Inspiration, News, Tips and Advice

Catching up with Customers at Top Drawer A/W 2019!

Tired of hearing about Top Drawer 2019? Of course not!

Last week, we attended one of the UK’s largest and most influential trade shows Top Drawer! While we discovered some of the season’s hottest design trends, it was also a great opportunity to catch up with some of our customers and see how they handled all three days.

Read on to find out about their experience as well as some of their top tips for exhibitions!

About Face Illustration

Top Drawer About Face Illustration
About Face Illustration

Not a stranger to this blog, we were so happy to be able to catch up with the ever-lovely Paulina of About-Face Illustration! Even as a Top Drawer first-timer, her stand really impressed with its clever use of space, highlighting all the print designs we’ve come to love.

“It was quite an experience, very different to anything else I’ve done before. It was interesting to observe the process of decision making of the buyers and to see which trends are currently leading in the industry. It also gave me a good insight into my target audience and showed the best direction to go.”

Top Tip: “I think it’s very important to have a strategy or a planned way of grabbing the visitors attention as many of them seem to pass by without looking. Giving out samples might be one way of doing that. Then you can start speaking about the creative process behind your design. I noticed that many people need to be encouraged to have a proper look at your stock.”


Top Drawer DoodleMoo

Doodlemoo’s stand was certainly eye-catching, the vibrancy matching the bright signature style of her designs perfectly.

“I think one of the best things about a show like Top Drawer is meeting other creatives and brands and the sense of community. Meeting two of my favourite retailers was so exciting, the fact they came to my stand and admired our products, it’s a great opportunity to meet buyers that otherwise would be tricky to.

Top Tip: “Make sure you have all your details in place. If like me you have a small space make the most of it to make an impact. Visualising it exactly how it was going to be beforehand really helps (I used Indesign and Illustrator to make my maquette.) Make sure to clearly display your products and catalogue, business cards and postcards (so happy with mine from and be ready to chat.”

AuthentiK London

AuthentiK London
AuthentiK London

Another Top Drawer first-timer, AunthentiKLondon certainly puts the British into Great British designs! Wowing with her wooden puzzle and bright stationery, the use of colour to contrast her landmark designs certainly made her stand pop!

“Following Top Drawer, I can’t wait to take action on my new ideas and am already looking forward to my next show with even more designs and exciting products. Thank you for providing such great quality service and for making my life easy!”

Top Tip:  “As a first-time exhibitor it was absolutely essential to present my designs on the highest quality materials and I am so happy that I chose to print some of my new cards and prints with as they really met all expectations. I got the most amazing feedback from everyone visiting the Authentik London corner and the comments in regards to the quality of the prints were the best!”

Paper Parade

Paper Parade
Paper Parade

A huge fan of their ‘cheesy’ designs, we were excited for the opportunity to have a proper chat with the lovely Paper Parade. Showcasing both new and old prints, the bright colour and witty humour of their designs made for a delightful exhibition discovery!

“It was the first time for us exhibiting our Christmas range at a trade show, so it was really nice having a sort of finishing point to reveal everything we’ve been working on over the past few months and we got a great reception for that.”

Top Tip: “Take advantage of what’s there. We were able to get a wee slot at the retail pitch which is a good opportunity to ask for specific and detailed feedback from some retailers.”

Think you’re Top Drawer ready? Make sure to check out our own top tips on perfecting your exhibition print.


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About the author

When she’s not perusing the factory or planning our next product launch, you’ll find Emma doing some form of exercise. Whether it’s her favourite gym class or a walk around Northumberland with friends, she loves keeping fit!

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