• The Best Wooden Phone Cases in the UK?

    Posted by Arthur Williams

    Here at Illustrate, we are enormously proud of all the products we have on offer - how could we not be with the talent we are privileged to have on show. Not the least we are shouting from the rooftops about our range of cherry wood phone cases engraved with a selection of the fabulous designs you've no doubt seen if you're reading this. We think they're gorgeous and practical, the dreamy maths teacher of the phone case world, but we don't expect you to just accept flowery language or ham-fisted similes so we thought we'd give you the low down on our cases key features to help you get to the root of just how special they are.
     
    We are proud to offer a case to protect the iPhone 4/4S, 5/5S/5SE, 5c, 6/6S, 6plus, 7 & 7plus respectively as well as offering cases for the Samsung Galaxy S5, S6 and S7. The variety doesn't stop there however with our 3 separate cherry-wood phone case lines; our original Ultra Protective line, our Smart Fit line and finally our subsequent line of New Ultra Protective cases. What's more, there is a veritable treasure trove of designs to take your pick of and more exciting still we're continuing to expand the range of designs on offer. We want this both to give you as much choice as possible but also to showcase the versatility of painstakingly crafted pieces of art on display. One such new addition is the design 'Polar' by Bristol based Toby Brunsdon also known as Tobias Illustrations. 
     
    Our original Ultra Protective range is available to buy from as little as £10 when you purchase two cases and £12.50 if you purchase one. This case features a range of designs engraved onto cherry wood veneer mounted onto a rubberised TPU chassis which completely encases the phone offering supreme protection whilst still being comfortable to hold and retains full button and port access. The original UP range features a thinner wooden veneer meaning the designs are fainter yet this is ideal for those wishing to inject a little style into their accessories without wanting to be too ostentatious.
     
    Our Smart Fit range differs from the Ultra Protective range as its chassis is slighter and less pronounced not completely covering the top or bottom of the phone. This sacrifices some protection for a sleeker feel and look. The Smart Fit does feature a thicker cherry wood veneer than the old Ultra Protective range making it sturdier and allowing a deeper more striking engraving that really does look absolutely stunning. These are available for £10 for the iPhone 4 & Samsung Galaxy S5 cases, £12.50 for the iPhone 5c & Samsung S6 cases and then £15 for all the remaining models.
     
    Our new Ultra Protective range acts as a kind of best of both worlds of the previous two; it boasts both the Smart Fit's thicker cherry wood veneer and the original Ultra Protectives more protective TPU chassis. Our new Ultra Protective range has a truly premium feel to it, perfect to compliment the ludicrously expensive gadget burning a hole in your pocket and screaming out for the snug, safe embrace of cherry wood and rubberised TPU (not to mention that snazzy laser etched design making it the talk of the town.) As you'd expect the new Ultra Protective range sits at the top of our pricing scale but at £20 it is still far from expensive especially given just how good they look. They say you can't put a price on art but even so, we think we've been quite reasonable.
     
    As a company, we never shy away from our responsibility to ethical and environmentally conscious practice. The depictions of nature which pervade much of our artist's work are not simply a motif they mean something and we like to use what influence we have advocating positive causes, it is in this vein which our most ambitious project thus far follows. Come October we are committing to planting a tree for every ten phone cases sold and this is to include all back dated sales as well, quite the task to say the least. "A man of words but not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds" so said John Fletcher and we fully agree that actions are far more important than just paying lip service, through actions you can enact change as well as inspire. Now through this scheme, your purchase will not only mean you get a beautiful phone case but also that another tree has been planted, trees are one of the most vital organisms on Earth they stabilise soil, produce oxygen and offset carbon emissions - not bad for £10 to £20.

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  • Artist Profile: Meni Chatzipanagiotou/ Menis Art

    Posted by Lily Brunsdon

    Introduced to you by Illustrate
     Meni Chatzipanagiotou
    Meni Chatzipanagiotou aka Menis Art 

     

    Meni Chatzipanagiotou, or Menis Art as she’s known, is a full-time Illustrator and Graphic Design graduate based in Northern Greece. She specialises in fully hand-drawn pieces, mainly using black pen, but she loves experimenting with different techniques and materials. She fits in well with the Illustrate family as her work is primarily inspired by nature and its inhabitants, however it doesn’t just stop there - her pen will go wherever her imagination takes it!

    Meni’s artwork features a range of botanical aesthetics to form elements of surrealism. Her work process is a combination or research and a lot of sketches. However her approach to working varies greatly on the subject and her chosen material. Meni’s talent doesn’t just stop at illustrating on paper; she is equally skilled at painting on a wooden canvas.

    We are very happy to be introducing a unique and exclusive range of Meni's artwork on A4 and A3 prints, starting from £15.00. Keep your eyes peeled for Meni's work featuring on more products in the future such as our cherry wood phone cases & organic cotton t-shirts...

    Her artwork is now available online and in our Bristol and Cardiff shops. Please check out the “Contact Us” page for store addresses or find us on Google.

    To see more of Meni's work, visit her webiste menisart.com or her instagram @menis_art.

     

    You can keep up to date with all our artists on our Instagram featuring page: @instaillustrate and stay tuned with all our latest product information and discounts via @illustrate.mmxv!

    Thank you for reading our latest Artist Profile. We are always looking for new talent to join our collective. If you are interested please get in touch via the “Contact Us” page. 

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  • Feature: Illustrate Mini

    Posted by Lily Brunsdon

    This week we're all about our Illustrate Mini range- with sizes for kids age 2-13, great designs and super soft cotton, our mini clothes make great gifts, or just a solid addition to the wardrobe. 

    In our last blog we featured the company who manufactures our Illustrate Mini clothes for us- Mantis World. Like all our products, the Mini range is sustainbly sourced and ethically produced and you can feel comfortable with your child wearing them, knowing exactly where they came from, and how they were made. 

     

    Along with that, the Mini tshirts and sweaters are made from 100% organic cotton, making them super soft and comfortable, and meaning they wash well.

    One of the best things about the Mini range is that it's entirely unisex, meaning any child will love it. It's the same with the majority of our products- we aim for gender neutrality, because art is for everyone. 

    The entire range features eye-catching designs on a natural theme that are locally screen printed in Bristol. The designs are hand-drawn and get better every time you look at them; new details within the designs are revealed all the time. The Mini range is especially engaging, and adorable at that. 

     

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  • Fashion Revolution

    Posted by Agata Vend

    Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit global organisation dedicated to making a change in the fashion industry. Working across 90 countries with designers, retailers, workers, fashion lovers and many more creators, Fashion Revolution calls for more ethical and sustainable practices and greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. They believe in a fashion industry of the future that not only values people but the environment as well, and believes that both of these are as important as making profit.
    Here at Illustrate, we feel that Fashion Revolution neatly encompasses everything we stand for as a brand; it’s no secret that every single one of our products is ethically and sustainably sourced. Fashion Revolution Day happens during April; it falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza Building Collapse, which killed 1129 people in Bangladesh in 2013, the majority of whom were garment factory workers. It is noted that the shops on the ground floor of the Rana Plaza were closed when cracks were discovered in the walls, but the building owners refused to close the factories, forcing their workers to return to work and the morning after the building collapsed.
    Although many companies have been working to towards more ethical practices for a long time now, the Rana Plaza collapse was a big wake up call for many people in the fashion industry, and it was the day that Fashion Revolution was born. Developing on this, every April since its creation Fashion Revolution also holds a week long campaign where they encourage people to ask “Who Made My Clothes?” and companies to demonstrate the transparency of their own supply chain. The “Who Made My Clothes?” hashtag was the number 1 global trend on Twitter in 2015.
    At Illustrate, when we were asked by customers “Who Made My Clothes?” we were able to provide them with this picture from Mantis World, who create our Illustrate Mini range.
    Mantis World as a company is a great example of how large scale manufacturing can be performed ethically. You can check out their website by clicking on the image. 
    Unfortunately, we don’t have a similar picture from Continental, the company who make our adult range, but they are just as committed to providing safe working environments, living wage and freedom of association, meaning their workers are free to leave their jobs whenever they please. Continental has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2006, another not-for-profit organisation that works for better rights for workers in garment factories. You can check out Continental’s website and Fair Wear Foundation’s website by clicking on the images. 
    For some more information about how we became a more sustainable brand, check out our previous blog post “Here’s How We Became an Eco-Friendly Brand”.
    Fashion Revolution is growing all the time, and so is Illustrate. We hope that during the next Fashion Revolution week, many more of our customers will want to know about the origins of not only the clothes they buy from us, but from other brands as well. 

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  • Artist Profile - Lloyd Stratton

    Posted by Agata Vend

    Introduced to you by Illustrate
    Lloyd Stratton
    Lloyd Stratton is a Brighton based illustrator who specialises in  traditional black archival ink on paper. Illustrate features Lloyd's series of forest animals blended with cosmic elements.
     We asked Lloyd a few questions about his experiences and passion for art:
    How did you start drawing and painting? 

    'I have always loved drawing from a pretty early age. It was probably helped by the fact my Dad is an art teacher. I then studied illustration at Westminster University'

    Were you inspired by any artists or illustrators?

    'I was influenced by a lot of children's book illustrators like Quentin Blake and Maurice Sendak in particular. 'Where the Wild Things Are' was probably the book that made me want to become an illustrator.''
    What is the process you go through to create your final piece?
    'My illustrations are hand drawn in black ink primarily and have a strong emphasis on detail and shading. It’s relatively straightforward in terms of the process; once I’m happy with the initial composition sketch then I just ink in all the detail and scan in the final drawing to touch up digitally. I try and keep the digital side of things to a minimum though as I like most of my work to retain a hand drawn aesthetic.'
    Is there a particular reason why you enjoy drawing animals?
    'I always enjoy illustrating animals, they’re a lot more fun to draw than people. I like the challenge of trying to capture the texture of fur, feathers and scales through different pen marks and shading techniques.'
    You can follow Lloyd Stratton and his artwork on his Instagram @lloydstratton. You can also keep up to date on all of our artists and find new artists by following our Instagram @instaillustrate.
    Thanks for reading our latest Artist Profile.
    We are always looking for new talent to join our collective. If you are interested in collaborating with Illustrate then please get in touch via the 'Contact Us' page.
     

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