ilk help children’s charity by turning ‘Make Believe’ into reality


Recently, we used our creative powers for an even greater good than usual by getting involved in the ‘Make Believe’ initiative. This collaboration raises funds for Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas appeal, which ensures that over 20,000 disadvantaged children receive a gift on Christmas Day.

Now, that we’ve done our bit, you can help too. Here’s how it works:

Along with nine other agencies, we were assigned a line from a classic children’s story. Inspired by this we worked a design which is now magically available as a range of gifts to buy online, with all the profits going to the Cash for Kids charity.

Our design brings to life a line from the Wind in the Willows:

“Toad talked big about all he was going to do in the days to come, while stars grew fuller and larger all around them, and a yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently from nowhere in particular, came to keep them company and listen to their talk.”

To make things a little more fun, we worked two designs and put them to a vote in the office.

This one was designed by Mike, which came a close second in the vote. We asked him to give us a few thoughts:

Insignificant Mr Toad

In my design, the boastfulness and self-indulgence of Mr Toad’s words are being silently overshadowed by the omnipotent presence of the moon and the stars above. I wanted to visualise how unimportant Mr Toad is in relation the the world around him.

And the winner was designed by Ryan, who explains his idea below:

What struck me visually about the quote from Wind in the Willows was the emphasis of the nighttime, especially the contrast between the sky and the yellow of the moon. I knew I wanted to create a print with limited colour use, highlighting the night sky as the main feature. The simplicity of the geometrical form of the moon then channelled an illustration style for the rest of the illustration, using clean contrasting lines with silhouetted layers.

I decided to capture Toad looking hopeful whilst he was ‘talking big’ about his plans and, whilst I’ve illustrated a literal composition of the setting, I chose to conceptually place Toad within the moon to exaggerate his pride, larger than the area below him. 

The illustration also features typical visual cues from the novel, such as the bridge, a dragonfly, and a paddle boat.

The initiative was launched with an exhibition in the Victorian Gate hosted by Magpie, giving us an opportunity to grab a few pics and admire the work from our fellow agencies in Leeds.

So, If you’re looking for a sweet little stocking filler maybe a beautifully designed print, mug and coaster could do the trick. Don’t forget that it’s all going to charity.

This design is now available from the Make Believe shop until Friday 15 December.