Say Hello from Your Studio
Papear Stationery’s team is composed of Michał and Marcin. These two different but complementary personalities have one thing in common – perfectionism. The things they manufacture are not just traditional greeting cards decorated with beautiful illustrations. The graphic element here is just as important as the form into which paper is cut and assembled. What is important for them is the balance between the form and the content, seriousness and humour, design and craftsmanship.
Read how their morning routine looks like, about their inspirations, and what advice they have for beginners.
What is your morning routine?
The main morning priority is a brisk walk in the park with our dog, Zula. That’s Marcin’s responsibility. Then he has coffee and reads a few pages of a book. Ready to get down to work, he turns on the radio or a documentary Netflix series on design to play in the background.
What is the first thing you do when you arrive at your studio?
For the time being, our studio is our living room. We are dreaming of moving the working mess out of our home and opening a small studio connected with a store, preferably in our favourite Wilda in Poznan.
Do you prefer Instagram, Facebook or no social media at all?
We prefer to show photographs of what we do, and so – Instagram. It always makes us a little shy to show ourselves instead of our greeting cards.
Which magazines and books do you read?
Recently, we’ve been reading a lot of books on art: biographies of artists, e.g. Marina Abramović or Anda Rottenberg’s diaries. Plus, quite a few magazines, mostly on design. We try to keep up with politics, too.
Which three objects would you say are essential to your work?
Number one: paper! And then, crayons and all the paper tools (creasing bones, knives, creasing machine, etc).
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Without the graphic tablet we would not have gone far. The work is done mostly by hand, but at some point, we needed to move Marcin’s sketches to his laptop and start working on the designs digitally. A significant part of the job is communication via social media and promotion, taking care of all the business and customer relationships.
What inspires you and motivates you to get your work done?
It gives us a lot of satisfaction to do the job well, and to see the ready stationery sets that we like from start to finish. And to see things we have done in great concept and boutique stores across Poland is just balm for the soul.
Can you tell us a funny story from your work?
When you see the reactions of people who get especially the custom-made cards, it’s always both funny and touching. Part of our offer is one-piece-only sets that people order for their family, friends, etc. We usually try to find out as much as we can about the recipient, and to shell the one characteristic most representative of that person. For example, we once designed a card for a female cross-fitter, presenting a girl with a jumping rope. The recipients are usually speechless when they get the card, they are moved, or they laugh. But they are never indifferent.
What is the project you are working on right now?
We are now thinking of prevailing the designs for our spring and summer collection. We are quite excited of what we might show but let us keep it secret for a few months now.
What do you love about your job? What don’t you like?
It is very time consuming to do all the hand work: line the envelopes inside, crease the cards and put together all the elements in the sets. Sometimes these are family meetings when a few of us sit together at one table and do the job, sometimes it’s just the two of us sitting there late into the night. It can be fun, and it can be strenuous, depending on the time pressure.
Do you prefer hand-made or mass-produced?
Obviously – hand made.
Do you work individually or with a team?
We always work as a team, Marcin is the graphic designer and illustrator, and Michał is all-the-other-stuff guy.
How do you rest and relax after work?
It is always most relaxing to walk with Zula. In our free time we do sports, Marcin does crossfit and Michał – traditional weightlifting.
Do you have advice for anybody who wants to work in your field?
Be patient and faithful to your primary goals. Try to make your things stand out.
Interviewed by Anna Dziuba
Edited by Paulina Prońko
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