Chandlings School are the latest in a list schools in Oxfordshire who have turned to carbon colour to help redesign and produce their school brochures and prospectus.

This prep school prides itself in giving its children an active and encouraging start – and says to its pupils ‘If you are going to do something, do it well’.  Something we tried to echo in everything we are asked to do for them.  Its a great ethos, and one we enjoyed applying.

With the added advantage of being provided with some great photography we simplified the look of their literature, emphasised the use of the existing corporate colours and added a gently modernistic edge to the layout.  By keeping things simple the new suite of materials started to come together as a whole.

This allowed the school brand to be reinforced, its identity helping to show their unfussy approach to documents and the images of the children being active, engaging in sports and social events worked well in the school brochures and prospectus.  As well as in their regular newsletters.

If you would like to talk to us about how we could help you make your collateral more cohesive – give one of us a call on 01235 438 938


gold foil vinyl

Adding Gold Foil Vinyl to a relatively small number of personalised Gold Playstations for the National Lottery to celebrate the locations around the country that sold the winning tickets is one of the latest ideas put in place by the PR companies used by Camelot to promote the various games offered.

We used Gold Foil Vinyl to highlight the game, the winners name and the amount won, the winner was then asked to add a gold handprint to the new Gold Playstations that have been launched, and installed into the stores that sold them their successful ticket.

Base printed inlays were laminated, die cut to shape and then contour cut vinyl in a Gloss Gold Foil Vinyl was applied and distributed across the country to coincide with the winner attending a series of special events celebrating their win where their winning ticket was purchased.

The specially made Gold playstations are just part of a campaign to reverse the decline in revenues that has been seen briefly by Camelot.  The specially made Gold Playstations are being installed in the locations where the winning ticket was purchased from often with the winner themselves on hand to deliver the unit and add their own message to the play areas. Two of the first gold playstations to leave the warehouse were delivered by the lucky winners themselves.

Stamping their hands in Gold

Winners got to cover their hand with gold paint and make a handprint on the Feature area.  They could choose to write a personal message too.  The nature of their particular win was also featured in Gold Foil Vinyl.  Depending on whether they were individuals, belonged to a syndicate and had won on a scratchcard, Euromillions or Lotto.

bottle labels

One of our more unusual requests this month was to create some beer bottle labels to support an exhibition event.  It was to help promote a specialist packager provider who focuses on packaging for the safe transport, storage and disposal of radioactive materials.

So if beer is mentioned we usually listen more attentively than usual.  We were delighted to help design, artwork and manufacture a small number of bottle labels.  These were to be used as give aways on an exhibition stand. (we also produce exhibition systems find out more here)

From the clients brief to production of the labels we only had a couple of days to create artwork for two variants.

Then we printed in colour onto a brushed metallic base and contour cut them. Ready for the bottle labels to be applied.  The craft beer the client had purchased from their local brewer.

There were two types of beer involved, a light and a dark – so apart from the obvious text that needed to alter, used to describe the product, its density and ABV the differentiator – the client wanted to replicate a style that their industry contacts would recognise.

make your exhibition space stand out from the crowd

Most of us realise (albeit subliminally) that we can be seduced or attracted to well designed products. Whether we know it or not. At exhibitions and trade shows it is so easy to have everything blend together visually. All you need is a simple concept, a hook or focus and a designer to work with.  With a well designed idea you then you stand a very good chance of standing out from the competition. Using everything design offers you will help act as a differentiator. Don’t just do what you did last time, especially if the results weren’t that good.  Don’t forget who your audience is, why they are there, what will make them stop and engage with you, or remember you.  Get with the programme and see if bottle of beer would work for you, or bottle of something else.

If you need some help with your next public event, seminar or exhibition come and see what we could do for you.

see some example of other stands we have made here.

client communications

These MOT date prompt and test reminders are great examples of simple client communications  – we developed the programme using post as the prime media to communicate with the customers of Motorlux.  We designed the cards, printed them and then mailed them – staggering their release to suit the month in which the target vehicle was due to renew its MOT.

These A5 cards were the first direct mailing activity we ran at carbon colour using the new Royal Mail barcode PPI which when coupled with the benefits of short run colour printing allows the client to mix its marketing message, target the individual, highlight pertinent data to the recipient and deliver support to the brand.

At carbon colour we do all sorts of client communications – we print, pack, collate, stuff, produce envelopes, add labels, match contents, nest forms and information leaflets, collate inserts, seal and prepare for post, or simply finish and pack items and deliver bulk to your door.

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you design your next piece of outbound direct mail, or solve a particular problem you might have – give carbon colour a call and one of us will be only too delighted to help.

call us today on 01235 438 938

One area in which we excel is in dealing with last minute, short run solutions – which might involve adapting an existing idea, executing part of a plan or helping test several ideas at once, to inform measurement and response for a bigger marketing implementation plan.

carbon colour can help segment your data, add trackable codes or barcodes where relevant as well as source unusual outers, enclosures and promotional items to make your mak

liftshaft graphics

Occasionally we get asked to help transform a workspace, corridor or wall, but this month we undertook a complete transformation by applying liftshaft graphics in a large house on the Thames.  In the past we have done doors, inside panels, exterior areas and bespoke signage for lifts, but this was our first complete interior of liftshaft graphics.

In a private house that had recently been refurbished, we were asked to applied high resolution liftshaft graphics to a three storey domestic lift, wrapping doors, edges and control panels with a series of very colourful designs all of which had been painted by Mike Simmons (a set designer from Wallingford).  The inspiration for the very original designs came from a lively mixture of space related travel, a bit of Doctor Who and even a nod to Harry Potter.

Inside the finished liftshaft – the controls are incorporated into the design, even the emergency telephone is camouflaged.


The aim was to create an immersive experience for anyone travelling up or down in the lift – which is a platform version(only the platform base moves, the walls all remain exposed).  We started with a very plain grey liftshaft, eventually we applied graphics to the ceiling, up to the running gear and all over the control panel.  With bespoke graphics added to the interface it was quite difficult to image what it had looked like before the graphics had been applied.  The client was absolutely delighted with the result, which gave the family something completely unique, exciting and innovative.

personalised headgear

One of the latest bike accessories to hit the market is personalised headgear.  The new release from Lid is a semi collapsible helmet which offers protection – especially to commuters who tend to already have enough luggage without the incumbrance of a full bike helmet as well. With well crafted cut vinyl in suitable or contrasting colours we have helped this manufacturer stand out from the crowd.

LID Helmets is a lifestyle bike helmet brand, specialising in head protection for urban, commuter cyclists who demand convenience, style, safety and comfort. Our helmets are independently safety certified to EN and CPSC standards.  Bike helmets are a hassle to carry and store and most look unstylish – LID Helmets plans to change all of that.

Find out more about the latest in personalised headgear from LID here

Each segment of the LID helmet is made from recycled EPS (expanded polystyrene) with an in-mould polycarbonate shell and when you buy it you can make it your very own piece of personalise headgear. With option to add a corporate logo if you buy in bulk or your name if you bought as a single.  Lid says that this design not only allows the helmet to be compacted for stowage and portability, it also means it can shape to your head in use, making for a snug and comfortable fit, with the channels between the various sections allowing good airflow to avoid overheating. There’s also four-position size adjustment to the fit system and you get padding to stop the chinstrap irritating your neck.

As part of the marketing comms plan our client has been supporting their business development by personalising helmets for people like SOHO HOUSE and GQ Magazine amongst others.

getting ready for GDPR

Here’s a lovely example of a small business getting ready for GDPR.

With new regulations coming into force on the 23rd May 2018 there are fundamental things each business needs to do in terms of holding, sharing data and communications that require the use of individuals information.  In addition to all the back office logistics and systems protocols you need to adhere and maintain, it’s all about permission being granted ‘knowingly’ and consciously by your customers.

The Garden Design company is a small business getting ready for GDPR, and as part of this they decided to ensure they had absolute instructions from their whole client base, so they included with their regular January mailing a simple, but clear, postcard.  The clients were encouraged to respond by either logging onto the website and confirming that their contact details were all correct, or to fill in the reply card and pop it in the letter box, postage free.  Either way a contribution would be made to a relevant charity.

The response has been more than just encouraging, over 70% of the recipients responded within two weeks of receiving the newsletter, and all have been positive about being kept in touch with.

To talk about how we can help your business get itself better prepared for GDPR by producing your own version of a cleansing + permission led direct mail contact Phil Taylor here

Find out more about the charity that the GDC supported through their direct mail initiative here

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the result of four years of work by the EU to bring data protection legislation into line with new, previously unforeseen ways that data is now used.

Currently, the UK relies on the Data Protection Act 1998, which was enacted following the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, but this will be superseded by the new legislation. It introduces tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches, and gives people more say over what companies can do with their data. It also makes data protection rules more or less identical throughout the EU.

Stonehenge road scheme

As part of Highways England public consultation on proposals to upgrade the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down, as it passes the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, we helped create and manufacture a series of exhibition boards and other display materials. The boards highlighted the main aspects of the proposed scheme on which Highways England are seeking comment while one of our Twister systems was used to display a large map of the route.

One part of the exhibition was a series of linkable rigid panels that were interchangeable – so different venues could be best laid out, and a flexible single twister unit of over four metres in length that could be kept straight or bent to fit in a corner location or an awkwardly shaped  venue.  This was all printed and mounted together with additional collateral and small extracts produced as visual aids so that they could be used to help answer questions from the consultees as and when they arose.

One of the advantages of using modular boards as part of the solution for this client is the level of flexibility it gives both the event installation team and the designers.  Almost any size can be cut – and linked, panels don’t have to be either the same width or height – and to some extent can even be cut to shape as required.  Using a clamp system means that a board can be omitted, used in isolation or inter-changed really easily.  The scheme also used adjustable feet to cope with public venues and the possibility of variance in floor levels.

find out more about the A303 road scheme at Stonehenge here




learning music

As part of a new series of teaching guides for MusicBuds we helped create, print and bind some really effective bound books for music teachers.

The bound books happily lie flat and can accommodate a reasonably flexible page count.  Because we used our preferred paste-board wire-o-binding technique the different spine widths could be coped with, giving the additional benefit that when the series are on the shelf spines are fully legible, look like perfect bound books and if needed can be adjusted or updated without too much impact on the cover artworks.  As a result we’re already well into the first re-print of this series of bound books.

Find more details of the binding techniques we offer for bound books here
or find details of our paste bound wire binding here

contact us to discuss how we can help develop your next project mail

Musicbuds is a unique music-based programme for Early Years learning:

  • For children from 0 – 5
  • Developed by pedagogical experts in both the Early Years and Music
  • Tried and tested in hundreds of sessions in many countries
  • Supports both Music and Early Years’ learning objectives
  • Backing tracks with fluctuating tempos to support young learners
  • Originally crafted songs inspired by a range of musical genres and styles

Discover how Musicbuds excite and inspire children  here.


new building opening

With a new building opening on Milton Park there’s always lots to do – and the recent official opening of the new UK Headquarters of Adaptimmune was no exception.

With new albeit temporary graphics applied to the exterior of the building, with on the day signage applied separately to that, we also created and installed a series of huge timelines telling the story of the business its scientific progress and its corporate story.  From showing members of the founding team and early investors to rounds of investment in the UK and USA.

carbon colour provided creative services to design and artwork the timelines, which were then printed and applied to the walls in the new building, supporting collateral was printed, along with programmes for the day and temporary display boards supplied which carried press coverage alongside photos old and new.

Over 400 people, including employees and senior representatives from the regional and national business, academic, government and investor communities, gathered on November 6th to celebrate the official opening of their flagship facility. Professor Sir John Bell GBE, FRS, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, will unveil a commemorative plaque.

find out more about Adaptimmune here

or get some inspiration for your own printed materials from our collection of product types and case studies which you can find here