Dum Di Dum – the making of an Archers’ Theme Music Mug

A little while ago a returning client (how lovely) asked me to design a mug for her based on her favourite radio...

A little while ago a returning client (how lovely) asked me to design a mug for her based on her favourite radio programme ‘The Archers’ – a long running radio show on BBC Radio 4. It has been broadcast for over 64 years! At the time of writing is has aired nearly 18,000 episodes. It has loyal following and a very keen fan base.

My client wanted to have the theme music written in words that emulate the music, difficult to describe, but here goes. The music has a distinct melody which has fondly become known as Dum di Dum

I started to write this and had some fun putting the words on the music, and then shared it on my Instagram, which shares to my Facebook page, she was very happy with my effort, but then the various Facebook fan pages started to comment after a friend shared it to their pages. I was surprised at the feedback and all the suggestions. Those Archers’ fans are a serious lot. They were quite insistent that the words should be in exactly the right place if they were to emulate the notes.

Not being a musical sort of gal, I thought I need some help. Asked some friends, who then asked their friends, but nothing.

A lovely lady who runs Lotte’s Blogging challenge came to my rescue, she put me in touch not only with a musician, but also a life long Archers listener.

Perfect

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Well so I thought, I looked at the musical notes on the stave (the lines) and thought I could write the words in an up and down sort of fashion and maybe that would do the job.

I thought maybe I should share this on a fan page to be sure I’d got it right. I knew they were a musical lot on the page and they would give me feedback and make sure I was on the right track!!

Well, I think I created the longest thread that had every appeared on the fan page. I got so much feedback and suggestions that I was overwhelmed. I am no musician and boy did that show! I responded to all the helpful comments trying to understand what they were trying to explain but it was going right over my head. Then someone, a rather wonderful someone, said “I tell you what, I’ll get some paper and write it out for you.” And she did, and I got it in one. I hadn’t realised what a visual person I was until this point.

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And by the way, during the thread, people were asking when could they buy the mug, would I give them details?

About a week later, once I had put all the dums, dis and diddly das in the right place. I did a mock up, a very simple one. I stuck the design on a clean mug and took a photo. I wanted to check that I had the words in the correct place and that no musician would be ‘offended’

I shared that on the fan page, asking for feedback, saying that once everyone approved of the design then I would be producing the design and in response to their wonderful help and encouragement I would offer it for sale at a special price.

Wham, I was completely overwhelmed at the response. I got 40 sales in the first hour of the share, and over the next 2 days I hit 150 sales. And I hadn’t even made it, their support and belief in my design was quite amazing. Then I had to make the little beauty. I did a couple of trial runs to make sure the design fitted perfectly on the mug, the first sample didn’t fit very well, it was too big, but with more tweaking and fiddling it was ready to go. My poor kiln has never worked so hard, I can only fit 17 mugs in at any one time, and I had a 150 pre-orders. I was busy, hoping that the kiln would keep going and not have a hissy fit, which it hasn’t. Everyone on the Archers’ Appreciation Face book group have been so complimentary and have been sharing images of their mugs as they received them. What a lovely bunch. I was so humbled by their response, it made all the effort worthwhile. Finally the finished product was unveiled and I shared the image ………………

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And as they say in all the best circles – the rest is history!