February 17, 2023
Here at Betsy Benn, our personalised travel memories prints and gifts are always incredibly popular. We thought it would be fun to take a deep dive into how and why we created them and why they make such creative and meaningful gifts.
Our travel memories print is a like a tiny gallery in a single artwork that features iconic images from all your favourite holiday destinations or important cities and towns in the journey of your life. The print can be used as a memory board of a whole lifetime of travels and exploring, or as a record of just one amazing year of travel. For each location you include in your list, we find and design an appropriate image to represent that place. We have over 2500 already designed, but if you want a meaningful place we don’t already have, we can do that too. Sometimes even working from your own photograph.
The idea for this way of recording your travel adventures and memories originated back with our first ever destination print I suppose. That print was a typographic reproduction of bus blinds, listing out in words all the special places you’ve known and loved. You can see it be clicking here. The destination print was our first best seller and is still in high demand today.
For my 40th birthday my friend framed a sheet of postage stamps that had been printed the same week I was born. It was such a special gift and the stamps were so colourful (in that Seventies style that has rolled back around recently!) It made me think about stamps on postcards and how they often depict parts of the country they are from. The first product this thought process inspired was our Personalised Stamp Print, but I knew there was more we could do. The colour scheme pulled it all together after I learned about colour psychology on a course with the interior designer Sophie Robinson. Did you know that most of us in the UK have an Autumn themed scheme? Followed closely by Summer.
We launched the first travel destinations design in March 2019. I knew this would be a brilliant gift for some for those tricky to buy for men in our lives and thought it would be a beautiful Father’s Day gift, probably from adult children to their Dads. How special would it be to create a print of all the places that he’d introduced you to, or were special between you? It quickly got picked up our customers as a perfect anniversary gift for both men and women. They've probably travelled to all those beautiful locations together anyway!
Finding the right image for the place is absolutely key! As I mentioned, we already have over 2500 towns and cities already designed and there is no way we can show all those images on the website listing! We’re happy to send proofs of the prints before we send them, but that does slow the process down a little and for many people, time is of the essence. Our customers trust that we have easily recognisable and iconic images for each town, city, or sometimes lake! Then our graphic design skills come in to play to turn an ordinary photograph into a mini work of art.
We create all of our personalised prints in house. We use Epson printers, genuine Epson inks with a lightfast guarantee of 80 years plus, and archival quality Epson matte papers. Yes – we are Epson fan girls over here. Not only is the colour reproduction just BEAUTIFUL but the sustainability of the whole company is very impressive. Epson published a 280 page sustainability report in September 2020 that just blew me away! Typically, the bit I needed to know the most was on page 244. Epson manages its entire supply chain from immediate supplier all the way back to the forest to ensure the sustainability and environmental safety of the paper products they produce. That was so good to read!
Oh, yes! Sourcing the right, high quality and copyright free images of the places everyone wants is tricky as already mentioned. Add to that, each landmark image has to have a clear bit of sky above it so we have room for a label – that’s fun! Then sometimes we have to interpret the places that people want. If someone would like an image of Christchurch for example, and they have lots of other south coast UK destinations in their order, then we assume they mean Christchurch in Dorset. However, if they have a few Australasian places in the list, then they could want Christchurch, New Zealand! I’m just saying that a Geography a-level might have been useful.
The main tweaks from prototype travel wall art to finished design were in the colour scheme and the sizing of each individual image. All the colours had to work together, and each image had to have some white space around it to feel not squashed together, but not too much to feel disconnected. Fonts as well actually! The script fonts always give us the most issues when it comes to legibility and likability. Everyone loves the combination of a script style font with a sans serif block font, but we tried quite a few combinations before we landed on one that we all liked and thought worked.
People love to remember the good times they had, or the adventures they shared with friends and loved ones. And no matter what experience you have had in life, it has been rooted in a geographical location! From the town you were born, to where you went to University, the first festival you ever went to, where you were when you got engaged, a honeymoon or wedding location, the first home you created as a family, new experiences, favourite haunts, dream holidays – the one thing that unifies them is they are all SOMEWHERE on Earth (unless you're an astronaut). It’s actually incredibly easy to create a favourite places print when you think of it like that.
I think travel is still such a special thing for the majority of us too – which was evidenced when we all experienced Covid-19 and couldn’t travel anywhere. The travel memory posters picked up a new momentum as we all looked back on the privileges we’d already had and the places we’d seen with new appreciation.
Oh, that’s easy. Our travel memories print is the ultimate solution to the “difficult to buy for” person that we all know and love. Everyone has been somewhere! Everyone has places that are special to them. A travel art print may not be the most obvious thing you think of, but my word is it universally loved! We’ve had so many people let us know how special this gift has become, which is just wonderful.
Most people purchase this personalised print as a birthday or Christmas gift for someone they know. Quite often it’s from one partner to another so it’s really easy for them to recall all the important places they have visited together. Occasionally groups of friends who have been on several holidays together create one design of all their epic adventures and get copies made for each person – top tip, we can create duplicate prints at a reduced price.
I really love seeing orders where a person has spent 6 months or more travelling to cities near or far and they have fit EVERYTHING in. I’m amazed at how much they do. It makes me wish I’d had a gap year for travelling or something similar and spent time exploring some more exotic travel locations. Although, I’m notching up a big list of places (mostly beaches to be fair) that I want to visit in the future, taking all my inspiration from other people’s holiday memories.
We’ve been totally inspired by the way our customers have embraced this way of capturing their overseas adventures. We started offering the travel memories print in 4, 9, or 16 place varieties, but have since expanded to included 18, 21, 25, 30 and even 40 locations. They make such brilliant big birthday and anniversary gifts. Ticking the box for both cool and meaningful!
We also launched the print with just one colourway – the rich autumn colours – but last year we added the softer and lighter summer colour palette. The print is so versatile now. There are both landscape and portrait versions, and different sizes mean it can fit in all sorts of rooms and spaces.
Last Christmas we launched individual travel memories as Christmas tree decorations which were hugely popular. The wooden decorations are a great way to remember any special places you’ve visited over the festive period.
Travelling takes us out of our daily routine and exposes us to new experiences, people, and cultures. Depending on where you go and who with, the emotions connected with travel can be exciting and adventurous and a time for a personal growth, or grounding, reflective and reconnecting with our loved ones. Looking back on these experiences and emotions reminds us who we are, where we’ve been, and what we value.
Our travel print is deeply personal and helps us to relive great memories and beautiful experiences. But it’s also a piece of artwork that is incredibly easy to order, literally all you need is a list of places and we create the images.
The simple design layout is both classic and modern and fits easily into the majority of homes and decorative styles. The travel print really does seem to be universally loved! Here's a question for you now - what special places would you have on your print? Ready to make your own?
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September 15, 2023