Documenting… be-pôles

Documenting... be-poles | Photography by CATHERINEGRACE | www.catherinegrace.com.au

Documenting… a series dedicated to finding the unique and the stylish –
places you will want to visit, explore or know about – 
as seen through the eyes of CATHERINEGRACE

Le studio be-pôles, 4e arrondissement, Paris

Le sac en papier – the perfect example of the adage less is more. Is there anything more beautifully simple than the famous paper storage bag created by Le studio be-pôles? I think not. Yet read on, as there is much more to this graphic design studio, with offices in Paris and New York, than its famous paper bag.18- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014It is said that graphic design is most difficult when the objective is to be simple. I, too, find this when styling. Le studio be-pôles, however, have built an extraordinary portfolio of graphic design work, each splendidly simple, and just a week or so ago I had the incredible privilege of taking a sneak peek into their studio.

While we may know Le studio be-pôles for its clever paper storage solution, believe me, this is just a fraction of their brilliance. To begin with, there is a new player on the lust-list. Meet Le sac en kraft brun.04- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014Launched during Maison et Objet in Paris in September 2014. Le sac en kraft brun has twice the capacity of the original and it is sure to find favour with current sac fans, as well as a new following who just won’t be able to resist its krafty goodness! First available at HEIMELIG, a German multi-brand design concept store, it will now be rolling out through current stockists of Le sac en papier. Some of my favourite stores – Norsu, Leo & Bella, Thirteen Red Shoes & For Keeps – will be stocking le sac en kraft brun {and Norsu are also getting the gorgeous pencils below}. Get in quick, these will surely run out the door.05- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014So what else is new? A stunning collection of drawing pencils, Le crayon de papierdeveloped in conjunction with Swiss stationery brand Caran d’Ache, manufacturers of specifically art and writing instruments. 08- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014Sold in a set of  7 unique pencils on the graphite grading scale, the pencils are presented on a block of raw pencils in the state they exist prior to separating them into individual writing implements. With the simple and instantly recognisable branding of the be-pôles team on the pencils’ box, I, for one, am in love!15- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014I was lucky enough to have a little peek at the original prototype for these beautiful pencils {stored in a special glass box at the be-pôles studio in Paris}. An 18K gold pencil “ring” {made by French ethical jewellery brand, JEM} designed to be worn as a pendant with its accompanying chain when not drawing and as a non-slip pencil grip when creativity strikes, is included in the package. The entire concept is the brainchild of Le studio be-pôles and if you have a spare 1700 Euros you can still nab yourself a special set of writing implements or indulge your fantasy with this gorgeous website and film about the product.27- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014 26- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014 25- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014Given the hype that surrounds the products coming out of the be-pôles studio {much to the surprise of the designers at the studio}, you would be forgiven for thinking products and collaborations are their main business. In fact, Le studio be-pôles is primarily a graphic design studio, producing work for clients, as well as design work for the studio itself, with every detail from typeface, paper, finish and even the blank space throughly thought through to optimise the result.16- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014There may be no clearer example of the be-pôles aesthetic than the Portraits de Villes series. A city is chosen, together with an artist who be-pôles feels resonates with the brand. The artist is given carte blanche to photograph the beat of the city as he or she chooses. Each Portrait is unique, yet the series retains cohesiveness due to the strict artistic requirements, both in content and form, set out by be-pôles. 10- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201403- 31 - be-pôles- styling and photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014As I watched Romain carefully wrap the Nice Portraits de Villes booklet in the be-pôles signature wrapping paper – consisting of a world map printed on one side with wax paper underneath – I was informed it was a gift for me {I had just mentioned that we had visited Nice}. Talented and generous!09- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201432 - be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201402- 31 - be-pôles- styling and photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014The full range of Portraits sits neatly on a nearby shelf and the best news… Melbourne is next {at the time of my visit a photographer was yet to be determined, so I won’t give away the few names Romain tossed about with excitement}.31- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014Inspired by vintage French postcards, be-pôles have now launched the Portraits de Villes series in mini postcard form and oh goodness – I think perhaps these mini versions are my favourite, although best to have the booklet and the postcards just to be sure!22- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201421- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201419- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201420- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014be-pôles designed the advertising for Maison et Objet held in Paris this past September and again in January 2015, in Singapore in March 2015 and Miami Beach in May 2015. A series of witty postcards forms part of the publicity, created with the studio’s acclaimed dry wit and signature design style.01- 31 - be-pôles- styling and photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201433- be-pôles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014Le studio be-pôles also works with Merci on its graphic design and point of sale products and together they have created an adorable set of matches in familiar be-pôles design and patriotic French colours!06- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 201407- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough – they make a great espresso…28- be-poles- photography by CATHERINEGRACE copyright 2014After bidding my farewells, I stepped out into the street – inspired both by the graphic design and the generosity of spirit of this quite special design house.

xx Catherine JPEG

 

 

 

To find le sac en papier in the Australasian area {although most ship anywhere} get in touch with my friends at Norsu, Home ApparelLeo & BellaThirteen Red Shoes or For Keeps – but be warned… you are unlikely to be able to stop at le sac when you see all the gorgeous goodies these guys stock!

For more in the Documenting… series click here.

Disclosure note: I contacted Le studio be-pôles while I was in France to ask if they would be part of my Documenting… series, to which they agreed. I was unexpectedly gifted a Nice edition of the Portraits de Villes and a box of the Merci collaboration matches during my visit. I was not paid to visit the studio or prepare this post.

3 Comments on “Documenting… be-pôles

  1. Pingback: Secret Santa sorted! | catherinegrace

  2. Do you guys still exist?? How can one purchase Be-pole products?? IE..matches? City portraits?? I’ve been looking on-line w/out much luck. Ideas?? Thanks!!

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