Even though I am a designer who works primarily in the digital realm, there is still something about a paper swatch book that makes my heart skip a beat or two. They are often little design gems. And the ones I always reach for first are from French Paper. I’ve always loved the unique, quirky and instantly recognizable design that makes it stand out from other swatch books in the pile. French’s go-to design company since 1986 has been Charles S. Anderson Design Co. As they state on their website, “design is a brand’s signature and its story,” and the visual brand that CSA Design has helped build over the last 25 years is a great example of that definition.
After I visited the French Paper plant (in Niles, MI if you were wondering) two years ago, I realized how powerful a cohesive brand can be. All of the collateral that French produces, from shipping cartons to “Shutter Shades”, could be recognized as part of the brand even without the logo attached.