I still remember it clearly that two years ago I visited one of the most famous graffiti artist Banksy’s city - Bristol. During the trip my friend took me to this stationery store – PaperSmiths I was immediately attracted by the in-store space and the whole magazine display wall from outside the store. The wooden floor and the beautiful cream white tiles are well-decorated in the space; Huge French windows allow for natural sun light to shine inside the store, making the stationery goods dazzle. They sell not only contemporary selected stationery and lifestyle goods, but many independent magazines.
We have been looking forward to visiting their new branch since they made the announcement this May to open their new store in Boxpark, Shoreditch. Unlike the first store's wooden and white colour interior in Bristol Clifton Village, their second shop is covered and decorated with pale pink colour tiles. There is a strong contrast between the pink in-store space and the black colour of the Boxpark pop-up exterior. The contrast makes me feel like entering the store is going into a different world.
The initial idea of opening PaperSmiths came from the childhood memory of the shopkeeper - Sidonie. She remembers when she was 7 years old, her Christmas list was made up of the contents of the stationery pages in the viking catalogue. When she turned 12 she was spending all £10 of her pocket money on a gel pen habit. she started out underling headings in the school exercise books with a contrasting colour gel pen, but later extended this rule to include subheadings, symbols and punctuation. Two years later she discovered Korean undated diaries with sticker sheets at Camden market. All the grown up backgrounds gradually turn her addition to stationery into a career.
The PaperSmiths London branch is designed by Studio B, which is the design studio opened by Sidonie and her business partner Kyle before they opened the first of PaperSmiths. They specialise in identity and interior design. They had been considering a retail space for a while and both wanted to do something new, so in the beginning they initially turned part of the studio space into a small shop. After an inspiring trip to Berlin, they decided to take the shop more seriously and opened the first PaperSmiths store, rather than it existing as an add-on to their design studio.