For anyone looking to get reacquainted with the lost practice of letter writing, the Canadian paper goods company Maurèle brings with it all the class and elegance of a bygone era while accompanied by a distinct contemporary edge. Launched in November by the husband-and-wife duo, Nick D’Urbano and Cece de la Montagne, Maurèle is designed to be a source of refuge from the deluge of electronic correspondence, direct messaging and overall productivity, instead encouraging quiet and contemplation with its stylish suite of customisable and sustainably made stationery.
‘We’ve always been big believers of analogue, tactile experiences,’ says de la Montagne, an architect who’s also behind the accessory label Atelier YUL. ‘There is something beautiful, peaceful and intimate about writing, sketching, or reading a book. In this age of perennial distraction and digital overload, these rare moments have become even more important.’
‘What we felt was lacking in the market was a focus on the simple pleasures of reading and writing,’ adds D’Urbano, who’s currently building on his business experience by pursuing an advanced degree in literature. ‘There are a lot of heritage brands whose aesthetic is more classical and ornamental. There are also many trendy, playful brands. Particularly when it comes to personalized paper goods, we found few offerings with a contemporary, clean and timeless aesthetic. We hope to fill that gap with a brand and set of products that celebrate a subtle, understated design, beautiful typography and a rich assortment of paper options.’
Under their keen eye, the Montreal-based firm has selected paper stock made by a fourth generation family-run mill in the United States. Apart from its papers’ exquisite quality, the mill also uses steam plants, wind-powered energy and continually recycles water for reuse. Available in an array of textures and shades, the house collection of letter paper and note cards comes matched with its signature debossed envelopes in a winning shade of sage green.
Better still, Maurèle invites customers to create their own personalized stationery from a series of templates inspired by the desks of some very famous creative figures. Whether it’s the oversized, bold centered type of the Catalonia, which mirrors the personal stationery of Salvador Dali (granted his moniker used to take up 1/3 of a page), or the minimalist, mirrored proportions of the Taliesin, a tribute to the personal letterheads of both Frank Lloyd Wright and Helmut Lang, each template can be further tailored to one’s tastes by selecting from Maurèle‘s library of typefaces, which have been curated from the world’s most foremost foundries.
‘We became obsessed,’ de la Montagne recalls. ‘We spent months scouring the web, blogs and our design networks to come up with a list of type designers and type foundries from different corners of the globe. We wanted to curate an assortment that featured both big and smaller foundries as well as independent type designers not tied to a particular studio. We collaborated with a handful of really talented designers to grow our list of potential fonts to 60. We then spent countless hours debating and refining until we whittled that number down to 13. We studied their forms, rhythm, and printed hundreds of pages to analyze letter combinations.’
‘We also looked for fonts with a deep, rich narrative,’ D’Urbano says, while sharing that a template inspired by Ray Charles is set to come. ‘Each typeface was chosen not only for it’s immaculate design but also because it tells a story.’
Aided by Maurèle’s easy-to-use online interface, and printed in Montreal on a Heidelberg press by third generation printers, and it has never been easier to create customised stationery that displays an eye for both quality and design.
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Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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