Custom craft and design products for retail, inspired directly by the Museum of Edinburgh’s collections

A retail collection designed around key artefacts
Client: Edinburgh Museums for the Museum of Edinburgh
Commission type: Custom Product retail collection
Date: 2018
With a prime location along the Royal Mile, a shop at the entrance and some remarkable artefacts within their collection, the shop of the Museum of Edinburgh should be thriving.

The shop needs to entice customers with a vibrant and exclusive offering. The best way for the museum to achieve this is by harnessing the exceptional IP of their collections. Showcasing the museum collections through desirable and exclusive retail products not only encourages purchases in the shop, but also increases interest in the collection and leads visitors on into the museum.

Edinburgh Museums were keen to showcase their collection in this way but had not been successful in finding a traditional museum supplier who could create a collection to their specifications. Keen to represent the key materials and disciplines of their collection in their retail, while using these disciplines to showcase their key holdings, and focusing the manufacture locally, it was a job too substantial for one designer and too complicated a project to manage if they engaged multiple designers.

Working with Craft Design House, the project management, sourcing of local designers and the briefing process were managed for the museum. Working within their stipulated budget, we identified key opportunities for retail within their shop, manageable price-points for the collection, selected the local designers and makers best-suited to the project across the museum’s preferred disciplines, and wrote a brief which detailed the projects aims and the areas of focus for the designs. The designers and makers were able to select their preferred focus within the project based on what interested them most.

The collection features designers across ceramic, glass, textile, and silversmithing, reflecting key collections within the museum. The designs within these disciplines draw from the striking colours and architecture of the building, some of the best-loved exhibits and most recognisable features of Edinburgh’s history and architecture, highlighting elements of the collection that many visitors to and residents of Edinburgh are not aware the museum possesses.

Current Stage
The retail collection offers the opportunity to highlight the collections, increasing footfall to the museum. It also creates a line that is exclusive to the museum, offering unique purchasing opportunities, making the shop a desirable destination for gifts as well as souvenirs, and increases revenue through the shop.

The collection will be launched at the beginning of August to coincide with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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