From printing to punk – via the Great British Postcard

Turning an online printer into a market disruptor

SAXOPRINT is an online printing company operating in Europe and the UK who specialise in simple format printing.

SAXOPRINT’s customers are small and medium-sized companies, not-for-profits and entrepreneurs with small budgets, looking for cost-effective, quality print who often lack design skills or knowledge on how to find designers. Their clients would turn to their printing provider – SAXOPRINT – for these services.

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Our approach was to develop stand-out experiences which foster trusted, long-term relationships across diverse audiences, while positioning SAXOPRINT as an innovator and market leader.


Phase 1

Think, design & build: The Solution

Saxoprint wanted to find a solution to this problem and make sure that their customers received excellent and tailored designs for their businesses. Even more importantly, they wanted to ensure they still provided a human touch to online ordering.

Andy Wood“SAXOPRINT and Freestyle are a great cultural match. There are plenty of strategic discussions, and this is part of a healthy and productive debate, but the real key is a collaborative relationship with the client, working as a single team immersed in getting under the skin of the customer. “ – Andy Wood, Director of Strategy at Freestyle.

Online platform development

We developed Pro Studio – the platform  that connects the online print needs of a business with a wealth of creative talent. It brings together quality print designers, with business customers who need print design, in a genuinely useful print design orientated community.

Disruption inspiration

“ProStudio draws inspiration from disruption success stories like Airbnb, Uber and so many other less famous examples across almost every business sector. It centres around the idea of a collaborative economy where customers and suppliers of services and product across a supply chain can come together for mutual benefit,” continues Andy.

Through ProStudio, SAXOPRINT can offer its business customers, and the UK print designer community a platform that benefits both groups. SAXOPRINT in turn, benefits through the print production orders that come from the print design briefs commissioned through the platform.  

Phase 2

Think, design & engage: The Campaign

We knew from previous work and earlier research that the next step was going to be that of populating the platform with graphic designers, illustrators and artists. That meant that Saxoprint needed to engage with this audience in a way that was meaningful and that would help them harness the power of  social media and organic traffic. Our focus needed to be on something that connected with the genuine passions of the audience – in this case – design.

Bringing the design community together

We created “The Great British Postcard Competition” (#TGBPC), whose head judge was Mr John Lydon, frontman of PiL and ex-Sex Pistols.  The campaign was designed to bring the SAXOPRINT brand and the ProStudio community to the attention of the best British print design talent, and created to appeal to the creative heart of every designer, and inspire them to create something unique to them.

Phase 3

SAXOPRINT Creative & Arts Awards Evening

With over 280 designs entered in the competition and thousands of public votes, we created an Awards Evening,  attended by designers, British media, judges and invitees.

The press

We arranged press coverage prior to the event and scheduled interviews for SAXOPRINT on the day. We welcomed all reporters on the evening.

The winners

Mr Lydon announced the winning postcard, Helen Nodding’s creation “End of the road” being the “Grand Prize” winner, checking in a £5000 cheque in front of a 500+ audience. 

Teacher Lee O’Brien won the “Peer Vote” who donated his prize to a good cause – his school’s students, who helped him reach over 10,000 votes on his design “They said it would be sunny”.

Dr Nicky Ryan, (Dean of Design at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London) announced the “Young Talent” award, “Welcome to Brexitland…” by Madelina Kay.


Guests enjoyed a set of lively performances from artist Richard Dedominici, “an address from the Queen” aka Gerry Connolly, live music by R.A.F. sisters, a live charity auction raising more than £2,000 for The Big Issue Foundation, a performance from pop-up poet Paddy Clark and The Unusual Art Sourcing Company who delighted the guests through their live drawing stand, all hosted by John Robson.

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue and Crossbench in the House of Lords, gave a heated speech that engaged the audience in further debates and discussions on creativity and its benevolent power in supporting social issues. John Sheehy, who was helped by The Big Issue Foundation to get off the streets and find focus through art and business, was one of the artists auctioning his work in aid of The Foundation on the evening.

“We helped bring together big, influential names from the world of art, music and politics and that meant that the momentum the campaign gained has helped SAXOPRINT achieve their goal to disrupt the online printing market in the UK”, says Paul Beacham, Head of Creative at Freestyle.

For us, it’s been an all-team project – from the ProStudio build for SAXOPRINT, to the creative #TGBPC campaign and now the event. It’s been an incredible journey and we were lucky to work with clients who are willing to be led by what will turn their customers on, and who we can work with us to find the sweet spot where the clients skills, expertise and knowledge can connect with what their customers are really into. 

The aftermath

Through #TGBPC talented minds encapsulated the atmosphere of a 2017 Britain, reflecting all angles, from traditional food to social issues, politics and the weather.

SAXOPRINT went from online printing to online disruptor, setting the bar high for its competitors. SAXOPRINT’s ProStudio is now open to designers and businesses looking to connect and do business.



Buy a pack of Great British Postcards

A selection of the best designs from The Great British Postcard Competition are now available to buy at The Big Issue Shop.

All profits from the sale of these limited-edition packs go to The Big Issue Foundation.


53% increase in new commissioned work through ProStudio

66% increase in new businesses signing up

Over 50,000 votes casted by the public

Sessions on the website throughout the campaign increased by 464%

Users to the website increased by 450%

Bounce rate reduced by 20%

315% increase in designers recruited to ProStudio

537 people attended the Awards Night

We work best with clients who are willing to be led by what will turn their customers on, and who we can work with us to find the sweet spot where the clients skills, expertise and knowledge can connect with what their customers are really into – and of course drive a mutually profitable partnership between client and customer.

If you would like to find out how you can become champion in digital, get in touch:

01926 652832 

or E-mail us!

Case Studies