THE MANY WAYS OF PAPER - A DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: with Asha Annauth, Babooche Calligraphy, England
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Asha and I’m a calligrapher, illustrator and wedding stationery designer. I worked in fashion design before I started Babooche Calligraphy and specialised in Colour & Trend Design. I worked with some fantastic people and got to travel a lot for work which was brilliant! I’ve been writing calligraphy for 7 years and designing wedding stationery since 2017. I have always been creative and pursued my passion for art since I was little but was encouraged to take a more professional route as I got older – so I studied Law and trained to become a Barrister but completely changed my career path shortly after my training as my love for design and art could not be ignored. I grew up on the south coast of England in a beautiful town called Poole in Dorset. I’ve always looked to the sea and beach for tranquillity and peace whenever I needed it and my work is still influenced by the sea and nature today. I am a romantic and I can watch period romance dramas all day long everyday. My clients are couples looking for romantic and luxury wedding stationery that they can treasure forever.
Show us one of your favourite designs and tell us about how it came to be.
I have so many favourite designs – so it’s really hard to choose one! I’m known for my love of handmade paper and many of my clients that come to me already have in mind that they would like to use that as part of their design. I have recently worked on a styled shoot with a dusty blue colour theme and I had free reign on the design which was great! I used the dusty blue and white handmade paper, blue ink letterpress, blind floral letterpress details with decorative vintage illustrations.
Another styled shoot I worked on was in the Scottish Highlands and the colour palette was very muted so I used accents of embossed gold crests and gold wax seal stamps. I also hand painted the Scottish thistle with watercolour paint.
I also used similar muted colours for a suite for a lovely couple who are getting married in France (fingers crossed for 2021!). We used a mixture of letterpress and digital printing and every turned out so beautifully. The illustration map of the area was letterpress printed and was a lovely addition to the suite. The final detail was an embossed floral detail on the envelope. So much texture on one suite!
photo: Marrymi Wedding Photography | planning and styling: Danila Stella Events
What are your favourite colours to work with right now? And why?
Right now I’m loving ivory and soft green shades. Makes me feel so connected with nature and seeing all the trees full with their new leaves just makes me so happy!
Your all time favorite colour in Hex and how would you describe it?
That’s so hard to choose! I love pretty much any blue – comes from my love of the sea.
Which of all our colours of handmade paper do you like best if you had to chose one?
I love all the colours that Eliv offers and I haven’t tried them all yet – but working my way through. If I really had to choose I would opt for Slate Blue.
Colour combination that will never go out of style? Colour combination that will make a comeback?
The classic combination of black and white/ivory. It’s always the most sophisticated and elegant colour combination and just says ‘luxury’ especially when mixed with hints of gold!
What are design elements that you use consistently in your work?
I use so many design elements in my wedding stationery suites and I believe that’s what makes me stand apart from other stationery designers. I offer calligraphy, botanical watercolour illustration, line illustration, letterpress printing, foil printing, embossing, digital printing, vintage decorative design. I think of all these design elements as layers to a design that ultimately add texture and show consideration to the couples love story and type of wedding.
How do you see handmade paper? Is it a more modern or a more retro design element?
I see handmade paper as a vintage design element for my creations.
What inspires you?
The sea, nature and European history – I draw inspiration such as colour, texture and surface pattern from these 3 things.
Your dream design project?
Babooche Calligraphy is my dream design project! So I’m already doing it – I’ve dreamt of having my own business for so many years and getting to create with beautiful paper and antique printing techniques and now I’m living that dream.
If you had to use only one font on handmade paper for the rest of your designer's life, which would it be?
Are you secretly a serif or sans serif person?
No secret – happy to shout out loud that I am a serif person!
Which three words best describe your style?
Romantic, Refined, Luxury.
Did you teach it yourself or did you go to school for design?
I learnt calligraphy on several courses (and still learning!) but I am self taught when it comes to stationery design.
How did you learn calligraphy?
I first came across calligraphy 7 years ago and I learnt copperplate calligraphy on an evening course.
Your guilty pleasure in design?
I have stacks of paper – bundles from Eliv and other beautiful fine papers that I don’t want to use but just want to keep and look at – it’s too pretty!!
Why do you like working with handmade paper?
The texture and deckled edges mean so much to me and I am in awe every time I receive a new batch. I strive to create stationery that is all handmade from the paper to the printing technique to the calligraphy on the envelopes – it means the world to my brand and design aesthetic.
See more of Asha's work on her website.
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