INQUIRE Botany – Email Newsletters You Don’t Have to Actually Write

INquire RSS Email newsletter in Mailchimp

I’ve just finished setting up RSS email templates in Mailchimp for INQUIRE botany.

INQUIRE are funded to provide info on inquiry-based science education and there are ten languages each of which needs to have regular email newsletter communications sent to its subscriber list.

With very stretched resources and limited capacity in the different countries for creating email newsletters in HTML, INQUIRE were rather wondering how this would be achieved.

The answer: fully automated emails that go out monthly, using whatever news items have been posted on the relevant site in the previous few weeks.

So: no email drafting for the client for the next three years – just the manageable task of posting news items occasionally.

So – sit back, relax and enjoy the news!

Exporting Made Easy: A Practical Guide

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Spider Books has just published ‘Exporting Made Easy – A Practical Guide: Selling Services and Products Overseas Through Agents and Distributors (including the Legal Bits!)‘, a short business book that introduces the process for exporting goods and services.

Aimed at UK SMEs, but useful in other countries too, the book is designed for businesses wanting to get started in exporting.

The authors Simon Bedford and Giles Dixon are both experts in the field with many years experience supporting businesses to expand into new territories.

It’s easy to read and will tie in very well with the current efforts to boost the economy by encouraging exports from the UK.

You may find it surprising that you can export your services as well and this book makes clear how that can work and what to consider.


Published by Spider Books, and printed by Short Run Press, Exporting Made Easy is priced at £10.99.
>>It is available to buy on and >>direct from Spider Books.
Paperback: 110 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0956108425
Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.8 x 0.7 cm

More at the Exporting Made Easy website


What is an App? How is it made?

This discussion about the app for TS Eliot’s The Wasteland is an excellent overview of what is possible in creating an app, and what is involved in getting there. It includes some discussion on legal matters when it comes to lots of IP being integrated into one project.

Watch the Discussion of how the Wasteland App for iPad was made on Youtube – 15 minutes

Happy New Year 2012

2012 Year Planner to download from Spider Creative
Click to download your 2012 Year Planner PDF from Spider Creative

Spider would like to wish everyone a very happy 2012.(Let’s hope the supposed Mayan calendar predictions are all wrong!)

By way of optimism, here is an up-to-date calendar for you to download, if you are ready to take a look at the year ahead and start planning.

It is an A4 format PDF for you to print.

Enjoy 2012!

Takooba Identity


takooba poetry logoMichael Willoughby wanted to develop a logo for his copywriting business. He started out with the concept of incisiveness in his writing, and he liked the sword used by the Tuareg called the takuba because it has a great name.

Some research showed up the motif of the star, which was adapted to suit the font that Michael chose from the selection presented.

The logo now adorns his website at

Get even better feedback for your website

Wishbox widget
Wishbox allows users to send you annotated screenshots of your website


Wishbox is a handy and free widget that allows visitors to  your website to send you a message if something isn’t working, such as broken links. The news is that Wishbox allows the visitor to send you a screenshot and add their own notes to point to the problem they found on the page.

This can be very useful for website design projects where lots of people are working remotely to put together a new site, as for the ContractStore website refresh that Spider managed recently.

It’s also useful for anyone wanting a close connection with their website visitors and for whom the site design is very important.

Headlane Mobile Phone Parts

We created an identity for Headlane mobile phone parts wholesalers. Headlane also needed stationery and an easy-to-update website with twitter feed and built-in contact form to launch their new business. WordPress was the platform of choice and the stationery set includes business card, letterhead and complement slip design.

Headlane website in WordPress







Websites That Look Nice and are Easy to Make and Manage

Gotzo Sorribas Website
Gotzo Sorribas Website built in Moonfruit software

Build your own website

Moonfruit offers site-building software that is based on a visual approach to designing your site. Being a very visual thinker, I like it because of this.

It has some disadvantages – it uses Flash which can be a bit slow to load and not all browsers have a Flash player built in – but when it comes to an easy way to make a simple, colourful website, its fab. It is sometimes claimed that Flash sites are not good for Google searches but I have found in fact that the sites I’ve built get picked up very well.

I use it a lot. Here is an example:

There is a free version and its very cheap and easy to manage larger sites or more of them. You can buy your domain names in there as well, and this is also easier to understand than the usual domain name registration and hosting websites. basically you can get your site built and run very easily.

If you still find it a hassle I can build and manage your site as I do for clients such as such as actress Angeles Sorribas.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Poster Design for Ionesco Plays

Poster Design for Ionesco Plays at the Camden Fringe Festival
Poster Design for Ionesco Plays at the Camden Fringe Festival

Recently commissioned by Atelier Community Theatre to design imagery to promote two plays by Ionesco, I had a lot of fun designing this.

The image is not related directly to the content of the plays but seeks to capture the atmosphere and spirit of surrealism that the playwright enjoyed.

The plays will show at the Camden Fringe Festival in August. To find out more and book tickets, go to  Http://