Recently we had a catch up with Yorkshire Legend, Julia owner of Dialectable. Julia has generously shared her experience of becoming an established greeting card and gift designer. Discussing her design influences, love for language and the building blocks of her Yorkshire brand.
Dialectable was started in September 2013 from a love for language and local dialects. Within 6 months the first range was created, launched and retailer ready. Almost 10 years on Dialectable has grown to a range of over 200 greeting card designs along with mugs, notebooks and even Jams! A one stop shop for Yorkshire lads and lasses!
All things Yorkshire…
What’s the best thing about being based in Sheffield?
The humour of locals, and the proximity of Peaks.
If you could collaborate with any other Yorkshire business, who would it be and why?
Yorkshire Tea. That would be a collaboration made in heaven. Nowt goes with our mugs better than Yorkshire tea.
What other Sheffield based independents/creators do you admire?
Pete McKee, James Green, Richard Hawley.
What is your favourite Yorkshire phrase?
Anything with ‘shite’ in it!
What is your favourite Yorkshire food?
All things Greeting Cards..
As the business owner, what does a day at Dialectable look like?
Every day is different. The basics are always fulfilling retail and trade orders. We do all the warehousing aspects directly from our office in Heeley now, so that side of things can be busy. It often means we barely have a square inch that isn’t covered with cardboard.
I’m also ordering, projecting, preparing marketing campaigns, doing artwork..all sorts of stuff.
My office manager Sarah is a total legend though, and she mops up loads of the graft. We get on great and I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Where are you from and how does this influence your work?
Hull. Definitely an influence as Hull dialect is very unique and different to the rest of Yorkshire. I’m now a hybrid of East and South Yorkshire after having lived in Sheff for 30+ years. The Hull accent is a bit of a talking point, as its flat vowel sounds are really distinctive. Maybe that’s where my interest started. Yorkshire people are very patriotic about their county and proud of their accents. It seemed right and proper to offer a card and gift line that reflected that.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I think that colour is just about my favourite thing. I also love fonts. So Dialectable was kind of born out of being passionate about both. I love retro poster design and bold graphics. Classic Penguin book covers from the 50s and 60s are wonderful and definitely inspired me.
What makes Dialectable unique?
The products are humorous but the designs are classic and quality is premium. Sometimes cards and gifts that are considered ‘fun’ can also be a bit naff. We pride ourselves on being amusing and tasteful at the same time.
What is your proudest business moment?
Maybe being shortlisted for Gift of the Year the first time I applied. But actually I just love it when I’m working a stand and I hear people killing themselves laughing as they browse the cards. And then they say something like “‘av you come up with this?… it’s brilliant!”. Those moments are the best 🙂
Do you have any tips for designing greetings cards?
If you have an idea, draft it and keep reworking until it’s 110%. My design looks simple, but it wasn’t simple to create. I had the concept – but I had to harness it in a design that would work over and over again and stand the test of time. And whenever I do something slightly different with it – I have to rework it billions of times until I know it’s perfect.
A huge thank you to Julia for her time and honest answers. We love seeing Julia’s iconic (and sometimes very cheeky) designs pass through our printers here at Loxleys. The added benefits of being just around the corner means Dialectable is able to collect their latest greetings cards hot of the press, printed, banded and ready to go.
Shop the Dialectable chuffin’ great shop here: www.dialectable.co.uk