Archive of ‘blog’ category

Creative Resolutions and Inspiration for the new year.

Happy New Year, Folks!

Late to the party as always, we have been making some 2017 resolutions. We have resolved to spend more time being creative and spend more time in environments that make us feel inspired.

We have loved been busy over Christmas but packing orders all day every day doesn’t leave much time for planning, sketching and designing new things – the stuff we love.

When you run your own business, it can feel like there is an ever increasing to-do list and often we feel guilty taking time away from the list to indulge in the creative stuff. In reality, we wont have a business that holds our interest or a business that customers want to engage with if we do not make time for creativity.

So,hoping to be inspired, we had our first Double Thumbs Up day out last week at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. We spent a lot of time in the hothouses, took a lot of photographs and generally spent some time soaking up restorative plant vibes!

monstera and fern leaves

Now we are back in the studio, we have already started drawing, sketching, creating new and fresh colour palettes and our heads are brimful of ideas. A good start!



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Hands up who is ready for Christmas?


In between frantically trying to organise our new studio space (who knew how much stuff we were hiding in our spare rooms!) and juggling our exhibition design work, we have been beavering away trying to get ready for Christmas! We have been adding a few new Christmas products to our storefront and rephotographing some old favourites like these mitten earrings.

We have been designing a new line of personalised nursery prints and keepsakes, including this lovely little baby’s first Christmas keepsake print.


And for all of you that are just not ready to talk about Christmas yet, we have also been working on some new non-Christmassy personalised nautical kids prints. We have been having a bit of a love affair with all things ocean related in 2016!


How are your Christmas plans coming along?

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Viva Pinata! range is here – download the free colouring sheet!

We introduced a lot of new items at Spring Fair 2016 Last month including two new ranges. The Viva Pinata range is inspired by Mexican folk art and Day of the Dead celebrations. We really enjoyed working on this range and using a much brighter colour palette. We also enjoyed listening to a Mariachi cover band on repeat to get us in the mood!

Have a look at some of the range below and don’t forget to download the colouring sheet at the end to make your own Viva Pinata pattern!

(Click and then right click to save)

Howdy Card Tequila Card Muchas Gracias


Pinata Colouring Sheet A4 REDUCED

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Spring Fair 2016

Sorry we’ve been away for a while, but we have been really busy with loads of new stuff. We’re proud to unveil it at Spring Fair  at the NEC which runs today until Thursday.

Here is a peek at our stand in Hall 3, stand number 3K41.

Hopefully we’ll see some of you there. Pop over and say hello – we’ve got sweets!


In the Night Sky

black galaxy geo
Our new geometric galaxy notebook featured in an Etsy collection today that includes some other really beautiful things. We really like this wonderful Silver Moon print by Sabrina Kaici.


Silver Moon print by Sabrina Kaici


… Check out the rest of the collection here:
curated by Etsy UK on Etsy

Our week in pictures, 27.9.2015

It has been a bit of a busy week this week. Have a look at what we’ve been up to…


We went to meet some fellow Northwest Not on the High Street partners on Friday.  It was the Macmillan coffee morning.  Kirsty made meringues…Kirsty dropped meringues! Great event though thanks to for hosting.



We had quite a busy week with orders.  Our Children’s prints have been popular.

green galaxy plain cactus illustration notebook

We added a few new products to our Not on the High Street storefront. You can find the galaxy notebook here and the cactus print one here.

heart pin badges in production

We got ahead of the valentines game by preparing our love token lapel badges.

view through camera viewfinder

Finally, we got around to updating some photographs of old favourites like our moon gazing hare notebook. About time too!

Hope you have had a fun week!

Designed and made in UK


Our week in pictures, 20.9.2015

Here is a wee glance at what we have been up to this week…

Star Wars Christmas CardSending out a few of these Star Wars inspired Christmas Cards to some very organised customers!

Lasercut mirror stars

Laser cutting some beautiful mirrored perspex stars for some new product prototypes at Fred Aldous.

Galaxy patterned notebooks

Taking Delivery of these awesome galaxy print notebooks (+12 more designs!).

Colourful buildings at the Custard FactoryHanging out at the wonderful Custard Factory in Birmingham for Not on the High Street event, Make, Do and Meet.

Free ChocolateScoffing free chocolate and playing with our cool  laser engraved pens from the Make, do & meet goody bag…

Coffee, cake and planningCoffee, cake and forward planning at Takk Manchester.

What have you been up to this week?

Designed and made in UK

The quest for the perfect pen!

Barry here,

You can never have enough pens, but you can have enough bad pens.  There are few things quite as disappointing as finding a new pen you have just bought is a bit rubbish. Too scratchy, too light, doesn’t dry quick enough etc etc.  So I always keep an eye for a nice pen and here is one I have just found.  The ‘Derwent Graphik Line Marker’ in Sepia (Oooh!).  I bought a pack of 3 of these in 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5mm widths.  The pack was about 5 quid so under 2 quid for each pen isn’t too bad if they are good. And I think they are (hurray!)

Sepia Graphik

The colour is a nice change from the usual black and the nibs seem pretty tough with nothing changing after a solid evening of linework.  It gives your work a warmer feel and adds some extra interest for free.  The ink dried quick enough not smudge and didn’t soak in to regular pads either.  Overall I liked them.  They also do a grey set so maybe I’ll give them a try once these wear out (or I see them on offer, or just see them…)

Stand by for my next pen find soon.

Double Thumbs Up logo

DTU Freebies! Galaxy desktop wallpaper

Barry here

Here at DTU we thought it would be nice to give away some free stuff, so to kick things off we have some free desktop wallpaper for you.  It is based on our galaxy gift wrap range which you can find in our shop here.  This one is the mind bending geometric version!

Galaxy Geometric Wallpaper

To download the wall paper just click on the image above and then right click and choose ‘save image as’ from the menu.

Look out for more freebies appearing soon.

Designed and made in UK


Designing exclusive products inspired by museum collections

Barry here!

We recently worked on a project with Greater Manchester Museums Group (GMMG) to design and make some gift products for their online shop.  We thought you might like to have a look at some of the stuff we made.

GMMG Greetings Card Fantashtic

All of the products are based on objects from the collections of museums with GMMG and we had behind the scenes access while doing our research.

GMMG Garland

The products range from greetings cards and jewellery to garlands and gift wrap.

GMMG Wrapping Paper Egypt

You can see the full range of products on sale from us and other North West makers in the GMMG shop here.

Designed and made in UK

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