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End of year round up

Christmas closing times at tothepoint

‘Tis soon the season to be merry and get the festivities under-way. Not just yet though, so don’t panic.

Here at tothepoint we will be grafting all the way up to end of play Thursday 21st, when we will close for Christmas until 2nd January. However, we will be winding down from the 15th due to our office refurb. We’re hoping most people will be doing the same, but if you do need us over those dates you might want to contact us in advance to make any ‘special arrangements’.

Colourful season’s greetings for New Capital

We often have a bit of fun at the end of the year designing Christmas cards for some of our clients but New Capital liked ours so much they were finding it difficult to decide which ones to select.

The design team created various graphics and illustrations, added a sprnkle of humour and applied a colourful festive twist, all aligned with the branding we did for them a few years ago. Following the difficult task of selecting a short list of their favourites, it was decided to actually produce a set of 4 quirky Christmas cards, which were duly sent to print. The various cards are now winging their way to their clients across the globe.

Westfield finally comes to Croydon!

Great news for our clients Croydon Business Improvement District. It was announced mid November that plans to bring the new Westfield shopping centre to Croydon have been confirmed.

Similar to the Shepherds Bush Shopping Centre, the £1.4 billion regeneration of Croydon’s Whitgift Centre is due to begin in 2019 creating thousands of new jobs, as well as 1000 new flats. The knock-on effect from the development is bound to have nothing but a positive influence on the town and surrounding area, driving momentum towards a new improved shopping district for Croydon. And Croydon must have been the reason Westfield recently got snapped up in breaking news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42320746

Tove Jansson Retrospective at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Our culture corner continues as James here visits Dulwich Picture Gallery to see their latest exhibition; a chronological collection of works by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson, otherwise known as the creator of the Moomins.

Any fans of the Moomins, art enthusiasts interested in illustration or creative types in South London should head over to Dulwich Picture Gallery to see the rare collection of paintings, prints, and illustrations by Tove Jansson. Packed full of character, drama and even political subterfuge, the exhibition is a fascinating pot-history of the artists life from a young woman in the 1930’s.

What may be surprising to people who don’t know much about her work outside of the Moomins stories is the range of skills and subject matter. Early works show moody mystical landscapes and fairy-tale like scenarios, influenced equally by mythical tales as by political unrest and war. It is said that early incarnations of her Moomintroll character began as a regular feature in her illustrations for the cover of political satire magazine; Garm. Fantastically intricate pen illustrations run through the exhibition, demonstrating Janssons’ incredible imagination and draftsmanship. Possibly one of the most touching works is her last ever painting, a self portrait from 1975, some time before her death in 2001.

If you’re in the area and you have a spare few hours, go and see for yourself.

An Inspirational trip to the House of Lords

Report by Simon Hutton

What I love about my job and our industry is the variety of businesses, innovations and characters that I come across and sometimes work with. Those who inspire us with optimism and positive actions, drive us on to hope and achieve more in our work and even in our personal lives. 

On 15th November I was lucky enough to attend the Tomorrow’s Company Annual Parliamentary reception at the House of Lords to see good friend Steve Kelly again inspire the audience with his positivity. And with him, a team of equally inspiring people who are clearly leading the way for the Companies of Tomorrow. 

I would have enjoyed spending longer talking to Kriti Sharma of Sage, an artificial intelligence technologist, mobile product inventor and one of the first chatbot executives in the technology industry. She is also leading efforts to create more diverse and ethical artificial intelligence and “embracing botness” which means that AI does not have to pretend to be human, instead it needs to be useful ( thanks Wikipedia). An interesting chat about my dismay at not being able to have a sensible conversation with ‘Alexa’ tested this point but I think I took things too far when I asked if she’d seen ‘Her’ …so I didn’t even mention iRobot. I think we all see things differently but the ongoing debate will be an interesting one. This conversation is to be continued…

I also met with Debbie Wall who joined Sage in 2015 to set up the Global Sage Foundation. The principles of the Foundation could be applied to many businesses helping them to be a force for good and give back to society and communities. I was certainly inspired to look at ways to introduce my clients and contacts to these principles, not only to improve their social responsibility but also because of the obvious and proven benefits of engaging staff in these programmes.

The vision and passion of these people and companies, supporters of Tomorrow’s Company, show how business can and should be done. Hopefully, all their good work will be reflected in not only shareholder value, but in real corporate values that are advocated and form part of a work-life balance for their staff. These business initiatives make a real difference to local communities and beyond but more companies need to realise the value of aptly named ‘compassionate capitalism’.  

I’ll persevere with my small effort in the hope of the butterfly effect but as a creative I will also be interested to see how the role of AI evolves and affects our industry – I can see how it could aid creativity but can AI truly replicate originality, the sometimes random outcomes of pure creative thought or even the visual ‘mistake’ that can lead to a fresh new idea?

Soon after the above event, I was with a fellow ‘streetgymer’ and potential client discussing the merits of setting up a foundation. During the chat she talked about other staff benefits and introduced me to www.babylonhealth.com as possibly the future for affordable speedy healthcare solutions. And there it was again, in their words: “The world’s first AI driven health service” … it’s closer than I thought!

So, hopefully, more foundations, more giving back, more advocates, more success, more AI, more #compassionatecapitalism and maybe even some more design work.