f1 provides web wonder to wow waste managers Aktrion

People create rubbish – it is a fact. You only have to survey the scenes of extreme littering after a music festival to appreciate just how much waste large events create.

But who cleans up after such a large-scale party? f1 recently had the pleasure of working with Aktrion, a leading recycling and waste management company that provides sustainable waste management solutions to the UK event industry, from corporate functions to festivals and exhibitions.

Aktrion wanted a website that truly showcased its benefits to event managers and purchasing decision makers. Their previous website didn’t sufficiently reflect the company’s 14 years’ of experience, the high-profile nature of many of their clients, or Aktrion’s wide remit of services that includes management of vehicle logistics and event dismantling.

“We wanted a new website that was of course smart and functional, but really got across our key messages of offering a full, seamless, service to customers, with no limits on the event’s size and duration,” explains Chris Baumann, Director, Aktrion Group. “It had become necessary to blow our own trumpet a little more, and really highlight the services that we offer to come of the UK’s leading organisations. f1 worked very closely with us to provide a web solution that really reflects our market status, and showcases our brand.”

The new website www.aktrionevents.com has been designed for easy navigation, is a concise information portal, and importantly, utilises social media functionality.

Peter Gatward, Creative Director of f1 Colour, says social media now plays an important promotional role for many service providers, and should not be excluded or underestimated. “Aktrion is developing its social media presence, and this is an area that we have been pleased to advise the company on,” Peter explains. “On the new website, we have provided links to platforms such as Linked In, Twitter and Facebook, so followers can easily engage with Aktrion – the links are also useful for search engine optimisation ranking.”

According to Peter, links to relevant bodies that Aktrion is associated with have also been incorporated into the site, to add kudos. “It is important for consumers to know that Aktrion is affiliated to bodies such as the Association of Event Organisers Ltd, the Event Supplier and Services Association and the Association of Event Venues, as this tells potential customers they are dealing with a professional company,” Peter concludes.

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Messenger to Managing Director, Mentor to Author!!

Tom O’Hara (account manager at f1) has a father-in-law who didn’t just reminisce about what it was like ‘when he was a kid’ he actually wrote a book about it. So here is the story how Carl Sims came to put pen to paper, well finger to keyboard actually, but you know what I mean.


Carl Sims. Author of ‘Ahh! Sims’

I was created in Catford and born in Lewisham.

This probably means nothing to those with little knowledge of London; actually it’s not a big deal – in respect of miles, very little, however for a Londoner it’s important, it designates you are a south London boy.

After Lewisham I lived in the Old Kent Road. Most of this area was wrecked by the war; being so close to the docks, stray German bombs were dropped haphazardly. My early life was spent playing in derelict houses with wallpaper flapping and broken stairs took you to where a room had once been…

I’ve not gone far. I still live near south London.

However, my book is about a time when I was neither there nor here.

It’s a collection of tales, hopefully amusing and sometimes poignant – dealing with the traumas we face when trying to grow up, and not being sure about, well, anything. Whether it be girls, bullies, teachers or indeed friends – most were a mystery, so I thought I’d share my confusion with others in the hope we can make sense of it – hence the book.

It’s called ‘Ahh! Sims’, because as a young boy, I was on numerous occasions sent to the headmaster for one innocent reason or another – on seeing me he would always adopt a pained expression and sigh
‘Ahh! Sims’…

I never fully understood why I of all children was singled out, after all I was a perfectly natural lad – undisciplined, uninterested, uninspired, uncaring and any other ‘un’ you can think of. I spent my free time being as obnoxious as possible – I created havoc where peace once reigned and constantly advised teachers why they had got the wrong boy.

Should you read ‘Ahh! Sims’ you’ll see despite my best attempts, things never quite went according to plan…


Getting published.

It’s said everyone has a novel in them but what if that novel wants to come out and dance around on the page? How would you get it published? This was my dilemma when I completed ‘Ahh! Sims’.

Publishers have a massive unsolicited post load on a daily basis; hundreds of authors send manuscripts and await response. Most will get a ‘Dear John’ response or in my case, ‘Dear Carl’. Don’t be put off – now there’s a way for you to see your inspiration in print, or rather, on screen.

You may not be an e-book reader – doesn’t matter, millions are! The phenomenon is relentless – many people download books onto their Kindle, iPad, Kobo, phone, android, even their laptop or computer and it’s growing! Let’s take a look at what you could do.

You can send your manuscript to numerous publishers – you never know, it may work. Or you should do what I did with ‘Ahh! Sims’ – self-publish with Kindle/Amazon, and it costs – nothing.

Ok, it’s not quite as simple as that – there are a few things you’ll need to consider: Just how do you actually upload your book?  How can you make sure it is, at the very least, worthy?  Can you get it reviewed anywhere? Where do you find somebody who can produce a professional cover?  And how do you market your book?

You love your book/story and have agonised over every word but you must get an objective opinion and painful though it might be, need to accept some criticism. Try www.youwriteon.com – this site has budding plus published authors who’ll critique your prose – take most of it on the chin! Either way, you’ll have the opportunity of reading their efforts – that’s the way it works – you read theirs, they read yours.

Once you have considered various critiques; adopted some, ignored others, you’ll then want to get it read by those who might actually pay for the privilege! Kindle is the answer! Go to mine http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ahh-Sims-ebook/dp/B005MRAZII   – scroll to the bottom of page, you’ll see ‘self-publish with us’ click and follow instructions.

Wait! You’ll see you need a cover for your book and yes; internet users will judge a book by its cover. I’m sure people reading this might just know a graphic designer… Be realistic about pricing your book. At the moment you’re getting nothing for it, so price it low.

Once it’s on the internet it will not sell itself. You need to let people know about your wonderful work – don’t be shy. Try Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, local press/library. With Facebook you can set up your own ‘fan’ page’ which generates massive interest – see mine for example; http://www.facebook.com/ahhsims  Give it a go, you never know, it may just work…

Carl has four children and always worked in the ‘creative businesses’. His first job was as a messenger in a commercial art studio and trained as a typographer. He progressed to the dizzy heights of studio manager. He ran his own design studio but was drawn to a new progressive agency where he became a director. Headhunted to be a Managing Director, Carl started to realise he had more to offer and eventually became a Business Mentor and has been helping creative companies for the last eight years http://www.creativebusinessmentor.co.uk  However in that period he found time to write a book. There we are; somebody’s life in 99 words!

Here’s someone else’s thoughts, well tweets actually…

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Venice Simplon – Orient – Express, uses f1’s Aperture Services

The most celebrated luxury train in the world offers an inspired collection of luxury items.

Orient-Express recently expanded their wide range of branded travel accessories and collectables with some absolutely stunning new products. As you expect these goods were of the highest quality and they knew they needed some equally stunning photography that could really convey the detail and true luxury of the new products.

f1 colour was asked to undertake the photography for the website and future marketing promotions. To that end our studio was prepared and our trusted driver Kevin was despatched to collect the high value products. The Orient-Express team came across to brief on their criteria and liaised with f1’s photographer to discuss how to best show the products, quality of materials used and also some fine detail build quality. All items had a strict shooting schedule to allow them to flow in and out of the studio with maximum efficiency. From large to small and with the different material types being grouped meant the studio set-up and lighting configurations were maximised optimising throughput.  Once the stylist and photographer were finished, metadata was then added to the image files by the account manager and loaded into the f1 <assets> system for automatic versioning controls and data back-up.

Having cleared the Aperture studio our pre-press services department read the metadata linked to the files along with the clients comments to pull each of the images down the wire and start their tasks of creating the appropriate variants. Web, print, cut-outs, montages and localised retouching was performed and released to the client for both soft and hard proofing approvals. Once agreed the conclusion of the project was our trusty van driver returning the products back to the client and our DAM system being populated with a stunning new range of products for months of exciting new campaigns and promotions.

We hope you’ll agree by viewing the example shots below the effort made by all was more than worthwhile, certainly our client thought so.

Our new Orient-Express merchandise range was developed to compliment our core business, and to reinforce our brand values of delight, discovery, authenticity, and character. The merchandise is of a distinctive style and exemplifies discretion, attention to detail, luxury and the spirit of travel. f1 colour worked closely with us to produce images which reflected our core vision, for use in our new brochure and website.

I’ve found f1 colour to be incredibly accommodating and flexible in their approach. I like their ‘can-do’ attitude. This makes them easy to work with and that’s why we have been a client for the past 5+ years.

Joanna Clark – General Manager, Signature Boutique, Orient-Express Ltd



If you believe you could benefit from a similar service please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Aperture representative contact here.

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Can SMEs really compete in the UK Web2Print market?

We happened to notice an interesting article in PrintWeek (19th August 2011). Jon Severs wrote a good summary on the adoption of W2P systems within the UK, comparing us to both the US and European markets.

It does suggest that the UK has been relatively slow in offering these systems, however thankfully, our experience seems to be bucking the trend in that we’ve seen an increase in interest from our clients as the current economic climate dictates that they begin to look for the additional savings and efficiencies that these SaaS services can offer.

To read the full article click here.
f1 < artwork > Here to read about f1 < artwork >, our W2P system or here for additional enquiries.

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