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The Making of a Collaboration: Burleigh x Barneby Gates, Autumn 2023

At Pure, we deliver bespoke, high-impact brand positioning campaigns that generate compelling media exposure and ultimately support our clients’ bigger-picture business goals. In addition, we also pursue and organise brand collaborations, acting as the ‘middleman’ between best-in-class brands with shared visions.

The most successful brand partnerships tell engaging stories and tend to fall into one of two categories: an unexpected match or a highly aligned pairing. For example, the marriage of a heritage brand with a younger, more disruptive label can open up different markets, aligning both parties with new, highly valuable audiences. On the other hand, the union of two complementary brands with similar aesthetics brings something new to the table that will resonate with a strong existing, shared customer base.

Ultimately, these mutually beneficial brand partnerships are born from the merging of shared values, deliberate foresight, and strategic action. Pure has decades of experience in organising licensing deals and can advise you in identifying and bringing to life relevant partnerships that meet your goals. We know it’s not simply about reaching a massive amount of people or having a successful launch, but rather targeting the right consumers and fostering partnerships with longevity in mind.

Most recently, we’ve unified two leading British brands, Burleigh x Barneby Gates, in a wallpaper collaboration that celebrates the fusion of iconic British design. Designed and proudly printed in England, the partnership sees our client, Burleigh Pottery’s signature 1862 Asiatic Pheasants and 1968 Calico patterns reimagined into a contemporary wallpaper range, designed in-house and printed by Barneby Gates. A meeting of time-honoured craft skills, the collaboration celebrates traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations of craftspeople who all worked in the very same hallowed halls.

Burleigh’s fine earthenware has been handcrafted in a town called Burslem, in Stoke-on-Trent, since 1851. Its potters turn raw malleable clay into vibrant ceramics adorned with English country-garden florals and fanciful oriental motifs. The craft, which takes five years to master, involves engraving patterns onto copper rollers, which are then printed onto thin tissue and applied by hand to each vessel. The craftsperson rubs it down with a brush and soft soap, pressing the design into the pottery and softening the tissue which is then washed off. The ink is oil-based and water-resistant, allowing it to remain when the tissue is washed away. There are now just 12 craftspeople in the world who have this precise skill – and they are all makers at Burleigh.

Established in 2010, Barneby Gates is a quintessentially English wallpaper and fabric studio, known for its diverse range of prints, combining traditional printing techniques and historical reference with a contemporary twist. For this partnership, they turned to Gravure Printing – a process that can achieve the same fine level of detail as Burleigh’s tissue transfer technique. Using a large steel cylinder with a copper-chrome coating etched with diamond tips, the Gravure technique – where the pattern is engraved into the roller – allows for an intricate, tonal result using a single cylinder. It is this mutual commitment to authentic craftsmanship that makes the two brands such a compelling, harmonious match.

Burleigh's beloved designs have graced tables around the world for over 170 years. Pure is delighted to have brought the brand together with a like-minded design house, ultimately reconceptualising Burleigh’s iconic prints to fit the modern world through the medium of elegant wallcoverings – which can be imagined looking right at home in both town and country.

Feeling inspired? Explore more Pure design partnerships today, such as Matthew Williamson x Pooky Lighting, lights&lamps x Elle Decoration, and String x Monocle.

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