Graham & Brown Visit: Day Two
Posted on 03 August 2016
After a full packed first day exploring the Graham & Brown headquarters in Blackburn, I was raring to go and excited to see what had been planned for the second day of our visit. We left Stanley House Hotel & Spa the luxurious backdrop to our evening discussions and made our way straight to the factory to discover the full process, from design to production. Being a huge fan of behind the scenes work, I was most looking forward to visiting the production line to witness the wallpaper being created by huge machines whizzing away around us.
Walking through the main doors, we were presented with a proud and rich history of the brand, having a chance to view photographs of the teams over the years, key events and defining moments for the brand. It was as if we had been taken back in time as we were taken to a room within a room, an original office, picked up and rebuilt in its entirety on the new site, which you can see at the bottom of this post. Displayed on a side table was my favourite item from the experience, an extremely old archive book that contained carefully displayed, dated and numbered wallpaper cuttings of each style that had been produced by Graham & Brown. I could have browsed through the designs for hours, exploring the evolution of wallpaper prints and designs but it was time to move on to the production line, exchanging the past for the present.
Adorning high visibility vests, we made our way into the main facility where wallpaper production is in full swing day and night. As we were guided around, wallpaper was literally flying above our heads from one machine to the next. Each turn and spin of the production line appears to add a new layer, texture, colour and finish to the paper as it is sent high speed across the factory in its final stages before it is packaged, ready to make its way onto the walls of the world. We were shown everything from the rollers with designs etched into their metal to create the patterns we admire to the overwhelmingly tall towers of paper in storage, waiting patiently before they are fed into the machines to continue their journey as we had just witnessed before.
The final part of our tour took us to the design room. The future of Graham & Brown where styles are studied, artwork is created and new lines of products are planned. Due to the development of these projects, I was unable to take any photos to share from this area of the tour. The designs must remain top secret until their launch dates but, with the exclusive preview that we were given, it is safe to say that some of the designs are very impressive indeed! Keep an eye on the Graham & Brown website for further details and launch dates.
It was an insightful and enjoyable two days that has given me a much wider understanding and appreciation for the brand. I will never look at wallpaper in the same way again!
I would like to thank the teams at Graham & Brown and Camron for being so hospitable, it was a pleasure to meet you all just as much as it was to discover the brand. I look forward to seeing the future of Graham & Brown unfold, knowing exactly how it got there.