Archive for December, 2009

Katapult get festive with seasonal e-cards

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

katapult christmas e-card

We have just sent out our 2009 Katapult Christmas e-card, which features some exclusive footage from the elves workshop.

This year Katapult led a partnership to create a Christmas Playground in Derby’s market place. The six giant wooden toys were created by ‘a very special elf’ local wood sculptor Andrew Frost, which will be relocated to Royal Derby Hospital children’s ward in the new year.

A huge thankyou to all the partners involved in the Christmas Playground project and also to Doug Smith for his poem reading talent and to the Cathedral Quarter Hotel for use of their secret elves room.

This year we have made a donation to the Lewis Mighty Fund.

And because Katapult love Christmas so much, we were asked to produce more festive e-cards for clients, such as University of Derby and QUAD.

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a magical 2010.

university of derby christmas e-card

QUAD christmas e-card

Christmas Playground now open for all!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Wooden Car - Toyota

The Christmas Playground was officially launched last night to the partners (santas helpers) and everybody who was involved with the project (elves), and most importantly to a large and very excited group of children!

At a VIP event in the BOX at QUAD, with mulled wine for the grown-ups and candy canes for the kids, Katapult’s Dawn (dressed as an elf) thanked everyone for their contribution. The video of Andrew Frost sculpting the toys was shown for the first time, and will now be repeated regularly on the BBC Big Screen throughout the duration of the Christmas Playground and can be viewed here

Everyone was then led outside to the Market Place where the sculptures were unveiled one by one by the partners. One of the first children to play on them, Scarlett Roe,10, of Allestree said: “they’re really brilliant. It’s clear a lot of work has gone into them…And young children can play on them with older children while adults will like how they look.”

The children continued to play on the toys until they were dragged off home for tea which is the way we hope it will continue to be!

For more information please see the press release:

You can check out the pictures from last night on the Christmas Playground Flickr account

The Christmas Playground is launched!

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Christmas Playground

It’s finally here! The Christmas Playground, created and led by Katapult, will be officially launched this afternoon at a festive VIP event.

The playground features a range of giant wooden sculptures crafted by sculptor Andrew Frost to celebrate Derby’s heritage, culture and diverse community.

The Christmas Playground will connect communities, the private and public sectors and local arts organisations through this absorbing attraction in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter, the cultural heart of the city.

There are a number of sculptures representing key partners in the project including two penguins (University of Derby), a car (Toyota), a train (Bombardier), a jet engine (Rolls-Royce), a soldier (Derby City Council) and a bear (Royal Crown Derby).

Once the festivities are over, the sculptures will be moved to the Royal Derby Hospital for the recreational enjoyment of the hospital’s community and visitors.

Katapult’s Managing Director, Dawn Foote said: “The project is unique to Derbyshire and will bind its world-class manufacturing and creative industries, which are key to Derby’s heritage and make-up.”

Derby City Centre manager Melanie Allen said: “Derby’s Christmas Playground is an excellent showcase of usable public art. I am sure that the children will love climbing over the wooden toys while parents take a moment’s relaxation from Christmas shopping in Derby.”

And Martin Langsdale, Chair of the Cathedral Quarter management group said: “The Christmas Playground fits in perfectly with the Cathedral Quarter’s ethos as an area that is individual, diverse and inspiring.”

After months of planning and designing, Katapult are really looking forward to unveiling the toys to the project’s partners and the public in the playground later today. There will be University of Derby choir carol singing, plenty of mince pies and mulled wine and Rammie Claus for the kids!

Please read the full press release at

For more details about the project and activities in the Christmas Playground visit the website:

Movember success for Furry Katapult

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Katapult - Movember

Our very own Furry Katapult team successfully completed a whole month of growing some pretty impressive facial hair all in the name of charity. They came up with this image, amongst others, in the hope it might help them look a bit cooler.

I personally would like to say a big thank you to all the guys who took part (and to David Hayward from Pixel-Lab who joined Furry Katapult for the month). The team raised a collective £645.50! You should all be very proud.

Next, something for the girls?….

What’s Stopping You? campaign wins two CIPR awards!

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

2009 cipr pride award

Derbyshire County Council’s ‘What’s Stopping You?’ campaign has won both awards it was nominated for in the 2009 CIPR Excellence Awards. The campaign, developed by Katapult, won Gold in both the Hard to Reach Communications Excellence and the Community Relations category at the CIPR PRide Awards.

Katapult developed the campaign which is targeted at young people aged 12-16 with the aim to help raise aspirations and to support the work of schools and other agencies on issues which are closely linked to levels of ambition including exam results, teenage pregnancies and health.
As well as developing the brand style for the campaign, Katapult produced a range of campaign materials including posters, press ads, lanyards and presentation slides.

The judges comments were: “this was an excellent campaign in that it actively engaged with the audience, rather than telling them what to do. The use of large-scale positive, motivational events worked well with the target audience and drew on appealing themes, also harnessing celebrity kudos, which proved a winner. Attractive and relevant materials were developed, and it was good to see the campaign had well-deserved success.”

Playful ’09

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Playful '09

I recently had the great pleasure of attending Playful ‘09 (A Day of Cross Disciplinary Frolicking), hosted by Pixel-Lab.  Based at Conway Hall, London, the stage was host to a plethora of over 20 speakers ranging from games designers, writers, art directors and people generally doing fun things.

Ranging from RexBox (involved in the visual playfulness of LittleBigPlanet) and his impressive OHP presentation including realtime loading bars (bloody hilarious), Robin Birkinshaw’s personal insight into the beautiful ‘Alice & Kev’ story (experiment into Homelessness in the Sims 3), Russell Davies gripping presentation on the importance of ‘Pretending’ and the amazing showcase of fun projects produced by Chris O’Shea.

Unlike most ‘digital’ events it was a refreshing change not to be bombarded with commercial plugs and sponsorship (usually resulting in walking away with bag loads of promotional tack!) The relaxed nature of the whole day filtered through to the speakers and the audience, creating a shared utopian mood, perpetuating everyone’s reason for being there; to celebrate being Playful.

Although part of me did leave the event wanting to run home and dig out my oldest and most treasured toys in search of capturing a quick hit of nostalgia, I did leave with an added sense of new found pleasure.  Through the powers of new technology to the passing thoughts and observations of daily life; we are playful beings and being playful should be nurtured and celebrated.

Visit the Playful website for photos, info, and links to presentations from the day.

Thoughts & observations of the day:
“I realised that the web doesn’t smell” (Toby Barnes comment of the day),

My personal highlights of the day:

Old school OHP presentation + realtime loaders + duped technical errors

RexBox Loading...

RexBox Loading...

Russel Davies:
Reminding me of childhood – driving in the back of the family car, scrunching you eyes up at night to turn the streetlights into laser weapons and shooting other cars, or watching the passing shadows on the road beside you, imagining shapes and rhythms.

Analysis of Jason Bourne (90% moody commuter 10% killing and fighting)

Moody Commuting

Chris O’Shea:
Footage from his chicken project – hilarious!

Kareem Ettouney
Discussing the change in the role of the art director over the last couple of decades.  From pyramid (dictatorship) to a collective methodology, communication and ownership.

Drinking lots of tea, talking to interesting people and seeing the most amount of iphones in one room ever.

I’ll definitely be there next year.

(Image Copyright Toby Barnes)