Friday, April 16

What is the deal with these Tea Towels?

You might have noticed a link to a site called 'Original Wedding Tea Towels' at the bottom of the Citizen Site, or you might have seen some wedding invite artwork floating around my portfolio, and I guess there's a chance you might be wondering what it's all about. Well let me tell you.

In December last year me and Karen got married. Being a designer there was of course huge pressure on me to come up with an idea for the invitation. After about 20 failed attempts I finally hit on the idea of doing something people could keep, after all, why spend all that money on something that people are only going to throw away, so perhaps, oddly, I decided on doing a teatowel.

Karen thought it was weird and it took me an evening to talk her into it, eventually, I created the above design and got it to print, then we came to the day of sending them out. Waiting for people's responses was quite terrifying, I was worried it was going to be met with a blanket 'WHY?', but really, it couldn't have been further from the truth. People seemed genuinely blown away by them and the feedback was totally amazing.

Anyway, we got married and when the dust had settled we both thought maybe the idea was good enough to make a little business out of, so that's exactly what we did. We've been operating now for about 4 months, sent out over 100 sample requests and taken orders all over the UK, we're not the next Microsoft, but as a cottage industry it ticks over nicely.

The thing that I love about it, is it's simplicity as a model. We know there's no repeat customers, it's semi seasonal, we know where to find brides, and we know the kind of brides that will be interested in the idea. We also know the kind of budgets people are expecting to pay, and the leads times that are normal. Our experience in marketing (Karen worked at BBH) means we can use that professionalism with our clients to make them feel at ease. Our biggest challenge is getting free press from the magazines and wedding blogs, so far we've been pretty successful in getting the idea picked up, and that press has driven most of our business.

People always ask us "why don't you do mugs, coasters, or sell the idea to schools, and playgroups" but we're not going to diversify in that way and lose focus. The strength of the product and of it's targeting is it's niche; it's a specific type of product for a specific type of customer at a specific time in their lives and the smaller that target the more likely we're the only ones that can hit it. It's a nice project, and a very interesting case study in marketing. here's the rest of the designs;

Monday, April 12

Artwork on iTunes

It always makes me happy to see my artwork on the iTunes Store. Can you spot 2 different Citizen pieces on this screen shot? A prize for anyone that can.

Thursday, April 8

Citizen Wiki page

I've just set up a Wikipedia page for Citizen Studios and complied a list of all my major label work, I'm pretty proud of it as it stands. Need to get something lined up for the rest of 2010 now.

Medium 21Acting Like a MirrorUniversal Records2003
Medium 21Daybreak Vs PrideUniversal Records2003
Medium 21Black and White SummerUniversal Records2003
Medium 21Killings From the DialUniversal Records2003
MapsStart SomethingMute2005
MapsLost My SoulMute2005
MapsDon't Fear the SunMute2005
MapsInternational EPMute2006
Kooky RecordsKooky is 10Kooky Records2006
MapsIt Will Find YouMute2007
MapsWe Can CreateMute2007
MapsYou Don't Know Her NameMute2007
MapsTo The SkyMute2007
Durutti ColumnSunlight To Blue... Blue To BlacknessKooky Records2008
SlipstreamMantraNorth Star Records2008
White Belt Yellow TagTell Your Friends (It All Worked Out)Distiller Records2009
White Belt Yellow TagRemainsDistiller Records2009
White Belt Yellow TagTell Your Friends (It All Worked Out)Distiller Records2009
White Belt Yellow TagMethodsDistiller Records2010
White Belt Yellow TagAlways and EchoesDistiller Records2010
The MoonsTorn Between TwoAcid Jazz2010
The MoonsNightmare DayAcid Jazz2010
The MoonsLife on EarthAcid Jazz2010
The MoonsLet It GoAcid Jazz2010
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Monday, April 5

New Moons: Let it Go

This is the last single from the Moons album 'Life on Earth', it's called 'Let it Go'. 

The art was inspired by the opening line of the song "Collect your ammunition, shoot a bullet in my back" and is the last piece of work to feature Dr. Moonhead who has been on all the releases so far. This cover marks his death, we all felt he'd run his course and it was time to kill him off.

As far as the style goes it follows on from the previous artwork in it's application, but it's much more progressive in it's composition. Overall it's my favourite of all the covers, this is probably because I created each piece from scratch so it feels the freshest to me. 

Pointless fact for you; The snub nosed revolver used was traced from a photograph of the one used by Jack Ruby.

This marks the end of a great campaign, Acid Jazz have been a great label to work with and The Moons are really kicking up some interest, so everybody's happy.

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Friday, April 2

Eat the Art

Two good things happened this week, the first, the Moons Vinyl arrived. It's actually the hardest thing in the world to get the final artwork out of the label once it's all finished, it always annoys me. I've been known to actually buy it to get my hands on it. But Acid Jazz are a different class and they've sent me 3 copies. Thank you to Archie for modelling it for me.

The second is the first placement of the 'Methods' artwork that's begun to creep into the media, this (above) was in this weeks NME.

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