A love of paper was one of the things that led me to being a graphic designer and even though a high proportion of the work is now for online use only, the opportunity of getting something printed on paper lends a delicious extra excitement when a new job comes by, even if it’s just a DL brochure. Getting to flip through the Spicer’s deck of paper samples, even when I already know that the choice will go to Monza or Tudor, a printed job is just the excuse to run my fingers over the little snippets. For a while there at the end of the old and in the beginning of the new century there seemed to be developments in paper coming out left, right and centre with the Curious range holding the trophy of most extravagant with it’s sprinkles and sparkles, metallics and translucents. It was ground-breaking, breath-taking and seemed to be the height of delight for any designer with a penchant for paper. But I think I barely began to utilise this range before the web came and swept all before it. Now with the dominance of web the emphasis is on typefaces and we have seen in the recent couple of years a corresponding renaissance of development of new type that is bringing with it almost the same excitement as those heady days of paper. I say “almost” as it is exciting to see new curves and swashes but like a man who likes to look at curves on a woman, what he really wants to do is touch the specimen and run his hands and fingers down the curves. And you can’t do that with a typeface – hence back to paper again.
I came across this couple of fellow paper-loving graphic designers, Justine and Matt, who also have a shop selling paper products – most imported from Japan who as a culture have a long-standing relationship with paper and excel at papercraft through the traditions of origami and packaging design. The corresponding blog is a treasure trove of paper: bent, scored, moulded and manipulated into innumerable shapes by many other paper practitioners around the world.