Entrepreneur determined to put us all in the picture expands business

03/04/2024 |

A Barnsley-based entrepreneur who helps academics condense hundreds of pages of wordy research into interesting infographics has expanded her business.

A Barnsley-based entrepreneur who helps academics condense hundreds of pages of wordy research into interesting infographics has expanded her business. Laura Evans-Hill, director of award-winning Nifty Fox Creative, has created three new jobs in the last eight months to double the size of her team; and moved into a larger workspace at Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre (DMC01).

Laura says her investment in growth is in response to increased demand for her creative agency’s visual storytelling expertise, which helps academics and public service leaders communicate their research and ideas. Nifty Fox delivers animation, illustration, infographics, visual reports and comics – all designed to deliver facts, findings and key messages with impact. Laura said: “I set up Nifty Fox Creative seven years ago because I’m passionate about getting research into the hands of people who need it most, through visuals. There’s no topic too complex, no problem too big, or no cause too important to be simplified into clear, accessible visuals.

“I’m motivated by the fact that 14,000 pieces of research are published globally every day, and it’s estimated that half of them are read by about ten people and the other half are not read at all! That’s terrible. That work needs to get out there and be visible and not vanish in publications no one reads.”

Nifty Fox works with more than 2,000 individual researchers and more than 50 universities internationally. Its clients include 80-plus public sector organisations, government departments, NHS trusts, Public Health England, Sport England and UK police forces.

Laura, who trained as a social researcher and formerly worked in higher education, founded Nifty Fox Creative in 2017. Working alone at first, she moved into her first office at Barnsley’s DMC01 in 2022 and now employs a team of six.

Nifty Fox won the Best Visual Communications Agency - Yorkshire Award in the SME Northern Enterprise Awards 2023 and is shortlisted in the same category for the UK-wide award this year.

The company has received business support from Enterprising Barnsley at DMC01.

Key Accounts Manager Judy Sidebottom said: “Nifty Fox Creative is our kind of success story at DMC01. Laura combines creativity and digital technology with a laser like focus on her personal mission to champion the role of visual storytelling in good communication.

“Drawing up plans for expansion, she has created jobs, taken on more workspace and been an active member of our tech community, collaborating with other small businesses in Barnsley. We look forward to seeing what Laura does next.”

Laura and her team also provide training in visual storytelling and ‘live scribe’ at events and conferences. As people talk, they draw their ideas on screen in real time.

Her ambition is for Nifty Fox to gain global recognition for its innovative approach to research communications and to help one million researchers tell their story visually.

DMC 01 and DMC 02, in Barnsley town centre, provide workspaces for start-ups and growing businesses, as well as co-working spaces, events space and a MakerLab and CreatorLab for hands-on innovation and collaboration. Owned and managed by Barnsley Council, the centres are home to the Enterprising Barnsley and Launchpad business support programmes. Tenants include BAnimated, Binary Forge, TÜV SÜD, Twin Dynamics, Bright Box and Contrac IT.

More this way

Find your Home from Home at the DMC.

The DMC difference is our commitment to making this space your own — as well as providing support and guidance for your business, if you need it.