Meet the Maker: Here. Design
In this blog series we profile some of the independent creative businesses behind some of our product ranges in the British Library Shop (both online and at our St Pancras, London site). This time, we meet Cécile from Here. Design, who worked on the bespoke product range and catalogue for the Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights exhibition.
Founded in 2005, Here. is ‘a company of thinkers, writers, designers, and makers who work together to create beautiful and useful things’. They are based in an East London studio, but Covid-19 has allowed them to rethink the way they work, enabling designers to work wherever they feel most inspired as individuals and as part of a team.
Here. worked with the British Library Publishing team on the Unfinished Business catalogue design, which then inspired the range of bespoke products for the shop, drawing on key themes of the exhibition, as Cécile explains:
‘Our design is inspired by the women’s suffrage banners to give a sense of empowerment to the younger generation via the products. All of the products in the range were designed to be worn and worn with pride.’
The range combines bold colours with strong messaging, across flags, prints and cushions for the home, and t-shirts, bags, patches and more to wear your message with pride. Stand-out pieces include the ‘Girls Just Wanna Have FUNdamental Rights’ Cushion, and the ‘A Woman of Words is a Powerful Woman’ recycled leather notebook. Cécile’s favourite item is ‘the enamel pin ‘Change the Agender’ which I wear every day on my jacket’.
‘The product design with its focus on bold typography and inspiring messaging, is powerfully uplifting. Although beautiful objects in their own right, each has a positive purpose. We found inspiration in the imagination and persuasive language of women fighting to have their voices heard.’
The bespoke range sits alongside books exploring the issues of the exhibition in more detail, and is complemented by branded items such as jewellery from Tatty Devine which supports the Fawcett Society. There are also 6 prints produced in collaboration with activist organisations who contributed to the exhibition.
‘Here. were a dream to work with. Their bold and colourful vision for both the book and merchandise perfectly captured the galvanising spirit of the Unfinished Business exhibition.’ Polly Russell, lead curator of the Unfinished Business exhibition
Cécile’s own advice for anyone starting out in design?
‘Have a voice! Your opinion and point of view are as important as someone who has been working in design for 20 years.’