Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Derby 10k success for Dora’s fairies

Monday, April 4th, 2011


Yesterday Katapult and friends completed the Cooper Parry 10k Business Team Challenge dressed as Dora’s fairies in yellow and purple tutu’s and glittery angel wings.

It was an honour for us to run with Cathy in memory of her beautiful daughter Dora Brittain and the Dora’s Library charity and we couldn’t be prouder of our team.


Spurred on by the cause, our outfits and the massive amounts of cheers and support we received from spectators in Derby yesterday, we all beat our personal best times. Well done to the Katapult men who all finished in under an hour and to the Katapult lady fairies who along with Cathy and friends finished with a sprint around Pride Park Stadium and came in at 1:06:00.

Numerous pictures were taken of us in our striking outfits, more of which can be seen on the Katapult Flickr stream as well as Senior Designer Martin’s Flickr stream and The Derby Evening Telegraph’s online article.




We have already surpassed our target and raised over £1000 for Dora’s Library, so thank you to all our friends, families, clients and suppliers who have supported the team and the charity.

Anyone who hasn’t donated yet but would still like to, can make an online BACS payment to:

Ashbrook Infant School, Account Number 65114482, Sort code 72 00 04

OR write a cheque made payable to Ashbrook Infant School and send to Katapult, 28 Ashbourne Road, Derby, DE22 3AD


Success of first PechaKucha Night in Derby

Friday, April 1st, 2011


PechaKucha is an idea born in Japan, where creative people get to talk about something that makes them tick. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.

Having known for some time that Derby is brimming to the rim with creative talent, and having been to a PechaKucha night before, Katapult MD Dawn decided to find out if this was something that creatives in Derby would go for. Having applied for the permission/the handshake agreement to run PechaKucha nights in Derby with support from Derby’s Creative Industries Network, QUAD and University of Derby, she set about organising the first event with BBC Radio Derby presenter Aleena Naylor and Simon Foote from Simon Foote Architects.


As soon as event details were announced, there was a wealth of interested speakers and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Speakers on the night included :

Emily Howlett | Actress & Writer
Martin Broadhurst | Social Media Fanboy
David Cross | Polymath & Architect
Jonathan Wallis | Museum Manager
Helen Gallimore | Creative Thinker
Pranali Parikh | Urban Designer
Liam Sharpe | British comic book artist, writer and publisher
Bimal Jangra | Teacher & Musican
Ewa Wollinska | Polish Journalist
Barry Thomas | Silver Smith
Jerry Tseng | Architect
Finbar Lillis | Analyst, evaluator and melody maker


The aim of the events are to share ideas, inspirations and insights with other creatives about any topic or theme of interest to you. PechaKucha is a not for profit set up and PK nights are run in 382 cities across the globe with Derby now being one of them. Each event will be organised with an open mind and with the hope to feel bemused, inspired and entertained by the thought provoking presentations. This first event was certainly all of those things and has received a wealth of positive response on the Twitter and Facebook pages after the event.

The first event was a huge success with the space at QUAD filled to its capacity.


A raffle was held to raise money for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami appeal so thanks to everyone who helped raise over £100 on the night.

The next event is on June 30, 2011 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

If you’re interested in presenting at a PechaKucha Night in Derby please visit the website and submit your details.

You can follow event details on Twitter: @PechaKuchaDerby or Facebook

PechaKucha Night – devised and shared by Klein Dytham architecture

Derby PechaKucha Night is sponsored by CIN, University of Derby and QUAD.

Meet Katapult’s new designer – Martin Stewart

Thursday, March 24th, 2011


We’re pleased to welcome a new face into the Katapult fold…say hello to Martin Stewart, the latest member of our creative team. Known in-house as Martin Junior so as not to confuse him with Senior Designer Martin Enright, ‘MJ’ joins us having graduated last year from Lincoln School of Art and Design with a Graphic Design BA Hons and a BTEC National Diploma in Media Production.

Martin’s accolades include receiving an In-Book nomination for the world renowned D&AD awards and having a piece of his work selected to represent Lincolnshire for World Aids Day with Positive Health Lincolnshire. Martin also comes with experience under his belt having completed a number of agency placements where he worked on briefs for a wide range of clients. To help you get to know Martin a little better, we asked him a few questions:

Q: You were asked to bring in three items that inspire you when you came in for your interview, what did you bring?

A: I brought in a lomography camera because i’m really into photography and particularly the lomography style. I brought in ‘my box of things’ which is just a box filled with random things i’ve found and liked such as little stickers, labels and toys – anything interesting and small enough to fit in the box. I also brought in my Dave Gorman book because i’ve got a bit of a man crush on him! I’ve followed him for a while now, from the drunken bets he used to have with his flatmate which evolved into the show ‘Are you Dave Gorman?’

Q: What sort of projects are you most looking forward to getting your teeth into?

A: I would really like more opportunity to create spreads for brochures, publications and digital projects. I am really interested in typography too so getting the chance to design fonts for clients would be great.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of design?

A: Not really, I prefer just finding out what new design trends and styles are around so that I can gain inspiration and keep my work fresh.

Q: If you weren’t a designer, what else would you want to do?

A: When I was a kid I wanted to be an IT Technician. Then I went through a phase of really wanting to get into Forensics – before finding out that i’m not that great at science! Now however, I really can’t imagine doing anything that isn’t creative.

Q: What is the last film you laughed out loud at?

A: I watch a lot of daft films and laugh at really silly things. The last time I laughed out loud was at the film ‘The Other Guys’ with Will Ferrell. Not a great film but there’s a really funny quote about a shark.

Q: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

A: It’s not really a guilty pleasure but it’s quite embarassing – the first album I bought was Aqua (Q:  are you sure you want to admit to this in a public space Martin?)

Q: What was the last gig you went to?

A: It was a Lee Evans comedy gig actually. The last music gig I went to was The Streets.

Q: What in your opinion is the greatest invention of all time?

A: It was actually on Dave Gorman’s show ‘Genius’ where members of the public submit inventions and then the studio audience has to vote whether it’s ‘genius’ or not. One invention was for perforated bread which I really liked (Q: erm, isn’t this the same as ready sliced bread?)

I also applied and was accepted to be on the show with my own invention. It is a coat with a large hidden hood that can be pulled out so you can disguise yourself to look like a giant rubbish bag. I guess you’d use it to avoid people you didn’t want to see. I had to turn down my five minutes of fame though as it was my end of year show at Uni that day.

Katapult: We think Martin makes a much better designer than he does an inventor. We look forward to watching him flourish in his new role – if you would like to give him a friendly welcome, you can do so at

Format International Photography Festival in Derby, Right Here Right Now

Monday, March 21st, 2011


Photography by Graham Lucas Commons ©

This year’s Format International Photography Festival launched at the beginning of March and runs until 3 April, in over 30 venues all over Derby city centre.

The title this year is Right Here, Right Now: Exposures From the Public Realm, the theme being contemporary street photography from all over the world. The line up is stronger and already more popular than ever with contemporary street photographers such as Alex Webb and Polly Braden, Joel Meyerowitz and Bruce Gilden. Many of the photographers will also be hosting talks, conferences and master classes across the city.

The Katapult team attended the opening night which was packed full and had a great buzz which was made even more colourful with the opening speeches from Brian Griffin and Joel Meyerowitz. Thanks was also provided to all those behind the festival and in particular Louise Clements who is the festival’s co-founder and curator. Dawn from Katapult attended the Format conference on the 5th March at QUAD, and said it was great to hear about the various projects and speak to practising street photographers from around the globe, covering subjects from a geo tagging project, social media experiments and the work of individuals such as Bruce Gilden. One of her highlights was hearing from John Maloof and the work of Vivian Maier.


Photography by Graham Lucas Commons ©

For the second time, Katapult have created the Mob FORMAT submissions process – an international mass submission online project in association with Flickr. The website functionality enables photographers to submit their work and pay for their submissions online. The administration of the site enables the FORMAT judges to view submitted entries and shortlist them independently online. The final shortlist will then be judged by a panel of industry experts. The best images will be selected by a high profile jury & special guests and shown in the premium section of the site. Selected images will be exhibited in an evolving exhibition throughout the festival on the BBC Big Screen in Derby Market Place, and on mobile screens around the city.


Alongside the FORMAT11 website and Mob FORMAT submissions portal, Katapult designed the marketing materials for the festival such as banner stands, flyers and posters, roundabout and roadside posters, window vinyls, teardrop flags, press adverts and then produced the VIP launch invites and the official Format Festival guide which featured full event listings and a detailed map featuring the locations of all the Format venues.

So far there have already been well over 8,000 submissions to the Mob FORMAT area of the site from all over the world, a 300%  increase compared to FORMAT09.

The FORMAT team have told us that they are well on target to achieve 100,000 visitors to the festival this year, a 25% increase in the corresponding figure for FORMAT09.

Have a look at the Sky Arts at Format Photography video documentary: Sky Arts at Format Photography


Photography by Graham Lucas Commons ©


It was Derby’s reputation for Photography that played a significant role as to how and why Katapult was formed and is located in the city today; two of Katapult’s founding director’s came  here to study at the University of Derby back in 1998 due its reputation for Photography degrees.

Katapult have been working with FORMAT International Photography Festival since 2007. For FORMAT09 – Photocinema, Katapult worked closely with the FORMAT team to develop the  marketing campaign, festival materials and website. We also did significant development work on MOB FORMAT which integrated flickr with a flash gallery within the site to increase  international engagement and participation in the festival.

Katapult into the New Year

Friday, January 7th, 2011



Happy 2011 to all our clients, suppliers and friends – hope this year is a prosperous one for you all.

Katapult have started the year as we mean to continue it, with the first week including an exciting new pitch, work on the fast approaching Format Festival launching in March, and the next stages of the launch of a new drinks brand – the photo above shows Phil from our video and motion graphic division K-Motion filming in late December for the viral ads.

We’re working on some other great projects at the moment too, including giving our own Katapult website a facelift with some new functionality, info and features.

The year ahead promises to be an interesting one with all things digital growing even more in prominence. We expect to see more interest in digital brand development as client organisations increase their presence and activity in digital channels and need a clear strategy across website, search, social, mobile, apps et al. The challenge is to get all of these working together in complementary fashion to build brand equity at the same time as meeting specific objectives. For example, are HR and Sales presenting the brand consistently to potential employees and prospective customers respectively?

This perhaps presents a window of opportunity for start-ups to build multi-dimensional brands from the ground up and use this agility to steal a march on established, and perhaps less responsive competitors in the digital arena.

We also expect to see the ‘C’ word take centre stage as clients realise the increasing importance of content at the heart of their digital strategy. More will embrace the publisher role of their brand as a key tactic for attracting new customers and creating advocates.

Another ‘C’ that is sure to boost its profile is cloud computing with 2011 providing a better barometer for its impact on capital expenditure and management costs. We’ll see whether the cloud delivers the freedom it promises and whether organisations will make the leap of faith and entrust suppliers with their infrastructure in return for lower costs and greater agility. For marketing folk this could mean less administration, improved access to more up-to-date data and more flexible campaign planning, execution and adjustment. Interesting times ahead…

Anyway, enough of the stargazing for now, we’ll share more of our thinking throughout the year. In the meantime, we’re cracking on with various current brand, marketing, design and digital projects including an online game and viral videos.

Here’s to a healthy and successful 2011.

Katapult Nativity Play

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010


For those of you that missed the live performance of the Katapult nativity play last week, here is a photo taken by Dawn’s dad who was a little bemused but very proud of his little angel!

Have a look at our Christmas newsletter for a few festive updates from KHQ including the chance to WIN a hamper of Thorntons chocolate worth £120!

Find out more about our Christmas campaign that’s driving sales for Thorntons for Business as well as details on Dora’s Library, a charity project we are supporting that is very close to our heart. There’s also an invitation to join us next week to watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ at Derby QUAD….Merry Christmas from Katapult.

Influenced by new documentary

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010


I’ve just seen the short film ‘Influencers’ and have recommended it to the rest of the Katapult team. It provides a valuable insight on how influential individuals can be to the world around them and the nature of fast moving trends within popular culture.

The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach. Written and directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today’s pop culture. Influencers belongs to the new generation of short films, webdocs, which combine the documentary style and the online experience.”

Released as both a web video and an iPad app, the film features leading ‘influencers’ in both the media and the virtual world.

The trailer tells us that “An influencer is someone who has a different way of thinking and a different way of expressing themselves.” They are typically early adopters who embrace all forms of culture, people who others listen to and respect, who have the ability to recognise what the next best thing is and popularise it, people who can take an unknown idea and send it mainstream. A few people in the film give Jay Z as an example, claiming he is an influencer over culture, communities, kids and his peers, from the clothes he wears, to his attitude and music. But influence is totally subjective, in terms of what you like and how much you choose to be influenced by it.

This creates a separate, equally interesting discussion about the concept of unique vision. By looking at the success of influencers, we see inspiring individuals with many similar traits – innovation, creativity, vision and risk-taking – who have changed the face of popular culture. However, what about the people who share these traits but haven’t had the same success? Doesn’t being in the right place at the right time and ultimately luck,  play the biggest role in the uptake of popular trends? Only those consuming the product, music, entertainment that is being advertised can really make the trend contagious and no ‘influencer’ however visionary can foresee or predict that.

In addition to this is the fact that there are so many people who are early adopters of trends and then immediately turn their back when the trend takes off. Similarly there are those that take up something for the ‘cool factor’ which the film also discusses. This highlights the fickle nature of trends in many ways. One of the film’s subjects even suggested that ‘cool’ is what you do at home, on your own when you’re not trying to impress. Should this term ‘cool’ even be used anymore in the creative industry? Isn’t the very word outdated?

Deirdre Maloney from BPMW agency mentions that her business partners inspire her, but the film mentions little about the ideas generation process that agencies go through together to analyse and debate concepts. The notion that it is the creativity of individuals that is significant is quite disappointing. Sky Gellatly, however, director of strategy for Epiphany says “when you get to a certain place, if someone has helped you get to where you are, you must help identify younger talent and be the mentor for somebody else”.

The co-CEO of Cornerstone explains what we all know, that influence is all relative to what you like and who you look at; “what i’m infuenced by is incredibly different to what you’re influenced by”. For example, i’m not a big fan of Jay Z but I really like the soundtrack to this film!

Make your own judgement on the 15 minute film by watching it

Katapult’s England vs Slovenia Event 2010 – South Africa Charity Update

Thursday, November 4th, 2010



Images courtesy of Magical Moments

We would like to thank everyone again for their donations at our football event back in the summer, we managed to raise a fanastic £543 which exceeded our fundraising target. The  money raised went to two South African charities;  Magical Moments which runs fun and creative activities for underprivileged children and FreeMe a charity that exists to rescue, rehabilitate and release suburban indigenous wildlife.

As you can see from the images above, Magical Moments have put on some great events since the money was donated – from puppet shows to art workshops. We are really proud that the money everyone helped us raise has gone into creating lasting memories for children less fortunate than our own.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to you for your very kind and generous donation made to Magical Moments. Your thoughtfulness and compassion will put thousands of smiles on little faces, treats in many little tummies and tickle lots of little taste buds. There are so many worthy organisations in need worldwide and in our beloved country and we acknowledge with thanks that you selected Magical Moments, a charitable organisation “Proudly created with love in South Africa”, as a beneficiary of your generosity. Your investment will help us create “Magical Moments & Extra-ordinary Days” for abused, abandoned, disadvantaged, neglected, orphaned, underprivileged and vulnerable children in Johannesburg, of all cultures, race and religion – “rainbow children”; uplifting their spirit, giving them hope and exposing them to a world beyond their own.”

“Please know that when you see the delight on the children’s faces in the newsletter and on our website, that you have all been a part of creating those magical moments.” Ilana Friedman, Fairy Godmother and Chief Operating Fairy.

If you would like to know or donate more to the charity, contact Magical Moments.


As we have already created our own wildlife sanctuary in our back garden here at Katapult, we thought we would give the rest of the money kindly donated by you at the event to FreeMe, a South African wildlife charity. The charity’s aims are to…

Rescue -
Orphaned, abandoned, injured and displaced indigenous birds, mammals and reptiles are brought to the FreeMe centre in northern Johannesburg. We treat approximately 10 000 animals each year.

Rehabilitate -
FreeMe is run by a full-time manager and a dedicated group of volunteers and the centre is open from 8am to 5pm, 365 days a year. With the help of local veterinarians we provide specialised treatment, care and rehabilitation.

Release -
The ultimate aim is to release wildlife back into its natural habitat. Releases take place in carefully chosen areas including reserves and conservancies.

As you can see from the images below – a hand reared Glossy Starling, baby Crested Barbets, a Meerkat and a Honey Badger – the money raised has gone into helping all kinds of wildlife in towns and rural areas of South Africa.

If you would like to find out how you can help further, go to

You can also help with local conservation by looking out for the wildlife on your doorstep by contacting the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

Thanks again and we hope to see everyone again at our next fundraiser; watch this space…

freeme-hand-raised-glossy-starling freeme-crested-barbets1

freeme-meerkat freeme-badger

Images courtesy of FreeMe.

Retro food – the taste of nostalgia

Friday, September 10th, 2010


Being a bit of a foodie, I have noticed a few food and drink fairs popping up over the country lately. So it was unsurpring to read an article on MSN yesterday informing me that it is British Food Fortnight. The article goes on to mention some of ‘The UK’s most iconic food brands‘: Lyle’s Golden Syrup,  Barratt’s sherbet fountains,  Birds Custard Powder – brands that typically evoke a feeling of nostalgia in Britons of all ages.

This nostalgic feeling about food brands has led to ‘retro’ sweets making a big comeback over the last few years. In 2008 Mars returned their ‘Starbust’ sweets to ‘Opal Fruits’ for a limited time, Orangina brought back their iconic glass bottle and Cadbury (though no longer a British brand!) brought back my favourite chocolate bar, Wispa. Recently, Neil who handles brand development here at Katapult mentioned he liked the old/new Monster Munch packaging, which has a ‘new’ tab on the corner of the packet which has been crossed out and replaced with ‘old’. We agreed it was a nice touch.


This nostalgia has extended further into brand advertising. For example the heart-warming Hovis advert with the little boy who picks up a loaf of bread in 1886 and literally runs home through the brand’s 122 year history stopping off at those memorable points in our British past. Voted advert of the decade by the British public last year, the ad clearly evokes the life-affirming feeling in us all. In a more personal way, the old red car/blue car Milky Way advert has a similar affect on me. I surprised myself by still knowing all the words to it even though I haven’t seen it for over a decade. I found three Facebook groups with a large cult following for the red car/blue car ad – an advertising legacy if you like.

YouTube Preview Image

An article in The Times suggests that during hard times such as the recent recession, people revert back to familiar brands not because they are cheaper, but because they remind people of those ‘rose-tinted’ times in their past, when things were perceivably more secure. This recession-induced emotional eating is quite clearly seen by Asda’s reports that even through the recession, customers were still buying well known nostalgic brands over their cheaper own label products.

It has even been claimed that the relaunch of classic retro sweets has actually boosted the economy and helped lift us out of recession! That people continue to buy sweets even when they have no money is quite clear. Possibly another example of the classic ‘comfort eating’ we all know so well.

However, I think it goes further than this. The re-launch of some of these products are clearly great PR stunts when they work in this way. It was actually Facebook that was responsible for bringing back the Wispa proving that social media is a great way for brands and food producers to get some vital market research. The loyalty to such brands after so long is clear evidence that they are still meeting their consumers needs in a fast moving market.

What will be back next?

My wildlife work experience week by Beth Coley

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Beth Coley on Work Experience Placement

When most fifteen year olds go on work experience they usually end up in an area of employment that they probably won’t go into later in life, so it can often seem like a week wasted. But I really am lucky to have had this placement with Katapult and to have had a brilliant week of work experience planned for me.

At the beginning of the week I was set a project to work on the new wildlife garden which in my opinion is even prettier than in the pictures. I’ve created a monitoring form to record the wildlife that visits and to see how the garden develops. This included research on animals that are common in gardens, as if I’m being honest, before coming here I had no interest in wildlife, so the first thing I learnt was that local wildlife isn’t all just pigeons, spiders, slugs and worms!

I’ve also done some filming and photography in the garden and I feel particularly lucky to have had that opportunity. As a result, I learnt a couple of things about myself:  although it is fun, I should not be a camera-woman when I grow up and that I really enjoy photography. Not only have I been allowed to use filming equipment but I’ve been taught how to use image editing programmes. I’ve also learnt how to write a press release, which admittedly doesn’t sound as fun as filming or taking photos, but all the insight into this line of work really has been fun, and has made me see that this is the area I want to go into when I leave school.

An added bonus for me this week was meeting Simon Groom, who my mum loves!  I’ve also been able to see what a huge difference Jane Proctor from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has made by helping everyone at Katapult transform the area at the bottom of the car park into a colourful and generally stunning wildlife garden, teeming with local wildlife. Although I’ve only been observing the wildlife garden for a week I’ve already seen house sparrows, bees, dragonflies, painted lady butterflies and blackbirds to name a few. It really does go to show that even though the area isn’t huge it can still attract wildlife of all different kinds.

Sparrow in the Wildlife Garden

I would just like to genuinely thank all the people at Katapult for this wonderful work placement and all the amazing work you’ve got me to do here.

Go to the Katapult Flickr account to view pictures of the Wildlife Garden. Beth’s film footage of the garden – coming soon.