Luxury Holiday Cottages

If you would like to relax, unwind and sip champagne in Shropshire … read on! Back in September 2006, Gilly and Brian Bachelor purchased The Walkmill, and now the renovations are finally complete and they are open for business. Not the least of the improvements was the purchase of a new sign from Clover Signs.

The Walkmill comprises three cottages – Stone Cottage, Walkmill House and Walkmill Lodge all set in four acres of beautiful Shropshire countryside within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with views of the Long Mynd and The Stiperstones.

They have secured a tie-up with www.champagneuk.com so arrivals will be welcomed by a bottle of champagne on ice.

Vanishing Arts and Dying Pubs

In the past, we have run articles about the history of house names, but after reading a recent article in The Guardian about the demise of pubs, I thought to give this ‘catastophic loss’ some much needed attention:

The painted pub sign, one of the oldest popular visual arts traditions in Britain, is locked in decline. That is the fear of conservationists who hope to alert pub chains and breweries to a ‘catastrophic’ loss of the traditional skills involved and a failure to preserve a heritage that dates back to Roman times.

The first signs outside inns appeared after the Roman invasion when most people were unable to read. A wreath of vine leaves on a pole was the recognised symbol for a hostelry, and this led to images of shrubbery and pub names such as The Bush or The Bunch of Grapes.

The growing corporate ownership of public houses across the British Isles has led to the standardisation of what is on offer, both inside and outside the bar. The situation has worsened in the past five years because of the increasing number of pub closures.

We have made signs for both brewers and pubs, and below are a few examples.

2000 Signs

Clover signs is proud to announce that we have now made over 2000 signs in our short history. It was just under two years ago that founder and former manager Bernard Hibbs and his wife Rachel travelled to the United States to learn from sign makers there. Among other things, they were introduced to a new material – High Density Urethane (HDU)- which has been used extensively, not only in the USA, but also in Canada, Germany, and Australia. Currently, all of our signs are made of this tough synthetic wood which can be carved and machined much like wood, but will last much longer on your house.

When we reached the last milestone of 1500 signs, all the employees at Clover Signs made a prediction of when we would top 2000. August proved to be an unusually successful month with many people buying their house signs in between vacations. As the month drew to a close we all held our breath and on the last day we hit the mark, fulfilling the prediction of one of our most senior employees. The customer received a generous discount and if you are ever vacationing in Shropshire, you may just stay in one of these Luxury Holiday Cottages.
B & B Signs

Slate House Signs

Clover Signs would like to announce that we are no longer making slate house signs. The simple reason is this: Our carved signs and house signs have become so popular that we cannot concentrate on 2 things at once.

Slate and stone is still a great choice for a house sign, so we would like to recommend Rustic Stone. Rustic Stone make all manner of slate house signs and signs on boulders, ideal for setting next to driveways.

Slate House Sign

However, if you were dead set on getting that beautiful custom painting, and simply had to have it on slate, Your Signs, based on the Isle of Wight is the place to go. From simple house number plates to superb custom painted house plaques, their dedicated team of house sign makers and house sign artists combine traditional arts & crafts  techniques together with contemporary  resin & reflective lettering technologies  to produce elegant, quality, long lasting house signs that will  enhance the look of your home in daytime and also help  make your home address easier to find during hours of darkness.

Custom Signs – The Power of Attraction

It doesn’t take a sign maker to tell you that having nice signs outside your hotel, pub or restaurant helps attract customers – but most people would be surprised by how big the difference is.

In July 2007, we were contacted by The Old Thatch Teashop on the Isle of Wight and asked to design some signs for them.  The teashop was very plain, and  didn’t fulfill it’s potential in the busy tourism months.

Here is the Old Thatch just before the signs went up:

 Old Thatch Before the Signs

And here are the signs in place:

Custom Restaurant Signs

Hotel and Pub Signs

Hand Carved and Gilded Signs

theoldthatchleft.jpg

The pictures are not the best, as for some strange reason we decided to travel down and install them during the worst storm of the winter!

Since the signs have gone up, Patricia Whybrow, the owner of the Old Thatch is delighted with the amount of new business she gets.

In the end, having a decent sign could be the cheapest form of advertising, especially in an area like Shanklin where there is lots of competition.  People are wandering around and choosing what to visit purely by whim – so you have to make something distinct in the image you present.

If you want to discuss having a magnetic message board, or a sign for your pub, restaurant or hotel, please feel free to get in touch.

Artwork on Slate

We do not make slate signs anymore – we just cannot keep up with the work and the HDU house signs are so popular.

The only thing we will do with slate if someone really wants, is artwork.  We did this for a company we know in Germany called Sannerz Designs.

Artwork on Slate

You take a picture (in this case their logo) and blast away the background.  The background is then gilded with real gold leaf.  It makes a very stunning sign.

If you have a piece of artwork you want done like this, you can simply contact us and we will see what we can do.

1000 Signs – Hanging Signs

Clover Signs would like to thank all their customers for thier custom this year. We have officially made 1000 signs so far since January. What more, the sign which made it 1000 was our first hanging sign we sold:

Hanging House signs

We gave the customer a nice discount as well. We make the brackets ourselves, as we could not find a supplier in the UK who could produce them at the correct quality and price.

If you are interested, you can find a whole page of hanging signs on our website.

Minty Fresh Indexing – 18 Minutes!

It used to be that to get into Google’s index was a process that could take days or months. However, Google now seems to be indexing pages at a blinding speed. You can read Matt Cutt’s report on “Minty Fresh Indexing” here. He writes about one of Skrenta Blogs posts, and about how it got indexed within an hour or so.

Skrenta has a PR6 home page, hence a new blog post can get indexed very fast via a normal RPC blog pinging service.

But what about just a normal static page? How fast can they get indexed?

Clover Signs wrote an article about how to calculate the height of text for signs. When it was published, there was only one link pointing to that page. It came from the index page of the articles. Google does not crawl that page very often, and didn’t crawl it at all the day that day.

10 minutes after it was published, I submitted the article to Digg, as it has interest to any graphic designers. Then an amazing thing happened:

11:50 – Article published

12:00 – Article submitted to Digg

14:00 – Article appears in Google’s index (using google.co.uk) under the term “Traditional Sign Making”.

Traditional Sign Making is not an obscure keyword, people do actually search for it. However, the articles ranks at Number 4.

Here is a screen shot taking at 5:00pm.

Fast Indexing Image

The Digg article only got 1 digg and only 4 people actually clicked through to it.

Showing the freshest results must be very important for Google now. Unfortunately, the results are temporary, and you quickly drop back down again. All I can say is well done to the Google Engineers again!

I am publishing this post under the heading “Minty Fresh Indexing”, as when you search Google for that term, you get Matt Cutt’s post about it. It will be very interesting if I manage to rank, even temporarily, above his post! I will let you know.

UPDATE: It’s happend already! 18 minutes after I posted this, it ranked at number 11 for “Minty Fresh Indexing”!

UPDATE: 1 hour and a half later, and I rank second, right under the blog of Mr Cutts.

Minty Fresh Image