Curious Matter

Contributed by Anna Khmelevskaya of Moscow-based The Bakery.

Curious Matter bookmark

We were hired by Arjowiggins Creative Papers to produce a bookmark to be included with the FIAC catalogue. Every year Arjowiggins collaborates with design studios to come up with a creative bookmark that highlights the qualities of Arjowiggins papers. We had a chance to work with a new paper stock — Curious Matter. It’s quite unusual in terms of tactile qualities and resembles the texture of stone or even sandpaper.

The brief was absolutely open and we could do almost anything we wanted as long as we used Curious Matter and could fit the production costs into the budget. We built our idea around mining and fossil extraction as they are in a way similar to the creative practice. These activities involve processing a lot of raw material before finding what one is looking for. In a way, we compared the paper to semi-precious stones as a metaphor for something extraordinary that comes as a result of intense labour and dedication to craft.

The project is unique in many ways. Firstly, the function of a bookmark helps to highlight the tactile sensations of paper, celebrating the simple joy of something analog in a world obsessed with digital. Secondly, the diverse geographical context makes it truly special — the bookmark is designed in Russia, printed in the UK by Generation Press, delivered to French company FIAC. Also, the featured material is remarkable on its own: raw, uncoated stock in several weights with vibrant colours, produced from recycled potato skin, combined with an almost stone-like surface texture, producing an extraordinary look and feel.

Bearing in mind that Curious Matter is all about sensation and is widely used in luxury print, we brought the idea of discovering beauty in something ordinary into the project by using a contrasting print finish. We treated the bookmark as a stone cut. The front remains almost untouched with just the logo and text embossed, communicating untreated mineral.

Curious Matter bookmark

The typeface is Portrait Medium by Commercial Type.

Curious Matter bookmark

The reverse is hot-foiled to achieve the look and feel of a precious stone. The resulting design is not just beautiful but also functional, as it successfully shows how foil finishing works with the paper and the effect that can be achieved through the use of Curious Matter.

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

Curious Matter bookmark

The Bakery elsewhere on Identity Designed: Normansk, EEATT.

More work on The Bakery website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *