Fanciful Pages are a bespoke stationery service. I met founder, Aoife, at the #MakeGood Festival a little while ago. Fanciful letterpress designs are typeset by hand, and high quality paper stock is hand-fed into the letterpress printer, to produce colourful and tactile stationery which can only be achieved with this relief method of printing that dates back to the 15th century.
Aoife, what’s your story and how did you get to where you are today? I am the founder and designer/illustrator for a new stylish stationery brand called the Fanciful Pages. I have over 8 years experience as a graphic designer and I still currently juggle Fanciful Pages with my job as a freelance graphic designer in London working for clients such as ASOS, Shortlist Media and Jack Wills. An inescapable love of print, typography, paper and handwriting has lead to me starting Fanciful Pages. Fanciful Pages is a means of striving to creating something meaningful, tactile and beautiful.
Sounds like a dream! Can you tell me a little more about how the School for Creative Start Ups helped you to establish yourself and your brand? The School for Creative Start Ups has a community of like minded individuals who rally around you and help you believe that your dream can actually be a business, they encourage you to take risks (the good kind!) and to be ambitious and just go for it. Its really encouraging to see people grow their businesses alongside your own, it gives you courage!
What was it like to be part of #MadeGood Festival at the Old Selfridges hotel? It was a lot of hard work but it was a proud moment to see my finished booth stocked with all my Fanciful Pages products alongside so many other talented creatives. I have recently launched my website and online shop but it was a great experience to interact with people in person and see the positive reaction to the stationery range. You meet so many lovely people. It made me want a little shop of my own.
That would be amazing! So what did you want to be when you were 10 years old? I was always very artistic at school and at home, constantly drawing and sketching. Though I didn’t really know what a graphic designer did back then, I would create scrapbooks with cut up magazines and my own drawings glued in. I still have them! Plan B was to be a vet, as I love animals.
Me too! Which uni did you go to and what did you study? I went to Cork Institute of Technology in Cork, Ireland for four years and received an honours degree in visual communication and design.
And what’s the proudest moment of your career to date? Thats an easy answer... launching Fanciful Pages, the stationery debut collection.
How did you come to collaborate with Benjamin Elbel? I love collaborating with skilled designers and makers, such as Benjamin Elbel the very talented French bookbinder who runs Elbel Libro bookbinding studio. I worked with Ben to create our lovely range of Fanciful Pages journals, I met him at the London Centre for Book Arts (LCBA) in Hackney on a bookbinding course he was teaching.
How do you promote yourself? At the moment social media, particularly instagram, twitter and word of mouth.
And do you love or loathe social media? I am not a natural social media guru but I have started to realise the great potential of twitter and I love instagram and pinterest because the images do the talking and that is really what is important, particularly when you are working in a creative job.
Which tools do you use to create stuff and what is your creative process? On my mac, all the standard graphic design programmes, illustrator, indesign, photoshop. To letterpress print, I have an Adana 8 x 5 platen press on which I used a combination of moveable metal type and photopolymer plates I have made from drawings I create in adobe illustrator and by hand. I love to sketch and paint. Every idea begins on paper in notebooks or sketchbooks, I always carry something to write in. Once I have pinpointed an idea worth exploring, I create lots of moodboards on pinterest, while continuing to sketch and grow the idea, editing, developing and eventually narrowing down my designs until the final solution seems good enough.
Where do you find inspiration? I get inspiration from fashion, culture, exhibitions, books, films, blogs, architecture, nature, quite literally, everywhere.
What do you love about what you do? I love everything about design, I love when a new idea comes into my head and keeps me up at night, I love the excitement and exploration of each new project, the endless quest to craft something both beautiful and meaningful.
What’s your favourite music to work to? In the run up to launching Fanciful Pages I had a slightly French/retro/acoustic playlist on Spotify which I had on loop. In fact I just published it on Spotify you can listen to it here!
What do you spread on your toast in the morning? Butter, if I am feeling adventurous jam!
What are you working on at the moment? I am working on a range of wedding stationery for my online shop. I have big plans for Fanciful Pages!
Discover more at fancifulpages.com