You might very well be reading this post on your iPhone, iPad, or some other portable piece of technology. Sure, that’s the world we live in, where we can receive and record information with the touch of a screen. However, if you are anything like me, perhaps you still occasionally relish in the tactility of textured paper, bound in covers of something equally as practical as it is creative.
As I wander Paris, it is inevitable that I will spot a new pâtisserie, café, or store that I would like to return to another time (probably because I have already had my fill of treats for the day). Good thing I usually have a notebook or sketchbook in my backpack, ready to quickly note the name and location, alongside random sketches and other scribbles, so that I can come back and gorge in the near future.
A travel essential, a beautiful notebook also helps to guard all those little souvenirs you accumulate along the way: business cards, gallery tickets, polaroids etc., so that you can later recall all the details of your séjour à Paris. When you first arrive, I would recommend visiting one (or all) of the following three stationery stores to pick up the bits you need in order to get you on the way to creating your little Parisian histoire.
For the graphic enthusiast.
Stationery products that will transport you back to your childhood: notebooks, sketchpads, lead and coloured pencils, and pens all emblazoned with bold and colourful prints will certainly bring a grin to your face, all whilst keeping you organised and helping you to document your adventures.
Home deco products will also help add a playful touch to your home. Hang graphic, Paris-inspired prints on your wall, side-by-side with 3D abstract artworks, all constructed, of course, from paper. Prolong the scents of Paris’ gardens and parks (Tuileries, Buttes Chaumont, and Luxembourg to name a few) with help from a range of candles and fragrances.
All of Papier Tigre’s products are crafted in their light-filled showroom, which can be found in the creative hub of the Haut Marais. Pop in to the store to pick up some goodies and maybe some gifts for friends, which you can accompany with Papier Tigre wrapping paper and gift cards.
Time your visit well and you may also be lucky enough to snag a scrumptious, equally colourful treat from Paris’ touring donut bike, Doughmade. The next popup at Papier Tigre is rumored to be happening this weekend!
For the vintage lover.
Timeless objects for the more classic note-taker; think traditional paper merchant meets lumberjack, meets tannery.
General card-bound notebooks are available here, however the material of choice is natural French leather. Hides dyed in varying tones of burgundy and red, browns, and deep blues enclose sheets of lined, or unlined, vellum with generously tactile fibers. Of course a standard “A-size” notebook would be a welcome addition to your bag, or you could take a courageous leap and replace your technological best friend with a notebook measuring exactly the same size as an iPad or iPhone. No charger or breaking risk involved!
For the artists and designers amongst you, La Compagnie du Kraft also offers a range of beautiful craft paper reams. Produced in Gascony from 100% pure virgin fibres, machine-glazed on one side and matte on the other, these sheets can be used for a wide range of printed and hand-written projects.
La Compagnie du Kraft is currently in the process of jumping from rive gauche to rive droite (opening very soon), however fear not, in the meantime their products can be found in a corner of graphic artists heaven called Lavrut, a papeterie and graphic art specialist store with a long history in Paris.
For the minimalist.
Launched in 1976, Papier+ has used a long tradition of artisanal French techniques to create their simplistic product range, and not much has changed since then.
The notebooks of differing sizes are softly covered in traditional cloth, house unlined, acid-free paper, and are bound using original book-making methods. Once you have begun to fill up your notebooks with ideas and sketches, a matching range of photo albums and archive boxes will help you to organize all of your Parisian memories in the most beautiful way.
All of these products are available in a never-ending range of monotone colors. Immerse yourself in Papier+’s cozy bibliothèque-style store, located on a quiet street across from Pont Louis-Philippe, where the products are stacked ceiling high and meticulously arranged by color.
Papier+ – 9 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004. Métro: Pont Marie. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 77 70 49
- Keep all your bits and pieces together, inside one of Archipel’s beautiful leather bags. We recently discovered the Parisian brand’s launch range here.
- The Doughmade donut bike is a recent startup by Alex Roberts, a New York pastry chef now living in Paris. He shared his story with us earlier this year.
- Find out more about Paris’ unique graphic design scene with this piece from It’s Nice That.