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We've never been mad keen fans of those cheap thin plastic bags that they throw at you at the supermarket - except they did used to make rather handy little rubbish sacks from time to time... Anyway, when we heard that from October 5th 2015, large shops would be required by law to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags, we decided it was time to get behind the initiative. The aim of the change in the law is to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags, and the litter they can cause, by encouraging people to reuse their own bags.
Although the slightly more expensive "Bags for Life" which are still being sold can be rather nice and colourful, they are made of non-biodegradable plastic and more often than not, provide cheap advertising for the large supermarket that provides them.
So that's why we came up with the idea of the Keep it in Kent shopping bag...
For us it would definitely tick lots of boxes (not wanting to hurt any birds with the proverbial stone!):
So there you have it. We sent messages around to everyone we knew through social media and our mailing list, to see if we could find any designers who'd be happy to submit their ideas for a design. We received a small number of great designs, and after some deliberation, decided to go for the one submitted by Gavin Munnings from Stonk Creative...
Once we'd shared the good news with Gavin, we asked him to tell us a bit more about himself, and why he'd entered the design competition. Here's what he told us:
"Okay, I had been developing an illustration style for a while that basically included representations of certain buildings, a sort of cartoony style with a straight feel also. While I was putting ideas together for these buildings I didn’t really have much of a clue where I might use them, Or at least start using them.
I was browsing Twitter one day when inspiration was failing me for a job I had to do when I noticed Keep it in Kent had tweeted asking for designers to submit a design for tote bags. I like the idea behind the Keep it in Kent campaign and I'm a guy that prefers the older values, buy meat from butcher, veg from a greengrocer, fish from a fishmonger, bread from a baker etc. I know where the produce comes from and its usually so much better quality.
Anyway, I thought I may be able to use my illustration style to draw some high street type buildings and include some of the beauty of Kent that surrounds us. I live and work in Dymchurch by the sea and love the fact that one side of me is miles of sandy beaches and the other side is acre upon acre of countryside, so, I started with a very rough sketch….(see pic) which I then gradually started to convert into a digital style.
After a few changes I decided on a final outcome and sent it off to Steve and Tina.
I hadn’t expected to win but I did! I was and still am chuffed to bits about it. I love seeing my work out in big wide world, its a very satisfying feeling.
I used to own a large print firm in Kent and I know how it feels to compete with the internet based companies. Its hard. Yes we can all be internet based, I design websites for companies and help them get an online presence but if you’ve ever had to keep a shop or factory premises going with full time staff you’ll know how tough it can be and how nice it is when local people support you. It can mean everything to your local business."
We hope you'll agree that Gavin's a rather talented designer, and more's the point, we hope you like the design we chose! We received the first sample bag, hot off the press, today - and they're going into production this week in very good time for Christmas! If you'd like to buy one (or more!) they are available now to order from our website, and a hopefully from a few independent shops around Kent that would like to stock them.
Here's a bit more about Gavin and his business, Stonk Creative:
My name is Gavin Munnings and I am a freelance graphic designer / illustrator with over 20 years experience in various forms of design, print and sign manufacture. Up until 2009 I owned a wide format print company servicing clients such as Adidas, McCains, Lloyds Bank, V festival to name a few. The reason I closed the business in 2009 is because I had two heart attacks at the age of 40. This was a life changing situation for me and my family so I decided to try and take the stress from my life somehow.
I started Stonk Creative working from a home office offering freelance graphic, website design and illustration services.
These days I work mainly with small to medium enterprises, entrepreneurs and start ups as I offer some great little packages for anyone starting a company and I have a good deal of experience in brand identity building.
Day to day work includes designing anything from a simple business card, logos, flyers, signs etc to affordable promotional mobile apps and websites for companies needing a beautiful online presence. Of course illustrating takes up a lot of my time also and is really my main passion, drawing artwork for magazine articles, character design, anything really. I consider myself really easy to work with and for my sins I always over deliver to clients, probably not the best business practice but giving a little extra help or an added bit of thought or time when working on a brand or logo goes a long way to keeping customers coming back. I even have a pay monthly system to enable any size customers to purchase an mobile application for their business available at www.stonkapps.com and Stonk Creative design prices are split into three parts over the duration of the design to help your cashflow.
If you need help with your company image/branding or an illustration to promote a product get in touch, I’ll be very happy to discuss what you need and find a suitable outcome that won’t break the bank.