ARRAS Restaurant

Interior design and remodelling of ArrasRestaurant is now all complete and open for business, a complete renovation and new lease of life for the old coach house on Peasholme Green in York.

Working closely with Basefit interiors, Dawson Design designed and oversaw the complete renovation of the new 60 cover modern British restaurant.

A quick thank you to Curiousa & Curiousa for supplying the beautiful handblown glass pendants lights over the bar area.


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Eight reasons the new National Trust website is funkier than yours

Here are some cool bits from its new responsive website.

Ghost buttons…

Lovely stuff. Ghost buttons are becoming more and more common.

This nice bit of CSS helps every call to action look a little more elegant and means they don’t have to detract as much from content.

ghost button national trust

…including the best call to action ever written

There’s nothing more to say about this, other than it’s not a euphemism, and you can click through below if you’d like to go.

national trust ghost button

Colour and contrast

The National Trust is about cultural heritage, but a shorthand for that is beauty.

So, it’s very pleasing that the new Trust website has such bold colouring and contrast throughout. It really does improve the experience.

Below is a selection of elements that stood out.

national trust website

national trust website   national trust website

national trust website

national trust website   national trust website

A long-arsed membership landing page

I can’t capture the page in full, but go and check it out for yourself. It’s a long, persuasive and content-filled page intent on increasing memberships.

Not only is it visually stunning but it caters for a number of different personas, includes seasonal detail, testimonials, FAQs and editorial (’10 reasons a National Trust membership might change your life’).

Here are three of my favourite bits…

national trust join us page

national trust join us page

national trust join us page

First person stories

Who can sell your wedding venues better than the happy bride and groom?

This is great marketing, not to mention delicious typography.

The faceless testimonials shown above on the membership page are nicely presented (where the product is worth around £100), but when the service on offer is a few orders of magnitude more expensive, and part of the ‘best day of your life’, something more persuasive is called for.

national trust testimonial

Superbly inclusive copywriting (and the second best ever call to action)

The National Trust relies on donations, volunteers and a massive amount of good will.

Creating a website that represents the open face of the organisation starts with copywriting.

This screenshot uses decetively simply copy, all very much in an active and friendly voice.

national trust call to action

Chunky search

The search facility is really fun to use, thanks to its prominence just below the fold on the homepage, use of a chunky text field, auto-suggest and beautiful results pages.

No doubt a more prominent search bar will give the National Trust another source of data to assess regional interest in the organisation.

national trust search

national trust search results

A fantastic jobs website

There’s a new jobs website, too, on another domain.

It’s just as enjoyable. In the new world of talent shortage, changing company culture,transparent organisations and innovation labs, the National Trust jobs website is as good as any I’ve seen at setting the right tone.

national trust jobs

national trust jobs

300 years before Pantone



In 1692 an artist known only as “A. Boogert” sat down to write a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. Not only would he begin the book with a bit about the use of color in painting, but would go on to explain how to create certain hues and change the tone by adding one, two, or three parts of water. The premise sounds simple enough, but the final product is almost unfathomable in its detail and scope.

It’s hard not to compare the hundreds of pages of colour to its contemporary equivalent, the Pantone Color Guide, which wouldn’t be published for the first time until 1963.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

Alongside the Annual Report, a CSR report was also produced highlighting Croda’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy, vision and commitments. The report communicates Croda’s environmental, sustainability and social responsibilities, together with community activities and initiatives from the past 12 months.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility