Meet Alison Hardcastle, founder & designer of Alison Hardcastle
Meet Alison Hardcastle, founder and designer of Alison Hardcastle Contemporary Paper Goods. With a background in illustration, artists' books and screen printing, Alison was destined to work with paper in some way. It just so happens that her love of beautiful stationery and on-trend colour palettes has allowed her to run a successful and iconic British business. We caught up with Alison to talk trends, hand drawn and colours…
Did you feel there was a gap in the market for your products?
There was definitely a gap. When I first began making cards, I was screen printing them by hand just as the high quality stationery trend was just taking off. People were just starting to realise that buying a thoughtful, well-chosen, high quality card was like a gift in itself.
My business has changed and evolved a lot since then. I've established myself within the card and stationery market and even though I no longer screen print them myself, I think I offer something unique and very much my own through the designs I produce and colour palettes I use.
Where do your ideas come from?
Invariably they spring up when I'm least expecting! I can sit at my desk brainstorming and trying to force ideas out and nothing will come to me. Then I can be out and about (doing the school run perhaps!) and hear something, see a pattern or a shape and I need my notebook!
My two other favourite inspirations are going for a walk (it affords me the time to think without having the distraction of a computer monitor) and flicking through Elle Decoration for colour inspirations and trends.
What do you think consumers want now?
Hand drawn type has been everywhere in the last few years, yet remains popular. The way I create mine is very unique to me. In some ways it's a core element of my business so I'll be continuing to use it but I want to find new and exciting ways of integrating it into my work.
Colours are always very important and I get very excited about new colour palettes and combinations. For example, my 2015 Christmas range features cool peppermints, greys, blues and snow slope inspirations.
In your opinion, what is going to be the next big design trend?
There's been a definite pared-back/geometric/ordered look to a lot of design in the last few years. I think there's bound to be a bit of a backlash to that at some point soon in favour of the ‘throw everything including the kitchen sink at it' design ethos!! Not less is more but more is less!