Discovering New Stationery at Top Drawer #1: PaperBoy London

Last week I've met up with Emma and went to my second Top Drawer, which is a trade show that showcases a variety of brands: from homeware to fashion, gifts, and of course stationery and greeting cards!

In the paper section there were dozens of exhibitors, some I were familiar with, and some I just had the pleasure of stumbling upon on on that day. Because I know so many of you love discovering new brands of stationery just as much as I do, I thought I'd share some of my favourites in a small series of blog posts. Today, I'd like to introduce you to: Paperboy London

Paperboy's stand immediately caught my attention, not only because of the eye-popping palette of his products, but also because I'm a big fan of street art, and his collection definitely seemed to had taken inspiration from it.

As we approached the stand, Paperboy's founder and creative director, Matt, gladly talked us through the creative process and inspiration behind his first four collections: the NYC collection (black & white one) inspired by walking the streets of New York City at night, and incorporating taxtures and contrasts offered by the city skyline; the Time Square collection (neon one) bold and eye-catching just like the place it was named after. On some of the cards he incorporated googly eyes, which is a brilliant touch if you ask me! The Marfa collection (pastel one) which I'm told was named after a very small Texan city, refects its quirks and crative side.

And lastly, the one that might be my personal favourite: the Bushwick collection inspired by the colorful street art and murals found in this neighbourhood in Brooklyn.

What do you think of Paperboy London? ♥
ƒ. xx

See more of Parerboy London online: Instagram | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Creative Paper Letters by Designer Alex Swain

Back in September, I had the pleasure to meet Alex at the We Blog Design meet-up at designjunction.

He's a very talented designer, and when he got in contact to share an unusual paper project he'd been part of, I couldn't help myself but ask him if I could feature it here as I think it's abolutely unique and creative.

Working as I designer for the last 16 years, I’ve always had an interest in typography. I can’t explain why other than I love the collection of varied forms and the power they have as a system for language. I loved letterpress workshops at college, working with physical type was so much fun and I knew one day it would be great to make some letters of my own.
I am quite particular about the kind of typeface designs, leaning toward the Swiss style. My first attempt at designing some furniture led to the A Stool, which uses the Replica typeface designed by Norm in Zurich, for the basis of the ‘A' frame. The Replica letters are narrow at the base so were perfect for furniture as they wouldn’t trip you up.

Last year we discovered the materials company Surface Matters, who have a showroom just off Broadway Market in Hackney, London. They are the UK agent for an amazing sheet material called Richlite: ‘an incredibly durable material made from paper. The innovative surface is nonporous, heat and water resistant and is made from many layers of high quality FSC decorative paper.’ I enjoy working with sustainable materials so it was great to discover Richlite.

Combining my love for typography and their materials, we decided it would be great to collaborate on a project together. The outcome was an A to Z alphabet, CNC’d and then hand finished by the workshop called Shape Studio from Bristol.

At the same time as this project, Alex compiled an alphabetical list of design bloggers he like (in which I'm very honoured to appear under the 'F';

The A to Z list of design bloggers coincided with he project so it made sense to send each blogger their letter. The letters will be able to buy on our website soon.

Make sure to check out Alex's website and have a look at his wonderful creations, and while you're there, check out the bloggers list too, as if you're looking for more blogs to read, I guarantee you'll find something you like!

Thanks for reading!
ƒ. xx

// photo courtesy © Alex Swain

Exploring OXO Tower Wharf

Chances are, that if you've ever wondered around South Bank, at some point you'd have looked up at that old looking building with letter-shaped windows, and wondered what OXO means.

Well, the Oxo Tower has a rather interesting story, in fact: back in the 20's, the building was acquired by a meat company (producers of the "Oxo cubes"). The company wanted to feature the name of their product on the building façade in the shape of illuminated sign, but because this type of advertisement wasn't allowed back in the day, they came up with the idea of having letter shaped windows to circumvent the restriction. How clever?!

And now, the tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in South Bank, so much so that the wharf where it's located is named after it.

Although the tower is closed to the public, thanks to Coin Street and We Blog Design, an handful of us was able to have a private tour and climb up to the very top and enjoy a different view of the river banks.

The way up the tower is quite steep and uneven, and for me, also being moderately afraid of heights, it was was quite challenging at times, but definitely worth it. It was such a privilege and an incredible experience!

After taking in the beautiful view from the top of the tower, we had some time to wander around and discover some of the little design shops that have home in the Wharf.

What is most unique about this area, is that there's a concentration of special retail-workshops for contemporary designers, which means they don't only have a shopfront, but are also able to work on their products without leaving the shop; this gave them the perfect opportunity to hold workshops to involve the customers into the creative process, and also share the story behind their creations.

Although all the shops are worth a visit, two of my favourites are Wagumi and Snowden Flood.

Wagumi; You may know I have a soft spot for East Asian culture, espacially anything Japanese, so Wagumi is a little heaven for me. All their product are imported directly from Japan, and they make their mission to assist small producers, and to bring new life to traditional aesthetics and mediums.

Snowden Flood; Of course I had to mention this lovely shop! Snowden's shop offers a range of products designed in house, and by new and emerging designers, making it the perfect spot to look for more unique gifts and souvenirs (and cards and prints!).

All the shops are really varied: you can find 3D printed jewellery or crads and stationery, authentic japanese pottery and handmade textiles. So, if you're ever around South Bank, definitely take some time to explore the Wharf, and don't be afraid to ask questions if you're curious, as most of the shop owners will gladly chat with you and tell you more about what they make.

DId you know about Oxo Tower Wharf? ☺

ƒ. xx