Mint Publishing Unveils New Brand Identity And A Renewed Focus On Humour

Mint Publishing (part of the Mint Group, along with Museums & Galleries and Real & Exciting Design) is unveiling a fresh new brand identity as well as a redefined focus for the company that has humour right at its heart.

The Spring Fair marks the official launch of Mint’s new branding as well as the inaugural ranges under its new creative direction.

Having headed up the creative direction of Museums & Galleries for the last 10 years, Ben Dorney, recently promoted to group creative director, was delighted to broaden his role to include Mint and take on the challenge to redefine it as a brand as well as instigate a fresh approach to the ranges it publishes.

Alan and Debbie Williams, owners of the Mint Group, have made such a success of M&G since taking it over in 2013, but it was after all Mint’s success that bought the company. Mint Publishing has some very well-known ranges – Knit & Purl in particular – but as with any business you need to keep moving forward,” says Ben. “And with so many good publishers competing for retailers’ shelf space, it’s important to have a really clear offer. We felt it was time to redefine Mint’s offer for the future, and I’m delighted to be a part of that process.”

Above: Debbie Williams, who co-owns the Mint Group with her husband Alan, is also the person who knits the characters in the Knit & Purl range. 
Above: Debbie Williams, who co-owns the Mint Group with her husband Alan, is also the person who knits the characters in the Knit & Purl range.

It all began in earnest last Summer. “We started with the Mint brand itself. This is the core, and the point from which all actions – and product – springs,” explains Ben. “While Mint has had such success we wanted to really clarify what it stands for, what we offer to retailers that they can’t get elsewhere. It’s been a really interesting and rewarding process involving people from across the business. And by doing it, it’s re-energised everyone and we are able to create a much clearer offer; one that goes right back to the core of Mint as a family-friendly humour brand,” reveals Ben.

Above: Among the latest designs in Mint’s Knit & Purl range is this stick insect.
Above: Among the latest designs in Mint’s Knit & Purl range is this stick insect.

The new Mint branding, with the logo including an exclamation mark in place of the ‘i’, reflects the company’s humorous positioning. “The big statement is the rebrand of Mint Publishing. It’s the next step in our journey and a first step in a new direction,” believes Ben.

While Mint, has historically used creative consultants with rich industry experience, notably Jan Taylor (who developed Cool Britannia, Gardenia, Sweet Tweets among others), the decision to bring all creativity fully in-house coincides with the imminent move into much larger HQ premises in Corby which will accommodate a brand new Mint studio. The growing M&G studio is to remain in Frome, Somerset with Ben dividing his time between the two locations.

Above: Ben Dorney (right), who is now group creative director covering both Mint and Museums & Galleries with the group’s licensing manager Eddie Clarke and Dame Zandra Rhodes at PG Live last June which saw the launch of the licensed range from M&G.
Above: Ben Dorney (right), who is now group creative director covering both Mint and Museums & Galleries with the group’s licensing manager Eddie Clarke and Dame Zandra Rhodes at PG Live last June which saw the launch of the licensed range from M&G.

Spring Fair sees the launch of two brand new ranges from Mint that are being kept unwraps until the show itself. Both created by the in-house team Ben reveals that they are the fruits of “an open process of ‘no holds barred’ creativity!” with plenty more in the pipeline.

Above: Last year saw the start of Mint’s licensing agreement for greeting cards and some stationery based on the ‘Be a…’ brand that has proved so popular on books by Sarah Ford, illustrated by Anita Mangan.
Above: Last year saw the start of Mint’s licensing agreement for greeting cards and some stationery based on the ‘Be a…’ brand that has proved so popular on books by Sarah Ford, illustrated by Anita Mangan.

These two launches will join new additions to Knit & Purl (the characters featured are knitted by company co-owner Debbie Williams) as well as licensed collections Be a… (based on the books by Sarah Ford illustrated by Anita Mangan, and Mimi (based on the cartoons by Denise Dorrance that appear in the Mail on Sunday).

Mint Publishing will be exhibiting at Spring Fair (2-6 February at the NEC) on stand F27 in Hall 2.

Top: The fresh new flavour of Mint Publishing is reflected in its new branding.

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