Having fun at design trade show Top Drawer
Today one of my colleagues and I went to look for interesting products and businesses at London's Top Drawer. Top Drawer is a bi-annual trade show that covers home wares, stationery, gifts, crafts and fashion. We had a lot of fun.
We went to tell businesses about the British Library's business support services and say hello to existing contacts.
Here are some of the businesses we had a good chat with and I liked. As you can guess from my choices, I'm into pastels at the moment.
Moomin X Arabia
Arabia is a Finnish design brand founded in 1873 which sells Moomin inspired products. Launched in the 50s, the first range included a set of children's dishes andminiature figures. The designer behind the project now is Tove Slotte, who has been drawing Moomins onto Arabia items sincethe 1990s. She takes inspiration from Tove Jansson's original illustrations and adapts them to ceramic shapes.
As you will have guessed from this blog, I love Scandinavian design. I liked Skagerak - a Danish brand that creates outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, wood flooring and gifts. Some of their products reminded me of Japan.
Ella Doran runs her own design company specialising in wallpapers, decorations, textiles, ceramics and paper, homewares and furnishings. She is stocked in the British Library Shop and she recently spoke at an event I ran with the Design Trust on how to grow your design business. She's an award winning designer who has been running her own East-London based business since the early 90s. Her main focus is on creating photography based images and patterns.
Zuperzozial's Raw Earth tableware range is made of natural materials such as bamboo and corn and is 100% biodegradable. It reminded me of my blog article about Chinese design company Ooobject. I find these objects really interesting - when you pick them up they feel very light, almost brittle in texture. And when you look closely you can see flecks of natural material within the smooth finish.
Ohh Deer is a brand that you can spot all over the place - Vogue, the Metro, Elle Decoration, GQ, for example. I like their funny to-do list notepads.
Ola Studio is a UK based stationery company specialising in traditionally crafted designs. The prints are drafted on paper through drawings and sketches, then hand printed at their London workshop.