At Cothill we’re always treated to amazing sunrises in winter. As each day shortens and the sun rise is that little bit later, it also moves closer to the summit of Cheviot. When the sun breaks over the Cheviot Hills and the clouds mass overhead the sky simply looks vast. If the timing is just right, it’s possible to capture the vivid intensity of dawn in yellows and pinks, with the dark grey blue of night still overhead.
The Wildlife Partnership, West Linton
Scottish Borders Website Design recently launched the new brochure website for The Wildlife Partnership; a company based in West Linton that provides a broad range of ecology services.
At the outset of the project The Wildlife Partnership advised that they had never been able to find their previous site in any search results. A quick bit of research revealed the reason: the previous web designer had placed the entire website within a hidden frame-set. This made the site look like it was tied to the domain name, but the site was actually located at a completely separate address on a BT server. As a consequence The Wildlife Partnership website had no connection to the actual domain name (and therefore wasn’t showing up in results).
The new website was designed around the company logo, colour scheme, content and marketing requirements, but most importantly, when the site launched it made use of effective hosting and the domain name DNS settings were correctly updated. End result? All search engines can now see, and have subsequently indexed all the site pages. Comments from the client: “Thanks for all your work. It’s been good working with you.”
I watched a TV show on weird weather not long ago and was fascinated to see frost flowers; delicate fronds of threadlike ice formed by sap slowly leaking from freshly damaged tree branches. Despite being a photographer and regular walker I had never seen frost flowers before. By sheer coincidence, during a walk around Duns Castle just a few days later, I discovered frost flowers almost littering the ground. They weren’t particularly big, and just the slightest of touches was enough to instantly melt them, but I was able to capture the tiny linear formations sprouting from a branch broken in the recent storms.
Castle Gunmakers, Norham
Castle Gunmakers was formed in 2008 just over the border in Norham, Northumberland. They’d had a basic website for a number of years but contacted Scottish Borders Website Design with a brief that set out the need for a professional new website with more targeted content and ongoing online marketing support. With a business such as this, it was important to maintain the existing brand but elevate it to a more professional level. Also of consideration was the fact that the clientele were largely of an older generation, so the new site design needed to retain the older audience, but also engage and encourage a new generation to take interest. Understanding how the business worked and what could be achieved online was also essential (stepping into the shoes of the client). All these elements come through in the newly designed Castle Gunmakers website; the brand is strong, there are elements of the traditional combined with more modern touches (for the young and old site visitors), and the site content is promoted and formatted in a manner that is clear, concise and easy to navigate.
When I set up my blog I entitled the category for my photographic posts “Photos; Borders and beyond” because most of my photos are taken in or near to the Scottish Borders. I’m glad I made use of the term “beyond” however, as it is most fitting for this photo of sea, sky and space taken at 33,000 feet somewhere over the North Sea. I’ve often seen stunning views, beautiful sunrises and unique sunsets from plane windows, but more often than not an ugly engine, enormous wing or dirty window didn’t allow for an artistic photo to be taken. On this particular occasional I was dawn to the blueness of everything, and suddenly realised there was no engine or wing in sight, and that the window was completely devoid of scratches, grease, condensation and frost. From the tight confines of my seat I was just able to extract my wide-angled lens from the bowls of my bag, and after several attempts I snapped this photo; looking down on the sky, up into space, with the curvature of the earth just visible on the horizon.
Plum of London, London
Scottish Borders Website Design has been working with Plum of London to help get their new range of luxury alpaca knitwear online and available for sale. We went through the process of designing a logo, helping to develop a strong identity and branding social media accounts back in April of this year, and now the first stage of the Plum of London online shop has launched.
As with the logo design, Plum of London had a very strong sense of how the online shop should look and feel. Scottish Borders Website Design therefore worked closely with the client to design and build an elegant, professional and trustworthy shop to highlight the range of unique, luxury products available for sale. Not only does the new shop effectively promote the new brand, it also details individual products with descriptions, detailed photos (including pop-ups showcasing colour ways and close-ups) and explains how to order and care for the beautiful luxury alpaca clothing and homeware products.
Although this initial site launch just offers a few product tasters more luxury alpaca clothes will be added over the coming months. And what did the client think of the site design? “I think it looks amazing – very impressed. Everyone I’ve met this week (all of whom work in the luxury retail industry), have said that they love the site! I wouldn’t have been able to give the right first impression if it wasn’t for you, so many thanks for your continued support in this. It really is much appreciated!”
I went for a hike up around Whiteadder Reservoir the other day and was lucky to catch a break in the clouds just as I was passing the overflow area. The low sun cast stark shadows across one side of the circular concrete steps, creating an interesting combination of contrast, symmetry and texture. I don’t often take architectural photos, but I was drawn to this shot by the repetitive play of the light and shadow over the curving steps. When it comes to photos of the Scottish Borders it’s not what most people would immediately think of!
Since the end of the hot weather we’ve had thunder storms passing by quite regularly. This evening a storm was tracking west to east along the Tweed Valley, with warm clear skies being swallowed by a dark, sinister, swirling cloud. As the cloud approached the thunder and lightning intensified, the breeze picked up, the temperature dropped and a sheer wall of rain could be seen behind the cloud to the west. I had noticed that the cloud was beginning to spiral and lower, and just before I started filming what looked like a tornado spout began to form and lower towards the rolling fields over the Merse. The video doesn’t really show the enormity of the dark, spiralling cloud mass that sat almost directly over the top of Cothill (just to the south west of Duns, Berwickshire). I experienced a bizarre mix of wonder and terror when recording the twister trying to form – it would have been amazing to actually see a full tornado in Berwickshire, but as the storm seemed to be moving toward the north I was terrified that if it did touch down Cothill might take a direct hit! Just after I stopped filming the spout seemed to tear itself apart and the cloud drifted harmless by. Not something that I ever expected to see in my lifetime – a tornado forming in Scotland!
Little Popsicles, Duns
Little Popsicles, based in Duns, is a new venture that makes bespoke hand painted wooden gifts. Scottish Borders Website Design were tasked to design a new logo based on an initial idea developed by the client.
With some designs for logos it’s possible to go down different creative paths, but with a company name like “Little Popsicles” and the type of unique hand made gifts they produce, it was essential to create a logo design that visually tied the company name and products together.
The new logo, which features different tones of brown, bright green and pink, makes use of a font that’s fun, quirky and playful, as well as an illustration of some old fashioned lollipops. The colour, font and illustration combine to make a logo that’s new with a hint of the traditional as well as being professional but human and warm.
There was only one problem with the logo concepts for this client; too much choice! Their verdict: “They look great… good work. Very pleased!”
I returned to one of my favourite haunts at the weekend and in between the showers I managed to capture this photo of Dunstanburgh Castle (with Lilburn Tower in the foreground) from Embleton Bay. The clouds, lighting and mood were changing by the second, and I made the most of the shallow beach to photograph the castle with the camera just a few inches above the retreating water in order to capture a reflection of the sky. It’s been a few days since I took the photo and I think my feet have just about warmed up again!