Purdy’s Pet Shop, a new, community-orientated shop specialising in pet food and accessories, approached FabLab Coventry to help them develop environmentally sustainable packaging. The process of design and development mediated between FabLab volunteers and the proprietor led to a very positive working relationship, with the FabLab subsequently being asked to create lettering for the prominent shop signage.


In (October / November) 2019, FabLab Coventry was approached by Rebecca Harrington, who was planning to launch a new pet shop in Coventry. Previous, she had worked for a popular pet shop which had closed down, and she was concerned that there was a lack of support for pet-owners in her local area.
Rebecca had very determined principles around promoting responsible pet ownership, supporting the invaluable role pets often play in the lives of isolated people, and environmental sustainability. Her initial approach to the FabLab was with a request for stencils so they could offer branded non-plastic bags to customers. FabLab’s regular volunteer and Digital Fabrication L1 and L2 alumnus, Adam, took the lead on the project helping to develop and create different possible solutions.


Continuing with the theme of environmental sustainability, stencils were the first go to so their sustainable jute bags could be branded with the Purdy’s logo using biodegradable paints.
After careful consideration and the materials that are usually cut at FabLab (acrylic plastic and plywood), Adam explored different material options in regards to sustainability, drawing upon polypropylene sheets, despite their rare use in FabLab up to date, provided a more suitable option for use as a stencil, largely due to its flexibility and durability.

Adam’s artwork showing various iterations of the original stencil design 

Adam, then quickly went to work on digitising the art work, creating prototype in card throughout the design process, evaluating and creating modifications within the design to create suitable a solution.
Mid way through the process, the shop made the decision to change their choice of font, however having created one stencil, the changes were easily addressed to create a second version.

The re-worked stencil designs with stronger bridges. 

Once the re-worked stencil design was approved, the stencils were created in a range of sizes to be used on the hessian bags with biodegradable paint.
During the process and conversations around stencils, Rebecca questioned the possibility of laser cutting the wording for the shops sign, “Purdy’s”. Again, Adam managed to quickly convert the pre-existing artwork into suitable design formats for laser cutting, including the addition of fixing points on each letter, before using large sheets of acrylic plastic to laser cut each individual letter, with the sign equally a total length of roughly 2 meters.


Purdy’s Pet Shop has a very strong community ethos, and they connected well with FabLab’s aspiration to help out. Rebecca had inspired many members of the community to help create the shop and FabLab was proud to be a part of that effort, providing facilities that would otherwise have been beyond their reach.
Purdy’s had their official grand opening of the shop on 12th December 2019, with FabLab volunteers, staff members and four legged friends attending to shop support.

FabLab Coventry’s Technical Skills Instructor, Kev and friend, at the grand opening. 

This collaborate to train project proved highly successful on a number of grounds:

  • The business obtained valuable design support to suit their environmental sustainability goals.
  • The placement gained credible experience in technical computer design and fabrication techniques to meet a niche brief.  
  • The project fell nicely into FabLab’s goals of supporting local communities and new enterprises with a focus surrounding sustainability development goals.

Thank you Adam, for the stencils and signage. I really enjoyed producing them with you, it was great fun. I appreciate all your help with this.

Quote from Purdy’s proprietor, Rebecca
Collaborate to Train – Purdy’s Pet Shop
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