8 things to see at London light festival Lumiere

The Light of the Spirit Chapter 2 by Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, Westminster. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

London can be a gloomy place in January but light festival Lumiere has brought a little joy to the capital with more than 50 outdoor installations. Illuminated artworks can be found across the West End, King’s Cross, Mayfair, Fitzrovia, the South Bank and Waterloo from now until Sunday. Here’s a look at some of this year’s landmark installations – including a watery veil of light in King’s Cross and a mesmerising interactive orb suspended above Oxford Circus…

Miguel Chevalier & Cyrille Henry – Origin of the World Bubble 2018

Oxford Circus

Origin of the World Bubble 2018 by Miguel Chevalier. Image: oxfordstreet.co.uk

French artist Miguel Chevalier’s installation takes the form of a giant orb suspended over Oxford Circus tube station. The piece caused mild panic after it broke free in a gust of wind earlier this month but is now firmly back in place. The interactive installation responds to the movement of people underneath with a changing series of visual displays – Chevalier describes it as  “a technological baroque of ever-changing universes”.

Vertigo – The Wave

Riverside Walkway, South Bank

The Wave by Vertigo, Riverside Walkway, South Bank. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London
The Wave by Vertigo, Riverside Walkway, South Bank. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London

Danish collective Vertigo’s installation is a triangular tunnel of light made up of illuminated ‘sound gates’. The piece is over 80 metres long and emits light and sound in response to movement.

Rami Bebawi / KANVA – Entre les Rangs

King’s Cross

Entre Les Rangs by Rami Bebawi / KANVA, Lewis Cubitt, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.
Entre Les Rangs by Rami Bebawi / KANVA, Lewis Cubitt, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London. Images © Matthew Andrews

Visitors to King’s Cross can wander through a field of illuminated, flower-shaped objects created by Rami Bebawi and architecture practice KANVA. The piece is described as “a tribute to the fields of wheat that shimmer in the wind as seasons pass”.

Collectif Coin – Child Hood

Trafalgar Square

Image: collectif-coin.com

See luminous white balloons sway in mid air at Trafalgar Square. The piece was created by French collective Coin and lights casts a pretty mesmerising effect on the water surrounding the square’s fountain.

Katarzyna Malejka & Joachim Sługocki – Spectral

St James’s Square

Spectral on display in Lumiere Durham. Image: @lumieredurham. The piece is on display in London from January 18 to 21

Colourful threads of cord resemble beams of light in Katarzyna Malejka & Joachim Sługocki’s installation. Cords are wrapped around trees and street furniture and illuminated at night.

Waterlicht – Daan Roosegaarde

Granary Square

Daan Roosegaarde’s Waterlichte is designed to evoke the feeling of being underwater. A layer of blue light floats above people’s heads in Granary Square in a piece inspired by our changing relationship with water and the threat of rising sea levels. Viewers can trigger an accompanying soundtrack on their phones for the full audiovisual experience

Patrice Warrener – The Light of the Spirit

Westminster Abbey

The Light of the Spirit Chapter 2 by Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, Westminster. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

French digital artist Patrice Warrener has transformed the facade of Westminster Abbey with a colourful projection that highlights the building’s impressive architecture. Figures and columns are lit up in vivid reds and blues

Max Cooper & Architecture Social Club – Aether

A mass of hanging lights move in response to original music by DJ and artist Max Cooper in Architecture Social Club’s mesmerising Aether installation. See it at the West Handyside Canopy.

Lumiere takes place from January 18 to 21 (lights are turned on from 5.30 to 10.30pm). It is produced by arts charity Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London. See lumiere-festival.com for more information about the event.

The post 8 things to see at London light festival Lumiere appeared first on Creative Review.

Source: http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

8 things to see at London light festival Lumiere

The Light of the Spirit Chapter 2 by Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, Westminster. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

London can be a gloomy place in January but light festival Lumiere has brought a little joy to the capital with more than 50 outdoor installations. Illuminated artworks can be found across the West End, King’s Cross, Mayfair, Fitzrovia, the South Bank and Waterloo from now until Sunday. Here’s a look at some of this year’s landmark installations – including a watery veil of light in King’s Cross and a mesmerising interactive orb suspended above Oxford Circus…

Miguel Chevalier & Cyrille Henry – Origin of the World Bubble 2018

Oxford Circus

Origin of the World Bubble 2018 by Miguel Chevalier. Image: oxfordstreet.co.uk

French artist Miguel Chevalier’s installation takes the form of a giant orb suspended over Oxford Circus tube station. The piece caused mild panic after it broke free in a gust of wind earlier this month but is now firmly back in place. The interactive installation responds to the movement of people underneath with a changing series of visual displays – Chevalier describes it as  “a technological baroque of ever-changing universes”.

Vertigo – The Wave

Riverside Walkway, South Bank

The Wave by Vertigo, Riverside Walkway, South Bank. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London
The Wave by Vertigo, Riverside Walkway, South Bank. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London

Danish collective Vertigo’s installation is a triangular tunnel of light made up of illuminated ‘sound gates’. The piece is over 80 metres long and emits light and sound in response to movement.

Rami Bebawi / KANVA – Entre les Rangs

King’s Cross

Entre Les Rangs by Rami Bebawi / KANVA, Lewis Cubitt, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.
Entre Les Rangs by Rami Bebawi / KANVA, Lewis Cubitt, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London. Images © Matthew Andrews

Visitors to King’s Cross can wander through a field of illuminated, flower-shaped objects created by Rami Bebawi and architecture practice KANVA. The piece is described as “a tribute to the fields of wheat that shimmer in the wind as seasons pass”.

Collectif Coin – Child Hood

Trafalgar Square

Image: collectif-coin.com

See luminous white balloons sway in mid air at Trafalgar Square. The piece was created by French collective Coin and lights casts a pretty mesmerising effect on the water surrounding the square’s fountain.

Katarzyna Malejka & Joachim Sługocki – Spectral

St James’s Square

Spectral on display in Lumiere Durham. Image: @lumieredurham. The piece is on display in London from January 18 to 21

Colourful threads of cord resemble beams of light in Katarzyna Malejka & Joachim Sługocki’s installation. Cords are wrapped around trees and street furniture and illuminated at night.

Waterlicht – Daan Roosegaarde

Granary Square

Daan Roosegaarde’s Waterlichte is designed to evoke the feeling of being underwater. A layer of blue light floats above people’s heads in Granary Square in a piece inspired by our changing relationship with water and the threat of rising sea levels. Viewers can trigger an accompanying soundtrack on their phones for the full audiovisual experience

Patrice Warrener – The Light of the Spirit

Westminster Abbey

The Light of the Spirit Chapter 2 by Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, Westminster. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

French digital artist Patrice Warrener has transformed the facade of Westminster Abbey with a colourful projection that highlights the building’s impressive architecture. Figures and columns are lit up in vivid reds and blues

Max Cooper & Architecture Social Club – Aether

A mass of hanging lights move in response to original music by DJ and artist Max Cooper in Architecture Social Club’s mesmerising Aether installation. See it at the West Handyside Canopy.

Lumiere takes place from January 18 to 21 (lights are turned on from 5.30 to 10.30pm). It is produced by arts charity Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London. See lumiere-festival.com for more information about the event.

The post 8 things to see at London light festival Lumiere appeared first on Creative Review.

Source: http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

Noma Bar illustrates covers of new dystopia series for Vintage Books

We can’t be sure but there may be something in the air to prompt Vintage’s republication of three classics of dystopian fiction – Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World – each complete with a cover illustration by Noma Bar.



While Atwood’s novel was repackaged by Vintage late last year – presumably following the success of the TV adaptation – the two additional titles are out this week. Timely editions, you might say.

See penguin.co.uk and also the Vintage CMYK design blog.

The post Noma Bar illustrates covers of new dystopia series for Vintage Books appeared first on Creative Review.

Source: http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

Noma Bar illustrates covers of new dystopia series for Vintage Books

We can’t be sure but there may be something in the air to prompt Vintage’s republication of three classics of dystopian fiction – Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World – each complete with a cover illustration by Noma Bar.



While Atwood’s novel was repackaged by Vintage late last year – presumably following the success of the TV adaptation – the two additional titles are out this week. Timely editions, you might say.

See penguin.co.uk and also the Vintage CMYK design blog.

The post Noma Bar illustrates covers of new dystopia series for Vintage Books appeared first on Creative Review.

Source: http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

Noma Bar illustrates covers of new dystopia series for Vintage Books

We can’t be sure but there may be something in the air to prompt Vintage‘s republication of three classics of dystopian fiction – Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World – each complete with a graphic cover illustration by Noma Bar.



While Atwood’s novel was repackaged by Vintage late last year – presumably following the success of the TV adaptation – the two additional titles are out this week. See penguin.co.uk and also the Vintage CMYK design blog.

The post Noma Bar illustrates covers of new dystopia series for Vintage Books appeared first on Creative Review.

Source: http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

Trouva: The online shopping platform championing bricks-and-mortar stores

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, has opened a second store since joining Trouva

Trouva was founded by Mandeep Singh and Alex Loizou in September 2015. It was named one of the top five fastest-growing tech companies in the UK last year and has received more than £7 million in funding from investors.

The shopping platform stocks items from bricks-and-mortar retailers across the UK – from a Lewes store selling handmade oils and balms to a mother-and-daughter run homeware shop in Edinburgh. Some shops make their own products, others stock items by local artists and designers and some sell items by well-known brands. (Most stock a mix of all three.) The result is a diverse collection of items from hand-painted prints to Sandqvist backpacks and homeware from HAY.

Trouva was set up to help shop owners grow their business through selling products online without having to build, run and market a website. The site handles postage and logistics and provides international shipping as well as a click-and-collect service. It even offers one-hour Shutl delivery in certain areas.

Trouva now stocks products from 400 bricks-and-mortar shops across the UK

Singh says the idea is to help independent shops achieve “an economy of scale that would be impossible if they were working in isolation”. The brand doesn’t charge shop owners an upfront fee to list their products on the site but it does take commission.

Trouva only sells items from retailers with a physical shop. Singh believes this ensures a higher quality of products on the site: “Anyone can start an off the shelf e-commerce website but having a real boutique requires passion, expertise and serious commitment,” he adds. The platform looks for “talented curators” – in other words, shop owners with a knack for finding beautiful and unusual items – and on its website Trouva says stores must have “a distinctive, cohesive style” as well as “good quality products” to become part of its community.

“One of the key criteria is that they have a physical store but we also consider a wealth of other elements, from their brand direction to social channels, product range, brands they stock and any press or marketing exposure they’ve had in the local community or further afield,” explains Singh. Looking at these factors helps Trouva determine whether it will be able to grow a shop’s customer base “and make a real impact on their business”, says Singh – and decide whether or not to work with a shop.

The site also features a directory of stores and users can choose to ‘follow’ their favourite boutiques

Many of the shop owners who sell products through Trouva are buyers or creatives – retailers include fashion graduates, fine artists and a former ad exec. By restricting membership to shops that have built up a strong brand – and a great selection of products – the site is able to offer a more curated alternative to other online marketplaces and sites where users can buy directly from makers.

There are some great products to be found on websites like Etsy and Not on the High Street but the range of items can prove overwhelming. These sites also appeal to different markets. Not on the High Street is often associated with handcrafted items and personalised products – a custom papercraft print or a necklace with someone’s initials – whereas Trouva seems geared towards people who prefer a more minimal or Scandi-inspired aesthetic.

There is a huge range of products on the site – from botanical and animal-themed wall art to colourful patterned cushions and throws – but you’re more likely to find a concrete vase than a floral one. The lighting section is filled with industrial-looking lamps and the accessories section with leather and canvas bags from the likes of Sandqvist and Herschel. Jewellery includes Braun watches and geometric earrings.

Trouva also publishes buying guides and stories about boutiques selling products through the site

Singh describes Trouva’s customers as people who look to “express their creativity in the objects and products they buy” – people who dislike shopping at chain retailers and prefer to own “products with a story”. Homeware is the site’s most popular category with jewellery and accessories coming a close second.

Around 1000 products are now added to Trouva each week. Buying guides in the ‘edits’ section of the site make browsing a little easier and users can also choose to ‘follow’ individual boutiques. Trouva doesn’t reveal its top performing boutiques but Singh claims that 11 stores have now made over £100,000 through sales on the platform.

Each of the retailers we contacted had so far had a positive experience of selling through the site – though the level of success a store has can depend on the type and volume of products its sells.

The brand also showcases independent stores on its Instagram feed

Emily Grace Wright is a former buyer at department store Browns and and owner of Stoke Newington store T&Shop. She joined Trouva after investing in a website and struggling to reach new customers: “I built the website, got it all out there and then realised that literally no-one knew about it,” she adds. Joining Trouva has helped her reach a bigger audience and 90% of her online sales now come through the platform.

Junaid and Azeem Ansari – brothers and co-owners of Oxford menswear shop Burrows & Hare – say joining Trouva has led to an increase in online sales and the number of customers coming to the store. “We regularly have customers coming in and telling us that they discovered us online … so the fact that it’s increased footfall is great,” say the pair.

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, told CR that being able to sell products online without having to invest in a website has allowed her to open a second store. “I no longer had to choose [between setting up a website and opening another branch],” she says.

Shops selling products through the platform are asked to display a Trouva sticker in their window

Alfred Addis – who co-founded East London gift store Eastern Biological – says he sells around 20 times as many products through Trouva as he does through the shop’s own website and took between 20 and 30 orders a day through Trouva in the run up to Christmas. Having a presence on the site has also led to press coverage in Jamie Oliver Magazine and brought more people in to the store.

While Eastern Biological has to pay Trouva a percentage of sales, Addis believes it’s worth it for the other benefits that having a presence on the site brings.
“A small shop like ours doesn’t really have the resources to invest in things like Google Shopping and Google Adwords and having an SEO or a PR expert … so it’s worth it just for that,” he adds.

Addis believes that the site works best for retailers who stock affordable mass-produced products. Eastern Biological sells books, prints and gifts through Trouva – from cactus-shaped vases to illustrated children’s books – but Addis says other retailers producing more expensive handmade products in limited runs might struggle to achieve the same level of success.

The interior of Wilson’s store PREP

“I think we do slightly better than other boutiques in the area … but we don’t sell a lot of handmade items. About 90 percent of the products I stock are mass produced and I’ve got a lot of products on the site – I have around five or six pages of items on Trouva – so there’s more choice for the customer,” explains Addis. “The problem when you’re selling handmade items [for example rugs or furniture] is that it’s more expensive to produce and it sells slower.”

Retail is a fiercely competitive business – 896 independent stores closed in the UK in 2016 – so any service that can help retailers grow their businesses and reach new customers is surely something to be welcomed.

Trouva’s success so far seems to lie in its focus on curation – working with the right stores and selecting the right mix of products for its audience – and offering the same user experience and level of convenience as major retailers and department stores. Trouva has grown its online presence not just through SEO and Google ads but a marketing strategy that is based around championing shopowners rather than “mindlessly pushing products”.

East London print, gift and book store Eastern Biological joined Trouva last year. Co-founder Alfred Addis says the shop made 20 to 30 orders per day through the platform in the run-up to Christmas

“Over the last two years we have invested a lot into email marketing,” says Creative Director Lucy Ward.

“The content of our emails tell stories [about] where products have come from, the shops in our community and the people who run them. By taking a storytelling approach rather than mindlessly pushing products or offers we aim to inspire our audience to visit the site and uncover finds for themselves. Our audience trust their own judgement and have a fairly strong, intuitive sense of what they like and dislike so it’s about getting them on the site to do their own browsing rather than serving them endless lists of products which might not appeal,” she continues.

Trouva has adopted a similar approach on Instagram, using its Feed to highlight the various independent boutiques that sell items on the site, and now has 29,000 followers.

Emily Grace Wright runs London “tea and lifestyle store” T&Shop. She says 90% of her online sales now come through Trouva

The brand plans to continue adding more stores to its network this year – not just in the UK but further afield -and Singh says he hopes the site will soon become “the global destination for the best independent shops in the greatest cities and neighbourhoods in the world”. Running a bricks-and-mortar shop is still a tough business but as Trouva’s success has shown, there’s still a strong demand for shops that can offer a more curated and inspiring collection of items than larger retailers.

The post Trouva: The online shopping platform championing bricks-and-mortar stores appeared first on Creative Review.

Source: http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

Trouva: The online shopping platform championing bricks-and-mortar stores

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, has opened a second store since joining Trouva

Trouva was founded by Mandeep Singh and Alex Loizou in September 2015. It was named one of the top five fastest-growing tech companies in the UK last year and has received more than £7 million in funding from investors.

The shopping platform stocks items from bricks-and-mortar retailers across the UK – from a Lewes store selling handmade oils and balms to a mother-and-daughter run homeware shop in Edinburgh. Some shops make their own products, others stock items by local artists and designers and some sell items by well-known brands. (Most stock a mix of all three.) The result is a diverse collection of items from hand-painted prints to Sandqvist backpacks and homeware from HAY.

Trouva was set up to help shop owners grow their business through selling products online without having to build, run and market a website. The site handles postage and logistics and provides international shipping as well as a click-and-collect service. It even offers one-hour Shutl delivery in certain areas.

Trouva now stocks products from 400 bricks-and-mortar shops across the UK

Singh says the idea is to help independent shops achieve “an economy of scale that would be impossible if they were working in isolation”. The brand doesn’t charge shop owners an upfront fee to list their products on the site but it does take commission.

Trouva only sells items from retailers with a physical shop. Singh believes this ensures a higher quality of products on the site: “Anyone can start an off the shelf e-commerce website but having a real boutique requires passion, expertise and serious commitment,” he adds. The platform looks for “talented curators” – in other words, shop owners with a knack for finding beautiful and unusual items – and on its website Trouva says stores must have “a distinctive, cohesive style” as well as “good quality products” to become part of its community.

“One of the key criteria is that they have a physical store but we also consider a wealth of other elements, from their brand direction to social channels, product range, brands they stock and any press or marketing exposure they’ve had in the local community or further afield,” explains Singh. Looking at these factors helps Trouva determine whether it will be able to grow a shop’s customer base “and make a real impact on their business”, says Singh – and decide whether or not to work with a shop.

The site also features a directory of stores and users can choose to ‘follow’ their favourite boutiques

Many of the shop owners who sell products through Trouva are buyers or creatives – retailers include fashion graduates, fine artists and a former ad exec. By restricting membership to shops that have built up a strong brand – and a great selection of products – the site is able to offer a more curated alternative to other online marketplaces and sites where users can buy directly from makers.

There are some great products to be found on websites like Etsy and Not on the High Street but the range of items can prove overwhelming. These sites also appeal to different markets. Not on the High Street is often associated with handcrafted items and personalised products – a custom papercraft print or a necklace with someone’s initials – whereas Trouva seems geared towards people who prefer a more minimal or Scandi-inspired aesthetic.

There is a huge range of products on the site – from botanical and animal-themed wall art to colourful patterned cushions and throws – but you’re more likely to find a concrete vase than a floral one. The lighting section is filled with industrial-looking lamps and the accessories section with leather and canvas bags from the likes of Sandqvist and Herschel. Jewellery includes Braun watches and geometric earrings.

Trouva also publishes buying guides and stories about boutiques selling products through the site

Singh describes Trouva’s customers as people who look to “express their creativity in the objects and products they buy” – people who dislike shopping at chain retailers and prefer to own “products with a story”. Homeware is the site’s most popular category with jewellery and accessories coming a close second.

Around 1000 products are now added to Trouva each week. Buying guides in the ‘edits’ section of the site make browsing a little easier and users can also choose to ‘follow’ individual boutiques. Trouva doesn’t reveal its top performing boutiques but Singh claims that 11 stores have now made over £100,000 through sales on the platform.

Each of the retailers we contacted had so far had a positive experience of selling through the site – though the level of success a store has can depend on the type and volume of products its sells.

The brand also showcases independent stores on its Instagram feed

Emily Grace Wright is a former buyer at department store Browns and and owner of Stoke Newington store T&Shop. She joined Trouva after investing in a website and struggling to reach new customers: “I built the website, got it all out there and then realised that literally no-one knew about it,” she adds. Joining Trouva has helped her reach a bigger audience and 90% of her online sales now come through the platform.

Junaid and Azeem Ansari – brothers and co-owners of Oxford menswear shop Burrows & Hare – say joining Trouva has led to an increase in online sales and the number of customers coming to the store. “We regularly have customers coming in and telling us that they discovered us online … so the fact that it’s increased footfall is great,” say the pair.

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, told CR that being able to sell products online without having to invest in a website has allowed her to open a second store. “I no longer had to choose [between setting up a website and opening another branch],” she says.

Shops selling products through the platform are asked to display a Trouva sticker in their window

Alfred Addis – who co-founded East London gift store Eastern Biological – says he sells around 20 times as many products through Trouva as he does through the shop’s own website and took between 20 and 30 orders a day through Trouva in the run up to Christmas. Having a presence on the site has also led to press coverage in Jamie Oliver Magazine and brought more people in to the store.

While Eastern Biological has to pay Trouva a percentage of sales, Addis believes it’s worth it for the other benefits that having a presence on the site brings.
“A small shop like ours doesn’t really have the resources to invest in things like Google Shopping and Google Adwords and having an SEO or a PR expert … so it’s worth it just for that,” he adds.

Addis believes that the site works best for retailers who stock affordable mass-produced products. Eastern Biological sells books, prints and gifts through Trouva – from cactus-shaped vases to illustrated children’s books – but Addis says other retailers producing more expensive handmade products in limited runs might struggle to achieve the same level of success.

The interior of Wilson’s store PREP

“I think we do slightly better than other boutiques in the area … but we don’t sell a lot of handmade items. About 90 percent of the products I stock are mass produced and I’ve got a lot of products on the site – I have around five or six pages of items on Trouva – so there’s more choice for the customer,” explains Addis. “The problem when you’re selling handmade items [for example rugs or furniture] is that it’s more expensive to produce and it sells slower.”

Retail is a fiercely competitive business – 896 independent stores closed in the UK in 2016 – so any service that can help retailers grow their businesses and reach new customers is surely something to be welcomed.

Trouva’s success so far seems to lie in its focus on curation – working with the right stores and selecting the right mix of products for its audience – and offering the same user experience and level of convenience as major retailers and department stores. Trouva has grown its online presence not just through SEO and Google ads but a marketing strategy that is based around championing shopowners rather than “mindlessly pushing products”.

East London print, gift and book store Eastern Biological joined Trouva last year. Co-founder Alfred Addis says the shop made 20 to 30 orders per day through the platform in the run-up to Christmas

“Over the last two years we have invested a lot into email marketing,” says Creative Director Lucy Ward.

“The content of our emails tell stories [about] where products have come from, the shops in our community and the people who run them. By taking a storytelling approach rather than mindlessly pushing products or offers we aim to inspire our audience to visit the site and uncover finds for themselves. Our audience trust their own judgement and have a fairly strong, intuitive sense of what they like and dislike so it’s about getting them on the site to do their own browsing rather than serving them endless lists of products which might not appeal,” she continues.

Trouva has adopted a similar approach on Instagram, using its Feed to highlight the various independent boutiques that sell items on the site, and now has 29,000 followers.

Emily Grace Wright runs London “tea and lifestyle store” T&Shop. She says 90% of her online sales now come through Trouva

The brand plans to continue adding more stores to its network this year – not just in the UK but further afield -and Singh says he hopes the site will soon become “the global destination for the best independent shops in the greatest cities and neighbourhoods in the world”. Running a bricks-and-mortar shop is still a tough business but as Trouva’s success has shown, there’s still a strong demand for shops that can offer a more curated and inspiring collection of items than larger retailers.

The post Trouva: The online shopping platform championing bricks-and-mortar stores appeared first on Creative Review.

Source: http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

Trouva: The online shopping platform championing bricks-and-mortar stores

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, has opened a second store since joining Trouva

Trouva was founded by Mandeep Singh and Alex Loizou in September 2015. It was named one of the top five fastest-growing tech companies in the UK last year and has received more than £7 million in funding from investors.

The shopping platform stocks items from bricks-and-mortar retailers across the UK – from a Lewes store selling handmade oils and balms to a mother-and-daughter run homeware shop in Edinburgh. Some shops make their own products, others stock items by local artists and designers and some sell items by well-known brands. (Most stock a mix of all three.) The result is a diverse collection of items from hand-painted prints to Sandqvist backpacks and homeware from HAY.

Trouva was set up to help shop owners grow their business through selling products online without having to build, run and market a website. The site handles postage and logistics and provides international shipping as well as a click-and-collect service. It even offers one-hour Shutl delivery in certain areas.

Trouva now stocks products from 400 bricks-and-mortar shops across the UK

Singh says the idea is to help independent shops achieve “an economy of scale that would be impossible if they were working in isolation”. The brand doesn’t charge shop owners an upfront fee to list their products on the site but it does take commission.

Trouva only sells items from retailers with a physical shop. Singh believes this ensures a higher quality of products on the site: “Anyone can start an off the shelf e-commerce website but having a real boutique requires passion, expertise and serious commitment,” he adds. The platform looks for “talented curators” – in other words, shop owners with a knack for finding beautiful and unusual items – and on its website Trouva says stores must have “a distinctive, cohesive style” as well as “good quality products” to become part of its community.

“One of the key criteria is that they have a physical store but we also consider a wealth of other elements, from their brand direction to social channels, product range, brands they stock and any press or marketing exposure they’ve had in the local community or further afield,” explains Singh. Looking at these factors helps Trouva determine whether it will be able to grow a shop’s customer base “and make a real impact on their business”, says Singh – and decide whether or not to work with a shop.

The site also features a directory of stores and users can choose to ‘follow’ their favourite boutiques

Many of the shop owners who sell products through Trouva are buyers or creatives – retailers include fashion graduates, fine artists and a former ad exec. By restricting membership to shops that have built up a strong brand – and a great selection of products – the site is able to offer a more curated alternative to other online marketplaces and sites where users can buy directly from makers.

There are some great products to be found on websites like Etsy and Not on the High Street but the range of items can prove overwhelming. These sites also appeal to different markets. Not on the High Street is often associated with handcrafted items and personalised products – a custom papercraft print or a necklace with someone’s initials – whereas Trouva seems geared towards people who prefer a more minimal or Scandi-inspired aesthetic.

There is a huge range of products on the site – from botanical and animal-themed wall art to colourful patterned cushions and throws – but you’re more likely to find a concrete vase than a floral one. The lighting section is filled with industrial-looking lamps and the accessories section with leather and canvas bags from the likes of Sandqvist and Herschel. Jewellery includes Braun watches and geometric earrings.

Trouva also publishes buying guides and stories about boutiques selling products through the site

Singh describes Trouva’s customers as people who look to “express their creativity in the objects and products they buy” – people who dislike shopping at chain retailers and prefer to own “products with a story”. Homeware is the site’s most popular category with jewellery and accessories coming a close second.

Around 1000 products are now added to Trouva each week. Buying guides in the ‘edits’ section of the site make browsing a little easier and users can also choose to ‘follow’ individual boutiques. Trouva doesn’t reveal its top performing boutiques but Singh claims that 11 stores have now made over £100,000 through sales on the platform.

Each of the retailers we contacted had so far had a positive experience of selling through the site – though the level of success a store has can depend on the type and volume of products its sells.

The brand also showcases independent stores on its Instagram feed

Emily Grace Wright is a former buyer at department store Browns and and owner of Stoke Newington store T&Shop. She joined Trouva after investing in a website and struggling to reach new customers: “I built the website, got it all out there and then realised that literally no-one knew about it,” she adds. Joining Trouva has helped her reach a bigger audience and 90% of her online sales now come through the platform.

Junaid and Azeem Ansari – brothers and co-owners of Oxford menswear shop Burrows & Hare – say joining Trouva has led to an increase in online sales and the number of customers coming to the store. “We regularly have customers coming in and telling us that they discovered us online … so the fact that it’s increased footfall is great,” say the pair.

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, told CR that being able to sell products online without having to invest in a website has allowed her to open a second store. “I no longer had to choose [between setting up a website and opening another branch],” she says.

Shops selling products through the platform are asked to display a Trouva sticker in their window

Alfred Addis – who co-founded East London gift store Eastern Biological – says he sells around 20 times as many products through Trouva as he does through the shop’s own website and took between 20 and 30 orders a day through Trouva in the run up to Christmas. Having a presence on the site has also led to press coverage in Jamie Oliver Magazine and brought more people in to the store.

While Eastern Biological has to pay Trouva a percentage of sales, Addis believes it’s worth it for the other benefits that having a presence on the site brings.
“A small shop like ours doesn’t really have the resources to invest in things like Google Shopping and Google Adwords and having an SEO or a PR expert … so it’s worth it just for that,” he adds.

Addis believes that the site works best for retailers who stock affordable mass-produced products. Eastern Biological sells books, prints and gifts through Trouva – from cactus-shaped vases to illustrated children’s books – but Addis says other retailers producing more expensive handmade products in limited runs might struggle to achieve the same level of success.

The interior of Wilson’s store PREP

“I think we do slightly better than other boutiques in the area … but we don’t sell a lot of handmade items. About 90 percent of the products I stock are mass produced and I’ve got a lot of products on the site – I have around five or six pages of items on Trouva – so there’s more choice for the customer,” explains Addis. “The problem when you’re selling handmade items [for example rugs or furniture] is that it’s more expensive to produce and it sells slower.”

Retail is a fiercely competitive business – 896 independent stores closed in the UK in 2016 – so any service that can help retailers grow their businesses and reach new customers is surely something to be welcomed.

Trouva’s success so far seems to lie in its focus on curation – working with the right stores and selecting the right mix of products for its audience – and offering the same user experience and level of convenience as major retailers and department stores. Trouva has grown its online presence not just through SEO and Google ads but a marketing strategy that is based around championing shopowners rather than “mindlessly pushing products”.

East London print, gift and book store Eastern Biological joined Trouva last year. Co-founder Alfred Addis says the shop made 20 to 30 orders per day through the platform in the run-up to Christmas

“Over the last two years we have invested a lot into email marketing,” says Creative Director Lucy Ward.

“The content of our emails tell stories [about] where products have come from, the shops in our community and the people who run them. By taking a storytelling approach rather than mindlessly pushing products or offers we aim to inspire our audience to visit the site and uncover finds for themselves. Our audience trust their own judgement and have a fairly strong, intuitive sense of what they like and dislike so it’s about getting them on the site to do their own browsing rather than serving them endless lists of products which might not appeal,” she continues.

Trouva has adopted a similar approach on Instagram, using its Feed to highlight the various independent boutiques that sell items on the site, and now has 29,000 followers.

Emily Grace Wright runs London “tea and lifestyle store” T&Shop. She says 90% of her online sales now come through Trouva

The brand plans to continue adding more stores to its network this year – not just in the UK but further afield -and Singh says he hopes the site will soon become “the global destination for the best independent shops in the greatest cities and neighbourhoods in the world”. Running a bricks-and-mortar shop is still a tough business but as Trouva’s success has shown, there’s still a strong demand for shops that can offer a more curated and inspiring collection of items than larger retailers.

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Trouva: The online shopping platform championing bricks-and-mortar stores

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, has opened a second store since joining Trouva

Trouva was founded by Mandeep Singh and Alex Loizou in September 2015. It was named one of the top five fastest-growing tech companies in the UK last year and has received more than £7 million in funding from investors.

The shopping platform stocks items from bricks-and-mortar retailers across the UK – from a Lewes store selling handmade oils and balms to a mother-and-daughter run homeware shop in Edinburgh. Some shops make their own products, others stock items by local artists and designers and some sell items by well-known brands. (Most stock a mix of all three.) The result is a diverse collection of items from hand-painted prints to Sandqvist backpacks and homeware from HAY.

Trouva was set up to help shop owners grow their business through selling products online without having to build, run and market a website. The site handles postage and logistics and provides international shipping as well as a click-and-collect service. It even offers one-hour Shutl delivery in certain areas.

Trouva now stocks products from 400 bricks-and-mortar shops across the UK

Singh says the idea is to help independent shops achieve “an economy of scale that would be impossible if they were working in isolation”. The brand doesn’t charge shop owners an upfront fee to list their products on the site but it does take commission.

Trouva only sells items from retailers with a physical shop. Singh believes this ensures a higher quality of products on the site: “Anyone can start an off the shelf e-commerce website but having a real boutique requires passion, expertise and serious commitment,” he adds. The platform looks for “talented curators” – in other words, shop owners with a knack for finding beautiful and unusual items – and on its website Trouva says stores must have “a distinctive, cohesive style” as well as “good quality products” to become part of its community.

“One of the key criteria is that they have a physical store but we also consider a wealth of other elements, from their brand direction to social channels, product range, brands they stock and any press or marketing exposure they’ve had in the local community or further afield,” explains Singh. Looking at these factors helps Trouva determine whether it will be able to grow a shop’s customer base “and make a real impact on their business”, says Singh – and decide whether or not to work with a shop.

The site also features a directory of stores and users can choose to ‘follow’ their favourite boutiques

Many of the shop owners who sell products through Trouva are buyers or creatives – retailers include fashion graduates, fine artists and a former ad exec. By restricting membership to shops that have built up a strong brand – and a great selection of products – the site is able to offer a more curated alternative to other online marketplaces and sites where users can buy directly from makers.

There are some great products to be found on websites like Etsy and Not on the High Street but the range of items can prove overwhelming. These sites also appeal to different markets. Not on the High Street is often associated with handcrafted items and personalised products – a custom papercraft print or a necklace with someone’s initials – whereas Trouva seems geared towards people who prefer a more minimal or Scandi-inspired aesthetic.

There is a huge range of products on the site – from botanical and animal-themed wall art to colourful patterned cushions and throws – but you’re more likely to find a concrete vase than a floral one. The lighting section is filled with industrial-looking lamps and the accessories section with leather and canvas bags from the likes of Sandqvist and Herschel. Jewellery includes Braun watches and geometric earrings.

Trouva also publishes buying guides and stories about boutiques selling products through the site

Singh describes Trouva’s customers as people who look to “express their creativity in the objects and products they buy” – people who dislike shopping at chain retailers and prefer to own “products with a story”. Homeware is the site’s most popular category with jewellery and accessories coming a close second.

Around 1000 products are now added to Trouva each week. Buying guides in the ‘edits’ section of the site make browsing a little easier and users can also choose to ‘follow’ individual boutiques. Trouva doesn’t reveal its top performing boutiques but Singh claims that 11 stores have now made over £100,000 through sales on the platform.

Each of the retailers we contacted had so far had a positive experience of selling through the site – though the level of success a store has can depend on the type and volume of products its sells.

The brand also showcases independent stores on its Instagram feed

Emily Grace Wright is a former buyer at department store Browns and and owner of Stoke Newington store T&Shop. She joined Trouva after investing in a website and struggling to reach new customers: “I built the website, got it all out there and then realised that literally no-one knew about it,” she adds. Joining Trouva has helped her reach a bigger audience and 90% of her online sales now come through the platform.

Junaid and Azeem Ansari – brothers and co-owners of Oxford menswear shop Burrows & Hare – say joining Trouva has led to an increase in online sales and the number of customers coming to the store. “We regularly have customers coming in and telling us that they discovered us online … so the fact that it’s increased footfall is great,” say the pair.

Holly Wilson, owner of London cookware shop PREP, told CR that being able to sell products online without having to invest in a website has allowed her to open a second store. “I no longer had to choose [between setting up a website and opening another branch],” she says.

Shops selling products through the platform are asked to display a Trouva sticker in their window

Alfred Addis – who co-founded East London gift store Eastern Biological – says he sells around 20 times as many products through Trouva as he does through the shop’s own website and took between 20 and 30 orders a day through Trouva in the run up to Christmas. Having a presence on the site has also led to press coverage in Jamie Oliver Magazine and brought more people in to the store.

While Eastern Biological has to pay Trouva a percentage of sales, Addis believes it’s worth it for the other benefits that having a presence on the site brings.
“A small shop like ours doesn’t really have the resources to invest in things like Google Shopping and Google Adwords and having an SEO or a PR expert … so it’s worth it just for that,” he adds.

Addis believes that the site works best for retailers who stock affordable mass-produced products. Eastern Biological sells books, prints and gifts through Trouva – from cactus-shaped vases to illustrated children’s books – but Addis says other retailers producing more expensive handmade products in limited runs might struggle to achieve the same level of success.

The interior of Wilson’s store PREP

“I think we do slightly better than other boutiques in the area … but we don’t sell a lot of handmade items. About 90 percent of the products I stock are mass produced and I’ve got a lot of products on the site – I have around five or six pages of items on Trouva – so there’s more choice for the customer,” explains Addis. “The problem when you’re selling handmade items [for example rugs or furniture] is that it’s more expensive to produce and it sells slower.”

Retail is a fiercely competitive business – 896 independent stores closed in the UK in 2016 – so any service that can help retailers grow their businesses and reach new customers is surely something to be welcomed.

Trouva’s success so far seems to lie in its focus on curation – working with the right stores and selecting the right mix of products for its audience – and offering the same user experience and level of convenience as major retailers and department stores. Trouva has grown its online presence not just through SEO and Google ads but a marketing strategy that is based around championing shopowners rather than “mindlessly pushing products”.

East London print, gift and book store Eastern Biological joined Trouva last year. Co-founder Alfred Addis says the shop made 20 to 30 orders per day through the platform in the run-up to Christmas

“Over the last two years we have invested a lot into email marketing,” says Creative Director Lucy Ward.

“The content of our emails tell stories [about] where products have come from, the shops in our community and the people who run them. By taking a storytelling approach rather than mindlessly pushing products or offers we aim to inspire our audience to visit the site and uncover finds for themselves. Our audience trust their own judgement and have a fairly strong, intuitive sense of what they like and dislike so it’s about getting them on the site to do their own browsing rather than serving them endless lists of products which might not appeal,” she continues.

Trouva has adopted a similar approach on Instagram, using its Feed to highlight the various independent boutiques that sell items on the site, and now has 29,000 followers.

Emily Grace Wright runs London “tea and lifestyle store” T&Shop. She says 90% of her online sales now come through Trouva

The brand plans to continue adding more stores to its network this year – not just in the UK but further afield -and Singh says he hopes the site will soon become “the global destination for the best independent shops in the greatest cities and neighbourhoods in the world”. Running a bricks-and-mortar shop is still a tough business but as Trouva’s success has shown, there’s still a strong demand for shops that can offer a more curated and inspiring collection of items than larger retailers.

The post Trouva: The online shopping platform championing bricks-and-mortar stores appeared first on Creative Review.

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The perils of trademarking logos

There’s been quite a hoo-ha online about the revelation that the new Formula 1 logo, unveiled last November at the Abu Dhabi grand prix, looks remarkably similar to that used by a 3M brand of, er, compression tights. It doesn’t help, of course, that the new F1 logo replaced one that had existed for years, and whilst it was showing its age a little, last year’s change had already caused quite a stir. The knives were out, sharpened, and ready.

The F1 logo and 3M’s Futuro design

Lo and behold, thousands of online ‘experts’ are throwing the book at Formula 1 and its logo’s creators, advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, accusing them of everything from unoriginal thinking, not doing their homework properly or being unable to do ‘a simple Google search’.

Reading through this commentary, it’s clear that many people simply don’t understand the deeper legal questions and complexities around trademarking. What follows is an attempt to highlight some of the recurring issues.

What steps do you need to go through?

Firstly, for new brands, a name needs to be found, agreed and then a registration filed for. Secondly, a visual mark needs to be designed and another application made.

So that symbol on your screen may be the greatest thing you’ve ever designed or commissioned –but until its verbal and visual registrations have been filed – and accepted – in the eyes of the law, there’s nothing to stop something similar appearing out there.

To use the F1 case as an example, even if Wieden’s in-house team designed their logo in January 2017 (a month before 3M filed their trademark application), theirs wasn’t seen by anyone publically until November.

Aren’t there multiple categories?

Yes. There are 45 different classes of goods and services within which names are checked, then 29 broad image classifications (with multiple sub-sets within each of these). When you’ve created a new symbol or logotype, it’s smart to check that it doesn’t clash with anything in the same or related classes – then even smarter to register it in those that cover what you do, or plan to do, in the next few years.

We’re currently working for a global NGO and are checking the final two shortlisted designs across four key classes and multiple visual categories – before a final design decision is made. The chances of one dropping out are high – so we are simply protecting ourselves and our client. A global brand such as MasterCard is classed as a ‘famous trademark’ and is registered in 23 different classes – which isn’t unusual for a global brand.

As far as we can see, in the F1 example, 3M’s design is registered in a medical clothing category, whilst the motorsports brand has filed multiple applications, including general clothing. So, close, but technically different. Incidentally, just to search for similar designs, across all categories, worldwide, would take weeks and cost hundreds of thousands.

A simple online search for Lion Door Knocker symbols

How do you know if your logo is unique?

Well, until you do these searches, the simple answer is – you don’t.

There are, of course, some easy first steps. Last year we were investigating an idea for a symbol based on a door knocker. One of the client team asked if we could consider a version based on a lion’s head – until a quick Google image search demonstrated the sheer ubiquity of this idea. The fact that only a month later the British ultra-right political party UKIP unveiled their very own lion was a factor too.

Another useful method is surrounding yourself with reference material, books and possibly grey-haired people with still functioning long-term memories. It’s painful when someone points out a similarity, but it needs to be done. Take it on the chin, move on.

And from the outset, it helps if you aspire for something new and search as widely as possible for your inspiration. If a designer’s ideas come only from logo and symbol books, neatly arranged in useful categories to ‘lift’ ideas from, then the chances are they will design something borrowed, not new.

Orange amplifiers, Orange phones

What happens when something is too close?

There are many examples of organisations haggling over the same name and area of business. Apple Corps (owned by The Beatles) and Apple computers may have different logos, but their dispute over trademark infringement began in 1978 and dragged on for decades.

It involved multiple court cases and pay-outs, principally because Apple Corps retained the rights to “creative works whose principal content is music” – until a rumoured $500 million buyout finally saw The Beatles arrive on iTunes. One can only imagine that at some point Orange amplifiers and Orange phones must have had a similar form of discussion about their shared name, and shared colour.

As for when a symbol ‘looks’ too close, this is where copyright can act as protection, to a degree. The European Court of Justice ruled in 2008 that trademarks are “protected by a basic rule which prevents the registration or use of a sign identical or similar to a registered trademark, for goods or services identical or similar to those for which the mark is registered.” This is the killer precedent around which 3M’s lawyers will be circling their wagons, since both parties wish to sell clothing, and the marks are uncannily similar.

If it’s ‘out there’, don’t we own it?

Well, it depends. To claim a ‘level of distinctiveness’, it’s usually down to time, and the rule of thumb is seven years. Use a logo for that amount of time, consistently, that people can see and recognise and you begin to establish some ownership of that idea. There are certain ways around this, usually for global brands that can establish a new ‘look’ quite fast. British TV channel, Channel Four, were initially faced with issues because on paper, ‘channel four’ is a generic name, so inherently hard to register. But they were granted an exemption because they were quickly able to demonstrate ownership, and this is where F1 will be able to argue that even after just two months, they have some ‘recognition’.

Meanwhile, for all those disgruntled designers linking to logos that lie deep in their portfolio websites when they feel a rebrand has borrowed their ideas? The harsh truth is that those designs a) aren’t registered and b) haven’t been seen consistently enough, in public, to make a defensible claim.

Is a logotype easier to register?

One of the reasons why customised pieces of typography (ie logotypes) have long been popular for organisations is that they are inherently easier to protect. By definition, the name has already been dealt with, it’s just a question of forming a unique arrangement of letters. Citi? Four letters and a red arc. Fedex? Just five letters, one typeface and two colours (and an invisible symbol – now that might be tough to register).

Shelter logo by Johnson Banks

Johnson Banks’ Shelter logo has just one element that makes it unique – it’s roofed ‘h’ – but that’s all that’s needed. Interestingly, when originally designed 14 years ago, we were advised NOT to remove the ‘h’ and use it as a stand-alone symbol. But now that recognition has been established, and enough time has passed? We probably could.

The Mastercard symbol and other symbols in a similar trademark class

What about shapes and holding devices?

The more generic and geometric a shape gets, the harder they become to register successfully. Therefore Mastercard, with their two interlocking circles, need to be ultra-diligent with the way they use their mark because there are hundreds of other, similar marques. It’s basically impossible to ‘own’ a shape that’s deemed generic – so squares, circles, triangles, etc. It’s what you do with, or within, the shape, that adds the distinctiveness that can be registered.

Christian Aid branding by Johnson Banks

As an example, we were warned that the holding shape for our Christian Aid logo (designed to hint at an envelope) wasn’t sufficiently ‘envelopey’ enough when standing alone. As it happens, we were fine with that, because wanted it to be an arrow, a blood bag, or filled with compost at certain times in the future.

Are there other ways to check if a logo is unique or not?

Currently, you can check available online databases – if you train yourself how to use them – but our advice is to get professional help. It can take days to check just a few categories, and could involve looking at thirty to forty thousand marks. Open the World Intellectual Property database and you will see that there are nearly 34 million items to search! It’s highly skilled, and not for the faint-hearted. And as branding becomes increasingly global, this issue isn’t going to go away.

First stage designs for the Mozilla project, several of which were knocked out before the next stage

Johnson Banks did effectively ‘outsource’ the intellectual property checks of our Mozilla project to the public – because Mozillians and coders the world over gleefully posted examples online of logos deemed too close to those we had proposed. This, of course, was infuriating at the time, but in the long run? It was better to know early, rather than late. And of course, saved embarrassment for both us and our client.

Where does this leave fast cars and hosiery?

Well, we’re going to assume that the agency’s design team didn’t suddenly start wearing support stockings early last year, so this probably begins with an unfortunate case of ‘similar designs, same year’. Some would argue that the chosen design route is just too obvious to have NOT been done before – a curved ‘F’ for speed, lines in the road? Perhaps.

However, we’ve had our fingers burned too many times by this process NOT to trademark check before going public. The question remains, did the agency, or the client’s legal team, do their due diligence, and were they thorough enough? Could they have shortlisted their favourite two or three, checked, then made their decision?

That’s what we’d recommend. It’s pricey in the immediate term, and yes, it could knock a design favourite out of the running. But that’s nothing compared to the settlement fee that 3M’s expensively assembled legal team are now thinking of.

Michael Johnson is the Creative and Strategy Director of Johnson Banks, and the author of Branding In Five and Half Steps

 Thanks to Pauline Amphlett of Brand Guardians, and Katherine Heaton for notes and clarifications

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