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  1. An inspirational tale

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    Let me tell you a tale. A tale of travel. A tale of adventure. A tale of the Panda Pop bottle.

    It’s 1994. I’m a young North Walian kid with a pocket full of dreams and the best pair of dungarees North Wales has ever seen. I’m with my Dad walking the dog beside the river on summer’s evening in St Asaph. We get to a spot where we can get down to the river side. I have kept an empty bottle of low-grade Cherryade I drank a couple of hours before. We decide to write a message, secure it in the bottle, and cast it into the river (forget about being environmentally friendly for the purposes of this story). It bobbed down the river getting caught on rocks, weeds and branches before drifting completely out of sight. Years passed, times changed, and people moved on. However last week my Dad received a letter from someone who had found it since we’d set it sail – that was 18 years ago. It was found in Ireland in a place called Bray. In the years of its journey it could have travelled straight there, or gone anywhere in the world. Who knows!

     
  2. Movember: Team D&P

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    The mo’s are now taking shape... please sponsor us on the team page: movember.com
    All donations go to prostate cancer charities – thank you!

     
  3. Brad Pitt designs furniture! (brace yourself)

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    Apparently it's Art Nouveau and Art Deco inspired… apparently. More here if you can stomach it:
    www.architecturaldigest.com

     
  4. To Have and To Hold

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    Really nice collection of 70s and 80s paper bags… and a sick bag.

    www.tohave-and-tohold.co.uk

     
  5. Fabian Oefner photography

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    www.fabianoefner.com

     
  6. High Impact, Low Investment

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    In a stressed market, where every penny spent on design and development is under scrutiny, it is important to understand the impact and benefits of design at every level of investment. Maximising efficiency in austere times has become a fairly standard requirement of any design brief and never more so than now.

    Quick, effective tricks that deliver great responses from your customers are well documented. For example, there are very few volume retailers that don't acknowledge the importance of a 'third window', an introductory offer at a store entrance that creates and supports best sellers in their range. If a concept can deliver this in a full-spent application it is one element that can be rolled out in isolation across a chain, cheaply and to great effect.

    There are still a few traders who have not yet latched onto the concept of 'see it, buy it' – the idea that shoppers need to be physically shown what to buy, what's hot, what's on trend. Cheap to achieve, effective in the extreme.

    Right now, technology is impacting the market. Digital signage is proving its value in mass retail, as print can be so slow and static. Presenting flat printed messages in store might work, but the flexibility and efficiency of a constantly updatable digital message can pay for itself in no time. Perhaps not such a low investment, but cheaper than ever before and certainly high impact.

    There appears to be a clear divide between retailers who are investing in their future and those who are standing still, with many brands failing to connect or inspire their customers. Progressive businesses that push themselves further in these turbulent times can steal a march on their competition. Rather than sit on your hands and wait for the market to turn in your favour, now is the time to capitalise on cheaper property, competitive build costs and a customer that is crying out for something new, fresh and uplifting. Now is the time to do something different, whatever your level of investment.

     
  7. This is Milton Keynes…

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    Next Milton Keynes opened this month with a surprising and unique development that sets this store apart from the chain. On the back wall of the men's cash desk there is a permanent exhibition of photography, highlighting the rich architectural heritage of the town. The photography is predominantly black and white, with some colour tinted images, and it focuses on the case study housing and municiple landmarks around the mall. The work is by Andy Townsend, our in-house photographer and Image Resource Manager. The results are very engaging, adding a point of reference for the local shoppers and elevating what some see as mundane to a higher level. You might believe, looking at the images, that they portray LA or Brasilia, but no... this is Milton Keynes.