Hello? Is this thing on? I’m going to skip the half-hearted apologies for my non-existent posting here of late and get straight to the point.
Readers with good memories will remember me writing some time back about my new role as a promoter of golf in Wales. I am now pleased to report that what was previously hypothetical is now a reality. Our first update of the Golf As It Should Be site went ahead a little while ago and we are quietly pleased with the results.
We freshened up the content, added a news and blogs section and came up with a new feature called Club of the Month, which you can see here.
As well as from having to take a crash course in the Welsh golf scene to make sure I didn’t sound like an idiot, the first update was a test of my technical skills. I struggled manfully with VisitWales’ CMS, which was far bigger and more complex than any website back end I had yet encountered.
At first, things were predictably frustrating. I flailed around, singularly failing to achieve my comparatively simple objectives, while the system remained deaf to my expletive-laden entreaties to ‘just work’. However, after a few days of stumbling in the dark, things finally clicked and I’m now reasonably confident that I know what I’m doing. The next update will be a breeze.
I have some other bits an pieces to report, but I’m going to hold them back so I’ll have a reason to post again sooner rather than later. I bet you can’t wait.
As things have been a little text-heavy on here of late, I thought I’d fill you in on some of the design work we’ve been up to recently at Handprint.
First of all, we made some announcement cards to mark the birth of the lovely Elodie Kate Rivers. As well as providing the design, we also built the cards from scratch. Let me rephrase that: Caroline built them from scratch. I simply offered words of encouragement and promised not to touch them with my grimy fingers. In any case, Mum and Dad seemed very happy with the results. It was hard to gauge Elodie’s reaction.
Maintaining the general good news vibe, Caroline also designed a banner to commemorate the wedding of Suzanne and Jason. Once again, we had some very positive feedback from the happy couple. As this was the first time we’d attempted something like this, it was extremely heartening (no pun intended) to get a good review. We’re definitely looking forward to doing more of this type of design in the future.
Moving away from pleasure into the land of business, Caroline’s final recent creation was the logo for a new Polish language school. The key point of the brief was that the finished design should feature an owl. As big fans of birds in general and owls in particular, this was a fun request to cater for. The job came through our friends and clients at Wicked Smart Tuition. Please click on the link to see some more examples of Caroline’s logo design work in action.
That’s about it for now, but we’ll be back with more updates soon. I was briefly tempted to say ‘Owl be seeing you’, but I think we all know that would be an inexcusable thing to do.
Things have been a little quiet on here over the past few weeks, so we apologise profusely if you’ve been eagerly clicking away in the expectation of a thrilling new post. However, rather than a sign of indolence, this online silence signifies a period of intense activity. We’ve been getting some big stuff in place and we’re finally ready to talk about it.
Anyone who knows me will be aware that I am not a sportsman. As an uncoordinated schoolboy I would go to extensive lengths to avoid the ritual humiliation that a rugby lesson inevitably entailed. My inability to bowl a cricket ball was legendary and my cack-footedness meant that a career in professional soccer was never an option. As I have grown older I have become no more competent, but have come to embrace sport both as a spectator and – in certain tightly controlled circumstances – a participant. Consequently, the present-day me is very pleased to announce that we’ve picked up an extremely exciting new contract.
As part of a joint bid, we’ll be managing the editorial side of Visit Wales’ Golf As It Should Be website, for the next two years if everything goes to plan. Since The Celtic Manor was selected to host the 2010 Ryder Cup, golf in Wales has been on a major upswing, so helping this to continue is an extremely exciting prospect.
As you might guess from the site’s name, Wales is promoting itself as a place where golf is done right. Where the game is about the game and not about ossified clubhouse rules. Where you can play when you want, in a friendly environment on some of the best links courses in Europe. While my physical experience of golf goes no further than the ‘crazy’ variety generally located on bustling seafronts, it’s easy to see that Wales offers golfers something that is very difficult to find anywhere else. We’ll be working hard to get that message out there. Our first meeting happens next week and we can’t wait to get started.
We’ve also got some other design work and a new book project to tell you about, but we’ll save the details for another day. There’s only so much excitement the average reader can take.
To put it mildly, I’m something of a movie enthusiast. It might even be fair to say that I devote more attention to films than is entirely sensible. It can certainly be hard to understand how somebody able to identify the actor who played Henchman No.2 in a terrible film he saw three years ago can also be unable to remember where he left his shoes yesterday, but I am what I am.
So you can imagine how pleased I was when contacted by my my friend, colleague and all-round media whirlwind Helia Phoenix and asked to provide some movie-related comment for her thoroughly excellent site, hack/flash. More than just a blog, hack/flash also aims to involve people in collaborative art projects, building a creative community and having quite a lot of fun along the way. As has already been established, I spend a fair chunk of my time watching films in an assortment of dimly-lit rooms, so the possibility of some connection to genuine human activity, however vicarious, was extremely appealing.
All this is a very roundabout way of directing you here. It’s a post which attempts to argue that Hollywood’s boundless enthusiasm for making inferior versions of existing films is a bad thing. Perhaps you agree or perhaps you do not. In any case, please take a look and let me know what you think. While you’re there, I also recommend that you explore more of what hack/flash has to offer. I guarantee it will be time well spent.
To cap it all, I’m now going to be providing some fresh film blather for the site on a monthly basis. As well as giving me an outlet for my limitless opinions on what is right and wrong with modern cinema, this means I can legitimately claim that all those hours sat in front of a flickering screen were not a waste of time. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Just a quick update about one of the things I’m currently working on. The site is www.ifamagazine.com, which is specifically targeted at independent financial advisers.
To the layman, it might not seem like a particularly fascinating area, but this is a business going through some big changes at the moment. The government is pushing through some major new regulation in the wake of the financial crisis and many in the industry are extremely worried as to what the outcome will be. From the financial adviser’s perspective, we are living in some interesting times.
I’m currently responsible for daily news content on the site: new product launches, regulatory updates and anything else that might be of interest to the IFA community. It’s been challenging getting my head around such a specific new subject, but the need to keep coming up with fresh stuff every day has been an excellent introduction to the industry.
But the website is just the start. A physical publication launches this month which is shooting for the top end of the IFA and wealth management market. I’ve also made a contribution to the first issue and am very much looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. The magazine’s publishers The Clifton Agency already have a number of high-end publications under their belt, so I’m confident the finished article will impress.
This is the blog of Handprint Production, which you can find right here. The main site is where we’ll be taking care of business, over here is where we put the fun stuff.
There will obviously be updates on all the work that we’re doing, but this will be the place where we draw attention to the things that interest us in the world of writing and design.
We’re obviously very excited to be starting out on this new venture. Every member of the team is positively champing at the bit to get out there and get busy making new things for new people. I’m not going to do anything as cringe-inducing as laying out a ‘mission statement’ for Handprint, but if anything defines us it is the desire to do something a bit different, and to do it differently every single time.
You can follow us on Twitter at @handprintprod, if you’re so inclined. You can also get us on Facebook here.
Stay tuned for further updates. Interesting times lie ahead.