When one thinks of wallpaper, they may think of their Grandma Velma’s snooze-worthy floral motif. But wallpaper these days is getting a cool makeover thanks to the cool people at Flavor Paper, a wallpaper company located in even-cooler Brooklyn, New York. We chatted with them to find out how one doesn’t just become another wallflower in the world of wallpaper.
CREATIV Magazine: If we were stalking you for the day, what would we see at Flavor Lab?
Jon Sherman: We start out in production meetings to make sure we have our ducks in a row.. Then we are split into groups where we’re designing new or custom wallpapers, assisting designers or retail customers with purchases or creative, and last but not least… actually printing wallpaper. We usually have some soulful jazz playing in the morning, R&B in the midday, and then on to hip hop to keep the blood flowing through the afternoon. Our pace seems to follow the bpm of what’s playing.
You’re one of the few printers that love having guests over. How do you show them you’re the hostess with the mostess?
We have nothing to hide because the entire process is designed to be as eco-friendly as possible and we keep it fully visible from the street because the process is as beautiful as the end product. We want people to know they can come in and see their paper being hand-printed and get to see the amount of skill and labor that goes into every roll we make and simultaneously realize that the chemical free environment isn’t making their eyes sting or stomachs turn. Who wants to live what that on their walls?
Let’s get digital. How has booming technology allowed you to not just be another wallflower? We’re experts in determining how to best deliver a desired end result, so we strategically create wallpapers that fit a specific niche. With digital printing we can create photographic experiences that involve thousands of colors and are a truly transformative setting, while with hand-screen printing we can make the most of strong solid blocks of colors, play with levels of transparency, sheen and overlap, while incorporating metallic, Day-Glo, even scratch and sniff effects. We’re also combining the two processes to create papers that no one else can.
Two words. Andy. Warhol. How did the collaboration with his Foundation for Visual Arts happen?
We created a custom wallpaper from Warhol’s Twelve Cadillacs print for a museum exhibit and that got some attention at the Andy Warhol Foundation. They started discussing releasing some Warhol-inspired wallpapers for sale, as Andy’s wallpapers had never been available commercially. It was clear to them when they came to Flavor Paper that we got it. We didn’t want to spit out verbatim Warhol works we wanted to reinterpret his ideas and styles in an artistic and thoughtful manner.
One of the more popular patterns is Crowd (Where’s Warhol?) and that was a creative take off a virtually unknown Warhol print that uses a photograph as its basis. We took the original photo Andy used and turned it into a repeating pattern, then dropped an image of him filming Chelsea Girls into the design, then rendered it in half tones as he did. That process of following Andy’s process with creative twists, that then build into something more on a wall, was what really excited us and the Foundation.
Pretend you’re a fortune teller. What does the future hold for Flavor Paper?
We’re continuing to push the envelope creatively and artistically, while growing the business domestically and internationally. You can look for some big name collaborations and some extremely unique in-house productions that have never been done before. Get ready!
[h/t Copywriting: Britt Feder]