For many years the only thing you could buy to commemorate a visit to Coventry was a postcard or bookmark from the shop under the Godiva clock. Now with City of Culture on the horizon several new promotional products are coming our way.
CovKid is producing a new range of Coventry inspired designs to promote the city. They tell us that “Covkid came from two things:
1) An appreciation of the city’s post war design – architecture and art – much of which isn’t fully recognised – it is “hidden in plain sight”.
2) The shortage of Coventry things to buy for locals and visitor mementos in the run up to City of Culture. If we’re going to boost the visitor economy, we need things for people to buy that are iconically Cov! This is needed both to build local pride and to remind visitors to come back and tell their friends how great the city is.
The idea was to highlight design that is uniquely Coventry through a range of products using graphic reinterpretation – graphic art work inspired by key city features, not actual technical drawings. By highlighting the design, the city’s architecture and art features are more likely to be recognised, valued, preserved and enhanced.
“MidCentury” design is now cool and the city is pretty unique in the scale and quality of the post war reconstruction. Other cities have grasped this and bring in high spending visitors – such as Le Havre, which is now a World Heritage Site.
The first products were four mugs, produced in a limited edition of 250 of each. They feature the Cathedral, the Elephant building (Sports Centre), Broadgate House and the University’s Engineering & Computing Building.
“The core ethos is to go for a high quality special product, rather than mass market and the mugs are bone china.”
The mugs were launched at MIPIM, the international conference for property developers, earlier this year. A further four mugs are being launched in October and a range of tee shirts is also being produced.
One of the tee shirt designs that is really successful is the graphic reinterpretation of the Baptistry window in the Cathedral.
Tee shirts are now on sale at the Cathedral shop and there are bags and cushion covers coming of both this design and the Elephant which has proved very popular. Ladies scarves are also being made ready for Christmas 2019 with both a design inspired by the window and another by the tiled artwork in the lower precinct.
“The plan is to try things out and see what products and designs people like in preparation for 2021.”
The Covkid image for the Telegraph Hotel has recently gone up on the hoarding (see photo below).
CovKid mugs are also on sale at the Herbert Gallery and the Transport Museum.
Another company that has taken on the challenge of producing Coventry promotional products is Etch and Pin. They are producing enamel badges of some of the iconic buildings and features of the city, including the Elephant building and the Old Cathedral.
Their website states “Our limited-edition pin badges were launched in July 2018, with a brand-new badge released every month. Each badge has its own limited edition number and comes with a backing card displaying the limited edition number.”
The badges sell for £6 each with £1 from each badge sold donated to a local charity. To date, they have raised over £2,500 for Coventry charities. So far they have released 14 Coventry pin badges – all celebrating the city in various ways.
Another recent initiative is the creation of a new website and magazine called “Coventry Native”. According to their website “Coventry Native is home to inspiring and imaginative products made by some of the most exciting creatives in the city. We search, stock and collaborate with independent makers providing you beautifully made, independent products that support and sustain our community. We also publish features and interviews with individuals who are changing the future of creative culture in Coventry.”
The Native Magazine is produced quarterly and products, including cards and other memorabilia, can be purchased via their website.