A SURGE in demand for art prints during and since lockdown has prompted a design-led gift and stationery company to move into its first office.

Everlong Print Co has moved into an office in Hoults Yard, Newcastle, after a huge increase in orders.

“As the UK shutdown and everybody was self isolating our demand soared 100 per cent as people looked to decorate their homes, send gifts and recreate home bars. It was busier than Christmas,” explained Everlong co-founder Jonathan Branthwaite.

Everlong Print Co started as a passion project for Jonathan, who founded the company with his brother Matthew.

“I was looking for some prints for our walls at home and couldn’t find what I was looking for so we designed and printed our own. We then started giving the prints as gifts to family and friends and they proved so popular in 2016 we started selling art prints on Etsy, a global market for unique and creative goods,” explained Jonathan.

“Our range of art prints and greeting cards are themed around popular trends like cocktails, coffee, and house plants,” he added.

Orders steadily increased and then really took off after lockdown spiked an interest in interior design. The dramatic increase in orders led to a logistics problem for Everlong – up until March the company’s printing and fulfilment had been outsourced to the Branthwaite family print works in Cumbria. But they had to temporary close during the lockdown so Jonathan had to look for alterative.

“This was incredibly challenging as most businesses that were still open were providing limited services. After trying a couple of new suppliers it was obvious that the delays in service would prevent us from keeping up with demand,” he explained.

“So we split production in half. We invested in a large format printer and started printing the larger prints from my home and our parents were able to print and fulfil thousands of smaller prints and greeting cards from Keswick.

“Once the lockdown eased and things began to reopen we were expecting sales to drop back to normal levels. But they didn’t and my house was taken over with orders .

“Then to further complicate things, our parents received an offer out of the blue to sell the printing business with the local newspaper that had been in our family for more than 120 years. So we decided the time was right for us to invest in our own space to bring everything in-house and unite the design, printing and fulfilment – and found ourselves at Hoults Yard.”

Jonathan is responsible for the design and production side of the business, while Matthew, who lives in Spain, concentrates on marketing and business development. Everlong uses social media, and in particular Instagram, to attract customers, and as well as Etsy, sells via its own Shopify website.

The brothers were born and brought up in Keswick and both helped out in the family printing business during school holidays. The brothers both went on to study multi-media design at Northumbria University – four years apart.

Matthew worked as a web designer for a travel company while Jonathan worked for agencies in London and Newcastle before the brothers combined to launch their first company, which provided branding, web design and print services.

“We keep abreast of interior design trends through social media and magazines, and are now working to expand our range of prints and cards. Our Christmas cards went down really well last year and there’s a particularly healthy market for personalised cards,” Jonathan explained.

“We take our commitment to the environment very seriously and use sustainable and environmentally friendly materials whenever we can. Our prints have had great exposure with features online and in print, in publications such as Apartment Therapy, BuzzFeed, HuffPost, House Beautiful Magazine and Lonely Plant magazine,” he added.

For more information on Ever Long Print Co, go to www.everlongprintco.com or their Instagram account @everlongprintco and for more information on HyHubs, the company that owns and runs Hoults Yard, Hypoint and the new Haylofts office space in central Newcastle, log on to www.hyhubs.com.