Posted: 8 November 2011, 10:03 | In: Marketing Web Design

    Recently I’ve been trying to expand my Twitter network to include more local businesses, for a couple of reasons but mainly because if I’m going to move my contacts from online to offline, local businesses are the most likely candidates. I can visit their stores and take advantage of their offers as well as share local experiences and news.

    As a result I’ve been visiting the web sites of some of these local businesses.

    Read More


    3 November 2011, 16:58

    Took a short trip the other day along the Canal on the good ship ‘March Mole’ along with the feisty Maggie the Jack Russell.

    After a short session driving (or steering, piloting, captaining or sailing, what do you do to a canal boat anyway?) we tackled the locks, which are pretty simple but exceedingly smart bits of proper engineering.


    Rusty JCB's

    25 October 2011, 21:13

    JCB’s are excellent. So excellent they’ve become one of those brands whose name is interchanged with a product in general, like hoover. J C Bamford began life in 1945 in Uttoxeter, and is still based not far from the town.

    Apparently Bamford first painted his machines yellow in 1951, and it’s become the colour for a digger.


    More Customers Please

    24 October 2011, 17:28

    It’s the top request from clients I speak to regarding their web site. Most of whom are small businesses who are confident that the internet is a place where they want to promote themselves, but often they find that their web site isn’t doing what they’d like it to.

    As a little food for thought, here are 5 things you do to get more customers…


    United Nations Postal Administration

    21 October 2011, 16:28

    Here’s a little something I’d not spotted before, the United Nations Postal Administration or UNPA. First issued in 1951 in the US, with the support of the US postal service, the UNPA is only non country/territory allowed to issue stamps.

    Later rolled out in Switzerland and Austria, the UNPA creates six sets a year on limited 12 month sale. Only valid for postage from UN offices in New York , Geneva and Vienna, the stamps become valuable collectors items, the designs which have won a number of awards.

    New Business Logos

    New Business Logo

    20 October 2011, 11:07

    I found myself browsing the StartUp Britain web site the other day. It’s backed by a number of big companies like Dell, Paypal and O2 as well as David Cameron, and founded by a group of well known entrepreneurs.

    Set up to encourage enterprise in the UK, to give guidance, provide tips and special offers to start-ups. There’s plenty on there but often you just get a ink to another web site to follow up on.


    On the Wheel

    17 October 2011, 16:57

    So we made it onto the Wheel in Derby at the weekend. It was a overcast (till about 30 minutes after we got off, typical!) and we couldn’t see quite as far as I had imagined. I could see the Pride Park flyover for example, but not the stadium.


    British Gas Logo

    14 October 2011, 11:27

    There is plenty wrong with it but I wouldn’t say it’s hateful to look at and it will look nice on customers bills and in their promotional materials. But I do have issues with it.

    Firstly the ‘British Gas’ looks really ungainly. The Gas in particular look wobbly, the tapering in of the G makes the a and s look wonky, the whole think looks like one of those optical illusions where the picture seems to be moving. The dots on the i’s are pretty much awful as well, designed to match the tips of t and h, but ending up looking like either fingernails or one of those mini cans of deodorant.


    Wheely Quiet

    13 October 2011, 10:30

    I’m shaking it off now I think, so here’s a gentle introduction back to things. Some pictures of the big wheel that currently hangs above Derby demanding money to see the sights.

    I’ve a few issues with the thing. Firstly, the sights of Derby? Seriously, you’ve not been have you? There are no sights in Derby really. The UK’s smallest Cathedral (I think) and Westfield Derby, that’s about the lot.


    Christ Church Derby Student Flyer

    5 October 2011, 20:56

    A quick post about the latest promo piece for Christ Church Derby which you can see below. It’s for those student types at the university, encouraging them to take part in a little programme designed with them in mind.


    Honesty and QR

    30 September 2011, 21:12

    A couple of QR code based coincidences popped up this week and one challenged me as to the kind of business I want to run.

    The pace and popularity of QR Codes has certainly increased since my first post on them, I’m seeing them about all over. Often they are nothing more than a link to a web site and not overly inspired, but see them around I do.


    What's Gray and Carries Power Lines..?

    29 September 2011, 21:47

    Riba recently ran a design competition (angery eyes) to rededign the UK’s standard Pylon. With some 88,000 pylons around the UK and a rash of new lines on the cards, the competition was set to replace a design that’s had little change since the 1920’s.

    IS it Hi or Hello?

    Update This, Tweet That

    28 September 2011, 15:31

    I’ve been considering my various audiences over the main social media outlets I use. As I’ve been expanding the blog and business I’ve taken stock a little better of what I do and why on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Flickr.

    Each of these outlets has a different audience for me and I’ve naturally adjusted what I do and how I promote the business on each. All receive the same update links to my blog…


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Keep in the loop with what's happening with snapshots, drafts & work in progress to new portfolio pieces and blog posts giving you an insight into my design process each week!


Friar Gate Studios
Ford St
Call: +44 (0)1332 416 446



…we would like to thank you for all your hard work and patience in designing the new IPC website. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and people think it looks excellent.

So thank you.

Jonny Gibson - International Presbyterian Church


Business Card Pocket Portfolio »

On a 600gsm stock my business cards are fabulous, really sturdy and thick, they also have a great feel to the finish. They also feature some of my fave projects to make a pocket portfolio!

Protecting against the Wordpress ReST Vulnerability »

When the ReST vulnerability hit the news, I was happy that my hosted websites were already safe.

Logo Project Delivery, What Files Should You Expect? »

At some point in the discussion of a new branding project, the client will almost always ask what files they expect to receive. At first, I found this an odd query, although perfectly valid, my assumption was alway that I’d supply every file they’d need, why would I design a logo and do anything less?

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