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Tinker & Toad

Where antique meets the modern and vintage nestles with contemporary.

The Client

Named in honour of the nearby privately owned country house estate, second hand shop Toad Hall traded in Rotherfield for over three decades before being passed onto our client. Since leaving behind a life as a financial broker in the city, our client’s passion for beautiful interior design products gave birth to Tinker & Toad, an emporium bringing a unique range of antiques, home accessories and modern furnishings to the surrounding Sussex areas.

Alongside its striking collection of home products, the store also includes lighting, art, clocks, outdoor furniture kits and gift sets. Tinker & Toad also buys and restores second-hand furniture and offers a rental services for sets and events.

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The Brief

The client wanted a new brand identity to differentiate itself from the well-established shop that preceded it. This would also help establish the business online via its new eCommerce platform.

Branding

Whilst we knew this was a fresh start for the business, we were quick to encourage the client to maintain the ‘Toad’ link in the name of the business. This was not only to honour the nearby Toad Hall, a famous local landmark, but also to draw comparisons to Kenneth Grahame’s classic British novel The Wind in the Willows, who’s main character Toad was obsessed with his luxurious Toad Hall residence.

At the client’s suggestion, we considered the idea of a Tinkerer. This was defined as someone who roams around, fixing various items of interest, possessing a great technical knowledge of various bits and pieces. We loved the visual identity which the name conjured, and as simple as that, Tinker & Toad was born. We were very happy as it maintained links to the history of the area, but with a new twist that established our client’s identity as its own.

Web Design & Development

Having established the branding, we were eager to transfer our ideas to the new Tinker & Toad website. We knew our client’s website would need to be simple to use, manage, and would need to be updated regularly, so we settled on WordPress, a user-friendly content management platform, and built the eCommerce functionality in WooCommerce.

To reinforce the image of Tinker & Toad as new whilst still retaining the traditional feel, our design team worked to create modern assets such as custom typography and crisp imagery which would blend with the rustic, vintage aesthetic of the website design. This would be further bolstered by a brooding dark colour-pattern which mirrored the physical store.

From a user experience design perspective, the website assisted the buying journey by showcasing Tinker & Toad’s product range easily, and keeping navigational options open on every page of the website.