Say hello to ...
Hil Beavan (officially Hilary but always sounds a bit too grown up for me) from Which Glasses Are Which
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
My real company is a graphic design agency that I run with a chap I met at art school, oooh quite a long time ago! We have a small team of designers and work for all sorts of people from big transport companies to animal charities and everyone in between! So when I had the idea to create these glasses cases, I knew we could create the designs ourselves, although I had never printed anything on tin before!
Describe your typical working day ...
I shouldn’t really be packing glasses cases during the day but I can’t resist if an order comes in! Recently we were the Guardian “Buy of the Day” so we’ve had quite a few. I have a long commute to and from work and find I have most of my best ideas on the M4 – something about unhooking your “work” brain and letting things cook.
What is the best thing about your job?
Solving problems. I am always thinking up ideas – some we make happen like Which Glasses Are Which, others could be commercial but will probably never get produced, and some are completely off the wall. Previous sensible ideas include a record label; off the wall is best summed up by our Shelf of Shame.
Do you use any specialist techniques or equipment to create your products?
No – although printed on tin the design process is the same (we did go through a few proofs to get the colour just right)
Your products …
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
I am particularly fond of the music glasses case, probably because playing music is my other passion (hence the need for glasses!) as well as design. My parents were both professional orchestral musicians but for some reason I didn’t start playing til about 15 years ago. I have tried to include one of each major group of instruments on the case – strings, woodwind, brass etc – so I don’t upset any of my orchestral colleagues!
What are the most popular products in your range?
Currently we have three designs – music, driving and reading glasses cases - but we are working on more! It actually entirely depends where they are sold as to which is most popular, funnily enough.
What are you working on at the moment?
See above – we’ve had several requests for particular designs.
Your inspiration …
What inspires your products?
I really did invent these cases because I needed them! Couldn’t believe nobody had thought of it before – I searched everywhere for a helpful case telling you what’s inside, but no luck. Lots of people have the multiple glasses confusion problem and I have seen handwritten notes sellotaped to lids, initials nailpolished on top, bits of masking tape etc… So they are thrilled to find my cases!
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
I love Angie Lewin’s work – discovered in a gallery a few years ago and I always keep a stack of her cards to hand. I bought her book and I really enjoyed seeing how the designs evolved. I also like Pennychoo cards witty take on retro.
What current or upcoming trend are you're coveting?
I like the fresh Scandinavian colours which are around at the minute.
Quick questions ...
What is your favourite book?
Anything by James Thurber – he makes me laugh and I love funny writing.
What is your favourite film?
Not a great one for films, but I loved Sense and Sensibility – so real.
What is your favourite card or gift brand?
St Jude’s (Angie Lewin’s publisher)
What is your favourite website or blog?
I quite often find interesting images on colourliving, but I need to get out and about more on the blog world!
What can't you live without?
What is your guilty pleasure?
The Great British Bake Off – love it!
Thank you Hil!