Picture Frames - present our framed vinyl album cover
artwork. Unusual gifts for him and her
bemoans the loss of the 'album experience' with the advent of
digital. That is, you can't see, feel, read, admire, display
and cherish an MP3 like you could an LP.
In 'my day',
the album cover would be a key part of the experience of
buying music - often the motivation for buying it. The
excitement of getting the album home, putting it on the
turntable and listening to it for the first time matched by
the enjoyment of admiring the album cover artwork and reading
the detailed sleeve notes telling us everything we wanted to
know about the recording and the artist.
talks to Kirstie at Playable Picture Frames. Kirstie has come
up with an innovative way to display classic Album Cover Art
and also be able to play the albums inside.
What was the inspiration for Playable Picture Frames?
Kirstie: The thought, “I can’t bear to throw away my old record
albums” was strong enough to inspire the creation of the
Playable Picture Frame. In essence, a record
collection is more than just space-taking, dust-collecting
vinyl, it is a moment of your own personal history and as such
understandably hard to part with.
Digger: Can you tell us a little about the service and products you
Kirstie: The Playable Picture Frames Company has gathered a range of
old favourite record albums from a multitude of genres, to
enable you to select a record album which is particularly
special to your friend, partner or relative and by choosing
from a black or silver finish to suit their specific
environment, you can really personalise your gift of a
Playable Picture Frame. Your selection will then be neatly
packed in our funky pizza style box along with a delightful
gift card with your message in it, and dispatched to an
address of your choice in the UK.
In addition, we also sell just the frame for those of you who
still have your own original record collection. The Playable
Picture Frame is designed to be top loading, the ease
which the record can be changed whilst the frame still hangs
on the wall enables one to change the album displayed to suit
your mood or season. The frame is double-sided so
that both the front and back of the record album can be easily
viewed without the need to remove the record from the frame.
The protective front sheets prevent the cover from being
damaged whilst being displayed and appreciated.
Digger: What sort of feedback are you getting from clients?
Kirstie: To date, we have had very positive feedback from our
customers. As a gift, the Playable Picture Frame is as easy to
order as a delivery of flowers but can be so much more
personal and obviously lasts for much longer. As a
Birthday Gift it can be a nostalgic trip back to teenage
years, a rare album (which will increase in value) or perhaps
a children's album in the silver anodised frame makes a very
unusual Christening gift, and the love song albums have
proved quite popular as wedding gifts. To be surprised
by the postman with what looks like a "stale pizza"
and discover a long forgotten treasure, seems to create the
intended feel-good factor.
Digger: With MP3 and digital we have lost the beautiful album cover
artworks and sleeve notes and that whole album experience.
What are your thoughts on that?
Kirstie: You're absolutely right. In this modern age most music can be
found at the touch of a button, but in my teenage years buying
a particular track by a favourite band could be a time-
consuming business. Even more so, if your penchant was
for music by independent labels that were not readily
available in chain stores but had to be sourced from
backstreet record shops. A whole day could easily be
spent hopping on a bus, finding the record shop and thumbing
through row upon row of vinyl. Finding a rare pressing or
picture disc was a wonderful feeling, an inner sleeve with the
lyrics was a bonus, the artwork on a new album much
anticipated. In my mind this is a definite example of
where progress has been made with sacrifice, one that sadly
our children do not miss because they were never able to
experience it, but I do wonder if they enjoy the music as much
when they haven't had the challenge of finding it.
Digger: What genres and styles have you got and can you source
specific titles or artists for people?
Kirstie: We have tried to include all styles and
genres. Our selection
has been determined by those albums that still possess a good
clean cover, which in turn offers a nice piece of artwork
once in the Playable Picture Frame. However, some albums are so
old or rare that we have listed them but always clearly state
any major flaws if there are any. Obviously a
phenomenal number of records were produced over the years and
it would be impossible to stock them all. We will always
endeavour to obtain an album that isn't listed, but obviously
these would have to be quoted on an individual basis.
We haven't just focused on the music side either, we have
included Film Soundtracks, Comedy sets, Children's TV, sport
commentaries and other vintage recordings that might strike a
chord with our customers. So if you select a record for
its whimsical memories, “the first time you ……” or for
it’s icon status, or purely for the artwork of the cover,
the Playable Picture Frame will transform it into a beautiful
addition to your home. Whether it’s for a Birthday,
Wedding, Anniversary or Christening, the Playable Picture
Frame is certain to delight the most challenging of
Digger: What are the most enjoyable aspects of what you do?
Kirstie: I love searching for the records, sifting through the old
albums and finding a treasure, being able to use (or should I
say recycle) records and combining them with a tasteful,
aluminium frame (of superb quality.) I am able to transform
these boxes of yesterday's nostalgia and recreate them as
today’s retro artwork displays.
It’s great to be green and as a gift the Playable Picture
Frame is “extracting the bare minimum from Earth’s
precious capital”. The Playable Picture Frame is made and
designed in England (how often can you say that these days) by
a local manufacturer, and is constructed from recyclable
aluminium. Although sourcing ethical manufacturing does have a
knock on effect on the price! Likewise the cardboard
pizza style box your gift is despatched in can be reused.
Perhaps to store a handful of favourite record albums so the
image can be changed in your Playable Picture Frame. The
majority of our record albums are sourced from a variety of
charities, and by making a donation we are able to reuse these
redundant records, reducing potential landfill and supporting
worthy causes simultaneously.
Finally, when you dispatch a Playable Picture Frame as a
surprise gift and enclose the sender's message, your feel like
you are sending someone sunshine.
Digger: What are your personal Retro passions?
Kirstie: Gosh that is such a difficult question, probably because I
have so many. But I would say top contenders are Morris Minor
Travellers, tea from a teapot with tea cosy, home baked chocolate cake, with Tony Hancock on the radio or Benny Hill
on the television. Oh, and absolutely bring back Top of
the Pops, my Thursday nights are just not the same without it!
Digger: What are your plans for Playable Picture Frames in the
Kirstie: To expand on our wide selection of record albums, and to
continue to provide a good service to our customers. It
would be nice to expand on our gift range to incorporate other
retro products, but that will definitely be a for the future
Whether the occasion is a Birthday, Wedding,
Christening, or Anniversary our Playable Picture Frames are a
unique and wonderful, personalised gift that are certain to
Select from our range of vintage vinyl, your favourite
records and classic albums, then combine with our tasteful
aluminium frame of superb quality and boxes of yesterday's
nostalgia are recreated as today's retro artwork displays.
Categories include Rock, POP, Vintage to a range of other
If you can't find what you're looking for you can Request a
Record and we will try to locate it for you.
The top loading mechanism of the frame, enables the easy
placement or removal of the album, so that the artwork of the
album's cover can be displayed on the wall but still allows
easy access to the record to enable you to play it.