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

How good is your Search Engine Optimisation? (SEO)

How good is your Search Engine Optimisation? (SEO)

So you have a beautifully designed website, with all your latest products, and a fancy Meet The Team page. But what’s next? You’ll want more people to visit it.

You can achieve this with: Search Engine Optimisation.

Most people’s first port-of-call when looking for a service or product, is of course: Google.

It’s for this reason, Search Engine Optimisation should be a vital part of your web marketing strategy. To put it simply: The higher you appear on Google*, the more traffic you’ll receive. Therefore, the more traffic comes through: the more sales you’ll get.

There are a few ways in which you can achieve higher Google rankings.

  • Interesting, relevant information – Google’s job is to provide the customer with the exact information they are searching for.
  • Quality back-links – If you have taken care of the above, more people will want to share your story.
  • Fresh, unique content – Search Engines reward sites with higher rankings, which are kept up to date.
  • Usability – Websites with dead-links, and ones which aren’t responsive (optimised for mobiles and tablets) will be ranked poorly by Google.
  • Meta SEO – Make sure the snippets of information Google displays in its listings (see image above) are as good as they can be.
  • Social Media – Direct more people to your specific web pages.

These are just some of the ways to improve your website’s SEO. Contact us to see how we can improve your website’s SEO, so you’ll appear higher up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP.)

*other less popular Search Engines are available.

Do you regularly check your website for broken links?

Do you regularly check your website for broken links?

There are only 2 types of viewers you should aim to impress online: Your customers and Search Engines. Both of these are turned-off by broken links which lead to an Error 404 page.

Why is it so important to have ZERO broken links?

  • Broken links will annoy your existing customers, they’ll get frustrated and leave the website (possibly forever!)
  • All your hard work and professional copy-writing is rendered obsolete. As people won’t be able to find the pages and information they are looking for.
  • Major Search Engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo punish websites which have dead-links, with a low ranking.
  • Last but not least: It looks bad. If people cannot trust your website, chances are they won’t value your service or product either.

What has caused these invalid hyperlinks?

The larger and more complex a website becomes, the more likely you are to find Page Not Found messages, or Error 404 codes. So please be weary when deleting a page without checking if any other pages are still trying to link to it.

In addition to this, if you have a WordPress website / blog: take care when renaming your existing Pages and Posts.

Remember, each page’s Page Title may be different to its Permalink. Not to mention any Menu items, and Footer / Sidebar links.

How can your company keep on top of this?

By ‘check your website‘ – we don’t just mean have a quick click through a couple of your main pages, you’ll need to do a full scan of every page you have ever created. The good news is, there are tools which can help you with this. Our favourite being: Broken link checker.

Therefore, speak to Classic Lines Design today, if you need any help improving your website’s reputation, usability, and Search Engine Optimisation.

We’ve moved to Bromsgrove High Street!

We’ve moved to Bromsgrove High Street!

Classic Lines Design have completed an exciting move to Bromsgrove High Street.

More specifically: 71A, High Street, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B61 8AQ.

Please update your records,

…then pop in and use our pool*.

How to find our new High Street design studio:

Driving along Market Street: turn into Church Street, (opposite ASDA) then take the first left into Crown Close (the bus station) Turn right into the first opening into the car-park, we are at 71A (the black door at the back of the car-park) – You’ll see the CLD logo on the wall. Either ring the door-bell or call us on (01527) 882999 and we’ll come down to you.

Failing that: we’ll see you in one of the coffee shops.

What colour is water?

What colour is water?

Chances are, if you ask an adult and a child this question: the child is more likely to get it right.

Without getting into the science of it: Water is ever so slightly blue.

When water is viewed in small quantities, such as in a glass, it will appear colourless to the human eye; but the deeper the water you are observing: (such as pool, lake or ocean) the bluer it will appear.

Yeah, but what about…!?

Although it is true, to some extent that on a clear day: bodies of water will reflect a blue sky, this only adds to the intrinsic colour of water.

Take a look at the image (above) of the bucket of water in a swimming pool, the small amount in the bucket doesn’t look very blue, whereas the larger volume of water in the pool appears a nice deep shade of blue. Both have white behind them, and are reflecting the same sky.

Also, an indoor pool with white tiles beneath (and above) will still appear blue.

For a more in-depth look at the colour of water, see the Wikipedia article on this matter

Ye boy with þe thorn in his side

Ye boy with þe thorn in his side

How would you pronounce the first word in the names of these rustic establishments?
Sadly, the answer is not “Yee,” but boring old “The.”

In Old English, long before we put ‘t‘ & ‘h‘ together to form that breathy-lisp sound: we had a letter called a Thorn. Which at the time, would have been spelled: Þorn.

With the invention of the printing-press, Latin countries did not include the thorn on their type-setting; so replaced it with the nearest-looking character: Y.

This was then replaced with ‘th’ – except in Iceland, where it survives to this day as the 30th letter of their alphabet.

Þe Olde Designe Studio