We asked makers Georgie and Alex a few questions about their journey to becoming Pirrip Press, Bristol based printing studio. Pirrip Press produces beautiful, highly original stationary and paper goods, occasionally dipping their toes into textiles. Their work features big bold shapes contrasting with delicate details, keeping you intrigued. Such simple small goods to keep you smiling throughout a tough day at the office!
Can you summarise your journey to becoming a designer in five steps?
Alex: We both did art-related subjects all through school and made tonnes of (probably useless!) stuff when we were little – pots, posters, scrunchies, necklaces, comics, masks, bags etc., and recently both remembered newspapers or magazines that we had self-published with our siblings or pals when we were about 10. But the first print I remember was a butterfly print., made at my grandma + grandad’s dining room table. Where you make one half of the butterfly with paint and then fold the paper in half to squash (print!) the same pattern on the other side to make the two identical wings of the butterfly. Not sure what print method that is, but they were brilliant and smudgy and bold. Since then things gota little more sophisticated ;) We studied at university and each did lots of other jobs on the side. In 2012, I quit part-time other stuff to run Pirrip Press full time and we’ve grown little by little since then.
What inspires your work?
Georgie: We take inspiration from all sorts of places – books we read, things we see on our travels and anecdotes we remember. There’s usually a nature, science or history link somewhere along the line. There’s lots of youngster’s science books in our studio – they are a really good source of inspiration, and as the information they impart is usually in bite-sized bits for children, they’re easier for our non-scientific minds to comprehend!
What is a typical work day for you?
Georgie: The way the day goes depends on what work we have on and what stage in the process it's at, sometimes we’re working at desks, sometimes on the computer, and the rest of the time in the silkscreen printing studio, but to give you an idea…
We work in sketchbooks, drawing and painting and fiddling about and then things start to formulate into more solid ideas and images. Then we get the original drawn pages onto the computer and start playing around with layout, adding type, tidying up and testing colours and layers. We have both become quite practiced at separating things into layers in our minds and thinking through overlaps and shapes in our heads, ready for the silkscreen printing process. But its always a treat when you get in the print room and get the second layer down for the first time in a print and you can really see it come alive.
Who is your favourite designer / maker?
Alex: We like lots of old printmakers and illustrators, both of us are Ravillious fans. And we really like the lithographs that Rosemary + Clifford Ellis made in the 50s and onwards, mainly commercial work for TFL and book covers, its really vibrant and beautiful – when colour was still quite new. Bet they’d have a good studio.
What is your most treasured item of homeware?
Alex: A big pot my grandma made when she took pottery classes in the 60s and 70s. It’s so handsome. It has been glued back together because it was smashed
Which of your designs are you most proud of and why?
Alex: We like to tell stories, and know that things have more authenticity if there’s research, thought and a narrative of some kind behind them, so there’s always a tale woven in to what we do. Our work is pretty modern; we like simple and bold design and colours, and we like to laugh, so there’s often a lightheartedness and a wry smile present in what we produce. With all this in mind, we’re proud of everything we produce really! I like the stories behind the products, so the Zoo Quest bags came about after hours of old David Attenborough re-runs on YouTube, the Paris bags we thought to make when we were in Norway, the Christmas Dance cards we did in honour of my Grandad (who was a keen sequence dancer!) and all sorts of other bits and pieces. Sorry, not very concise!
Thanks Pirrip Press! We hope these lovely ladies inspire you as much as they inspire us.
You can pick up their goods online and instore at home byKirsty.