While on a city escape in Porto, Portugal, I’ve been chasing nice bits of stationery. To my delight, I found some interesting articles and local brands. Porto is a lovely city (charming people, nice streets to stroll, lots of history and a great atmosphere), and arts & craft makers are quite active there.
Spoiler: This is about numbered notebooks, talented illustrators and mouth-watering sardines. Yes, sardines. You find it everywhere in Porto!
Or my best findings regarding Porto stationery:
(from left to right on the picture)
Gold Notebook 02 by Arminho
A couple based in Porto is behind these delicate notebooks. Handmade, each one is unique by the different pattern adorning its cover. They come with gold letterpress lettering and either rules or blank pages.
Arminho – arminho.pt
Caderno Contabilidade & Caderno Sortido by Serrote
Another couple, from Lisbon this time, is making the limited and numbered notebooks from Serrote. Here again letterpress is much present on the cover, as well as a love for typogaphy. The Caderno Contabilidade will help you keep track of your accounts in a ludic way, while the Caderno Sortido comes with assorted papers, to make a discovery at each turn of a new page.
Serrote – serrote.com
Emilio Braga notebook
Emilio Braga is a kind of institution for Portuguese stationery. Since 1918 (that’s 4 generations), this family-owned company has been crafting handmade notebooks in Lisbon (where you can also visit their shop). Clothbound with coloured spined and matching and patterned foredge (of which you can have a glimpse on the last picture of this article), this notebook is both modern in style and classic in its making. It is also much convenient, as it easily fits in your pocket!
Emilio Braga – emiliobraga.com
I wasn’t expecting anything related to design or illustration in Porto, and here I got surprised!
Jose Gourmet Sardines
Sardines are so popular in Porto, I had to get back home with a can of sardines. And in case you didn’t know, you can’t have it in your cabin luggage in the plane, it’s above the authorized liquid limit… yes, yes, sardines – I did try! So, well, those are from the airport! And I’m glad I found the Jose Gourmet sardines because of their nice illustrations. The company is paying much efforts in producing high quality and beautiful products… and it works!
Each product has a different design from a local illustrator, and it makes a beautiful collection. You can see here Sardines in Olive Oil, with an illustration by Bernardo Carvalho; and Sardines in Tomato, illustrated by Marta Madureira. Bom apetite!
Jose Gourmet – josegourmet.com
Rui Ricardo & Ziggy Map
Alright this is probably my biggest crush from this selection. I discovered Rui Ricardo’s illustrations in a nice shop, Mercado 48 (see below), with his Porto postcard. I felt in love with his designs. He’s famous for a series of beautiful travel posters, looking both vintage and very graphical: it makes me think to old travel companies’ advertisement (and want to travel around the world).
Rui Ricardo has also designed the Ziggymap, a free Porto city map. It’s filled with local addresses, selected by people living in Porto. Bars, restaurants, nice shops – you’ll should definitively get this great map if you want to live like hip Portuenses, as we call Porto’s inhabitants.
Here are the few addresses where I found all these little treasures. Of course some are featured in the Ziggymap.
A very unique concept store, with a very friendly shop-owner, where you’ll find the best of Porto’s design. It has amazing handmade wooden bikes and Rui Ricardo’s work. Don’t hesitate to have a chat with the owner, he’ll tell you about local talents or invite you to take a ride on the bikes he sells! This is where I got the Ziggymap, I strongly recommend you to go there.
Quite an ethereal store, in a lovely street, offering a collection of vintage and handcrafted items. The atmosphere is fresh and flowery. There’s a big emphasis on nature and this shop is a recommended visit too!
This is where I bought the Arminho notebook.
Coração Alecrim – Facebook page – Travessa de cedofeita, 28, Porto
A Vida Portuguesa
Hidden on the first floor of a standard shop (truly, take the stairs you’ll understand), it presents you with the best of Portuguese crafts and savoir-faire, from Azulejos to Sardines (I told you it’s everywhere!), and much more. They sell the Serrote notebooks (to which they’ve commissioned a special edition) and the Emilio Braga ones.
A Vida Portuguesa – avidaportuguesa.com – Rua Galeria de Paris, 20 (1st Floor), Porto
Hopefully all this will give you excellent reasons to visit Porto. At least you might have encountered new paper-related brands and illustrators today! If you know more stationery brands from Porto or Portugal, tell us about it! (and if you want to share your love of sardines, you’re welcome to do it too)