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The London Design Fair saw Bluestep head to hipster paradise Brick Lane to support Aritco at Alexander Lervik’s stand.

Us Bluesteppers know good design when we see it, which is why we couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the prestigious London Design Fair at the Old Truman Brewery in sunny Shoreditch.

London is without a doubt the design capital of the World and this year’s event saw Alexander Lervik display his ‘Scandinavian Light Senses’ exhibition, featuring the Aritco HomeLift, which Lervik designed himself.

The Aritco-sponsored stand featured some of Alexander Lervik’s most iconic work, including his contemporary Scandi-style sofa designed for furniture manufacturer Adea, his mesmerising Light Swing designed for Swedish light designers Saas and the Artico HomeLift.

An image showing the Aritco HomeLift at the London Design Fair 2017

After a couple of tests in the swish HomeLift and a quick go on the Light Swing, we decided to venture into the abyss of the design fair and get lost in inspiration.

In what seemed like a maze of design stalls, we managed to soak up a load of ideas for future projects and discover some hidden gems…

An image iof a sun screen poster at the London Design Fair 2017

WEAR SUNSCREEN as commanded by Baz Lurhmann, which always serves as a nice reminder for the few days of nice weather we have in the summer!

An image showing stationery and greeting cards at London Design Fair 2017

We’re big fans of stationery and greetings cards, with one of our very own Bluestep designers creating her own stationery website – Louie Prints!

An image showing interior design at London Design Fair 2017

A lot of stalls focused on interior design and the Scandi-style that’s popular within the industry right now. We’re trying to persuade Ben to let us have that light in the office.

An image showing plants at London Design Fair 2017

There’s no escaping millennial pink at this year’s Design Fair which is safe to say we’re all a bit partial to. We are millennials after all?

An image showing tiny ornamental vases at London Design Fair 2017

We were pretty fascinated with these tiny ornamental vases, fit for a blade of grass! We had to be held back from buying the whole lot.

An image showing Bluestep staff at London Design Fair 2017

At the end of a long day getting lost in London Design Fair, we found a photo booth equipped with tropical-themed props! Spot the photobomber…

New kid on the block, Carl, brings a whole host of ideas and talent to the Bluestep design studio, and we’re already excited to see what kind of cool, quirky animations come jumping from his Mac.

Audio engineer, animator, musician, mushroom hater and website obsessive. Carl has many strings to his bow and we’re extremely privileged to take on another young, fun and super-talented Bluestepper!

Bulking up the design team’s endless talents as our animation designer, Carl’s creativity and tech- savvy knack mean he’ll be able to apply himself to a range of our existing projects and help take our clients to the next level.

Carl was first attracted to Bluestep because of its genuine desire to raise awareness of topics that matter in a unique and creative way, with a team that’s constantly bubbling with ideas!

A graduate from Southampton Solent, Carl made many international friends during his studies, which means he is now a regular jet-setter around Europe, exploring and touching base with old faces.  Adventurous Carl is rarely seen without his headphones, and aside from being a talented creative, he also performs in two bands and shoots music videos. His relationship with the music industry takes up a lot of his spare time and most weekends he can be found gigging or behind the camera.

Welcome aboard, Carl!

The approaching new year symbolises a time to reflect, show gratitude, appreciation and make goals for the next year…
So to say our goodbyes to what has been a fantastic year, we’ve put together a list of the top ten memories from 2016.

1) London Charity Softball

Bluestep sponsored the London Charity Softball team and supported the event by providing the branded kits and marketing collateral ahead of the event. The Bluestep team showed an appearance with a fully stocked sandwich stall, helping to feed the hungry players post-match. On a hot summers day, we ended the night with a few bevvies together in Hyde Park. A great day which deserves to be up here as one of our top memories of 2016.

2) Bluestep Bake Off

Shockingly competitive, the Bluestep Bake off saw the team go head to head in a bid to become the Star Baker. Each week we saw three bakers slave away in the kitchen to create their culinary masterpiece. Chocolate, banana, coffee, shortbread, scones…we had it all. Despite all of the tasty treats, a sour taste was left in our mouths (not just from Ben’s coffee cake) when it became apparent someone had used shop-bought pastry which lead to a disqualification from the final!

3) New employees

Since the beginning of 2016, we’ve seen ten new starters walk through the doors of Bluestep. All to fill new roles which have been created as a result of our increased workload. Since the office is getting pretty cosy, we’ve decided to expand our office into the next unit to make room for even more Bluesteppers in the new year!

4) Bluestep Summer BBQ

It seems like a distant memory now, but remember that scorcher of a week we had back in July? The boys set up a disposable BBQ in the courtyard and we finished off the hottest week of the summer with burgers and some ice cold bevvies. Bring on #Summer2017

5) NHS Expo ‘16

Bluestep’s healthcare team took a road trip up to Manchester back in September to host our own stand at the NHS Innovation Expo ’16. Designed by the very talented Becca Tyler, the stand was a huge success. We shared insight and spoke to a whole host of NHS professionals and stakeholders, absorbing as much as we could from all the talks and events. It was full on, but our energetic team kept up by fuelling up on all the free sweets!

6) Bluestep’s 6th Birthday

Possibly one of the biggest milestones – our 6th birthday! Who’d have thought six years how Bluestep was comprised of Ben, his kitchen table, a landline phone and a stapler? Amazing how much you can achieve with sheer determination and ambition.

7) Redecorating

One late night for the team and a fresh new look for the office. Rather than pay for a painter, we thought it’d be a fun, team building activity to just chip in and do it ourselves! There were laughs, there were arguments and there were spillages, but we’re pretty proud of our lush new office.

8) Seminars

Ben started to identify everyone’s individual talents and realised that a lot of the team were bringing additional skills to their role and further improving the company. Although the team were dubious about presenting in front of their peers, Ben finally persuaded us to start giving monthly seminars which have actually proven to be a lot of fun! We’ve shared some of our knowledge in our blog ‘Bluestep Seminars’, if you fancy some insight.

9) Charity Brochure …hot off the press

The highly-anticipated charity brochure was one of our most chopped and changed internal projects! In a bid to ensure it was absolutely perfect, it was in and out of the studio more times than we can count. Ten final, final proofreads later and we were finally happy to send it to print. Hot off the press, it was better than we had envisaged and we hope our clients have found it a useful reference for all of our offerings!

10) Secret Santa

And finally, the most recent, festive highlight. Ben receives a giant German sausage for Secret Santa…don’t ask.

Today Bluestep Boasts a 50% turnover year on year, A strong team of 23 Talented individuals, A beautiful picturesque office in the countryside, and an impressive catalogue of case studies. But how did it all begin?

January 2010
Ben Skinner sets up shop at his kitchen table equipped with one printer, one stapler and a house phone. Having to put his out of office on to make a cup of tea or hang out washing, Ben dedicated the majority of his days to researching, cold calling and building rapport with contacts.

August 2010
Discovers there is a problem within the NHS sexual heath sector – not enough 16-24 year olds are getting tested for STIs. Ben creates a non-clinical, fun solution in the form of funky, branded boxer shorts. Idea is taken up nationwide by NHS CCGS and Bluestep goes on to sell millions across the next few years.

November 2010
PR is booming especially after the Sun newspaper try to get the boxers on a page 3 girl!

December 2010
Harry joins the team, packing boxes and driving the delivery van, and the team begins to grow with the addition of a designer and PA. The guys sub let their first office – called The Hovel – no bigger than our existing meeting room!

July 2011
Ben spends a lot of time driving around the country meeting with potential clients, networking and building up a contact list. The healthcare side of the business grows which results in Bluestep taking on more people to manage the workload.

January 2011
Client base begins to grow including big names such as Thomson and STA Travel, and Blue Step are commissioned by Jack Wills to supply retail merchandise for the Royal Wedding.

December 2011
Move to Stone Barn and expand the team further, building up a strong sales team who go on to form the charity team, supplying products and merchandise to some of the UK’s largest charities.

September 2012
Time for a bigger office! Move into Tithe Barn in Blisworth, armed with a design team, account management and sales team.

January 2013
50% growth sees Bluestep rocket to fully fledged agency status.

March 2014
Relationships with the UK’s CCGs lead to further work in marketing promotions and campaigns. Build up marketing team to help manage and execute campaign work.

June 2016
With a growing team of 20+, Ben is looking to fill 3 new roles which have arisen as a result of an increase in client expectations and needs.

October 2016
With the majority of its client base now in the City, Bluestep opens its first office in London.