Clare Connect News Sheets

A little bit of history behind this post

I joined Clares Retail Equipment a few months after graduating as an Industrial Designer from Bristol Polytechnic in 1985. I was employed as a Technical Illustrator and Visualiser within the Shelving Division. Sitting at the back of the Drawing Office, my role was to turn the manufacturing drawings into simple images. 

These black line drawings were used for parts recognition by everyone outside the engineering department, from warehouse pickers to assemblers and fixers on site.

The parts catalogue ran to over 27,000+ individual components. The majority of these were single parts used within larger more complex assemblies for which descriptive exploded drawings were also required. All of this was a key reason for employing industrial artists, designers and technical illustrators before Computer Aided Design (CAD) replaced the need for these, labour intensive, specialist skills.

It was tedious work. I took every opportunity to educate my immediate manager of the need for more interesting work to be completed. Creative tasks more suited to my reasons for becoming a Designer and more likely to gain me Chartered Designer status some years later. More conceptual and innovation based rather than being a human photo copier.

I left the company in April 1995 having moved through a number of roles, in the ten years I was there, once I had extracted myself from the back of the Drawing Office.

That journey ultimately resulted in taking a more customer centric role within the Corporate Marketing and Customer Development team, part of which produced the Connect News.

I have no idea if there were any issues of the Connect News after 1993. I have a very vague recollection of a series of cuts within the company after that time which may have been the cause. It is simply the last issue I have a copy of.

If you were in any way connected with the company during this time, I hope you find these entertaining to read. If you have a copy of any issues after No. 7 then please send me a copy and I will add it here.

About the Author

I'm Sam Finlay, the founder of moreVisible and I originally trained as an Industrial Designer back in the early 80s. My career developed from technical illustration and visualising within the manufacturing sector, to design consultancy servicing high street retailers and brands, visualising future products, explaining how these would look or function for B2B presentations. Before moving my creative skills into online video & animation production for the digital economy in 2008.