Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

Will’s on to Good Things

Sex, Mugs & Rock ’n’ Roll as designer tells story of licensing work to Redback

 

WITH Brand Licensing Europe opening today, it’s all about finding the right fit to match potential licensees with licensors – and that’s exactly what happened with Will Vincent and Redback Cards for his Good Things range, as the man himself explains here.

Hello! I’m Will Vincent – William if I’m trouble – 29 years of age and, by trade, I mostly make a mess. Days are typically spent covered in glue and sawdust but a few weeks every quarter I focus my energies on Good Things.
Following uni the prospect of working for others didn’t appeal to me so I took on a studio with some mates and tried to figure out how to acquire currency. After conversation with Angus from Snowhome (a cracking independent design shop in York) I showed him some of my illustrations and he took a punt on commissioning a range of Christmas cards to see how they sold.
A few days later I got a call asking for a re-stock. Capitalistic instincts kicked in (prompting a not insignificant parental sigh of relief) and I began to promote the range, hawking it round local cities and marketing online.
The response was humbling, word spread and Noel Edmonds bought one.
On Angus’s recommendation I spent a few months developing an entire range, borrowed a grand and booked a stand at Top Drawer. So began my induction to the greetings industry, a strange place.
I wound up manning a shanty-looking stall with the sales pitch of a person who’s never made a sales pitch before, bemused a few gift shop owners looking for pictures of dogs but, on the whole people, seemed to be digging it.
Post-show I found myself catapulted into running every aspect of a publishing outfit – I’m now capable of printing, packing and shipping 1,000-odd cards in under 24 hours – and indebted to my family and studio mates for supporting and aiding this process.
A year of the above got me restless and I decided to up and leave for Canada, as a restless mid-teen spreadsheets and couriers wasn't quite how I’d envisaged my career and I wanted out.
A couple of weeks before my departure Chris and Kate from Redback Cards got in touch and expressed an interest in licensing the range – guys, your timing was impeccable.
A couple of Skype meetings later and it seemed like a great opportunity to get involved with a duo passionate about their business. They provided input on where they thought the range needed to go and I came up with the goods.
Having a motivated team running the business side of things is a blessing – they’ve given me the time and space to focus on what I do best while their knowledge of the market provides a world of guidance and it’s grown to be a solid symbiotic relationship. I’m ever grateful for their dedication and ambition.
I forgot it was my sister’s birthday and popped into a shop to buy her a card – found myself face to face with a favourite design of my own in pride of place in the humour section, it’s bizarre to find yourself on the High Street.
Every fresh brief I nervously rack my brains in the hope I’ve got anything left to say about birthdays – it’s usually a case of sitting in the British Library pretending I’m doing a PHD, scrawling away for hours until something happens.
As with most creative processes it’s about loading up on information, letting it stew then seeing what comes out. Once the ideas start arriving I’m usually in a frenzy, with many a late night at the desk spent drawing and scanning.
In the not too distant future we’re expanding into more giftware and stationery alongside growing the card range, it’s been stimulating to branch out into products – Sex, Mugs & Rock ’n’ Roll practically wrote itself!
My influences are as broad as anyone’s, including childish humour, adult bitterness, sibling rivalries and the absurdity of it all.
A huge influence has been David Shrigley – discovered him as a teen and he validated crude line drawing for me, the man’s a genius.
I forgot it was my sister’s birthday recently and popped into a shop to buy her a card – found myself face to face with a favourite design of my own in pride of place in the humour section, it’s bizarre to find yourself on the High Street.
I reckon my favourite designs in the range are Squashed Trees, Give Card To Idiot and This Is Going To Look Rubbish.
There will also be some cheeky ones getting released in the not too distant future, as I’m enjoying paying a little more focus to pictorial styles.
Many thanks to all who’ve supported Good Things (especially the Redback folk), I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings. Cheers!


T: 01803 712793
www.redbackcards.com


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