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Author Archives: rachel

Blog Awards 2013 Shortlist

We made it! Our blog – curious casa has been shortlisted in the category of Best Blog of an SME.

Another blog that we designed – Style Serendipity has been shortlisted for two awards, Best Designed Blog and Best Lifestyle Blog.

Thank you so much to everyone who nominated and voted for us. We wish Ciara and all of the Irish Bloggers who have been shortlisted the very best of luck!

Blog Awards Ireland 2013

Blog-awards

Our sister blog – curious casa has been nominated for the Blog Awards Ireland 2013! We are honoured to have also made it onto the long list.

Our category is The Best Blog of an SME business, sponsored by Sage.

The blogging community in Ireland continues to grow and blossom, we have such a wealth of blogging talent for our little size!

Congratulations to all the other bloggers who were long listed. We can’t wait to find out who will make it onto the short list.

2 curious

This day all the way back in 2011 we celebrated the launch of our little design studio curious. It was a beautiful sunny spring day just like today – (note to self take the 23rd of April off next year as it might be the only bit of sunshine we see!)

To mark the day and reward ourselves (any excuse to eat cake) we asked Aoife from Aoife’s Treats to bake us a cake!

Cake-1
Cake-2

It lasted all of 10 delicious minutes! Now what else can we celebrate, my tummy is rumbling…

Thank you to all of our lovely clients and the new friends that we have made over the past two years, we are looking forward to working with you again and again and again!

Springing into 2013

We decided to postpone our first post for 2013 until today, the first of February.

Why begin a new year in the coldest month when spirits are a little low after Christmas? January should be a month reserved for snuggling up and not a whole lot more! February on the other hand is full of excitement and promise. Flowers are beginning to bloom, the evenings are getting brighter and the nip in the air is warming up.

To celebrate our new year beginning today, we have decided to do a little house keeping and spring cleaning in our curious world. The first project to get a polish and a chance to shine is a website we have just recently launched for an extremely talented wedding cinematographer – Rodolphe from Best Day Productions.

Here is one of his beautiful films, visit his site for more video candy!

http://bestdayproductions.com

 

Enterprise Boards & Grants

Your local Enterprise Board is an excellent source of practical information about how to set up a business. Enterprise Boards also award grants to local qualifying businesses.

There are 35 County and City Enterprise Boards throughout the country, each serving a specific geographic area. The Enterprise Boards provide business advice, training, mentoring and funding to suitable businesses within their catchment area. For a full list of the Enterprise Boards visit http://www.enterpriseboards.ie

Certain businesses may qualify for grant aid if the business meets strict criteria. Each Enterprise Board may differ on the exact criteria required for the grants that they offer. Contact your local Enterprise Board for advice on how to apply and to find out if your business is eligible.

If your business is suitable and approved for a grant to enable you to build a website, the grant is paid after the completion of the website. The grants available in County Wicklow can cover 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum of €1,500.

The two Enterprise Boards close to our studios are the Wicklow County Enterprise Board and the Dublin City Enterprise Board.

The services and funding available through the Dublin City Enterprise Board are explained in this short animation.

We have worked with businesses who have been awarded grant aid by Enterprise Boards, and we would be delighted to provide a quote to accompany your grant application.

Get in touch – we’d love to help!

Design A to Z – X Y & Z

For our very last post in this series of Design A – Z and for 2011, we have decided to combine the last three letters into one post all about the alphabet. After all, where would we be without the good old alphabet.

The alphabet is one of the first things that we learn about in life, from a very early age we are exposed to all sorts of toys and books with the familiar A B and C. The saying as easy as ABC is a funny contradiction when you consider the huge and complex history that has brought us to the 26 letters that we know today. This post is more of an appreciation piece rather than a detailed history of the alphabet, if you are on the hunt for more information about the origins and development of the modern alphabet then visit this link on I love typography.

The letters that we are all so familiar with and use every hour of every day have roots that stem as far back as language itself. Written communication in it’s earliest forms appeared as pictures known as pictography or ideography. These picture representations of daily life were drawn on cave walls and tablets. The spoken word was used to interpret these pictures.

These basic pictures were modified over time and characters were added in an attempt to communicate more accurately. Thousands of characters and symbols were used to communicate. This was not the most efficient way of creating a written language, as learning to read these pictures and characters was a complex task relying on memory. One form of such written communication was hieroglyphics. Learning hieroglyphics was very time consuming and required a lot of studying. This meant that written communication was mainly confined to the wealthy and scholars.

The idea behind an alphabet is that a simple symbol represents a sound. Writing is a way of recording these sounds using these symbols – a way to record words, thus simplifying written communication. This simplification made writing and reading the written word accessible and much easier for people to learn. The development of the alphabet is one of the most important of all time, it made knowledge and communication available for all.

The English alphabet that we use to write today was developed from the Roman alphabet. The word alphabet is a combination of the names of the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta. These Greek words were developed from the original Semitic names for the symbols: aleph (“ox”) and beth (“house”).

The early Roman alphabet had 20 letters:

A B C D E F H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X

It then expanded by borrowing letters from the Greek alphabet, namely G, Y and Z. Below the alphabet had 23 letters.

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X Y Z

The reason that our modern English alphabet is based on the Roman alphabet is due to Roman dominance in Europe.

The English Alphabet today as we all know it has 26 letters. However we also have two versions of these 26 letters. These are divided into uppercase and the later addition of lowercase letters.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Lowercase letters were developed from cursive hand written versions of the uppercase letters. Although uppercase and lowercase letters look very different, when we are learning the alphabet, we learn that both a and A represent the same sound. We also learn to recognise the familiar characteristics that make an “a” in one font the same sound as an “a” set in another font.

So have a good look around you and notice just how important the alphabet and written communication is to us in our day to day lives. Where would we be without our AB and C’s?

We hope that you have enjoyed our Design A – Z posts this year, we would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Design A to Z – Uncoated

With the weather outside at the moment, you certainly wouldn’t want to be uncoated. If you went out without a coat you would be drenched and very very cold! Just to clarify, for today’s post we will be looking at paper rather than fashion.

The two main categories that paper and board are available in are coated and uncoated stocks. We usually use the word paper to describe lighter weights of stock and board for heavier weights. Paper and board come in lots of different weights and thicknesses from very light and thin to very heavy and thick.

When paper is being manufactured it is either left in it’s natural state or it has a fine coating applied to it. As you can guess, if it is left without any coating it is called uncoated and if a thin coating is applied to it, it becomes coated – as simple as that!

Uncoated paper is used everyday for general office printing, newspaper and book printing. Uncoated papers are better for writing on and reading from. They have a matt finish and are available with lots of different textures. Heavier weights of uncoated papers are also available for use on business cards etc. Uncoated papers are more porous than coated papers, this means that ink tends to seep into the fibres of the paper. Colours will appear differently when printed on uncoated versus coated papers. Most recycled paper is uncoated.

Coating is a process by which paper or board is treated with an agent that coats the surface. This coating gives a smooth surface that colours tend to sit on when printed. Colours can appear more vibrant when printed onto coated paper. Coated papers are available in a gloss, silk (satin) or matt finish. Most flyers, magazines, posters and food packaging are printed on coated papers.

Pick up the nearest piece of paper to you and have a good feel of it, is it smooth or does it have a slight texture? Hold it up to the light and see if it has a shine or is it matt? Which do you prefer? We use both types for different projects here at curious. Our own business cards and stationery are printed on uncoated paper and board.

If you need any advice on the best type of paper to use in a printing project let us know!

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