Chris Wells

Chris Wells Ltd

Overview

I have two decades' experience in art direction and design for conventional and digital knowledge products. And the decade I spent at an NGO makes me one of only a few designers with extensive in-house sector experience and give me a rare insight into my client's needs.

I've carefully designed a working process to allow me to work effectively within constrained budgets. I apply lessons learned from user experience design, digital and integrated marketing, putting the end-user first in the products I design.

I want to raise the expectations of what effective graphic design and visual communication can achieve for the third sector.

My core business is helping clients with the ​creative and practical aspects of publishing knowledge products ​and campaign materials. I often also work on websites and animated motion graphics. I manage the entire process; all the way from facilitating initial planning, art direction and design, layout, typesetting, artwork and finally print management and promotion on social media.

I go out of my way to nurture long-term, productive relationships with each of my clients, spending time to really understand their organisation and programmes. Meaningful design solutions always demand a real understanding of a client's ethos and strategy as well as their visual identity. It's the only way I can design products that meet their real needs.

Beyond merely following instructions, I aim to encourage clients to consider their digital publishing as a strategic activity that can support their organisation's overarching goals. I passionately believe that visual communications design and identity can dramatically affect the likely success or failure of organisational objectives in the non-profit sector.


Clients

I'm often brought in to deliver projects for cross-sector consortia including UNOPS, UNEnvironment, The GEF and the FCDO-UKCIO along with independent NGOs like the IWA, IPPF or Frontline AIDS. Those consortia are often managed by commercial entities and consultancies such as DHI, Triple Line or Standard Chartered Bank. That's meant I've had to grow comfortable meeting multiple clients' expectations simultaneously

I also work for single quasi-governmental and arms-length bodies such as MedAccess Guarantee Ltd, IDLO, Cities Alliance and the ODI.

And many of my projects come from international advocacy NGOs like Girls Not Brides and The Elders or the 100Million Campaign, as well as academic bodies like the IIPP and Lancet Migration Health.


Qualifications

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

  • 1998: BA (Hons), Graphic Design – Central Saint Martins College, London
  • 1995: B-TEC Foundation, Art and Design – Bournemouth and Poole College

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

  • Open Data in a Day and Open Data in Practise (Data visualisation module): The Open Data Institute
  • An introduction to XML: Learning Tree International
  • Branding and Customising SharePoint Sites: Learning Tree International
  • Adobe InCopy, a two-day introduction: Certitec Ltd

Experience

I've worked in almost every sector since graduating. After six years as a designer at several commercial creative agencies, my big break came when I joined IPPF in 2004.

I spent nine years in-house as their Multimedia designer and Creative Officer in the communications and publishing team of their London headquarters. That's where I gained a deep understanding of the national and international development sector, collaborating with international colleagues in every programmatic and operational area, as well as with the membership and external partners.

After nine years, I co-founded Folk Labs – a software design and development consultancy, focused on digital transformation for the voluntary, charitable and non-profit sector.

And, since 2018, I've been running my own design and digital transformation consultancy where I now work full-time.