Our first Made Works of 2018, Mill Project used Make Works to source the perfect partner, Glasgow Press, for the packaging of their beautifully simple watch packaging. Thanks, Tom, for taking the time to chat with us!

1. Can you briefly outline the project?

The Nelson Series was born from a simple design philosophy, first brought to our attention by the work of the late industrial designer, George Nelson. By adopting his ‘honest’ design philosophy we designed a watch series that made a visual statement without compromising its original purpose and functionality. The Nelson Series celebrates minimal design and remains true to its original everyday purpose. 

The final part and one of the most important parts of the process was creating the packaging. It was important for us to finish the packaging to the same high standard of the watch series itself. That’s where Make Works came in.

2. How did you find Make Works, and discover the printmakers for your project? 

We actually saw Fi give a great speech at one of the Creative Mornings Edinburgh meetups. It just so happened that we saw Make Works right at the point that we were looking for manufacturers to work with. We have always been keen to source local manufacturers to help us create our products so it felt like the perfect match.

Our priority was to find a printmaker who we felt could provide us with the highest quality product that would match the quality and attention to detail of the watch. The Make Works website made it really easy for us to do that, and we quickly found the printmaker we want to work with.

3. What was your process of working with your printmaker? Was it a simple case of ‘translating' your idea, or was it more of a conversation where the work developed through your discussions with them? Was there anything unexpected?

As far as working with the printmakers, the process was really straightforward. We spent a lot of time before-hand deciding which paper we wanted to use, narrowing down about 20 different shades and weights to finding the one we felt would work with the overall experience of opening the watch. We sent the design along with our preferred materials, and they did the rest. It was the one part of the process of developing the Nelson Series that went smoothly.

4. How long did the whole process take?

From start to finish I think it took a little over 2 weeks. The majority of that time was awaiting delivery of the paper from G.F Smith. Once they had the paper, the turn-around time was less than a week.

5. Top tips - would you do anything differently next time? Did anything work particularly well? Or not turn out quite like you anticipated.

I think we would do a lot of things differently, but it’s all part of the learning curve. Although we are from a design background, we had no idea where to start when designing a product and taking it to market. There were so many parts to the process that we didn’t even consider when we first thought about designing a watch.  We learned a lot as we went along, but I think that was part of the appeal. The satisfaction of knowing that everything we have done up till this point has been through our own hard work and determination.

I think my advice would be to stick to your guns, no matter how many hurdles you have to jump. Don’t compromise on the original idea and I think if you do that, it will set you in good stead to creating an honest product that people will resonate with.

6. Why/how do you think resources like Make Works are useful for creatives?

One of the hardest and most time-consuming parts of seeing your product come to life is finding the right manufacturers, especially when you don’t really know where to start. Make Works makes that process a lot easier, doing the hard work of getting all the manufacturer's in one place.

If you're interested in working with printmakers in Scotland, search for paper in our material directory

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