Tom Threadgill

All about us

In this first of a series of special blogs, we give you an insight into our team here at Shuttlefish, starting with an interview with our Managing Director Tom Threadgill.  Tom gives us an overview of his early life, interests, and passion for the ‘Cotswold Olimpick Games’ and explains how, when he looks back, he was probably destined to start a business and work for himself.

Tell us a bit about yourself, early life, academics etc. 

I was born in Birmingham, I am a brummie and went to school in Solihull. I had loads of interests as a kid, but never had a games console, which in retrospect was probably a good thing. I supported Aston Villa football club, and still do.

Music has always been a passion of mine, so i have a wide range of tastes there.

I left home at about 17, and eventually moved to the Cotswolds, which is where I am based now.

So music was a passion? 

Yes, always has been.  Listening, watching, and playing. I have been in two bands, as a guitarist and singer, and more recently a funk and soul band. We were in the pub and we picked several songs off the jukebox as a playlist, and that evolved into us starting a ten piece band which lasted for five odd years. We headlined local festivals, it was great fun .

17 today sounds so young (today) to spread your wings. 

I went to secondary school only, my parents moved away and I didn’t want to go with them is the simple truth. At that time a bunch of 17-year-old friends could group together and afford a house. The house we lived in was something like 28k, so back then it was affordable.

I did a stint in hospitality and property, both selling and development. Development was great, that was something I really enjoyed. We bought a great house in Chipping Campden, which we spent some money on developing, and it was all looking great but then the crash of 2008 happened.

So how did you make the transition into the more creative world ?

I went to India, and did the rickshaw run from the north to the south, which I surprisingly won. I also met someone there who was a graphic designer. I had always wanted to do something similar, but just didn't have the formal qualifications as such. She sent me a book when I returned to the UK, on graphic design essentials. She also sent me £500 to buy the software I needed. I holed myself up in a cottage in the middle of nowhere for a few years and I got to grips with it. I started working freelance for a few agencies, and eventually started Shuttlefish, together with a partner, and that was ten years ago.

I have never worked full time for another agency, this is the one and only agency I have been in really. What helps the agency is the breadth of experience and training that other colleagues have got, that really brings a different perspective in house.

What was it about working for yourself, starting an agency that appealed to you? 

Maybe a combination of having worked for other people previously, and the desire in itself to create something. Those two things were probably the catalyst. I know myself psychologically, much better the older I get. I am an energetic person, quite happy to lead and drive work and I love innovation. Once you know where your strengths lie, it can open up areas that you need to work on as well and that can be challenging or exciting depending on how you look at it.

Do you remember your first customer, and how that felt? 

Absolutely, it was Barclay Care Group and they are still with us today. It was an amazing feeling. They have grown a great deal, and it's become a long-term relationship. On reflection that was our conduit into the care market which is where we specialise.

In terms of innovation, is there any technology that has got you excited? 

The idea of digital twinning excites me. Everyone knows about virtual tours, where you can look around virtual worlds, buildings, and the like. In the future public buildings will all be mapped as such. This technology does not stop at just scanning buildings, you can put layers and layers on top of each other, data points etc. You could use different layers for virtual training and for sales and marketing purposes. I would like to look at how we change the interaction with websites, where their focus is buildings, schools, care homes and even hotels. The building itself almost becomes the navigation focus of the website. That's an exciting area I would like to explore further with our clients.

Are there any books or podcasts you would recommend?

I’m one of the few people I know who doesn't listen to podcasts actually. I am a massive Sherlock Holmes geek though, I love all of those. 1984 by George Orwell, and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde are also favourites of mine.

What else takes up your time out of work? 

The Cotswold Olimpick Games has taken up much of my free time in recent times. Started in around 1612 by a guy called Robert Dover, the games are well known for ‘Shin Kicking’. The genesis of the games is fascinating. I chaired the society and helped (along with others) to build it back up again, to where we are now. It's a really important and interesting social and political story.

The games are a nice tie into us looking at our next move with the business, which is to Chipping Campden, hopefully in the next month or so, which will be another exciting part of our story we hope.

If you have a question about how Shuttlefish can support you with your digital marketing needs, or even to learn more about the Cotswold Olimpick Games! get in touch with Tom Threadgill.

 


Who you gonna call? Call Cookie.

We were recently approached by a renowned Private Hire Taxi firm in the Cotswolds, Call Cookie – Cookie’s known all around the area for his insightful tours, his reliability and flexibility, but he wanted to give his business a boost.

Read more


The importance of authentic imagery in marketing

Here at Shuttlefish, a design-led marketing agency in Stratford-upon-Avon, we have a sister brand with specialist skills - it's called Marketing for Care Homes and does exactly what it says on the tin.

We recently added a case study to the Marketing for Care Homes website all about the importance of authentic imagery in digital marketing, as when it comes to care, genuine, honest photography is one of the main ingredients if you're whipping up a recipe for success. Of course, there is a time and a place to use stock imagery, and we cover this in the case study too. Check it out here.

If you're in need of fresh photography or if you're not sure what steps you need to take to get your business noticed, please do get in touch as we'd be more than happy to offer advice and help you get to where you want to be - and we can also provide you with a bespoke quotation.

Enquire about our first-class photography today.


Shuttlefish is sponsoring the 2019 Shipston Proms

We’re excited to say that a week today, the 2019 Shipston Proms are kicking off! But tonight, we’re heading over to Sheldon’s Wine Cellars for the official sponsors’ night as this year, Shuttlefish is a Gold Sponsor of this great community event.

Never heard of Shipston Proms?

It’s an annual music proms festival in the town of Shipston-on-Stour that has been held since 1998, and this year’s event takes place from 14th – 29th June. This fortnight of music sees a host of Proms favourites and emerging talent take to all sorts of different stages in and around the town, culminating in a grand finale in the Square.

It’s organised by a dedicated committee of volunteers who aim to bring the community a varied and exciting programme of music each year, and without this committee, other volunteers and sponsors, the event simply couldn’t take place.

Other sponsors this year include Taste of the CountryTaylor WimpeyShipston Lodge Nursing HomeCotswolds DistillerySheldon Bosley KnightThe Bower House and more, and we’re incredibly glad to have been given the opportunity to get involved with this great occasion.

Whether you fancy the Launch Night, the event’s first ever Dance Night or something else, have a look here at the full programme of events and to buy tickets – we hope to see you at this year’s Shipston Proms!


Screen Printing a new Design for the Olimpick Games

As you’ll see over on our case studies page, we helped the Cotswold Olimpick Games get back on its feet last year by creating a happy, country festival-type brand for 2018 to use on signs and the website etc. This year, we wanted to create something that was sufficiently different, something that was clearly a rural event, with an obvious nod to history but sporting a modern, almost tongue-in-cheek edge, which would accurately reflect the nature of this unique British event.

We decided to head down a different route than the last year, mostly because merchandise was being produced for 2019 - which will be for sale on the hill on the evening of 31st May - and it required something special to put on it.

So, we teamed up with Josh Hughes-Games of 16 Tonne Press.

Josh has bags of experience in screen printing and risographs and works from his studio slap bang in the heart of Bristol’s Old Market. We thought you’d be interested in seeing the updated designs for 2019 from Josh. The incongruity of the styles and historical references are bound to rub some purists up the wrong way, but we felt that the irreverent nature of these historic games (founded in 1612) required it, all imposed upon a 1960s-inspired dual-colour swirl, for good measure.

Have a look and let us know what you think.  You can also see the event itself over here.


Want to stand out? Have something to shout about!

Here at Shuttlefish, our first ever project was for a client in the care industry and we’re proud to still be working with them to this day – along the way, we’ve been lucky enough to work with many other care clients as well as businesses in other fields. One big rebranding project we worked on last year for a family-run care home in Surrey is going full steam ahead again this year following a big change in the business.

Huntington House originally opened back in 1978 and it was a breath of fresh air to the care industry in the UK at the time. The person-centred business – now known as the Huntington & Langham Estate – is still pushing forward and carefully considering ground-breaking methodology to this day, perfectly pairing traditional values with modern medicine, care of the highest quality and a focus on the wellbeing of the people living there.

You can read all about what we did for the Huntington & Langham Estate for their 40th anniversary in 2018 right here in our case study, but we also wanted to update you on what’s been going on lately at this award-winning residential, nursing and dementia home in Surrey. What the team at the Huntington & Langham Estate are doing in Surrey may help to revolutionise the way we approach providing care for all those who require it in the UK going forward.

If you work in the care industry, you will probably have heard of the Butterfly Household Model of Care, which is a pioneering approach to dementia care. The Huntington & Langham Estate opened their dedicated, specialist dementia home in Hindhead – Langham Court – with the Butterfly Model in mind back in 2013. And the results speak for themselves.

Langham Court is rated as an ‘Outstanding’ home offering dementia care in Surrey by the Care Quality Commission. The home has also won all sorts of other fantastic awards for dementia care, which you can read about on their website – these include winning Best Manager and being a finalist for Best Activities at the National Dementia Care Awards 2018.

More recently, Dementia Care Matters has evolved to encapsulate more than just dementia care, and a new model called All Care Matters has been launched. The Huntington & Langham Estate is the first home in the country to adopt this ground-breaking approach to care and it has already had a noticeably positive impact on the way the home operates, and on the people living and working there. Set routines? Gone. Uniforms? Gone. This home really does feel like a home, not a hospital or a hotel, and it’s clear from the moment you walk through the front door that the people living there feel that way too.

There’s not a shadow of a doubt that the Huntington & Langham Estate is one of the best care homes in Surrey, offering expert residential, nursing and dementia care, set in 30 acres of stunning woodland.

For first-rate residential, respite, nursing, dementia and day care in Hindhead, Surrey, look no further than the award-winning, pioneering Huntington & Langham Estate. One look at their reviews on the leading review website in the UK for care homes will tell you everything you need to know: carehome.co.uk. For top residential, nursing, respite, dementia and day care in Surrey, look no further than the Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead.

If you like what we created for the Huntington & Langham Estate, why don’t you get in touch and find out what we can do for you?


Calling all div lovers

Are you handy with HTML and savvy with CSS3? Then we’d love to hear from you. We’re on the hunt for an experienced web developer to work on a full-time basis here at Shuttle HQ, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon.

As a full-service creative agency, our projects are varied, so there’s all sorts for you to get stuck in with. And as a close-knit team, there’s always support on hand if you need it, but you’ll need to be able to chug away on your own steam as well as working collaboratively in order to swim into Shuttlefish.

You’ll need good knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery, you’ll need to be able to set up and manage MySQL databases and you’ll need an understanding of code version-control tools, such as Git. You’ll need to know your stuff when it comes to cross-browser compatibility issues and ways to work around them, as well as SEO principles and ensuring that applications will adhere to them. Last but not least, it would be useful if you have got your head around development frameworks such as Bootstrap and have experience in WordPress, but don’t worry if not as we can show you the ropes and get you up to speed.

If you’re a creative, switched-on web developer looking for a new challenge, this is the ideal role for you – offering competitive pay, an opportunity to develop your skills and the satisfaction of delivering digital solutions to a whole host of clients across the country, what’s stopping you? Apply today.


Get the lowdown: the 2019 Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo

On Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th March, the NEC in Birmingham will play host to the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo 2019 – will you be there?

If you’re thinking of exhibiting then as the UK’s most dynamic social care event, it’s a brilliant opportunity to get your products and services in front of an audience of senior decision-makers in both the care and nursing home and domiciliary care industry. There will be 5,500 decision-makers in the care industry in attendance, all looking out for the innovations offering the ability improve the level of care they provide and increase efficiency in their businesses.

If you’re interested in attending, it’s well worth a visit in our experience. With 300 cutting-edge exhibitors and 100 expert-led seminars at this event dedicated to inspiring business growth and a sustainable social care model, as well as the most innovative awards in the industry, there’s all sorts to see and do. And better yet, it’s completely free to go along. To get tickets, simply visit carehomeexpo.co.uk and click on the ‘FREE TICKETS’ button.

If you’re looking to expand, evolve and innovate your social care business, it might be a good idea to pop along for a day, see the stands and absorb the latest information on all things care-related. In addition to the exhibitors, seminars and awards, there’s also a Virtual Dementia Tour, which is the only scientifically-proven method of giving a person an experience of what dementia might be like. Now that’s pretty cool – what better way to understand it than to experience dementia for yourself?

With the number of people aged 85+ expected to double in the next 25-30 years, it’s essential that we keep on pushing this industry forward, learning more about dementia and all kinds of care in order to provide the best possible life for our ageing population.

It’s also vital for the sustainability of the sector that care providers embrace change, keep on progressing and consistently providing the highest level of care possible, all while remaining compliant. With the use of technology in care constantly evolving, it’s events like these that key members of the industry look to in order to stay at the forefront of innovation – and with all that this expo has to offer, it’s the ideal place for care providers to find the resources to do exactly that, showcasing the latest products and trends that are reinventing the care sector in 2019 and beyond.

Run by the award-winning PRYSM Group, the 2019 Dementia, Care and Nursing Home Expo is sure to be a great event, and if you’re interested in exhibiting or attending, there’s still time to get in on the action: visit carehomeexpo.co.uk to find out more. With many of our clients in the care industry, we hope to make it to the NEC later this month – maybe we’ll see you there!

If you can’t make it to the expo, you can always get in touch with us to find out all about care home marketing. Working with all types of care home clients all over the country, we have a wealth of experience to offer and would be more than happy to help you devise a marketing plan for the coming financial year. Drop us a line today to find out more.


The Shuttlefish take on New Year’s resolutions

Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Here at Shuttlefish, some of us have a few in mind, which are mainly health-related – we love a challenge but are we putting too much stress on ourselves and setting ourselves up to fail?

Instead of saying you should do this and you should do that, how about you say you intend to do something? We think this makes it more achievable and an aspiration, rather than a punishment. It’s all about being in the right frame of mind and actually wanting to achieve the goal you’ve set yourself rather than just coming up with a standard resolution as a box-ticking exercise.

Most New Year’s resolutions centre on going on a health kick, be it cutting down on smoking and drinking (or even going cold turkey!) or limiting the rubbish in our diets and hitting the gym hard. Shuttlefishers included.

Apparently – and unsurprisingly – more than half of all resolutions fail, but how do you make sure you’re on the right side of that statistic? Well we have a few ideas to help keep you on the straight and narrow from now and into spring, summer and beyond.

Start by picking an achievable goal. If you say you’re going to do something unattainable, you’ll lose heart and give up before you’ve even started. Save yourself the stress by thinking about what you want to achieve and how you can get there, then take the bull by the horns and smash that challenge. With most resolutions, you’re completely in control and your success is in your hands.

Many people often set too many goals – if you have four or five resolutions in mind, think about whether you can really keep it up and genuinely think you can achieve all of them. If you think it could quite quickly become overwhelming, there’s a chance you may not achieve any of them whereas if you select the one that’s most important to you, you’re much more likely to be successful.

If you slip up, don’t punish yourself – just draw a line under it and go again. You’re still doing better than you were before you started trying to reach your goal, right? And why not split your long-term goal into manageable chunks so you can measure your progress as you go?

If you haven’t picked a resolution yet for 2019, it’s not too late to start now – we’re only a week in so you still have 51 weeks left to reach that goal, lose the weight that’s slowly crept on the past few years, finally quit smoking for good, start up your own business or run that half-marathon that you said you would do last year, it’s your year to make into whatever you want to. Even if it’s as simple as being happy. So, finish this sentence – 2019 is the year that I will ____________. Now go for it.

Good luck!


It’s all change for Christadelphian Care Homes

Earlier this year, we were approached by a care home group with a difference, whose care centres on faith. Christadelphian Care Homes didn’t feel their existing branding represented them well anymore, with a white-on-blue logo featuring a home, hands and the Bible; they wanted the sentiment to remain but asked for us to inject some warmth and colour into a new, modern logo.

Christadelphian Care Homes

Although most Christadelphian Care Home residents come from within the Christadelphian community, the homes welcome people from all walks of life. The rebrand wasn’t about reaching a wider audience, it was about being versatile and contemporary, and uniting all eight UK-wide homes under one visually-connected output for both print and digital, getting rid of the lack of unity and mixed messages seen under the old branding.

With most residents learning of their local Christadelphian care home through their ecclesia, the business never saw the need to advertise. However, with an outdated brand and the potential need to increase awareness going forward, they asked Shuttlefish to create a new brand, website and brochure, along with all the print and digital trimmings.

The task set by our client was to unite all Christadelphian Care Homes under one common language of care, using one set of visual guidelines and one set of text to describe the different aspects of care and what everyday life in a Christadelphian Care Home entails.

The new brand

Synonymous with Christadelphian beliefs to get as close as possible to the faith and practice of the early Christian church, the new logo is a simple blend of the outlines of a Home and the Bible – this is because they offer care of the highest quality, ingrained with their beliefs and the word of God.

The Christadelphian faith is non-Trinitarian, yet the old CCH logo featured three components – home, hands and the Bible. As Christadelphian Care Homes offer high-quality care underpinned by the belief and faith in the word of the Bible, we deemed these components the two essential factors in our new logo and therefore, the decision was made not to include the hands featured in the former logo.

The main Christadelphian Care Home logo features a bright and fun colour scheme, with vibrant and cool colours being used together to create the confluence of two gradients. The Bible outline features fuchsia, orange and yellow tones to signify warmth and happiness, and this interlinks with the cooler outline of the home, which uses different shades of blue that relate to depth and stability. The contrast of warm and cool colours makes our new logo eye-catching and unique, enhancing its clean and simple design. We live in a world where we take colour for granted, but colour is all around us and should be embraced – additionally, it alludes to the colourful kind of life you can live in Christadelphian Care Homes.

On the road with a camera for company

To make sure the new website, brochure and collateral complemented the homes in the best possible light, we went on a UK-wide photography trip to capture the best angles of all eight buildings – it was a big job but was essential to show prospective residents where they might soon be living and capture the essence of what life’s like in each Christadelphian Care Home.

For non-Christadelphians considering care, we thought it was important to get across that not sharing the Christadelphian faith won’t make living in one of their homes any less fulfilling, exciting or happy, with high-quality care and a focus on wellbeing of paramount importance, enhanced by a varied, engaging programme of events and activities. And for Christadelphians, what could be better than high-quality care, complete with spiritual guidance?

We hope you like the new look we’ve given Christadelphian Care Homes – get in touch if you’d like us to transform your business too and create something colourful and contemporary.