People of Print. Those three words that are so easily recognisable across the Internet in the creative sector. A long running based blog with an incredible following, we wanted to say hello to the chap behind this great online platform.
Hello Marcroy! Tell us about how People of Print was born back in 2008 and the current status of where it has grown to now…
Marcroy Smith: People of Print started as a personal project back in late 2008 whereby I took it upon myself to list and showcase the work of all my favourite artists, designers and studios who used print in their work. I then took two years out to travel across America, sell bread on a farmers market, play ice hockey, tour Canada with a friend’s band and do a couple of work placements in New York.
Upon my return to England (and reality) I decided to push on with People of Print which had organically gained a lot of interest because all of these amazing designers were all featured on one website. By early 2011, I was receiving tonnes of printed goods in the mail and decided to do something with them all; this was when I put on a whole bunch of exhibitions in, Bristol, Paris, and all over London in order to showcase all of the incredible work. I then started curating shows and running live print events, which lead onto a similar setup at Pick Me Up 2012, workshops with D&AD students at KK Outlet, printing at the Levi’s store during the Olympics, printing at V&A Museum for MasterCard, Design Museum for Double Decker and setting up a print studio in Kibera slum, Nairobi. During this time we developed a strong team of designers, illustrators, printmakers and web developers who are core to the structure of PoP. We also offer a fully bespoke printing service but we don’t shout about this too much because we prefer to print our own stuff.
We are very well connected in the print and creative world, which means we can offer a consultation and design service. There’s a lot of work that our audience probably don’t know that we do, for instance, we are currently working on a book for Kuvva, alongside our own book for Thames & Hudson. We have also recently launched The Creative Universe, Department Store and a self-published magazine called ‘Print Isn’t Dead’. We’re extremely busy, but we love it!
That’s all pretty, pretty incredible. You must be so proud as to how it’s grown! Travelling the sights of America and Canada sounds like that would have been an incredible experience, filled with stories and new contacts. Especially to come back to England to see People of Print develop even further.
We’ve all enjoyed looking through ‘Print Isn’t Dead’, your first ever publication which showcase the creative use of print in all forms! Tell us how to book and idea came about?
Marcroy Smith:Print Isn’t Dead is a self-published magazine by People of Print. The magazine came about quite naturally. We have been playing with the idea of producing our own book for quite some time, however we ended up going down the publishers route, signing a deal with Thames & Hudson for a 330 page hardback book to be released in Jan 2015. This has been a great experience for us, working with such a huge publisher has taught us a lot of things about the industry and really inspired us to create our own quarterly magazine. We obviously have a bit more freedom with our own magazine; we can dictate how many pages, the format, the paper and the inks used because we are paying for the production.
With a publisher it really does leave you to get the best of your ability stuck in with the content of the book – we’re excited to see the publication.
You are heavily based through your blog platform as well, through features of creatives internationally. How do you go about deciphering what content goes online?
Marcroy Smith:The website began as a place to bookmark all of my findings from the web and through any other means of research. I guess it was just a big list of print-based content that I liked. People of Print has developed since then, we have an online submission form which we select from alongside a team of people who are scouting out the hottest new talent and great print companies who offer fantastic services in all areas of print. I would like to think that I have a pretty decent understanding of what is good in terms of print, and I only let people who I trust have a good understanding of print to blog for us so that we keep the content of a high quality, relevant and informative.
With the book nearing it’s stockists, what’s your next plan of action for People of Print?
Marcroy Smith: The final draft of the People of Print book for Thames & Hudson is handed in now. It will go through a series of amends and edits, then we will be getting our proof copies in the coming weeks and it will be hitting the shelves of the majority of bookstores in January 2015. We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline. We have the magazine titled ‘Print Isn’t Dead’ which we hope to run quarterly, available for pre-order from our Department Store. We are going to be doing a lot of work with our directory, developing a membership section – lots of web development ready for 2015, watch this space.
Starting out as a personal project in 2008 and succeeding to what you’ve produced now is incredible. What words of advice would you give to a creative who is looking to start his or her own project?
Marcroy Smith: I’m not really great at giving advice, but if I were to explain it in a nutshell I would say:
-Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing.
-Collaborate and meet people who can help you.
-Stick with it.
What has been the one quote, which has been an inspiration?
Marcroy Smith: My friend Kay from college got in touch one day after years of being apart, during the start of People of Print as a website and said, “your website is good, but you can do SO MUCH MORE with it.” It made me realise that it had a lot of potential and she inspired me to move it from a list of bookmarked sites into a blog and get the ball rolling. As far as I am concerned, People of Print is still a small fish in a big pond, there’s still so much more that we can do, but it just takes time, patience and money. There’s also another quote by Donald Trump about thinking big, but I can’t remember it and I’m also a fan of the 90’s Apple slogan, “Think Different”.
So think differently and be yourself in this old world!
Grab yourself a fresh copy of ‘Print Isn’t Dead’ and have a read this weekend, we’d highly recommend it! You can also see the wonderful work by People of Print on their website as well as connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter.