De Monsterkamer

The Clocksmiths about paper

What is your favorite paper and why?
Well, we do not have a favorite paper at all. But we can say that we fell in love with the Stardream paper while designing The Clocksmiths’ identity. This paper allows you play with its metallic and changing effects, creating very interesting stationery systems. Additionally, it is easy to pair with other papers and you can reach fascinating results just due of its particular features and colors. At a first glance, this paper is not sober or discreet, and tends to be the main character, but if you are able to use it for details or with a minimal role, it can create extremely interesting moods.

The Clocksmiths identity copper and concrete

Could you give an example of a design you created where paper played a special or particularly functional role?
A project where we paid a lot of attention to the choice of papers is our identity. We started “The Clocksmiths” project three months ago and we wanted to communicate our values from the beginning. We chose two materials that represent us — copper and concrete. After that we started investigating which kind of paper could be the best ambassadors for these two materials. So Copper = Stardream; Concrete = Takeo (for the quality and for a very particular shade of gray), and Gmund (for the solidity and quality of the results with letterpress).

Identity Stationery

Identity promotional item

How important is the choice of paper in your designs? Do you spend a lot of time choosing the paper?
The choice of paper comes after a part of a process we follow in our projects. First of all we design what we need to communicate, and after that we choose papers in agreement with the guidelines we designed. So we start choosing the paper with a specific idea about what kind of message the paper needs to communicate. Consider that our branding process incorporates Sensory Branding theories, where the sense of touch is always taken into account and is a great ally in communicating the more emotional notes of a brand. That’s why we do not need so much time to understand which paper is the right one. The only risk that we always face is the availability of what we seek, which is usually a particular choice.

Nerbo magazine identity

Nerbo stationery

Could you mention a designer whose paper choice appeals to you?
In RoAndCo’s projects there is always an extreme care for materials and therefore, for paper. They are able to skillfully mix different papers and inks to produce unique results. They let you understand the reason and concept behind each chosen material, thus perfectly  communicating the mood and the messages.

RoAndCo Bodkin FW ’09 Lookbook

Is there something missing in the current range of available paper?
The market is huge and it’s quite difficult finding an answer for this question.We choose the paper according to our needs, so we usually look for papers with specific features. We find the right paper designed by international brands as well as by small artisans… it’s all about what you need!

What is your biggest frustration in the field of paper?
We finished our studies less than a year ago and now we realize that the universities did not pay enough attention to the role of papers. We think students are not well informed about paper choices, as design is becoming more and more focused on computer screens and less on physical or manual ability and sensibility.

Is it difficult or easy for designers in your country to find information on paper, paper samples and/or paper collections?
In Italy, especially in Milan, it’s not so difficult to find specialized retailers of paper or even paper mills. However, it is difficult to find printers able to work with the papers you found. During recent projects we came across a very skilled typographer who was willing to discuss with us about our materials choices and to work together to achieve the best possible result. This is really the best way to implement a well-done project.

How do you see the future of paper?
Our approach is sensory-oriented. We choose the materials according with the messages we want to spread, and of course, paper is the most common material we use to involve the senses of sight and touch. We are sure that there will always be a deeper attention to the materials, because of the involvement of senses that the audience requires.

Interview by De Monsterkamer with Augusto Arduini and Giuditta Brusadelli (The Clocksmiths).
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