Recruitment Posters

The Bury St Edmunds Concert Band, the world’s most popular market town brass and woodwind band led by an RAF drummer to have ever played in the Theatre Royal, are hiring.

If you play trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, clarinet or percussion, get in touch –

Here are the posters I designed, each with a slightly different theme. ‘Clarinet’ may not be a verb, but I think it works.


Recruitment Poster - fanfare-01 Recruitment Poster - clarinet-01

How to Use Stock Photos

stock photography

Stock photography can be a great way to get images in your website or advertising that is as good as your writing (note that I’m assuming your writing is great!).

But if you’ve spent any time at all looking through libraries you know that there is a lot of rubbish out there. Smiley couples running and jumping; someone looking overly-disgusted at a laptop screen; a woman pulling at her hair. You know the sort of thing. A lot of it is being used right now on sales pages and online ads.

I’m sure that you know how to spot cheese. It’s exaggerated and silly. But what about the pictures you’re not sure about? How can you go about finding just the right image for your site, advertising or article?

1. Use Natural and Honest Images

If you’re a sole trader, don’t use an image of eight people sitting around a conference table on a page talking about your company policy. You can also easily tell when a picture of someone with incredibly perfect teeth is a paid-for image, so give that one a miss. Instead find images of people who dress like you, perhaps look like you and are in environments that your readership or clientele could relate to. If you work in rural Norfolk, customers aren’t going to believe your office has floor to ceiling glass, stainless steel furniture and a view overlooking a deep blue ocean.

2. Keep Looking

The first images that pop up in a search are likely to be the most popular so skip them. Try to find images that you haven’t seen before and don’t remind you of another site. Some images quickly become clichés , like people writing on glass. If you see an image often enough, it loses all its meaning.

3. Consult With Your Client.

If you’re searching for images for someone else, for example if you’re a marketing company looking for content, make sure the client or end user approves. This is particularly important for technical fields where a small mistake on the photographer’s behalf could mean a major industry-related faux pas. I can imagine someone in the medical profession seeing a photo of a lab working and think “Can you believe how that guy is holding that pipette?”

4. Edit Carefully.

Make sure the editing of the photograph is up to scratch. Crop out parts that you don’t need. Don’t enlarge JPGs so that they look pixellated. And be really careful with outlines when removing backgrounds. It doesn’t take much to abuse a Photoshop tool and undermine the impact of a photograph.

5. Buy!

I get asked regularly if Google Images is a reliable source for photographs. No. It isn’t! Those are just photographs that appear on websites somewhere, perhaps a site like yours. All photographs belong to someone, usually the photographer, and using property without permission and calling it your own is called theft. Stop it.

6. If in Doubt, Don’t

If you aren’t sure if a photo really fits with your brand or company image, don’t use it. Better yet, find a local photographer to shoot something for you. But hiring a photographer is a completely different post…


Do you have a favourite stock library, or do you shoot photos yourself? 


A Tribute to the West End

bury st edmunds, theatre royal, keep theatre live

The Bury St Edmunds Concert band held another concert at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds on the 28th February. The theme this time was ‘A Tribute to the West End.’

Beginning with a startling (recorded) thunderstorm and Richard Burton’s introduction to War of the Worlds, Director of Music Rob Head took the audience on a journey to visit all the big shows – The Lion King, The Sound of Music, Cats and others. A one-off performance by the band’s own Tanktops performing songs from the Jersey Boys was a real treat! It was a fantastic evening, ending in a well-deserved standing ovation.

I designed the programme as a fundraiser for the Theatre Royal, which is now struggling after the arts council cut their funding and is regularly looking for support.

Do you have a local theatre, suffering under the weight of failing resources? Show them your support, in any way you can. The best way is to buy tickets, and make sure you buy some for your friends too. Let’s do our best to keep British live theatre and performances alive.


Spot UV Finishes

spot uv printing, printed materials, marketing

If you really want your print materials to come to life, use spot UV.

Spot UV is a process that makes part or all of a design glossy, making it stand out from the rest of the matte finish. You’ve probably seen it on book covers and business cards where the title of the book or the logo on one side is shiny.

Spot UV is simply a varnish applied over the top of the design that is then cured using ultra violet light. The area that is coated with the varnish can be part of the design, the entire piece or a new design altogether. For example, it could be a watermark that can only be seen when the piece is tilted into the light. Or perhaps you want to accentuate parts of a design, like certain letters in wording.

Unfortunately, using spot UV is not as simple as just asking your favourite printer to make something shiny. Not all printers are able to implement spot UV, and the design you send to them does have to be prepared especially for the process. But spot UV is a fantastic way of enhancing and adding an impressive edge to any printed piece.

There are lots of other possibilities too, like embossing, foil (for metallic finishes) and sparkle finishes. Sparkles might not suit an annual report cover, but if you publish children’s books, for example, it might be something to consider.

Great content and images are the guts of a printed brochure, hand out or flyer. Add some spot UV and your marketing materials will really sing!


book cover, print materials, marketing

print materials, marketing print materials, marketing