Over the last few years we have taken a different approach to the events that we attend. We have had a strong focus on the promotions industry and so have concentrated on events within that area.

In the past we have attended a wide range of exhibitions mainly in the marketing area and promotions world. We have also exhibited in The Netherlands and Ireland.

We would love to hear about the type of events that you attend in particular the ones you have found really useful.

Our aim when going to events is to make new contacts – of course – as well as meeting up with existing customers and contacts.

Our customers are based throughout the UK so getting the opportunity to catch up over a coffee in person is invaluable.

This year we attended Trade Only in January and met up with more that 30 of our existing customers

colour matching

Full or four colour printing – CMYK- RGB

Do you remember mixing colours at school? I loved seeing things change and I am sure we all remember that red and yellow makes orange, yellow and blue makes green and a favourite of mine is blue and red makes purple. Four colour printing works in a similar way. Base colour inks are mixed together to make other colours – only unlike school the percentage colour to colour ratio is very precise. If you have ever seen a Pantone reference book you will see the amazing number of colour and shade variations that are available through this method of printing. Having said that one thing that any print buyer needs to remember is that ink behaves differently on different mediums. So printing on porcelain will produce a different effect to printing on paper.

TIP:  If you are creating a campaign that has many different elements it is often recommended that you choose the element that gives the best colour match to your brand and ask all other suppliers to match as closely to that item as possible.

The little, large and in between of vinyl cut graphics

Vinyl cut graphics are a flexible solution for patterns cut out of sticky back vinyl. These can include letters and numbers such as those seen on Wheely bins, exhibition stands or retail outlets. They are also used on planes, boats and caravans. Almost any shape can be cut and almost any colour matched.  As small as a fifty pence piece or big enough to brand an aeroplane these are very flexible branding tools.

What is vinyl cut graphics?

Using a computer plotter, with an electronic eye precision blade cutting technology, various shapes can be cut from vinyl. You may have seen some example of these on cars with pink butterflies, flowers or even dragons.  These stickers are not restricted to use on cars they could equally be used in the home to liven up wardrobes, drawers or cupboards.

When we are working on larger runs we use our Thermal cutting tool that cuts approximately 2500 labels per hour – giving the same accurate cut and excellent finish at a fraction of the time of computer cut.

As with any of our stickers they should be applied to clean grease proof surfaces at an ambient temperature.  If you have any questions about application then please do contact us.

Most businesses invest a lot of time and money in their brand making certain it keeps consistent in look, colour and general feel – some companies even have a brand manual to ensure that the brand is represented as it was designed to be. But sometimes brands feel a little flat, they need something extra – something that takes them to a whole new level.
Bubble badges or resin domes do just that. With the unique doming process they are able to lift a brand into a third dimension bringing it alive. Bubble badges are durable, flexible and an inexpensive way of making your brand into a 3D experience,
The flexibility of a bubble badge means it can be used across a wide range of formats. We have seen them used on Caravans often to highlight a special design or limited edition as well as cars for the same purpose. They are commonly seen on white goods around the home and computer consoles where a generic version of a product needs a simple cost effective branding solution.
The most complex bubble badge we produced involved a multi layered badge that looked amazing and really challenged our production team.
Would your brand benefit from the 3D makeover? Call us to find out what we can do for you or your clients.

Round and about Bicester

We work with a lot of local companies who know all about Storms ‘home town’ of Bicester but we also work with very many businesses based throughout the UK who perhaps don’t know anything about this market town. We thought it would be interesting to tell you a little about Bicester and the surrounding area.

Bicester is a town based in north east Oxfordshire dating back to medieval times. Statistics from December 2014 show a population of 31,000. It is said to be one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire (in 2014 plans were approved for 13,000 new homes) including a mix of modern day initiatives such as zero carbon living and build your own homes. This link  contains information about the changes that are happening in the town. Bicester is in a great location for business such as Storm, being close to junction 9 of the M40 that provides  good links to London and Birmingham. It is also well serviced by railway stations – Bicester North and Bicester Village (previously Bicester Town).

In more recent times Bicester is perhaps better known for the designer outlet – Bicester village – which has grown beyond all recognition in the last 20 years. Hence its ‘own’ railway station which connects it directly to London. It is classed as a tourist attraction and was described in the Guardian  as a shopping Shangri-La. At this time of year it is a bit of a challenge for local residents because of the increase in traffic. I do have to add though that if you are in to your designer gear at reasonable prices then this is the place for you!

There is also the old army base, RAF Bicester, a major base for Bomber Command, now the home of Bicester Heritage who restore and store vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes . The site covers 348 acres containing restored redbrick buildings and hangars which provide interesting venues and accommodation.

Keeping with the military theme Bicester is close to RAF Upper Heyford. In 1915 the site was established as an RFC aerodrome. In the 1920’s/30’s it became RAF Upper Heyford and bomber station. Shortly after World War 2 the site was leased by the US Air Force returned to the MOD in 1994. The USAF built houses, shops and a hospital on site as well as a baseball pitch. Many of the buildings were converted into commercial properties and in fact it was one of these that was the home of Storm Graphics for a number of years. If you are interested in its history there is more on this website http://www.raf-upper-heyford.org/

Here ends our short tour of Bicester – giving you a little more background into what is happening in the world close to Storm Graphics.

Exciting News – New Product

We have been working with our magnet supplier to create  a new range of promotional magnets that are domed. These are particularly good for promotional mailings as they are light weight so keep the cost of postage to a minimum. They are premium products that offer a really good quality promotional item for companies wanting to leave a lasting reminder of their products and services.

It has taken a while to perfect the process as technical challenges with locating the magnets on the boards in the most time effective way was tricky. Our technicians worked at overcoming this issue and now we have a great quality product.

With the new printing and doming machine the design opportunities are endless.  We are working on some funky samples at the moment so if you would like to see them call us.

Jumping, frogs and dogs

So the waters slowly but surely starting to clear and we can finally see the fish again.

This is late March and it’s fairly cool so we haven’t started feeding them yet. Another thing to learn, only feed when the water gets above 8 degrees as they can’t digest the food! However every morning and every evening we’re out there counting the fish and sighing with relief that there are no floaters and 14 are still alive and swimming.

One of them however has a severely bent back/tail. What happened? Has it swam too hard under the waterfall rocks and bent it? (I know we’re clueless!) Call to Roy me thinks! Response – oh yes the whitish one, didn’t we say? They have a tendency to jump out of the water and 2 of them ended up on the floor whilst we were at work one day, the other one died, that one just ended up with a broken back!  Pic below – not ours, but similar effect, David Bailey forgot to come round!

Our initial sigh of relief is brief until we realise that there’s another thing to look out for – jumping fish! Sure enough as the water starts warming up the little ones start doing their best impression of a flying Marlin!!! Little toads!

Toads, that brings me onto something else we had no idea about! For the last 9 or so years our pond had been left to nature so we had a large number of frogs and toads in it. (One jumped up underneath the dog on the steps one night – big brave German Shepherd – not! He’s now petrified of frogs to the point when it’s dark and damp you can’t get him up the sodding garden! I digress, sorry!) Frogs & toads & fish – Breeding season beware, the amphibians have a tendency to latch onto any orifice and attempt copulation! The fish aren’t too keen on this act and can actually suffocate so keep an eye on them!

Bringing you up to present day, we are now into Autumn and you’ll be glad to hear  despite, dogs, cats, herons and ‘L Plate’ owners, all 14 are still alive and well. (Yep, we’re pretty gobsmacked too!)


part 2 How Big!

So D-Day arrives, it’s finally here the fish are arriving – we assume in a few bags in the back of a van. How wrong can we be, Roy’s arranged a fish doctor to transport them in a huge van with an aerated tank! Cups of tea distributed we proudly show him our newly resurrected pond with filtration unit, filter pond waterfall the works (we’ll ignore the fact its all running off an extention lead as the muppet electricians cut the wires off!). Dr Fishy looks around our masterpiece with a twitch developing as he says, ‘You do realise how many fish you are getting don’t you?’ ‘Yes’ we nod enthusiastically when in all honesty we haven’t got a clue! From memory it’s around 8 at 20cm or so max, we give away nothing. ‘Well, you’ll need the sponges from the old filter to give them a chance with some of their own bacteria’ ‘No problem’ we say nodding like one of those Churchill dogs in the back of the car with a fixed grin (grimace) on our face ‘We’ll run over to Roy’s and get them’.

Sponges in place, the fish are ready to be transported from beautifully aerated clean tank to their new, slightly murky, home. It’s a never ending stream of fishsocks (technical term apparently – goodness me we’re clueless!) with, well, quite frankly monsters in them! 14 in total, 12 adults ranging from around 40cm up to about 55cm with 2 home bread ‘babies’ at around 20cm long. Dr Fish is now ready to go, after he’s emptied his tank on our drive and we had to politely ask him to stop as it’s just flooded our kitchen…. His parting words, ‘Don’t be surprised if a few die, they’re not great at being moved!’
We stand agape looking at the pond where the fish have descended into the murky depths. Roy takes this as his cue to tootle off home with equally reassuring parting words, ‘You’ve got around £4.5k worth of fish there – enjoy!’
Peace descends on us as we look from the pond to each other back to the pond both thinking – Oh my God what have we taken on???
TBC – will they survive? What will our 50kg big brave German Shepherd do when he finally realises there’s something in the water?
Keep reading our newsletters/blogs for the next enthralling episode of our fishy tales. This fishy tail is based on a true story!