Remember the old sweetshops from when you were a child? If they were anything like the ones I used to go to they were an Aladdin’s cave of jars and pots, stacked on unreachable shelves where sweets were weighed out by the 1/4 pound. There’s something lovely about the old high streets and the shops that are all but extinct now and I wanted to recreate the sense of order, personal pride and attention to detail that was a major part of these niche establishments.
My father has always had an eye for design and illustration, as both he and his father before him worked as professional illustrators. As a result of this I always had plenty of inspirational source material that had accumulated over the years. One of the books I used to look at contained historical Victorian advertisements which were always such fun to admire. Advertisements hadn’t yet evolved to their current level of sophistication and it wasn’t unusual for the products on offer to make outlandish claims as to their magical properties. Were people more gullible back then? Yes and no, the Victorian era was immersed in so much technological and life changing developments that it’s easy to imagine that just about anything would have seemed possible.