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It can take time to develop a tone of voice for your brand – a way of speaking that belongs to your business. But once you’ve got it pinned down, how can you get it to work harder and stretch further?

As holiday season approaches, now seems a good time to take a look at hotel and luxury brands. The most effective brands make the most of every guest ‘touch point’ so that their personality shines through in all their communications. It’s not just about the brochure and website, it’s the signage, welcome page, toiletries, laundry card and more…

It’s the little things…

Smaller boutique hotels can be particularly good at extending their tone of voice throughout their communications and beyond. Berlin’s Michel Berger hotel has a distinctive tone of voice – cool, friendly and playful – just like the place itself. And it’s everywhere to be seen, from the ‘do not disturb’ signs – that read ‘we are snoozing/ talking/ moonwalking/debating/ shagging…and the list goes on – to the labels on the complimentary bottles of water. Michel Berger’s voice comes through loud and clear.

Closer to home, The Halcyon in Bath (with a little help from Ink) uses cheeky, down-to-earth copy to show it’s a hotel that’s city savvy.

Making your voice heard

Larger groups are getting in on the act too, such as Malmaison, the self-styled ‘hotels that dare to be different’. Their bespoke toiletries are, quite literally, crying out to be taken home. In fact, the labels tell you to do just that.

With this in mind, why not use your tone of voice to shout about your brand in more unlikely places…

If you need help getting your tone of voice to work harder, call Ink on 01225 731 373.

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If you’re heading abroad this summer, a phrasebook is probably high on your list of things to take. But, even with a handy guide, you could still come across words that simply don’t exist in English. Here’s our short guide to some foreign words that defy translation.


Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego, South America)

Meaning: The wordless, but meaningful look shared by two people who want to initiate a relationship but are both reluctant to make the first move.



Meaning: A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that a person can’t help but laugh at it.



Meaning: A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement.



Meaning: The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.



Meaning: To call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money.



Meaning: From the Greek word meaning ‘harpoon’ or ‘trident’, it’s a man who spends most of his free time trying to seduce tourists. Shirley Valentine, eat your heart out.

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We never cease to be amazed by the ways technology can help our writing – and keep die-hard word nerds entertained. Here we take a look at some of the most clever and fun word apps and features out there.

Lasso that word!

You’re happily trawling the web on your iPad and you come across the word ‘sanguine’. Sang-what? If you happen to be using the search engine Bing, Microsoft has introduced a new lasso feature. This allows you to circle the word in question and then bring up a definition. No more copying and pasting. Now that’s something to be sanguine about.

Rhyming rap and Shakespearean taunts anyone?

For all you budding poet laureates or up-and-coming rappers, the Rhyming Dictionary is the app for you. Struggling to find a rhyme for Captain Picard? No problem! Bodyguard? Debarred? Leotard? A fun little limerick is already starting to take shape...

Or, if you’re looking to jazz up your taunts, there’s nothing like throwing in a little Shakespearean flair. The app iNsult generates the most peculiar sounding insults you’ve probably ever heard. Know anyone who’s a bootless tickle-brained lout? Or an unmuzzled hasty-witted gudgeon? Neither do we, but it does make for funny reading.

Fun and (word) games

From old classics to new creations, there’s plenty of fun to be had on your mobile. Here are some of our favourite word game apps:

• Word Solitaire

As you might have guessed, this is Solitaire – but with words. So instead of matching card suits, each card has a letter which you use to create words.

• Words with Friends

Words with Friends is basically Scrabble – but free. And because you link up to play against other users, it’s even been dubbed ‘the new Twitter’. High praise indeed.

• Crostix

A cousin of crossword puzzles, in this addictive game you rearrange the letters of the clues and answers to form quotes from famous people.

So whether you’re lounging on the beach this summer or indulging in a spot of café culture – these apps will help you while away a few sunny afternoons.