In this age of austerity, of budget cuts and debt ceilings, the arts are an easy target–often presented as something of a luxury, a nice thing to have a bit of culture, sure, but morally at odds with the hardiness required by times like these. Adam London, co-founder of Public Supply, believes that this is not the opinion of the people. On the contrary, he tells Co.Design, “People understand the inherent value in arts education.” And he has the success of a smartly designed and social-minded line of stationery to prove it.
When London and his partners on the project, Leigh Salem, Brian Smith, and Russell Daiber, launched Public Supply in July, they prefaced the project with a very public mission statement. The Brooklyn-based, for-profit company would donate a quarter of its profits to public school art programs and high-need classrooms in New York. It was immediately evident that consumers were hip to the cause. In fact, London says, they “jumped at the opportunity to support” it.Paradoxically, Public Supply notebooks bear the pared down aesthetic of austerity-tinged design, consisting of little more than flexible covers and dot paper. (Perhaps the classroom-at-wartime suggestion is an intentional one, with school funding under siege.) They come in a limited number of hues and patterns, each one stamped with a text block containing basic information, like dimensions and paper capacity (96 pages). London cites elementary school composition notebooks and blue books as inspiration.Read the full story on Fast Company.