Meet the makers
Toil & Tinker, the UAE’s rst designer print shop, just opened at Dubai Garden Centre. Co-founder Paul Green talks ampersands, fonts, and business cards
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT CREATING AT TOIL & TINKER?
When a client comes to us with an idea, their imaginations are often limited by what they know about the production process. I like to sit with someone who comes to us for a new business card and has brought a basic design and say, “ ou know, we could add gold there. We could make that bit translucent. We could print the whole thing on wood instead of paper.” Suddenly their brain is popping because the design limitations are no longer there.
LET’S TALK TYPE! IF YOU COULD ONLY USE ONE FONT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHICH WOULD IT BE?
Argh! That is the hardest question ever because I literally collect type. There are so many I love and I follow a lot of typographers on Instagram. My business partner Brian Hutton and I often discover cool fonts and then our designers Neil and Ranil customise them by hand for clients. If I was forced to choose, I guess I’d have to go with Bebas Neue.
SO WHERE DID THE NAME TOIL & TINKER COME FROM?
First of all, a lot of cool companies have names which include an ampersand (&), so it was a given that ours would too. Toil essentially means hard work. We’ll happily stay up until 1.30am getting a job right for a client. We get really excited to work with start-ups especially. Tinker is more playful. Every single morning I come in through the back of Dubai Garden Centre through the greenery and owers, past the tropical sh, to my shop where I tinker about with words, ink, and design all day. Is this even work?
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST THING YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO PRINT?
Our creative manifesto proclaims: we print stu . Just about anything! Stickers, posters, business cards, T-shirts, you name it. Sometimes people come to test me. Whatever they name can usually be done. Once we even printed on someone’s dining room table. instagram.com/toilandtinker