MEET THE MAKER - Alison
Tell us a bit about yourself..
I'm Alison - owner and designer of Alison Hardcastle Contemporary Paper Goods. We are a design studio and independent stationery company producing a range of stylish, clever and playful greetings cards, paper goods and prints in the Yorkshire Wolds, UK.
What can you tell us about your background?
I completed a BA in Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art followed by an MA in Sequential Design & Illustration at Brighton University. With a Degree and Masters under my belt I wasn't going to let my dreams of being creative for a living go. I started the brand on a very small scale in 2005 by illustrating, making and printing small editions of books for artists book fairs and markets. A dabble into hand screen printed greetings cards to add to the books proved a good move and before I knew it I had the V&A Museum as one of my stockists and I was on a path to being a greetings and stationery designer.
What inspired you to go into design, start making these products and set up the company?
I was an illustrator with a burning desire to not only design but to make things which people could pick up, look at and use. I wanted to design striking products with true meaning and genuine creative integrity to be used for everyday adventures, monumental occasions and for the love of good design.
Additionally, I hugely admire pioneering strong women in design who make their own path and creatively innovate. The epitome of this has to be Lucienne Day. To be a successful designer and mum is incredibly hard.
How would you described your design style?
I take great pride in the hands-on process of creating my designs. Using pen,ink, brush and scalpel as a starting point each time results in a unique style complete with beautiful irregularities. Colour is my other important starting point and one of the most influential parts of my designs.
What can you tell us about your New Collection?
The new Birthday and Patterned ranges of cards push my designs further into a new more playful territory. The card titled ‘Chaos' is energetic, fun and explores mark-making using a big brush and Indian ink as a starting point.
Is it the first time you'll be exhibiting here and what are your ambitions for the show?
This will be my 7th Pulse. It was the very first trade show I did. I was in the Launchpad section of the show and the experience was fantastic and opened many doors for me. I'm looking forward to catching up with existing stockists and meeting new buyers and prospective stockists.