People of Print began as a library and directory of designers, both local and national, which Director Marcroy Smith set up in 2008 after graduating from university in Brighton. But its presence as a collaborative collective on the London design scene has been growing as POP have begun taking live print workshops to venues and events all over the city.
Smith’s talent is for creating the perfect collaborative partnership by putting people together who he knows will work well. This often means throwing something a little unexpected into the mix, like spoken word poet Adam Kammerling who POP teamed up with for live printing at the Victoria, Dalston.
It sets POP apart as a fluid network of designers, willing to work with everyone and anyone and to follow creative new directions. While the focus has largely been on screen printing so far, Smith hopes to move into fashion and textile. He wants POP to explore the many possibilities of print, its diversity and range, bringing this to fresh audiences in engaging ways.
While Smith has seen his own design work take a bit of a backseat, the business has been expanding and going from strength to strength. POP recently ran t-shirt printing at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Somerset House Design Fair event and they held a live workshop with Levis on Regent Street. Future clients include Monsoon, Republic and the Cartoon Network.
The next step for POP is to get the online directory in print. Smith is working on a publication which will include interviews with many of the designers and studios, a kind of print bible that will promote a whole community of designers.
The ultimate ambition is for People of Print is to move into a studio, a physical location which would be both a base for the company and a resource and work space for many young designers. From here the community would have a centralised location and permanent resources.
Smith has designs on setting this studio up in Hackney where many of the exciting designers he has collaborated with, such as Heretic who have a studio in an old nail factory in Stoke Newington, Open who work in De Beauvoir and Hoxton’s KK Outlet, are based. Smith notes that many of the designers he studied with in Brighton have now moved to London, Hackney is just one of many creative hubs where designers are putting down roots.