Hello and welcome to The Pink House! If it's your first time here I imagine you've arrived from Lust Living on the UK Home Blog Hop (#UKHomeBlogHop), organised by the lovely Kimberly from Swoon Worthy. Can I get you a soft drink? Something stronger? Hell, it's never too early for a gin, right - and it IS summer after all. And if you fancy a little poke around my slightly mental house click HERE for my Grazia home tour pics.
If you're a regular Pink House Guest you'll know we don't stand on ceremony in these parts; help yourself to whatever you can find in the kitchen, i.e. Cheesey Pasta, tea or gin. I would advise you not to go near the vegetable drawer, though; it's unsafe.
This Blog Hop is all about 'Summer Style'. So I thought I'd use the opportunity to focus on some cool new art that's adding a fizzy colour pop to The Pink House this season...
I've had a soft spot for fizzy pop ever since I worked for the advertising agency responsible for making Tango ads. One day we were having a production meeting to decide on - among other things - the model for a UK-wide bus shelter campaign. The concept was 'the hit of the whole fruit' and this poster ad was to demonstrate that literally, with an image of a girl being splatted in the face by an orange pushed through a moving fan. I can't remember if budgets were tight, or if I was just the right face at the wrong time, but somehow this happened:
If you're wondering:
- Yes, I got absolutely soaked (I believe diluted Kia Ora with extra food colouring was actually used)
- Yes, people took the piss about 'the money shot' for the next six months
- No, the fan wasn't really switched on - in fact, I was lying flat on my back on a bench with the orange liquid being hosed down on me from above. Lovely
On the final take they switched on the hose full blast while I assumed my position of mouth wide open, eyes shut (I know I KNOW), and told me to 'hold it for as long as possible'. Being a diligent sort, I did as I was told. After about three minutes, having nearly drowned in an orange deluge, I finally sat up, spluttering. Everyone had vanished. Turned out the whole hilarious team had buggered off to hide in the cupboard. A couple of months later I left advertising for journalism.
And so, when my soon-to-be-new-London-neighbour (big up the Forest Hill massiv) Tom Love offered to send me his hot-off-the-press Go Pop! prints inspired by his collection of vintage bottle tops, I was cautiously keen. Thankfully there isn't a Tango print, but plenty other iconic pop bottles are featured, including Cherry Coke, my all-time fave fizzy drink (and not just because it's pink)...
Not only was Cherry Coke my favourite childhood drink (it was especially desirable as my parents banned fizzy drinks unless it was someone's birthday), it was also the name I gave to a particularly tricky rope swing manoeuvre I used to practise in our garden. To perform the 'Cherry Coke' you held the rope swing by the sturdy stick-seat, while running as fast as you could and shouting, "CHERRY COCA COLA CHERRY COKE!" in the manner of the TV advert. Then when the rope went taut you did a sort of half twist jump while simultaneously pulling yourself up in the air as high as possible and whooping, "IT'S NEW!" (also in the manner of the TV advert). This description might not make much sense, but I assure you it was lots of fun. And probably one of the reasons I started my advertising career; I've always had a thing about ad jingles, branding and pretty packaging.
So when my Cherry Coke print arrived in the post (tucked up with the print featuring 40 of Tom's favourite bottle caps from his collection) it was love at first unfurling: the colours! the funky pop-art style! the gorgeously thick paper! One quick trip to Ikea to buy frames and the walls of The Pink House were fizzing with summer fun, as you can see in my pics here. I think the Farrow & Ball Manor House Gray of the walls sets off the bright colours particularly well. And the prints have made good friends with my Rugman Bowie artwork, my Anthropologie animal heads, my yellow Jielde floor lamp and my various other bits of brightly-coloured decor detailed in the picture captions. It's amazing how a fizzy pop of colour can make your home feel summer-ready.
Want to learn a bit more about how and why the prints were created, plus how you can be one of the first to lay your hands on these fab fizzies, from £25 a print? Then let's hear from the Go Pop! designer himself, Tom Love...
EM: Hey Tom! Thanks so much for exclusively sharing your summery new Go Pop prints with The Pink House. Please can you start by explaining how you came to create these prints?
TL: Hey Emily – no problem! So alongside my professional career as a design director and brand consultant [Tom has worked for such big-name clients as Coca-Cola, H&M and Premier League], I decided to turn my collection of historic design ephemera into original screen-printed pieces of art. My aim is to share my collection while giving people the chance to own affordable art pieces that have a foundation in graphic design and branding.
EM: When did you start collecting bottle caps?
TL: About two years ago. I go through stages of collecting different groups of things. A few years ago it was vintage cigarette packets, then matchbox labels, luggage tags and tea cards. It’s always something that has very graphic characteristics but with a functionality that makes it easy to discard without appreciating the design.
EM: What is it you love about the caps?
TL: I love how bright and fun they are, the range of colours but also how much of a challenge designers have in distilling a brand or message into an area of just a couple of centimeters. It’s also a textural thing; the metallic finish and the feeling of popping open a bottle with that release of pressure and fizz. It’s so satisfying.
EM: What is your favourite fizzy drink?
TL: My favourite brand and flavour has always been 7up. I guess growing up I slightly idolised the character Fido Dido. He was a cool caricature who could do anything: skate; play basketball; play football – he was very appealing to a young kid growing up wanting to try everything.
EM: What gave you the idea of making prints from bottle caps
TL: After doing a couple of prints of cigarette packets, I wanted to do something a bit more lighthearted and fun. I took a couple of pictures of some of my collection and started breaking them down into separate colours and enlarging the designs and I thought it was a different way of capturing iconic brands such as 7up, Coca Cola and Pepsi. As my collection grew I came across some old and forgotten brands like Nehi and Mello Yello that I wanted to bring back to life.
EM: Which one do you like best?
TL: They all have different things about them that I love. But the one that will go on my studio wall will be the 7up. Seeing the bright red dot against the green and white always brings a smile to my face.
EM: What kind of interior décor do you think they suit?
TL: As a designer, I’m a big fan of mid-century modern décor but I think these prints can suit so many different styles. I think people should treat art in their homes disruptively. I like it when things pop off the wall and make you acknowledge them. Be brave with colour and form; art shouldn’t blend into the background.
EM: Hear hear! What is it that fascinates you about branding?
TL: It’s the balance between the strategic thinking and how that’s distilled into a visual language: no matter who you are or where in the world you live, you can pick up and understand the values and messaging that brands strive to express. Design is a powerful communicator that can transcend cultures, languages and demographics.
EM: Do you think product packaging is art?
TL: So much thought and craft goes into the form of good packaging that it should be seen as art. Some packaging is truly terrible but the great examples deserve to be given a new context so the craft and form can be appreciated just like a painting or sculpture.
EM: Which packaging do you wish you’d designed?
TL: Although it’s extremely controversial, I think it would have to be the Lucky Strike White packet with the iconic red and black roundel – it’s just so iconic. The creator Raymond Loewy was an incredible designer so even though it’s for cigarettes, the actual design is beautiful.
EM: How can my lovely Pink House guests exclusively get their hands on one of your prints?
TL: Through my Kickstarter campaign which has just launched! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO [and a video showing Tom making the prints] - buy a print from £25! It’s a chance to order the art before it’s been made and then watch it being created step-by-step.
The project itself is to create 6 limited edition hand-screenprinted prints. These prints are 50cm x 50cm [they fit perfectly in a £9 Ikea Ribba square frame - EM] and feature 6 iconic brands – Coca-Cola, Cherry Coke, Pepsi, Nehi, Yellow Mellow and 7up. Each one is created using 8 layers of colour using high quality acrylics and metallic inks.
Each print will be limited edition, hand-signed and numbered, so it’s a great chance to own a genuinely exclusive piece of art that you’re not going to find on the high street.
I’ve also created an exclusive-to-Kickstarter giclee print which features 40 of my favourite designs from my cap collection [see above]. This print is A2 in size and will be printed on high-quality 300gsm archive paper.
The project will be live for 30 days, and in that time I need to raise my minimum goal of £5,000. This initial amount enables me to buy the equipment, inks and studio time to make sure each one of these hand printed, signed and certificated prints is a beautiful addition to the home.
EM: Thanks for sharing news of your fab new Go Pop collection exclusively with The Pink House, Tom. Here’s to a long, hot, fizzy-pop-fuelled summer ahead!
So that’s the end of my Summer Style blog post - this is NOT a sponsored post; I simply love Tom's new print collection so he agreed to give The Pink House the exclusive on sharing news of its launch.
I’m the last post for today, but tomorrow you can suck up more summery stylishness from some of the UK's best interior blogs, starting with Fabric of my Life. For more info on the other blogs taking part in the hop, plus the schedule (blog posts are published at 11am on the day they're scheduled - the links won't work before then), see below…