About Town : LONDON

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to pop over to London for a few days of relaxation and inspiration. It’s so easy to get caught up in the work and just to keep plowing forward but as a creative, it’s so important to take time out to let your mind, well, create. Not saying that you always need to jump on a plane to London for this but it is nice to change up your environment and to see what other people are doing outside of my little Brooklyn bubble.

I was only in town for a few days so it was a bit tough trying to fit in all the spots I wanted to visit. But I was able to spend some time shopping in Shoreditch {hello Labour and Wait!}, walking the stalls of Camden and eating one of too many “Full English” breakfasts in Notting Hill.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting to visit the shop, Present and Correct, in Islington. I have been semi-stalking their website and online shop for some time so getting to actually visit the store was a big treat. I met Neal, the owner and mastermind behind the brand. His shop is filled with loads of unique stationery and office supplies. He actually creates many of the designs and products sold in the shop as well bringing in different unique pieces from all over the globe. What I love most about his shop is that the aesthetic is just so clean. He takes that school supply look and feel to the next level {which I love!}. I walked out with a bag full of amazing finds and a very big smile on my face.

{because I’m awful at taking pictures in the moment, these pics are from the Present + Correct site}

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Another favorite shop find, which was also in Islington, was Smug. Waking into Smug was sort of like walking into a the most cozy, fantastic little English cottage- except it was covered in stationery and other cute things. So basically, it was like a dream come true. Smug sells everything from notebooks and pens to watercolor prints and tea towels. After dreamily roaming around the store for what felt like hours {mind you it’s roughly 10 ft x 10 ft so it got weird} I walked out with some great finds!

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No trip to London would be complete without several hours spent roaming Paperchase. I went to their flagship store on Tottenham Court Road and did not leave disappointed. There are three floors filled with all the paper, notebooks, art supplies, cards, pens and planners anyone could ever need. The third floor was already ready for Christmas with all their wrapping and decorations out and ready to go. I was giddy walking around grabbing what felt like one of everything until I had to have a “get with it” conversation with myself. When you find yourself thinking “OK, is 10 kraft notebooks too many?” Then you may have a problem… I know, I’m looking into it. Paperchase has a few different designs per season that they then create full lines for. They focus a lot on illustration and whimsical designs which I really enjoy. It’s not the clean and edgy look you find a lot in Brooklyn but a bit happier and more mainstream. I loved it.

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When I first lived in London, I worked right next door to Cath Kidston in Covent Garden. Everyday during my tea break I’d pop out and look at all their gorgeous products. I left London with more oilcloth tote bags than one person needs in a lifetime but with so many patterns, I couldn’t help it. This time was no exception, I fell hard again! The burst of that lovely blue paint invites you in then you’re¬†immersed in pops of red, retro dottie patterns and beautiful English rose patterns {to name a few} and I was hooked again, blacked out and woke up with a new scarf. It happens.

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As much as I love shopping as a great source of inspiration, I also love going to museums and just roaming around a bit. I decided to check out the Design Museum to gather some more big picture ideas. I have been in New York for 7 years now and have also lived in London. One of the things that both of these cities share is that they are very well branded, especially London. When you stop and think about it, from the buses and tube and from the red mailboxes and phone booths, London has so many iconic elements. Transport for London uses the same font across the board, creating a uniformed feeling on even the most mundane of pieces. Britain itself has unformed signage for all highways and towns. It really creates a specific feel and look. The Design Museum has an area dedicated to the branding of London and England, which I really enjoyed. It’s a great way to start thinking about future branding projects.

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Of course, there were so many other shops and inspiring moments but I won’t bore you with the details. Overall, it was a great trip and I left with lots of fun new thoughts and ideas that I can’t wait to start working on!

 big ben

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Lauren on October 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Sounds like a great trip (one that could have used a traveling partner, hell maybe even a sister) but what about time spent roaming the neighborhood that inspired it all…Swiss Cottage??

    Reply

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