Single-use plastic consumption has got out of control. According to the EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency) in 2018, 27 million tons of plastic were landfilled, while only 3 million tons were recycled. And this does not account for the staggering amounts of litter on dumped on the land and in our waterways and oceans.
As we think about our impact on the environment, sometimes our own small changes can seem futile in the face of the millions of tons of single-use plastic and other waste thrown away each year. Thinking about the disposable products that we use in our everyday lives can help us make better choices as consumers.
Gifts and giving - the Victorians are often thought to have brought us the tradition of gifts at Christmas but gift-giving is a relic of a pagan custom, namely the winter solstice, which in the Northern Hemisphere occurs in December. As Christianity became increasingly widespread in Roman lands, the custom of gift-giving became tied to 25 December, the day of Jesus’s birth, and to the story of the three wise men bearing gifts. The tradition of gift-giving was further enhanced through tales of Saint Nicholas, an early Christian bishop from the Greek city of Myra, whose legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus.
There is now, thankfully, much more awareness of design in all aspects of everyday life.
But sometimes is it more of a case of style over substance and will it stand the test of time?
A discussion with a client got us thinking about what is good and what is bad design.
Not content with their current PR agency, in 2019 we were approached by natural and organic lifestyle store Live In The Light (LITL) to bring life back into their PR. After an initial meeting to gain some background to the company, its brands, ethos and ambitions, we felt sure we could improve their exposure to a wider audience through a variety of media opportunities.
Who doesn't love spending a bit of time by the sea?
It's certainly the place we always head to whenever we can!
Whether you're lucky enough to live on or near the coast or just aspire to be spending more time beside the seaside, there are lots of ways to add a little nautical niceness into your life.
From naturally nurturing bodycare & skincare products and interior accessories & homeware through to a complete interior re-design, there's a wealth of ways to bring you the beauty & benefits of the beach!
I remember well the time when I worked with my family in our business. We had two shops at one point and the build up to Christmas included the task of building the festive window displays. These had to showcase a wide range of products to appeal to as many window shoppers as possible. Making sure the product was displayed to its best potential and clearly priced was crucial too. There was the temptation to cram as much in as possible but I soon learnt that the old saying ‘Less is more’ was a good mantra to work to, as an overcrowded window means products are often not shown to their best and products can be lost to the eye.
In light of all that's been happening recently, many of us have been spending more time at home and with this, thoughts may have turned to changing a few things around the house or the garden. It's something we've been mulling over and a redesign is looking highly likely as we spend more time using and looking at the garden.
If you are not sure about what you want to do, how to do it, or any idea of cost then it's worthwhile getting in some professional help in from an interior designer or garden designer. As with most things, a professional will be able to look at your project objectively and offer you options that you may not have thought about yourself - they also have access to a wide range of suppliers, manufacturers and tradespeople that will be able to make the most of your budget.
What's in a name?
I'm often asked "Why Howling Moon?" so here's an explanation...
If you like something blue, then you'll certainly have a great choice of products as one of the on-trend colours for 2020 is Classic Blue.
Described as "solid and dependable" and a shade "we can always rely on" by Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman, Classic Blue will make a strong statement on its own — as a bold feature wall or as an accessory against a neutral backdrop — or layered with other lighter shades of blue, such as denim or sky, for a tonal look.
Last year through a series of scandals social media lost some of its appeal to users. Some people deleted their accounts or are using it much less and a few high-profile companies abandoned it altogether. Despite this, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all increased the number of their global users and remain key to most small and medium-sized businesses in reaching a wider audience.
Indoors or outdoors, we like to create private spaces to relax, work or just be free from prying eyes!
In this blog we look at a few design ideas of how you might start to think about that area or space that you would like to create a little privacy in.
Have you heard of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) ?
VOCs are a combination of chemicals, some of which may have short and long term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are much higher indoors than outdoors. You may be surprised to know that even carpets can contain VOCs and are also emitted into the air through second hand cigarette smoke and we all know of the health risks associated with that!
First home, downsizing or just a small room - designing the space in your home to accommodate all your needs can be a difficult challenge.
The world really is your oyster if you're looking for some inspiration for your interior. With so many rich and vibrant cultures to choose - from the rich and colourful Moroccan to simple minimalist Japanese, there are so many iconic design styles to give your home a touch of individuality - how far you take the theme is up to you!
We take a look at a few favourites that will add some international interior design details to your home.....
Beautiful tableware, a personalised gift of a beautiful bauble and handmade trees can all make up a wonderful Christmas.
It's that time of year again when thoughts turn to decking the halls and making this Christmas even more special than the last. We hope this blog might inspire you, be it making your own Christmas tree to dressing a wonderful dining table. We also take a look at the history around the tradition of the Christmas tree.
November each year is World Vegan month. The awareness month was established in 1994 to commemorate the forward movement of the ideology, as well as the creation of The Vegan Society in the UK in November 50 years prior.
Vegans lead a life which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
One thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey - as well as not using animal-derived products such as leather or any tested on animals.
Working with niche brands, it's always great to see new initiatives that support artisans, designers and smaller businesses.
This year, in response to the commercial behemoth of Black Friday, the Just A Card campaign is running an alternative in the form of Indie Week.
Running from the 19th through to the 23rd of November, Indie Week is a celebratory week of fun and noise with a particular focus on social media to encourage people to shop independent for Christmas:-
"In a world where people go mad and panic buy like crazy in the superstores on Black Friday, we want to redress the balance for small and independent businesses. We want to remind everyone that shopping small is a must this Christmas!"
Everyone passionate about creativity and independents is invited to share their stories on social media during the Indie Week 5-day Instagram Challenge. People are asked to celebrate the contribution independent shops and creatives make, plus post images of their JUST A CARD stickers, encouraging people to support independents.
A hundred years ago the kitchen was a utilitarian space for cooking and little else - a lonely place to cook and do the washing. Today it's often the social hub of the house. Spacious, open plan spacious kitchens with a central island and seating have turned the space into a multipurpose room - for cooking, dining and living room all-in-one. With the revolution in DIY and self assembly cabinets, designer kitchens have become more accessible to everyone and are a real statement of interior design.
Designing the interior of your home can be great fun and theses days with so many themes and ideas to choose from the possibilities are endless. Venturing into 'Retro' by carefully mixing and matching from different eras can work well and result in a very unique look.
Retro-style decorating encompasses several decades and covers any interiors theme that is influenced by trends and styles from the past. It's most used to describe decor from mid-20th Century onwards - so that's the 1950s, 60s and 70s and even, dare we say, the 80s!
Two beauty brands we have the pleasure of working with have very different objectives when it comes to the consumers they are targeting but ultimately both need to deliver products that work. Bilou is a young, quirky bodycare brand originating in Germany whilst Dafna's Personal Skincare from Spain combines traditional Ayurvedic principles with modern bio technology.
Love it or hate it, purple is going to be appearing alot in 2018.
Somewhat controversially, PANTONE declared 18-3838 Ultra Violet as it's colour of the year 2018 which has signalled its comeback. In describing the nature of Ultra Violet Pantone say "Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own."
It may not be your first choice to decorate a whole room, but used wisely you can inject a shot of this regal shade into your home without it taking over!
Our work to place products into the media relies on great pictures so carrying on from our blog ‘They say a picture paints a thousand words’ we look at some tips for producing your own product photography.
Richard Jackson from Forever Creative Photography & Design explains, from his experience in product placement photography, some of the essentials worth considering.
As a product placement PR agency we rely on clients having good images to promote their products. Be it a lifestyle product or a beauty product a great image sells.
Your products may be great but does your photography reflect their quality? As many as 67% of consumers consider image quality to be ‘very important’ and when it comes to product placement PR, journalists are looking for eye-catching and engaging images to grab the attention of their readers.
Paint has come a long way since Stone Age man first discovered the colorful potential of pigments created from crushed rocks and earth. From using egg as a binder to oil paints and then the mass production process during the Industrial Revolution and the advent of acrylics in the 1940s paint has continued to develop.
Now with the application of modern technological innovations there are paints for a whole host of uses that you may not even have thought of - you can even paint your tarmac if the notion takes you!
One of the major developments in recent years is 'safe paint' with one manufacturer claiming 'Baby-Safe even if chewed & eaten' - quite amazing considering the combination of potentially hazardous chemicals that make up most paints.
Colour now plays a major part in the marketing of paint with many manufacturers declaring their 'colour of the season' each year. The trend reports from the London and New York catwalks for spring/summer 2018 show we're set to see a season of saturated colour! Bold & bright will not only be taking centre stage in everyone's wardrobe but making an impact in the home too with paint companies tempting us with a host of intense hot-house hues!
Product placement in a nutshell
Many people outside the world of PR may be unfamiliar with the term ‘product placement’ so in a nutshell it is the appearance of a particular product usually including pricing details and your brand/company details in the pages of a media publication, online title, blog and TV etc.
We have worked with a variety of interesting gift and homeware companies that produce both functional and often quirky ceramics, their designs sometimes telling a simple story, portraying a character or even expressing a feeling. Cats, sheep, 'Batman' and bats can all be found on contemporary ceramics and from Sweden, subtle patterns and colours that give that 'hygge' feeling to your eating experience.
With ever increasing energy costs and concerns over the impact on the environment from fossil fuels and nuclear power, solar power generation has increased massively and its uses are amazing - from automatically opening a farm gate to providing power for an entire island.
Health & beauty tips for happy feet! Summer brings our hard-working feet out from under cover – but are they in good shape and looking their best? Holistic skincare specialist Emma Colman and the College of Podiatry offer some helpful tips to treat your feet to some much needed TLC to keep them in top working order.
Norfolk is certainly open for business - from a new caramel vodka to a jewellery business owned by two Norwich sisters and a graphic design-led lifestyle brand there's a wealth of creative talent launching innovative products that are putting the county well and truly on the design map!
In recent weeks we've been looking around at the latest colour trends in interiors and one of the biggest most definitely can't ignore is bright green. It may not be everyone's choice so the important thing to remember is no matter what the experts may say is 'on trend' if your own personal 'taste' sensors say 'no' then the trend is not going to work for you - so have a look at some of the other options and find one that does appeal and look at how you can incorporate it into your home.
If you do decide to 'go green' then pick a shade you really love - and enjoy!
If you're looking to try a variety of beauty products, make your own toiletries or want to try a beauty treatment without visiting a spa then your wish could come true in a box!
Almost every business has a trading name, from the smallest market trader to the largest multi-national corporation.
However, only a minority of those businesses have what could be classed as a ‘brand’ or a ‘brand name’.
Branding is a word commonly referred to by advertisers and marketing people, but what does it actually mean? and most importantly; how will it benefit your business?
Lasers - gone are the days of the surgeon’s knife or waxing that unwanted hair.
Whether you’re looking to remove unwanted hair, reduce wrinkles, zap sun damage or simply tone skin, you can now treat a range of skin problems and conditions the hi-tech way using laser beauty treatments.
Everyone is talking about ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-gah) – the Danish word for taking time out and making simple things feel special and it looks as though the once redundant piece of retro furniture - the drinks trolley - is poised to make a comeback.
Your floor is one of the most important areas to consider in your interior so there is a lot to consider when choosing your carpet or rug. There are some amazing designs to choose from and prices vary greatly and you may be surprised to find it is possible to get bespoke rugs made within a reasonable budget. You should watch out for the Goodweave scheme to ensure your rug or carpet has been made under fair trade principles.
Here are some things to consider that may help you find the perfect carpet or rug.
Wool dates back to before history was recorded, when humans discovered that sheepskin would keep them warm when the weather was cold and cool when it was hot and t would absorb moisture without feeling wet. It would be difficult to duplicate a fibre with the qualities but man can and has refined and improved wool. He has done so by selective breeding of sheep and by incorporating in wool fabrics such qualities as shrink resistance, durable creasing and pleating, moth-proofing, shower-proofing and stain-proofing.
Autumn is fast approaching and with October 30th just around the corner (when we turn the clocks back an hour!), it’s a good time to be thinking about lighting.
For some in Australia Christmas really does come in July!
No one seems to know for sure where the concept of 'Christmas in July' came from, but it's rumoured to have originated with a small group of people celebrating with Christmas-like celebrations in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
It can be hot and humid during December, which is in the middle of summer in Australia, so Christmas is celebrated differently by some compared to the northern hemisphere, where it's the middle of winter. It's more likely the Australia’s will have a beer on the beach, rather than mulled wine and the food eaten will often also be lighter, with seafood or a barbie a popular choice.
Those of you who follow Twitter may be aware of hash tag #wallpaperwednesday.
Roy, the PR man of Howling Moon has been around the world with his work in natural bodycare PR - from Brixton working with Hairy Jayne Handmade Haircare to Australia with skincare brand A'kin. There is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to beauty products from small local makers in the UK to an American small batch perfumery.
Which trade fair to visit with your gift and craft products?
We spend a lot of time visiting trade fairs up and down the country seeing and supporting clients who are showing at them and talking to potential new gift and craft PR clients.