For many people part of the Christmas tradition is writing Christmas cards for loved ones far and near. At Utility we offer a range of great cards including the funny and sometimes cheeky Dean Morris range. We interviewed Dean Morris himself, to find out more about his great cards, his career and what makes a great Christmas for him.
Tell us how Dean Morris Cards came about?
I used to make handmade cards for family or customizing ones that I had bought and after leaving university in wasn’t sure what I wanted to do – or what I could do. I was down in a fancy paper shop in London not long after finishing and I saw all this handmade paper and I thought I could make some cards to sell. That was pretty much it. No idea how I would keep it up but with some help from the Princes’ Trust and a bit of good luck the whole thing just snowballed from a part time job to full time all consuming career.
Your designs can be very rude, funny and entertaining, where do you get your inspiration for your cards?
From my own head and appreciation of retro. I try not to be inspired too much as I like to keep my own brand quite unique but internet memes always amuse me and otherwise its random ideas that pop into my head (usually at the worst times). I just design what makes me laugh and I hope there are others who have the same sense of humour as me.
Do you have a favourite card or favourite range?
My “Fabulous” range is probably the one I’m most known for and it’s the one I’m constantly adding to and developing and I hope it’ll still be around in 25 years when I retire. It’s classic Dean Morris; cheeky (sometimes filthy humour), great retro imagery and bold colours.
How would you describe your home?
Big and lot cheaper than what it would cost if it was in London. It’s a big huge Victorian townhouse with original features and I like to think decorated very well. I own a pinball machine now which clashes a bit but looks fabulous.
Do you have a favourite room or place to relax?
The bath. With my music and ideally a glass of something.
What is the most unusual gift you have ever been given?
A box of Lego from the year I was born. Not that unusual but very touching nonetheless.
Do you have a favourite national day i.e Valentine’s , Christmas, Halloween? Do you have any special celebrations?
I like the run up to Christmas, when I start to feel all festive and like the wind down of the year. The time in between Christmas and New Year is the only time I can be at home and not think about work as there is very little to do.
If you could invent a new national day, what would it be?
One people would love to send rude or funny cards for would be perfect.
How early do you start your Christmas shopping?
When I see something I buy it. This year I’m terribly disorganised and haven’t really started or even thought much about what I’m going to buy people.
What would you like from Santa this year?
A new dressing gown, ideally from Claridges.
If you were a crayon, which colour would you be?
That’s a silly question but probably red. I’ve quite a bit of a temper (or maybe I’m just a drama queen) but thankfully it’s not something many people get to see.
What is your favourite city on earth?
New York, without question. Been over 30 times, mostly for the dining scene and it’s somewhere I’ll never get bored of. There’s always loads of new restaurants I want to visit and the city never disappoints.
Do you think there is a secret to a successful business?
Hard work. Much longer hours than people who aren’t self employed think you actually work and find your niche and stick with it. Oh and probably not the best advice if you want to take over the world but try and be nice to people.
If you hadn’t become a designer/ businessman, what career do you imagine you would have had?
Probably still working in retail which is what I did before I embarked on this path and probably what I would go back to if everything goes wrong. Hope it doesn’t mind you.
What do you see going forward for Dean Morris Cards?
Loads more designs, an ever evolving look but ultimately the reason people like Dean Morris Cards will always stay the same. Good cheeky humour and I’ll never move from that. There will be new products and stuff but I always want it to be a fun friendly company with me at the heart of it.
Can you describe the company in one sentence?
A fun approachable business that doesn’t take itself too seriously.