Interview with Giles Andreae

Interview with Giles Andreae

As seen in the Jul/Aug issue of The Stationery Magazine

1. How did the idea for the Happy Jackson range come about?

I was ready to create something new after Purple Ronnie and Edward Monkton. Both those ranges started black and white and pretty left-field creatively. I wanted to do something very different so I set out to create a brand that was both colourful - and more mainstream from the beginning.

I had an idea for a grumpy but cute-looking pug for the logo, which I sent to Heather. She had been responsible for turning Purple Ronnie around at Hallmark and giving him a much more contemporary look and feel. She is the best designer I've come across in 25 years of being in the business, and she's a good friend as well.

We put a lot of time in together, creating a bold, vibrant palette, some fun, informal patterning and looking a lot at texture. We love the way that vinyl and tin show off colour, so texture and materials have been very important to us all the way through the process.

2. Did you come up with the witty slogan ideas first and then get products designed around them? Or did things evolve?

 We began just with line patterns, freehand scribbles and doodles to add detail but, as the design process began to consolidate, we felt we needed something extra - something to engage the mind as well as they eyes, and to add a little more depth to the brand. Being a writer first and foremost, words seemed to be the obvious solution.

It's now more of a process of evolution. Sometimes we'll find a product that we think will suit the brand perfectly, and sometimes we'll come up with a phrase that we want to match a product to.

3. What is your favourite piece in the collection?

We're both pretty fond of the Pen Orgy pencil case- because it makes people laugh - and the colours are so bright.

4. What pens/pencils do you use for work?

I (Giles) use one of those classic "old school" Bic 4 colour biros. They're great for editing and adding notes. Hey - 4 colours!! Heather uses a Wacom Bamboo pen with her mac. I'm not sure she knows how to use a real pen anymore!

5. What item of stationery could you not live without?

Paperclips. They're great for fiddling with during boring phone calls.

6. Do you remember your first pen or pencil case? If so, what was it like?

Of course! It was one of those wooden swivelly things with a sliding ruler lid. A marvel of engineering. What happened to them? They were awesome!