You could say the birth of Printed Goods was written in the stars. The design studio is founded by Raphael and George Greaves – innately artistic twin brothers with a shared passion for print. They’re both Aquarians too, a sign famously unafraid to innovate when it comes to creative and business projects.
Swapping packing spice kits in a factory for running their own home goods brand, Raffy and George started Printed Goods back in 2015. Now they’re makers and creators of everything from throws and plates to cushion covers and jewellery. Each piece steeped in a style they can distinctly call their own, blending old and new worlds all into one.
Here, they tell us about finding their path in the creative world, working with a sibling, plus how they’ll be using some of the stationery from their new Papier collection.
How would you describe the ethos of Printed Goods?
R: Our tagline is ’Art for the everyday’. We both have a strong belief in how much art and design can impact people's lives for the better. The aim with Printed Goods is to appeal to an audience who are interested in arts and culture but also to try and reach a larger audience who might not always prioritise artwork.
What’s it like working with your brother?
R: Working together as brothers has a lot of advantages. We have very similar reference points and we can be completely honest with each other.
What was your journey to becoming full-time creatives?
R: We both studied illustration at university. After leaving we were working in a factory packing spice kits and feeling a bit lost, which is when we decided to start Printed Goods. From the beginning we treated it as a full-time job but it took about two years before we started making a living out of it. It was a massive learning curve but we had help from the Prince's Trust who were a big help, particularly our business mentor Tino Savvas.
What do you love about design?
G: Design has always been a passion for me, it’s something I've wanted to do since I can remember. I was always fascinated by visual things when I was younger and drawing was my favourite hobby. I really believe good design has the power to improve people's lives, to surround ourselves with beautiful things has a real impact on our wellbeing.
What’s the magic of print?
G: Physical objects are more important than they have ever been in this age of pixels and digital design. We both often work on computers, but really appreciate bringing our work into the real world through print –there is nothing quite the same as being able to handle the work or see it up on a wall. Different forms of print always bring something new to your design that can be unexpected and add something intangible that you cannot achieve digitally.
What are your major influences?
R: We draw inspiration from a lot of different sources, but we’re always drawn to symbolism and mythology. 20th century artists such as De Chirico, Matisse, Eric Ravilous, Hockney are a big inspiration.
Who are your favourite creative siblings?
G: I enjoy the work of brothers Quay who make eerie stop motion films. I find them a great example of visually exploring ideas which is what interests me.
Who does what? What’s your working process like?
R: Being twins we are pretty used to sharing and we try to be as fair as possible with the workload, taking an equal hand in most things. We will work on our own designs and rarely collaborate on the same image.
What’s your star sign?
As twins with the same birth date, do you connect with the same traits of your star sign?
Yes, I think we do. We're both creative and like doing things our own way.
What will you be using your Papier collection for?
G: I will be using it for putting all the chaotic thoughts that go along with being creative into something resembling some kind of comprehensible order. I think this is the great thing about notebooks – it’s a place to bring together ideas, thoughts and doodles and see what comes out of it. For me, it will often be lists of things I have to do for the day, ideas for new projects, work and mostly mindless sketching.
What does astrology mean to you?
I've always found the symbolism and mythology of it interesting. I love looking at the old astrological maps.
Inspired to pick up a piece or two by Printed Goods for your desk? Find your star sign and shop their debut Papier collection this way.