:: by Lizzie


SMUG’s temporary eaterie CAFE SMUG which was launched to celebrate London Design Festival 2013 from 14th – 22nd September was a great success. Thanks to all who stopped by for fresh coffee, juice and croissants, summer savouries and cake and cookie of the day.  Thanks too to the designers who worked with SMUG on exclusives and collaborations: Thornback and Peel for their pineapple tea towels, Matt Pugh for his peach coloured owls hand carved from oak and walnut, Chase and Wonder for their SMUG writing set, letter pressed and produced in Britain just for us, the Jeeves coffee pot by Ali Miller, Sam Wingate for his characterful drawing of SMUG’s shop front, now in coral and grey and on tea towels and last but not least a very big thank you to Esme Winter for the beautiful wrapping paper made exclusively for SMUG in honour of the Festival which was featured on every table in CAFE SMUG.


You can have a look at our event page on the London Design Festival 2013 website here.




Thornback and Peel Linen Teatowel


Pineapple Tea Towel designed and hand screened by Thornback & Peel exclusively for SMUG. Get yours in for £13.75 only at SMUG.


esme winter

:: by Lizzie


Esme Winter is a modern British designer whose philosophy is based upon quality in production and timeless design. Esme attended the University of the West of England, where she studied Textile Design. Graduating in 2008. In the years after, Esme worked on various projects in the design industry from bespoke interiors to handprinted wallpapers and visual merchandising. It has always been Esme’s aim to make her own products. In 2011 she made that step and hasn’t looked back since.

Her influences are wide, from classic British printmaker Enid Marx, sculptor Barbara Hepworth along with Eric Ravillious and his circle. However, her greatest influence has always been her upbringing in the antiquarian book trade. This lends itself to everything that Esme is about, from the carefully selected colour ranges to the materials used.


SMUG is excited to announce that in honour of The London Design Festival 2013 and in celebration of CAFE SMUG which will run downstairs at SMUG during the Festival, Esme will produce her Esker Wrapping Paper in Peach exclusively for SMUG.


Our full collection of Esme Winter products can be found here.




illustrator interview – lizzy stewart

:: by Lizzie
First Day_1500


Do you use old school or new school tools when creating work?

I use both! Mostly I stick to the traditional paint and pencil approach but I use plenty of photoshop when I work for clients and so forth. Its the best way to clean up the many, many mistakes I make!


Show and tell your piece of work. Describe your submission for Old School.

My ‘Old School’ piece is two kids overly wrapped up for the first day of term. I think we all remember being bundled off to school wrapped up for arctic climes despite it not actually being that cold. Plus it was a fun excuse to draw some fantasy knitwear!


First Day_1500


What is your creative process?

I’ve been doing this almost four years and I still don’t know if I even have a ‘process’. Nothing I do feels logical or methodical. Maybe that’s my process – chaos until an idea materialises! I find that ‘making work’ is reliant on a lot of time ‘not making work’. I sit in a lot of cafes writing notes and doodling on magazines waiting for inspiration to hit!


Send in a picture of your desk now and describe your studio space.

I have two desks! One is at home and that’s where I scan stuff and photoshop it to high heaven and the other is at OPEN studio in De Beauvoir where I share a space with illustration superhero Ping Zhu. My desk at Open is messy and paint splattered but a great place to really knuckle down and get stuff on paper without the distraction of a computer lurking in the corner of your eye at all times.




Whats your earliest memory of drawing/creating?

I remember drawing a picture of my Grandma, I must have been six-ish, and her congratulating me on the fact that I’d given her a proper shaped head and a neck! I suppose it was the first time someone had singled out why something I’d drawn was good rather than just cooed about it because I was young. I remember feeling pretty proud of myself.


Did you have an imaginary friend?

I claimed to have an imaginary friend. He was called Bobby. But I knew he wasn’t real and I didn’t really pretend that I could see him. I liked the idea of him though.


Did you know at school what you wanted to be?

I briefly wanted to be an optician, my Aunt is an Optometrist and had those lollipop sticks with butterflies on the end that they get children to follow with their eyes. I thought they were great so I figured that would be a good job. I knew for sure I wanted to be an artist from nine or ten.


What advice would you give to your old school self?

I’d tell her to stop being so cautious. And to stop wearing dresses over trousers to school. And to rinse the Edinburgh College of Art print studio dry.


SMUG’S colour is yellow, what colour best represents you?

Can I have a playground tussle with Smug over yellow? I’ll settle for mustard yellow. You can have primary yellow.