Exit Stage Left

131.  ACC Liverpool

When you think of Liverpool, what springs to mind? A quick Mugspotters HQ poll revealed: The Beatles, Bill Shankly, Echo & The Bunnymen, Kenny Dalglish, The Liver Birds, Boys From The Blackstuff, Teardrop Explodes, The Cavern… We’d all pretty much forgotten that it was somehow voted “Capital Of Culture” at some point. (Rochdale came a close second.) Somehow it didn’t seem right that a city that boasts 2 cathedrals didn’t even have a single top-quality conference centre and so in 2008 the ACC Liverpool was born. Mugspotters has been kindly donated this very black & red commemorative (and much-welcomed) Newbury which marked the launch of this venue. As you can see, BT were heavily involved in its conception but over the intervening years, have faded from view, leaving them free to mug us all off with extortionate line rental and have never-ending sales on their best-ever (honest Guv) broadband. The mug is a very theatrical affair; white dipped in red with a stage & curtain motif but at first glance it’s reminiscent of a certain well-known soup can…

BT 1hienz bt 2Bt 3 There’s lots of ruched curtains, pelmets, starlights and it’s all very dramatic. I know you’re eager to learn more about the background of the ACC, so here is the script off their web-blurb: “Built and launched in time to help Liverpool celebrate its European Capital of Culture title in 2008, ACC Liverpool has already forged an enviable reputation for delivering prestigious events – as its short history will attest. ACC Liverpool opened its doors on 12 January 2008 with the official opening ceremony for Capital of Culture, launching a year-long celebration and signalling the culmination of a decade of regeneration in the city. It cost £164 million to build, financed by Liverpool City Council, English Partnerships (now the Homes and Communities Agency), the Northwest Regional Development Agency and European (ERDF) funding. It is owned by Liverpool City Council and ACC Liverpool Ltd was set up as a management company to run it on the council’s behalf.” We did hear a rumour that originally it was going to be called the “R-A-R-A-RACC”  but for some unknown reason it was shortened to just plain “ACC”.

Can’t think why?

It Does Exactly What It Says On The Mug

130.  (A) Ronseal / (AA) Sherwin Diversified Brands

As much as I love Mugspotting, let’s face it, it’s a landscape overrun by the likes of the common or garden ‘Cambridge’ & white bread ‘Sparta’. They’re 10 a penny.
It’s not often then that we can unveil a new (to us) mug design but today is such a day and it’s with immense pride we bring you…
‘The Corporate’.
Sherwin 2

This one could divide opinion. Mugspotters HQ was split 50/50.
Once the euphoria had faded it was time to behold it’s rarefied form. It’s a mash-up between the Marrows slender, plunging body and the Sparta’s angular, jutting handle. Maybe there was some inbreeding on the potters wheel?

Personally, I may just be stuck in my ways but the Spartan handle is best suited to a body with a low centre of gravity and for me, doesn’t sit well astride the top-half of the svelte Marrow.
Branding wise, we have what most of us oldies call a “Double “A” Side” Once upon a time when music singles were available on 7″ vinyl, that spun at 45 R.P.M. a band would occasionally be torn as to which track would take the lead, so as opposed to the single having the traditional ‘A’ & ‘B’ side, they’d plump for a “Double A.”
Pop history is littered with examples but a couple of my favourite examples are:
The Beatles: “(A) We Can Work It Out” / (AA) “Day Tripper” (1965)
The Jam: ” (A) Going Underground” / (AA) “Dreams Of Children” (1980) That was a classic that went straight in at No.1!!

This Corporate sports a “Double A” side of “Ronseal” / “Sherwin Diversified Brands”.
Most of our demographic should be familiar with Ronseal and their famous ‘It Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin’ slogan.  In short, they manufacture high quality woodcare products, paints & DIY gear for both inside and outside the home.
Sherwin Williams Europe (actually based in Cleveland, Ohio) own the Ronseal brand. It may have made more sense having both logos feature on the same elevation and then repeat this doubled up motif on it’s rear. However both brands are kept apart, each having it’s own important identity, thus making this debut Corporate a perfect Mug-Spotting, chart-topping, “Double A”.

Sherwin 1