Tag Archives: design

New technology comes to Leyland

This month we have news on the arrival of our latest press and the winner of January’s #TwitterCritter competition. Also, whilst you were making all those New Year resolutions to create the ‘new you’ did you think of maybe checking your brand in for a makeover? When thinking of your brand, why not take a leaf out of Bowies book, he constantly reinvented himself creating talking points and engaging peoples interest. Below, we feature the font from the cover of Heathen which caused a friendly dispute within our design team recently.

What can we do for you?

We can create your identity from scratch, working with you to generate marketing that reflects your corporate personality. Creating a unique impression of how you do business.

Heathen Album Cover
Priori Font

This was the prototype of ‘Priori’ a new font specifically designed by Jonathan Barnbrook for Bowies album Heathen.

In fact this is the only time this version of the font appeared as it was still a work in progress.

Refreshing branding is a cost effective way of getting it looked at.

Read more about Bowie and Barnbrook

AI Comes to Leyland

For the last ten days we have been installing our new press. Whilst it may not actually be artificial intelligence on a par with Stephen Spielberg’s vision, the Heidelberg 75 measures its own performance and ensures stunningly consistent high quality every sheet. The press is calibrated to international standards for colour and operates only within this gamut. Giving faster, sharper and brighter results every time.

January’s Competition Winner

January’s winner of the#TwitterCritter competition was Claire Kempster from Blackpool. Claire correctly identified Bambi as the answer and she was randomly chosen from the correct answers to become our winner. Claire received £40.00 of love to shop vouchers, a framed print of the #TwitterCritter, two books from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and one of our gorgeous 40 year anniversary notebooks. Thank you to everyone that entered and supported the LWT and better luck next month.

To enter February’s competition go here

Roll up, Roll up!

When the carnival arrived in town in 1820’s America, it was, for the townsfolk one of the major events of the year. Everyone thronged the streets to watch the ‘carny’ parade into town.

The ‘grind men’ and the ‘outside talkers’ would walk in front of and beside the parade beguiling the locals with fantastic talk of the wonders to be found in this years “all new amazing show” all done to create an atmosphere of excitement and wonder, guaranteed to generate ‘alfalfa’.

In advance of the parade the ‘24 hour men’ would place the arrows that would lead to the field they would call home for a week, ensuring that every ‘mark’ in town could find their way to the ‘arch’.

They were amazing marketeers; in one stroll through a town they captured the imagination and therefore the disposable income of everyone. They hid their ‘ten-pointing’ ‘bally’ and ‘cake cutting’ from view by creating their own language that added mystery to the ease they separated folk from their hard earned dollars.

When you’re first to market this will work every time, you have literally no competitors.

After a while though, success breeds imitation.

Smaller travelling ‘carnies’ learned that just by changing the way the arrows pointed they could take full advantage of the marketing provided by the big annual fairs.

Ensuring that they captured a market share at their lesser show with a much smaller ‘midway’.

Were the ‘marks’ disappointed?

It didn’t matter.

By the time they had realized that there was no ‘magnetico man’ or ‘human lizard’ they had spent up and were on their way home with a goldfish that had cost the weeks housekeeping.

As often is the case, necessity gave birth to innovation and the bigger travelling shows invented the billboard to market their shows.

These huge hoardings placed at the point of heavy traffic of local folk, told you the name of the show, listed the delights and amazements to be found on their midway and had as a centerpiece a colourful image of the main attraction.

They used phrases that displayed their competitive advantage and their differentiation strategy; they also conveyed immediacy, urgency and energy.

  • ‘Never seen before’
  • ‘Not to be missed’
  • ‘Unique to this show’
  • ‘For this week only’
  • ‘Never to be seen here again’
  • ‘A once in a lifetime opportunity’
Marketing one on one.

You knew what they were, where they were and what to expect from the experience.

They soon followed this up with the practice of giving out handbills as the carny paraded through the town, small ‘half letter’ sized copies of the billboards.

Over time the ‘24 hour men’ who were no longer required to put the arrow signs in place were put to work walking through the town throughout the week wearing A boards with a mid sized version of the billboard.

Times have changed the world is faster, we all have more competition but the principles remain the same.


  • Create a brand.
  • Have a clear message.
  • Communicate your passion.
  • Then tell them again.
  • Then tell them once more.
  • It’s your passion that makes you unique.
  • Solve problems and improve their lives.
  • Ask how can I help.
  • Engage with marketeers who speak your language and can communicate your passion, bringing your brand to life.



Glossary of Terms used

Alfalfa –  Paper money.
Arch – main entrance. Marks queued here paying to get on the midway.
Arrow/24 Hour Man Arrow was a paper sign, consisting simply of a large (usually red) printed arrow, used to mark the route between towns. Taped to the posts of road signs by the ’24-hour man’ the day before the show moves. Can be placed in any orientation: straight-up arrows every few miles to let you know you’re on the right road, a single tilted arrow to warn of an upcoming turn, and two or three tilted arrows in a group to indicate where to turn.
Bally – In addition to its use in the sideshow sense, ‘bally’ might also refer to small prizes placed in boxes of candy as inducements to buy.
Cake – Money made by short-changing customers at ticket boxes.
Grind – In the “outside talker’s” spiel from a show front, the compelling and rhythmic verbal conclusion meant to move the patrons into the show. It differs from the opening bally, which is meant to get the attention of midway strollers and “build a tip”, or sell them on the show they can see. Also means to stay in the joint and work even though there’s almost no business.
Mark – A townsperson you see as a conspicuously easy victim. When a carny, often the ticket-seller, spotted a towny with a big bankroll, he would give him a friendly slap on the back leaving a chalk mark so other carnies would know that this customer had lots of money.
The Midway –  the game and sideshow area between the main ticket booth and the entrance to the big top, literally “midway” between the two.
Ten-Pointing – this cheat is for an age-and-weight guesser, with a mark probably in her mid-fifties to mid-sixties, to write “561” and cover either the 5 or the 1 when displaying the written guess, allowing him (with the game’s two-years-either-way spread) to win if she’s anywhere from 54 to 63.

Does your voice match your outfit?

Or…is your online identity consistent with your offline material? Does all of this accurately reflect the culture and philosophy of the business you run?

You can tell a lot about someone from their personality.

This is an old one liner but funny because of its truth.

Often when I look at the overall marketing presence of a business there seems to be multiple personalities at work. This isn’t surprising because there are often the voices of several marketeers/designers promoting your brand.

  • So the guy who did your website picked up on your outstanding customer service and that’s the main sales message online.
  • The folk who did your brochures ran with your recent investment in new equipment and the quality this brings to your product.
  • The people that handle your social media (or maybe you do this yourselves?) tweet about your cheap pricing strategy, and put offers on your Facebook page.

This is all good in isolation, after all some marketing is better than no marketing at all right?

Well no.

Everybody expects great customer service, why would anybody put up with anything less? However anyone dropping by your website would think you were trying to claim this as your Unique Selling Point!

We all demand and expect that the things we buy match our quality expectations; no one is going to buy something that isn’t fit for purpose, that won’t do the job. If your product is design centric then it goes without saying it must scream quality. This is merely expected by the buying public yet it is the focus and voice you give to your no doubt, beautifully printed quality brochure.

Then you use social media to fill your follower’s time lines up with how cheap your stuff is. Everybody expects value for money, and Google will soon tell them where to get it at the lowest cost. If you make price your USP you better be the cheapest, and unless you are a major national discount chain with huge buying power you are probably going to be undercut.

Avoid the trap of your marketing looking and sounding exactly the same as every other business in your sector. You will all have similar qualifications, belong to the same trade organisations; you’re all going to be using the same images, trade logos and all care equally for the environment. Each one of the websites/brochures will tell you they give value for money and that they provide a quality service so why will anyone choose you?

What do you do that will solve the problems that your potential customers have?

This is the message you should consistently use to market your business.

On every platform your marketing should look, feel and sound the same as you develop your brand.

Think less about you and more about your target market.

Use a marketing solutions provider that has experience in communicating across the marketing mix with authority and creativity.

Most importantly make sure they understand you and the unique solutions you provide.