Coffee Shop and Concept Store Designs

coffee shop and concept store designs | simple pretty

Lest there be any remaining doubt, let me affirm once again: I am obsessed with Japanese publishing. On my latest visit to JP Books (to collect the new issue of Cluél magazine), I spotted Coffee Shop and Concept Store Designs: From Interior To Tools (Pie Books, $25) on display behind the registers. The words “coffee” and “design” jumped out at me, and as it was the shop’s only copy, I snapped it up. Impulse purchases and I don’t have a great track record, but not in this case, as Coffee Shop is a delightful compendium of graphic goodness. Divided into two sections — coffee shops and zakka — each shop’s entry combines photos of interiors with supplementary layouts that showcase the branding and identity ephemera along with a simple floor plan. (There are also Q&A’s and a bit of narrative, but as it’s in Japanese, it’s unreadable for me.) The visual stimulation in the form of coffee cups, business cards, menus more than compensates, as it highlights all the items I would save/hoard on a visit to any of these establishments. To that end, the book also works as a de facto travel guide to navigate Tokyo’s coffee scene. (I’m really hoping to schedule a trip to Tokyo soon.)

Marmelo Café and Bakery, Kobe, Japan | simple pretty

close up of Marmelo’s interior

D + E Market graphic identity | simple pretty

D + E Market (zakka) graphic identity + floorplan

D+E business cards | simple pretty

close-up of D+E business cards

If Coffee Shop and Concept Store Designs appeals, you’ll want to check out Small Shop Graphics and Paris: Beautiful Designs on the Street Corner, too. I think I’m heading over to JP Books in search of the Paris volume this afternoon.

photos by jane potrykus

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John Derian: Fall 2015

john derian, fall 2015 favorites | simple pretty

It’s not even Halloween yet, but I’m already sneakily starting to think about Christmas lists, both for giving and receiving. John Derian‘s fall 2015 collection is bursting with decoupage plates and paperweights that show off my favorite subjects (birds, foliage, and constellations) to simple, elegant effect. A few of my favorites are highlighted above — I was elated to see pistacia in the range, as it’s my go-to accent for a bouquet of roses — but check out the full line at John Derian’s website. With so many beautiful choices, I’m tempted to one-stop shop the holidays. (One for you … one for me.)

images from, layout and type by jane potrykus

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Sesame Letterpress: Fall 2015

sesame letterpress 2016 calendar | simple pretty

2016 calendar: hangs with a simple t-pin (there are notecards to match, too)

I’ve been following Sesame Letterpress as long as I’ve been blogging (almost 10 years now!) and their fall 2015 offerings are graphically strong with clever details. A tiny calendar (4.25″ x 5.5″), perfectly simple letterpressed lists, and a cute bat card — who can say no to a cute bat? See all of the offerings (Christmas, too, because it will be here before you know it) at their e-shop.

sesame letterpress 'important notes' set | simple pretty

‘important notes’ set

sesame letterpress 'little bat' hello card | simple pretty

‘little bat’ hello card

images from

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My London: Produce Stands

leila's shop, june 2015 | simple pretty

leila’s shop, june 2015

There are many things to love about living in London, chief among which is the weather (no arguments, natives: you’re wrong), but one of the happiest surprises was the abundance of top-notch produce stands. Open year round, which to a former Chicagoan is a dream come true. Whatever the neighborhood, have a wander: more likely than not, you’ll come across a charming little stand, tempting you to purchase a handful of cherries, a beautiful bunch of radishes, or even a turnip. (And that is worth noting because I don’t think I’d ever considered a turnip beautiful until I got here.)

London’s produce stands are wonderful for their seasonality, their variety, and best of all, their allowance of buying in small quantities. When apple season rolls around, I want to buy two or three apples that look especially good, enjoy them, and then return for something else. I don’t want to commit to a jumbo bag of Galas and then run home in a race-against-time to finish them before they spoil. Because try as I might, I remain the fruit-and-veg enthusiast of the house and ironically, the less I buy, the more likely a particular fruit or vegetable is to be poached by “the boys”.

For those interested in London produce stand “exploring”, below are a few of my favorites to get you started. For more options, I’ve put together a Flickr album with photos to tempt, and a Google Map with locations. Bon appétit!

clifton greens, may 2015 | simple pretty

clifton greens veg selection, may 2015

Clifton Greens: Rumored to be a favorite source for London chefs and cooks, Clifton Greens makes the most of its small footprint: the shelving is stuffed to the gills with standard and exotic produce. (I usually find something new-to-me each time I visit.) It’s always terribly busy, too, which is a very good sign.

16 Clifton Road, Maida Vale London W9 1SS. Monday – Saturday 8.00 am – 7.45 pm. Sunday 8.00 am – 7.00 pm //

daylesford organic, august 2015 | simple pretty

daylesford organic, notting hill, august 2015

Daylesford: With four farm shops in London, Daylesford is an aesthete’s dream come true. The displays always look ready for a photo shoot, the shop’s branding is elegant, minimal, and on point, and Daylesford’s founder, Carole Bamford, is known for her commitment to organic farming and healthy living. As we started our London adventure in Notting Hill, I consider the Westbourne Grove store “my” Daylesford. (I’ve heard whispers of a potential expansion to the US: how great would THAT be?)

208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill London, W11 2RH. Monday 8.00 am – 7.00 pm, Tuesday – Saturday 8.00 am – 9.30 pm, Sunday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm //

la fromagerie, august 2015 | simple pretty

la fromagerie, august 2015

La Fromagerie: Famous for its cheese room, but to me, the highlights of this cozily-lit, romantic Marylebone shop are the boxes of produce, complete with envy-inducing handwritten signage. Oh, and the baked goods. You can offset your healthy purchases with a brownie or croissant, or follow my latest balanced indulgence: a couple of apples and a wrapped caramel. And keep your eyes open, because you never know who you might see: celebrities (Nigella + Gwyneth, for starters) pass through these doors with regularity. Be cool. You’re there, too.

 2-6 Moxon St, Marylebone London W1U 4EW. Monday 8.00 am – 10.30 pm (the adjoining café hosts Monday night dinners), Tuesday – Thursday 8.00 am – 7.30 pm, Friday 8.00 am – 10.30 pm (another café evening), Saturday 9.00 am – 7.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm //

leila's shop, september 2015 | simple pretty

leila’s shop, september 2015

Leila’s Shop: I’m kind of obsessed with Leila’s Shop. (And you can drop the “kind of”.) It’s the kind of shop you imagine existed in London 50 years ago. Owner Leila McAlister is known for stocking only the best of everything, and her fruits and vegetables displays, whether organized simply in baskets on the benches out front, or inside on the table across from the register, are like still-life drawings brought to life. Don’t miss Leila’s café next door either. (In fact, if you’re visiting London and won’t be buying a lot of produce, start there. It’s cozy, delicious, and perfect.)

15-17 Calvert Ave, Shoreditch London E2 7JP. Wednesday – Saturday 10.00 am – 6.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm //

natoora, chiswick, october 2015 | simple pretty

natoora, chiswick, october 2015

Natoora: Another known source for London restauranteurs, Natoora stocks a wide range of gorgeous produce, and the staff will cheerfully help you make your selection. On my last visit, I discovered (and purchased) Miyagawa Satsumas. They were excellent. Bonus: Natoora delivers!

35 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick London, W4 1RG. Monday – Friday 9.00 am – 7.00 pm, Saturday 8.00 am – 6.00 pm, Sunday/Bank Holiday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm //

panzers, october 2015 | simple pretty

panzers, october 2015

Panzers: My closest stand: inside is the grocery store, complete with an excellent deli. With the American School a stone’s throw away, Panzers is known for stocking familiar American brands (including hard-to-find-in-London Nestlé chocolate chips). Out front, the produce beckons. They do Halloween (and pumpkins) especially well.

13-19 Circus Road, St. John’s Wood London NW8 6PB. Monday – Friday 8.00 am – 7.00 pm, Saturday 8.00 am – 6.00 pm, Sunday 8.00 am – 2.00 pm //

all photos by jane potrykus

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Photo Favorites: October 2015

mark quinn sculptures at somerset house / october 2015 photo favorites |simple pretty

mark quinn: frozen waves, broken sublimes at somerset house*

Glorious October weather continues to rule London, and I couldn’t be happier. Autumn’s bounty is bursting at the seams, and crisp, warm-in-the-sun days are perfect for exploring. Wherever you are in the world (welcoming spring or basking in fall), get out and enjoy it. For visual motivation, check out some of my recent favorites at Instagram*:

  1. Goodbye little Maine cottage in the fog …
  2. Very excited …
  3. another from the weekend.
  4. And so the seasons turn …
  5. Just a little London scene…
  6. fisherman’s shack at menemsha beach
  7. untitled
  8. Ending my studio day with quick test proofs …
  9. Photo shoot …
  10. I’m ready for this kind of weather.
  11. Autumn Hedgerow Bouquet …
  12. Buckets.
  13. Feels like autumn.
  14. Pumpkin stand at Hudaks, St.Albans VT
  15. Green on green.
  16. Inspiration everywhere …
  17. Fog over the lake this morning.
  18. Total eclipse of the mooooooon.

photo at top by jane potrykus

* mark quinn: frozen waves, broken sublimes is on display at somerset house in the edmond j. safra fountain court through october 21

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