What our clients say about working with Crackerjack

"The Vision and Values Workshop was SUCH a good day John! It was an insightful, creative and thought provoking. We gained so much from it and loved the flow. Very much looking forward to the rich picture! Thank you."
Pipster Solutions
Pippa Birch
"John has produced the animation summarising our Financial Statements to be played as part of Eastlight’s AGM two years in a row. He’s incredibly easy to work with, quick, efficient, and friendly. He worked with the concepts we provided and communicated complex information in a way that’s creative, engaging, and easy to digest – exactly what we needed. Thank you, John."
Lydia Stockdale
Communications & External Affairs Director
“It was a real pleasure working with John throughout the ‘rich picture’ development process. We had worked with a client team to build lots of detail around a future vision for their digital transformation programme, but we were missing a way to bring it to life in an engaging and dynamic way. Thanks to John’s help we now have the final piece of the jigsaw: a visually engaging output that we can use to walk client teams at every level through the future transformation journey. John was extremely engaging to work with, quickly got up-to-speed with the detail and then facilitated the design process in a thoughtful and very creative way. He was also able to bring his knowledge from a comparable sector and apply it to the specific situation. He had great attention to detail and took the time to work with us through various rounds of detailed changes until we had a final output we were all 100% happy with. I would certainly use John again on our projects and highly recommend him to other clients.”
Adalta Logo
Michael Seymour
Managing Director | Ad Alta Consulting
I feel that our collaboration on visually describing how the Energy Island ecosystem could look was both fun and effective. You were fast in understanding the context and translate to compelling visuals. In particular, I am impressed on how few iterations you needed to converge to the final version. I would highly recommend you to anyone who is in need of explaining something highly complex in a visual, almost story telling way. Thanks again four your contribution. Best, Mads.
Dassault Systemes
Mads Storgaard
Sales Director | Dassult Systemes
I've had the pleasure of working with John over the past 6 months where he's scoped and created amazing vision graphics for 3 of our central office functions at Travelodge. John's ability to listen to a large group, decipher what's being said, and then create a visual representation from scratch is literally outstanding. Nothing is too much trouble and my stakeholders are extremely happy with their graphics. I'd definitely recommend John and am looking forward to working with him in the future.
Paula Wessely
Management Development Lead | Travelodge
Had a great day on line with John on his visual thinking course. I am no artist but John quickly and supportively has equipped me with the skills to get some complex discussions easily and effortlessly captured diagrammatically. Loved the day; looking forward to the post workshop review session.
Adaugeo Logo
Paul Haxell
Owner | Adaugeo Solutions Ltd
You saved us many £100k with your visual thinking work on Aircraft Assembly Build. You turned what would have been 1000’s of pages of specifications in 6 languages into a series simple animations.
Mark Shaw
Supplier Quality Specialist | Aerospace Industry
John has a great knack at portraying a really complex story into an engaging visual that allows for easier understanding. His ability to digest a technical brief and display it in an engaging rich picture has been invaluable in the Dassault Systemes storytelling toolkit.
Dassault Systemes
Evelyn Madden
Senior Marketing Manager | Dassault Systemes
These rich pictures have become a foundation piece in our account based marketing programs. Not only do they look cool but they are a great way to tell your story in an engaging way. Working with John is always a pleasure too!
Dassault Systemes
Kirsty Smith
Program Marketing Senior Manager, Northern Europe | Dassault Systèmes
The 10 Year Vision rich picture will be an accessible reminder of what we are all about and what we are aiming to achieve. The visual works really well and encapsulates our strategy at a high level, giving everyone the wider context
Becky Speight
CEO | Woodland Trust
Back in September 2018 AECOM’s Strategic Consultancy needed a way to visualise what we do. We wanted to find some way of explaining/demonstrating what we do, and more importantly – why we do it, to any new members of our team, whether that be Graduates, or Apprentices or even more experienced personnel coming to work for us for the first time. Business process, whilst key to growth and success, is not always the most exciting of topics to learn or be told, even when you are actively supporting progress. However we felt that something a little more dynamic was required to maximise inclusion and understanding in what we do. So we worked with John and came up with a way of selling the story of what we do and why, but in a more engaging and interesting way. The idea behind our graphic was simple enough. It was to tell a story. The story was developed so that it aligned with the corporate objectives, and the tools we have available to us. The story forms a roadmap, explaining who we are as a team, what we are trying to achieve, our vison, our values and our clients – both current and future. The graphic provides us with the ability to demonstrate what we do, why we do it, who we do it for and the value it provides to AECOM. It helps people who maybe have not been in the business long, or even visitors to our team visualise the journey we take every day. John’s creativity to be able to visualise process and objective was critical here. John has an ability to see things which we sometimes cant, but which are always there. His approach was not one of direction, but simply to bring our story to life through his artwork. John’s work has been recognised by the wider business, and I believe this could be the start of a positive collaboration between AECOM and Crackerjack Visual Thinking.
Steve Walton
Associate Director | Strategic Consultancy | AECOM Transportation EMIA
We knew what service improvement information we wanted to convey. However, we weren’t sure about how to present that information in such a way as to engage our colleagues and enthuse them in relation to our service improvement goals. John Ashton from Crackerjack Visual Thinking listened to our ideas and explored with us the nature of our audience and what would give them an affinity with the ‘Toolkit’. John helped us to bring our ideas to life in the form of an interactive ‘Oxford Quality Improvement Toolkit’, an on-line guide which brings service improvement tools to life. The work was delivered to time frames and exceeded our expectations. We are looking forward to working with John in the future on other projects.
Belinda Boulton
Director of Transformation | Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
I hope you are well, apologies for the delay in sending this over, having now distributed the image you created for us to represent our NMAHP journey to excellence using our new 2021 – 2026 strategy I am delighted to say the feedback I have received from colleagues has been very positive indeed. As per the original brief to create a pictorial reference / image for the strategy you have truly delivered! Colleagues have commented that this piece of work has helped them to simply explain and discuss our combined aims and objectives to continue to support our People our Patients and our Populations. On a personal note I have enjoyed working with you on this process as you know it has been a key objective to deliver this for Sam our Chief Nurse and the Trust and I believe we have succeeded!. Thanks again John / Crackerjack I am sure we will work together again soon.
Mark Smith
CNO | Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
John attended our All Staff conference which focused on our new University strategy. It was important to us that we had visual record of the day as it panned out and of the initial feedback which the strategy received. John attended workshops and plenary sessions, he visited stands and stalls in our Market Place, constantly picking up themes and information to include in the final visual. John worked on the visual throughout the day in the main entrance to the University where people passing by were able to see his work in progress. By the end of the day we had a fantastic visual record of the day, brilliantly incorporating the feel of the conference, the architecture of the university and, most importantly, the engagement with and initial feedback from staff to the strategy. We now have the original visual and an electronic version which we will display around the University for those people who were unable to attend on the day.
Charli Buxton
Executive Assistant to the Deputy Vice Chancellor | Sheffield Hallam University
We all know that one of the key pillars for effective change management is to have good communication. We have tried many different ways of getting key messages to our workforce and are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging with them. The important thing for us was not only to achieve effective communication but also to gain buy in of the direction in which the business was heading, the future challenges we faced and their part in this. We wanted to make it real and for them to feel part of the journey. Working with John Ashton at Crackerjack Visual Thinking, we were able to put the corporate message across along with employees views and opinions in a unique imaginative style. We have found that this really makes people want to understand what has already been achieved and ultimately where we would like to go. Within a very short period of time we had a communication tool that makes people want to engage and be part of it. A very effective approach and one we will again consider in the future.
Bob Howe
Factory Manager | British Sugar
Hi John. I have nothing to compare your service to as this was new to me, but I thought you were excellent. You listened to and took account of our (numerous) comments and feedback and reflected them brilliantly in the final design, producing a really engaging and balanced rich picture. I would definitely recommend your services.
Choice Support
Brendan Smith
Interim Chief Finance and Information Officer | Choice Support
After engaging Crackerjack Visual Thinking, myself and John from Crackerjack co-created the script and content to to reflect the narrative and ensure that I would be able to use this with potential clients either through my website or as part of presentations. It was an easy process as I had a clear idea as to what I wanted from our collaboration. John took on board details such as branding of my website and colour schemes and incorporated these into the final animation. He then guided me through an iterative development process, sharing updated versions of the animation for my review and feedback. John even gave me tips for recording my VoiceOver for the animation - one of which was to record the script whilst sitting under a towel to reduce background noise and echo’s! The end result is an animation that meets my aims of being able to share my story, in my words and with my animation, to potential clients and help them understand the concept of Talent Transfer. I would advocate this approach to all business owners who are looking to make an impact and want to try something different
Talent Transfer
Tracy Rea
Founder | Talent Transfer
ValueLicensing wanted to find an effective way to communicate our vision and strategy to everyone within our business, in manner that would be both memorable and unambiguous. We reached out to John in May 2019 to see if he could help us visualise both this and key business messages to existing and new employees. John’s approach was to work closely with the directors and senior management team to understand who we are, what we do and why we do it. John facilitated a number of workshops during which he spent time listening and contributing to the sessions to allow him draft the first visualisation of the company strategy. The artwork produced was excellent and John was more than happy to make tweaks until we were happy with the finished product. The visualisation was communicated to the business and was received with positive feedback from across the team and we have referred his work to other organisations. John’s approach, professionalism, and quality of work are excellent and I personally recommend John and ‘Crackerjack Visual Thinking’ to anyone looking for ways to communicate more effectively across the business. Thank you John.
David Hubbard
MD | Value Licensing
Hello John, I got the graphic recording. It looks fantastic, thank you so much. We are going to get a nice big printout of this and put it up on the main corridor. I am still amazed by the level of clarity you pick up in what you have heard – it is amazing!
Matt Cadby
Project Manager | Transformation Team | Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
We’ve had such a lot of positive feedback about your involvement in the conference and the work you were doing. The graphic looked great and was a real talking point, we can’t wait to start sharing it far and wide – we are even considering basing future events around it!
Sarah Fry
Business Development and Communications Manager | Institute of Quarrying (IQ)
John has the amazing ability to make sense of complex information and translate a concept into something that is creative, meaningful and has impact! Creating our High Performing Hospital ‘rich picture’ required incorporating a diverse range of views and opinions – never easy- but John was patient and flexible and as a result we have something that has wide appeal and application.
Helen Farrington
Associate Director of OD and Training | Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
We can highly recommend working with Crackerjack Visual Thinking. We worked with John to create the Improvement Guide for Oxford Health Foundation Trust; a visual and interactive guide to support staff to implement improvements in their place of work. John was able to interpret our brief, added his ideas and delivered on a tight deadline. John’s approach is friendly, flexible and professional – we will definitely work with him again.
Jo Atkins
Senior Programme Manager & Tessa Slater | Programme Facilitator | Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Excellent – a pleasure to work with you again…… you make it very easy!
Wenda-Kate Randal
People and Development Lead | The Woodland Trust
We’re really grateful to John for his work at our event. He was able to present a lot of complex information in a really clear and creative way. There are many partners involved in our work and it will act as a fantastic visual reminder of our journey and goals for everyone involved.
Sophie Jones
Communications and Engagement Associate | Commissioners Working Together | NHS
The way John took the information relating to our 10 year vision and represented it in a really clear way that made perfect sense was really helpful.
Anne Lightowler
Head of HR | Woodland Trust
John attended the launch event of Active Everyday; a physical activity referral programme for people affected by cancer in Sheffield. The project is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and Sport England. The event included a diverse blend of delegates, including clinicians, nurses, researchers, commissioners, and people affected by cancer. The programme included many different speakers all promoting the benefits of physical activity for people with cancer. I asked John to attend the event because I wanted a creative way of providing delegates with an overview of the day. The finished piece was extremely well received by the attendees and John was able to explain his artistic vision from what he had heard throughout the event. I now have a great piece of work that I can share with everyone from the event and for events in the future. John was very easy to work with and accommodating to my requests. I would certainly use him again for future events and would highly recommend him to others. If you would like a more creative and interactive experience for your events or meetings; John is your man.
Liam Humphreys
Exercise Science Researcher | Sheffield Hallam University
John’s graphic recording coaching is not only extremely valuable but also hugely enjoyable. My individual Scribble Lab session had been carefully planned to build on my abilities and with a clear direction of the goals I had said I wanted to achieve. Having this one to one attention from someone so experienced enabled me to move through my learning quickly and find answers to my many questions. A very inspiring day!
Sian Lloyd
This guy is awesome.
Adrian Tuck
PMO Professional
Fantastic visual representations of our clients journey to value realisation and transformation.
Dassault Systemes
Jonathan Keighley
UK & Ireland Sales Director | Dassault Systèmes
I worked alongside John when we were both supporting the Planning Organisation within Rolls Royce with their transformation programme. John has a fantastic ability to help teams articulate a vision and really draw out of the organisation what it is they are trying to achieve through listening to the conversations, and honing in on what really matters. John has the unique ability to come up with something that the organisation can get behind and translate this into easy to digest, clear and simple visuals. These are more than just a set of pictures though, they are a great tool to help build the narrative around the need for change, support the communications messaging and storytelling and give colleagues and businesses something that they can easily understand. I will definitely use John in future communications campaigns.
Louise Bull
Communications Director
John of Crackerjack Visual Thinking was employed by the Institute of Asphalt Technology to create both a rich picture of our new vision and a graphic recording of our 50th anniversary conference. It is evident from the quality of his work that he has a true talent not only in terms of creating the actual artwork itself but also in terms of listening, understanding and interpreting our requirements. His work is outstanding on many levels. Never before have I received such positive commentary on any project. Thank you John – it was a pleasure to work with you.
Geraldine Walsh
President | Institute for Asphalt Technology
I have worked with John for 18 months and found him to be approachable, dependable and very talented. If your business requires assistance with embedding a L&D engagement process from start to finish, then John is highly recommended. He will assist your company to achieve your vision, goal and behaviours with ease, whether in a virtual story or physical environment. John is very articulate, precise and always on hand to assist. His ideas are also second to none.
Toni Tyler
Project Manager | Value Licensing
Thank you very much for your creatively and support over the last few weeks in the creation of the ‘Quality Rich Picture’. We have also completed a script to support the rich picture as discussed and are now ready to roll out globally over the next few weeks. Should we require more visual support in the future, we will not hesitate to get back in touch with you. Best regards, Steve.
Steve Bowers
Head of Supplier Qualifty – Asia Pacific Region | Rolls-Royce
We wanted to show how quarrying impacts the environment in its day to day operations throughout the total lifecycle of the site as well as show the full range of career opportunities the industry offers. The rich pictures had to be graphics that could take highly complex geological, engineering and business processes and present them in a way that anyone could understand and hopefully be inspired by. That was our brief to John Ashton at CrackerJack. John then worked closely with us and our members to map the key process and information areas relevant to the messages we wanted to convey. Part of the process involved spending time onsite at a quarry so John really took the task on to understand our world. John’s attention to detail shows in the resulting lifecycle and process graphics that have been extremely well received and we feel that together we have created a couple of assets that will work hard for us for a long long time.
Sarah Fry
Business Development and Communications Manager | Institute of Quarrying (IQ)
Hi John, I have attached the summary of the feedback from our 23rd September Teenage and Young Adult Conference and as you can see you scored really highly! Crackerjack Visual Thinking = 148/150 (note: some people had wanted to award more than the 5 marks available for your work!!!). I think what you do definitely enhanced our day and it is clear that other participants agreed. Am sure we will work with you again. Thanks again!
Louise Dolphin
Young Adult Team | CLIC Sargent for Children with Cancer
Hi John Apologies I didn’t get to say thank you in person! However, I got home yesterday evening at around 11pm and the first thing I did, much to my wife’s annoyance admittedly!, was to open the graphic and look at it properly. And I have to say it was pretty emotional. Seeing the hard work that went into bringing the event to life, being told in the way you captured it, was a real joy. And the fact that my wife could then tell me how people attending the day had felt just by viewing it, showed what an exceptional piece of work it is. Thank you very much and it was a pleasure to work with you, a thoroughly professional experience from the moment we first spoke. I look forward to working with you again.
Dan Curtis
Lead L&D Consultant (Career Paths) | Three (Hutchinson 3G)
In 2015 when we were planning our conference, we wanted to do something different. Something that delegates would remember and something that we could use after the delegates had all gone. We found Crackerjack and loved Johns engaging style of capturing concepts and ideas in a visually engaging way and knew this would give us what we were looking for. During the conference John was an integral part of the event. Live drawing became a feature of the conference and the resulting 3m x 1m landscape was a colourful representation of the key points made that industry should focus on. Afterwards with the landscape duly scanned into a digital image, we could easily share the conference outputs with delegates and our wider audiences. It was immediately used on social and during 2016 was integrated into other marketing and communication activities. Because the design was adaptable, we could use the graphic in full or in sections to focus on key points we wanted to talk about. Fast forward to the end of 2017. We were having a tidy up in the office and found the original landscape drawing John created at our 2015 conference. The digital version had worked hard for us but there was still something exciting about seeing the original artwork again. Too good to simply discard and the concepts and issues captured are still relevant to the industry so we decided to get it framed to hang in our meeting room. Due to its size we had to cut it into 3 different frames. It certainly makes an impact! The graphic is still a great talking point and a valuable device that helps us to engage our members and other visitors about what IQ is all about and how we support the quarrying industry
Sarah Fry
Business Development and Communications Manager | Institute of Quarrying (IQ)

Our other services: Visual Meeting Facilitation | Strategic Vision Rich Pictures | Vision and Values Workshops | Whiteboard Animation | Graphic Recording | Visual Skills Online Training

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