It was inevitable… Simon finally bullied Paul into investing in an iPad for the DNA web team. The official line is that the iPad is now an established platform and therefore all web work and apps need to be developed for and tested on the iPad. The truth… Si and Rob just wanted to spend the day playing with a new toy, giggling in the corner at the most expensive version of etch-a-sketch ever conceived.

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The new recruits…

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the DNA team; Mathew Riley has arrived as Digital Project Manager and Tim Cowell has joined as Business Development Manager…

Mathew is a former account director at London based Lateral Net Limited where he spent 10 years working in strategic account management. He has worked with clients in many sectors including publishing, charity and not-for-profit, fashion, music, film and entertainment, FMCG, government and health. Mathew has relocated to the South West and will be responsible for overseeing all things web and multi media.

Tim has joined us as Business Development Manager having previously been sales & marketing director at independent office products dealer; Axworthys Group. During his 15 years with Axworthys, Tim helped grow sales from under £1m to over £6.5m per annum; he also won two BOSS (British Office Supplies & Services) awards for marketing excellence.

We?re very excited these two high calibre professionals have joined us and we look forward to reporting on their progress.

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Been and gone, but I still love this fantastic piece of design, created by advertising agency Leo Burnett for the promotion of the WWF Earth Hour. Although this idea has been used previously by the same agency (see here), this years implementation was much better and pushed the idea further still. Great stuff.

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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Les Borjs de la Kasbah is a quirky boutique hotel in the heart of ancient Marrakesh owned and run by a one-of-a-kind Englishman and his French wife. The couple lovingly restored the Hotel with a beautifully authentic Moroccan feel using traditional craftsmen and materials throughout. Expedia has ranked the Hotel number one in Africa which is testament to its owners’ passion for this unique resort.

Creating a website to live up to such an individual place, whilst also appeasing the Anglo-French owners’ quirky taste, was a real challenge – this certainly isn’t another run-of-the-mill Hotel site. We tried to portray the warm ambience and individuality of the hotel’s rooms through the ever-changing header and plenty of rich photography.

Due to the owners’ fastidious attention to detail the site is almost entirely content managed, allowing the client to amend and update of almost every piece of copy, image or sidebar widget that appears on the site – no mean feat of engineering considering that this can also be done in 5 different languages.

Possibly the most impressive part of the site is the custom-built, multilingual booking system, which displays 4 weeks of live availability in and around your chosen days, and allows users to select multiple rooms on a single page before paying for their bookings online.

So if you’re considering Marrakesh as a holiday destination, why not have a virtual wander through the delightful Les Borjs de la Kasbah hotel? It might just help make your mind up for you.

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Rudely dragged away from watching Peppa Pig with my daughter, I found myself speeding up the A35 early on Monday morning (by way of Little Chef and their Early Starter breakfast, with an extra hash brown, thank you kindly) with Paul at the helm (er, wheel), and Katie and Simon F manning the lifeboats, heading to the Southampton Boat Show for meetings with our client Princess Yachts. As that hash brown settled, it occurred to me that I?d never even been on a yacht, let alone a luxury yacht. How would the day unfold, as I entered this new nautical world?

Princess were showcasing several of their yachts on their impressive and imposing stand, (getting those yachts into position must have been a considerable challenge in itself), but of particular note were the debuts of three new models: the Princess 42 and the Princess 64, whilst the Princess V52 made her first appearance at a UK show.

Despite a busy meetings schedule, Simon Clare, our host, made a special effort to personally show us around several yachts moored in the Marina. Slipping on natty shoe covers we explored the beautifully crafted interiors of the Princess 64 Flybridge. As the wind and rain moved in, we watched in awe as the many visitors vacated the exposed Marina at a high rate of knots, no doubt headed toward the show?s restaurants and refreshment stands.

While we thought nobody was looking Simon F. and I took the opportunity to man the controls of this stunning craft, fearless in the face of the angry elements, blissfully unaware that in the shadows of the storm, lurked Paul with his monster lens. There?s just no escaping the paparazzi is there?

Thanks to the Princess team for an illuminating day out.

Post title quote: Brooks Atkinson

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Take a look at this fantastic and award winning 10 minute animation from Tiny Inventions. ‘Something Left, Something Taken’ is a charming and beautifully animated dark comedy about a vacationing couple’s encounter with a man they believe to be the Zodiac Killer. Using After Effects, Stop-Motion, Pixilation, Drawn on Paper, Flash and Live Action puppets, the result is a mixed media triumph in which you’re never quite sure of the techniques used to bring the scenes to life. Thankfully, Tiny Inventions has generously posted an extremely extensive ‘making of’ detailing almost every part of the production process and pulling back the curtain with in-depth tutorials. The efforts and creative talent that went into the production are equally as fascinating as the animation itself – be sure to check it out.

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As many of you know, I am a mad keen amateur photographer and have a passion for wildlife and the outdoors. So, what better holiday could I possibly take than going on safari in Africa. Using the power of the Interweb, I researched numerous tour companies to get the best Safari experience that I could. I eventually came across a bespoke safari specialist called ‘Go2Tanzania’. All I gave them was a proposed budget (which I had to increase) and a list of animals that I wanted to see. They then worked their magic and came back with an itinerary to match my criteria.

Anyway, the result, was one of the most amazing experiences of my life – 9 day safari in Tanzania and 5 days on the paradise island of Zanzibar. I traveled with my wife Donna and my sister and her family and we were all lucky enough to see some amazing sights including; 5 leopards (1 up close including a leopard/gazelle chase), numerous lions (including cubs who were no older than 2 weeks and a lion kill a gazelle), several herds of elephants (including an elephant charge), hippos (in and out of the water), herds of water buffalo (including young calves), giraffes (even sitting down and drinking) and 3 cheetahs (one close to our vehicle), plus numerous other animals and birds (too many to list).

I also bought a balloon flight for my wife as a Christmas present and having waited 8 months, we finally got the opportunity to enjoy it together across the plains of the Serengeti, including Champagne and a full English breakfast (not in the balloon). Below is a sample of the 1,200 images that I took. Hope you like them.

Article by Paul Mabin – Managing Director / Creative Director.

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