DESIGN COUNCIL: design making life better through visual storytelling

Design Council is an independent charity and the government’s advisor on design. Its mission is to make life better by design.



To reinforce its mission of making life better by design, Design Council wanted to create a campaign which highlighted the importance of designing places that make life better for people: places that meet the needs of the people using them, places that encourage community and places that have a positive effect on our well-being. They wanted to create something that stood out from their other content and increased engagement.



Fable Bureau suggested using visual storytelling platform Shorthand to tell the stories of different places that make life better by design. The platform embedded onto their existing site, allowing increased functionality whilst keeping visitors on Design Council website.


The first feature we produced was about a specialist cancer centre, Maggie’s in Oldham. Maggie’s uses it’s physical space to impact the emotional wellbeing of its visitors. We thoroughly researched the story, interviewing the architects who designed the building, and contacting the wood manufacturers, interior designers and Maggie’s centre itself. We then carefully planned the structure, developing the narrative and deciding the different images needed to bring the architecture to life.


We travelled to Oldham and interviewed five people that used the centre, ranging from cancer sufferers, their families, and volunteers at the centre to understand how the space was truly making their lives better in unusually difficult circumstances. We then photographed specific design elements, as well as the people involved in the story. Afterwards, we wrote up the interviews and cut them together with the overall narrative, audio and photography to create a truly unique feature.


In the first two weeks of launching, the Maggie’s feature had almost 1,500 views, with an average viewing time of nearly 10 minutes.