Case study

Delta Family Mediation

Susan Nathan was called to the Bar in 1990 and practised as a criminal barrister for several years. She continued to work part‐time as a lawyer while she brought up her two daughters. In 2008 she re‐trained with Hertfordshire Family Mediation Service and subsequently became an accredited mediator.

Susan Nathan

When Susan decided to start her own mediation service – Delta Family Mediation – she asked me to build its website. I visited her at home to take a couple of photos, including the one shown here, and to discuss the project, which required a logo and some printed material as well as the site. I purchased stock images where necessary, primarily seeking out pictures of happy and fulfilled single parents. That turned out to require quite a lot of searching.

Susan rejected my first half dozen logo offerings, incorporating the upper‐case Greek letter delta – Δ. And every time she was quite right to do so. Looking back at my early attempts, I’m embarrassed to show them here, but for the sake of historical accuracy I’ll take a deep breath and do it:

These efforts clearly demonstrate that I’m a long way from being a proper graphic artist. But hopefully my other strengths compensate for that.

Thanks to Susan’s refusal to accept second‐best, we eventually arrived at a version with a much more exuberant, freestyle Δ —

I made another change from the early versions – condensing (narrowing) the letter M in ‘Mediation’ because I thought it looked better that way. That’s the kind of (possibly excessive) attention I pay to detail when I’m doing design work.

Russ — it’s fantastic!! I really love it! There isn’t anything I don’t like. I can hardly recognise it as ‘me’.”Susan Nathan

The creation of the website itself went much more smoothly. Within a few days of the logo being agreed and the text written, I showed Susan a draft version of the site and she reacted enthusiastically. “I can hardly recognise it as ‘me’,” she wrote – meaning, I think, that it made her look more professional and self‐confident than she might inwardly have felt at that early stage in her business’s existence.

I also designed a double‐sided A5 flyer and a suite of stationery in blue and metallic grey.

Since then I’ve refreshed the look of the website with some cleaner, more contemporary icons and there have been some updates to the text – but the key elements of the layout have all stood the test of time.

Delta Family Mediation is doing well, with the overwhelming majority of clients experiencing positive outcomes. We intend to reflect that next time we update the site, in part by adding some more upbeat imagery.