Wednesday, 1 October 2008

All Change

All future blogging activity will occur at our shiny new website, click here to visit...

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The Doc Lives

Spotted on the M4 heading into town.

Unfortunately due to the rush hour traffic we didn't get up to 88 miles an hour, so I couldn't see if it was a fully functional replica...

Monday, 23 June 2008

When Bus Wraps Go Wrong

It's all very well being able to apply large imagery to the side of busses...

but you have to remember that the windows will still open.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Happy Birthday Us

It was our second Birthday recently and to celebrate we sent all our clients, friends and family a birthday cake.

Whilst trying to write some copy covering what had happened in such a short space of time we decided it was impossible to put it all into words, so instead we put it in numbers...

1 world record
4 new recruits
7 countries worked in
13 clients won
17 packs of Hob-Nobs (a very conservative estimate)
32 fish-finger sandwiches in the Slaughtered Lamb
78 days spent in Birmingham
83 invoices paid
92 projects completed
5,841 cups of coffee drunk
10,077 tunes on the studio mac
11,856 miles cycled into work
81,738 mb of work archived
212,597 people entertained
1,000,000 thanks to everyone who helped us get this far

Trine spent many hours packaging them up with a candle and an explanatory piece of print that slotted over the top to keep the cakes intact while they travelled with Royal Mail's finest.

The cakes were made for us by the good people at Konditor and Cook and seem to have been well recieved by all and sundry

More from EURO 2008

As well as the Performance Pitch (see below) we've also created the Castrol hospitality areas in Vienna, Basel, Bern and Zurich. The spaces are used to entertain Castrol's guests pre and post match.

As such we've we've made them all look and feel like team changing rooms. This ties in with Castrol's 'Inside Man' positioning and is part of a wider guest journey that starts with the invitation and travel documents we designed and includes a glimpse inside the 'Mangers Office' with one of the Castrol Ambassadors (Wenger, Collina, Hitfeld, Butrageno) the night before a game.

The pictures show the Zurich event which was held in a fabulous restaurant (La Salle) that's situated in an old ship builders yard.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Castrol Performance Pitch - Day Three/Four and Five

Well the daily thing didn't quite work out now did it, so here's a summary…

By the end of day three we had a pitch including hoardings and a net, a big screen that works, a reception area, a TRACAB studio and a nearly complete changing room…

Finishing the pitch was made a little more complicated by the fact that we had to pick up half a tonne of sand to level out some of the lumps. We managed to find something appropriate from the DIY store on the way to site on Day 4, the only problem being that we had to get all the sand and four of us into an Opel Zafira!

The TRACAB team responsible for the tracking system and screen content arrived on day three with an incredible 12 people (more than set and AV conbined!) and set to working filling up their office with more computer hardware than NASA.

The good folks from GTMS powered on with the interior through day four - hanging the casement ceiling and cladding the second changing room, the tunnel and the players lounge. With Ben and James working through the night to get everything finished.

Meaning day five was all about snags, tweaks and Matt conducting staff training sessions while the finishing touches where being made around a bemused group of referees, security staff and hosts.

The last big job on day five was the installation of the large banner across the screen hoarding. We had decided to get this produced in a single piece to avoid the problem of joins and seams, the only downside being that if everything wasn't exactly as drawn we'd be in a bit of trouble. Thankfully it fitted pretty much perfectly (40 mm out over 18m isn't bad!) and bar one frightening moment with the German translation it finishes things off a treat.

Once we'd assembled a raft of ikea furniture, filled many bin liners full of rubbish and shocked the life out of the two cleaners who arrived at 06:00 on Friday to find a sawdust strewn structure in desperate need of a hoover things were pretty much completed.

All in all a pretty typical week on site, lots of hard work, some late nights and early mornings, much laughter, but mostly it's all about everyone pulling together to make sure it gets finished on time to the highests standard possible.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Castrol Performance Pitch - Day Two

It can get a bit frustrating once all the big stuff has been put up. Progress doesn't seem to be as visibly quick and all the hard work starts to go into the details.

Todays main task has been cladding the screen structure. A pain staking process of mounting, wiring and securing a series of 4.3 meter high flats gives the good folks from GTMS a(nother) day of hard graft.

While they ploughed on, the LED screen (PSL are looking after all the AV, wiring and the screen structure) is pieced together and winched up onto the truss, we spend a good while trying to get it's position spot on so the large banner will (fingers crossed) line up perfectly.

Inside the Lossberger, we get most of the first fix electrical in place, ready for the application of all the internal panels that will really make things start to look finished.

At about midday the strips of turf for the pitch arrive. Before this can go down we lay out a foam shock membrane that will help ease the impact on players feet. The turf is then rolled on top of this, cut and taped in place.

By 21:00 this is complete along with the front facade of the screen structure and it gives a real idea of how everything will look.

We manage a very enjoyable supper at about 22:30 with our client Toby, before heading back for some much needed kip.