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Islington Council

Islington Council's communications department reduced costs by £314K

In 2012-13, Islington Council’s communications team piloted a new sole supplier arrangement with Camden Council’s design team. This replaced their previous EU design framework arrangement and an in-house team of three designers. In the same year, the design and print budget was centralised and the old system of internal recharging abolished.

Key targets for this project were:

  • to keep to a design budget which was 82% lower than had been spent with framework suppliers in 2010-11

  • to tighten financial monitoring and strengthen financial accountability

  • to improve control of Islington’s corporate brand.

A bar graph shows Expenditure with external design suppliers. In 2010-2011, £384,800 and in 2012-13, £71,000

Account Management 98%

Print Quality


Client feedback rated the Communications and Print teams as Good/Excellent



To meet these targets, the communications team introduced Panacea Software and, in doing so, was able to:

  • establish a simple, transparent workflow for all design and print activity

  • create an efficient, linked process to streamline the shared design service with Camden Council

  • allow colleagues to 'self-serve' and create standard materials using branded artwork templates

  • provide tighter financial monitoring and a clear overview of all corporate design and print activity and expenditure

  • improve monitoring and evaluation of their performance.

Last financial year we assumed responsibility for housing communications, when the service was brought back in-house, and for public health (which is jointly provided with Camden), and completely changed our design procurement process on top. This was all achieved against a backdrop of deep cuts and reduced staff numbers.
Up until the introduction of Panacea, we employed someone in finance to manage internal transfers for print costs. We now let Panacea take care of all financial monitoring for us. Our figures are more transparent than they have ever been.
We worked with key clients around the organisation to develop the customisable artwork templates on Panacea. Colleagues in Greenspace have practically standardised their events flyers and posters on the software (they all used to go to an external designer before). There is a growing appetite for the templates around the council and we are looking to move more this way. 
We are looking to make further savings by driving more internal traffic to our print team and away from shared photocopiers, and Panacea will be crucial for supporting that work.
Lynn Stratton, Deputy Head of Communications (Marketing), Islington Council
An example of custom templates from Islington on Panacea Software
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