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.