Frances & Francis is a shop based just north of London in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, created by Helen Frances. Helen is also the illustrator and designer behind the beautiful pieces the shop produces, many of which are perfect for weddings. Recently, Helen and her team have been focusing on creating paper floral bouquets, which are “handcrafted flower arrangements that last forever, just in time for spring. They are created using 90gsm coloured laser printed paper to create the colour palettes we are after as well as the flexibility to model.”
Read on to find out a little bit more about Helen, her shop, what inspires her, and what she looks forward to this year. But first, take a look at some of my favorite pieces from the shop:
- Figure 1: Spring paper bouquet
- Figure 2: Bespoke paper flower artwork
- Figure 3: Bespoke flower garden place settings
- – -
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in the small city of St Albans, Hertfordshire which is just north of London. I was always sketching and creating models but my fascination for paper was truly appreciated whilst I studied for my Masters Degree in animation at Ravensbourne University. I was drawn into creating animations using the stop motion technique which meant creating models and illustrations in great detail. I have since worked for creative consultancies where their main focus has been upon crafting and conceptual ideas for print.
Tell us a little bit about your shop.
Frances & Francis was launched in the summer of 2011 as a brand focusing on paper products. Our Etsy shop only opened in September last year but we began as a small stall at craft fairs selling paper goods. The first ‘Frances’ of our name is in reference to myself and the second is a tribute to my grandpa who was a great inspiration and whose stationery was so proper that it always felt like an honor to use.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
The seasons are a great inspiration to me because of the difference in colours and changes in nature. We Brits are always complaining about the weather but when it’s a nice sunny day we always make the most of it as well as when we have snow, everything seems to stop, including the transport!
Who are some artists you admire?
Julien Vallee is a fantastic French designer and paper artist whose work is so imaginative and colourful. I adore the playful ways he communicates his briefs and it seems his personality truly comes across in his creations.
I’m also a great fan of the studio Ma + Chr. They create beautiful pieces of artwork using collaging techniques of existing images as well as contrasting paper cutouts of their own.
Tell us one fun factoid about yourself.
I once worked as an apple in a very round suit for a cider company promoting their drink!
What are you looking forward to most this year?
I’m particularly excited about working with an existing client on some exciting briefs for large bespoke paper installations. Creating large scale paper works is always hugely challenging but exceptionally rewarding.
- – -
Thanks Helen for sharing about yourself and your shop and wishing you all the best this year and many years ahead!
all photos via Frances & Francis