February 24 2011
There is undeniably a certain aesthetic associated with graphic designers: chic but sparse, neat but slightly quirky, and so on. Not wishing to stereotype by profession, they are nevertheless likely to use a giant pencil sharpener as a pencil pot, send highly original, hand-screen-printed birthday cards and carry a tote bag sporting a print of a handbag.
All the above items are available from the incredibly well-presented online boutique Our WorkShop (£15.50, from £3.10, and £17.50 respectively), which is, unsurprisingly, run by a pair of London-based graphic designers. With the aim of fusing their design studio (Our Work) with a retail operation (Our Shop), Pui Lee and Gemma Stanton set up OurWorkShop in 2008 and, while their design skills have been put to use by brands as well known as The Body Shop and Topshop, their own shop stands squarely in the realm of the unique and handmade.
Lee and Stanton cast their aesthetic vision – clean lines, bright colours – over their website and stock, bringing together a collection of creative companies and individual designer/makers in a concise edit of homewares, stationery, accessories and toys: all very reasonable and good as stylish gifts.
The range of cards is particularly joyful – see the set of “Thank you” postcards (£10) and a vibrant “Hurrah!” card (third picture, £3.50) by Alison Hardcastle. The mango wood bowls (first picture, £13) – in blue, green and white painted exteriors with wooden insides – are chic and simple, as are the bright-striped and diamond mugs by Petra Boase (£9.20).
For budding creative tykes there are printed-in-the-UK paper-animal kits (£8) or the Winterscape Stamp Set (£25) by Yellow Owl Workshop. Then there’s jewellery by Tatty Devine (the 1950s-style glasses pendant, £24, has graphic-designer written all over it) and make-up bags by Lisa Stickley (£20).
There’s also a neat range of vintage pieces, from a trio of brass pineapple-shaped trinket boxes (second picture, £90) through Midwinter pottery to bright-red, stackable 1960s cups (£21 for three). “We’re vintage-obsessed scourers who visit numerous antiques markets and fairs,” says Stanton. “We are always on the lookout for new or old products that will enhance our range.”