25 Aug Paper Snap Studio | Keeping It Simple and Fun
‘Forlorn’ from Pitifully Sad
Paper Snap is a quirky Joburg based graphic design and illustration studio established by Telri Stoop and Steven Mckimmie. They specialise in corporate identity and run awesome screen printing workshops for anyone who is interested in having fun while learning a new skill. We chatted to them about how they came to be and what they love doing.
Where did you individually start out and how did Paper Snap come about?
We are two small town kids who started out working for small-sized design companies in Johannesburg. Telri was between jobs in 2010 and kept herself busy by turning her illustrations into greeting cards and stationery products. Steven joined in and a bit later on we started taking on design jobs while maintaining our day jobs. Paper Snap soon started taking over and becoming something bigger.
What inspired the name Paper Snap?
In screen printing there’s a moment when the paper snaps off the ink when you pull the screen up. We started referring to that as a “Paper Snap”. It was the third option on the list of names that we supplied the CIPC when registering the business. We weren’t sure what they would end up selecting and initially we were a bit sad that we didn’t get our first choice. But we grew to love the quirkiness of “Paper Snap”.
How would you describe your design style?
Our design style is simple, usually fun and perfectly executed.
‘Vanderbijlpark’ from Pitifully Sad
‘Balcony’ from Pitifully Sad
How have your separate experiences informed how you go about working together?
Telri comes from a print design background and Steve from a web design background. We are always learning new approaches and techniques from each other. We both really enjoy illustration and it’s something we love exploring together. We learnt how to screen print together by watching online videos and trying it out. Learning new stuff is always rewarding as it exposes you to whole new worlds and ways of approaching your work.
What is most exciting and daunting about starting a design and illustration studio?
The exciting part is doing really good work for our clients, from the smallest to the biggest job. We really try to put a lot of care into the work we do. We love it when a client gives good feedback, it keeps us going and makes every project exciting. What’s daunting for us is the whole business side like books, taxes, sales, etc. We aren’t natural sales people and we are realizing how important that part of running a graphic design business is. If you don’t sell yourself, you don’t make the ching-chings and then you can’t afford to do all the cool things you would like to. So, a tip for all aspiring creative’s out there, get some help on the business and marketing side of your design studio.
You offer a variety of services ranging from corporate identities, graphic design and illustration. What do you always bear in mind, regardless of the different projects you work on?
The basic design principles and client’s needs are at the top of the list. Everything we design always starts with pen and paper, we enjoy sitting at coffee shops planning projects out.
Of all the work you’ve done, which projects have been most memorable and why?
The Yellow Bird Project asked us to design and illustrate Christmas cards to send out to all their clients. They wanted the cards to have a very hand-made feel so they asked us to write the addresses out by hand. This was really cool because a lot of the people receiving the cards were bands and musicians that we loved! We spent late nights in our apartment trying to write as neatly as possible. Another memorable experience was the Book Dash that took place in June this year. We teamed up with a writer and editor and had 12 hours to design, illustrate and write a children’s book. It was a challenging and fun experience. We were exhausted by the end of the day, but we’d definitely do it again.
‘Mr Latter’ from Pitifully Sad
Can you tell us a bit about the silk screen printing workshops you run?
The workshops are geared to get people to start printing at home. We try not to bore people too much with the technical side of it. While showing a friend our studio set up and explaining what all the tools were for, she said “Hey you guys should teach people how to do this!” One surprising thing about our workshops is that they started to attract people outside of the creative industries as well. We’ve had a psychologist, a chef and a teacher. It was really cool to expose them to “our world”.
What excites you most about the industry in Joburg?
Joburg is an exciting city in general. There’s always something industry related going on. We try to attend as many exhibitions and Creative Morning talks as we can. A lot of our friends are part of the industry as photographers, designers or illustrators. It’s great to connect with them and support and encourage each other. We draw a lot of inspiration and energy from hanging out with fellow Joburg creatives, I guess that’s one of the reasons why we enjoy hosting screen print workshops.
Are you able to tell us about any exciting projects in the pipeline?
We currently have a print exhibition on at Wolves Café until 3 September, called Pitifully Sad. All the works are screen printed and limited edition. We’re working on another big screen print workshop called Print Lab in Joburg. This one will be themed and we’re toying with the idea of turning it into an exhibition at the end. Stay tuned! We are also taking part in the Hello Ambassador expo www.helloambassador.co.za on 4 and 5 September in Newtown, so people should come say ‘high 5’ if they attend.
‘Sad Static’ from Pitifully Sad
‘Junk’ from Pitifully Sad
‘Gator’ from Super Neat
‘Mr Bat’ from Super Neat
‘Nope’ from Super Neat
‘Hairy Legs’ from Super Neat
‘Food Trucks 1’ from Super Neat
‘Dino Maison’ from Super Neat