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Catalogue design for HBS Group

The Client

Since 1973 HBS Group has grown to be a leading provider of copier paper and educational supplies to schools and colleges mainly in London and its Home Counties. The company prides itself on being the only long and well established family run company with over 15,000 competitively priced products specifically for the Education Sector.

Their motto is A Good Deal. Easier. and this is what they strive for in everything they do. They are exceptionally passionate about customer service placing great value in speaking directly to a knowledgeable and friendly human being on the phone, and also their free next day delivery service.

HBS Group also produces a range of excellent alternative products to the leading brands to help save schools money without compromising quality. These include educational resources like EziGlide drywipe pens, ball pens and colouring pens, Quickstick gluesticks and Durabook laminated exercise books.


The Challenge

After successfully refreshing the company website and creating a high impact slider advertising campaign HBS Group approached us to create designs for their 2017-18 catalogues. HBS Group produce three main catalogues per year. The titles are ‘Educational Supplies, Exercise Books and Cleaning & Maintenance’. The brief was to create three unified cover designs, spines, back covers and inserts.

The previous designs lacked a consistent design across all three catalogues. A key aim of the brief was to create a design that unified all three catalogues. The previous designs suffered from unnecessary clutter resulting in key information lacking impact and clear hierarchy. A solution would provide clear information and high impact became the agreed route to take.

A very creative part of the brief was to produce three memorable illustrations to feature on each of the three covers. HBS Group had already invested in developing a family of characters based around their own brand products. The new illustrations would place these characters as the focal point and become the stars of the show.


The Solution

The three covers were designed using recognised and established brand colour palettes of purple, green and cyan. A clear and consistent layout was produced that would work as a template across all three catalogues. Two fonts Gotham Rounded, and Open Sans were carefully chosen to convey information clearly. All unnecessary clutter was removed or redesigned.

The new illustrations were produced using 3D software and then retouched in image editing software. The characters are now represented as actors in themed shows with the ‘Whizbo’ character taking the lead. The ‘Educational Supplies’ and the ‘Exercise Books’ covers have a clear educational theme with one cover showing a classroom setting and the other showing a school setting. Lollypop signs become an appropriate vehicle to display key sales information. The ‘Cleaning & Maintenance’ cover has a clear industrial feel with ‘Whizbo’ becoming the cleaner.

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  • Categories: 3D Visualisation / Branding / Creative Illustration / Image Retouching / Print Design