Not the high street. More graphic pop-up shopping on the south coast of Britain:
Pop-up shops blossom at this time of year. It is, after all, retail’s most lucrative fortnight. But, if you’re new to this, here are some hints from a venture that’s gone from strength to strength. Having launched during May’s Brighton Festival, Unlimited Editions is back for their Christmas season.
Run by graphic designers, right out of their studio, it features a wide range of limited-edition and hand-made products by designers of every stripe. From stocking-fillers to art for your walls, there’s something for everyone. With new items on sale each time the doors open, there’s a freshness to the selection; here’s stuff you won’t find on the high-street, or even in Magma.
It’s likely to appeal to design-savvy customers, with items featuring nicely tactile print techniques – screen-printing, letterpress and foil-embossing. Highlights include: Julia Trigg’s Signals series, featuring her collection of ham radio cards; intriguingly packaged, button-badge gifts by Harrington & Squires; Martin O’Neill’s collaged one-offs; and Yukka & Stamp’s Ordinance Survey Map bunting.
Liz Farrelly, from the curating team behind Pick Me Up (at Somerset House), spotted that designers have turned entrepreneur and, increasingly, are making to sell. So, she asked Sara Morrissey, one half of Unlimited, why they decided to branch out from their usual practice and become not only designer-makers (see their Brighton Font Map, printed in various foils), but retailers representing a network of like-minded graphic designers.
Liz Farrelly: What motivated you to set up Unlimited Editions and throw your doors open to the public as a pop-up shop?
Sara Morrissey: Increasingly, my partner Patrick Morrissey (ex-Why Not Associates) and I have been asked to produce self-initiated work for exhibitions, which in turn is available to buy. We realised that there’s lots of interest and a big audience out there for our kind of work.
LF: How would you describe your work?
SM: For our Unlimited clients, and for the shop … thoughtful, with an attention to detail, but also accessible and playful.
LF: When it came to setting up the shop, and commissioning new work, what particular issues came up?
SM: My years of being a design tutor came in to play; I was motivated to find fresh talent, represent new designers and promote their work. The challenge was to make a mark with this new venture; making Unlimited Editions the place to find affordable quality. We’re also lucky that we’re right in the heart of the North Laines, so footfall isn’t a problem.
LF: What’s the most satisfying aspect of turning shopkeeper; getting in touch with your audience?
SM: We’ve had amazingly positive feedback from people visiting the shop, and word is spreading. It’s taken on a life of its own, rather than been too engineered, which, I hope, shows that we are filling a need and not just foisting another new venture onto the market. Other pluses; forging connections with other creatives; and, knowing that any new venture can only strengthen our design business.
> 19 December 2010, weekends only
Unlimited Editions Pop-up shop
The Old Stables
4b Upper Gardner Street
North Laines, Brighton
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