De Monsterkamer

Pekka Toivonen about paper

What is your favorite paper and why?
Money papers.

Could you give an example of a design you created where paper played a special or particularly functional role?
There’s a nice gimmick on the latest edition of FAT (Edition #2014) on page 91, where the headline is actually printed in reverse onto the next page of our nice’n’thin paper — so you’ll see it through. This is a classic method I’ve been using every now and then.

Wake up and smell the coffee! FAT is a trailblazing magazine about Life & Art. FAT Edition #2014 is now out and available in the best magazine boutiques around the World. It can also be subscribed directly to your homedoor via Bruil & Van de Staaij at

This is not an article, this is a movie-in-a-mag. Representing movie-making artist Erkka Nissinen chasing his ‘Life’ in Hong Kong, Helsinki, Amsterdam and New York. The headline is printed on the other side of the page. Cut!

How important is the choice of paper in your designs? Do you spend a lot of time choosing the paper?
You’ll print on paper (usually). So it’s the second most important thing after ink. I don’t spend a lot of time choosing the paper, as I’m already an advanced designer. Long enough career makes things snappy.

Could you mention a designer whose paper choice appeals to you?
Jop from Fantastic Man has always had a significant understanding of different paper qualities.

Fantastic Man, issue 16, design Jop van Bennekom

Is there something missing in the current range of available paper?
Yes. Isn’t there always something missing?

What is your biggest frustration in the field of paper?
The fact that even though Finnish paper industry rocks big time, the current range is thin and bulky.

Is it difficult for designers in your country to find information on paper, paper samples and/or paper collections?
Yes, I believe so.

Got room for art? The are 3 “Gallery rooms” in each FAT, featuring the works of each issue’s artists printed on different kinds of coated paper. Each gallery is curated to mix’n’match the type of works and the essence of the paper. Above, an installation by Grönlund-Nisunen, alongside with Kaj “Duckpainter” Stenvall’s early painting titled “Drive slow”.

How do you see the future of paper?
Its importance will grow.

Interview by De Monsterkamer with Pekka Toivonen