A PASSION FOR PAPER
Katie was inspired by a love of type and making connections with people
For stationery lovers, Katie Leamon’s studio is heaven. Set against a backdrop of clean, white warehouse space in north London are seductive swatch samples of fine paper and pristine envelopes. Old stamps and letter presses sit on desks, vintage cards are pinned to moodboards and, of course, there are Katie’s own elegant, marbled notebooks, filled with ideas for future designs. For Katie, who trained initially as a textile designer, it’s the perfect place for the business she set up just over eight years ago and now runs with her family.
‘My work space is a reflection of me and our stationery,’ says Katie, standing in the light-flooded studio. ‘It has a fresh, streamlined structure, but it’s filled with interest.
Likewise, our cards are very clean-lined, in muted colours, but there are subtle gold details and textures that add an extra element. I’ve always found inspiration in interiors, architecture and nature, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love stationery – it’s tangible, tactile. The excitement I feel from new samples has never faltered. I get butterflies in my stomach when they arrive.’
When Katie was studying weaving, her lecturers told her she spent too much time coming up with visual ideas. ‘I always had my head in a sketchbook,’ says Katie. ‘It was my preferred way of expressing myself, and so later on, when I was freelancing as a designer, I realised that my sketchbook visuals could decorate cards or giftwrap themselves; there was no need to develop them further. I had a huge body of illustrations and patterns and had always worked in typography, so it just seemed right.
I had a lucky break with Liberty’s “open call” for new products – they took my first collection.’
Katie never stops developing beautifully subtle colourways and playing with type for her hand-stamped cards. ‘A card is something you engage with and then pass on to someone you know; you spread the joy,’ she says. ‘I always use a fountain pen to write to my nieces, nephews and grandparents – it makes it special.’
Find out more at katieleamon.com
‘A card is something you engage with and then pass on to someone
you know; you spread the joy’
CLOCKWISE, FROM OPPOSITE PAGE Katie creating prints in her north London studio; stationery in her signature muted tones with pops of mustard; colourful paint swatches pinned above Katie’s desk; notebooks crammed with inspiration for future designs