Think Frame Bake Cake

Think Frame Bake Cake

Last week we held our second Macmillan Coffee Morning, where we all got together and enjoyed some baked goods created by Frameworkers. It got me thinking. At The Frameworks, the work we do is a little bit like baking a cake. Bear with me. There’s the science – or, for us, our “Think Frame Make Work” philosophy. There’s the creativity of the finished cake – or, for us, an identity, a logo, a website, a change programme, a book. The list goes on.

We love design. And words. And helping people. And we really love cake. (And cake puns.)

Having eaten our weight in cake, I thought I’d share some tips for hosting a great cake sale and how a little campaign helped make it happen.

1. Think: Do your research

We’re always on the lookout for opportunities. Sure, business opportunities are our favourite kind, but, it also applies to our culture. From planning our next karaoke session to running a marathon, learning a new skill or inventing some new IP, we like creating the new and rethinking the old. As soon as September crept into view we had the Macmillan Coffee Morning on our radar – we just had to work out what we would do for it. What did we do last year? What could we do this year? Who would get involved? We spent a lot of time thinking about cake.

2. Frame: Assemble your ingredients

Aside from the basics (flour, eggs, sugar and a snazzy apron), we need an idea. While we have our handy four-step strategy to help us define our work phases, this falls away if we don’t put the science aside for a moment to have that (back-of-a-serviette?) epiphany. The “big idea” also informs what we’re going to make.

Frameworkers had free rein to create anything they wanted for the coffee morning, as long as it looked and tasted awesome. We came up with the idea of The Great Frameworks Bake Off in the hope that the competitive edge would make us raise our game – less shop-bought Victoria Sponge, more homemade gateaux.

We wanted this year’s coffee morning to be our best yet so instead of just a “Dear all” email we added posters, flyers and social tiles to our ingredients list – and treated the event like a mini marketing exercise. What started with simply “Think Frame Bake Cake” (a play on our Think Frame Make Work philosophy to engage Frameworkers) soon became an overarching concept that encompassed event branding, communications and promotion – with baking-based puns at its heart.

If we’ve mentioned we love cake, we also really love playing with words.

Ready Steady Dough Macmillan social tile

Sex, Drugs and Rocky Road Macmillan social tile

STRAIGHT OUTTA OVEN Macmillan social tile

3. Bake: Create your masterpiece

For our posters we needed to let the words do the talking, so aside from a single cake illustration, we used our brand font and colour palette to create a series of typographic designs. We replicated these across an event flyer and social tiles too.

From chocolate tarts to cinnamon swirls, our Frameworkers baked wonders – a selection of which you can see here:

A selection of our cakes

4. Cake: Enjoy the fruits of your labour

Without Frameworkers bringing in such a delicious selection of baked goodness and the kind people who came to our sale and bought the delicious cakes, we wouldn’t have had any success at all. People are important to us – Frameworkers, our clients, our cake sale-attendees – and our friends and family who have ever needed Macmillan. They all made this charity event special this year. Equally, people are important to brands – no company is a success without them.

It was the people involved that made the morning a rousing success – we raised a total of £207 for Macmillan and everyone left with a stomach laden with sponge.

So go forth and bake cakes for good causes. The process might teach you something about the design process. And it will certainly provide pretty awesome snacks for the office and raise money for great causes so future generations can enjoy all there is to love about cake.

For more about our ‘Think Frame Make Work’ philosophy, head here. There’s no reference to cake in there – though we wouldn’t dissuade you from having a slice while reading.


  • Charity
  • Culture
  • Design