My London: Present And Correct

present and correct, london | simple pretty

present and correct | 23 arlington way ec1

One of my favorite things to do is to make lists of places to see/eat/shop in a city. And now that we’re on our third year in the UK, I have a solid list for London at the ready, whether you’re visiting for the weekend or (hopefully) longer. With months to go until high school graduation, I’d like to start sharing my favorite spots in London: the places that top every list, the must-sees, “my” London. And I can’t think of a better place to start than with Islington stationery shop Present & Correct.

As a stationery addict, Present & Correct holds a special place in my heart. Founder Neal Whittington first appeared on my design radar via Design*Sponge (back in the early days of blogging, I think I learned about everything from Design*Sponge, and I was obsessed with Neal’s work at Winkreative for Porter Airlines). In 2008, Neal launched P&C online, with a range of products that melded his graphic design and branding experience with his love of stationery. I was instantly drawn to the shop’s eclectic selection, a mix of new and vintage items from around the globe, including a good number of my favorite brands from Japan and Korea. Neal is gifted at selecting modern stationery + supplies that bring a smile to your face. (And who wouldn’t like that?) I started to regularly troll the site, perusing the “what’s new” section with fervor and eagerly awaiting each fall’s onslaught of planners. (They’re always top-notch.) Luckily, the online world was smaller then and we became Twitter friends, bonding over our shared adoration of Tilda Swinton, appreciation for the finely-detailed world(s) of Wes Anderson, and undying affection for paperclips.

present and correct shop interior | simple pretty

shop interior, August 2015

A recent visit to the bricks-and-mortar shop, which first opened in late 2012 on Arlington Way. Office supplies and sundries are meticulously — and creatively — displayed.

present and correct, london | simple pretty

table filled with japanese stationery goodies

My personal stationery kryptonite is envelopes, with bonus points if they’re from Japan. And here’s the thing: such excitement can easily devolve into embarrassing crazy-cat-lady territory, but thanks to Neal’s wry sense of humor, the undercurrent is one of joy rather than zealousness. (For proof of Neal’s wit, you need look no further than the P&C Twitter feed. Keep your finger on the retweet button.)

present and correct, london | simple pretty

pencils, erasers, and message booklets from sideshow press

Over the years, P&C has added some of my favorite US stationery brands to the shop, including these message booklets from Charleston’s Sideshow Press which fit rather nicely into the P&C aesthetic.

present and correct, stationery assortment | simple pretty

how my “not buying anything” plan worked out

On my most recent visit, I was meeting a friend who was in town and had sworn to myself that I wasn’t going to buy anything as I’m starting to panic/freak out about packing things up for the next move. You can see how well that plan worked: I got some envelopes (of course), a wishbone card, and a packet of paperclips. And so it goes, until the next visit. Thanks, Neal, for enabling my habit and making me feel not alone for having it.

Present and Correct

23 Arlington Way, London EC1R 1UY

Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6:30

all photos by jane potrykus