On a recent road trip down the South Coast of NSW, we drove past the now closed Shoalhaven Paper Mill, which used to produce some of Australia's best speciality papers, including the paper for our dollar notes. As a junior designer, I was fortunate to be taken on a tour around the mill and was fascinated by the scale and processes involved. Sadly the mill closed in 2015, with many highly specialised local workers left with nowhere to go. I wish the manufacturing of daily products such as paper and pencils could still be in demand, and be able to be made locally. Thank goodness for artists (and writers) such as Christopher Payne for documenting dying trades and manufacturing, including the series of photographs below, which show the fascinating and highly detailed process of how the humble pencil is made.
Mel and Rachel
The (dying) art of pencil manufacturing
The General Pencil factory has been operating for more than a century, and in an age when texting and typing has overtaken handwriting, rather than outsourcing production overseas, they stand as one of the last remaining pencil factories in the US. Christopher Payne has captured every satisfying stage of the pencil-making process with over 30 visits to the factory floors in Jersey City, New Jersey. Some of the processes of making the pencils are illustrated by the images above, including charcoal processing in a dark basement, cedar planks converted into pencil shapes, industrial sharpening, pastel play-dough-like noodles used for coloured pencils, rows of pencils being wiped down and ready to be packaged that look like pop art. We hope this instrument for doodling and thinking on a page makes a comeback, and the craft of manufacturing these items we take for granted is valued again. See the full story and more images here.
Tonka Andjelkovic is a very successful and much-admired Sydney-based interior designer who engaged us to re-brand her business. The first phase was to design a new logo and business card. With a multi-syllable surname that clients often found difficult to remember, we suggested her brand become simply her first name, Tonka. It's clear, classy and memorable – so then we knew we had to make a designer card to match. We choose letterpress printing and the thickest card stock available. Tonka says that now everyone wants a card because not only do they look good, they feel good too. It's all about leaving the best first impression.
Richards and Spence
We've had a crush on Adrian Spence's work for years and now he's a part Richards and Spence, it's definitely love for the work he and partner Ingrid Richards do. Their attention to detail, function and form, and appreciation for good old brick leaves us in awe. Their recent work on the Calile Hotel looks like it's straight out of a Palm Springs/Modernist/Brutalist pot of yumminess. We also spotted the Vinnie Jay Dining Chair (Timber rattan chair with sage cushion, see image above) from our buddies at Reddie furniture.
"In life you either need inspiration or desperation." Tony Robbins
Packaging with heart
The packaging of this boutique, Sydney-made fragrance White Heart v.7 is made to look like a human heart. We love the juxtaposition of something gory like a human organ being made to look so elegant and beautiful. It's the perfect shape to hold in your hand too. There are seven fragrances in the range and this one is described as, 'The ethereal and sharp opening of French lavender, aldehyde and cardamom coolly inviting us into the vast landscape of love'. Founders Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling have also cleverly solved the problem of buying fragrance online by sending a sample vial with your purchase so you can try, then keep or return your perfume. Brilliant!
Edge GreenWay for Inner West Council
We worked with the Inner West Council to create an identity for Edge GreenWay, a new annual event celebrating the significance of GreenWay (the cultural and open-green space connecting the Cooks and Parramatta Rivers of the Inner West). The event was the meeting of art and nature, with creative trails, workshops, talks on the environment, lantern-making, free mocktails, music and a finale to welcome in Earth Hour. We created a festival feel using silhouette figures created by artist Bettina Kaiser and a colour palette from the Inner West Council branding, with a skew towards the green/turquoise colour. The roll-out we prepared included digital animations for online platforms, bus-shelter ads, posters and an event map and program. We love working on these local community projects.
READING Can effective brands really make people happier? Three quarters of people believe brands should contribute to quality of life and wellbeing. How the Uber business model has created a servant economy. Three bedrooms, one bathroom and a showroom – galleries run out of someone's home in NYC. Two tiny cabins built on rejected farmland in New Zealand. A gorgeous story of two friends purchasing rejected farmland together to regenerate and build a cabin each – plus they use an incredible Japanese technique called shou sugi ban (scorching timber to make it fire resistant). Lego is having an eco overhaul. Is sunscreen the new margarine? Most of us are low in Vitamin D, which is key to preventing almost every type of disease. Gardening for mental health. A TREASURED BOOK If you're a magazine/ fashion/ photography lover, this is the perfect addition to your coffee table: Issues: A history of Photography in Fashion magazines. LOVING Ceramicist Sally Flannery has asked Australia Post to help promote eco-packaging options after coping increased postage charges. SHARE We'd love to hear from you! If you've seen or read anything you'd like to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.