With its distinctive English sensibility, this company produces covetable paper, stationery and accessories for the home.

Cambridge Imprint is the brainchild of three designers with a shared passion for pattern, texture and the potential beauty of ordinary household objects.

Based – you guessed it – in Cambridge, textile artist Jane Powell and ceramicist Ali Murphy (who are sisters) and painter Claerwen James (who is married to their brother) created their design partnership in 2013.

Today, the joyful and vibrant brand is booming. Inspired by Japanese and Florentine paper design, English spongeware, American quilt patterns and block-printed fabric, these vintage-style products are exquisite.

Gleeful wrapping paper; notebooks and albums to die for; box files that actually make you want to file your papers… this stationery will make your soul sing.

But, arguably, the most pleasing thing about Cambridge Imprint is the way it manages to be a traditional, British, artisan brand and a thoroughly modern one, too.

The designs are created using traditional methods of block printing and hand-stencilled screen-printing. These are then transferred onto the products themselves using modern digital and litho processes in small-scale manufacture in the UK.

James has said: “As we gradually developed our network of small manufacturers in this country, we found that, in fact, manufacturing here is carried out to an exceptionally high standard.

“There are a couple of bookbinders that we work with to make our notebooks and albums, and we have two different box makers who specialise in slightly different techniques, and they really are world class.”

We’d take our hats off to them if the local manufacturing of beautiful items were the limit of their offering. But their website is inviting and inventive as well.

In terms of the shopping experience, it is extremely hard to resist the array of wrapping paper, notebooks and greetings cards that Cambridge Imprint is known for.

But there are less familiar items, like the ROUND TRAY IN PEAR HALVES GRASS GREEN and the UGIZAWA MUG IN NAVY, that also stop you in your tracks.

Their ingenious new GIANT SCRAPBOOKS are the perfect way to collate children’s holiday memories or preserve their numerous paintings.

They stock the prettiest ribbon we’ve seen for some time. Complementing their papers perfectly, their STRIPED RIBBON IN RED makes wrapping a total pleasure.

Adults and older children will be charmed by Cambridge Imprint’s pretty origami kits. We love the STAR GARLAND one and want several for the present drawer.

Another feature of the site caught our eye, too: the HOW-TO VIDEO section. Though the origami kits come with a beautifully done book of instructions, the team at Cambridge Imprint is aware that it’s easier to show a process like origami than it is to tell. So, they’ve produced a series of typically elegant videos in which a pair of hands artfully demonstrates the steps required. Nice touch, that one.

Cambridge Imprint sets out to create and sell “enduring, resilient, beautiful things, made with care”. It’s pretty hard to quibble with values like those.

If you liked reading this, then you might like:

Compton Marbling
Best Sites for Stationery
Best Sites for Bookworms

August 2019

By Becky Ladenburg

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.