Rifle Paper Co.
Founder: Anna Bond
Location: Winter Park, Florida
“Hand-painted illustrations and lettering to compose a style that feels both nostalgic and timeless.”
Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
Lately I’ve been inspired by fashion, vintage textiles, travels, old children’s books, and nature.
Tell us about your design process.
I try to take everything in around me; I’m always thinking about new products. I keep journals where I write down ideas and thoughts. It’s funny because most of my sketchbooks are just filled with words. It helps me to write out my thoughts and process my ideas before I start to paint anything.
How has your design process changed since your started?
I feel like I’m a lot more confident and my tastes have evolved a bit since I started. Even though I’m more confident in what I’m doing now, I also think that I’m more aware of whether or not a design will do well. Sometimes the business side of things can get in the way of the creative process, but in the end the two have to go hand-in-hand.
What is your favorite material to work with?
My favorite medium is gouache, which is like an opaque watercolor.
How does your personal style influence your brand/ company/ products, etc?
Rifle is definitely a part of me, and I know that I influence it immensely. Most of my designs come from things that I’m interested in and inspired by. At the same time, there are other sides of me that aren’t as represented. I like to think that Rifle has found its voice, and I certainly add to it, but I won’t force anything onto it if it doesn’t fit the brand.
Where do you imagine you’ll take the company next?
I have so many ideas! I’m extremely excited about future of the company. I’m working on expanding Rifle Paper Co.’s collection to include more gift products. We’re also planning our new wedding collection and have a new stationery project that will be debuting under a different name next spring.
Who would be a dream collaborator?
I have a long list of dream collaborators, but the first person that comes to mind right now is Oscar de la Renta. Maybe it’s because the fashion shows just happened, but it would be such a dream to create custom floral patterns to be used in fashion. Is it presumptuous to think Oscar and I would make a good team? Probably… but it’s working out fantastically in my mind!
What colors/ patterns are you drawn to right now?
I’m always drawn to floral patterns. I’m also starting to play around with more limited color palettes. Some of my favorite colors right now are pale peach, vermillion, royal blue, mustard, and rose pink.
How did you get started in this field/ industry?
It wasn’t particularly planned – a lot of it was happenstance. I was working as a freelance illustrator when a couple of close friends asked me to design their wedding invitations. I didn’t think much of it until I fell head over heels for the mix of illustration and design that it allowed me. I’d never quite felt like I was just an illustrator or just a graphic designer. Stationery really became the perfect mix of the two. Nathan (my husband and business partner) and I have really just put our heads down and worked incredibly hard to get everything going and figured out. We didn’t know much of anything about the stationery industry when we started. We’ve just been learning as we go and haven’t given up no matter how hard it’s been.
What’s one tip you would give to people getting into this business?
Be original and fearless. It’s important to find your own voice in order to succeed. And I truly believe that if you’re doing something amazing, people will find you. I also hear about people who are afraid to dive in and start something on their own. You have to overcome that fear of failure to move forward. We’ve had so many failures and mistakes along the way but we’ve had to learn how to pick ourselves up, learn from them, and try again.
Who do you see as an innovator or who do you look up to in this field/ industry?
I look up to different people for different reasons. I think that Egg Press does amazing work and their illustrations and deigns are so unique to them. I think Sugar Paper is the best at making classic, simple designs unique and refreshing. And I think Crane & Co. is a real testament to an American brand who has been around for a long time and has maintained such a high level of quality, craftsmanship, and reputation.