“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)
“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
“Excellent – a pleasure to work with you again…… you make it very easy!”
Wenda-Kate Randal | People and Development Lead | The Woodland Trust
“I commissioned John Ashton of Crackerjack Visual Thinking to create a rich picture and hand-drawn animation of the key themes I explore in my book ‘Jump!: Deliver astonishing results by unleashing your leadership team’. John worked with me to understand the key messages I wanted to communicate and developed a metaphor and storyboard that visualised the story I wanted to tell. The rich picture and animation are excellent and give me two valuable resources that I can share with clients, use in presentations and display on my website. I found working with John to be both thought provoking and supportive and look forward to working with him again on future projects.”
Chris Henderson | Founder of One Third More
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 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
“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
“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 | EVHR
“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 | Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Tessa Slater | Programme Facilitator | Oxford Health NHS Foundation 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
“John did a fantastic job of capturing our day-long event’s key points and learnings – the final graphic has been shared far and wide within our organisation, with employees praising this creative takeaway, which clearly showcases the outcome of the day.”
Steph Fastré | Learning and Development | Google UK
“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
“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
“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
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.
Louise Dolphin | Young Adult Team | CLIC Sargent for Children with Cancer
“We asked John to come and support our company conference, both to capture the content and spirit of the day and also to interact with our colleagues and gather their responses and reactions.
It was wonderful to see the graphic unfold as we followed the journey of the day and as the day came to a close the graphic was looking amazing.
We will print and frame copies of the final graphic at our sites as a reminder of the key messages and our day together.
John was a pleasure to work with, flexible about how the graphic recording fitted into our day and has produced a fabulous record of our conference.”
Laura Haviland | HR Director | Westmill Foods
“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
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)
“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
“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
“John did a fantastic piece of graphic facilitation for one of our recent company events – by producing a wall map that captured senior management employee engagement issues and to motivate our employees. We’ve continued to follow through on a lot of the ideas that were creatively captured by John’s wall map and we now have teams of staff working on making our company a great place to work. Thank you for your valuable contribution. We’re still proudly displaying your wall map in our staff area as a constant reminder of the first steps to generating a positive change to our working environment. It’s still making a difference.”
Ashiq Khan | Business Analyst | Elexon