Posts tagged bespoke
I was recently invited to review my choice of case from Ideal Cases, an online company who specialise in customisable cases for your phones, tablets and other gadgets.
There are a wide range of cases to choose from on Ideal Case. Naturally I went for a case for my iPad 2, and I chose the leather/canvas folio style case which offers full protection front and back, a flip front and an integral stand.
There are so many options. To start with you simply choose whether to personalise or not. Naturally I wanted something bespoke; and when prompted I chose the freestyle design option, giving me the most freedom to create whatever I wanted.
I didn’t want a photograph, or clipart, or a drawing; I just wanted it bright green and to say “Splodz Blogz Life is all about the journey” just like the header for my blog. I started by choosing the background colour. I chose a nice and punchy green which would be bright and colourful against the black spine and back of the case (you can only customise the front). Then I used the text tool to add my chosen words, and took to deciding which font to use. I just couldn’t get that right. There are quite a number of fonts to choose from, but most are fancy – scripts, blocks, that sort of thing. In the “basic” category there are about ten to pick from, but none worked quite as I wanted. What I wanted, what I had envisaged, was Calibri, the font I used for my header image on here. So I changed tack and deleted the text layer from my case and instead uploaded an image. I uploaded a large 2000 pixel square image – I knew this should be plenty big enough for about half the height of the case. It was difficult to tell as you can’t zoom in on your design to check, and you don’t get a proof, so it was a bit of a risk.
Once I was happy with my very simple design I ordered it. The following morning I received an email from Ideal Case who informed me that there had been a problem with their system and my design had not saved properly – the thumbnail used in the checkout phase had but not the full design. They offered to create the design for me if I sent them over the image but I decided it was ok, it didn’t take me long and wouldn’t take me many minutes to re-do my design. Actually it gave me opportunity to rethink my design and tweak it slightly, I didn’t mind. I changed the background colour of both my case and my image so they matched, which I thought would work better. But I was worried that the colours wouldn’t match completely when they printed – having worked in print I understand that colours on screen and colours of different files can differ; and if they differed, even a little bit, the case would look odd and it would annoy me. So when I submitted my design I emailed Si at Ideal Cases (replied to his email about the original problem with my order) and asked him very nicely to check that the colours matched when it was produced.
What followed was a day of incredibly helpful emails getting the colour right and also helping to sharpen up the edges of my text (I think the design software on the Ideal Cases website must compress images massively when you upload them as I know my image was totally sharp and high resolution). Si was so helpful, I simply cannot fault the customer service – we discussed the colour, they tweaked it so it was exactly what I had in mind, adding some yellow to it as they understood how it would appear when printed onto canvas. They turned around my case so it went out that very evening and I received it the next morning.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the case was the colour. Absolutely perfect, exactly what I had imagined. The text in the corner was clear and just the right place. Brilliant. Do you like it? Not very fancy, I know, I could have been much more imaginative no doubt, but I like it. And I’ve been receiving some lovely comments from people who’ve seen it too.
The case itself completely surrounds the iPad. It is a book style case with a big flap that opens to reveal the screen, and also incorporates a three-angle stand (plus flat!) so you can use the iPad at the most comfortable angle. You can still get to all the buttons and connectors perfectly, including the camera. The front is a canvas, the spine is suede, and the back is faux leather – the stitching is neat and well done, and the materials appear good quality. I think the green I chose looks fabulous against the black of the rest of the case (thanks again Si), and the design works well.
The flap of the case does have a magnet in it to lock and unlock your screen as you close/open it, however this doesn’t always line up perfectly and so doesn’t always engage (I know this isn’t a problem solely with this case – LincsGeek finds this with his Targus case). It could probably also do with an elasticated strap or similar to keep the case closed, as it does have a tendency to open it if you’re not holding it right. Oh and the printing only goes to the edge of the canvas – this means there is a small white border around the outside of the case where the canvas wraps around – it would be nice if that wasn’t there, but it’s no big deal for me. Apart from those little niggles this is a really nicely made case that I’m very happy to use.
Of course with this new case I can’t use either my Smart Cover or my Golla slip case, both of which I love. I think it’s going to depend on what I’m doing and where I am going with my iPad as to which case I take with me. It’s nice to have the choice!
I would absolutely recommend Ideal Cases. The design process was very easy, the following customer service was faultless, and the product is good quality and looks great.
It’s nice to be able to offer you a discount on a product I really like. I’ve been given a 40% off voucher to share with you – put splodz40 in when purchasing from Ideal Cases and you’ll save a good sum on your chosen case. Let me know if you get one!
I am not very good at wearing nice pretty dainty bracelets. I like them very much for going out but for normal wear they just get in the way, tap constantly on the desk while I’m typing, get stuck on my clothing, you know the sort of thing. I much prefer fitted bangles or wristbands that are more “surfy” in style – they fit with me better anyway – because they sit nicely on my arm without making any noise.
Wayvebands are leather wristbands that are unique to you – you design them yourself from a range of colours, designs, fonts to make something totally bespoke. I was given the opportunity to design my own so I could tell you about them.
I knew exactly what I wanted; a green wristband with my tagline “life is all about the journey” on it. You can upload photos or use funky backgrounds, but I just wanted something pretty plain that would remind me of my mantra. Do you like it? Getting my design done was really quick and simple, the interface is a doddle to use and you get a picture of what your wristband will look like.
It fits just right. Well of course it does, you can adjust the stud to any of four points, and there are two larger holes to fit over the top. There is also a leather thong supplied if you’d rather fit it that way. Quality wise I’m impressed too. The leather a couple of millimetres thick and the stud fastening screws on so you know it’s secure. The packaging does say that you should expect the colours to fade over time, but with leather products you expect them to soften up, they don’t stay pristine and that is part of the charm.
If I had paid for mine it would have been £7.00 (this is the price for a “text Wayveband” – the different types vary in price). Delivery is £1.95 and mine arrived the next day (it was sent first class). For a personalised leather wristband I think this is good value for money – I can see me getting addicted to these (I am about to order another one… I think in orange!). They might work as invitations/tickets for a party or event, or to celebrate something with your friends. Or how about sticking your name and phone number on one for your kids when on days out just in case they get lost? The bespoke nature of these is what appeals to me though, they are a fantastic little idea and everyone should have their own!
If you would like to design your own Wayveband then you’re in luck – I have a discount code that is good for 20% off. Simply add SPLODZ20 at the checkout on the Wayveband website to apply the discount. The code is live now and doesn’t run out until 30th March 2013 so you’ve got time to design and order many!