Our brochure is a huge project undertaken by our Marketing team twice a year that involves style boards, lots of photography and reams upon reams of inspiration. We thought we'd go behind the scenes and chat to our Marketing Coordinator, Harriet, to find out what it's like to work in our creative Marketing team and get a sneaky insight into how we go about creating our brochure and photography.
1. Tell us a bit about your role in the Marketing team at Topps Tiles.
The main focus of my role is the creation of the Topps Tiles bi-annual brochure, range brochures, product photography and PR. So it's my job to pull all the creative threads together and feed them throughout the department as pretty much all the on-going marketing is based around the product photography.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day would be creating style briefs for our photography agency, tracking PR mentions for both Topps Tiles and our main competitors and creating comprehensive briefs for new marketing literature. In peak times my days mostly consist of proof reading hundreds of product pages for the brochure!
3. Where do you find your inspiration for our photography?
All around me! We have a great resource of glossy interior magazines, blogs, Pinterest and whenever I'm out and about and see something I like; say a bar or a hotel lobby. Once you work at Topps Tiles you start noticing the tiles everywhere you go.
4. Can you describe the photography process for us?
The photography process begins with our buying department; they present to us the tiles and discuss the inspiration behind its design, its name and how it's been made. From there I think about the type of person that that particular tile would appeal to and how it would function in someone's home. I then take it to the next level to show how it could be used in other more adventurous ways. From there I create a visual brief which includes reference images and prop ideas for our creative agency to get a feel of what the overall shot needs to look like.
5. What do you think are the key elements to a good room set photo?
Props and lighting are key; they can completely change the look and feel of a tile. And I would say the grout that is chosen also has a huge impact on the overall look of the shot.
6. We know the brochure is a big part of your job, what does a new brochure entail for you?
A lot of work! We begin with the buyer's selections for the new season (a bit like fashion!) which we then edit down into a plan that's known as the pagination. We see what looks best together and group the products in the most customer friendly way possible. I then plan photography, product copy and how the sections will look overall. Once we've got the designs back from the creative agency I then go through to make sure all the technical information has been translated on to the page correctly, I check for consistency in detail and then proof-read the entire book.
7. Do you have a particular interest in home interiors and photography in your personal life, or is it something that has grown with your job?
I trained in fashion so I've always been very close to trends and the glossy magazines. I've always loved styling but I never really focused on it until my current role at Topps Tiles. But now I pretty much breathe interiors!
8. What's your favourite Topps Tiles product shoot you've worked on so far?
The latest Minton Hollins Chrysanthemum shot was by far my favourite project; it was very ‘out there' with pink 1960's units and a pastel geometric tiled floor. It's definitely a new direction for Topps Tiles and was really exciting to have my vision materialised!
9. If you weren't in the tile industry, what do you think you would you be doing?
I would definitely want to be a stylist either for a magazine or a photography studio; I pretty much do that work now I just don't get to buy anything!
10. Tell us an emerging trend we should look out for in 2016
I think 2016 is more about the evolvement of trends we saw emerge in 2015. Pastels are becoming more and more popular and mixed with new metallics like Bronze and Gold (take a look at Pantone's colours of the year Rose Quartz & Serenity).
11. Tell us one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
I'm a huge fan of tattoos! I'm currently planning four that I want to get in 2016 if I can conquer my fear.
12. What does a perfect weekend look like to you?
It totally depends on my mood; if it's been a hectic week then I like nothing better than to chill out with some good food and catch up TV. If the weather's nice then I'm definitely up for exploring a city, Bath and Berlin are on my to do list for 2016.