Keeping a baby smiling with an audience of eight so you get the perfect shot is a challenge! I feel as if the pressure is off to make my own home perfect: in magazines, room scenes look idyllic but it is madness behind the camera with all the excess props chucked to the side. Photos are not real life but it was interesting to create the images and to make the sleepwear look gorgeous.

I am now also working as a freelance graphic designer and offer a range of design services including creating and reworking brands, from logos and stationery to developing complete corporate identities. I also create work for individuals, whether it’s an invitation for a special event or a commissioned art work as a gift for a loved one or a client. Have a browse through my website or contact me to see examples of my work.

When I’m not designing, I’m out enjoying the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside with children and camera in tow!