Design Desk: A Treasure Hunt in San Francisco

Recently some of my design colleagues and I, who work predominately on publishing such non-book items as stationery, journals, games, and lots of other fun things, went on two field trips in hopes of finding inspiration for future projects. 

Our first stop was SCRAP (Scroungers Center for Reusable Art Parts), a creative reuse center and workshop space that was founded in 1976. They collect, sort, and display high-quality materials that become low-cost art supplies for teachers, parents, school children, artists, and designers. Chronicle  donates many of our blank dummy books and other supplies to SCRAP as you can see in the image below on the right.


SCRAP has aisles full of interesting collections to sift through—magazines, stationery, yarn, maps, loads of paper, trophies, old tires—it was a treasure hunt!



We are often inspired by things we’ve found at flea markets, vintage fairs, and even our own family attics. Two of our most popular products are inspired by keepsakes passed down through the generations: The One Line a Day and School Years Journals.


Here are a few of the treasures we took home with us and who knows, perhaps they will inspire a new project!


Our second stop was at DODOcase located in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco. We were given an amazing tour of their shop by Craig Dalton, where he shared their simple philosophy: to make things locally and keep the art of book binding alive and well by adapting it to a world of digital devices. 

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They are true craftspeople, and it was thrilling to see how their beautiful products are made from start to finish. They even have silkscreen capabilities in their studio which I know more than a few designers were envying.

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We are so lucky to work in the Bay Area where there is a strong and collaborative creative community. We want to send a BIG thank you to both SCRAP and the entire DODOcase staff for letting us come visit and get inspired!

Kristen Hewitt
Design Director, Formats

Kristen Hewitt

Design Director at Chronicle Books and an enthusiastic cheerleader for gift and stationery products (and pretty much anything with foil).
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