Archive for October, 2009

Help us give money to rural Yorkshire businesses

Posted: October 29th, 2009 in News

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Iris have been asked by Yorkshire Forward to come up with promotional campaign to promote three potential funding streams (worth £63 million over next 5 years) to rurally based businesses in Yorkshire.

The Background
Essentially there is a pot of money that’s being made available to a wide range of rurally based businesses in our region, and we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for the funding knows about it. If your business is in a rural area, or if you work closely with food producers, you could be eligible for funding from The Rural Development Programme for England.

There are three different types of funding depending on the kind of business activity you’re involved in and what stage your business is at – click the links below for further details. And just in case you were wondering, you don’t need to be running a farm to be eligible – any business that’s based in a rural postcode can apply.

The Solution
Firstly we have made a rather nifty online database that lets you see if you are eligible – why not check it out to see if you can apply for a grant?

“How are you promoting this?” I hear you shout. Well, without a huge advertising budget to splash out on a TV ad we decided to do something a little bit different and rely on your good nature and ambition for the region (yes that’s right, YOUR good nature!).

We have produced a raft of marketing materials to promote the funding and ask that you include some of it in your next set of communications – whether it’s a banner on your website, a printed letter that you send out to members or customers or an email into which you include a snippet of text about the funding. In short, if you’ve got the space we’ve got something that’ll fit it!

Click here to download a number of case studies, letters, banners, emails, text snippets, and links
Also, if you have something specific, for example a space that requires something more bespoke please contact me:

Iris goes mobile

Posted: October 29th, 2009 in Work

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We’ve been doing quite a bit of mobile web work here in the Iris web labs over the past few weeks, and with even more on the horizon, we thought it only right to shed a little light on the whole thing.

Not only have we given our blog a mobile makeover, we’re currently under way with an exciting project for the DCSF, which involves creating a shiny new mobile version of the news channel we recently built for them.

This is testament to the increasing popularity of the mobile web. Access to the Internet via mobile handsets is improving quickly, thanks in part to fantastic smart phones such as Apple’s iPhone, Palm’s Pre and the extensible Google Android platform to name but a few. Recently forecasted figures make impressive reading:

  • Mobile ownership will rapidly increase year on year up to 2013, when the number of owners could be as many as 5.8 billion. Current figures put the number around 4.3 billion, up from 2.7 billion in 2006.[1]
  • Sales of smart phones grew by 27 percent in Q2 2009, the fastest growing sector of the mobile market.[2]
  • 6 out of 10 people around the world now have access to a HSPA network, which is faster than the current 3G networks.[3]

With many types of phone, come many different screen sizes and capabilities. The biggest challenge of design and development for the mobile platform is acheiving a consistent experience across a vast range of available handsets, from entry-level through to high-end smart phones. The main restraints for mobile users are text input coupled with large amounts of data, and in turn, scrolling. Kept to a minimum, a mobile site can be much more useable on handsets with restrictive input and slow connections.

On the flip side is the new breed of touch-equipped smartphones. These are making the mobile web easier to view, use and access for increasing numbers of people. Alongside greater coverage of high-speed networks, it’s no surprise the mobile web appears to be going from strength to strength.

Our project for the DCSF is certainly proving both exciting and interesting, we can’t wait to show you the results, but until we’re finished, you can check out Iris’s mobile-ready blog right here. Two versions are available, one for WAP users and one for you lucky smart phone owners. Pay a return visit to this blog through your handset’s browser to see it in action.


  1. 1. Portio Research Mobile Factbook 2009
  2. 2.
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Our big 18th birthday bash

Posted: October 15th, 2009 in News, People


Happy Birthday to us!

Happy Birthday to us!

It’s 18 years since a young, fresh faced David and Maria first joined forces to found Iris. To mark this auspicious event we did what all 18 year olds do… hit the town. Our coming of age capers kicked off in the unlikely surroundings of a Little Chef on the A64 just outside York. No ordinary Little Chef this, though. The York restaurant is one of a new and exciting breed of Little Chefs to be revamped by Michelin-starred celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal. Iris were heavily involved in the rebranding, so the evening was also a great opportunity to see our work in all its glory and (for some of us) to sample the new menu for the first time.

After some excellent food (the steak was a popular and superb choice) and the presentation of the cake, we went on to York to a bar. Then another bar. Then another bar. And then a club (I think).

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