Updated May, 2023.

The Pontefract Civic Society (PCS) is a registered charity that promotes and supports the well-being of Pontefract. They defend the town’s rich, long history and are influential in improving the quality of the town. Check them out at their website.

Pontefract Voice (2020)

While I was volunteering for the civic society, the secretary at the time started his own business and began to step away from some of his duties. During in that time, the newsletter fell to me. I spoke to the Chairman and I redesigned Pontefract Voice to give it more room to breathe and tidy up the general presentation.

This was done in Adobe InDesign. I quite enjoyed putting together this sort of thing, and would be something I'd like to do more of in the future.

Some of the changes I made were things like setting a consistent baseline, which I'd learnt from Adobe MAX.

Read my issues of Pontefract Voice on Issuu:

I also put together two other issues. These are not on Issuu, but hosted on the society Google Drive. They are publicly accessible from the society website.

Annual Report (2019)

I was asked to put together the society's annual report for 2019. It was a bit of a hefty piece, where physical copies were sent out to members. I no longer have my physical copy, but it is availble on the society website.

Pontefract Town Hall and Assembly Rooms leaflet (2019)

Pontefract Town Hall is a Grade II listed building comprising two adjoining and connected buildings; the 18th century Town Hall and the 19th century Assembly Rooms, standing in a prominent position at the eastern end of the Market Place Conservation Area.

As a way of promoting the rich history of the town hall and assembly rooms, and the area of which they are based, I was asked to create a leaflet. This was to be informational and dressed in the Pontefract Civic Society brand. The back page of the leaflet was provided to me, as was the rest of the content.

Town hall leaflet outer
The outside cover of the leaflet.
Town hall leaflet inner
The inside of the leaflet, detailing history going back to the 14th century.

There was a lot of information that I was required to add in, so at the time I found it a bit hard to layout. In the end, I had to settle for a font that was smaller than I would have liked. However, in doing so, I also managed to squeeze in a row of lovely little photos of the building.

It could, perhaps, be better with some more room to breathe. If I were to do it again, I would like to think I would push for more content to be trimmed and reworded to allow more space and a larger font (especially when considering the accessibility of the font). It's not too bad as a printed piece, though!

Very kindly, Pontefract Civic Society gave me a few printed copies! They were also freely available in the town hall itself for visitors to take with them.

Blue Plaque Guide (2019)

I was asked to create a new Blue Plaque Guide that would be distributed to various places in town. In them, you can find a bit about the town’s history through the castle and the liquorice industry. The Blue Plaques are awarded to historic buildings and places in the town, and have a little bit about the history of the place.

Blue plaque guide front
The front of the blue plaque guide, with a title page and some history of Pontefract.

On the other side, there is a map of Pontefract Town Centre and all the historic buildings that were given a Blue Plaque at the time of me making it.

Blue plaque guide map
A map of Pontefract Town Centre, with the locations of the Blue Plaque Buildings.

This was a first, for me. I’d never made a map before, nor had I been involved with something like the Civic Society before. First of all, I created the history side. I was given the content and creative freedom (within brand guidelines) to make the front page and make the text readable. It was a bit of a struggle, balancing text sizes, but it worked out overall.

The hard part was the map. I used Illustrator to do so, but it was like I was fighting with the software at first. After a lot of trying and leaving for a while, I ended up discovering the curvature tool was nearly perfect for what I needed, making the process time-consuming but not horrible. I used the pen tool for the buildings and filled in colours etc.

I’m happy with the finished thing. It was an accomplishment for me, and if the people of Pontefract (and visitors) can learn something from it, then I’m doubly happy.

You can grab a copy in the Pontefract Town Hall.

Here's a photo of me with the Chairman of the Pontefract Civic Society, Paul Cartwright. You can read the article they wrote about it here.

Me with guides
Me and the Chairman, Paul Cartwright, with the printed Blue Plaque Guides beneath a Blue Plaque of Peter and Fred Asquith.

Only I would wear jeans and a jumper in blazing spring heat. 🤷🏻‍♂️