Present & Correct sets up shop in London

[Alyson Kuhn] Neal Whittington of Present & Correct likes to make people smile. After his letterpress Smile print won the Strathmore Category award in the 2012 Mohawk Show, we interviewed Whittington about his collection of smiles. He was in the midst of setting up an actual shop in London’s Clerkenwell neighborhood, after four years as an online-only seller. We weren’t able to pop over for the opening, so we ordered some Smile cards and other stationery supplies. We are delighted to learn that the shop’s first Christmas made Whittington and business partner Mark Smith…grin.

Whittington told us, “Christmas in the shop was great. It was so nice to meet people who have followed Present & Correct online, and we also had a lot of newcomers—people passing by, drawn in by the giant cardboard pencils in the window! It’s been brilliant setting it up and making it look pretty, and then arranging things nicely whenever the feeling takes me.”

Present & Correct, 23 Arlington Way, London EC1R 1UY

The tape can’t escape its pegs on the wall.

Counter-intuitive: a tiny typewriter and a big monitor

Security tint paper bags and mailing labels proved irresistible. I especially love that all the patterns are different from those I’ve seen on the inside of envelopes in the U.S. And the labels are large enough to behave themselves in my typewriter. (I missed the security paper tape. Big drat.)

Small packet, big thrill

Here’s the box in which my order arrived, complete with security tint label. It made me feel like Queen for an A!

My Pie Chart Stickies are truly delicious. Their droll description reads, “Quite how we have survived so long without these in our lives we do not know. Two of our favourite things combined, graphs and sticky notes (and pie!).” It is 100% amusing to label the wedges.

The mitten cards are quite smart. They are blind debossed with cross stitches, which make it easy to stylishly mark an initial on the card.

Present cards really are a present. I cannot recall ever having seen a more luscious expanse of gold foil on a card. The luminous gold surface creates the “lid” of the die-cut box. And when I write my message inside, all I have to do is stay within the lines to complete the 3D illusion.

I have perhaps saved the best for last: my new leather pencil case, designed, cut and stamped by Whittington himself at a workshop in London.

Whittington showed himself to be a stamper and a gentleman by adding my initials to my pencil case. If you think I sent a thank-you note via post, you are not mistaken: I wanted to reciprocate in kind, so I sliced a large security-tint envelope apart and refolded it inside out. (The white strips at the top are not tape—they are seams of the original envelope. Handy.) How dandy that I had a companion note card (thanks to Felt & Wire friend John Hanford) of soaps I’d wrapped in security tints.

Photos: top, 2, 6, 7, 12, 13 © 2013 StudioAlex; all others courtesy of Present & Correct.

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