Design by Trifle - Platinum Jubilee Lemon Swiss Roll Amaretti Trifle

Platinum Jubilee Trifle. No, really!

Platinum Jubilee Trifle, it's a winner!

Every once in awhile we like to take a step away from design and look at the other things in life. On this occasion, arguably, you could say this is still connected to design. Just take a look at the picture of the Platinum Jubilee trifle, those beautiful, colourful layers just sing out. (Just wait until it hits your taste buds). What could be better than Swiss rolls, lemon curd, Saint Clements jelly, custard, Amaretti biscuits, chunky mandarin coulis and jewelled chocolate bark!

So in celebration of our Queen Elizabeth II and by royal decree, let's get making trifle!

Download the recipe here.

Jemma’s Lemon Swiss Roll and Amaretti Trifle really is a winner, literally, and tastes divine. If you are making the Platinum Jubilee pudding over the next few weeks, Jemma’s top tip is that you can use ready-made custard. Try Jude’s Madagascan Vanilla custard or Sainsburys Taste the Difference vanilla custard, available in shops near you!

Congratulations, Jemma, on creating a pudding that’s certain to become a delicious part of Fortnum & Mason's history – and forever associated with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations too. Discover this extraordinary trifle in the story behind its invention on the Fortnum & Mason website.

Of course if you want a little design inspiration just give Fortnum & Mason visit in person. We promise you you'll be wowed and astonished by some of the wonderful packaging design that they incorporate across their range of products. Doh! And we said we were stepping away from design... Of course we can't guarantee that you won't be enchanted by the wonderful selection of food and drink on offer, while a little expensive the quality is superb.

It's pure self-indulgence, but what the hell, we say go for it!



Electric Bike vehicle livery design

Electric Bike Livery Design

Electric bike livery design

Great to see the FareShare Sussex eco delivery van out and about. Delighted to have helped design it along with fab illustrations from Sandra Staufer – looking good!


Vehicle Signage and Livery

If you have a company car, delivery van or better still an Electric Bike then it pays to consider using signage to advertise your services. Think about it, even when the vehicle isn't being used as a mobile billboard and is parked up, it's a constant advertisement for your business or company. No one ever walks up to the driver of a blank van and asks for their business card. A well designed service van creates confidence, trust and credibility among your customers, it also raises your profile and helps you stay in your potential customers minds.

Professionally designed signage helps to give the impression that the business owners know how to take care of their business and have pride in doing so, which in turns builds confidence in customers that they will be well looks after. The most effective wrapped vehicles are those that have solid design and utilise good branding. This may be an opportunity to look at your brand. Does it need refreshed? What could you do better?

When designing your vehicle signage or livery remember so keys points:

  1. Make sure your branding is consistent with your other marketing outlets, i.e. website, email marketing, social media accounts etc. This will ensure your customers will know they are seeing the same company or business.
  2. The message should be simple. If it's too text-heavy, for example, it will be hard to read. The most important information should be the largest and very visible; typically this is the company name.
  3. Don't try to mention everything you do or provide, you'll over crowd the design and layout and it will lose impact. Instead sum it up, what is your core business and what needs do you solve for your business?
  4. Remember to include your telephone number and website address. Obvious I know, but occasionally they get missed. Make sure they are clear and readable from a distance. If you can't read it when parked across the road no one else will be able to read it either.
  5. Make your design colourful and eye-catching. You are using your vehicle as mobile advertisements, so don't hold back when it comes to design. Make it fun, exciting, unique and distinctive.
  6. Remember to check your spelling, even better, ask others to do it for it. There is nothing worse that a typo in the signage, this will paint a bad picture of you in your customers minds.

If you'd like some help and advice about your vehicle signage and livery get in touch, we'd be delighted to help.


About FareShare

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good food is wasted by the UK food industry every year. At the same time, millions of people are struggling to afford to eat.

Our work addresses these two issues by redistributing food industry surplus which would otherwise be wasted, to the people that need it most.

We provide food to charities and groups that deliver services in addition to meals, such as advice and guidance, health support, counselling and befriending, to help break the cycle of poverty and use food as a vehicle for good above and beyond alleviating hunger.

Checkout the great work FareShare Sussex are doing in these hard times, if you can volunteer, fundraise or donate, please do.


Using gamification in your marketing strategy

Gamification in your marketing strategy

Gamification in your marketing strategy

The term ‘gamification’ is is widely used these days  It’s also something that we’ve noticed is cropping up in conversation with our clients on a regular basis as they consider creating their own gamification marketing strategy. So, what exactly is gamification and how does gamification fit in to your marketing strategy?

The answer to the first question is fairly straightforward and has been covered extensively on sites such as Wikipedia:

"Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. It can also be defined as a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying the characteristics of game elements. Gamification commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organisational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, knowledge retention, employee recruitment and evaluation, ease of use, usefulness of systems, physical exercise, traffic violations, voter apathy, and more."

The answer to the second question has been surprisingly established for some years. Gamification has been embedded into marketing strategies since day 1. Incentives have been central to both marketing and gaming strategies; encouraging us all to better ourselves with the latest products, improve our skills with the most difficult challenge or by simply offering us an escape from reality.

Gamification takes the essence of what makes games so “fascinating and irresistible” and integrate them into non-game experiences, i.e. marketing strategies and campaigns. Adding elements to your site or app like: rewards, challenges and incentives triggers a sense of achievement and makes use of the competitive nature in people, encouraging them to use your app or website even more, because they’ll enjoy it.

Why does gamification work?

  • You create a fun experience for your audience, which will lead to a longer and more engaging relationship.
  • It motivates your customers to participate: there are chances to be rewarded, to win something or to gain recognition.
  • It gives you an emotional connection with your customers, increasing the possibility that they’ll also become more loyal to your business.
  • It’s for “all-around” uses since you can add game elements to different areas. Think project management, recruitment, marketing and more.

Gamification can increase the engagement of customers, prospects and partners. Rewarding them (it doesn’t’ have to be something materialistic, it can also be recognition or even valuable content) can increase their loyalty and positive feeling towards your business. It speaks to the sense of achievement & competition of the people. People want to be noticed and get rewarded. Performing better than their peers will leave them with a sense of achievement. It will help your prospects identify each other. Having gamification tools, can help you segment your prospects, so you can make them a more personalised offer.

Gamification in your marketing strategy

  • Incentive - Is there a valid reason for introducing gamification and, if so, a strong incentive to ensure it is a success? From rewarding users with improved status, access to new content or just free stuff, being clear about how you intend to motivate your audience is a vital gamification technique.
  • Process - Are there existing processes in place that can be adapted and, if not, how will the gamification of your products, services or content be managed? If you can identify activity that your users are already performing and ‘gamify it’ then you can instantly add value.  Alternatively, if you’re trying to convert your users to new behaviour then make sure the gamification process is easy for them to buy into.
  • Context - Is it the right audience on the right platform? In simple terms, if you want to use gamification as an HR tool, make sure that the technology is accessible to all as a web service and not just as an app.  If your target audience are already using a particular device then go with the flow and develop a solution around their technology choices.
  • Objective - What do you hope to achieve from the gamification process and is it a short or long term objective? Using freebies as an incentive is a quick win but being able to give your users improved status amongst their peers or giving them ongoing access to exclusive content has the potential to create brand loyalty in the long term.
  • Scope - How long will this take and how much will this cost? An obvious question when undertaking any marketing or communications activity.  However, if this is something new to your brand or business then scoping out the project properly in the first place will provide your creative and technical partners with a much clearer understanding of your expectations.

Entertainment, education and engagement through gamification can help you to engage with different target audiences and build long term brand loyalty. There are many stablished webinars and conferences that specialise in gamification, such as Gamification Europe and Gamification+.

What ever you decide to do, make it fun!


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.