Face in hole king Tomoyuki Shioya, we salute you!

Not all heroes are muscular, brash and tough. Sometimes a hero just quietly gets on with his business, and achieves legendary status through sheer persistence and force of will. Tomoyuki Shioya is one such hero, and he’s our favourite person in the world.

Tomoyuki Shioya, face in the hole boards, photo cutout boards
What a legend.

We blogged about him last May because he has stuck his face in some 3,000 face in hole boards in Japan and elsewhere. He also features in our keystone post Face in Hole Boards: A Bit of History. Everywhere he goes, he takes his camera and tripod with him in case he comes across a face in hole board to add to his photo collection. After finishing his office job at 5pm he wanders the streets in search of something to put his face through. He is on record as stating that he wishes to be buried in a face-in-hole coffin.

Now he has made a video about his strange life and his obsession with face in hole boards, which he considers a high form of art. In Japan, many boards are advertising hoardings that present a photo opportunity to passersby that helps to generate interest in brands. Tomoyuki Shioya has taken the photo opportunity and run with it, and Forrest Gump-like, hasn’t stopped running with it. Maybe one day he’ll hang up his camera and declare enough to be enough, but we guess that as long as there are face in hole boards we will continue to see his face in them.

Watch our hero talk about his passion in his own words.

‘I think they are an extremely effective form of communication,’ says Shioya. ‘The people who make them want to make people happy, and people enjoy taking pictures with them. I think what makes them so great is that everyone involved with them is happy.’

We certainly agree with that. Our photo cutout boards are designed to be fun for all involved, and at the same time they can communicate business messages and promote charities. They add an element of fun and interaction that makes people warm to a brand, or just warm the world with their smiles.

For a photo cutout board for your event, business or charity, or just for fun, call us on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com today.

Our Geffrye Museum face in hole board is a bit special

This week’s Board of the Week is one we made for the Geffrye Museum of the Home.

geffrye
An 1830s drawing room

If you’ve never visited the Geffrye Museum of the Home in London’s Shoreditch, you really should. It explores home and home life in England from 1600 to the present day.  Just the building is wonderful enough. It’s a Grade I-listed 18th -century almshouses that was built in 1714 from a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye, a former Lord Mayor of London and master of the Ironmongers’ Company. It’s beautiful. Just look at those proportions.

Geffrye Museum, building, beautiful

Inside, displays of middle-class London living rooms and gardens show how tastes, styles, society and behaviour have changed over the centuries. One of the museum’s most popular regular fixtures is the Christmas Past exhibition, with eleven different period rooms decorated authentically for the season. How times change!

Geffrye
A 1695 parlour

The almshouses have been restored to their original condition and give a glimpse into the lives of the poor and the elderly in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

The Geffrye Museum is currently raising funds for its £18m ‘Unlocking the Geffrye’ project, which will open up the Geffrye for all visitors and the local community by developing existing buildings, creating new spaces and preserving the museum for future generations. It aims to provide improved access, new galleries and more collections on display at any one time.

Here’s a face in hole board we’ve made for the Geffrye Museum which they have been using in their fundraising efforts. It is a cartoon depicting a Dandy and a lady with some pretty spectacular headgear.

And here it is in use by the museum on their Twitter account.

Dandy, Geffrye

We’re pleased to have helped yet another fine institution with a photo board for attracting attention!

How would you use a photo cutout board to promote your business or raise funds? What would it look like? What messages would be on it? To discuss your ideas with us, call 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com today!

Custom photo cutout board helps Atlantic rowing charity effort

When Dan Baker, Steve Baker, Mark Gibson and John Lakin needed a photo cutout board to promote their charitable cause, they came to PhotoCutouts. Who are they? Four lads from Bristol who are preparing to row across a little pond called the Atlantic Ocean. Why are they doing it? For Movember and men’s health, and for the adventure.

Nuts Over the Atlantic is a team of four friends and adventurers who are entering the 2017-18 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, an event dubbed the world’s toughest row. To promote their effort and to raise a target £100,000 for Movember, they have embarked on a nationwide tour called NutsGoRow. It kicked off on the 24th of February and will conclude in London in November. We are thrilled to have made this  PhotoCutouts face in hole board to help promote the tour:

Charity fundraising face in hole boards

At the first event in Bristol (a mere 36-hour non-stop row on rowing machines – they’re just warming up really), the face in hole board was there to help promote their cause, spread their hashtags and generally raise awareness of their campaign.

NutsGoRow Bristol 36hr row finish

Posted by By The Hundred on Sunday, February 26, 2017

Since then it’s featured on BBC TV and generated lots of social media exposure for the team. And that’s just the first event in the NutsGoRow tour – there are still 9 to go!

Here’s a video about a past race.

The 2016-17 race is still going on! On this live race tracker, at the time of writing there is still a solo rower closing in on the finish line with ‘only’ 210 nautical miles to go out of the total 3,000.

Race rules: https://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-challenge/race-route-and-rules/

PhotoCutouts are proud to be helping to promote yet another charity event. As it says on the board, NutsGoRow’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/bythehundred/, their Twitter handle is @ByTheHundred, their website is ByTheHundred.com, their G+ is ByTheHundred, and their YouTube channel is this, and their Instagram is #ByTheHundred.

They are doing a great job of promoting their campaign via social media, and we’re proud to be helping them.

Go boys!

Dress up as your ancestors – or someone else’s ancestors

ancestors portrait reconstruction

In a fascinating news story recently, it was revealed that an artist from Peru likes to dress up as his ancestors (both male and female) in painstaking photographic reproductions of his old family portraits. It seems he is obsessed with his noble lineage and so proud of it that he goes to great lengths to recreate historic oil portraits of his forebears, with himself playing the central role.

He probably hasn’t heard of face in hole boards. He could have had the portraits printed onto board, cut out the faces, applied some careful makeup and put his face in the hole to mimic his ancestors. But he’s clearly such a perfectionist that he feels it necessary to recreate the whole painting. Fair enough. It takes all sorts.

The National Self Portrait Gallery is based on a similar idea. We haven’t managed to actually track down the descendants of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and the model who sat for the Mona Lisa and get them to pose in reproductions of the famous paintings, but the face in hole format gives anyone the chance to step into historic portraits!

Let’s play spot the difference. Here is Peruvian artist Christian Fuchs posing as his great-great-great-great grandfather next to the original painting:

face in hole portrait

And here’s an event attendee posing as The Laughing Cavalier in one of the panels of the National Self Portrait Gallery, our pop-up face in hole art gallery:

dress up as your ancestors

Can you see the join where his head goes through the hole? No, neither can we! Perfect isn’t it?

The National Self Portrait Gallery consists of several panels of four or five portraits with the faces cut out and a space behind for guests to stand and put their faces through the holes. Hey presto – they become historical figures! Friends and other guests can snap away with their cameras or smartphones and get the results on Instagram, Pinterest or wherever they like.

To find out more about the National Self Portrait Gallery, visit http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/pop-up-art-gallery.htm

To hire the NSPG, call 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.com

Easter face in hole boards – everybunny loves them!

We are very egg-cited about the Easter season this year because of all the Easter parties people will be having. Our Easter face in hole board is great for creating memorable photos. Your guests can be the fluffy Easter Bunny or a hot cross bun, surrounded by a colourful seasonal scene with chicks, a church and eggs on a tree for the egg hunt. Don’t have egg on your face when your Easter party turns out to be a bore! Hire or buy this board to really bring your party to life!

Easter, bunny, hot cross bun, easter bunny, face in hole board, easter party ideas
Bunny and Bun make Easter fun!

It is also available as a roll-up banner with a stand that can be set to different heights. So if most guests are young and not very tall, they can get in on the action without having to stand on anything.

easter banner, easter bunny, easter party ideas, fface in hole
Another way to use our Easter board is as a roll-out banner

We of course also make custom face in hole boards by demand. Call us with an idea or send us a photo or design sketch and our professional designers will mock up a bespoke board for you. We’ll work with you until it is to your liking, then print it in high resolution onto waterproof foamex board or a roll-up banner. Any image that is meaningful to you can be made into a high quality, durable photo cutout board that you can keep and bring out every Easter!

Here’s a little video about the process of making a bespoke photo cutout board, from initial customer enquiry to a finished and shipped board.

So go for it. Easter is an important seasonal festival and we should be celebrating it in style. Make your Easter party guests happy bunnies with a face in hole board – they’re 24 carrot gold!

Call 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.com

2016 retrospective – our best boards

Our photo cutout boards were all the rage in 2016 and orders are already pouring in for 2017. For each month of 2016 we’ve picked our favourite photo board hire for this retrospective look at a bumper year.

January

Le Boat boating company – a bespoke board design for an exhibition they attended.

Photo cutouts retrospective

February

A custom board for Autoglass which they used for an industry exhibition in London. We even made up a jingle for this one:

Autoglass repair

Autoglass replace

They love our photo cutout boards

Through which to stick your face!

No Nobel Prize for literature, then, but it’s a lovely board and Autoglass were very pleased with it. One of our favourites in this 2016 retrospective.

Face in hole board for autoglass - 2016 retrospective

March

The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association bought this board from us for their Spring Fling at the Norfolk Show. Here you can see it being shared in Twitter.

Face in hole board for Norfolk Show

April

We really enjoyed making this board for the River Dart Country Park. As you can see, they chose to use a hashtag on the board and also included their web address for photo sharing on social media. face in hole boards from photocutouts.co.uk

May

May saw us create a very successful board for Charity The Dogs Trust, which we featured in a blog post about using hashtags on your photo cutout board.

dogs trust, hashtag, retrospective, photo cutout board

June

Travel agent Thomas Cook used a photocutouts.co.uk seaside photo cutout board for a Summer travel campaign.

2016 retrospective seaside photo cutout board

July

The Week Junior Magazine bought a board from us for a promotion. Here it is in use at the event, with a very serious-looking Queen.

The Week Junior Magazine face in hole board

August

We loved this one, and so did the public. Black Cat Fireworks (Standard Fireworks) worked with us to design 2 bespoke boards for use in the run-up to Bonfire Night. Here they are in all their glory, being used by the public and driving forward Standard Fireworks’ seasonal marketing campaign.

Standard Fireworks face in hole board 2016 retrospectiveface in hole photo cutout board for hire for events and marketing

September

The German Embassy in London ordered two large boards to celebrate their football prowess: the World Cup and Olympic gold. Here they are just after we completed them.

German Embassy football olympics world cup face in hole boards

October

Another board for the Dogs Trust, with a snowy Christmas background and some cold weather features added.

Dogs Trust face in hole board 2016 retrospective

November

The National Trust got festive with a photo cutout board from us for their Christmas publicity campaign.

National trust face in hole photo board 2016 retrospective

December

Internetmatters.org is a not-for-profit organisation backed by leading internet providers BT, Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk that provides advice on e-safety issues.

They commissioned two boards from us for their #ChristmasSharing campaign aimed at keeping kids safe online. We blogged about it here. Here they are in use at TalkTalk’s offices and being shared on Twitter to spread the word about the campaign.

Internet safety face in hole boards from photocutouts.co.uk im-3

So that was our retrospective of some of the highlights of 2016. Are you planning an event, wedding or fundraiser in 2017? Do you think a face in hole board would work for you?

To find out more about our boards, call 08450 570321 and ask for Shelley or email office@connectedshopping.com.

Our elves are hard at work

As our production ramps up to capacity for the Christmas run of photo cutout boards, we have recruited some extra Christmas elves to keep the boards going out on time. They’re best at doing jobs like cleaning the boards and cutting out the face holes.

Here’s Buddy the Elf in an elfie selfie with the jigsaw as he carefully cuts the face holes to the right size. He’s trying hard not to use his magical powers to speed things up because we pay him by the hour. And don’t worry, he’s had full Elf & Safety training before we let him loose with the jigsaw.

Elves make Christmas photo cutout board
Buddy the Elf is doing overtime

We’ve managed to secretly get photos of some of the boards Buddy and his colleagues have been making.

Here’s one for the National Trust in use at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. It’s got their hashtag on it for use on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If people use the hashtag when they post their photos of the board, it will make them easier to find and help the National Trust’s cause.

Face in hole board Christmas elves

This next one was used at the recent zip line event across the Thames to raise funds for Evelina Children’s Hospital. The event was a great success and saw celebrities and London firefighters flying across the Thames from the roof of St Thomas’s Hospital to the gardens of the Palace of Westminster. It was the first time this has ever been done.

eveline zipwire, zip wire, King's College Hospital

Here’s a board for Rotosound Strings featuring Jimi Hendrix. Not especially festive, but we get orders for custom boards all year round so sometimes the elves have to swallow their yuletide pride and get on with it. This one was used at a marketing event in Germany.

Jimi Hendrix photo cutout board

When the elves have packed up their tools and gone back to Lapland, it’ll be time to start thinking about the next big event in the calendar: Valentine’s Day. Why not ask us to create a board for the one you love? Have a look at our wedding boards for inspiration. We’ll be happy to make you a photo board with two face holes for your special one, and we’ll include any special message you want to say.

Wishing you an elfy and happy Christmas, and see you in the New Year!

Our creations on Instagram and Pinterest

We sometimes post photos of new boards we’ve made on this blog. But maybe you don’t know about the ones we share elsewhere online. photocutouts.co.uk has Instagram and Pinterest accounts where we post the new boards we make.

You can see our Instagram photos by clicking HERE.

If you have an Instagram account, you can follow photocutouts.co.uk to see all the photos we post.

You can see our Pinterest photos HERE.

If you have a Pinterest account, again you can follow photocutouts.co.uk or an individual board to see updates as we post them. You can also share photos from this blog by using the Pinterest button at the bottom of each blog post. Facebook and Twitter buttons are there too for social media sharing of our lovely boards.

Now, here’s Jim cutting the face holes out of a Doris and Dick seaside photo cutout board. You could say this is the moment a face in hole board is born.

Jim is a complete superstar. As our lead designer and board maker, he oversees the process of making a board from your initial enquiry through the design stage to creating a sturdy, weatherproof, durable photo cutout board for your event, wedding, party, fundraising drive or cause.

Here’s Jim posing between two big boards we made for the German Embassy in London as part of their German Unity Day celebrations. The boards feature the German World Cup winning team and the Women’s Olympic Games gold winning team.

German football team face in hole boards
Our designer Jim is the man!

Here’s a link to a recent photo on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNeQNGTBkz4/?taken-by=photocutouts

It’s a Christmas board for the National Trust for use at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire.

And here’s a link to a board of ours on Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/photocutouts/pop-up-art-gallery/

That board has some photos of our new and unique face in hole art gallery, the National Self Portrait Gallery.

So if you like what we do, remember to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest and share photos you find there. That way more people hear about us!

Thank you and have a very merry festive season!

Black Friday offer till Monday 28th!

Popup art gallery, face in hole boards, classic paintings

Black Friday photo cutouts face in hole boards offer

It’s here: the photocutouts.co.uk Black Friday offer, with 15% of all orders until the 28th of November!

The offer includes everything in the store and is as easy as entering the code ‘blackfriday15’ in the shopping cart at photocutouts.co.uk. That means all the following photo cutout boards are discounted, so now’s the time to grab a board for your next event! Click the links to go directly to that section of the site.

Seaside photo cutouts

Wedding photo cutouts

Christmas photo cutouts

Seasonal photo cutouts

Adult photo cutouts

We’re feeling generous, so if you need a custom-made board or are interested in hiring the National Self Portrait Gallery, give us a call on 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.co.uk and we’ll be extra nice to you and see what we can do on the cost.

Now is the time to order a board for your next event!

Wishing you a happy festive season,

The photocutouts.co.uk team

How to use a hashtag on your photo cutout board

hashtag, photo cutout board
One of our customers using hashtags on their photo cutout board

Are you planning social media for your event? Then you’ll need a branded hashtag that shows the world your event, cause or message. In the above example, the Dogs Trust used #SponsorADog, which gets their intentions across well. They also linked it to something larger with #DigMyPhoto, which is a hashtag used for photo sharing. So the two hashtags together both showed people where to find out more about their cause, and helped to spread the message.

Good use of hashtags can create real momentum for your event or campaign. So how do you go about creating the most effective branded hashtag possible?

Keep it short. Hashtags with ten characters or fewer are best. #sponsoralovelyfriendlydoggie would not have worked so well for the Dogs Trust, because it’s difficult to remember and laborious to type.

Look for something memorable and relevant. It should clearly communicate your message, and if it’s memorable then so much the better. It doesn’t need to have your company name or charity name in it, but more importantly it needs to clearly get across the reason for this particular campaign. So include keywords relevant to the campaign. #SponsorADog is a good example.

Make it distinctive. It’s easy for hashtags to confuse people, and you don’t want to appear to be misleading anyone. It should not resemble any other hashtags too closely or be easily confused with them.

Capitalise the first letter of each word. You should always do this with hashtags. #sponsoradog would still work, but #SponsorADog is easier to read.

If your campaign is associated with anything current or trending, work it into the hashtag. Here’s an example: Mod Pizza had a promotion at the Breeze festival, so they stuck the two together and came up with #ModBreeze.

hashtag, photo cutout board, marketing, branding, hashtag, social media, twitter

Stick with the hashtag throughout your campaign. It’s the only way to grow social media interest because it’s a unique identifier that gradually gathers momentum.

When you have crafted the perfect hashtag, we’ll work it into the design of your photo cutout board and make it nice and big and clear so that it is easy to read on shared photos of the board. Photo sharing is the real power of photo cutout boards.

Find out how to get a branded photo cutout board here.