Designers are curious beasts. Inspiration is everywhere, at all times. We are all influenced by all that is around us and soak it up like a sponge. One slightly dull and cold weekend we discovering this hidden gem in London’s Fitzrovia: Pollocks Toy Museum.

Originally a shop and printers making miniature toy theatres dating back to the 1850’s. The museum was created during the 1950’s and 60’s by Marguerite Fawdry, after she bought Benjamin Pollock’s toy theatre business. It’s been housed at 1 Scala Street since the late 1960’s, where remains to this date.

This is a family run museum and toy shop. You go up and down the different floors enjoying both the buildings and toys, a great trip down memory lane (if you’re old enough). Anyone with an inner-child will love this place.

This brings us to what makes the visit to this museum relevant to branding. As graphic designers we couldn’t help but fall in love with many of the posters and packaging pieces we saw. They were so beautifully crafted. But more importantly, we loved how the toys, the building and the people running it made us feel. We love the museum as a whole, not an isolated element. It’s an immersive experience of sight, sound, smell, touch and atmosphere.

Bigger brands have learnt this lesson and have become masters of it.

To small businesses this should come naturally, but often they’d try to look like the big guys, emulating a certain look, but missing a very important point, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. People fall in love with the smaller guys because they love their story , what they’re about and why they do it. If as a small business you’re not getting that across people don’t get to know you, don’t get to love you and don’t remain loyal on your journey.

It’s not massive museum, which means that instead of feeling daunted you’ll get to enjoy every morsel of it. We heard David Bowie found it inspirational in the late 60’s when he lived near by. It has integrity, it feels like a collection by someone who loved what they do and followed their passion. We love businesses that think like that (and we want to work with you!).

Please do go and check the Pollocks Toys Museum for yourself and let us know how it made you feel.

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