Husband and wife Richard and Vici-Jane Kohring make up the design & print team Artcadia. Making high quality bespoke wedding invitations, the couple seem to complement one another to create a perfect working partnership. Here Vici-Jane talks paper, pygmy goats and printing.
Tell us about your work.
We work with couples to produce really personal wedding stationery. We personalise our existing ranges or create custom designs from briefs given to us by the couple. We offer digitally printed and letterpress stationery. Our materials are high quality and ethically sourced.
Having scoured the UK for the best paper stock, we’re proud to present our design work on beautifully textured, heavyweight paper stock for our ‘colourful digital’ lines and 100% cotton, plush and squishy paper stock for our ‘luxurious letterpress’ collection. We take great care in choosing our papers and printing methods to ensure our artwork comes to life in a way that’s heart warming, robust, and beautiful.
What’s your favourite piece of work?
My favourite range of ours is Summer Garden. It’s a fun, folk style design which we’ve letterpressed in a warm olive green. It’s finished rather nicely with a belly band made from dyed cotton rag paper.
When did it all begin for you?
2009, in the run up to our own wedding. After getting frustrated by not being able to find stationery that inspired us, we took our experience from our careers in design and print and got to work at offering something different.
Tell us about your work space?
We work from home, thus far our business has consumed two rooms inside the house and two large outbuildings.
I’ve got a nice warm office inside and Richard’s print studio is outside, it’s a very masculine space, minimal décor, oil cans and tools!
Our other outbuilding is down the bottom of the garden, which is my favourite place to design as it has views over the countryside where Pygmy goats and chickens just wonder about.
We have a storage room inside our house, which needs to be kept at a certain temperature, and dehumidified, as it’s where all our paper lives. This does mean that we constantly have dry eyes and throats!
How do you keep your work unique?
It’s easy to follow trends, but that’s not what we think makes a good brand. Our inspiration comes from our countryside surroundings, the people we meet and great art past and present. This method ensures our ranges are truly unique and true to us.
Describe your day as a maker? Are you organised/disciplined?
Thankfully one of us is organised. My primary concern about starting a venture was my lack of organisational skills. Richard definitely keeps it all together and his input ensures Artcadia’s order processing is speedy and smooth running. Our days consist of liaising with couples, design work, printing, finishing and packing. There’s a fair amount of admin involved too, but you’d have to ask Richard about that!
What three tools could you not live without?
Ruler, Scissors and Palette Knife
What gets the creative juices flowing?
Holidays! When we’re busy it can be quite stressful trying to budget enough time to work on new ranges. Holidays are the perfect opportunity to visit galleries, explore new surroundings and be romantic!
Are you inspired by any artists from the past or present?
Not specifically, but we’ve recently started an inter country adoption with Russia, so have spent many hours researching culture and language. I love folk art and Russia has some really interesting folk artists whose beautiful floral patterns make for great colour palette inspiration.
How do you know when a piece is done?
When it’s printed and I’m still smiling! Sometimes a design can look great on screen but in print it just doesn’t come to life.
What do you love most about being a maker?
I love that what we do means we can work together. When we receive lovely thank you emails from happy couples, it’s really rewarding to think we’ve created something great working as a team.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
It’s a tricky question as what we’d love is to have grown and recruited. Right now we both work 7 days a week, sometimes 14-hour days. In an ideal world we’d be making steps to get an extra pair of hands, but as we’re still such a young business we feel that we need to be working this hard for a while longer before taking on such a commitment.
What would you say to any makers starting out?
Be original, unique and patient, it won’t happen over night, but with a lot of hard work it will be worth it in the end.