Beautiful Pages is the newly launched venture of Tiana Vasiljev who, as someone working in the creative industries, always had a self-confessed “out-of-control obsession with books.” When I saw the site I instantly set about making a “wishlist” of books and wanted to know more about how the online store came to be. Tiana was only too happy to answer my questions!
BrioDaily (BD)What was the idea behind Beautiful Pages?
Tiana Vasiljev (TV): Like many creatives, I have always had an out of control obsession with books. A substantial amount of my annual salary over the years was dedicated to purchasing new books and magazines. Beautiful Pages was initially a selection of 75 design books that had inspired me as a graphic designer over the years. They all had a positive and inspiring impact on my work, attitudes and design knowledge. They were books I felt every designer could benefit from having in their design library.
Through Beautiful Pages we wanted to create an online graphic design store where Australian designers (and designers all over the world) could go to be inspired. A creative online space that both students and professionals could visit any time of the day and easily purchase products that would fuel their imagination. We hope Beautiful Pages serves as a reminder to designers about the beauty of real ink on paper, the importance of the printed page and the pleasures and benefits of owning these beautiful books, magazines and printed pieces.
BD: What have been the biggest challenges launching the site?
TV: The biggest challenges with the site were setting up accounts with all our distributors and managing the finances and cash flow. My education is in graphic design so it was a little hard in the beginning juggling other aspects of the business. But I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful help along the way and all the orders and emails that keep coming through from designers all over Australia have been amazing and very motivating.
BD: Where do you gather your inspiration? (books, websites, shops, people)?
TV: Just visiting my own design library! Most of the books that are now sold on the website I first became familiar with over my first few years of being a graphic designer – and I have managed to build up quite the collection. There are many publications that I used to read years ago while studying at Enmore TAFE, books and magazines that my previous colleagues introduced me to and publications I have seen and purchased along the way.
I have travelled a great deal over the last few years and also lived in London for a year. I was always visiting galleries, museums, exhibitions and bookstores. I compiled a wish-list (I have over 50 pages now) of all the products I came across during my travels that I found to be either beautiful, beneficial or both. Beautiful Pages is a small (but growing) collection of the products that have turned out to be both.
BD: How do you select what goes onto Beautiful Pages?
TV: Beautiful Pages offers a very carefully curated collection of design books and products, selected by graphic designers – for graphic designers. The store carries a collection of both classic and new publications. Every product on the site needs to be beautiful – but most importantly – must be well written, inspirational and carry an important message.
Typography is a crucial topic in most of the featured publications and we do tend to place special emphasis on (but not limited to) modernist graphic design. Swiss graphic design and typography plays an important part in the collection, as does the work of many influential graphic designers including Alan Fletcher, Otl Aicher, Wim Crouwel, Armin Hofmann, Jan Tschichold, Herbert Spencer, Wolfgang Weingart, Emil Ruder, Josef Muller-Brockmann and Milton Glaser to name just a few.
BD: How important is it to you to promote Australian design and how can we foster a greater design industry?
TV: Our most important long-term goal is to help promote and support Australian design. We have started investing funds into purchasing a range of books and magazines created by Australian designers. These currently include the work of Thursday Design, Michael Hall, The Initiative, David Pidgeon and Half Court Press. We look forward to seeing this collection grow over the coming months and encourage designers to submit their recommendations or published work.
We can all help foster a greater design industry by building ties with like-minded creatives, collaborating on projects and promoting each other. We need to start advertising and exporting Australian work to overseas markets and with the boom in online sales there’s no better time to be doing it than now.
Beautiful Pages is 100% Australian owned and operated. When designers purchase products from our website they are also helping to support the Australian economy.
BD: Lastly, future plans for Beautiful Pages?
TV: We have lots of plans for the future. Our wish list is very long, our product range is expanding every week and we’re aiming to have the full collection up by mid 2012. We are also looking at the possibility of opening a small shop space in late 2012, but this is still at very early stages.
If designers have any requests, suggestions or would like Beautiful Pages to stock their merchandise, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to getting to know you over the coming months and hope that through the site we can spark a bit of inspiration and creativity in all of you.
As a special treat for Brio Daily readers Beautiful Pages are giving away two books by Paul Arden, ‘It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be’ and ‘Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite’
Winners will be chosen at random. To enter, email your name and postal address to email@example.com
Entries close COB on Tuesday Oct 18, 2011 and open to Australian residents only.
Thank you to everyone who entered our very first competition. I’m delighted to say that two winners have been drawn, at random. We used random.org to randomly generate the winners. Congratulations to Mathew H and Deanna H. We’ll be in touch very shortly!
Yours in design inspiration,