(pencil) Case Notes

With thoughts of September and the new term circling we asked our paper makers, Tom Pigeon, Esme Winter and The City Works for their studio essentials.  

They're interesting lists; from pens & music to windows & poodles (everyone should have an 'Etta'!). Read on...


The City Works essential tools

The City Works essential tools

no 1. The Rotating Isograph Pen - with all of our city designs beginning as hand-drawings, this pen can be relied upon. With a 0.25mm nib, it provides the thin line stroke needed to make our intricate illustrations. 

no 2. the modest but necessary folding bone. We hand-make our notebooks, so having a folding bone minimises time (and paper cuts).

no 3. We like those little finishing touches that make all the difference. The extra mile. So our wax seal is essential, for important letters and authenticating orders. 

no 4. There’s string, and then there’s Baker’s Twine. Tying stacks of postcards together has never been more joyful. 

no 5. Last but by no means least is our G.F. Smith Collection Book. This four-hundred page paper sample book has very little words, but so many stories. It’s the must-have resource when testing paper weights, thicknesses, textures and colour-combinations for new collections.

The Tom Pigeon studio must-haves

The Tom Pigeon studio must-haves

no 1.  Muji fineliner pen - for signing prints, designing stuff, doodling

no 2. Radio 6 - on all day

no 3. Jewellery file - never far from my desk and used daily! 

no 4. Tea - plenty

no 5. My 1950s tape measure - reasonably inefficient but rather handsome. 

Esme Winter's desk necessities

Esme Winter's desk necessities

no 1. Natural Light - we can't really put into words just how important this is. We're very lucky to now work in a space with lots of windows! When you're working with colour and print seeing those minuscule Pantone chips in good natural light is crucial. 

no 2. Routine. Our morning combination of dog walk, coffee (black, aeropress, round hill roastery)  tea (earl grey, milk no sugar) and biscuit (almond biscotti / dark chocolate digestive ) keeps us going. 

no 3. iPhone - it's a bit scary to think where we'd be without these. We're great believers in working closely with our manufacturers. Ensuring a good end product when you can't actually be on site is so much easier by spending 5 minutes on the phone. 

no 4. Poodle. Our office dog, Etta the miniature poodle, is quite conductive to a good day in the studio! She's an excuse to get us outside for a moment to think...she's a living, breathing, stress-relieving fluff ball. 

no 5. Paper. We love paper. Paper products, paper samples, paper for drawing, paper for writing and paper for packing. Without it we'd be lost. 


Enter the code HELLOSCHOOL at the checkout to receive 25% OFF all our beautiful handmade Paper products. Whether you're taking notes or covering exercise books, do it with style! Shop the Paper collection here (offer ends Sunday 6th September at midnight).