Blog • Tribe Culture

History reprinted.

We were invited to an exhibition curated by G.F Smith the paper consultants, showcasing a collaborative effort of more than 130 years of heritage in print. The invite promised ground breaking pieces from big names in graphic design, like Saul Bass, Rankin, and Paul Rand.

As brand experts, we are always on the lookout for new papers and processes to effectively communicate the look and feel of a brand identity so it was great to see a timeline of how the demands of paper in design have evolved over time.

The timeline showcased examples of whimsically designed sample books dating back to the 1930s, with a disruption of service in the 1940s when G.F Smith’s premises were destroyed in German bombing raids, losing their stock, machinery and records. Despite this interruption, they still released a celebration of red, white and blue papers for the Coronation.

In the 60s a resurgence occurred when the first graphic design courses were introduced into art colleges. This development meant that people wanted individual control of print and paper specifications, G.F Smith soon became educators to the masses.

Moving forward to examples of how paper is used today, we liked the elegant table lamp that took a contemporary take on a concertina fold. Obviously, it was made entirely out of paper by local craftspeople and was a welcome interruption amid all the promotional literature.

I guess why the lamp really stood out is because it tested the conventions of paper, similar to Tribe’s approach. We look to help brands create disruption in their categories and offer something different.

It was a fun and inspirational way to spend our Tuesday evening with not a paper cut in sight!

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