We were delighted to have been selected to be a part of the 'Behind the Brand' feature by Home & Gift Harrogate which spotlights some of this year's exhibitors to find out a bit more about what we do and why. You can have a read below or find the original publication here.
1. Introduction to your brand: Hello, we're Dominique & Jack, the people behind Lanther Black. Our creative partnership began almost ten years ago when we started writing and directing short films together, which was great but really cold and wet. You see, when you don't have the financial backing of Netflix which, you may be alarmed to discover, we didn't, you find yourself shooting outside a lot. Now, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the climate of Essex is somewhat tropical because of our residents' ability to keep up a permanent tan, but you'd be mistaken. The truth is, it's no sunnier here than the rest of the country, we just have many, many tanning salons. In fact, it was on a particularly sunless October shoot when we found ourselves waist high in the sea holding our camera equipment above our heads (a simple miscalculation when reading the tide tables) that we turned to each other and said, "We need to get an indoor job." [Enter Lanther Black.] We made a list of all the things that we could make and then we ranked them by the amount of outdoor exposure required. What we were looking for was a product that could absolutely, under no circumstances be allowed to get cold and wet. And then we found it: greeting cards.
2. What makes our company stand out from the rest? Three things. Firstly, we have a terrible name. Other companies have really catchy names that generate just the right emotion or tell you exactly what they do. We, on the other hand, inadvertently chose a name that would mean absolutely nothing to anyone. Moreover, we included a word that nobody could pronounce, spell or understand, which is essentially the holy trinity of rubbish words. Secondly, we approach our greeting cards from a different perspective. We try to create worlds which we populate with fun and interesting characters and then we tell their stories. Every card in our collection tells a story, either our own or those of our friends and family. "That's just like making films!" we hear you cry. Well done Poirot. You've stumbled upon the great secret that lies behind our badly named facade. Use the power wisely. And thirdly, neither of us on our own has the complete set of skills required to create a greeting card so we have to do it together. Dominique writes the titles and does the illustrations which she then hands over to Jack to be painted and turned into cards. It is probably this collaboration that gives us quite a distinctive style. We actually function like this in most areas of life. If we were on our own, we'd be resigned to only eating half a roast dinner for the rest of our lives.
3. Could you tell us about your latest collections / ranges? Despite the growing popularity of Essex as a tourist destination and its rich history of organised crime, we thought it might be nice to see what the rest of the world had to offer so we decided to pack our pens and pencils and see a bit of Europe whilst the data roaming was still free. In true Lanther Black fashion, Dominique booked the flights and Jack took care of the Airbnbs and off we went. From Oslo to Vienna, from Berlin to Bordeaux, we took in the sights and sampled the local delights. Actually, in Copenhagen we sampled nothing more than frozen pizza and tap water because anything else would've bankrupted us. We documented each city with an illustration which we've now turned into a brand new range of greeting cards called 'Wonderful World'. We also added in a few fake ones because if social media has taught us anything it's, "Make everything look better than it really was."
4. What can we expect from you at Home & Gift 2019? You can definitely expect us to be there. We've already booked our accommodation and we went for the cheaper option which is non-refundable so there's no turning back now. In any case, we wouldn't miss it because it's our favourite show of the year and we should point out that the charming Home and Gift representative currently stood over us as we write this is in no way pressuring us to say so. We'll be releasing some fantastic new additions to our hugely popular Christmas range. We know it's frowned upon to blow your own trumpet but it seems unhygienic to let anyone else do it. Every year we worry that our best ideas for the range are behind us and that we're on the slow and miserable descent into failure but we're fairly confident that we've outdone ourselves this year and we're going to go as far as saying that there'll be at least a smattering of new bestsellers in the collection. You can also expect us to be at the first night drinks party with a beverage in each hand, one for us and one for 'a friend'.