The countdown to Christmas begins ever earlier and it feels like the shops have been full of Christmas paraphernalia since last Christmas.

Like the shops, Design Bridge thought ahead of time in its project with Centrepoint, a charity for the homeless, approaching it at the beginning of the summer, to design its Christmas cards – for free.

Centrepoint was treated like any other client and was allocated a fictional budget along with a design team, led by Marion Dalley, at the start of the project.

‘Very little of the Christmas card profit made by charities actually goes to the charity, so our offer to design this year’s Centrepoint cards for free was welcomed,’ says a Design Bridge spokeswoman.

Design Bridge put together concepts and gave them to Mo Houlden, head of fund-raising and communication at Centrepoint. She then showed them to Centrepoint staff, residents and client contacts, with a view to selling the preferred concepts as corporate cards.

‘Because Centrepoint has contacts mainly in the legal profession, they went for the more traditional concepts, and the London skyline and the etchings were chosen,’ says the Design Bridge spokeswoman.

Engraver Andrew Davidson and illustrator Sue Williams donated their time and work to the project. The Davidson etching is a reference to Centrepoint’s beginnings in the crypt of St Anne’s Church in Soho, London in 1969.

Although the print run is being provided by Good News Press at ‘rock bottom cost’, Houlden says the cards will only be available on a ‘reasonable print run’. Design Bridge has already ordered 2000. More details on how to get hold of the cards are available from Houlden at Centrepoint on 0171-629 2229.

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