We’ve given ourselves, and our website, a fresh lick of design. Coinciding with the imminent opening of our second store in London, this marks an extremely exciting time for us - and we can’t wait for you to be a part of it!
We sat down with Kristine from B, lead designer on the rebrand, to get the inside knowledge on paper stocks, colour ways and her own influences.
Shop online now, and keep an eye out for new goodies dropping in store over the next few weeks!
Hei! So, this was all very exciting. Papersmiths and B are sisters, and I walk through Papersmiths every morning to get to our office, so I know it pretty well. Which also meant it was a great challenge to rebrand. The colours needed to be right: fun - but not too quirky, fashionable - but not trendy, and happy - but not garish. We ended up picking them from three papers made by Italian manufacturers Fedrigoni. It made sense to pick the colours from something tactile and expertly crafted.
There are a lot of well branded stationery shops out there, and also a lot of stationery cliches that I wanted to avoid, so we added a pattern to give a genuine feel to the brand. I did this by collecting the squiggles that people had made whilst testing different pens on the tester pads in store. There are no rules to these, which is really fun.
Our rebrand coincides with the opening of our second store in London. Both locations are similar in terms of creativity, entrepreneurship and community but did you face any challenges in honouring the vibe of both cities?
The Bristol store has a very natural feel. It’s full of texture, with lots of plants and wood in original shades. I think London is the opposite; it’s fully kitted out like a pretty pink dream. Therefore, I thought of Bristol as the terracotta colour, and London as the blush pink. The teal blue compliments both colours, and ties both shops together, keeping the branding consistent.
If Papersmiths were a person, how would you describe them?
Crafty, clever and overall pretty great!
Talk us through the different deliverables you’ve created for us.
There were so many deliverables for this project - I think it was about 48. This included the wrapping paper, tester pads, and printed items, as well as packaging for both in store and online purchases. There were also a few interior elements; window decor, a snazzy new A-board, POS, and of course the website which Ben designed.
Can you humour our inner paper geek and tell us about the Fedrigoni paper stocks?
The three brand colours were picked from Fedrigoni papers. We all really liked the idea of taking inspiration from something tactile and taking this to the computer, instead of the other way around. There are two different paper stocks. ‘Woodstock’ has a grain to it but is still super smooth, and ‘Materica’ which has a really distinctive texture, almost like a terracotta pot.
Talk to us about the book bag. The Papersmiths team have been wanting a reusable bag for so long!
It is very exciting. We had them made through a brilliant company called Wurlin, who sent us a tonne of fabric samples. We designed it from scratch, from the size of the pen-pocket, to the position of the tab.
So Kristine, are we right in thinking it was Norway Day yesterday? We assume you celebrated in scandi style. What did you get up to?
Hipp hipp hurrah! Norway Day is my second favourite day of the year, it trumps my birthday (but obviously isn’t grander than Christmas). The day started with a champagne breakfast, and continues with smorgasbord throughout the day. The main priority for me yesterday was to eat ice cream - at least 3 must be eaten. I was also office DJ - there was a lot of Todd Terje and A-ha.
What brought you to Bristol?
Studio B did! I was studying and working in Falmouth, which was really great, but also a bit too quaint.
What inspires you as a designer?
I really like odd furniture and ugly paintings.
Name an artwork or piece of design that you love. Why do you love it so?
There are two items that really inspire me. One is ‘Plastic Chair in Wood’ by Maarten Baas. I find it intriguing that he’s taken the familiar and unappreciated shape of a standard mass-produced plastic chair and captured it through fine craft.
The second is the Ecce Homo / Ecce Mono (Behold The Monkey) by Cecilia Giménez. I just really admire her confidence, and how she kept on painting, thinking she was doing a mighty fine job. I prefer it to the original really.
Your work for B is so playful and cheeky, and we often see you getting stuck in with paper, scalpels and plenty of paint around the studio. In what way does stationery and / or paper play a part in your creative process?
I really like paper. As I’m sure most of the shoppers at Papersmiths can appreciate, there is something extra fun about the tactility of paper. So I use it whenever I can.
What advice would you give to budding young designers?
I still consider myself a budding young designer, but I’ll give this my best. I guess finding a team / studio with a great atmosphere, and where they respect your style and ethos. This is really important to me. I also think that you should always try and keep a personal flair to your work. If not, any old robot might take over and do a better job. So, stay fancy.
Are you working on any exciting projects?
Following closely behind the Papersmiths rebrand is Studio B’s! I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s up next.
And finally, B is for?
Barack Obama, of course.
Thank you Kristine!