Homegirl London’s Interview: My Icon Story. Laura Robinson has developed a unique platform which offers customers a cool way to create and compose a bespoke art print. By selecting Laura’s minimal designed icons, you can tell your story whether it’s about a gap year, relationship or career. It is the perfect pesonalised gift for a friend, loved one, colleague or yourself! I caught up with Laura to find out more about her clever business concept called My Icon Story.
Tell Your Icon Story
Meet the Owner of My Icon Story
Laura Robinson is the owner of this business which she set up in January 2017. She tells me about her background – “I graduated in 2010 after studying Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at The University of Newcastle where I achieved a 1st. I worked at a small advertising agency during my studies and gained experience in the media and new business teams. During my last summer, I did a work placement at a big London Media agency in their sponsorship department. I loved coming up with creative and smart ideas for brands and decided that when I graduated I wanted to work in media.”
Meet Laura Robinson
Her dream came true after university, Laura elaborates – “I joined MEC (a global media planning agency) on their graduate rotation scheme. I stayed at the company for the next 6.5 years until I left in December 2016 to pursue my own business. I excelled really quickly at MEC and carved my own role after winning a Silver Young Cannes Lion award – for me it was like the Oscars of the advertising world. I was made the agency’s first Creative Lead in 2016 and went on to win many more awards for my work on Public Health England including a sought-after D&AD Pencil and Webby Award. That year I was also named a Media Week 30 under 30 rising star.”
Some may question why Laura decided to quit whilst on a very promising career trajectory. She explains why – “I’ve always had a knack for coming up with ideas and wanted to turn at least one of my ideas into an actual business. I’d been toying with leaving my job to fully commit to my design business for a year but my defining moment was in fact a very simple one. So many people loved my icon designs and the unique concept. I had a gut feeling and felt compelled to really give it my all so I decided to save up money to launch the business. I loved my job in media and the people I worked with so it was a really tough and emotional decision to make, but at least now I can look back with no regrets and say that I followed my dream and gave it a shot!”
Being the owner of a business can be very demanding, Laura explains – “I do absolutely everything from designing the products, managing the website, fulfilling orders and even the accounting. My background in brand communications, social media and marketing has been extremely useful.” Working out of her South Woodford flat in East London, keeps the running costs down for Laura. If she wants to connect with other people she heads off to Shoreditch House or the local coffee shop. Laura comments – “The perks of being your own boss include a flexible working day so I can take a class at the gym or watch an afternoon movie whenever I want!”
How My Icon Story Works
Laura tells me more about her business concept – “I design minimalist line icons of cities and landmarks, along with icons for hobbies, sport, transport, animals and more. Customers select the icons to tell their own personal story which could be about a gap year, a relationship or anything which has significance to them. This can then be turned into wall art and will also work on a mobile phone, tablet and desktop. If a customer is looking for a specific icon to complete their story I can design it for them free of charge. The colours for the background and icons can be customised. The final design will be a panoramic format which is printed on archival art paper with a conservation mount. Frames are available in ethically sourced solid wood, black or white choices.”
This idea is completely unique. It’s the first design-your-own print platform that uses icons to turn stories into bespoke wall art. It’s fun, interactive and the customer ends up with a personalised art print which they’ve helped to make. It’s the ultimate personalised gift because of the story it represents to the owner. Everyone has a story to tell and through the available icons you can tell this story. Icons include everything from a gap year, round-the-world trip, road trip, cruise, honeymoon, life moments, milestones and many more. If a customer cannot find an icon or are after something specific, they can simply use the form on website to request an icon which Laura will design and add to the site for free!
British Town and City Icons
Inspiration for Laura’s icons come from her love of travelling, she elaborates – “Exploring new cities exposes me to the architecture and cultural nuances in those locations. This has helped build my library of icons. But I think the greatest source of inspiration is simply talking to other people and sharing their stories. A simple conversation often triggers a wave of ideas for me.” Laura’s design heroes are Mini Moderns, she tells me why – “Not only are their designs awesome but I love how they have introduced new collections but still maintained their signature style. This shines through even when the subject matter between collections are completely different. I also take great inspiration from how they have developed their product range across so many categories.”
Buy My Icon Story Products
To find out more about this business and design your very own personalised icon story visit the My Icon Story Website. The prints are available in three panoramic sizes which accommodate different icon quantities: Small and Mighty is 4-6 icons, Inbetweener is 7-9 icons and Wall Hogger is 10-12 icons. Print prices range from £75 – £120 including the frame or from £39 unframed. Laura only ships to UK and Europe but can arrange other locations upon request. Laura can create minimalist icons or icon sets for brands, organisations or businesses. She can also licence her icons to feature on products. Laura is open to collaborations and creating limited edition ranges so get in touch if you have something in mind.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: My Icon Story. Thanks: Laura Robinson.