A GREEN apple is ensuring that Blue Prawn is in the pink and stays well out of the red.

Past Hunts Post Business Award-winner Mark Davies was struck by a story in this newspaper about a number of schools in Huntingdonshire that were planning to apply for academy status.

Mr Davies, managing director of Abbotsley design consultancy Blue Prawn, reckoned the aspiring academies would need distinctive corporate identities, so he send their heads 'an apple for the teacher' suggesting his company - whose client base includes corporate giants including Microsoft, Cisco and Apple - could help.

"It has created a lot of interest after I sent it to all the schools featured in The Hunts Post article, which got me thinking that there was a market there.

"With a couple of schools among our long-term clients, I wanted to show others that there's an agency locally with the necessary skill-sets but without the London agency price tag," he said.

"Education is a great area to work with - a complete contrast to the big clients. And it's not crazy money, so that's obviously good for schools."

Blue Prawn has recently helped two close-by Bedfordshire schools to re-brand. Sandy Place Middle School recently became an academy and used Mr Davies's company to help with the re-branding process, including designing the new identity, along with a new website and school uniform. Another client is Willington Lower School, between St Neots and Bedford.

"They are both great schools, and that's reflected in the websites we created for them.

"It was the first time they had invested in design, and a number of parents said they had opted [to send their children to the school] because of the design."

Now Mr Davies is turning his attention to Huntingdonshire schools. "I shall be contacting all those that have expressed an interest in academy status, and I've had several bites already - I have another 30 or 40 apples to send to teachers.

Blue Prawn, which started in Mr Davies's spare bedroom, was one of the first tenant of Huntingdonshire District Council's flagship Creative Exchange on the Longsands Campus in St Neots, for which it has just launched a website.

"The Creative Exchange was a great platform for us, but we moved here to Abbotsley just over a year ago. It's a stunning environment to work in and to bring clients to.

"It all followed from winning The Hunts Post Business Awards."

INFORMATION: Blue Prawn is at The Barn, Gransden Park, Potton Road, Abbotsley PE19 6TY; telephone: 01767 677559; e-mail info@blueprawndesign.co.uk; http://www.blueprawndesign.co.uk/education/