Small Boy’s Sausage & Bean Bolognese, 14p — Cooking on a Bootstrap

I try my best to follow a vegan diet, but I have never gone so far as to force that on my only child, who at eight years old is a rather headstrong young man, one I would no more force to an abbatoir than he could make me eat a cheap gristly sausage. He…

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Monochrome Madness 208 — LEANNE COLE – The Photographer’s Mentor

The post Monochrome Madness 208 appeared first on LEANNE COLE – The Photographer’s Mentor.

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Bosco Verticale

Photographer: Chris Barbalis

Photographer: Chris Barbalis

We were chilling with a glass of wine on a Friday night watching Gardener’s World when an article on the vertical forest Bosco Verticale in Milan came up. We hadn’t heard of it before but were blown away by the concept. Designed by Stefan Oboeri Architects this is a fantastic example of urban biodiversity – it hosts 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs & 15,000 plants, absorbs CO2 and dust particles and produces oxygen. The wet weight and consistency of the soil in the balcony planters has been carefully calculated and the trees in particular have been chosen through a three year research project for their shallow but stable roots and ability to withstand any extremes of wind and weather conditions.

While the two residential towers of 80 and 112 metres high have only been completed for just over three years, the idea is catching on, with the Tower of Cedars completed in Lausanne, Switzerland and vertical forest tower projects being built in Najing, Paris, and Utrecht. The first social housing development to adopt the idea, the Trudo Vertical Forest in Eindhoven is in the planning stages and a whole forest city has been conceived for Liuzhou in China.

If you are thinking what a wonderful idea, but a world away from anything you will experience, we were on the same page. Then we found out you can stay in an apartment in the original vertical forest in Milan through Boscoverticalesuite on Airbnb – it’s going on our bucket list.

Photographer: Chris Barbalis

Photographer: Chris Barbalis

Photographer: Ricardo Gomez-Angel

Photographer: Ricardo Gomez-Angel

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Corporate versus brand identity

Some time ago I took a stroll down Guildford High Street and photographed a cross section of the logos on the shop fronts. Because Guildford High Street has some of the highest rents in the UK most of the shops are let to upmarket brands. Here are a few examples of the logos I saw:


Why did I do this?

I wanted to analyse what links and differentiates these logos. What can we learn from this?

Additionally I wanted to explore what a corporate identity and a brand identity are. How they are defined—if this is possible.

So what links the logos illustrated? They are all relatively simple images. They are all primarily or entirely typographic. The use of strong, flat colours is almost universal. Tones and complex images are rare or absent. Reds, yellows, greens, blacks and blues are prevalent.

What differentiates these logos? Although they are almost entirely typographic, they all employ very different typefaces. The combination of design and colour makes them (mostly) very distinctive. Arguably the most different of this set is the Pizza Express logo which employs an Art Nouveau motif and typeface. Peter Boizot teamed up with Italian restaurant designer and cartoonist Enzo Apicella in the 1960s to design the PizzaExpress identity, so it is probably the oldest logo here.

Corporate v brand identity

The Oxford Dictionary defines corporate as “Relating to a large company or group. ‘airlines are very keen on their corporate identity’”

Whereas brand is “A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. ‘a new brand of soap powder’”

So strictly a brand aways belongs to a company or corporation. But it is more complicated than this. One view is:

Brand Identity

Brand identity refers to the perception of a particular product, service or idea a company or individual business owner provides. In creating a brand identity, the goal is to distinguish your product, service or idea from similar products, services and ideas from other businesses while communicating the ethos of the product.

Corporate Identity

Corporate identity is similar to brand identity. However, corporate identity refers to the perception of the entire company, not just one idea, product or service the company provides. This extends from the logo design to how the telephones are answered. One business may have many different brand identities wrapped up in its overall corporate identity.

Although often, the two terms—brand and corporate identity—are used interchangeably, they are two different concepts.

While branding relates to the emotional relationship between customer and a business, the corporate identity is all about the look and feel of the business. The latter helps a customer to distinguish his favourite brand from the crowd of other businesses.

The brand name evokes an emotion of trust and reliability, whereas the identity speaks of the product’s individual quality, its ethics and its focus. These two concepts are however interrelated; when the product is able to establish its unique identity, it is recognised as a brand.

When we think of the identity of a company the first thing that crosses our mind is the custom logo design. The logo is the unique icon that represents the company in the market, helps convey its business message to the customers and ultimately helps sell the product and services to them.

A custom logo can take your business far and accordingly you should be prepared to invest time and money in it.

What’s in a Brand?

Both corporate and brand identity consist of the same basic parts. A major part is made up of logos, colour palette and other images. This is a powerful part of branding, because much of the information people gain and remember is visual information. Another section of branding is slogans. Because various factors influence consumer perception, branding also involves items such as pricing, the quality of what the company produces or does, customer service and data availability.


A major difference between corporate identity and brand identity is in the way they’re developed. Companies may assign different marketing agents to each idea, service or product they want to promote. These agents can work independently of one another. To develop a corporate identity, however, at least one chief executive officer or other member of upper management must oversee the development of all brands. It’s the job of this upper management member or CEO to ensure that the marketing agents develop the brands according to the philosophies, vision and goals of the business.

Importantly, consumers need not be familiar with all brands a company offers before they associate a corporate identity with the business. In fact, certain consumers develop their concept of a corporate identity based on their experience with just one or two of the company’s ideas, products or services. For this reason, businesses that want to develop corporate identities pay close attention to every brand they initiate.

Sources: bizfluent Mash Bonigla Wikipedia.

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The New Mini Logo Design Unveiled by BMW — Design Blog | The Logo Smith | Freelance Logo & Brand Identity Designer – The Logo Smith

Our favourite little car gets a new Logo Design, courtesy of BMW: BMW: Current interpretation of the brand emblem combines stylistic elements from the early phase of the classic Mini with a future-oriented appearance that focuses on the essentials. [This] latest chapter in the varied history of the MINI logo will be visible on all…

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Ultimate Moussaka, 31p [VG/V/DF/GF*] — COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP

As the granddaughter of a Cypriot immigrant, I know my claim to have made the ‘ultimate’ moussaka is indeed a bold one. My grandfather would laugh in my face at the very notion of this vegan offering being considered anything close to the original, but, being a former chef himself (he once had a restaurant […]

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Food on the move

With the trend for street food and diverse offers from Argentine barbeque to Vietnamese curry, there has been an upsurge in the number and variety of mobile food trucks at village fetes, street markets, events and even in lay-bys and car parks across the country. Independent consumer research in the UK shows that almost three-quarters of consumers buy food to go at least once a week. A high percentage of these are from specialist mobile food outlets with very limited, specific menus, which they have in many cases honed to a fine art of speed and quality of delivery.

The advantages of the food truck for a start-up business is of course the relatively low cost of set-up and running compared with opening even a pop-up restaurant. This of course means it carries less risk and is a fast track route to start trading, compared with finding premises, applying for any planning permissions such as Change of Use, Permission to Display an Advertisement or even a full application for structural work such as a new shop front or installing a new extract system. You also avoid the cost and time needed for a building refurbishment, including applying for Building Regulations & Fire Regulations approval and liaising with the local Environmental Health department.

While much of the above is avoided or made simpler with the food truck option, there is still the cost of buying either a ready converted vehicle or having one purpose-reconfigured for your unique offer. This can range from using a car or van you already own and doing the majority of the work in-house, through sourcing a vehicle that is already converted and rebranding it as necessary – eBay offer these from just over £4,000 for a trailer – to buying a fully converted vintage Citroën HY van from companies such as Vintage Food Trucks Ltd from approx. £45,000 complete with the kitchen and a special paint job.

The range of vehicles being used for mobile offers is also incredibly diverse. Vintage Food Trucks offer conversions from a stock of American school buses, Airstreams, and pick ups, English Bedfords, British Land Rovers, French 2Cvs, Citroen H, Estafette, Peugot J7 & J9 vans and Italian Piaggio Ape three-wheelers. They source the vehicle and carry out all the work to your requirements and can even put you in contact with an agent who will offer a door to door delivery – at a cost of course.

At the other extreme, Jacquie Hammersley of Minor Bites in Surrey, says she set up her mobile cafe from the back of her family’s Morris Traveller, “partly to help my daughter launch a business selling home-made cakes and also to regain control of where and when I chose to work after being made redundant”. She researched using ‘Millie’ as her mobile premises and found examples from complete mutilations to ones that retained the integrity and character of the vehicle. She invested £3,500 in having a dual gas and electric Fracino 2 group espresso coffee machine installed, which means she can be self-sufficient and can ‘pop-up’ anywhere. Her husband carried out the rest of the conversion work at minimal cost. Jacquie also chose to source a locally roasted coffee called Cupsmith, and approached the National Trust for permission to launch her offer from their picturesque Wharfe location next to the Wey Navigation in Godalming. They were very enthusiastic and supportive, particularly because the Morris Traveller is a classic British car. She started trading in July 2016 and has now moved on to also catering for weddings and parties, using social media to promote and inform her customers.

Marsha Hall and her partner Geoff of the Tiger Lily Bus Company based in Epsom took four years to realise their ambition of using a vintage bus as a mobile bar/café. Having initially come up with their unique offer of stocking only English wines and food products, their next task was to find the right vehicle. Their search ended when they saw an advert for a Burlingham bodied 1954 Leyland Royal Tiger single decker bus. Rescuing it from Cornwall, they handed it over to Mark Whistler of Qualiti Conversions in Botley, Southampton to carry out the restoration and conversion. Plans for the interior layout were meticulously detailed, as Marsha and Geoff were very clear about what they needed in terms of refrigeration, plumbing, storage and serving facilities. Marsha says “The engine is horizontally mounted which meant that we have less storage space. It was a case of sourcing refrigeration of the right height and playing around with positioning although we did have the problem of the wheel arches at the back so Qualiti needed to build an area to support the double fridge and keep it level.” They had the two rear windows remade as serving hatches and seating booths for up to 16 people reconfigured using the original seats and tables replicating the original destination blinds, which were still on the bus. Including the hand painted signs by Aristocrat Signs, the restoration took over 1,100 man-hours and was completed in March 2016. They now cater for weddings, birthday parties, fetes and any other outside event with space to accommodate them, with the advantage of being able to offer some shelter for their customers should the British weather prove inclement.

Starting out as a mobile offer creates the opportunity to experiment with an innovative food concept or menu without risking huge expenditure. It is often used as a springboard for an offer that then moves to permanent premises and can eventually become a High Street brand or even a franchise chain. What is obvious from the interviews above is that having a clear vision for your food offer and making it as original as possible is the first step to a successful venture. The combination of this with an interesting, well-converted vehicle and a clear brand is what will set you apart from the competition. David Kerfoot of Tangent commented “Personally I am drawn to the older and quirkier vehicles at an event, especially if they sport a chic paint job and beautiful graphics. It’s only then that I register what they are actually selling.” However, a carefully planned and well executed conversion, with a kitchen that is efficiently laid out and easy to work in is essential for the speed of delivery without compromising on the quality that is needed at a high pressure event or function. While it starts with the food, success is clearly linked to the design and execution.

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