27 Apr 2015


Here is something new for lovers of Bristol. Whether you like walking around Bristol for its architecture, learning about the history of Bristol, or taking photographs around the streets of Bristol, this is the book for you! 

In these twelve urban walks, author Timothy Mowl encourages the walker to explore Bristol’s diverse architectural heritage, its maritime past and rich social history. 

From the very beginnings of the merchant city, the once fashionable Hotwell spa and Clifton’s elegant terraces and crescent - raised in the teeth of bankruptcy, to an alternative way of living in the graffiti-ridden People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, Bristol Explored encourages the walker to view the city through fresh eyes, to take pleasure in its historical idiosyncrasies, to challenge accepted wisdom on matters of urban style and, above all, to experience Bristol’s many changing faces. 

Where in Bristol can you find the remnants of a Sixties walkway in the sky? Or a huge altarpiece painted by our greatest satirist? Which 18th-century pub – still serving pints today – played a part in the nascent anti-slavery movement? And did you know Bristol has a perfect Elizabethan knot garden and that the cables holding up Clifton’s Suspension Bridge are second-hand? 

‘Inside this shadowy, overgrown oasis there is the secret St John’s Hermitage carved into the red sandstone rock, first inhabited by John Sparkes, who was installed in 1346 to pray for Thomas, Lord Berkeley and his family. To the side of the arched entrance lowers Banksy’s stencil of a horned and scowling Winston Churchill, while the interior of the cave has 177 stacked headstones removed from the former burial ground. These are very small and of a uniform shape and size because Quakers do not approve of public displays of wealth or status in their cemeteries.’

Timothy Mowl is Emeritus Professor of History of Architecture and Designed Landscapes at the University of Bristol and is the author of over thirty books on architecture, landscape, historic gardens and conservation. 

Paperback by Timothy Mowl  

Published: March 2005 by Stephen Morris
You can order this book online via: www.timothymowl.com
You also buy from: www.durdhamdownbooks.co.uk
Price £10.00 

24 Mar 2015


Introducing 'The Art of Online Marketing'
 a one day intensive workshop

DATE:    Thursday 23rd April 2015 

TIME:     10am - 5pm Beverages and lunch included

VENUE:  No.4 Clifton Village, The Rodney Hotel, 4 Rodney Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4HY
               Held in the Admiral Room

This workshop has been created for small businesses, sole traders, restaurants, caf├ęs, hotels, retail shops, and people offering some kind of service. If you are needing to promote a service, product, place, venue, events, skill, etc. this will be invaluable for you. 

The day will include:
  • Understanding how marketing works for you and your business
  • Using online marketing to generate traffic to your website 
  • Developing brand consistency 
  • Discovering your market and what its interests are
  • Discussing the importance of creating good content
  • Accessing and interpreting your online statistics
  • Taking a user journey of your online presence
  • Understanding social media and using it efficiently and effectively
  • Creating an action plan for you and your business
You will come away with a much clearer picture of what you need to do to market your business online. A plan of action will be given out at the end of the day.

* There is a 10% reduction for two people booking together (one invoice): eg. two people from one company or two friends in separate businesses.

Places are limited

Click  HERE  to book a place on this workshop

No.4 Clifton Village - the venue

For directions, click on the Google map link: HERE

 Admiral Room

 What people say...

"Yesterday was such a useful day for me, so thanks again for everything. In fact I think it is definitely one of the most useful workshops I have attended in a long time: pitched at exactly the right level for us non-digital-native, slightly social-media-sceptical translators! Packed full of useful tips and tricks and extremely inspiring. Suddenly Twitter and Blogging make sense to me"
Kari Koonin FITI, Professional translator

"My new blog is such an amazing platform for me to share my passion, builds my brand and direct traffic to my website. I wish i had attended your course over a year ago as it is now straight forward and addictive. I now find the time to update the blog as often as possible, but mainly because i now understand how to utilise this amazing tool which is free and supports my work as well as communicating to potential customers. Thanks
Lisa Keating, Corset Maker

"Thank you for the very informative workshop, it really was an eye-opener! I honestly couldn’t see the point of Twitter previously but now I will get blogging and use Twitter to spread the word"

Amanda WilsonLighthouse Translations

"Also, after your fantastic twitter workshop I've been getting to grips with it and getting some good action so to speak as a "shop window" and would love to have a blog as my "shop" - and feel there's a momentum going to the mo".

Sian Tudor, Photographer

"Thank you so much again for the blogging workshop yesterday. I hope I didn't ask too many questions but am getting very excited about the blog. Will crack on with content and other homework as suggested and look forward to seeing you at the next workshop. Many many thanks"
Mark Hessey, Homeopath

14 Mar 2015



Surface Pattern Design: Photographic designs:

My idea was to create a pattern that incorporated many numbers, but to also have an urban, gritty feel. Urban Numbers (first published in 2010) was created by a series of photographs taken in my hometown Bristol over the year 2009. When I set about photographing numbers around Bristol, I was looking for different styles of numbers: in different settings, with different textures, colours and mediums. The main thing for me was they all needed to be actual numbers that were in use, so had meaning to someone.  Each number I used in this pattern was taken because it was in use within City of Bristol. Some are house numbers, office numbers, road markings, lamp post signage, etc. Within the pattern are numbers that have great meaning to me also, my home number and my parents house (which is the house I was born in), for example. For those of you who don't know Bristol, it is a really lovely city full of creative people, and when I say creative, here are just a few  J K RowlingWallace and Gromit, Banksy, Cary Grant, Beryl Cook, Damien Hirst, Jeremy Irons, Lee Evans, John Cleese, to name but a few!

In 2015 Bristol was made Green Capital of Europe. The Green Capital is awarded to cites to recognise and reward local efforts to improve the environment, the economy, and the quality of life of growing urban populations. To read more about Bristol's Green Capital, click HERE. Or you can also read an article in the Guardian about Bristol Green Capital, click HERE


3 Mar 2015


One of my ongoing design projects is for Bristol based orchestra 
Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra who perform three Bristol concerts a year.  
I design all the concert promotional material for the orchestra. 
This particular concert has a Russian theme with soloist Natalia Lomeiko 
The programme is Borodin, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky

The Concert:  St Georges, Bristol on Saturday 7th March 2015. 
For more details and to buy tickets, please click HERE.

A sample of the 20 page concert programme

Bristol Magazine Advert

Concert Flyer

Henleaze & Westbury Voice


The style needed to be 'Russian' based on the fact it was an evening of Russian music, with a Russian soloist. I looked at some old Russian posters to get some ideas on a good colour pallet with a Russian feel. I wanted to use just three colours as in the style below. The added orange is simply because it was strongly present in the concert venue logo, I needed to incorporate it somehow.

I then looked at some different styles of Russian typography and hunted around to find a font that would give the same feel, but at the same time be readable. There is always a lot of text that goes into a classical concert poster so it is important to make sure the relevant information for the concert stands out. 

16 Jan 2015


This is why it is good to do the occasional survey. This question above, How did you hear about us? was in amongst many other questions from a recent survey I did. In this one question, I was trying to discover which of my local advertising from last year had had the most effect. I was quite surprised by the results, which told me a great deal. Why spend money on advertising when it is actually good old fashioned word of mouth that helped me rather than paid advertising? 

In the past when we were looking for products or services we would have looked in the big old yellow pages, by heaving the heavy book off the shelf and simply ploughing through thousands of names until we found what we were looking for. More often than not the details were out of date and the telephone number no longer existed. Or you may have driven to an address of a shop that was no longer open. If you did manage to find a contact, you had no recommendation as to whether they were actually any good. 

Now, that yellow pages are pretty much non existent, where do we go when looking for a product or service?  We head, without even thinking, to Facebook and Twitter to ask advice on there...
"Can anyone recommend a good carpenter..." 
"I need a present for my sister, does any one know where I can get...." 

Not only do we ask for advice, but we also get first hand recommendations from several friends as to whether they were any good, and sometimes we may even be shown photos of their work. Social media is now the new yellow pages! 

Of course, we can always ask a friend at work or when out socially, but where else can we we get so many varied people in the same room together and shout out the question so they all hear you! So what does this tell small companies trying to get themselves to stand out from the crowd? Firstly, get onto Facebook and twitter and tweet about what you do, post up pictures and talk to others who ask questions. It really is that simple. 

We can also, when needing a recommendation in another city or country, ask online. If we don't have a friend living there, you can bet one of your friends knows someone who does! 

 "So here I am! In Oxford. Can anyone recommend a good place to eat?" 
 "We are off to France this Summer. Does anyone know of a..." 
"We are moving to Devon & need a plumber. Can anyone recommend?'

So if your business is online and you are sharing what you do/sell, it makes it much easier for others to know you exist, and furthermore, recommend you when asked. Online sharing and recommendations are swift, so the easier you can make it for them to wing over an online link, the better. If you do not have an online presence, they may well not share at all (simply due to the time it would take them to find their book that has your details in). 

I must also add that aside from having an online presence, being good at what you do (or having a good product) and being nice to people are also major key factors to a good recommendation. When you do a job, make sure you do it well, and try to keep things on schedule. Always remember that good news travels fast, but that bad news travels even faster! Make sure your customers/clients are happy to avoid any bad recommendations.

I do not work for Facebook or Twitter, so I have no invested interested here, but I do know that if used correctly, social media can be a very useful marketing tool for giving your business an online voice. Talking to people online is a good thing, so ask questions and listen to what they say, you may learn something invaluable. If you don't already, try to think about the smarter and less expensive ways to promote your business this year and make sure that you have a strong online presence. 

'Never underestimate the power of a recommendation from a friend'


To see our Bristol based business group and one-to-one workshops, 

15 Oct 2014


I am very happy that my latest design project for Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra is a charity concert raising money for St Peter's Hospice. For me personally, it has been one of those years where many friends have died and coincidentally, quite a few of them had cause to use St Peter's Hospice in some way (either staying at the hospice or needing home visits in their final days). Having worked with them over the past few months, I can see the amazing work they do at the Hospice. Carmina Burana is a stunning choral piece and even if you think you don't know it, you will recognise it. In this concert there will be over 270 singers joining the orchestra, along with 3 fine soloists. For more details of the concert and to buy tickets, please click HERE.

Branding Design and Promotional material for the concert

Front and back of the Concert Flyer

The Bristol Magazine full page advert

Sample of the 20 page programme

6 foot vinyl banners

Advert in Clifton Life 

Concert Email Flyer

Advert in the BS9, BS8 and BS6 Magazines

Concert Leaflets left in 47 St Peter's Shops in Bristol

Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra

14 Oct 2014


Nicholas McCarthy with Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra
Performing at St Georges, Bristol   
Photography by Rachel Goodchild
One of my photographs was used in this article by Pianist, Nicholas McCarthy, written for the the BBC Music Magazine blog. One of my ongoing projects is as designer to the Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra, where I create all their concert branding and publicity. I always take photographs of each concert, so I can use them for publicity. Read Pianist, Nicholas McCarthy's, article on "Why there needs to be more role models for disabled musicians." Click the image below to enlarge or read the full article by clicking: HERE.

Nicholas McCarthy with Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra at St Georges, Bristol

Nicholas McCarthy with Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra at St Georges, Bristol

2 Sep 2014


A new Book, CD and download that celebrates the Bristol music scene between the periods 1974 - 1981 

Here is a book that may be of importance to Bristol folk or general music lovers. The book and CD are due for release on October 6th 2014, this is guaranteed to be a really good read, and for me, pretty much sums up my teen years! 

This was a time before the internet, and we had no You Tube, no music downloads, and  no Facebook. Our evenings would consist of listening to live music in small Bristol venues or hanging out in The Dug Out listening to DJ's play their choice of music. It was also a time when every other friend and/or family member played in a band. During 1974 to 1981 I had a brother who played drums in the Cortinas and Gardez Darkx, a father who was manager of the Cortinas, a sister who sang in the Spics and The Sidneys, and a brother who played guitar in a band and took photos of the band scene over this time. We didn't have mobile phones, so no mobile phone cameras, making photographs of these gigs a rare thing. John Spink's photographs, combined with author, Gill Loats' words, make this book a great time capsule of this period in Bristol. Accompanying the book is also a CD and download featuring 22 tracks from the band scene at this time.

See below for more details on the book and the CD

About Bristol Boys Make More Noise

Bristol’s leading counter-culture publishers Tangent Books and Bristol Archive Records have joined forces to produce a photographic book, download and CD celebrating the Bristol music scene 1974-1981.

The book is based on the work of John Spink one of the few photographers to capture the Bristol music scene from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s. John moved to Bristol from London in 1972 and fell in with the band Magic Muscle who lived in the communal ‘Fun House’ in Cotham’ He worked as an occasional photographer for music mags as well as performing in some early shows by the surrealist Crystal Theatre.

He pioneered a technique of processing black and white film using X-ray developer which enabled him to shoot in low light (such as clubs) without using flash. This collection not only captures the Bristol scene during these years as Bristol music moved from 70s rock (Magic Muscle) through punk (The Cortinas) to the experimental adventurers The Pop Group and The Various Artists but also showcases John’s unique photographic style.

In 1981, John left Bristol for New York where he worked for Caroline Records. He now lives in Northern California and works as a tour manager for a large music merchandising company.

John’s pictures are put in context by author Gill Loats who was at the heart of the Bristol music scene working as a DJ at the infamous Dug Out Club and watching live music most nights of the week.

The release of the book is accompanied by the launch of a CD and download. The CD features 22 tracks including contributions from Magic Muscle, The Cortinas, Shoes for Industry, The Various Artists, The Ratbites From Hell, The Spics and The X-Certs.

The limited-edition CD features a 44-page booklet with sleeve notes by Thomas Brooman CBE who played drums with The Media, The Spics and The Sidneys before going on to co-found WOMAD and Real World Records with Peter Gabriel..

Said Richard Jones of Tangent Books: ‘I’ve known Mike Darby from Bristol Archive Records for many years and we both work in similar areas celebrating Bristol’s rich counter-culture, but this is the first time we’ve worked together. It’s a really exciting project bringing together John Spink’s photography and Gill Loats’ written memories with a CD and download. It’s a fantastic package that begins to make sense of the early years of the Bristol Sound.’

Book Details:
Bristol Boys Make More Noise: The Bristol Music Scene 1974-1981
Photography by John Spink, words by Gill Loats • £14 • 200 pages
203mm x 241mm (landscape)
Isbn: 978-1-910089-07-1
Available 6th Oct, 2014
Distributor: Central Books
Sales: Richard Jones richard@tangentbooks.co.uk

CD Details: 
Bristol Boys Make More Noise: The Soundtrack 1974-1981 
ARTIST: Various Artists
TITLE: Bristol Boys Make More Noise: The Soundtrack 1974-1981
RELEASE DATE: 6th October 2014
LABEL / DISTRIBUTION: Bristol Archive Records / Shellshock

FORMAT:  Limited Edition, numbered, 44 page booklet and Digital Download

CD Tracklisting:
Bristol Boys Make More Noise: The Soundtrack

 1.   Magic Muscle: Free As A Bird
 2.   The Cortinas: Defiant Pose
 3.   The Spics: You And Me
 4.   Gardez Darkx: Bliss
 5.   The Radicals: Nights Of Passion
 6.   Talisman: Run Come Girl
 7.   The X-Certs: Queen And Country
 8.   The Media: New Blood
 9.   Joe Public: Yellow Runs Forever
10.  The Spics: Angels In The Rain
11.  Sneak Preview: Slugweird
12.  The Various Artists: Unlucky In Love
13.  The Various Artists: Time Of My Life
14.  The Stingrays: Exceptions
15.  The Untouchables: Keep On Walking
16.  Wendy Partridge & Joanna Swan (The Spics): Fire
17.  Shoes for Industry: Sheep Dog Trial In A Babylon
18.  C.C. Sager: Deathbed Lullaby
19.  The Fabulous Ratbites From Hell: Sparkle
20.  The Dragons: Best Of Both Worlds

Bonus Tracks:

21.  The Vultures: She’ll Be Back
22. The Sidneys: Bleak Grey Skies