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Your guide to conscious Christmas shopping in London.

Christmas is a time for giving, but with Brits feeling the pinch this year, many of us are taking steps to celebrate a little more consciously. In fact, up to 60% of Brits are expecting to spend less on shopping this holiday season¹, but that doesn’t mean that the environment isn’t on the nation’s mind. 1 in 3 (34%) still intend to buy second-hand this Christmas², because shopping sustainably isn’t just good for your wallet- it can be great for the environment too. 

If you’re planning on having a more conscious Christmas but are unsure where to shop- this reimagined London tube map with 50 of the best independent, sustainably minded and second-hand stores is all you need to plan your spree accordingly.

Whether you are looking for some unique homeware, homemade dog treats or even plant-based beauty products- whoever you are shopping for, you can be sure to find a gift from one of these stores that is both kind to you and your planet. 

ICON Printing, a London-based t-shirt printing company believes that sustainability requires an integrated approach that takes into consideration environmental concerns along with economic development. Therefore, their sustainable shopping map features 50 destinations including independent retailers, businesses and stores with strong environmentally friendly credentials. They have ensured that each business works in a socially responsible manner, so whoever you’re shopping for, you can be sure to find a gift that’s good for them and the environment.

Second-hand

This Christmas, it’s vital that shoppers can find affordable locations to buy gifts which is why we’ve included some of the best second-hand shopping destinations in London on our map. Buying preloved items is a great way to reduce the amount you’re spending whilst doing your bit for the environment too. 

Atika

The Old Cinema

Beyond Retro

Rokit

East End Thrift Store

Boutique by Shelter

Traid

FARA

Vintique

Fashion

By avoiding fast fashion and investing in select, quality brands, we can minimize our effect on both people and the planet.  Browse some of the world’s best independent and sustainable sourced brands at the below boutiques to find a gift for the stylish individuals in your life. 

Aida

69b Boutique

The Third Estate

Beulah London

Couverture and The Garbstore

Bottletop

Wolf & Badger

Pop London

Beauty

What we choose to put on our skin is as important as where we buy the products from. Treat your loved ones to some skincare from one of the below retailers who prioritise working responsibly with suppliers. 

Fresh

Blomma Beauty

Food

What is Christmas without great food and drinks? There is no better time of year to support your local independent delis and grocers who stock all the delicious British produce and artisan goodies.

Lina Stores 

Eat 17

Giddy Grocer

Honey and Spice Deli

Melrose and Morgan

General Store

Terroni 

Italo

The Larder

Panzers

Homeware

From candles to plants, books to antiques, you’ll be spoilt for choice with all the unique gems and one-off pieces available at these homeware stores.

BYO 

Cissy Wears

Labour and Wait

Mooch London

Earl of East

Prick

Cuemars

Kids

Whilst Christmas is a magical time of year for all, it is the kids that will be most excited about the prospect of Santa arriving. Fill their stockings with sustainably sourced kids’ clothes, books and toys from these independent retailers.

A Small Triangle

Baby Mori

Pickled Pepper Books

Caramel

Luna and Curious

Markets

You’ll be able to find gifts for even the hardest-to-buy recipients at one of London’s many markets. The following are some of the best, stocking an array of handmade, British-sourced items. 

Pebbles Sustainable Market

Old Spitalfields Market

Eccleston Yards

Vinegar Yard

Greenwich Market

Brick Lane Market

Alfies Antiques

Broadway Market

Pets

Even pooches deserve to be spoiled at Christmas; however, rather than shopping at larger retailers, it is possible to source items from independent businesses that are more conscious about where the ingredients come from.

Pack and Clowder

 Alex Econs, founder and CEO of ICON Printing said: “Christmas shopping presents an invaluable opportunity to support local, independent businesses and potentially save money too. We’re proud to showcase some of the best sustainable businesses that London has to offer.

“At ICON Printing, we work with a number of independent businesses and we think it is incredibly important to encourage people to support them, especially during a time when the cost of living crisis is putting so much pressure on local high streets.”
ICON Printing offers fast-turnaround printing on a range of garments including custom t-shirts hoodies and tote bags- counting numerous independent businesses amongst their customers. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.

Sources 

1 https://yougov.co.uk/topics/consumer/articles-reports/2022/10/20/60-britons-expect-spend-less-christmas-because-ris 

2 https://business.yougov.com/content/43973-uk-inflation-hit-christmas-shopping-poll

If you find yourself struggling with your business outreach, tirelessly strolling through Canva for the ultimate job-landing resumé template or simply want to keep up with what’s trending in design, this one’s for you. 

After our exploration on the power of colour, typography is equally, if not more important to your brand and business identity; influencing the way we feel, how we perceive the brand and the “personality” we associate it with. This explains why when we view serif typefaces, it tends to feel more traditional; with a formal tone, and is used in a business’ branding to say “I’m trustworthy and reliable.” In contrast, sans-serif typefaces tend to project a more easy-going aura with a friendlier tone, announcing “it’s all fun and games over here!” 

Let’s start with the basics.

Though often used interchangeably, “font” and “typeface” do not mean the same thing and can have a lasting impact based on the one(s) you choose. A typeface refers to a type design; or the manner in which lettering is composed, and includes all variations of that design. For example, the popularly seen Helvetica is a famous typeface and a favourite amongst luxury fashion houses. Fonts, however, refer to the variations possible with a typeface. For example, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Thin or Helvetica 10 pt, referring to the text size, are three different fonts. 

Generally, typefaces are characterised into two groups – serif or sans-serif. Serif typefaces are demonstrated with the delicate and strict strokes at the end of the letters, i.e.Times New Roman. Whereas sans-serif typefaces, as the name implies: “sans” meaning “a general absence,” are fonts without serifs, such as Arial. 

Why it’s important to get it right. 

In a study conducted on the readability of typefaces published by Dogusoy, Cicek and  Cagiltay, found that overall sans-serif typefaces had improved legibility, aka readability by participants and were therefore easier to understand. However, within the same study, experts discovered that serif typefaces had higher retention rates; participants tended to focus on these for a longer period of time and when questioned, had improved memory about the text they were proof-reading. Conversely, a paper published in The Design Journal took it a step further and studied type outside the traditional use of serif and sans-serif, discovering the positive cognitive effects of using disfluent typography, finding that harder to read typefaces can improve learning conditions. Interesting, no? 

Start by reflecting into your own brand or business’ typeface and see if it’s in-line with your aspiring brand identity and message. Here at ICON, we use a sans-serif typeface of choice that accurately represents our brand’s identity; youthful, friendly and inclusive, with a hint of formality. 

Here’s a compiled list of our favourite most successfully used typefaces:

Futura

If it’s good enough to be on a plaque on the moon, it’s good enough for us. Invented by German author and designer Paul Renner in 1927, the sans-serif Futura typeface quickly grew to be the most influential typeface of the 20th century. The retro-futuristic type has been used across industries, most notably film and media, and is the go-to typeface for advertising. 

Baskerville 

Designed by John Baskerville in the 1750s, the Baskerville serif typeface exudes elegance with a hint of mystery. Rightly so, as according to user interface expert Bishop, this typeface is “excellent for book design — and it is considered to be a true representation of eighteenth-century rationalism and neoclassicism.” 

Helvetica 

Created in 1957 by designers Mac Meidinger and Eduard Hoffman, this sans-serif typeface is the most widely used typeface across industries, and with good reason. Helvetica’s versatility and minimalism make it the ultimate typeface for easy to read documents, customised branding and merchandise, and in the opinion of Yang; CEO of the world’s leading resume company, a typeface that will make your job application stand out. 

If you’re looking to increase your reach through personalised merchandise and don’t know where to begin with design, contact us by clicking the link and our team of experts will help take you from idea to product in less than 14 days!

If you’re an influencer in the Gaming space struggling to widen your reach and strengthen your fan base, this one’s for you. 

Today, 2.8 Billion people make up one of the largest communities in the world — Gamers. With one in three people worldwide engaging in playing video games on a weekly basis; a number continuously growing as you’re reading this, the gaming industry has experienced a boom like no other, with a projected market value of $300 Billion by 2025. This surge of players online has created a new opportunity for gaming enthusiasts; to quit their day jobs and generate full-time incomes as Gaming Influencers; Streamers, Pro-level gamers, E-sport players and more. 

With a cult following built on platforms like Twitch, Discord and Youtube Gaming, Influencers in the industry have marked their territories online by accumulating an impressive fanbase. Gamer turned Youtuber PewDiePie is the most subscribed to person on Youtube till date, with a monumental 111 million watchers. What keeps the gamer audience growing? According to a study published in the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research: fan-themed custom apparel. 

Personalised merchandise has been named the holy grail community engagement tool across the entertainment industry. In a growing yet saturated space for upcoming Gaming Talent, the ultimate method to differentiate a brand and nourish an online audience is through the launch of high quality, limited quantity individualised gear.

Ex-pro-level player now Twitch sensation; Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, was amongst the first gamers to launch a collaborative collection for his impressive 13 million Twitch streamers with Adidas, selling out within minutes. Back by popular demand, Ninja’s second personalised merchandise collection with Adidas Originals launching in October of this year: Chase the Spark, has already gained significant popularity amongst his fans and is projected to sell out even faster. Similarly, E-sports expert Juggernaut, whose team worked with Gucci on the release of a limited edition watch; priced at $1,620, sold out entirely and is amongst one of the most sought after pieces for E-sport aficionados. 

Image Credit: Adidas. In Image, The infamous Adidas Donovan Mitchell x Ninja Hoodie

The performance of these collections is nothing short of magic, and is reinforced by the fascinating concept of simplified consumer psychology. With it’s foundations in signalling theory, a notion developed by Economist Micheal Spence, members of an audience are likely to feel “more connected to a product, an organisation and one another through explicit association or signals” such as wearing merchandise belonging to a certain game, gaming community and influencer fan base. 

This enclothed cognition; a term used to describe “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes” studied by Hajo Adam and Adam D.Galinsky in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found similar findings. Those who wore attire which is closely associated within the nature of a particular activity, such as wearing lab coats to perform tasks commonly associated with attentiveness and carefulness, found an increase in selective and sustained attention spans in their trial subjects. With gamers evolving to now break stereotypes of gamer attire and “what a gamer should look like,” fan-themed customised apparel bridges the gap between the creator and their online community like never before. 

At ICON, we’ve worked with forward-thinking brands and creators alike, to create bespoke, sustainability driven, custom made apparel that lasts for the people we value the most: our community. 

Keen to get your first collection of personalised merchandise underway?  Click here for an instant quote or contact our team for a more in-depth review into how we can take you from design to delivery in less than 14 days!

Creative insecurity is the leading cause for artist burnout. Feeling uninspired, lost for motivation and overwhelmed with stimuli are increasingly common in any artist’s journey, and make the desire to create even more daunting. With the help of new digital tools on the market, we’ve taken the liberty to break down our 5 best-loved apps to guide your creativity when you’ve reached a stagnation in your inspiration. 

Get organised: Mindly

Life happens, and without an outlet to release overthinking thoughts, anxieties and your daily to-do lists, the space to create can never flourish. Enter Mindly – a new organisation system that helps place all your thoughts and project ideas in one place, differentiated by association to keep “your inner universe” as mindful as possible. By building visual mind-maps and hierarchical structures of your entries, Mindly mimics the outline of your “solar system of thought” and is a great starter tool when identifying where those creativity gaps lie. An outstanding user interface and experience for both Apple and Android users, this app is a must have to help get organised and get your creative juices flowing.

Get focused: Brain.fm

The relationship between music and creative cognition is nothing short of astonishing. A 2020 study published in the Psychology of Music journal found that listening to music not only improves divergent thinking; the way the mind generates ideas beyond proscribed expectations but also increases the release of dopamine, a chemical which drives motivation to explore new territories, in turn boosting creativity. Brain.fm does just this – a research backed platform that customises music and background sound to enhance productivity and creativity with a key focus on guiding your brain to it’s desired mental state. Ideal for users on IOS and Google Play, with a variety of options to explore what works best for you.

Get inspired: Behance

Austin Kleon’s Steal like an Artist dissects the unspoken rules of being a creative, with the first rule encouraging those stuck in an inspiration block to revisit the works of their artistic heroes and engage in good theft –  honouring, studying, crediting and transforming their ideas. Adobe’s very own Behance is a creative networking platform for visual artists; graphic designers, illustrators, fashion creatives, photographers etc., and allows for users to share their collections with like minded audiences. A place to meet artists and get inspired by the boiling pot of creative content, attract new opportunities, and finally, form a creative community of your own, Behance has it all. Available across platforms, impeccable UI and free for use across multiple disciplines. 

Get challenged: Word Palette

Creative writing allows for your imagination to unlock new realms of creativity which may have previously been left unexplored, gate-keeping the potential to grow exciting ideas and hone new ones. Word Palette acts as the experimental creative writer’s guide to unleashing your creativity and eliminating writer’s block. It’s intelligently scrambled text acts as prompts to help guide your path through a written project, and presents you with a challenge that encourages outworldly creation. A fairly new addition to the creative digital app space, it has gained a cult following through it’s options to add your own inspirational articles/stories and integrate those into your writing. Unfortunately this app is only available for IOS users for the time being. 

Get started: Procreate

With masses of technology integrated into our everyday lives, taking the time to disconnect and engage in art therapy has proven to stimulate creativity, improve memory and encourage stress relief. Sketching without distraction can assist entering into a Flow State – a term popularised by positive psychologists Csikszentmihalyi and Nakamura, describing a state that “leads to a sense of ecstasy and clarity: [you] know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other.” The holy-grail art studio on-the-go, Procreate is a phenomenal platform for this; to get immersed in a world of art and visual expression. A two time award-winning app for artists of all kinds; it’s wide range of tools, education access platform and creatives filled community provides the ultimate stepping stone to get lost in your creative flow. Available exclusively on the Apple App Store.

During the past decade, there has been no shortage of brand collaborations, and the buzz around some of the biggest partnerships has been huge. From celebrity-endorsed trainers to high street- fast food printed garment pairings, we’ve analysed the audience insights and media coverage to reveal the most hyped, surprising and tastiest collections from the past 10 years to reveal what it really takes to make a successful brand partnership.

The most popular brand collaborations from the past decade

Image credit: ICON Printing


Using Buzzsumo to analyse articles written about each collaboration and Tagger to pull audience reactions on social media, we were able to rank the most talked about brand collaborations from the past decade to reveal the most popular.

Basketball superstar LeBron James has a long history of trainer collaborations with Nike however almost two decades into the partnership, the hype around his new releases doesn’t seem to be dying down. His 2019 edition drove 1,621,947 engagements with articles shared on social media, over 57,900,000 likes and a whopping 504,300 shares making the 2019 Nike X LeBron James brand collaboration the most hyped of the past decade.

But it isn’t just sports personalities that make for super successful brand partners. The 2019 Vans X Harry Potter collection came in 2nd position, raking in 1,727,572 engagements with articles shared on social media and 73% love reactions to social media posts. We can presume this was largely down to the movie franchise’s fanbase.

The first Nike X Apple watch was launched in 2016 to a rapturous reception from sports enthusiasts looking for a new way to track their activities. The collaboration between the sportswear company and tech giant generated 8948 referring articles and 9,400,000 likes on social media making them the 3rd most successful brand collaboration of the past decade.

Most hyped trainer collaborations

Over the past 10 years, sneakerheads have been vocal on social media, making their opinions known about new trainer collaborations. Unsurprisingly, the most popular brand partnership LeBron James X Nike came in first with their LeBron XVII. The release had fans divided on social which drove the highest social engagement and media coverage. The wizarding world went crazy for the Vans X Harry Potter printed trainer collaboration helping them claim 2nd place and Adidas X Kanye West’s Yeezy’s took the world by storm in 2015 placing them 3rd. Unexpected collaborations Nike X Hello Kitty and Adidas X Transport for London were also a hit based on social engagement and media coverage.

Most surprising brand collaborations

Analysing wow reactions on social media, we found the brand collaborations that were the most surprising- Nike X Levi’s secured the first position with their denim-clad, logo-printed trainers. Claiming 2nd and 3rd position were Lego collaborations. In 2nd came Lego’s partnership with the sci-fi series Stranger Things subsequently the toy brand’s more recent 2020 storage collection with IKEA wowed social media users. Claiming 4th and 5th position and taking fans by surprise was football club PSG’s streetwear with BAPE and luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabanna’s colourful collab with SMEG.

Most successful food collaborations

We all love a tasty treat and when it comes to brand collaborations from the past decade this was no different. KFC’s finger-lickin’ collab with Crocs was the most successful collection based on their media coverage and social engagement. In 2nd came Cheetos cheesy clothing range with Forever 21. High street retailer Primark’s recent clothing line with bakery chain Greggs was perfect for their target audience making it the 3rd most successful food brand collaboration.

With 12 years in the merchandise printing industry, Alex Econs shares his thoughts on what makes for a successful brand collaboration.

Understand your target audience

“Brand collaborations can be a brilliant way to target a new customer base however step too far outside the realms of audience relevancy and your brand collaboration will be a flop. Greggs X Primark is a great example of how brands have understood exactly where their audience shop and launched merchandise that was guaranteed to get fans talking. There is almost no limit to what companies from different industries can come together to create. ”

Novelty works

“Some of the most iconic brand collaborations have come from the most seemingly unlikely partnerships. Whilst it doesn’t work for every brand, novelty merchandise like the KFC X Crocs limited edition fried chicken shoes or Adidas X TFL trainers can be incredibly successful. Understand your audience and their lifestyle before choosing your brand partner and you’ll create a collection that fans will clamour over, consequently we often see these novelty items selling for a much higher resale price.”

Smash the marketing

“The most successful brand collaborations are hugely varied in their product offering and price point, however one constant amongst them is how successfully their teams promoted the merchandise ahead of the launch. Social media marketing in particular can engage fans attention right from the conception of the idea and the engagement we saw from the launch of these brand collaborations proves just why it should be a vital part of launching any merchandise.”


To find out how ICON Printing could print your next brand collaboration, head to: https://www.iconprinting.com/services

International travel is firmly back on the cards and whilst Brits have managed to support the staycation market over the last few years, the number of visitors from overseas are ramping back up. Inbound visits to the UK are expected to increase to 21.1 million in 2022¹. For those tourist spots looking to revamp  their image ahead of the influx of visitors, we’ve put together our top tips for creating stand-out merch for your attraction:

Here are our 5 top tips for printing merch for tourist attractions:

Prioritise design

It may seem obvious, but when you’re creating a piece of merchandise that really stands out you need to start with a strong design that represents your brand identity. When a customer buys your merchandise, they are choosing to represent your attraction- it’s another level of marketing. The standout feature that people will pay most attention to is what is actually on the garment, so graphic design is a competitive field to stand out in.

Colour is key

The colour of your product or design can have a big impact on how it’s perceived by potential customers, albeit often subconsciously. Different colours can have drastically distinct associations. If you’re looking to advertise a museum or historical landmark, consider opting for blue – the colour of knowledge, communication and trust. For performing arts locations like theatres and venues shades of red may be most suitable – stimulating feelings of warmth, energy and excitement. For more information on the power of colour, check out our article here.

Try some alternative printing methods

As well as creating a standout design, think about the ink you use! There’s a whole range of unique products which can help your merch standout, including neon colours, metallics, glow in the dark and reflective inks. These are often especially effective when used with restraint to highlight impactful features. It makes for a subtle but attention grabbing detail. While screen printing is often the most common option for merchandise, it could be worth considering direct-to-garment printing (DTG )– especially if you have an ultra-detailed or photo-realistic design which you’d like to print.

Consider embroidery

With embroidery, you are adding something physical as well as  visual to your merchandise. It offers a tactile quality that you just can’t get from  screen printing or DTG. Used, instead of, or in addition to printed design, it can be the perfect way to add some texture to your product. In particular, if you wanted to include your logo or a snappy slogan, embroidery could be the way to go.

It’s not all about t-shirts

While t-shirts are often a versatile option for a number of different tourist attractions, you should also consider some alternative merchandise options. Sweatshirts and hoodies can display the same designs as a t-shirt, however, they are more unique and will be appealing to tourists caught in unpredictable British weather!

You could also consider some more fashionable garments that offer a twist on the classic t-shirt, like a long sleeve t-shirt or a boxier style. Bags, caps & hats also make great tourist merchandise that can be a strong addition to an outfit. Browse a curated catalogue of our most popular garments here.

To help you get inspired, we got creative with our very own brain teaser design – including 10 of London’s most famous tourist spots. Use the list below to tick them off once you’ve found them!

When it comes to choosing which colour to feature in your business’s logo, aesthetics are not the only factor to consider.  Your business’s logo becomes part of your company’s identity therefore it’s important to make the right impression.

Research indicates that consumers make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of viewing it and that up to 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone.¹ That’s the power of colour.

The way we perceive colour is never entirely objective, the use of colour in culture means we are guaranteed to make conscious associations with different colours and we will always make personal colour associations depending on our individual experiences. However, there are subconscious ways that colours can make us think, feel and behave- this is colour psychology. 

Many brand logos have become iconic because of their colours like Cadbury purple, Royal Mail red and even the yellow and blue of IKEA. However, when this integral design component is changed, what effect does this have on the consumer?

We teamed up with Karen Haller, the leading international authority in the field of Applied Colour Psychology to reveal just how important colour is to some of the UK’s leading brand logos.We took 9 of the UK’s leading brands ranked by BrandIndex Index score and switched the logos to the opposite colours on the colour wheel. Karen has then revealed what effect this might have on the consumer to affirm just how powerful colour can be in branding.

Cadbury- affordable luxury to an optimistic treat

Karen said: “When we think of Cadbury, the colour that springs to mind is none other than the iconic purple. Dark purple conveys the message of quality and luxury, and what Cadbury is saying is they are an affordable, everyday luxury. Not just for special occasions.

“If Cadbury changed its branding to bright yellow it would instantly lose brand recognition. Its entire marketing message would no longer be about affordable luxury, instead, the message would focus on yellow’s positive psychological traits which are uplifting and happy.”

Royal Mail- eye-catching icon to indistinguishable

Karen said: “Although red is not the most visible colour in daylight, having the longest wavelength, red appears to be nearer than it is. It grabs our attention first, making red the ideal choice to spot from a distance. Like most iconic brands, Royal Mail use a specific red to ensure its brand is instantly recognisable.

“If Royal Mail went back to green, even with a bright, vivid green, whilst better than the dark green of the 1800s, it would still be difficult to spot and lose its iconic presence and status.”

IKEA- everyday function to childish playfulness

Karen said: “The positive psychological traits of blue conveys reliability and dependability: IKEA is knowledgeable in what it does and can be trusted to deliver. If IKEA was just blue, it could come across as a very corporate brand, focusing on the functional side of the business, likely coming across as cold, impersonal, and unfriendly. The addition of yellow adds happiness, warmth, and cheerfulness.

“Change the brand yellow to orange and the focus would shift more to one of fun and play. There would be a sense the brand was more child-focused, making it appealing to families with young children, but it might alienate its core age group.”

John Lewis- sophisticated elegance and exceptional quality

Karen said: “From a colour psychology perspective, brands who use black convey sophistication, elegance and class. They are innovative and see themselves as an industry leader.  Think Black American Express, Chanel and Cartier- aspirational with an air of exclusivity.

“There are brands which use black because they aspire to appear this way. However, it’s not just a matter of changing a brand’s colour. Fail to deliver on the promise, and a brand can very quickly come across as cold, unfriendly, unapproachable, and uncaring.”

Netflix- serial excitement to natural zen

Karen said: “There’s a reason why red is used in cinemas and theatres. When we sit on red seats, it encourages us to get excited, full of anticipation for the show to begin. This is because, in colour psychology terms, red stimulates the physical. It raises the pulse rate. By using red in its branding, Netflix is building on that emotional experience and association we are already familiar with.

“There’s no doubt that Netflix wants to get noticed and be seen. Red is the perfect colour because its wavelengths advance towards us the quickest, meaning we see red before any other colour. This ensures its logo stands out amongst its competitors.

“If Netflix changed its brand colour to green, we would straight away lose that sense of anticipation, that excitement. Instead, we’re being encouraged to relax, unwind, like we feel when we are out in nature, amongst the trees.”

Boots- knowledgeable care to playful frivolity

Karen said: “Over 80% of healthcare companies have logos that feature dark blue. The positive psychological traits convey credibility, trust, knowledge, and professionalism, along with logic, rationale, and efficiency. In the context of healthcare, you want your healthcare professional to be calm and focused and dark blue aids in focusing the mind.

“If Boots were to change its core brand colour to orange, we would see it as being fun and playful, not really what you want from your chemist when you need professional advice? Depending on the amount of orange it used, we might even feel the adverse effects of orange and see it as being frivolous which is not what we want from a chemist.”

Cathedral City- indulgent treat to diet option

Karen said: “One of the many ways a brand can choose its colours is through an association, something symbolic or culturally significant. Perhaps the “rich, regal garnet” of Cathedral City’s core brand colour has been based on the liturgical colours worn by priests at the nearby Wells Cathedral, Somerset.

“When it comes to food packaging, over the years, blue has become associated with low fat and dietary products. When we are in the dairy aisle of the supermarket, we can easily spot these products- blue becomes a helpful navigation aid.

“We take in colour before anything else. If Cathedral City were to change its brand colour to all blue, we would make the initial assumption that all its products were now in its ‘lighter’ range, potentially losing customers who were looking for a full-fat rich cheese.  Using too much blue on the packaging could also activate our instinctive response to blue and food, which is to see it as poisonous and unsafe.”

Visa- dependable service to unattainable opulence

Karen said: “Dark blue is a colour that many major financial brands have used to assert their authority as being reliable, trustworthy, and dependable. These positive psychological traits show they are conservative by nature, not rash or impulsive. They want to show they are a safe pair of hands with managing our money.

“If Visa switched to just using gold, that sense of accessibility, and the notion of its an ‘every-person’ card is now gone. Gold branding gives the impression of prestige, desirability and of exclusivity. It’s creating the illusion this brand is now unattainable for its  core target market.”

Samsung-trustworthy communications to premium exclusivity

Karen said: “Dark blue, when it comes to colour psychology, conveys trust. Samsung’s colour scheme suggests they are reliable and not a brand that takes risks. It is a knowledgeable and a leading authority in its field. Dark blue also communicates they are cool and calm under pressure.

“If Samsung changed its brand colour to gold, straight away it looks like a far more premium or a high-end product. Gold creates an air of exclusivity so Samsung becomes an aspirational brand and no longer a brand for everyone.”

Methodology:

We took 9 of the UK’s leading brands ranked by BrandIndex Index score which takes into account consumers’ perceptions of a brand’s quality and reputation amongst other factors and switched its logos to the opposite colours on the colour wheel. Having studied colour for over 20 years, Karen Haller, a leading international authority in the field of applied colour psychology, specialising in business brand colour, revealed what effects this might have on the consumer.

Sources: 

1 CCICOLOR – Institute for Color Research

https://journals.christuniversity.in/index.php/ushus/article/view/1761/1508

https://www.statista.com/statistics/310007/top-uk-brands-across-all-industries-ranked-by-buzz-score/ https://www.postalmuseum.org/

Your sustainable and independent guide to Christmas shopping in London.

Waste and overconsumption is rife during the festive period, with Brits throwing  away £26m of waste every year1. Christmas shopping presents an invaluable opportunity to support independent businesses and is one of the ways that we can work towards a more socially just and environmentally sustainable future. 


Consequently, many of us however are making changes to have a more conscious Christmas this year. We recently  surveyed over 2,000 people, and two thirds (67%) of respondents said they are considering shopping sustainably this Christmas and over half (59%) think supporting independents is high on the agenda when buying gifts. If you’re planning on having a more conscious Christmas but are unsure where to go–fear not- here is our carefully curated sustainable shopping map of London to help you along.

At ICON Printing, we believe that sustainability requires an integrated approach that takes into consideration environmental concerns along with economic development. Therefore, our sustainable shopping map features 50 destinations including independent retailers, businesses with strong environmentally friendly credentials and stores working in a socially responsible manner. Whoever you are shopping for, you can be sure to find the perfect gift from one of these stores.

Fashion

By avoiding fast fashion and investing in select, quality brands, we can minimize our effect on both people and the planet.  Browse some of the world’s best independent and sustainable sourced brands at the below boutiques to find a gift for the stylish individuals in your life. 

Aida

69b Boutique

The Third Estate

The Keep Boutique

Beulah London

Couverture and The Garbstore

Bottletop

Wolf & Badger

Atika

Beauty

What we choose to put on our skin is as important as where we buy the products from. Treat your loved ones to some skincare from one of the below retailers who prioritise working responsibly with suppliers. 

Hair Organics

Buller and Rice

Planet Organic

Fresh

Content Beauty & Wellbeing

Blomma Beauty

Nini Organics

Food

What is Christmas without great food and drinks? There is no better time of year to support your local independent delis and grocers who stock all the delicious British produce and artisan goodies.

Lina Stores 

Eat 17

Giddy Grocer

Honey and Spice Deli

Melrose and Morgan

General Store

Terroni 

Italo

The Larder

Panzers

Homeware

From candles to plants, books to antiques, you’ll be spoilt for choice with all the unique gems and one off pieces available at these homeware stores.

BYO 

Cissy Wears

Deterra London

Labour and Wait

Mooch London

The Old Cinema

Earl of East

Prick

Cuemars

Kids

Whilst Christmas is a magical time of year for all, it is the kids that will be most excited about the prospect of Santa arriving. Fill their stockings with sustainably sourced kids clothes, books and toys from these independent retailers.

Triangle

Baby Mori

Pickled Pepper Books

Caramel

Luna and Curious

Markets

You’ll be able to find gifts for even the hardest to buy for recipients at one of London’s many markets. The following are some of the best, stocking an array of handmade, British sourced items. 

Pebbles Sustainable Market

Old Spitalfields Market

Eccleston Yards

Vinegar Yard

Greenwich Market

Brick Lane Market

Alfies Antiques

Broadway Market

Pets

Even pooches deserve to be spoiled at Christmas; however rather than shopping at larger retailers, it is possible to source items from independent businesses who are more conscious about where the ingredients come from.

Yoko

Pack and Clover

ICON Printing offers fast-turnaround printing on a range of garments- they count numerous independent businesses amongst their customers. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.

Survey methodology

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,024 respondents aged 16+ in the UK between 02.11.2021 – 05.11.2021. The survey was conducted from a nationally representative sample of UK adults. Quotas were applied to nationally representative proportions for age, gender and region. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. 

Sources 
1https://www.mattressonline.co.uk/blog/family/christmas-waste-unwrapped/

Christmas jumpers are a popular choice of clothing this time of year, but many people aren’t aware of just how damaging these novelty garments can actually be to the environment. 

A report last year warned that these festive sweaters are actually helping to fuel the world’s plastic pollution crisis – with many made wholly or partly from plastic materials. The eye-opening research from Hubbub also revealed that two out of five Christmas jumpers are only worn once over the festive period, yet one in three under 35s buy a new one every year! 

These findings didn’t sit very well with us, so we set out to offer a more sustainable option to consumers this year – through launching an innovative new limited-edition collection of alternative Christmas jumpers, with a real difference.

All three jumpers within the range are:

Reversible – with one side featuring a Christmas design and plain fabric on the other, it makes it the ideal winter staple

Designed with a serious environmental issue in mind – subtle environmental messaging has been weaved into each creative in order to raise awareness

Made from 100% organic cotton – no plastic materials or embellishments are in sight!

Raising funds for an environmental charity – proceeds from every sale will be donated to Hubbub

Part of a ‘swap shop’ initiative – once purchased, customers are given the option to send their old Christmas jumper back to get upcycled/donated to charity

View the collection here: https://www.iconprinting.com/icon-christmas-jumper-collection

100% of the profits from the ICON Christmas jumper collection will be donated to Hubbub (which equates to £10 minimum per sale).

Hubbub is an environmental charity that designs creative campaigns that raise awareness and engage the mainstream in important sustainability issues.  They focus on things that are relevant to people’s day to day lives such as fashion, food, our homes and where we live and work and empower people to take practical every day actions that make a difference. They recently won the Charity Awards’ Charity of the Year 2020 for their work.

Charity Number: 115870

For many of us, when we think of a polo shirt it’s one which is emblazoned with a logo. The logo polo shirt is simple and understated, and it’s for this reason that many brands choose to get custom embroidered or printed polo shirts for their business. The custom polo a ubiquitous sight on most high streets, usually seen with just one block colour all over, with a logo on the left breast.

The other place you’re likely to find the logo polo shirt is in sportswear. Smart, but still with an easygoing air, the shirt has been embraced in sports for the same reason as it’s been adopted by brands. Boasting the combination of smartness with a loose, airy fit, it’s seen the shirt popularised in tennis by Fred Perry, where there was (and still is at Wimbledon, at least) an emphasis on keeping up a genteel appearance even as you compete at the top tier of elite sport.

But how to make sure that your own logo polo shirt is up to scratch? The simple things are often the hardest to pull off, and with plenty of other brands proffering their own examples, it’s vital to make sure that you get yours right. Here we offer four tips on how to make sure your polos are as good as they can be.

4 insider tips on how to create awesome logo polo shirts

1. You can use embroidery or screen printing

For polo shirts, it’s possible to screen print or embroider your design – but we’d generally recommend using embroidery for best results. If you’re really keen to screen print, we’d recommend using higher quality polo shirts to ensure you get best results (like those by Stanley Stella, for example.) In both cases, the minimum order is 20 units.

2. Keep it simple

Whether you’re using screen printing or embroidery, you’ll get best results by keeping your design simple. For embroidery, in particular, text and simple line graphics work best, and we advise to use a design no smaller than 50mm. In the case of logo polo shirts, it means that if you have a complex or super-detailed logo for your brand, then it would be advisable to adapt it. Bring out the key aspects for a clean and simple approach – that way, the finished product won’t have any issues with the embroidery.

3. Think creatively about embroidery

If you decide to use embroidery for your shirt, then it’s worth thinking about ways to toy with the medium. Compared to screen printing, there’s a tactile side to embroidery that can be interesting to play around with. For example, by using thread that’s the same or similar colour as your garment, it can create a subtle effect that will catch people’s eye once they notice it.

4. Consider using special threads

Another great thing about embroidery is the special, attention-grabbing threads which you can use for your design. These can come in a range of options such as neon or metallic. Of course, this depends on your brand identity and the style you’re looking to suggest, but it’s worth considering for a small splash of something different on your designs.


Want to create your own polo shirts? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting a number of clients ranging from such as WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.