MEET THE MAKER / Notem
We've recently stocked Notem notebooks on our shelves and we couldn't be happier. We're in love with their Vita range and in particular the red notebooks are our favourites. We spoke to Signe, co-founder, to get to know the brand and the people behind it a little more.
Tell us a little bit about Notem, what's your signature style?
Notem Studio is a newly-established Danish design company that has now been in existence for half-a-year or so. We design products from our base here in Copenhagen, and our production line is 100% European-based.
I have always been a “paper-lover”. I love designs that are simple and minimal – and when it comes to graphic design I am a total fan of the clean look. That is really what I would call Notem’s signature tune although, at the same time, we are also often praised for our colour choices, which are subdued but with a splash of colour here and there.
What inspires your designs?
We are inspired by print and try to combine graphic rigour with organic print. Our inspiration comes from textiles and from fashion, but also from so much else, such as the design of a book cover or a fine-looking shirt.
In our design process, most of our time is spent on the contents, what is between the covers. Our aim is to design products for everyday use for exactly those situations where you find yourself needing pen and paper. Our Work Journal and Weekly Journal are products that I find that I have always been missing – and that, to me, is a really good starting point for new design.
Where are you based and what does your studio/workspace look like?
Our studio is located in the Østerbro borough of Copenhagen, looking out onto the open Fælledpark (the large “commons” park in the middle of Copenhagen). We have taken over the space formally used by a company which made ice cream, located in a listed and protected historical building. Even though our own surroundings in the studio itself are modest, we are surrounded by so much charm and history. Our studio is both calm and full of light, and there is a special kind of serenity in these old premises, which balances our busy daily day. Having said that, the best thing about our workspace is actually the people who work here – we have the sweetest, most helpful and dedicated team, that makes every day a happy one. The Notem team is like one large family.
Describe day in the Notem studio?
Our normal work day at Notem Studio always starts with freshly-brewed coffee and an update of the day’s tasks. After that, it all becomes a little unpredictable as the day unfolds, with everything from visiting clients, design meetings, photos, workshops – and the telephone ringing, and orders being packaged and posted. Not one days resembles another at Notem.
What's your favourite stationery item that you're using?
That’s a tough one. By nature, I like to make plans. I love making lists and getting an overview. For this, my absolute favourite is my Work Journal. This matches all my daily tasks and chores – all included within one book.
I'm also wild about the Vita notebooks in all their different sizes. I give each one that I use a different heading, so that I have one for each project that I am working on. For me it is the best way to keep my notes organised.
This has become one of my obsessions. While digital media has given us a lot, many of our memories fade and disappear. For me, the best way to remember and to reminisce is to leaf through my old notebooks. Just lately I found a notebook from the time that I was in high school, and even the little notes that I made and the chores that I had jotted down reminded me of days long gone. So I really make an effort to jot it all down, and be able to look back on my life through my notes.
What's next for Notem?
At Notem we are busy working on our new collection of notebooks. In addition, we are playing with the idea to expand our range with desk objects and textiles. We have many plans and ideas. We can hardly wait to turn these ideas into reality.