INTRODUCING SNOWTAP: A Brand New License

5 July 2021

INTRODUCING SNOWTAP

We’re extremely excited to introduce you to our brand-new license, Snowtap! We couldn’t be more certain that this license is going to quickly become a firm favourite. Each design holds charm, colour, and clear artistic talent. You ca see the entire collection at both upcoming trade shows: Harrogate Home & Gift Buyer's Festival (Stand DP1-C15, 18-21st July), and PG Live London (Stand 200, 27-28th July).

We had a chat to the artists behind Snowtap in detail, taking a deep dive into the inspirations and processes behind the brand. So first of all - who are ‘Snowtap'?

“The 'Snow' part of Snowtap comes from Susy Snow. She's the designer of the team - her graphic design expertise means she's behind the colour palettes and layouts, and she's obsessed with fonts and hand drawn typography. She's also known as the pun queen, coming up with classics like Saturday Night Beaver and Aristurtle.” These puns really bring the beautiful drawings in the designs to life – our personal favourite has to be ‘you’re one in a chameleon’.

“The 'Tap' belongs to Gracie Tapner (we had to lose the 'ner' as Snowtapner just didn't have the same ring to it!) Gracie specialises in line drawing and watercolour - we've nicknamed her the Watercolour Wizard - and she captures those humorous everyday moments in nature and life that we as humans often resonate with! Whilst both of them create and illustrate the designs, the combination of their artistic skills mean they can offer the best of both worlds, with everything being a collaborative effort.” So there you have it – Susy and Gracie, the talent behind these gorgeous cards.

Snowtap live next door to Kirsty Guthrie of KJG Ltd., who they got chatting to about elevating the brand to the next level. They decided to do this through licensing, partnering with leading companies in their respective fields, and that is where The Art File comes in!

Next, we wanted to go back to the beginning. How did Snowtap come into being? Susy and Gracie told us that “the idea to form a collaborative studio came about over a catch-up coffee in Kings Cross station back in 2016. We were post illustration degrees from the University of Westminster and had both been working in the industry respectively. Gracie was focused on licensing and Susy as a graphic designer. Jokingly, we suggested that should we ever team up for work, we could be called 'Snowtap'... and with a joint affirmative grin at each other, we thought 'why don't we seriously give this a try?!'. We loved the idea of working for ourselves, designing our own briefs and being able to work directly with small and big clients alike. The rest of the coffee was spent dreaming up all the possibilities of how we could make this a reality. Within a month, we had created a logo, and launched a website and 2 greetings card designs which we started selling online and in our local gift shop in Newmarket.” I don’t know about you, but to us, it sounds like Snowtap was always meant to happen.

So, now we know where Snowtap came from and who’s behind these works of art. Next, we asked Susy and Gracie what inspires them to create. They said “all our work is inspired by the incredible natural world and the fascinating and exotic animals that we share the planet with. Naturally, we've seen every David Attenborough and nature documentary going, and these shows have often inspired what animals we'll incorporate into our designs. We also have regular 'drawing on location' days to make sure we keep our skills sharp and to draw from life, whether that's at the zoo, out in a park or in the corner of one of our favourite cafes. Our favourite designs are the ones (like our #aboutlastnight card) that have us both giggling at the initial idea, still giggling whilst designing and creating, and then STILL giggling when it comes back from the printers.”

Everyone loves a nature inspired design – that’s something that continues to be proven to us at The Art File over decades of experience. Something we’re always interested to know, though, is how artists create their designs specifically for greeting cards, and whether that is different to how they create designs for other products. Snowtap explained that “there is certainly a sweet spot with greeting card design, where you identify a card worthy occasion, add to it the perfect animal illustration, and, often, a humorous caption or pun. Then, before you know it, you've created something brilliant that makes people smile and giggle and think of the person that they want to buy that card for. It sounds easy but our greeting card designs go through a lot of refining between the idea stage and the design stage, until the final product is just right.”

This is a deep dive into Snowtap, and so we’ve still got more to share with you. We asked Susy and Gracie to share a glimpse behind their artistic processes. “We're really lucky that there are two of us and we can bounce ideas and content off each other. We like to keep things flexible as we believe that's part of the joy of working for yourself, so we tend to plan our week ahead on a Monday, making sure we've got a day or two working outside of our home studio, and it's no coincidence this will most likely be somewhere where tea and cake is involved. When we're working from home, we have the radio on all day and there's always joint favourite tunes that have us pausing whatever we're doing and getting up to dance it out. Our latest fave is 'Rasputin' - we have the routine nailed now. We think part of the key to coming up with new and fresh ideas all the time is to keep going out to explore and experience new things. Being visual people, we're always the most inspired after a trip out of the house.” Thank you for sharing this insight, Snowtap!

We’re incredibly excited to launch this lovely collection with Snowtap and share these designs with our fantastic customers. Snowtap is certainly a show-stopping collection of hilarious greeting cards, combining beautifully detailed artwork and of course funny quips to achieve that all important chuckle. Susy and Gracie said “we're really looking forward to working with The Art File and having our designs break out of our small business bubble to be seen on a much bigger scale. We can't wait to see a replication of the smiles and reactions on people's faces that we're used to at our local market happening in shops big and small all over the UK.” Here’s to a fantastic partnership!