Tell us about Sukie…

No Comments | November 23,2017 | by Site Administrator

We don’t just have one new brand launching a ceramics range in two weeks’ time, we have two! The second is Sukie. Designed in collaboration with MAKE’s Head of Design Keith Brymer Jones, find out a little bit more about Sukie as a brand here. All written by the designers themselves, Darrell and Julia…


When and how did Sukie start? What inspired you? When did it really take off as a brand?

Julia and I started Sukie in 2000 just after I had graduated from the Royal College of Art. My M.A. show featured a display of the first version of the Rescued Paper Notebooks. They had a lot of interest and ended up in some top boutiques in London and New York. I was also approached by Habitat who commissioned a line of stationery and placed an order for 24,000 Rescued Paper Notebooks! It was at this point Julia left her job and we started working together full time.

The inspiration for the Rescued Paper Notebooks came from my obsession for collecting all sorts of old paper that I would then print onto. Some of this paper was then made into hand bound sketchbooks and so the idea of making notebooks from waste paper was conceived. I would then hunt out and rescue any waste paper, such as discarded artwork, envelopes, paperwork, paper pack wrappers and packaging. This paper could then be folded and bound leaving a blank side to write on!

Sukie really took off when we exhibited at our first trade show, Top Drawer London, in 2001. We had a great response from buyers and store owners from all around the world. It was at our second trade show, later in that year, where we first met Keith!


Why the rescued paper?

See above!


How are the designs produced? Screen print, hand drawing, computer etc?

When we create designs for our products they always start off as a tiny pencil sketch in one of my notebooks. From there the idea is worked on until the design is finalised in terms of composition. It then goes through a number of processes to give it a slightly aged and faded printed look, this usually involves making a lino cut print, some letterpress printing and even using an old fax copier. Everything is then scanned and put together on the computer. The end process is usually a litho or screen print, we also use letterpress printing for some of our journals and cards.



What was the first design you ever did for Sukie?

The first designs for Sukie were all completely handmade. The Rescued Paper Notebooks were put together by hand and bound by hand. The first batches ofour Travel Journals were also made from scratch by us, we printed the lined and squared paper, handmade the envelopes, lino printed the covers, hand stitched each section and then hand bound them together. We even made a lined notebook which had a mix of all different sorts of lined paper designs such as maths paper, music paper and lined margined paper that was completely hand letterpress printed.


Which product came first?

The Rescued Paper Notebooks – see above


What is special about Sukie?

When we started out there didn’t seem to be any exciting stationery out there, everything was either plain or had patterned cover with lined or plain pages. We have always tried to create something that has a good concept and looks beautiful too.

We are completely obsessed with printing, paper, bookbinding and coming up with new images and we hope that people can share our passion through our designs. Whether they be our landscapes, graphic images, the inside pages of a notebook or cute creatures we produce them all from scratch to try to create something original every time.


What message do you want to pass to customers through your brand?

We would like our customers to feel that everything we design is unique to Sukie and it has been designed with thought and care as a complete product, from the imagery and the materials we use to the construction and concept behind the product. We also hope that they make people smile and bring happiness!


What does your working day usually consist of? Is there such thing as a typical day?

There are not that many typical days in the studio but they always consist of tea, coffee, some sort of cake and walking our dog, Finn who comes to the studio every day. Running a small design business together there is always so much to do from answering enquiries, updating social media, sorting out production issues, updating our website through to designing new products, making samples, organising and exhibiting at trade shows and also planning our next range of products!

If you have any questions for Darrell and Julia then let us know 🙂