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We don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but... the Ink website has just picked up an award.

The winners of the W3 awards were announced this week and we’ve won silver. The awards honour creative excellence on the web and recognise the people behind award-winning sites, videos and marketing programs. Our website, designed by Mytton Williams, was selected from over 3,000 entries from around the world.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, a new exhibition has opened, all about ink…

OK, so it’s not an exhibition celebrating us, but it’s interesting all the same. Here's what they say:

‘Ink is all around us, seeping, permeating, spreading. We trust ink to register our births and our deaths. We eat ink, squid and cuttlefish blackening our pasta. We smell the sweetness of ink as it corrodes unforgivingly through ancient parchment. We hear ink as its tackiness is rolled smooth across a printer's plate. We fear the red ink of the teacher and the black inked border of the mourning card and we are empowered by the permanence of election ink that helps to bring about democracy. We ink our bodies proudly with tattoos to shout out our identity. Others are marked to rob them of theirs.’

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Check out The Rich and Curious History of Ink – opening on 3rd November at University College London – from 12-6pm Wednesday to Saturday.

Or, if you would like to learn more about the rich and curious history of Ink, give us a call on 01225 731 373.

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Everyone is scared of something – from spiders to buttons (yes, really). But what if your worst fear is the page in front of you?

We’ve all been there – from the author to the account manager, everyone has suffered from writer’s block at some point in their lives. So, here are some tips to help get you writing:

Er…write…

When a page is filled with words it isn’t quite as frightening. So write. Anything. And for a set amount of time, don’t stop. Keep writing, even if it’s a load of gibberish, badly spelt and grammatically dubious. This will get you in the right frame of mind to start writing properly.

…then get it right

Don’t set out to write a masterpiece on the first draft. Just get your ideas down. You can go back and edit later. As the saying goes, ‘say it straight, then say it great’.

Start at the end

If you've got lots of ideas but can’t get started, begin at the end. Or in the middle. Write the easiest sections first and work up to tackling the trickier bits.

Make a cup of tea

Tea solves everything, even writer's block. Well, maybe not. But staring at a blank page will only drive you mad. Instead, get up, take a walk, talk to a colleague or make a cup of tea. Then you can return to the project with a fresh perspective.

Sleep on it

And finally, if you’re still not getting anywhere, stop thinking about it. Put it out of your mind and let the problem work itself out in your subconscious.

Of course, if all else fails and you need some fangtastic copy, you could always give us a call. We won’t bite.

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It’s the thing that strikes fear into hacks, authors and even the most polished politicians: the headline howler.

From terrifying typos, monstrous misprints, grammatical gaffes to ‘put your foot in it’ faux pas – we take a look at this year’s finest.

In the last month alone, the UK regional press produced a bumper crop – such as this newsworthy headline that was accidentally printed in the Glasgow Evening Times:

Heading in here and more in here lkjlkj dghj dg jdghj gjh

This was closely followed by the Hull Daily Mail’s plea to their sub editors. It appeared in the box-out area for a story on Humberside Police operations:

Interesting emotive quote in here please. Nothing dull

Other headline howlers seen in 2010 include these classics – all great examples of how a word’s meaning can be changed by its context:

PROSTITUTES APPEAL TO POPE

MINERS REFUSE TO WORK AFTER DEATH

JUVENILE COURT TO TRY SHOOTING DEFENDANT

KIDS MAKE NUTRITIOUS SNACKS

Not all howlers are bad for sales figures though. In April, a typo in The Pasta Bible suggested readers add ‘salt and freshly ground black people’ to a recipe. This embarrassing mistake actually quadrupled sales of the cookbook, published by Penguin.

The same couldn’t be said for a women's magazine feature on colouring your hair at home. It helpfully warned:
 "Dying at home can be messy, so make sure you wear gloves."

So, the moral of the story is; always check your work. Or the howler could come back to haunt you.

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Spike Milligan famously quipped that he wanted his gravestone to read ‘I told you I was ill’. While the slightly less cheery Karl Marx is quoted as saying ‘Last words are for people who haven’t said enough.’

However, last words are generally regarded as being important and profound, perhaps because they’re so final. Or maybe every dying person feels the need to leave on a great one liner.

These are said to be the last words of some literary legends, although they may have been subject to some poetic licence. However, it’s nice to think that you can always count on a writer to have a way with words, right up until the very end.

‘I've had 18 straight whiskies… I think that's the record’.

Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953)

Amazingly enough, it wasn’t excessive alcohol consumption that killed Thomas. He had been drinking in the White Horse pub in New York and returned to his hotel room in great pain. He sent for a doctor who administered an abnormally large dose of morphine and Thomas slipped into a coma.

‘My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.’

Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)

Wilde is thought to have said this in the Left Bank hotel in Paris where he died on 30th November, 1900. No doubt he’d be glad to know that the wallpaper has since been changed and the room re-furnished in the style of one of his very own flats.

‘It's a long time since I drank champagne.’

Anton Chekhov (1860 – 1904)

Chekov died of tuberculosis in Germany in 1904. His wife recalls her husband’s dying moments, saying: ‘Anton sat up unusually straight and said loudly and clearly (although he knew almost no German): "Ich sterbe" (I’m dying). The doctor calmed him, took a syringe, gave him an injection of camphor, and ordered champagne.’ Chekov managed to finish the glass before dying, peacefully, minutes later.

‘Come, come, no weakness; let’s be a man to the last!’

Lord Byron (1788 – 1824)

When faced with the prospect of treating a world-famous poet for an illness they knew nothing about, the two doctors attending to Lord Byron resorted to the usual treatment of the time – to bleed the patient in order to reduce his fever. Unsurprisingly, the weakened Byron became unconscious and died. Each doctor blamed the other for his death.

‘I am about to — or I am going to — die: either expression is correct.’

Dominique Bouhours (1628 – 1702)

The final, final words must go to the French essayist and grammarian who stayed true to his profession even on his deathbed.