VIVA THE NOTEPAD 

ola in conversation with The Plus Paper

 
 

There’s something special about notepads, often something very personal. We use them to record our deepest thoughts, our silliest fancies and just to doodle in to pass the time. Some of us carry them with us everywhere we go, lost without one. Design studio ola is looking to elevate the humble notepad to something of real beauty.

Despite the proliferation of digital note-taking devices, the notepad continues to thrive. “There is something very different about writing in a notepad to taking notes digitally. I think they both have their place,” says ola’s founder, Katy Goutefangea.

A notepad can be used to sketch and write simultaneously, it can be rotated and torn. It doesn’t need to be powered up to record a passing thought. It can be carried anywhere, dropped and have things spilt on it without much worry. It can be flicked through and stored on a shelf. The same cannot yet be said for any digital device.

“A notepad can be used to sketch and write simultaneously, it can be rotated and torn. It doesn’t need to be powered up to record a passing thought. It can be carried anywhere, dropped and have things spilt on it without much worry. It can be flicked through and stored on a shelf. The same cannot yet be said for any digital device.”

The series of notepads is characterised by simple, elegant geometric designs and a sparing smattering of bright colours. “The patterns are intended to be almost meditative, somewhere you could rest your gaze while thinking of something else,” Katy explains.

The patterns are intended to be almost meditative, somewhere you could rest your gaze while thinking of something else.
 

We caught up with Katy to talk all things notepad-related.

The Plus: Do you personally use a notepad regularly?

Katy Goutefangea: I use notebooks every day, I couldn’t work without one. I have very different thoughts when sketching in a notebook than I do when sketching at the computer. It’s part of my working process to always start with pen and paper.

TP: What’s the mission of ola?

KG: Ola is about everyday items that have been designed and developed with patience. The main aim is to create objects that people will enjoy using. I like the idea that time has been devoted to the production of even small, relatively simple items.

TP: How would you characterise the new 

notepad designs?

KG: The patterns on each of the notepads have been developed to balance pattern and subtlety. It’s important that the prints enhance the 

notebooks aesthetically and inspire the user, without distracting from what is essentially a blank space to record thoughts and ideas.

                                           

 
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