Hunting for Office Ephemera with @presentandcorrect
For more stationery inspiration, follow @presentandcorrect on Instagram.
Roughly five to six times a year, Neal Whittington and Mark Smith make trips all over the world to find stationery and ephemera to sell in their independent London store of office sundries, Present & Correct (@presentandcorrect). “Europe has a fantastic design heritage, so many movements came out of these countries which influenced work everywhere else,” explains Neal, a graphic designer drawn to London’s architecture for inspiration. The trips always turn into mini-adventures for the pair, from meeting a man who wore a live fox like a scarf in Lille, France, to being chased by a woman in an Estonian market for taking pictures of her stall. “It’s exciting and you never know what you will find,” Neal says. “We look for stationery, but also for items which can be utilized in a new way: old storage items, packaging, posters. It can be hard work, and a bit dirty, but it is always fun. And at the end of the day we have beer, and it is the best reward.”
Neal is drawn to “anything that makes you smile” — from giant eraser benches in Prague to a 1970s chef icon on a pavement in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood. “The account can be quite eclectic and fun, maybe looking at things in a new way or highlighting everyday items which might usually be overlooked,” he says. “I like midcentury and modernist architecture and patterns, as well as packaging and type from that era. I also have a tendency to take photos of utilitarian or industrial elements, like pipes or control panes. They, in themselves, can look graphic too. Also, I love grids and patterns on a bigger scale, especially windows and doors and shop fronts. I find them very appealing!”