I’ve settled on a plan that meets the 4 aims I’ve identified for the project, and decided pretty much what I’m going to do!

There are lots of things running through my head about actual products to design. I’m keen to ensure that whatever these designs are, that they make a cohesive whole. I want the products that belong recognisably to the final brand, and for that, I’d like to pin down some brand values. I don’t mind if these develop and evolve during this process, but at some point, I’d like to fix them down.

I have, however, got a strong idea of my first brand value, and that is “Local”.

To be clear that’s not that I only want to sell stuff to locals (although I’d be happy to do that too), but I want to make use of local suppliers and I’d really like the brand to be an East Midlands brand. An East Midlands brand that exports, a brand that people say, oh, they’re based in Derbyshire aren’t they?

A couple of key aspects that have cemented the local value are, firstly, the sources of my inspiration and secondly, the discovery of a really great super local Giclee printer.

I’ve said before that design wise, there are a couple of things I’ve been playing with. Both have local links and both have scope to appeal to a wider market. I’m not going to reveal what they are, you’ll have to stay tuned for that!

But the real revelation came whilst looking for a supplier. Giclee printing is a wide term for many things, so I hit the internet, looked locally, tapped up my regular print suppliers and spoke to others to ensure I got what I wanted. There’s plenty of people online offering some kind of Giclee printing and prices are significantly more expensive, as expected, than regular digital printing but they tend to be comparable between giclee printers.

Then I struck upon a really local outfit who are producing some really top end art and photography prints. Costs wise they compare well to even the online giclee printers, perhaps a little more expensive, but they’re five minutes away and I can sit down with them, visit their print shop and ensure I can get everything just the way I want. They’re also really approachable people, interesting and invested in the prints they produce, it’s really rather exciting stuff and we need a little more discussion, but if things go well, I’ll profile them a little later!

They’re also in a position to offer something that was at the top of my aims list. No Stock.

By going local on this issue, I can get prints “just-in-time” as they’re ordered. I don’t need to invest in stock or find where to stick the stuff, waste cash on things that don’t sell. For this project that’s amazing. It also opens up options for customisation of prints, something I’ve yet to consider, but could be on the cards.

The pinning down of Local as a value has also set off my mind for loads of other aspects or the brand including the name, which I’ll talk about next time!