Chris Clark from Milton & King: Reinventing Wallpaper For The Digital Age | #411

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Chris talks design, global expansion and the tech to support it all


With over 25 years of experience in graphic and digital design, Chris currently serves as the Marketing & Ecommerce Director at Milton & King, a global leader in wallpaper production spanning Australia, the United States and Europe.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by  Chris Clark, Marketing and Ecommerce Director at Milton and King

Chris built and ran his own successful design agency, but after it took multiple hits… first through COVID and then the Brisbane floods, he decided to take up an offer from an old friend and joined the luxury wallpaper company.  Launched in Brisbane in 2012, Milton and King has expanded into the UK and the US, recently opening its headquarters in Dallas.  In this chat Chris shares the unique on demand printing process Milton and King has developed, his web design dos and don’ts and how they have managed the huge growth explosion in the US market.

“Over the last 9 months, we’ve doubled revenue here in Australia…Wallpaper’s making a comeback!”

Chris Clark

Wallpaper 2.0 

“It’s definitely trending in Australia. Over the last nine months, we’ve doubled revenue here in Australia, so wallpaper is making a comeback. In the US it probably never left. In the US they love a pattern, they love textures. One house in the US might have three different kinds of size of wallpaper. But here in Australia, it’s more about stripes, plainer colours, simpler patterns. In Australia, it’s more smaller rooms. It could be a nook. It could be an ensuite. 

Being a Gen Xer, I grew up with wallpaper and my parents used to talk about horror stories about spending three weeks trying to remove a wallpaper with a hot iron and scrapers. I think there’s a lot of that needs to be debunked. Like if wallpaper these days is applied properly, you can remove a whole wall within two minutes. So it’s changed a lot.” 

Global system work flow

 “I looked at some figures the other day. In Australia, we’ve got 9 million households. In the US, there’s 127 million households. So the market’s a lot bigger. I don’t think we’re even scratching the surface really over there. We’re up against some competitors that have been around for 80, 100 years. And there were bricks and mortar and we’ve come in digital first. And yeah, we’re just kind of scratching the surface, I think we’ve got lots of room to grow.

All the technology that we’ve set up can work globally. So we’re currently kicking into the European market at the moment. Same technology, we might have to change shipping partners, for obvious reasons over there. But our global print manager is based in Toowoomba. He oversees everything that’s happening in the US and Amsterdam.  You can log in via the VPN, control everything, do print runs, utilizing Monday and from Woo Commerce and using Zaps. Everything just kind of flows really nicely and effectively.”

Design principles 

“It is just a common sense principle. It’s essentially just using traditional design standards really, logo top left, making buttons nice, big, bright, using lots of white space, typefaces, really important on typefaces. And I think getting back to the core design principles is looking at your line heights, your letter spacing, something that probably gets missed a little bit these days because everything is automated.”

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