Giant cheques and speech bubbles!

Giant Cheques

giant cheques

Giant cheques are a essential marketing tool at charity fundraising presentations, award evenings, competition wins and sports presentations. We are now using our experience in making and shipping reasonably-priced face in hole boards to the giant cheque market.

Our giant cheques are made from the same stuff as our face in hole boards: durable, weatherproof, wipe-clean foamex PVC board. Its 3mm thickness makes it lightweight and easy to lift up for photos. We print them up with any logos, names, web addresses and hashtags the customer requests and ship them out quickly in time for your presentation event. We aim to provide the best quality and value giant cheques available in the UK.

They are available as a permanently printed version with your custom text, or a wipe-clean version to use time and time again. Just tell us what you need on the cheque and we will print exactly what you need.

giant award cheques uk

The cheques come in 3 sizes: small (100cm x 50cm), Medium (150cm x 75 cm) and Large (200cm x 100cm). If you need a custom size, talk to us and we’ll do our best to make it.

Get in touch to discuss your requirements! Call 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com.

Speech bubbles

speech bubble props

Here’s a great idea for wedding photos: Funny speech bubbles to make people ‘talk’ or ‘think’. Spice up your wedding photos with either pre-printed bubbles or wipe-clean ones for adding your own comments in whiteboard marker.

speech bubble props

The bubbles are made of lightweight foamex with a handle on the back so the hand holding them doesn’t show in photos. This makes them seem to float in the air like cartoon speech bubbles. They are approximately 30cm and have a matte laminated print finish to reduce camera flash glare and sunlight reflections.

For weddings, we can print a special personalised set with text and typeface of your choice. A set of 6 speech bubbles is just £35+VAT, so why not add an extra fun element to your photos?

Find out more at http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/speech-bubbles.htm

Brands using our boards this week

The BBC, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Hertford Regional College are just a few of the brands we’ve made face in the hole boards for this week. Here’s a little bit about them and the types of events they are being used at. Tell your marketing department about us or call 08450 570321 to talk about creating a face in hole board – an effective marketing tool for YOUR brand.

The BBC

Mrs Brown's Boys BBC

This is a detail of a Mrs Brown’s Boys board we made for the BBC to use at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We haven’t got any snaps of the board in use yet but here’s our Shelley doing a Mrs Brown before it left our premises!

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

face in hole board marketing brands

London’s Wingfest chicken wing festival is inspired by the Buffalo Wing Festival in New York State. Hot sauce is a frequent addition to chicken wings, so Frank’s Red Hot Sauce didn’t miss this marketing opportunity and this is their board in use, complete with their Facebook and Twitter handles.

Capital FM South Wales

Capital FM South Wales

Capital FM South Wales are running a photo-sharing campaign using a photocutouts.co.uk board at Cardiff Bay Beach, a Summer event running from 28th July until 3rd September. One more of the growing number of brands using our boards!

RCVS

brands marketing face in hole boards

brands marketing

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons used a board made by us for their #findavet campaign at Blenheim Palace which was filmed on Countryfile Live!

Hertford Regional College

Brands marketing experiential

The college commissioned a campaign board from us for their ‘Wish you were here’ campaign to promote their new courses. Complete with web address and hashtag, it’s an effective marketing tool for the college.

New folding design

The Hertford Regional College board is also the first appearance of our new folding board design! It folds in half for easy storage. Call us for details of these convenient new boards – they take up half the space!

Visit our custom boards page

Drop us an email

Brands looking for a good marketing tool, call us today on 08450 570321!

Wet sponge boards – they’re waterproof!

Wet sponge aunt sally board
A child throwing a wet sponge at a ‘greedy’ high street estate agent – actually a parent

One thing we don’t mention as often as we should is that our face in hole boards aren’t made of chipboard, wood, cardboard, or anything else that can absorb water and get damaged. In fact they are made of lightweight, waterproof PVC foamex board – which means they are weatherproof and can be soaked at will – as will happpen when you’re having a wet sponge throwing frenzy!

Any of our boards can be used for a wet sponge throwing contest – we’ve even had teachers get sponged at a school open day. But here is an example that was created to lambast everybody’s favourite ‘villain’: the high street estate agent. Boo! Hiss!

To promote their online estate agency, our customer Sellmyhome.co.uk are running a campaign in which a high street estate agent stands in front of a house he has just sold and says ‘You just paid for my new Porsche! Cheers!’.

Throwing things at a figure of ridicule is a time-honoured English tradition. Our face in hole boards are also referred to as Aunt Sally boards. The original Aunt Sally game was played in pub gardens and fairgrounds dating back to the 17th century. People took turns to throw sticks at a wooden head with a clay pipe in its mouth. The winner was the one who broke off the clay pipe. The wooden figure was called ‘Aunt Sally’ in what was really a pretty mean game, but it was long before political correctness so we can let them off.

So don’t forget: the fact that our boards are waterproof not only means they can stay out in the rain without damage, but also that you can stage a wet sponge throwing contest! What’s not to like?

There are still a few months of warm weather left, so order your wet sponge board soon for your next event!

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570321

 

Dogs, gingerbread and sausages! This week’s new boards

We are making more boards than ever this Summer, and they are just flying out the door as all kinds of organisations snap them up for their parties, promotions, fundraising campaigns and product launches. This week’s roundup of new boards happens to feature dogs rather heavily!

And customers love them. Here is a nice testimonial from Runnymede Vets / Pets1st after using the board they commissioned from us for their open day. vets dogs face in hole board testimonial

Here are some folks at the open day enjoying the board. The ‘dog’ doesn’t look too worried considering the size of the thermometer!

dogs thermometer face in hole board

Last weekend was the Allergy & Free From Show at Kensington Olympia in London. We made a board for Asda supermarkets to promote their award-winning Free From range. The hashtag on the board prompted lots of photo shares on Twitter to help promote the brand. Here’s an example:

gluten free photo cutout board

Putting a hashtag on your custom face in hole board is a great way to get people to share photos of your branded board online and give you extra exposure.

We made another dog-related board recently. This one was for Vets4Pets, a nationwide veterinary practice who wanted to promote their business at Dogfest, a distinctly mutt-based show covering all things canine, with dogs the star attendees. Here’s the design, with a human standing in as the dog:

Dogs photo cutout board

And here it is in action at the show, being used as intended by a happy dog ‘running off with the sausages’:

dog sausages photo cutout board

We’ve made face in hole boards for many of the UK’s leading brands, businesses, organisations and charities. The design and manufacture process is simple and straightforward – here’s a little video about how boards are designed, made and delivered.

Photo cutout boards are a proven way to promote brands, causes and businesses. So tell your marketing department about photocutouts.co.uk or ring us yourself for a friendly quote!

08450 570321

office@connectedshopping.com 

photocutouts.co.uk

 

Beach boards celebrate our coastal culture

This week we’ll take a break from the booming custom made boards side of our business and get back to basics with the boards that started it all: colourful seaside fat lady on the beach-style face in hole boards. Nostalgic and fun, they hark back to the saucy postcards of naughty artist Donald McGill and have become a vintage classic and a cherished part of our coastal heritage.

beach donkey holiday photo cutout board
Little Johnny

They are perfect for seaside parties, beach-themed parties, birthdays, seaside weddings and company events (we can brand them if required).

photo board, skinny jimmy, british seaside tradition
Skinny Jimmy, a classic seaside photo cutout board

Take your pick from our cheeky, postcard-style, traditional beach designs. Choose from Punch and Judy, Ethel and Ernie, Skinny Jimmy, Betty and Billy, Fat Mabel, Little Johnny, Thin Tim & Big Bertha, Doris and Dick and Strong John to add to your event. Perfect for use at school fêtes, parties and family fun days.

fat lady on a beach seaside face in hole board
Here she is … the original Fat Lady on the Beach! Isn’t she lovely?

We think traditional British coastal culture is worth preserving, and it’s nice to see it thriving in a few areas, but much more can be done. Here’s a link to a blog post we made last year which talks about the Seaside Heritage Network, an initiative to catalogue and preserve our valuable coastal cultural assets.

Our seaside boards don’t take as long to make as custom boards, because the designs are already done and we can get the boards out to you in just a few days as opposed to two weeks or more for a custom board. That makes them ideal for last-minute party planning – all we need is a week’s notice. Why not add one to your Summer party, beach event, birthday party? It adds so much fun and is bound to produce some memorable photos!

office@connectedshopping.co.uk

08450 570321

http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/buy-seaside-peep-boards.htm

Custom boards: get people into your brand

Custom face in hole boards

Custom face in hole boards steal the show across the country

Want to get people into your brand? You can – literally – with the ultimate marketing tool: a custom branded face in hole board. The public love to interact with it and take memorable photos that get shared online – with your brand all over the board. It’s a simple idea that time and again has proven highly effective. What’s not to like?

Here are a few of the custom boards we’ve made recently. These are all now out there in use, promoting brands and causes for a small financial outlay. They are weatherproof and hard wearing, so they can be brought out again and again for multiple events.

Custom branded face in hole board

… but sometimes events are one-offs by their very nature. We made this one for a major book launch in Brighton: Bestseller Peter James’s Want You Dead. The location was appropriate for a book launch: The British Airways i360 tower on Brighton’s seafront. While they waited for their copy of the crime thriller to be signed by the author, fans could step into character and be photographed in the board.

Spaceman photo cutout board

This one was for fire and security systems company Schrack Seconet to use at an industry expo. The boards are brilliant at conferences and exhibitions because they draw visitors to your stand.

Rollercoaster face in the hole board

We made this board to support a promotion by Cussons Carex, who were offering half price entry to Alton Towers Resort with special packs of their product. The hashtags for the promotion are featured on the board to get people sharing on Twitter and Facebook.

Mammoth face in hole board

Sea View Beach Cafe on West Runton Beach in Norfolk have been getting a lot of marketing mileage out of this board. Customers and public love to pose in it and get their photos taken. West Runton Beach has just been awarded Blue Flag status. They are proud of it and not afraid to make lots of noise about it to attract visitors! We’re happy to have helped promote their business.

That’s just a small selection of the boards out there right now promoting businesses. Tell your marketing department about photocutouts.co.uk or call us on 08450 570321 to start designing a promotional board for your company.

www.photocutouts.co.uk

office@connectedshopping.com

 

Smile, you’re on Photo Cutouts!

If you’re appy and you know it …

The BBC ran an article recently about FaceApp, a smartphone app that changes faces in photos. A Twitter user called Olly Gibbs visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and thought the faces in the portraits looked too solemn and grumpy. So he brightened them up with FaceApp!

FaceApp smile generator
Photo: OLLY GIBBS

You can see the rest of the results in the BBC article.

FaceApp can make the person in the photo smile, increase or decrease their age, and even change their gender! The results are usually very good, but can be frankly disturbing if you change gender or make an old person young. So its best and most reliable use is to add smiles to photos.

It might be useful if your face in hole board photos don’t quite work or were captured at the wrong moment. Since our photo cutout boards are all about faces, we thought we’d try out the app!

The original photo is on the left and the processed version is on the right.

Smile photo cutouts

The subject here might not have smiled because the man in the painting (American Gothic) isn’t smiling and he’s acting as his stand-in. But a smile usually win over a grumpy face! (Thought: what would happen if you used the app on Grumpy Cat?)

photo cutouts smiles

Oh dear. The girl on the right looks like she needs cheering up. Let’s give her a grin!

 

Smile grin beam

That’s better!

Of course most people are smiling anyway in our photo boards because they are so much fun. But you never know when this app will come in handy to make it smiles all round.

 

Now here’s an image of three more grumpy people we cheered up with the app.

face in the hole boards make you smile

No, wait, that’s the original image! They were just really enjoying themselves.

See our range of photo cutout boards at www.photocutouts.co.uk

Call us on 08450 570321

Email office@connectedshopping.com

Face-in-hole technique: getting it right

As you know, we make boards with holes cut out so people can put their faces through them. This creates an illusion in which they magically become a character in a funny scene. What we have found over our many years in this business is that the photo results can vary depending on how you put your face in the hole. But, you may ask, why should this be? Is there a special technique? Putting your face in a hole isn’t hard, is it?

Well, no. But there are various factors to consider in trying to get the best overall effect. To illustrate these, let’s look at a few face-in-hole photos that didn’t quite work out, and think about why this might be.

  1. face in hole board techniqueOkay, the clue is in the name. Face-in-hole board. You put your face in the hole. In this case somebody has gone AWOL. Nul points.
    face in hole board face technique not quite right
  2. This is progress. The face in the right is in the hole, but it isn’t in the hole. You can see a lot of daylight around it and the angle is wrong. A kneeling position would have worked better here. Sometimes what goes on behind the board can be as funny as what goes on at the front!

face in hole board hole too big

3. This is not his fault. He’s doing it right, with his chin resting in the bottom of the hole. But the hole is much, much too big (we didn’t make that one). What kind of face would you need to have to fit in that? I mean he’s got his hands in there as well! Does that look like he’s a pirate? No, it looks like a child’s little head in a massive hole where an unfeasibly massive pirate’s face should be.

We try to cut our face holes just right, with smaller face holes if appropriate, and at a suitable height for children.

4. This one isn’t bad at all, but look at the fellow top left. That’s one of the challenges of putting your face in a hole: knowing which way to face. A quick look at the front of the board would have helped here!

Now let’s look at a few good ones to see how it goes when it’s done well.

awesome technique for face in the hole1. Okay, the beard helps and the hair colour happens to be the same, but he has managed to a)  face the right way and b) get his face well into the hole to stop any daylight getting through.  This is face-in-hole technique perfection. Well done that man!

Vintage face in the hole board

2. Here’s a vintage one. Is the hair theirs, or have they just positioned their faces perfectly? Answers on a postcard.

photo board technique

3. Which of these has the better face in hole technique? The lady on the left, of course! She has her chin in there and her face is poking right through. That will look a lot better from the front than the chappie’s effort, which is sort of a half-hearted crouch. Bend your knees and get your chin in there, man!

head in hole board technique

4. These two are doing their best with what they’ve got. On the left, it’s a perfect face -in-hole with no light leakage, the whole face is in there and the illusion works. On the right, the hole is a bit small for him, but he’s at least got as much of his face in there as he can.

Gross out face in hole board

5. Technique here is mostly good, but people come in different shapes and sizes so the perfect face in hole photo is an elusive thing. And we’re sorry about the board. We hope you get over it quickly.

For all your face in hole board needs, email office@connectedshopping.com or call 08450 570321.

www.photocutouts.co.uk 

 

Schools love photo cutout boards!

Remember your school open days? Were they fun? Did they bring the school together? More importantly, did both pupils and teachers – and even the head! – get properly involved and have some fun? What can schools do to make sure their open days are memorable?

A brilliant way of creating a sense of unity at school events is to have a face in hole board with a fun, relevant theme and the school logo, social media addresses and hashtags on it. Here’s an example we’ve just done for a new independent school in Surrey, which they have told us was a ‘huge success.’

Schools face in the hole boards
The children must have loved seeing their teachers-to-be showing their fun side. As they say in their comment here, ‘even the senior management team got involved.’

Here are some of the prospective pupils enjoying the board on Banstead Prep‘s Open Day. Schools love photo cutout boards!

Images reproduced with kind permission from Banstead Prep School.

Head in the hole boards for school open days

The board has turned out to be a great marketing tool for the new school, helping to promote it on social media and create a sense of belonging and togetherness.

wet sponge throwing, schools open days
Wet sponge throwing at people with their faces through the board is guaranteed fun . It needs to be well organised though.

One popular idea – among pupils at least – for established schools is to have a wet sponge session. Because our boards are made of waterproof foamex PVC and printed on acrylic, wet sponges will not cause them any damage. Sometimes even teachers will allow themselves to be wet sponged with their face in the hole!

Everybody has smartphones these days, which means photos of the board will get shared on social media and photo sharing sites like Instagram. The school can post them to their own social media profiles as well, as Banstead Prep have done. What better advert for a school than to share pictures of teachers and pupils having fun?

With Summer fast approaching, it’s time to consider a photo cutout board for your school. It’s a great promotional tool that will create lasting photo memories – and can be used year upon year.

To find out more about our custom photo cutout boards, please visit http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/create-custom-photo-cut-out-boards.htm, email office@connectedshopping.com or call us on 08450 570321.

 

Pop up art gallery a hit at Cambridge University!

face in hole art gallery portraits
The Gallery set up before the event

Our pop up face in hole portrait gallery continued its tour of the country last week with a hire at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. The event was organised by Meet Cambridge, a networking and venue-finding organisation. It was filled with event professionals who thoroughly enjoyed the pop up portrait gallery. It was a great icebreaker and made for some memorable photo opportunities.

Cambridge university face in hole pop up art gallery
It’s a bit tricky to get the head angle just right, especially when you can’t see yourself in the painting! We’re working on this. We plan to put a photo of each painting on the back of the board so that users can see which way to face.

Meet Cambridge love the gallery so much they have shared lots of photos from the event on their social media, and included it in a blog post about using social media at events.

How to use social media at events

 

National Self Portrait Gallery in Cambridge
People just can’t help themselves.
Cambridge University National Self Portrait Gallery
Fun fun fun – and a few conspiratorial looks between historical royalty!

We call it the National Self Portrait Gallery, as a tribute to the selfie craze. It would be quite hard to actually take a selfie when you’re in the picture, but you can always use the timer on your camera, or one of those selfie drones. Most people are content to have their photo taken by someone else. And of course it’s such an unusual thing to have your face in a classic portrait. That’s what makes the photos so good for social media sharing.

We’re very pleased the National Self Portrait Gallery created a buzz at Meet Cambridge’s event. Where will it pop up next? That would be telling! But you’ll surely read about it here.

To find out more about hiring it for your own event, drop us a line at office@connectedshopping.com or call 08450 570321 and ask for Jim or Shelley.