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Padlocking your brand

So you’ve built a great brand, reputation and following for your product or service – how do you keep it secure?

All design is covered in the UK under copyright law, however this only covers and protects your logo etc in terms of being copied or adapted by other designers within the UK. Intellectual Property (IP) is a minefield these days with so much information being available in the public domain – and a more laid-back attitude that has arisen from an increase in designers that have not come into the industry through the traditional path. For this reason, more and more businesses are looking for additional ways to secure their IP. There are a number of ways you can do this, and the ideal solution will depend on your product/service and what you are looking to protect.

We would always advise you to get advice from an IP law Professional. We have previously used Harrison Clark Rickerbys for a recent client.

Copyright

Copyright is what protects an individual design and its designer. For instance, your brochure would be copyright to the original designer or agency that created it for you under the majority of circumstances.

All designs are automatically covered by copyright within the UK, although we would always advise keeping all proof of your designs, time and date stamped and mailed to yourself unopened until the occasion arises. Proof can start right from the client briefing stage, so be sure to document and identify any files you are provided with as well as your initial sketches and any prototypes. The copyright will remain with the designer unless agreed by a legal agreement (either through employment contract or through the client agreement). Kissed Off only release copyright under very specific circumstances (and this is covered under our terms and conditions), and then it has to be issued in a certain way. We take copyright very seriously both on behalf of our design work and on our client’s behalf.

Trademark

Trademark protects you from others using your logo to promote their own services and other nefarious purposes.

To apply for a trademark, you have to go through the IPO – we would recommend using an excellent IP legal service to do this in the most cost effective and secure manner. Mistakes in trademarks applications can be costly. The IPO only deals directly with UK trademarks, and for global coverage you would need to apply to each country individually. There is a period of public consultation and you should allow 3 months for the whole process as well as considering whether to trademark your name and/or your logo.

Patent

Patent protects an individual product or product element and it must be proved to be unique from other products already on the market.

A patent is on the design of a product as a tangible item. It must be unique to other items already on the market – whether they are patented or not. For instance, you couldn’t patent a victoria sponge as the recipe is widespread and has historical usage. A patent application requires technical drawings that prove the design belongs to you, and can also include a product sample. There is also an application form for you to describe what makes your design unique. This will prevent others from creating the product the same as yours, but may not stop people from finding an alternative solution to the same problem. We would advise taking legal advice before starting and during your application.

What else can I do to protect my brand?

We would also advise our clients to get accounts started on all social media as soon as they have decided on a name for their product or brand. You can also work towards getting authenticated status for many platforms.

We also advise to do regular Google image checks for any images that are exclusively their copyright to check for any abuse on other websites and social media.

This guidance is offered for information only, and not intended as legal advice. We would always advise that a client seeks qualified legal counsel.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… #CookerySOS

#CookerySOS Xmas Book

Following on from the success of #CookerySOS, we’ve created a special limited edition to help you get through the Christmas cooking easily and affordably!

We travelled up very early only a couple of Sunday’s ago to catch up with John, drop off some more books (as he had sold out) and to photograph “a couple of dishes” for the download. What followed was a feast for the senses! We started with the Orange Carrots and Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese. In between shots we were trying to convince Stanley the Santa hat was a good look – he didn’t really buy it! The Cranberry Sausages are also another of my favourites from when we went up to Blackpool to photograph these great dishes in the #CookerySOS Christmas kitchen. The cover shot with Stanley the Ice Cold Pooch was just the icing on the Christmas Cake! What you can’t tell from the cover pic is how quickly Stanley could use his paw to get his Santa hat back off! Then it was onwards to an afternoon of sweet delights!

The #CookerySOS Christmas download takes you from defrosting a turkey through to party nibbles and all points in-between. My personal favourite are the Marzipan Snowballs that are so easy and yet so amazing fresh and christmassy I fell in love with them at first bite! It also has really helpful conversion tables and tips for each recipe to take the stress out of Christmas cooking!

We’ve included lots of help for those who may not have cooked a Christmas dinner before – making this book ideal for students, new carers and even new parents! I can’t wait to be curled up with my mug of Festive Latte (or as some would say a bucket)… and now with a Marzipan Snowball with raspberries! A real treat for Santa this Christmas!

My kitchen will certainly be smelling festive this Christmas!

Download your copy today for a £5 donation!

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Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel! A look at designing for a mobile audience.

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

Following a seminar event I attended yesterday, I did some blogging on the fly with Adobe Slate .

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image
Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

When technology advances the temptation is to make it imitate that which went before. With advances in mobile technology, an example for our industry is eBooks that “flip” pages and essentially imitate its traditional equivalent. However, by seeking to emulate the traditional equivalents, we are missing opportunities to create new immersive experiences that make the most of the platforms we are viewing the content upon. Those who have read my blog posts will recognise my synergy with this view as well as seeing how our approach to projects differ to those who seek to create digital literature simply by turning it into a PDF (either with or without page flip) rather than making the most of its capabilities.

I found the event stimulating and challenging, and following having attended we will now make our site responsive but not focus as strongly on mobile content and instead focus on creating an app that will blend the best bits of this blog along with some unique content such as covering the events we attend and industry news. To view the original post click on the image to the left to find out why an app really is the way to go for your mobile audience.

I hope you find this blog post as interesting as I found the event, while challenging your preconceptions about tablet and smartphone use.

Coincidentally, the blog post was written on the move using my mobile device. I could have logged in to WordPress to do this, but I found using the Adobe Slate app more convenient and easier to use with the intermittent signal you get while out and about travelling. This proving many of the points we discussed at the event, and I can’t wait to discuss the available options with both existing and new clients soon!

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Our Graphic Design Workflow

Here’s a quick overview of our workflow for our graphic design projects…

Briefing

Our briefing process begins right from our first contact with you – where that is through Twitter, by email or by phone. This is the stage to give us lots of information – whether its the draft content for your document or branding guideline for your previous identity; no piece of information is too small.The more information you can give us at the beginning the more prepared we are for our first meeting with you, and likewise the more accurate your initial quote will be. This first stage of our workflow is a key building block for your project and its importance cannot be underestimated.

When we meet you for the first time, we will discuss your brief in detail as well as any initial costings we have prepared. The more information we have prior to this meeting, the more accurate we can be about costs and deadlines. We will also discuss how you envisage the project to turn out, extent of works and any additional formats you’ve considered. We will also raise points that you may not have considered, as well as identifying any costs that could be limited or ways the projects longevity can be increased. Every project is unique and this is a key meeting for us to develop the route forward. A quote approval form will need to be signed before any work commences, a copy of which will be stored on the cloud for both parties to access at any time, but will be locked from any future editing.

Concepts

Following this meeting, we will immediately go into concept mode – typically we develop 3 times as many concepts as we will present to you. The number of concepts will vary by project type and will have been set as part of our quoting process – but typically will be between 3 – 10 concepts per project element. At this stage we may proof some initial concepts for comment to show the direction we are taking, these will probably take the form of screenshots and copyright will remain with Kissed Off Creations Ltd and are not for public distribution. Once this stage has been completed, we will send you an electronic proof in PDF format which will be sent and tracked to you by email. You will be able to download this PDF, comment on it and send it back to us for us to action. Please indicate your choice of concept and any amends you wish to make at this stage.

Logo Design

In terms of logo design, following completion of amends on your chosen concept we would send a PDF for you to approve by digital signature. This locks the PDF for both parties so it becomes a snapshot of how the logo should look. We will then output your logo into varying formats for print and web as well as black only and white only versions for use on a colour background.

All other design projects

After the concept has been amended, we would request an interim sign off. This means that the inherent design or concept would not change after this point; any amends after this stage should relate only to content or they may be applicable for an additional charge if the change causes significant impact to the document. The sign off then becomes a green light to lay out the rest of the document(s), which we would proceed to do as promptly as possible (workload allowing) in order for you to give your final seal of approval. Usually before final sign off occurs there are 1 – 2 sets of amends to content either for accuracy or aesthetic reasons.

Final proof

The final proof we send to you will not be what goes to the printers. The final proof  will be laid out so it is clearly understood how the final project will look. For 3D items we may also create a photographic mock up to make proofs easier to understand. Your final proof will be accompanied with a Proof Approval form at the end of the PDF for you to digitally sign. Signature on this form means you are happy for it to go to print, and that you have checked all the points listed on the form for accuracy (including brand names and terminology). Once this form has been signed, it will lock down the PDF for editing and return to us for our records.

The final print files will then be prepared in line with the signed off file and printer’s specifications and sent electronically to them for proofing and printing.

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Roll on 2016! – Full Speed Ahead!

Awaiting final product image

Our last print publication has hit the presses for Christmas pre-release! This seems an appropriate point to glance not only back over the summer (we’ve been busy behind the scenes) as well as a quick glance ahead to 2016!

Fairly Mounted on a Hill

Following a bumpy climb up the publishing hill, this book hit the book shelves earlier this month as well as being featured in the local press. For those of you interested in this title, it can be purchased directly from the Friends of St John’s website. We are currently looking for stockists of this title and an Information Sheet is currently available upon request.

#CookerySOS – Our new best-seller!

Our big story for the summer has to be CookerySOS by the Ice Cold Chef himself, John Joyce. One of the chefs who contributed to the CookerySOS recipes is Anjula Devi and you can Read Anjula’s blog on CookerySOS here. In addition to fundraising for CashQuest4Carers up in Blackpool, John has been busy cooking for us while we photograph (and we even ate a bit too 😉 ). The book will continue to fundraise for a number of great causes that directly relate to John’s journey throughout 2015 and will carry on through into 2016 – with some exciting projects to be announced over the next few months. CookerySOS may be John’s first book, but it certainly won’t be his last!

One of the announcements for this blog post is the Christmas Edition of CookerySOS which will be available as a donation only eBook. This eBook will feature some great festive recipes as well as a couple of recipes from the main book (of course to tempt you to buy the full book :) ) so watch this space as it’s time we all started making delicious Christmas Cake! We will certainly be in the festive mood much earlier this year!

We had such an amazing summer creating CookerySOS, from trips up north to spend time with John and Bev (and of course “our Stanley”) to creating more dishes at home to share with our family. Never thought my flat would get published! We have to thank Droitwich Print for doing a great job with the printing on a tight deadline – the presses are still running as I type this despite the first copies already being up north with John! We would love to see the book sell out before our restock on Wednesday – and sales so far have been amazing and surpassing all our other titles in the same period of time from publication.

Feta Cheese and Tomato Tart
Feta Cheese and Tomato Tart
Pork & Pepper Casserole
Pork & Pepper Casserole
Cake Mixing with John
Cake Mixing with John
The Ultimate Lemon Cake
The Ultimate Lemon Cake
Our Stanley helping to hold my tripod!
Our Stanley helping to hold my tripod!
Our Stanley got designs on my cake!
Our Stanley got designs on my cake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who would like to do a bulk order of this title, please contact us by email or by telephone to arrange payment and shipping. If you would like to host the eBook for donations on your website or blog, please send us a link along with a bit of information on your site and why you would like to host the book.

What’s ahead in 2016?

We’ve joined with Horton Accounting Services to develop The Work Train – a training service for Charities to help the disadvantaged back into work by focusing on key skills to help then get into the workplace. We’ll be launching the new website soon, as well as developing great training materials that are accessible to all. The plans are already in place for a national roll out but we are #keepingitlocal currently while we build a full curriculum and delivery network. If you would like to get involved, we are looking for training partners as well as corporate sponsorship – so get in touch through The Work Train website.

We’ll also be continuing to support John with developing Ice Cold Chef website as well as promoting a list of events that are already in planning (including one in particular that Ian and I are excited about!). Partnership is at the core of our approach for 2016, working with great local companies and driving Kissed Off forward.

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Are you struggling to finish writing THAT book?

StartAudio On-hold Messaging Service

One of our authors, Andrew Pain, has written a brilliant blog piece on book writing for the hybrid published author – in which he makes many valid points. Here is my response as a publisher (and thus sees things from the other side of the fence).

1  Sacrifice

We have to allow ourselves the time to be creative as well as both physical and mental space to experiment. That sometimes meaning ignoring those feelings of guilt that can hold us back from true creativity. However, there is another kind of sacrifice that Andrew doesn’t mention – the sacrifice of perfection. Sometimes, we become so obsessed with having it perfect before considering our work to be finished, that we never get there. At Kissed Off, we encourage handing us a draft at our first conversations about your book – not only so we can quote more accurately, but also that you get used to “handing over the baby”. We offer full editing services, and can tell quickly what you need to focus on while fine-tuning your book. This brings you one step closer to the finish line of perfection.

We can’t do this if its still on your desk.

2  Great things take time to develop

We couldn’t agree with this more, which is why we work with you to make sure your book is perfect prior to publication – hand in hand with a great post-publication strategy for driving your book forward towards your aims.

We have developed over the last 250 books a process that guides you through to the point where the book is in your hands. From start to finish, we work with you to drive forward a book that is complete and well designed for your target aims. One thing to remember is your book is far from finished once you type that final word into your text document.

3  Space

Sometimes we all need to be in a new space to think clearly. We offer unusual meeting spaces so you can discuss your progress with us in a casual setting so you get the most enjoyment out of the publication journey.

4  Dual purposes for your book

We agree whole-heartedly with Andrew, if you set out only to make money out of your book you will be sadly disappointed. Neither business nor life work that way – you get out what you put in. The dual purpose approach is a great way of encouraging you on the days you make no sales, because money isn’t your primary aim. Books can market your services, introduce a new innovation or simply grow your reputation as an expert in your field. Also, don’t consider your book in isolation – could it be part of a series, or lead to a seminar tour or drive new opportunities for you to explore. Your book’s publication is not necessarily the final finishing post for your writing journey.

With writing, as with any creative endeavour, it is always best to leave your pre-conceptions at the door – for they will only hinder you.

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Ice Cold Chef launches his first book on pre-order

ICC-Spiral-Book-Mockup-1

Ice Cold Chef AKA John Joyce has launched his first book!

You can now pre-order #CookerySOS by The Ice Cold Chef. Through the support and encouragement of his social media followers, John has finally put some of his great recipes into a book we all can learn from – along with some ‘donated’ recipes from his friends, chefs and more that have discovered him on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The book will feature approximately 200 (it is still growing as I write this post!) recipes aimed at the new cook, with simple ingredients that focus on fresh food served on a family budget. This book will be wire bound for ease of use by all in the kitchen, which mirrors how this book came into existence…

John became known as the Ice Cold Chef because of how he learnt to cook – while holding a glass of Ice Cold Beer! Here is the story as told by his wife, Bev.

John is not, nor has he ever professed to be, a qualified chef. He is an ordinary man, who works and also happens to care for me, his wife.

Eight years ago, we were your “average” couple, with one daughter, Louise who were living life as we wanted, going along nicely. John was a brick layer, I worked for the DWP and our daughter had just moved into her first house. John had decided on a career change as he didn’t want to work away from home any longer. He applied for and secured a job with Blackpool Council. It was a big change adapting to the office world, but as with everything he does, John put in one hundred per cent and really took to it.

Unfortunately, at the same time, I began to have strange symptoms and feelings in my legs that resulted in me being referred to a neurologist and eventually being diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

I enjoyed and had always done all the cooking at home. However my progression into MS was  so fast that it soon became apparent that I could no longer continue to do this. We tried various processed foods, but within a couple of weeks knew that this wasn’t for us. John asked me to teach him to cook. I taught him the basics but as ever John took to it and decided to take things a lot further. He started to talk about cooking on social media and was soon receiving encouragement, ideas and recipes from chefs and other amateur cooks from all over the world. This support gave John the idea to put his and their recipes into a book, firstly to show anyone they can cook if they really want to and secondly to raise money for charity.

John has since taken Ice Cold Chef further than he could ever have originally imagined and won Adult Carer of the Year in 2014 and now teaches young carers to cook. He also cooks at events raising awareness of MS and has been invited to the Houses of Parliament to discuss his work.

#cookerysos started out as a dream of mine through the need to cook simply using fresh produce. This book is the fruit of our labours and I hope it will go on to be a great help to many people.

John Joyce
Ice Cold Chef

This book serves as encouragement to all those facing adversity, and teaches us all about how positivity can make even a bad situation something not always so sad.

This book is now available for pre-order from us. Profit from the sale of the book will go back into raising awareness and more for MS sufferers and carers.

John & Bev Joyce
John & Bev Joyce
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Subscribe to support our latest title

St_Johns_Mock_Book

With our latest title due for publication shortly, the author has taken the unusual step of raising funds via subscriptions.

Fairly Mounted on a Hill by Simon Henderson is about the history of St John’s, Bromsgrove and its parishioners. The book has been written to help support the growing need of the Church in terms of restoration and protection for both this generation and those to come. A previous history of this Church was also funded by subscribers, and so the Friends of St John’s thought it would be nice to use this as a way to bring this title to publication. As with the previous title, this book shall feature the names of those who have subscribed as well as continuing to raise funds via the profits of the book after release.

The book is currently in its final stages of editing, however you can download an excerpt of this book now as a preview snippet.

Fairly Mounted on a Hill EXCERPT

If you would like to have your name immortalised in print, as well as supporting a great cause, then subscriptions are still open via Subscribe to “Fairly Mounted on a Hill”.

Are subscriptions a way you could fund your next book? Speak to us today to discuss your options to raise funds prior to publication.

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Our 2015 Portfolio has launched!

Portfolio-Mockup

Portfolio 2015 has launched and is now available for download!

This year’s portfolio has been filled with some old favourites as well as a range of images that have never been seen before this launch. As our birthday is just around the corner, we will be incorporating this new look into our new website when it goes live! Soon, www.kissedoff.co.uk will have a great new look as well as implementing a lot of tech behind the scenes to make it as accessible as possible for all.

Sneak Peek

Here’s a quick sneak peak (along with the slideshow above) of what you can expect in our new Portfolio…

Digital-Artistry
Digital Artistry, Illustration and Photography services

We offer a range of digital artistry, illustration and photography services. We’ve chosen just a small selection of our more popular images to represent this for our latest portfolio. We offer a range of styles, so contact us today to see if we can help you.

Branding
Corporate ID, Branding and Logo Design Services

We offer a range of branding packages to suit all businesses and products, but if you are looking for a more individual specification we also offer a full bespoke service that can include print, digital and social options.

Publishing-Cover
A range of our latest publishing projects

Our latest portfolio also includes examples of our most recent eBook and paperback projects as well as how those projects have developed into other literature and marketing materials.

To download your copy of our new Portfolio – follow this link Portfolio 2015

Can’t download? Then email us or call for your copy.

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Join the Club!

Club together to support Charity

St Richard’s Hospice has launched a new Book Club at it’s Cafe in Worcester. The aim of the book club is to reach out to the local book reading community while building a thriving group. Director of Kissed Off Creations Ltd, Natalie Ballard, is chairing the meetings following an invitation from Lydia Repton.

Inaugural meeting

The first meeting took place today, and while many books and topics were discussed, the chosen book for our meeting in June is “Life of Pi” by Yann Martell. This was met with unanimous support by the Club’s members. The next meeting is scheduled for the 15th June at 9am.

Copies of “Life of Pi” are available from the bookstore for £1.75, and why not have a great coffee and a browse while you are there!

The backup books are: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore and the Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – for those who are unable to finish reading the Life of Pi or would like an alternative book to read.

Club aims

The book club will be focussed predominantly on all realms of fiction, however we will also be looking outside of this genre on occasion as well as previewing forthcoming releases from Kissed Off Creations Ltd. There is no pressure to finish books nor to read the backups, all we ask is for you to bring along another book review or a recommendation of a title for the group.

If you cannot attend the group, simply drop in your review before the meeting at the store either to Lydia or to one of the other volunteers, and we can add your comments to our discussion.

Book reviews may be abridged and used to support window displays and advertising of the group.

Come along and join in

Pop along for a chat about books and a lovely coffee (and maybe a sneaky piece of cake too!) on 15th June. The cafe has wheelchair access and is situated through the charity’s well-stocked bookshop… even if they haven’t got your book in store, they are sure to be able to source it for you.