A stitch in time...
Franklin Co is the industrial arm of Franklins Group, a family company started in 1956 right here in Colchester. Now they’re one of the largest sewing machine retailers in the UK – with distribution rights to many high-end brands. They needed a made to measure, e-commerce website with the ability to order products with multi-variant options.
While the site does feature machines straight ‘out of the box’, separate industry needs differ greatly from each other. A sailmaker and a fashion house both need sewing machines, but both require specialized functions. Supplying bespoke and unique orders necessitated a focus on creating accurate product filters and encouraging direct contact with Franklin Co. With their requirements in mind, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work!
Hightex Industrial machines are used for heavy duty sewing. They’re used in the automotive interiors, leather goods and accessories, saddlery, construction & sail making industries. Franklin Co is their sole distributor in the UK which means their branding is always shown together at trade shows. We were asked to design a new logo for Franklin Co that would distinguish them from their parent company, and complement the Hightex logo.
Our design team focussed on industrial imagery and strong typefaces, mirroring the site’s product offerings. We echoed Hightex’s branding by choosing a similar red, which also served as a departure from the blue and cool tones of their parent company. Using an image of a Hightex machine served a dual purpose; to further exemplify their sole distributor status, and to serve as a subtle tie-in to the Franklins Group’s logo which features a sewing machine, among other supplies.
While they started as a local business, Franklins Group and Franklin Co now have branches throughout the UK and have strong ties with top European brands. We created their site to act not only as a retail and information site but also as a functioning brochure to be used at trade shows.
Having a professional looking website helps promote future partnerships and can encourage new trade agreements. Which is why the new site for Franklin Co needed to look as impressive as the products they sell, you wouldn’t want a low-res picture for a top-shelf item! We kept the site layout precise and produced high-quality, high-resolution images to reflect it’s products.
Because the internet is a big place, there can be quite a bit of work needed in order to get noticed! We collaborated with a local online marketing agency during the initial design and build of the site to put SEO optimisation in place.
Many variants require many filters, and with over 200 products the overall amount of all possible changes was…quite a few! Everything from the brand of machine, pattern automation functions and type of needle had to be easily accounted for and simple to customize.
It was up to the development team to create the modifying categories and keep the links consistent between all the filters and cross-categories throughout the site. They added the ability to filter products by industry application, maximising specific Google searches and general usability.
We have a close working relationship with Franklin Co, they’re a five-minute walk away from us, and we’re happy to say their site is tailor-made for success.