Helping Business during COVID

I guess no one could have been prepared fully for the impact of the COVID pandemic. Back when lockdown began I sort of assumed that ac4designs helping business would end. That the work would dry up and probably not return.

I was luckier than many, as my second job, ac4designs wasn’t the financial heartbeat of the family. I, like so many, am grateful for the government’s furlough scheme from my main employment. Thus I quickly decided that I had no reason to claim twice and that I would leave ac4designs open for business. During those first weeks of lockdown things certainly went very quiet. But then slowly things started to turn again as some businesses adjusted and begun to look to survive. As the lockdown eased others began to address what the ‘new normal’ meant for them.

Throughout I ensured I stuck to my part-time working hours, not difficult with homeschooling during the day to contend with. This has also helped in coping with the return to the day job. Like many, I also took some time to stop, reflect, and spend time with the family — there were some positives from this experience.

The strangest of times for helping business

2020 is certainly the strangest I have had on this planet so far and if I’m honest I have been very lucky and have to date remained relatively unaffected. I can only clap and thanks those who stood on the front line and helped keep all of us safe, with all my heart.

And ac4designs is still here and continues helping business and the community. Recent months have seen a range of project undertaken to support existing and new businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic created issues for us all. Many local businesses and community groups suddenly found they needed to create or improve their online presence. I have enjoyed helping several in recent months.

Delivering online connections

Brown’s Motorcycles wanted a simple and clean website update to help promote the business.Teaming up with we were able to deliver an effective site with the potential to explore online sales of bikes moving forward.

The COVID-19 lockdown also created issues for local community groups. Stripped of the ability to connect in person many lacked effective online mechanisms. As such, this meant they struggled to achieve effective communications during the imposed lockdown. I am therefore particularly pleased in helping the local community magazine The Tipton Times. Helping to establishing an online delivery mechanism for its normally traditionally printed local community news stories.

Relaunching after lockdown

As the COVID lockdown began to ease there was the opportunity to help several businesses prepare to restart.

White Rabbit Discos was keen to relaunch with a new identity. The challenges created by the impact of COVID-19 meant they needed to standout. The identity has already had a positive impact and work continues in developing the business website and marketing support material.

Pride Hair Studio had more practical needs as the potential to reopen the business loomed. This included posters to help inform customers of the new operating rules before they entered the premises. As well as a disclaimer form to ensure that customers accepted the risks of their visit. Helping this hardworking team at a difficult time was rewarding and exactly the sort of working relationship ac4designs seeks to develop with he businesses it helps.

During these COVID driven projects regular clients continuing to operate and need help. ac4designs continued to provide effective support during difficult times for everyone.

Helping old friends

LTP Ferrex 1 & 5 Litre

LTP launched several new products during the lockdown period. LTP Ferrex was the latest addition to the LTP family of stone cleaning products. A specialist rust remover this product is designed for hard ferrous stones – like sandstone, slate, and granite. These stones naturally contain iron that can oxidise or rust when it comes into contact with moisture, rain, or certain cleaning products, including brick acid and cement removers. Ferrex removes rust, fixing residues, and it provides rust resistance. Find out more at

LTP 75% Alcohol Ethanol Multi-surface Cleaner

The COVID demand for sanitising cleaners also created an opportunity for LTP 75% Alcohol Ethanol Multi-surface Cleaner to join the extensive range of LTP products. Responding quickly and effectively is exactly what ac4designs is all about so this project really sums up the whole ethos nicely. As things have begun to return to the ‘new normal’ promoting the LTP brand has never been more important. The final project showcased here is a more traditional large format advertising banner. Visible from the M3 near Reading, this project seems to capture the ac4designs philosophy of working locally but thinking nationally in helping business perfectly.

LTP Advertising banner

To find out how ac4designs could help your business or community group then please get in touch via my contact page.

My digital art response to Covid-19

Boxed in. Antony Cox 2020

Being a Graphic Designer is all I wanted from the age of 14, once the reality of not being a professional sportsman was accepted (it never really has). To be honest, I had no real idea what that meant, but it seemed cool and well paid. In recent years I have questioned that devotion. Despite a 25 year career doing something I love, events of recent years challenged me in ways I never expected. Forcing me to question why I do what I do.

Thankfully, due to the support of those closest to me, I found a path. I changed my relationship with what I do. I took a different approach to work, accepting a role in doing something completely different, in a very different environment. This entirely positive experience has empowered me and reset my perspective. It also created a whole new set of friends.

My relationship with Graphic Design has survived I am glad to say. But my relationship with it has also changed. I continue to freelance for selected clients as I always have. Doing this part-time has set me free once again to love what I do.

Finding my love of all things graphic

Thoughts. Antony Cox 2019

At the heart of this reconnection is an inner desire to set free graphics from within free of commercial constraints (but perhaps influenced by them).

At my lowest point, I produced my first piece of graphic art entitled Thoughts. It helped me remember who I was and to make sense of the jumble the brain can make of the world around us. Is it good? Does it matter? The answers really aren’t that important.

So in this strange time of Covid-19, I have produced my second piece, Boxed in. We can all feel boxed in at times, even when it may seem to others to be very different! Covid-19 has trapped us all in very different ways since it arrived, some good, some bad. But we will survive and find a way, just as I have.

Where did ac4designs summer go?

Getting there eventually for ac4designs, is better than not at all!

So ac4designs failed to write that news update for July and now the summer in Sidmouth (what there was of it) is fading away. The lesson however is not to let past failings get in the way of future success. Making it happen eventually is better than not making it happen at all. It’s just not as good as making it happen now, but that remains something that we can control.

Busy, busy in July and August

Actually it is not that I have been idle far from it! Work for LTP in developing an online marketing strategy has keep ac4designs busy, busy! An email campaign database management and template delivery system has been established. The system used is Campaign Monitor and a number of test campaigns have already been run. The next key objective is to complete training to allow in house campaign delivery to be completed. This will allow branded message delivery without the need to for external resource. This has provided LTP with a cost effective and direct means of delivering key messages to various customer segments.

LTP advertAnalysis is vital in developing your website. Integration of Google Analytics in January 2012 to the LTP website is now delivering valuable data. This is now being used to drive adjustments to improve the current site. Content has been adjusted and results are currently being reviewed before further development. There is still much to do but adjustments since July have seen a 15-20% increase in traffic! The LTP mission didn’t stop there. A branded Twitter account @LTP_UK was also established. The focus is twofold. Connecting and sharing with tile and natural stone sellers, fitters and suppliers as well as architects and industry related individuals. 300 plus followers gained inside 2 months shows much potential. This will be supported by the LTP_UK_Technical blog. Created to deliver LTP’s extensive experience gained over 25 years. The blog will deliver product updates and case studies that deal with issues relating to natural stone and tiles in relation to staining, protecting, and renovating. Finally the LTP branded Facebook page has also been established and this will be developed in coming months.

And of course there was also the normal label updates and print advertising!


There was also time to assist Dorringtons with another own brand label. This time it was for coffee as they continue to develop the range of additional products that they offer. I was particularly pleased to be able to offer advice that allowed a far superior label solution to be produced, without a significant cost increase.

And for ac4designs…

The backdrop to all this has been some major planning and rethinking for ac4designs. A full-time business launch based in Devon is planned for January 2013. The plans are obviously highly top secret but major adjustments to the business offer are well underway. So keep an eye out for some big changes. A new website is under development along with some exciting ideas for engaging with you all out there. From January of next year ac4designs plans to make your boat go faster than you ever thought possible! This will become clear in time, promise.

The ac4designs Facebook challenge!

Happy CowsIn the meantime my friendly cows still need you to say hi and like my Facebook page. The cows promise to like back and if they don’t you can tell me off.

These cows like me! So can you… or if not follow me on Twitter @ac4designs

Social Media, the wettest June and the arrival of Christmas!

Social Media the wettest June on record and the arrival of Christmas!

June was spent dodging the rain and helping a major client tackle their social media and online marketing approach. LTP, based in Wellington, Somerset have recognised the need to embrace an online marketing strategy. Work is ongoing to adjust their approach to their website and content creation and the set up of wordpress (ltptechnical) and tumbler blogs are just the start. Mean time they are jumping on board the social media train with Twitter (@LTP_UK) and Facebook ( and I’ll report on the progress at the end of July.

And then Christmas arrived early!

Dorringtons Christmas Pudding label

June also saw the arrival of Christmas for ac4designs as work to complete Christmas Pudding label designs was completed for my favourite bakers Dorringtons. An example of the label design is shown to the right. This continues then work to develop Dorringtons own label brand offerings featured previously. Once production is complete I can feature a full review and an image of the completed package.

New time saving software, Yippeeee!

FunctionFox is currently under trail as part of the ac4designs business development plan and I am pleased to report it looks jus fantastic. This software is just so easy to use and will provide superb levels of project management and time recording. No more handwritten time sheets and full analysis of projects. The handy stop start time clock function app for my iphone is just so cool.

The ac4designs Facebook challenge!

Happy CowsWell I have managed to convince 64 of you to like my Facebook page but still want to more social media activity. If you want a like back just message me…

These cows like me! So can you…

or if not follow me on Twitter


A busy April draws to a close

A slow start ends positively with lots of graphic design and branding

April has been a positive month in many respects for ac4designs. A slow start to the month has been followed by much graphic design and branding over the last two weeks. The MBLS identity has now been fully delivered along with the Dorringtons Gift Range designs. Check out the MBLS work in my portfolio and look out for an update once the Dorringtons designs are ready to go live. Great to hear that the launch of LTP in China went so well and that my input with exhibition graphics played its part.

Nice to meet you

Time spent this month planning and networking have been really useful. Many thanks to Julie Bramble for a great EC meeting this month. It was great to meet and share ideas with friendly and like minded people. Also enjoyed a quick visit to The Taste of the West Show at Westpoint outside Exeter catching up with an old friend Paul Stokes from Bristol Labels and making a few new ones. Nice to chat with New Century Design and Vale Labels. Hope the rest of the show went well!

Exciting times

The end of the month seems to be coming with a bit of a rush with lots of graphic design and branding projects. Really excited about the identity development work in progress for Fascial Stretch Therapy UK and so pleased to be helping launch a new product range for Broadale (watch this space). Also very much looking forward to getting stuck into jam and chutney labels for Dorringtons over the next week. Looks like it might be an exciting May!