Enhancing the retail experience for National Trust visitors

National Trust: Sheffield Park & Garden

The client

We work with our client, the National Trust property Sheffield Park & Garden (SPG), East Sussex, on a regular basis. Projects we have undertaken for them include estate interpretation and wayfinding projects, as well as print, signage and interior design.

The brief

We worked with SPG on a project to redesign the tearoom and retail area. These areas are important to the National Trust, both commercially and reputationally, as visitors come to expect the opportunity to stock up on souvenirs and to sit down for a break, with a cup of tea and a slice of cake. A refresh would hopefully make them more appealing to visitors, encouraging increased spend.

Project requirements

The design for the tearoom and retail space needed to be fresh and modern but at the same time, needed to be sensitive towards and align with SPG’s Spirit of Place and its heritage. The design also needed to be done within the spirit of the overarching National Trust brand.

What we delivered

We drew heavily on elements from the SPG estate and its rich history when we were working on the project, so that any visitor in the tearoom or retail space got a real sense of place. For example, we incorporated the SPG weathervane into a stencilled wayfinding arrow to direct visitors into the tearoom, form the retail area. We also created a wall graphic featuring a black swan swimming in a teacup – the black swans representing Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s black swans, which were moved to SPG during the Second World War for safety.

One standout feature we designed into the retail space was a bookshelf in the shape of a stylised tree which we felt provided a nice link to the many wonderful tree species that exist in the SPG gardens and wider estate.

To complement the tearoom design, we also created some new SPG-branded packaging, allowing SPG to start selling own-label food products should they wish to do so in future.

Other Projects

  • ”You completely nailed the project.”

    Philip Barnes - General Manager, Standen House & Garden

  • “Since Sherlock began our rebranding, The Mulberry Bush Organisation has raised more money, has increased the children’s referrals from Local Authorities so that we now have a waiting list, has attracted celebrities... and has hugely raised our profile among the professionals.”

    Jane Smiley – Head of Communications, The Mulberry Bush Organisation

  • ”Our project had a tight turnaround time, but Sherlock showed a quick grasp of the brief, and provided excellent customer service, flexibility and professionalism.“

    Kate Anderson - Projects and Office Manager

  • “We are thrilled with Sherlock’s work – it did absolutely everything we were hoping for... we’re particularly delighted by their attention to detail... They have also read the space very well which, although it’s a blank canvas, needed to be carefully considered...”

    Emily Hogan - Development Manager, Little Green Pig

  • “Sherlock have been brilliant to work with, very flexible, creative and have enabled us to marry the brand with our key exhibition spaces so our story is continuous.”

    Karla Barnacle-Best - Chief Executive, Discover Children‘s Story Centre

  • ”We have found Sherlock creative and responsive, delivering design solutions which fit the brief but also pushing its boundaries. They have always been there to help us out when we needed them and have always managed to maintain a friendly and funky working relationship with us.”

    Sally Ann Lycett - Director of External Relations, De La Warr Pavilion

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