Saturday, December 29th, 2012 | 162 Comments
The concept for WRAP magazine is really unique – part magazine featuring artist interviews – part product composed of illustrated wrapping paper designed by your favourite artists. How did the idea come about? Can you tell us a bit about how WRAP went from concept to reality?
A. The idea was to make a magazine that promoted up-and-coming illustrators alongside established more seasoned artists; to interview them and to get their work in front of lots of people and in as many shops as we could.
We decided not to stick with the classic magazine format and wanted to come up with a way of fully showing the work of great illustrators, giving people looking at it the opportunity to see the skill, technique and ability that goes in to each piece and really appreciate it.
We didn’t like the thought of our magazine being looked, read and then discarded, so figured out ways to extend it’s life or give it a double purpose somehow – and that’s where the wrapping paper idea came from. We thought it would be awesome to print illustrators work on a big scale and make the publication so that pages could be pulled out of the and shared in the form of wrapping paper.
Can you tell us a bit about yourselves, and the talents and passions that you bring to making WRAP?
A. Wrap was started by two people, Polly and Chris (me). We both studied design, Polly product design and me graphic design. We try to capture what we both like about design in Wrap magazine, from the way it looks to the way it functions and feels.
We’re not illustrators but illustration is something we love and have done for a mega long time. It’s our love for brilliant design and illustration that forms the foundation for each issue, but then there’s our editor Harry, writer Sarah and researcher Anna that help to drive and shape Wrap.
Each issue has a theme that the artists use as a starting point for their illustrations. What were some of the most unexpected/surprising illos that came back to you for the themes you’d chosen?
A. The first time we made Wrap we didn’t have a theme and we got back a whole load of stuff. One of the most memorable and unexpected was an illustration called ‘Gay Santa’, a drawing of Santa Claus riding his sled pretty much naked wearing rainbow coloured swimming trunks. That’s when we decided to make each issue themed. We’re always blown away by the work we get back and, although we know the style of the artists we ask, it’s always surprising to see how the brief has been interpreted.
It’s also ace when illustrator’s use the brief to better their technique and explore new approaches to how they work, like Bjorn Rune Lie and his piece ‘After Snowfall’ for the issue six front cover and the illustration ‘Play Your Cards Right’ Jesse Tise did for issue six.
We love the design of WRAP magazine, your website and your products. Can you tell us a bit about the design style you’re going for, and how you manage to carry that through all the different projects you have on the go?
A. Thank you! Everything starts with the magazine, it drives the expectation we have for all the other things we do and make.
So when it comes to new products we want them to be the best they can be, made in the best materials, and (where possible) involve some of the best illustrators we know. We make things that we’d like to out and buy and that make sense to us.
Style wise we like to keep things contemporary and sometimes fun with a strong narrative.
You started with the magazine, but now have expanded your shop to include custom designed stickers, cards and wrapping papers. Where do you hope to take WRAP in the future?
A. We’re going to continuing to focus on the magazine, working with more talented people in to develop and mould our publication which is exciting for us. Also we’ll be working on a couple of new stationary products in the new year that will enable us to commission and promote more illustrators we love and and develop our range. In nearly everything we do, it’s about the illustrator and how we can get their work seen by people. So we’re looking forward to continuing this in 2013.
On a personal level – what’s the best thing about making WRAP?
A. 100% the best thing about making Wrap is having the opportunity to meet, work with and write about great illustrators, designers and creative practices. We’re really lucky!
S&TM: We’d like to thank Chris and Polly for taking the time to do this interview with us. We really apprieciate it!
All images © 2012 Their respective owners.