Craft beer label design Surrey Sussex

Shine on you crazy ruby

Shine on you Crazy Ruby

Lockdown brewing and the birth of a beer label design

It was the end of week 1 of the Coronavirus lockdown and the initial fears and anxieties of these extraordinary and testing times were beginning to settle. Social distancing was taking effect and everyone was stocking up on groceries, though Boris Johnson had ended up in ICU. I now found myself with more time on my hands than I have had for a while, what to do? Brew some beer? Design a beer label perhaps?

With supermarket stocks of toilet paper rapidly draining away and alcohol evaporating into thin air from the shelves, it was time to start brewing. (Not sure what the connection between toilet paper and alcohol is?!) This was something I could do to fill the time and take my mind off of the current situation. Oh, and it went some way to alleviating my fears of running out of my favourite drink. Beer.

Excell Brewery, Surrey

What better thing to do on a Sunday morning than start the brewing process for a batch of Ruby Ale.

Still in PJs listening to Dave Gilmour on the stereo along with a bit of air guitar, the end of week 2 had arrived and the initial fermentation was over, it was time to bottle my prized ale. 65 bottles later, all filled, capped and stored, the wait to sample the brew began.


Beer label design branding Surrey Sussex

What name for the beer label design?

While waiting I posted a few photos on Facebook and invited people to suggest a name for the brew. The suggestions came in: Whole Lotta Ruby, Comfortably Ruby, Zoom Beer, Careful With That Bottle Eugene, Ruby Sunday, Red Covid!, Is There Any Ruby Out There, #isolation, Rich Red, Wish You Were Ruby...

Well the ruby ale has turned out nice, very nice in fact. It's disappearing at a rate of knots, especially when it's chilled in the hot weather we've been enjoying recently. The longer it's been in the bottle the better it gets, subtle malt undertones and a slightly spiced and peppery aroma have made this pure joy!

So the Pink Floyd theme prevailed and Shine On You Crazy Ruby suggested by Pete Jenkins from Gamification+ won through, encapsulating the feeling of the light at the end of the tunnel in these crazy times.

Naturally it was only right to design a label for this special occasion, which you can see in the main image. There is a limited edition with labels, so Pete Jenkins watch out for the post... 


If you’d like some help with designing a beer label, or you'd just like to talk all things beer, then we'd love to hear from you.


Zoom Branded Virtual Backgrounds

Branded virtual background in Zoom

Online Virtual Meeting

A little Zoom goes a long way

Create a branded virtual background in Zoom

Why create a branded virtual background in Zoom?

The huge uptake of Zoom meetings for networking has soared in ways we could never have foreseen prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Of course many people have been having video meetings for sometime with Microsoft Teams, but why is Zoom proving to be the most popular choice?

The user interface and experience are truly where Zoom excels in the Microsoft Teams vs Zoom debate. Zoom users all rave over its simple interface and the ability to get end-users up and running with little to no training or IT support.

It also has the ability to change the background to your Zoom view. (See below for guidance on creating a customised branded virtual background image).

So, in a time when marketing has become both difficult and vital, are you missing a marketing opportunity to keep your branding in sight and in mind?


Richard on the beach

Of course everyone likes to see where you are working, how you decorate your home etc. However, using the Zoom Web Portal, you can change the default background image or customise it for a room, floor, or location. They provide a few default images to play with, such as the classic palm trees and beach, the Northern Lights, some random grass etc. but you can create your own.


Zoom Branded Virtual Background Design

If you are attending an online networking meeting you might want to brand your background to help promote your company name, and why not, it’s kinda like having an online business card when you have a meeting. It keeps your company name, logo, colours etc in people’s minds and that’s not a bad thing for marketing.

When you use a branded virtual background there is some blur and seepage of your actual room background that can come through when you move, try it and you’ll see, so perhaps it’s not for you. However, it’s a reasonably minor effect particularly when the Zoom attendees windows are small and many on a computer or tablet screen.

Why not have a go at creating a branded virtual background image (JPG or PNG works fine) with your business or organisation’s logo and/or some branded imagery in the background and promote yourself at your online meetings.


Richard down the virtual pub

Personally I miss going down the pub and using a photo of one of my (many) favourite pubs just takes me straight back there (not literally of course) and gives a lift of mood and high spirits, er, no pun intended!

If you’d like some help with creating a branded virtual background for your business or organisation, get in contact, we’ll do it for you for free while we are still in lockdown!

Happy Zooming!


Sign up for Zoom, it’s free.

Zoom virtual background design


Guidance on Zoom Rooms customised backgrounds

Using the Zoom Web Portal, you can change default background image or customize the background image for a room, floor, or location.

You can also customize Zoom Rooms digital signage content to share important messages when the room is not in use or the scheduling display background to use a custom image on your scheduling display device.


Background Image Guidelines

Before uploading a custom background image, follow these guidelines:

Format: GIF, JPG/JPEG or 24-bit PNG (no alpha). Any transparent areas of PNGs will be shown on a white background.
Minimum dimension: 960px
Maximum dimension: 1920px
Recommended dimensions: 1920px by 1080px (16:9 aspect ratio). If you don’t use an image with an aspect ratio of 16:9, you may see black bars beside the background image.
Maximum file size: 5 MB


Change the default background image

Follow these steps if you want to change the default background image for all Zoom Rooms in your account.

  1. Log in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Room Management > Zoom Rooms.
  3. Click Account Settings at the top of the page.
  4. In the Account Profile tab, under Background image for Zoom Rooms, click Upload New Image. Note: Verify your image follows their guidelines.
  5. Select your image and click Open.


Change the background image for a room, floor, or location

When you upload a customized background image for a specific room, floor, or location, it will replace the default image.

  1. Log in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Room Management > Zoom Rooms.
  3. Click Edit next to the room, floor, or location, depending on where you want the background to be applied.
  4. In the Room Settings tab, navigate to the Room Setup section.
  5. Next to Background image for Zoom Rooms, click Upload New Image. If you added your own default background image, you’ll see a preview of it along with the “Using account setting” notification.

Note: Verify your image follows their guidelines.
Select your image, and click Open.