here’s one I made earlier :: I love stationery

Katie | January 30, 2012

I need to start with a confession… I haven’t actually made anything, but somehow “here’s one I’ll make later” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it! What I have done, is found a book that will inspire me to make lots of things in the future, so I thought I’d share it with you in the hope it will inspire you too.

I Love Stationery by Charlotte Rivers

Pattern used on the front cover is by Emily Portnoi.

I Love Stationery is by Charlotte Rivers, author of design blog, Lottie Loves. The books defines stationery as greetings cards, notecards, writing paper, envelopes, wrapping paper, gift tags, calendars, journals, notebooks, diaries and stamps – I love a book that defines its terms!

I Love Stationery inside spread and Rob Ryan mug

The work featured on the spread above is by by Sukie (left hand page) and Swiss Cottage Designs (right hand page).

It covers hand-drawn illustration, screen printing, letterpress, block printing (my current obsession), digital illustration, calligraphy, paper cutting and mixed media.

Ruth Wren  Hand Cut Greetings Card

Close-up of one of Ruby Wren‘s paper-cut cards.

For each technique Charlotte includes a short section explaining how stationery is created using that technique, as well as a list of tools that might be used. She then goes on to showcase the work of a wide variety of artists and designers working in that field.

Design of I Love Stationery

As you’d expect, the book itself is beautifully designed, again by Emily Portnoi, (although I may be slightly biased when it comes to the use of luggage tags!) and features a comprehensive resources section including suppliers, blogs and online communities and trade shows.

I Love Stationery Inside Spread

Work above by Alison Cole Illustration.

I read this book from cover to cover in one gloriously geeky evening and would definitely recommend it to anyone with a fully fledged stationery fetish. And while we’re on the subject, two other lovely books that will get you reaching for your stationery supplies are Print Workshop and DIY Design – both of which will give you a bit more detail on the how-to side of things, once you’ve been inspired by all the lovely work in I Love Stationery.

Further reading for the especially geeky:

Further Reading for the Especially Geeky ::

Founding Editor – Katie Treggiden

Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.

Follow Katie on Twitter or Instagram.

See more of 's Posts


  • Won’t the dye eventually lose its colour over time, or if left in sunlight or put in the dishwasher?

    • The higher the concentration of dye in the solution, the less colour is lost. There seems to be a point at which the moisture is fully absorbed back into the air, leaving the particles of dye in the ceramic body unable to move and so the colour/ pattern is fixed

      Sunlight doesn’t seem to affect the colour; I had a few test pieces sat on the window sill in direct sunlight with a line of tape on them to see if sunlight did anything and nothing happened. The test was conducted over the few months so am not sure about longer term exposure

      The pieces are decorative so wouldn’t need to be put in the dishwater but I did test them, one with a sealant on and one without, and there wasn’t any change – although I left some tiled pieces I made in the rain and the dye moved around again and became very vibrant

      There is lot of science behind the process, most of which I don’t fully understand and sometimes doesn’t make any sense – could talk about it for hours but I’ve tried to be concise!

  • Kuo

    this is such a cool process. did your friend emma come up with this on her own?? that’s incredible! also, i was watching the video while listening to “Goodnight, Travel Well” by the Killers, so the video was very dramatic for me haha

    • Thank you and yes – the process came from trying to dye everything, even the studio sink!

  • The technique is so pretty and natural. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fer

    Wow! I love your work. Congratulations!

  • Christine Lynn

    I like the watercolour effect on the pieces. They look very natural because they don’t look like they were painted. By using the dye to colour the pieces, is it safe to use the bowls and cups for dinnerware?

Follow us
on Instagram