Equestrian & Rural Business Branding

Branding can make a massive difference to a small business, whether it’s connected to equestrian, country and canine, or a different industry.

There’s a whole art to branding and how it makes a customer feel. What does it say about your company? How does it engage? What experience does it give the customer? In this section, you’ll find hints and tips about branding, and some real life case studies too.

The case studies you’ll see connect to a range of businesses, but most will have an equestrian, canine or country link. It’s essential for any budget, and the great thing is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. More than that, there are some exceptional examples around, in our industry, that we can learn from.

In addition to agencies, there are also some exceptional books on this subject, that can help guide you in the right direction and inspire you too.

Super X Country - SXC Summer BreechesI’m delighted to be able to share you a bit of what goes on behind the scenes in this blog. Today, we’re focusing in on Super X Country’s new SXC Summer Breeches. I have the absolute honour of working with Becci Harrold, the brains behind Super X Country, and continue to be blown away by what she creates. Not only this, the testing, her commitment to her customers and to what she does is second to none… and she’s a thoroughly good egg too! So, over to Becci to find out more about Super X Country’s new SXC Summer Breeches…

Behind Super X Country’s SXC Summer Breeches

You must be super excited to get your SXC Summer Breeches out – what makes them so special?
YES! The wait has been painful for me, but I am delighted now that they are here! I had so much fun designing the Gel-Tech knee, which is unique to us. It was a long process but I think the end result looks fantastic, especially with the other contrasting grey details.
Tell us about the knee patches – they look great, but they’re clearly clever too?
They took a long time to get right, but I am really pleased with how the knee grip has come out. The design is unique to us, and features our logo within the print. It’s subtle but does the job that is needed, which is what I wanted.
I love the grey stitch detail – what made you go for grey rather than a brighter/matching colour?
Grey is my favourite colour at the moment! I like something that looks classy and adds detail which stands out, but isn’t in your face! Especially when used for competing.
Can you talk us through some the features of the SXC Summer Breeches – the wide waistband, pocket, and the bottom of the breeches, for example?
I always love a good wide waistband. I hate to see and feel like I am popping out of my breeches! The 3″ waistband offers the perfect support to this problem! The pockets I have designed to be deep enough to hold the biggest iPhone. It makes them more practical when riding and walking the courses, as the phone can sit further down your leg, not in the annoying place on your waist! The Lycra sock at the bottom of the breeches is great. I wanted it to complement and bring out the other grey details, whilst offering close contact fitting under your boot.
What kind of testing have the SXC Summer Breeches had?
I have had these breeches now since November last year (2017) and have been testing and making changes to make sure they were exactly what I wanted. I am looking forward to
bringing out new colours now I am happy with the design.
They’re made from a lightweight fabric, so great for summer, but could you wear them in the winter too? Maybe with another layer underneath?
I designed these with summer in mind. Nothing is stopping you wearing them if it’s a mild winter! But I will be bringing out autumn/winter versions to cover all angles. These were focused on the summer market. They are the only breeches I haven’t got hot and sweaty in competing in this heat, which is saying something!
To find out more about Super X Country and the SXC Summer Breeches, just pop in over to Super X Country’s website, or follow them on social media through any of the links below…

What I wore for my photoshoot - Sophie CallahanI’m really, really excited to be able to share the pictures from my photoshoot with Sophie Callahan. You’ll see these on my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blog, website… OK, everywhere. I want to give you a bit more information about what I wore for my photoshoot. Because I do get quite a few questions about where I get things from (which is lovely). I also really, really adore the things that I wore for the shoot and wanted to share them with you…

What I wore for my photoshoot…

Jewellery

Yep, it’s mostly Hiho Silver… so I wore…

Exclusive Double Chained Cherry Roller Necklace with sterling silver and 18ct rose gold plated beads – I’ve had this for a little while and adore it. I wear it all day, every day, and feel naked without it.

Snaffle Ring – my husband bought me this about five years and it still looks as good as new. As per my necklace, I wear it all the time.

Exclusive Cherry Roller Bangle with two solid rose gold rollers and three CZ purple ones – this has been tweaked and adjusted a few times! This started off as the classic two tone version… and then the sparkly beads came out and I loved them, so I sent it back to Hiho and swapped one bead for one. Well, long story short, that’s happened a couple of times now. I still love the original, but this is really special as I designed it. Well, with a bit of help from Michelle. I should say, this is an option for everyone, not just me, you can just decide to customise your cherry roller and pick all the beads when you buy… or you can swap beads as and when by sending it back to Hiho or getting it adjusted on the show stand.

Exclusive Fox Roller Bangle with 18ct rose gold plated fox – I was given this as a gift – isn’t it cute? I don’t wear this all the time, only for special occasions, but when it’s not on my wrist, I hang it on the top of a kitchen cupboard handle so I can admire it when I’m in there!

Exclusive Sterling Silver Foxtail Bracelet with three beads (Badminton 2018 and 2017 and CZ red bead) – I always loop this through my cherry roller- no idea why! The beads are a work in progress as I just keep adding to my collection as Hiho brings out new ones I love. That’s the great thing about the Foxtail.

Springy Bangle in sterling silver – another bangle I have had for ages and wear each day. I think I’ve had it for four years now? Maybe? A long time anyway!!

(I should add that Michelle at Hiho very, very (very) kindly cleaned these for me pre-shoot… that’s why they look so shiny!)

My wedding and engagement ring – these are white gold and the engagement ring has three diamonds, two of which were from a ring belonging to my late grandmother.

Diamond earrings – I always wear these – they were my grandmother’s too

Hats

What i wore for my equestrian photoshoot I wore two different hats for the shoot…

Annabel Brocks’ Bora Hat – this is superb. It arrived on the morning of the shoot and it’s so clever. It’s adjustable thanks to the adjustable elastic band inside, and it has a SPF of 50. Having got sunstroke a few weeks ago, I’m now a bit obsessed with hats. I mentioned my sunstroke to Belle when we were chatting and she very, very kindly offered to send me one of hers. It’s so lovely. I’ve bought one in blue and cream for my mother in law since!

Mackenzie & George Fedora and Feather Brooch. I love this combo so much. I had the brown hat and pin picked out as the tan coloured band coordinated with the colour of my boots. I do also have a lovely navy version, but the brown went better with this. The hat feather moves between the two as needed… although I have got my eye on a peacock feather one for my navy one too!

Shirts

I picked three shirts to wear. All were quite loose and floaty because it was SO hot I just couldn’t bear anything tight to be honest with you. I also really love these shirts – I’ve had all for a little while…

Rydale Willow Shirt – I’ve had this for a while and bought it in the sale, it was a complete bargain. I have the navy spot version and love the fit. It is so easy to iron, goes with everything and is a lovely length. There’s a pale blue daisy version too which is rather lovely.

Joules Dog Walker Shirt – I bought this for my TEDx talk and haven’t worn it much since, but really do like it a lot. It’s cream with a dog walker print on it, nice neckline and it’s a light and floaty material that is really cool.

Joules Pheasant Shirt – this is a classic… I think everyone has one of these, don’t they?

Jacket

Really Wild Clothing – I bought this at Badminton Horse Trials in the sale (I know- I do love a sale!) and fell in love with it. I mean THAT COLOUR! I also thought the length was really flattering and would work well with jeans, skirts and trousers.

Waistcoat

Rydale Bramham II Gilet – I was very kindly gifted this by Rydale. It combines tweed with suede-like fabric on the top of the shoulders, around the collar and down the fastening too. It’s really lovely. It has a closer fit than I would usually buy (and I ordered the size I usually am!), but I tend to order everything in a bigger size because I don’t like things that cling. However, this gilet fits really nicely and for a tweed gilet it is super flattering too. I was planning to wear it to The Game Fair, but due to the heat wave, I left it at home. There are a number of colours available.. and it’s an absolute bargain. This one is £45 and is made in the UK. They have great deals on in the sale too.

Boots

Fairfax & Favor Explorers – I wear these every day, whatever the weather, so I was always going to wear these for my shoot… although I did think I’d wear my Reginas too for a bit. In the end, I decided that when trying to hang on to two horses in a dusty field, good grip was a must… and I just felt the smooth leather, rather than a suede, would be better with all the dust. I switched the self coloured tassels for the burgundy suede, because, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I do like burgundy!

Jeans

Well… these weren’t actually proper jeans, they were jean leggings and were about £8 from Matalan.

And the horses…

They both wore their bridles. Marilyn (the piebald) has a Kate Negus bridle with padded headpiece and diamante browband. Gu (the skewbald) has a Kieffer bridle with a pair of Kate Negus X-Suregrip reins.

So that’s what I wore for my shoot… and what the horses did too… 

If you do want to see more of Sophie Callahan’s amazing work, have a look at Sophie’s website.

I’m beyond excited to be part of Hiho Silver’s Style, Skills & Silver, which will be taking place at The Fish Hotel, Broadway on Thursday September 6th. I’ve had a few people ping me messages about it, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to have a little chat with your about this fab event. Whether you’re a business, a blogger or a vlogger, I KNOW that you’ll love this event!

What’s #styleskillsandsilver all about?

Well, that’s the hashtag for the Style, Skills & Silver event – but as for the event itself, read on…

The event, hosted by Hiho Silver, has been designed to bring together Hiho’s brand ambassadors, team, brand friends and more under one roof. The day will be lighthearted and fun, but also packed with value. There will be…

  • A style workshop run by Melanie Clarihew from Mackenzie & George, Harriet Edwards aka A Girl About Country, and Karen McConnell aka Karen & Clan
  • A skills workshop run by Rachel Bragg from Sweet Images, Sophie Callahan from Sophie Callahan Photography, Emma Warren from Hiho Silver and Ruth Chappell from Dressage Anywhere, and me too.

And they’ll be lunch, tea, cake and the most amazing goody bag.

What will happen in the workshops?

I’m heavily involved with the Skills workshop, so I’m going to focus in on that! I know that we’ll be learning all about flatlays and have expert advice on how to create them and use them on in our businesses, we’ll have real life examples of how flatlays can work for all businesses including service based ones too. We’ll chat about the power of social media and how to harness it for what you want and we’ll be looking at how to repurpose and use the content you create, to help ensure that all your effort works as hard for you as possible AND generates the response you want. We’ll also be talking about how to manage that little voice in your head that suggests you shouldn’t do things and you shouldn’t try… because what if you’re not good enough? What if you fail? We don’t like that voice… we appreciate his good intentions but there’s no need for that kind of madness in #styleskillsandsilver.

In the Style workshop, the three ladies will be looking at how they style outfits, how accessories make all the difference, and how you can dress up and dress down looks with a few minor tweaks. I’m excited.

But I won’t know anyone at Style, Skills & Silver?

You know me, don’t you? In all seriousness, I know all the ladies involved and they are all absolutely lovely and within a few minutes you’ll feel like you’re lifelong buddies. I also reckon that you’re connected to a lot more people than you think. That’s the beauty of social media. I know a lot of people from my Small & Supercharged group are going, so if you’re in there, it’s a great place to meet the people you chat to. In real life. And if you’re not in the group, you should join now… here’s the link.

But in all seriousness, I get it. It can be really daunting to think you’re going to be spending the day with people you don’t know and you’ll be on your own and isolated. You won’t be. The way the workshops are designed means that you’ll have lots of chances to engage, interact, chat and enjoy. Yep, the day will be really interesting and you’ll be learning new skills, but you will also have chance to speak to people, pick up ideas to help you grow and develop your business or blog, and meet new people. And if you’re feeling funny, I’ll be the tall one eating the sweets and the cake – we can have a chat, OK?

OK, you’ve twisted my arm, how do I book a ticket for Style, Skills & Silver?

I know that #styleskillsandsilver only have a few tickets left, so crack on! You can book up through EventBrite here. If you have any other questions, just drop me an email or a DM. I promise you that I won’t bite and that I’m really looking forward to the event. I should be able to answer your questions, but if I can’t, I will find the answer! Hope to see you on 6th September in Broadway!

how to pick fonts to represent your brandFonts can be a game changer when it comes to a logo or brand identity. In all honesty, the biggest change between my old logo and my new one is fonts that were used. Picking fonts to represent your brand can be challenging, but the good thing is that if you get the right one, it can make a HUGE difference.

How do you pick fonts to represent your brand?

I start with magazines, Pinterest and searching the web. There are a LOT of fonts available, a huge amount in fact. These go through fashions, like all design does, and more are being added all the time. There are a few different kinds of font family:

Serif type fonts – these are generally older style fonts and tend to have small lines at the tops and bottoms of the letters. A good example is the Word favourite Times Roman. When I say ‘older style’, there’s nothing wrong with using older style fonts at all. They can show heritage, knowledge and tradition when used correctly. Baskerville is a really nice example of a font that works really well today. You’ll see it’s classic and elegant but not old fashioned. Have a Google!

Sans Serif type fonts- sans means ‘without’ in French, so you’ll find a sans serif font doesn’t have the little extra bits. Generally these fonts are seen as a little bit more modern and feel a lot more curvy and round because there are no extra lines. This can make them feel soft and friendly too. Arial is a popular example of this (again, a Word favourite!), Avant Garde is another good one.

Script types fonts- should make you feel like they have a handwritten quality, even though they’re obviously more uniform than handwriting. They tend to flow and feel approachable too. The font I use for ‘Rhea Freeman’ is a hand lettering script font, but my previous one, Lobster, is also a Script font.

Decorative fonts- usually more elaborate than a Script font and can look incredible if used carefully. Some of the decorative fonts are not that easy to read (of course. some are!), but they should be used with caution in branding… in my opinion. Pick the right decorative font and it can work really well, but there are many caveats.

How to pick the fonts

So now you know the different font families (and it is useful because now you know what you’re Googling!), think about how you might use them. My logo is made up of two fonts – a premium handlettering font called Winsome and Oswald, and I use another font for my website copy. This means I can use these fonts in different ways on my website, social media graphics, etc etc. Size is important as, especially with a decorative or script font, if it’s too small, you won’t be able to see it. And if the person who is reading your website can’t actually read it, you might have the most beautiful font in the work and it won’t do the job!

But how do I know which fonts represent my brand?

Well, you need to think about the values of your brand, your customer avatar (and what they like and expect) and lots more. Some fonts sit better with different kinds of jobs – you’d expect a solicitor to have a very bold, easy to read, no nonsense font. This doesn’t mean it can’t be a premium font or even bespoke. This works with the values of the brand, the serious nature of the business and more. But if you’re an artist or more creative, a more decorative font can help you express your creativity in a way that doesn’t undermine your work… see what I mean?

A good place to start is to look at the kind of fonts that similar businesses use. You’ll probably see a pattern in the families they use and the styles. You don’t have to do the same, but it’s a useful reference point and place to start.

A word of warning about fonts

Less is more. There are so many beautiful fonts available that it can be really hard to pick which to use. The good news is you can use more than one font in your branding, but these need to a) work together and b) be limited. Too many fonts can confuse a message, and fonts that clash rather than complement can feel amateur and a bit manic… which no business wants!

 

Today we’re giving a shout out to Rydale who, as it turns out, has been attending The Game Fair for around 25 years! I own a few Rydale pieces and was recently gifted a piece to review (more in that another time), and the quality and value have always really appealed to me. And a lot of other people too! So, let’s hand over to Rydale to tell us what they company has in store for this year’s event…

Stands to see at The Game Fair – Rydale Clothing

How long have Rydale Clothing been exhibiting at The Game Fair? 

For around 25 years!

Which product are you most excited to show the people visiting The Game 
Fair? 

Our range of wax and tweed jackets has just got even bigger, including our brand new ladies Bramham II Tweed Waistcoat. We are also well stocked up on our pheasant Wistow shirt, which is proving to be one of our most popular designs – after all, it is the ‘game’ fair! We’ve also added some new prints to the Wistow family with a country dog and flying ducks print, so we’re hoping these will go down a treat!

What’s your newest product? What makes it special? 

Our new Wrelton Snaffle loafers are going down well at shows, so we’re hoping everyone will love them at The Game Fair too, even if they are a little more equestrian. We’ve also been working hard designing some beautiful new boots! I can’t say too much just yet, but let’s just say they are a little more ‘on-trend’ than our current country boots. We’re hoping to get them finished and available to buy in time for the Game Fair! (Fingers crossed, as we’re cutting it fine)

If you could sum up Rydale in a sentence, what would it be? 

Practical, traditional, stylish and affordable country wear, for ladies, gents and children. All inspired by the Yorkshire countryside and with our modern twist.

Do you have a typical customer? Or do you find your products have a broad 
appeal for all ages? 

We try to target our products at all ages; we feel there is something for everyone! With our wide range of men’s, ladies, children’s and accessories, and sizes varying from size XS to 5XL we’re sure to have something that fits the bill for all farmers, equestrians, shooters, and country folk alike.

I know that some of your products are made in the UK- which are these and why do you have them made over here? It’s such a great thing to see a big brand supporting British manufacturing. 

Yes we’re proud to support British manufacturing, we feel this is a very important aspect of our Rydale brand and are aiming to increase our range of British made products. Currently all of our wax and tweed garments are designed and manufactured right here in England. We have a Heritage Range of shooting specific products, including breeks, waistcoats and jackets coming soon too! Keep your eyes peeled as there are a lot of exciting projects going on at HQ at the moment.

What are you most excited about for this year’s event? 

Our customers of course! We always look forward to the Game Fair and can’t wait to see our returning customers each year. It’s great to have a catch up and also wonderful to meet new people and talk to them about our brand.

The Rydale brand is well known for being good quality but incredibly well priced. How do you ensure that your pieces are up for the challenges of country and equestrian life? 

Every year we work hard to ensure they are the best they can be, we feel we are known for being an affordable brand and want to keep our products as good value as possible without compromising on the quality and durability. To achieve this takes a lot of patience and careful designing to reach the best compromise on quality and price tag. This year we have been working on an affordable leather bag range, full of real leather, tweeds and with the occasional snaffle here and there! We just LOVE how it’s come out!

Where can visitors find you at the event? Are there any special offers they should know about? 

We have not one, not two, but three show teams at the Game Fair! Each one with new and exciting products packed in. Rydale always have some great show exclusive offers on, and with our bargain 2 for £18 men’s short sleeved shirts, two for £25 men’s country check shirts, two for £25 ladies Hannah country check shirts, and for a limited time, two for £50 Wistow shirts… the list goes on! Our website gets exclusive promotions and offers too so don’t forget to look us up online!

Have a look at Rydale Clothing or The Game Fair for more information!

Really Wild Clothing Ledbury Jacket in Glen Lovat Rust copy 2If you love tweed, Liberty prints, silk and all kinds of loveliness, you’re going to adore Really Wild Clothing. I now own two pieces from them and adore them both. The most recent was a Badminton purchase – a burgundy coat. Oh my. It’s the stuff of dreams!

This week, Really Wild Clothing will be making its way up to Ragley Hall, so I took the opportunity to ask them a few questions – over to Vanessa Fearnehough from Really Wild, to find out more…

Stands to see at The Game Fair – Really Wild Clothing

How long have you been exhibiting at The Game Fair?

15 years

Which product are you most excited to show the people visiting The Game Fair? 

Our new lady’s shooting suits in beautiful colours.  Breeks with a matching waistcoat or a pleated skirt with a jacket.

What’s your newest product? What makes it special?

Our silk shirts – from Liberty prints to gorgeous plains, all designed by Really Wild and only available through us.

If you could sum up your brand in a sentence, what would it be?

Luxury clothing which moves effortlessly between town and country, combining the best of British heritage with the most enduring of British style.

Do you have a typical customer? Or do you find your products have a broad appeal for all ages? 

Our boots and clothing appeals to all women who enjoy the countryside.

What are you most excited about for this year’s event?

The launch of our Country AW18 Collection

Where can visitors find you at the event? Are there any special offers they should know about? 

Our stand number is H538.  We will have a sample rail of clothing and we will have special boot promotions running throughout the weekend and a competition to win a pair of Really Wild boots.

See Really Wild Clothing’s website here, or pop along and see them at The Game Fair

If you’ve been following this blog for any time at all, you will know I have a bit of a thing for Fairfax & Favor. That might be the understatement of the century. I have quite a big thing for them! I adore my Fairfax & Favor Windsor, Explorers, Reginas and Henleys. And with every new colour that comes out, I feel a strong tug on my credit card!

If you don’t know about Fairfax & Favor (where have you been?!) you’re about to find out a lot more about them… you ready? And I apologise in advance for the the damage this may do to your bank balance, especially if you’re going to The Game Fair!

Stands to see at The Game Fair – Fairfax & Favor

How long have you been exhibiting at The Game Fair?

This year will be our 4th year.

Which product are you most excited to show the people visiting The Game Fair?

We will be launching a limited-edition Windsor handbag at the event, we are extremely excited to show you all!

What’s your newest product? What makes it special?

The Mini Windsor is so special in many ways. A little sister to the Windsor, the Mini Windsor is the definition of cutesy, it comes in three new beautiful summery colours.

If you could sum up your brand in a sentence, what would it be?

Iconic British lifestyle, redefined.

Do you have a typical customer? Or do you find your products have a broad appeal for all ages?

Our products are fantastically diverse, we find they are suited for all generations, whether it’s a shoe, boot or handbag, we find they certainly have a broad appeal, which is brilliant.

What are you most excited about for this year’s event?

This year our stand is going to be bigger and better than ever before; we are really looking forward to be working alongside Twelve Keys Gin in a fantastical botanical collaboration, but also have a few more tricks up our sleeves…

Do you have anything exciting planned at this year’s event – you sometimes have on stand entertainment too, don’t you?

We do indeed, but I cannot give too much away, you will have to come along to stand F599 to find out!

To find out more about Fairfax & Favor and the gorgeous new products you’ll be able to see and drool over at The Game Fair, see the website. And to learn more about The Game Fair, see here

Ariat at The Game Fair

Ariat – Stoneleigh

When you think of Ariat, what do you think of? Elite riders? Eventing? Showjumping? Dressage? Well, this blog is going to make you think of country too!

I’ve been a huge fan of Ariat for as long as I can remember and continue to adore the company’s clothing and footwear collections. I caught up with Ariat’s Marketing Manager, Melanie Selman, and asked her all about The Game Fair and what we can expect to see from the brand.

Stands to see at The Game Fair – Ariat

How long have Ariat been exhibiting at The Game Fair? If this is your first time, can you tell me why you’re going this year?

This is our first year, the country and hunting market is a large, important market and as such The Game Fair is the place to be.

Which product are you most excited to show the people visiting The Game Fair? 

As this is our first time at the event there are bound to be a number of people not yet familiar with the brand so rather than being excited to show a specific product we are really excited at presenting our brand to a new audience

Ariat at The Game Fair

Ariat – Catalyst

What’s your newest product? What makes it special?

Our real hero product is our Catalyst Defiant, this is the perfect boot for the serious outdoorsman. Constructed from the finest waterproof leather they feature a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® membrane as well as temperature-managing X-STATIC® layer for odour protection. Ariat’s Cobalt™ VX technology protects, stabilises and supports while 400g Thinsulate™ Ultra insulation provides exceptional warmth in extremely cold and damp conditions. The Vibram® outsole offers superior traction and durability, the protective rubber rand prevents scuffs and scratches and the high rebound PU midsole dissipates impact. Built on an anatomically contoured last for a true fit and featuring a moulded TPU heel cradle as well as a premium leather collar and tongue lining, these boots are the ultimate in comfort and performance. There are three styles within our Catalyst VX Defiant collection, a 10” insulated, 8” insulated and a non-insulated 8” version for warmer days. 

If you could sum up your brand in a sentence, what would it be?

Quality without compromise, Ariat believes in innovation, dedication, balance and possibilities.

Ariat is really well known in equestrian circles- what attributes from the equestrian range make it well suited for country sports?

We are renowned for our innovative and stylish premium footwear and apparel, which is synonymous with the equestrian and country market.  We see riders as athletes and as such technology is at the very core of our business to ensure riders are comfortable both in the saddle and on the ground, it is this technology and knowledge of athletes that has enabled us to develop high performance, comfortable footwear for the country

Ariat Burford Wellies

Ariat- Burford

markets that meets the demands of the countryside terrain.  As well as high performance products we have also been able to incorporate our classic equestrian styling with technology to produce beautiful, classically designed boots that look just at home on the high street as they do at a country show.

What are you most excited about for this year’s event?

We are really excited to be exhibiting for the first time and having the opportunity to get face-to-face with consumers to present our brand to them

Where can visitors find you at the event? Are there any special offers they should know about?

Stand J1069.  We have a fantastic competition running, simply try on a pair of boots to be in with a chance of winning a pair of boots of your choice up to the value of £400

To find out more about Ariat and to see the stunning range of footwear described above, go along to the stand or see Ariat’s website. To find out more about The Game Fair, follow this link.

Albion England LogoHave you heard of Albion England? When I started in this industry, Albion was really well known for exceptional quality saddlery. Many of the top horses strutted their stuff in Albion saddles and bridles. And I can still remember the much adored Albion dressage saddle in the tack room on the event yard I used to work at. It was a thing of beauty and was so nice to ride in. Even if the horse who owned it wasn’t always the most cooperative, at least you had a comfortable seat!

Albion is now more actively promoting other strings to its leather bow. In recent years, Albion has rebranded as Albion England and has started to make a serious dent in the country lifestyle and shooting scene too.

This leads me nicely to The Game Fair. I’m really excited to be going to The Game Fair this year (and was delighted to write a guest blog too), and as I was scrolling down the exhibitor list, I found a number of stands I was really excited to go and visit… and one was Albion England.

I saw the stand at Badminton Horse Trials and meant to go back and have a look around as it looked absolutely stunning. I did also want to go and sniff the candles (I know I’m quirky, but the names sound divine!) and, also, if you’re horsey, there’s something about the smell of good quality leather. Don’t you think?! Anyway, I digress. When I saw Albion England were on the The Game Fair’s exhibitor list, I took the opportunity to catch up with the team about what we can expect to Albion England The Game Fairsee at the event… over to Albion England.

Stands to see at The Game Fair – Albion England

  • How long have you been exhibiting at The Game Fair?

6 years

  • Which product are you most excited to show the people visiting The Game Fair?

The Albion Sporting Classic Collection – our most prestigious collection and the one we have become known for. Not only is this collection visually stunning, but also of uncompromising quality. The pieces are built to last for generations and this is demonstrated by the outstanding feedback we receive from customers.

  • What’s your newest product? What makes it special?

We are super excited to be launching an all new sporting collection, including a leather gun slip, cartridge bag and cartridge pouch, at this year’s Game Fair. The new cartridge pouch is something we have had many requests for and we are delighted to be bringing this to market for the very first time at this year’s event. This simple yet practical piece is made from a beautiful full gain Italian leather, lined in suede and will no doubt be a stand out piece for The Game Fair.

  • If you could sum up Albion England in a sentence, what would it be?

An array of beautifully handcrafted country lifestyle products, blending artisan craftsmanship with revolutionary innovation and state-of-the-art technology.

  • Your rebrand is incredibly smart and marries the lifestyle, equestrian and shooting elements of your business together in one place… why did you decide to do this? Do you feel there’s a strong cross over in the different areas?

Albion England The Game FairAdding a complementing range of lifestyle and sporting lines is the natural way forward for us and the country lifestyle community have embraced our ever-evolving collections, just as they have so warmly with Albion Equestrian, which has acquired an incredible standing over its 33 year history. Albion England continues to be heavily committed to its equestrian roots, while our evolution now includes the creation of an equality premium portfolio of luxurious leather accessories. Collections are especially designed for the shooting and country lifestyle fraternity, with every product boasting the distinguished effortless style and extraordinary efficacy that is synonymous with Albion.

  • Where can visitors find you at the event?

Stand Number A109 – near the Gunmakers Pub

  • Are there any special offers they should know about?

We will be offering free embossing and complimentary Prosecco to our guests while they wait on our beautifully new redesigned stand. Personalisation is available across an wide range of our leather goods, making them the perfect present for the country sporting aficionado.

Find out more about Albion England here, and find out more about The Game Fair here.

colour palette for your brandOh- colour. It’s such an important thing… and something that is devilishly difficult to get right. While I am far from an expert on colour (I’m working my way through two fabulous courses by Fiona Humberstone – one all about colour psychology- so she is!), I wanted to shed a bit of light on how to pick a colour palette for your brand, based on my experience of mine. In addition, I want to talk about aspects of selecting a colour palette that I think are really important. Well, a few of the points that I think you should consider if you’re in the same boat.

How to pick a colour palette for your brand

You have to like it – before we go any further into what colours means, etc, etc. This point is a really important one. You have to like the colour. It doesn’t have to be your favourite colour, but not something that repels you! You might be wearing heavily branded clothing in this colour, your business cards and stationery will be this colour. You have picked this colour to represent you, your company and your beliefs. You have to like it. And then you need to start looking for the exact shade that you like. A good way to help you if you really don’t know where to start is a good bit of mood boarding. Get magazines and literally rip out bits in colours you like. Don’t overthink it, just pick out ones you like. Don’t add any ‘I like this but…’ caveats, just get ripping. You can sift things at a later stage. You’ll probably notice a theme in the kinds of colours (pastel/neons) and shades (pinks, greens, etc) that you like… and that might help you find the colour/s.

 

Colours mean certain things – this is very much a beginner’s guide to how colour works, but I am just explaining my process on things. Yes, you have to like it, but then you have to realise what the colours mean and if that aligns with what you’re doing. And you’ll also find, at this stage, that many businesses offering similar services have a similar colour palette. And there’s a reason for that. So, you might love the colour red, which can mean love and passion, but also anger and warning. Now, for some brands, this would be absolutely fine, but if you’re an alternative therapist, for example, it’s giving a strange message. Blues, greens and turquoises are associated with calmness, tranquility, even healing… so these make more sense. It’s also one of the first things people see, the colour of your branding. Before they even read a word or have an opinion on what you do or who you are. So for some services and businesses, colour at this stage really makes a huge difference.

 

Think of your audience – if your perfect customer is female, then using colours that appeal to ladies (in general) is a good call. If your business is aimed at men, the same applies. One great example of this, I think, is the Female Entrepreneur Association. The name explains who its target customer is, but the pinks, gold and blush colours really help to emphasis this. This is a great example of how the right colour palette for your brand can communicate a message.

 

What season is your business in? – this is something very much from Fiona Humberstone and my learning through her fabulous books How To Style Your Brand and Brand Brilliance, but also something that’s mentioned in her courses too. The season of a business doesn’t mean you can only use certain colours, but you might find that certain shades of a colour tone better with the season of your business. I think this aspect of colour takes a little getting your head around if I’m honest, but it’s very useful if you can. I have linked to Fiona’s Colour Psychology blog area here to learn more about it, and you’ll find free downloads too.

 

And now for the palette – most brands have more than one colour in their branding. This might seem like a pain, but it’s really useful. It allows you to subdivide product ranges, use different colours for different aspects of your social media and more. These colours usually complement the main colour.

In my case, burgundy is my main colour, I have a sage green as a secondary colour, and do also have a blue too. And I use a lot of white. Of course you can also knock back the opacity of the colours you use too. And don’t forget the colour of your fonts- this is part of it. Mine is grey.

It’s a good idea to work with a pro when picking a colour palette for your brand or, if funds don’t allow, do a lot of reading and research. I genuinely love Fiona and find her knowledge on the matter incredible, so go and have a good read of her blog, follow her on social media and, if you can, buy one of her books or do an online course.

 

The other thing to note is that while colour and picking a colour palette for your brand is important, it shouldn’t stop you from actually launching a business. A nice font in a good colour is all you need to get going. Design shouldn’t stop you progressing with your business, far from it. It should help you further communicate your message and elevate your brand. Keep that in mind!