Netflix is now using YOUR viewing habits to personalise the graphic design it shows you

You’ve heard of ‘feedback loops’ and ‘echo chambers.’

These are situations where Facebook / Google hold so much of your data and know so much about you, that they know exactly what adverts and messages to target you with. So the more your interact (like / share) with a certain product, brand or organisation, the more information relating to these you’ll see in your feeds.

These clever algorithms are often used in elections, and to promote political propaganda. Which it has been said, has made people more extreme (or at least more stubborn) in their views.

But for the responsible marketeer, there are less underhand advantages of this habit-tracking technology.

Netflix, for example; has started using their customers’ past viewing habits to target them with specific the graphic design and cover art.

Like all streaming services, Netflix keeps records of what you watch (and how you watch it) and will now cleverly adapt the graphic design of its suggestions to display similar films and shows.

As a simple example: If you have recently watched Grease, Netflix will generate a Pulp Fiction poster featuring John Travolta. Whereas if you have been watching Kill Bill, you’ll be targeted with Pulp Fiction’s artwork featuring Uma Thurman.

It’s one big step beyond “Recommended for you” or “Customers also brought..”

So what’s the lesson here?

Whether you’re blogging, posting a social media update, speaking at an event, or sending out en email campaign: You should always target your audience specifically. Whether it’s personalising marketing literature, or filtering your Social Media posts to target only users with certain interests and preferences.

Contact Classic Lines Design to see how we can customise your brand’s message.

Do I need an SSL Certificate for my website?

Do I need an SSL Certificate for my website?

You may have noticed a green padlock symbol (or a warning about the lack of!) in some websites’ address bars…

Websites with the secure, green padlock symbol have been marked by your browser as ‘secure‘ because they contain an SSL certificate.

What is an SSL Certificate, and why do I need one?

  • Our SSL Certificates provide secure https:// browsing,
  • Browser padlock: Visitors will see the universally-recognised padlock in their browser bar, showing that they are viewing a site over a secure connection,
  • Rank higher in Google: Google favours secure sites, so installing an SSL can help improve your rankings, helping potential customers to discover your site,
  • Browser warnings: Web browsers, especially Google Chrome, let users know when a site isn’t secure. An SSL takes care of that avoid browser warnings,
  • eCommerce: SSL is a must for eCommerce websites. If you’re taking payments on your website, SSL is non-negotiable.
  • The certificates utilise SHA-2 256-bit encryption and 2048-bit signing algorithm – the same type used by businesses and governments around the world to keep their data protected,
  • SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption.

It’s important to protect your brand:

  • Protect your customers,
  • Protect your company,
  • Protect your rankings.

Secure private information: An SSL certificate shows that you care about the safety of your customers. So new visitors will be comfortable to buy from you,

Boost conversion rates: By displaying a padlock in the browser window, you show visitors that you are a company that can be trusted,

Boost trust: We will install and configure your certificate, quickly and efficiently.

What’s more:

Google have announced that as of October 2017: Google Chrome will start marking HTTP pages (which contain forms) as “NOT SECURE.” In July 2018, Google will release version 68 of Chrome, that will mark every HTTP website as “NOT SECURE.”

For more information, take a look at what Wikipedia has to say, or download our SSL Certificates PDF.

Email Arran to discuss the SSL Certificate for your website.

Have you considered VPS / Dedicated Server Hosting?

Have you considered VPS / Dedicated Server Hosting?

The majority of our clients are on a shared hosting platform. This is where multiple websites are all hosted on the same Web Server. This is the most economical option for most non-corporations, as the overall cost is spread over many customers.

However, we do offer the option of Virtual Private Servers.

VPS give our clients:

  • Dedicated resources for superior performance: Our hosts build their Dedicated Servers on the very latest hardware; to ensure that you get the best possible performance and maximum reliability,
  • 99.99% uptime SLA: We’re so confident you’ll always be online: that we’ll provide you with compensation if you experience more than 0.01% downtime per month,
  • Superfast & reliable: Our host’s servers have a direct internet connection to major European exchanges > Ensuring a rapid and stable performance.


Our Hosting Provider is responsible for:

Server hardware, Power and network availability, Manual reboot availability and Control Panel license availability.

So all we need to worry about is:

All server software and performance, Configuring hosting and email settings, and securing your server. Also: Network configuration and Installation, third-party modules and plug-ins.

Server specification

  • Intel Xeon E5-2420 x 2
  • Up to128GB RAM
  • Hardware of up to 4 x 1TB SATA RAID 1
  • Up to 1 Gbit/s Bandwidth.

Contact Classic Lines Design to see if your website requires VPS.

Does your email inbox keep becoming full?

Does your email inbox keep becoming full?

Does your mailbox keep filling up?

If so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure your settings are configured properly: Ensure that you chose ‘IMAP’ in your original email account setup.
  2. If there is an option to ‘remove emails from server, when deleted’ (or similar) …then TICK that. If not: skip this step.
  3. People organise their Inbox into folders. While this is good housekeeping, it will not free up space in your mailbox. You’ll need to move / drag your emails in to folders on your desktop, (this will back-up your emails to your computer) …then delete them from Outlook / Mail / Livemail.
  4. Remember to delete your Junk, and Deleted Items regularly,
  5. Speak to us about *Premium Mailboxes. **We can upgrade you from 1GB, to 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10GB.

* Our prices are per mailbox (email account) and per year.
** Even if you upgrade, you’ll need need to do points 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Do you find yourself asking:

“Why do my emails keep becoming full?”

“Why does my inbox keep filling up?”

 “How come my mailbox keeps filling up?”

“Why does my inbox keep becoming full?”

“Why do my emails keep filling up?”

 “Why is my mailbox always full?”

“How come my inbox keeps becoming full?”

^ So if any if these questions sound like you, take a look at our full email configuration details.

Classic Car & Bike Show poster for the Swan Inn, Chaddesley Corbett

Classic Car & Bike Show poster for the Swan Inn, Chaddesley Corbett

Take a peek at our latest poster for the Classic Car & Bike Show, at The Swan Inn, Chaddesley Corbett.

Proceeds from ticket sales go to:

Kidderminster and Worcestershire Prostate Cancer Support Group, and the show is supported by: A&H Construction, Spencer Signs, Will Hire, Blakedown Sports Cars, Carriage Co (Droitwich) and ourselves.

Not only does The Swan boast one of the best gardens around, it’s a Bathams pub too!

Classic Car & Bike Show poster


Latest eCommerce website design for local artist Steve Hawkesworth

Latest eCommerce website design for local artist Steve Hawkesworth

The Classic Lines Design team are happy to present our latest eCommerce website project.

Hanbury-based sculptor Steve Hawkesworth approached us to help him turn his long-time hobby into a profitable business.

eCommerce website design and brand identity

Our first task was to create a brand identity for the local artist. – A loose approximation of a country cottage, complete with the artist’s initials ‘S,‘ and ‘H.’

Along with the PayPal integrated eCommerce website itself, our brief included pack-shot photography. We set up a scoop in our Bromsgrove studio, then with a Nikon D7000 fixed by a tripod; carefully shot all of Steve’s intricate creations.

Did BrewDog’s aggressive trademarking leave a bitter taste in your mouth?

Did BrewDog’s aggressive trademarking leave a bitter taste in your mouth?

Self-proclaimed “punk” brewers BrewDog have recently threatened legal action against a small, family businesses, it said was infringing its trademarks.

The Lone Wolf, an independent pub run by siblings Joshua and Sallie McFadyen in Birmingham; received a warning from BrewDog’s lawyers instructing them to change their name, as it was the same as BrewDog’s new spirit range.

Yes, you read that right…

The brother and sister duo had registered the name before the spirit’s name was registered! So you’d presume The Lone Wolf pub had a very good case against the Aberdonian brew house? But as is often the situation: they didn’t have the funds to fight the brewer.

Ironically, BrewDog have been on the receiving end of the big boys’ legal teams before:

Elvis Presley’s estate were unimpressed with the brewer’s use of Elvis’ name on one of their beers. BrewDog issued the following statement:

“Here at BrewDog, we don’t take too kindly to petty pen pushers attempting to make a fast buck by discrediting our good name under the guise of copyright infringement.”

Social Media backlash

After news of this broke, there has been a significant social media backlash; with people calling-out BrewDog’s hypocrisy. Many noting this as a classic example of big business appearing to rage against the machine – for obvious marketing reasons – but eventually getting found out as no better than the big beer companies they rail against.

As a result of this bad press, the multinational brewing chain have since backed down. This is no comfort to The Wolf Pub, who have already been forced to re-brand their entire pub, website, social media etc. – All at their own expense.

While it’s true BrewDog had humble beginnings, they have always played on (and definitely profited from) their punk / DIY image. Protecting your brand is one thing; but to throw your corporate weight around, trampling on ‘the little guy‘ is a step too far. Especially if your company’s supposed Punk ethos is very much part of what you are selling.

Image: Independent Birmingham / TripAdvisor

Scotch, Cheddar, Parma-Ham, Champagne, Cornish Pasty… What’s in a name?

Scotch, Cheddar, Parma-Ham, Champagne, Cornish Pasty… What’s in a name?

Have you ever consumed any of the following products?

ScotchChampagne, Cognac, Parma-Ham, Cumberland Sausage, Worcestershire Sauce, Cornish Pasties, Melton Mowbray pork-pies; Cheddar, Feta, Wensleydale, or Parmesan cheese.

OK, not all at the same time. But the eagle-eyed amongst you may notice a connection between these gout-inducing delicacies. These are not Registered Trademarks as such, but:

‘Protected geographical foodstuffs’

In simple terms:

Companies can only use the name of a specific area if the product is actually from that area.

The European Commission put this protection in place to ensure the promotion of niche products, particularly those from rural areas. This, in turn would improve farmers’ incomes and help to retain the population in rural areas. Not to mention giving the customer clear information regarding the origin of the product.

According to Wikipedia:

“The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods, promote rural and agricultural activity, help producers obtain a premium price for their authentic products, and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour.”

More recently, in In 2013: Lakeland Herdwick meat (known for their Herdwick Lamb) received a Protected Designation of Origin from the European Union. There is also talk of Birmignham’s famous ‘Balti‘ being awarded this illustrious honour.

Since the Brexit vote, the UK may soon be able to name their ‘sparkling wine‘ the more oxymoronic ‘English Champagne,‘ for example.

For advice and more information on the world of trademarking, contact Classic Lines Design.

David Hockney’s masthead redesign for The Sun newspaper

David Hockney’s masthead redesign for The Sun newspaper

Last week, The Sun enlisted none other than David Hockney to redesign their paper’s masthead, for a one-off edition.

Possibly the most famous British Pop-Artist alive today, has added: black shadows and sun rays to an otherwise untouched, typographical logo!

The Sun may not be your stereotypical art-lover’s newspaper of choice, so does this unlikely marriage bring (the otherwise inclusive, elitist world of) art, to the people?

It’s also reminiscent of the Imperial Japanese battle flag of the 1940s, possibly an in-joke at the Murdoch-owned tabloid?
The truth is: The Sun doesn’t normally mind / care what type of publicity it receives. In this case, (like all good art, and all good marketing) people are talking about it.

Love it or loathe it, this redesign seems to be one of two things:

  • A sly dig (or two) at The Sun’s expense,
  • A canny artist cynically cashing-in, with minimal effort.

…or both.

The art-world is often accused of taking itself too seriously, the same can’t be said about a 79 year old man’s iPad sketch.

Has this David Hockney made a splash with you?

Image: The Sun