Five Questions with Making Good

December 3rd, 2012


Just in time for the new year comes Making Good, a collection of perfectly minimal calendars and organisers. We spoke to those behind Making Good, Mary and Samuel, about design philosophy, paper stock and the beauty in banality.


Who and what is Making Good, and what do you do?

Making Good is friends Mary Libro and Samuel Szwarcbord. Making Good began just this year but we are long-time collaborators and co-conspirators. We design and make printed and paper products, mostly for the home or studio. Our first two products are the 2013 Wall Calendar and Planner which you have in store. We have also just taken delivery of our Suitcase Tags which is very exciting, and there are lots more products in the works. Our focus is really on the objects that you use all the time and maybe overlook. Just because they are utilitarian and commonplace doesn’t mean they can’t also be beautiful.

Where are your calendars designed and made?

We work from a studio in Sydney. Our calendars are made here as well. This is something we hope to be able to continue to do into the future. People do great work here, we want to try to support that where we can. The Australian sensibility is respected around the world, we can be international and individual at the same time.

Let’s get technical, because there is such beautiful attention to detail in these calendars. Can you tell us a bit about the paper that they are printed on?

The Wall Calendar is printed on a 100% recycled, uncoated paper. This paper is manufactured in Austria without elemental chlorine (EC) in the bleaching process. It is a beautiful stock enhanced by its variations in colour. The Wall Planner is printed on an Australian made paper with a bit more texture and a nice brightness. It is also EC free. Our packaging is made from glassine paper which is beautiful translucent stock used for archival purposes, it is air and water resistant. Stamp enthusiasts, insect collectors and book binders use it for their projects – very nerdy!

In three words, how would you describe your design aesthetic?

Considered, simple, playful.

What is the philosophy behind your approach to design?

How well can it be used? Can it be simpler? There is beauty in banality. Sometimes ugly is ok, just the right kind of ugly. Is something standard because it is the best way to do it, or because we get lazy about finding alternatives? Can we use basic materials and make them a treasured possession? Will decoration help? Are we making something to be relegated to the bottom drawer or something truly useful?

We hope our objects will make tasks easier, spaces more restful and life just a little less complicated.

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