A Quick Look Behind the Scenes of Place in Print
Today I want to give you a long overdue look at a wonderful card & gift company, Place in Print. I’ve been meaning to publish this article for a while (apologies to the Place in Print team) but the info got lost in my archive. Happily, it’s been found and we can all get a sneak peek behind the scenes of a fascinating design studio.
Originally based in South London, Place in Print create distinctive and appealing artworks, homewares, greetings cards, and gifts; all inspired by their local area.
Key landmarks and much-loved sights of London and beyond are captured in bright, bold designs that can be loved, treasured and gifted for years to come.
To get an idea of what inspired the business I posed some questions to Place in Print’s co-founder, Ed Povey, who was able to give us a unique look behind the scenes of this business.
What inspired you to start Place in Print?
Place in Print started life under a different name, South London Prints, in summer 2012. A friend and I had been talking about a lack of artwork focussed on neighbourhood-level landmarks, and the opportunities to showcase new products at local farmers markets. We put the two together, and the rest is history.
What can you tell us about your business?
As a small business, we don’t have to constantly worry about producing products that cater to the mass market. We are able to avoid the normal pitfalls of our particular sector, which see a tendency to focus on major landmarks such as Battersea Power Station, the Tate Modern etc. Instead, we choose the lesser known, and locally-loved places which appeal to a smaller but perhaps more devoted market!
What’s your role in the business?
I run the day-to-day business, speaking to stockists, arranging appearances at events and deciding on new product lines. I love the more mundane business aspects just as much as the creative side, which is handy really, because as the business grows, I find myself having to spend more time away from the creative side, delegating that to other members of the team.
Are there other people in your business? What can you tell us about the rest of the team?
I started the business with a friend of mine Martin, who is still involved, albeit on a smaller scale. My wife Helen has recently started working with me in the studio every day, helping out with the day-to-day running of the business, as well as contributing new artwork like our new Crystal Palace Dinosaurs print. My friend Ryan can sometimes be found running our market stalls in and around South London. We also work with a few great freelance designers who help turn our ideas into reality. It is great being able to ask for creative input from others, as it helps to keep the product range diverse and interesting.
You collaborate with some of the UK’s leading graphic artists. Do you have a wishlist of designers that you want to work with next?
I am constantly on the lookout for new creative talent to work with. Tools such as Pinterest and Behance are great for keeping up with the latest trends in the graphic design/illustration sector, and a handy way of keeping track of people I may want to speak to in the future.
You currently specialise in homewares and gifts. What inspires you about this area of design?
I’ve always been a big fan of graphic art, and this is where, and part of the reason why our business started. We are in the fortunate position to be able to manufacture all of our prints in our own studio, enabling us to ensure a high-quality finish at every stage. I think that prints will always be at the core of our business for that reason.
Recently we have started to produce other product lines such as tea towels and greetings cards and will look to expand that range further in the future – watch this space.
Your products feature maps, landmarks, typography, and transport. Are you seeing any trends for what is most popular?
That’s a tough one! We are certainly seeing more people start to venture more into our business area, so we are continually working on new designs and techniques to stay one step ahead.
Which of the Place in Print collection are the current bestsellers?
Our Catford Cat print is one of our most popular prints at present. It’s probably SE6’s most famous landmark, and I think local residents are particularly keen to celebrate their love of it. It’s a super simple design, which I think also helps to broaden its appeal.
What are your personal favourite products in your current collection? Why do they stand out for you?
One of our latest designs is a view across the “Rooftops of East London”. Creating it was a particular labor of love, and so it is a print that I’m particularly proud of. We’ve also just completed a set of new prints for Crystal Palace which includes a design focussed on the National Sports Centre. The mid-century building is a particular favourite of mine, and I like to think we’ve done it justice with our print.
What can gift givers expect from Place in Print in the coming months?
We’re always working on new designs, so expect to see lots of new work online soon. We’re also looking into some new and exciting collaborations with other designer/makers to broaden our style range even further.
Your collection shows great attention to detail and quality. What can you tell us about the craftsmanship involved?
We produce most of our artwork on computers, and while that may not be ‘traditional’, in terms of time and skill we feel they are comparable. We certainly pay as much attention to our work as anyone, if not more! In the future, we may start to explore other areas of craftsmanship, so long as we stick to the ‘local’ theme!
Shopping & Sourcing Products from Independents
I believe independents offer an amazing combination of unique design and high quality. Do you agree? How do you ensure this happens at Place in Print?
Certainly. Independents have a much greater interest in ensuring that every product is of the highest quality – at the end of the day if a product isn’t up to scratch, we have nowhere to hide! I have always been a stickler for detail – my general approach is to always consider how I would feel if I were on the receiving end of one of my products. If there is any chance that I would be disappointed, then something is wrong and has to be addressed before that product ever leaves our studio.
What makes you different from your competitors?
We provide the largest selection of UK locally-themed homewares and gifts. Although we are London-centric at the moment, we hope to broaden our geographical scope in the near future. We celebrate the lesser-known features of our neighbourhoods, helping those that love where they live to love it in style!
Why do you think people should shop with independent businesses like yours?
By shopping with independents, people can ensure that they are buying high quality, innovative products which directly support the people who do the making. A lot of the time, you won’t see these sort of products on the shelves of high street stores; having something a little different is as good a reason as any!
Find Out More
Now you’ve read the interview, it’s time to take a closer look at the whole collection and visit the Place in Print website.