Interview | from the desk of Banton Frameworks
Jamie Bartlett and Lucy Ross founded Banton Frameworks back in 2012. Born from a passion for design and manufacture and inspired by the UK’s rich manufacturing past, the pair produce extraordinary eyewear that's made to last a life time. Writing from their studio in Glasgow, they give us an insight into a their working processes, inspirations and, of course, how they use their ola notebooks.
ola: When designing and testing our notebooks, we are constantly imagining the journeys they’ll take after they’ve left our studio. Could you tell us a little about how you use your notebook?
Banton Frameworks: Sure, so we use our notebooks pretty similarly. They tend to live on our studio desk beside our laptops where we plan, make lists and sketch out ideas, costings and prices for our projects. We are both quite 'listy' people so the notebooks are generally filled with those.
o: Are there any special journeys or trips that you’ve taken a notebook along on? If so what did you fill it with?
BF: They don't leave our desks unless we are going somewhere where we need to do a lot of note-taking like meetings etc. Generally, they are filled with so many sketches and notes, so we tend to leave them where they are used the most and where it's the cleanest, in our studio!
o: Do you have a particular ritual, routine or starting point when beginning a new project or design?
BF: Most, if not all our projects start from conversations or when we are in our workshop. During various processes, making our eyewear, we can spend long periods of time with our own thoughts. That's when ideas can emerge and are then usually hashed-out into our notebooks to test theories or ideas. Generally, we use our notebooks to explain or iterate ideas to one another, generally because it's easier to explain via a drawing.
o: Working as part of a small business I find it’s essential to multitask, and often have multiple projects happening at once. The way I manage my work load is with a daily, weekly and monthly to do lists which I update regularly. What does a typical day at Banton Frameworks look like? Do you have a system you use or have developed to work effectively?
BF: We like to-do lists and they tend to be written on a shorter, day to day basis. We generally work this way as things can change very quickly between production and admin. Sometimes a batch of frames can be delayed which means we have to adapt quickly to these changes. Generally speaking, we work in rotations between the workshop and the office, sometimes a week at a time, sometimes less.
o: We have shelves full of books and magazines in our studio which we are constantly revisiting for research and inspiration. Some of the most valued have been recommended by friends. Is there a title you’d suggest we check out?
BF: That's a difficult one. I think inspiration can come from a lot of unexpected and different places. In terms of physical publications, Kinfolk or Cereal magazines are coffee table staples: cue eye roll. However their relevance, depending on your area of interest, is changeable with each edition.
My best answer is to actively research into individual, unexpected prints or books. If you come across something that really grabs your attention or you find really inspiring, you've already made a great discovery. Currently, I'm trying to make my way through "Small is Beautiful". I'm not illiterate or anything but it's pretty dense. "A study of economics as if people mattered". You should check it out...
Pages – Ruled, plain, dotted or something else? Plain, indefinitely.
Size – A4, A5 or A6? For notebooks, always A5.
Format – Landscape or portrait? Don't make me choose.
Favourite Tool – Pencil, pen, something else? Hands down, my AJOTO pen. It never leaves my sight.
1. Jamie Bartlett and Lucy Ross
2 - 4. Snapshots of Banton Framework's ola Layflat Notebook
5. Inside Banton Framework's workshop