A creative partnership and it's challenges!

Lindsay Day behind the scenes creatives Homewares made in Cornwall new products

We always bring a sense of fun and playfulness to people’s worlds, by designing and making new products that are a little different, quirky and sometimes a little 'out there!'

Being in a creative partnership can be a little tricky at times, especially when you are both 'the creative one'. This blog focuses on the challenges posed by this and how we overcome or at least work around them.

personalised desk tidy

When Tony had the idea for a desk tidy that was in the shape of a grenade, I admit I had some reservations. He went on to explain that it was really a clever play on words, he intended to make a 3-dimensional dish/desk tidy that would hold a phone, keys, essentially your 'pocket shrapnel' and with this refined description, I totally got it! I just had to work out how to fit on a personalisation to help the product make sense without detracting from the design.

"There are three responses to a piece of design - yes, no, and wow! Wow is the one to aim for." Milton Glaser

One of the hardest things when working on new wooden products in a partnership like ours, is that mostly the other party doesn't instantly 'feel' your vision, totally understand the product you want to make or deliver that 'wow' response that Milton Glaser describes and all designers crave.

This can be frustrating, not to mention demotivating for both parties. When you are so excited about a new idea you want to share it and you want everyone else to be as excited as you, but sometimes we fail to explain our concepts coherently (Lindsay) and that can lead to confusion and many annoying questions (Tony). Sometimes would-be amazing products go on a back burner and often never come to fruition (both).

 behind the scenes wood paper scissors

It can be a massive challenge, sometimes it's made worse when you pencil in some 'design time' and either can't think of anything to make (frequently) or you have a cracking idea only for your partner to not feel the excitement at your germ of a concept. It's a tough gig some days, really it is. 

working in a partnership

When we get into this kind of cycle we have to break apart, Tony will work in the workshop and I work from home. Giving us the time we need to take our ideas to the next stage without having to get embroiled in each others (un)constructive criticisms, beforehand we work on a list of things that need to be achieved each and this keeps us focussed.

 woodworking tools wps

When we re-convene in the evening, our sketches now a reality, we are always pleasantly surprised by what the other has created and we find a whole new energy for design and creation is ignited, both parties on-board with each others prototypes and then we chat about how the products could be used, who they are for and how we should best market them. Then more often than not a brand new joint product is created out of our excitement! 

Thankfully we developed this way of working fairly early on in order to keep growing our range. Obviously we do work on many products together, this is just one strategy we have found works for us. Generally working in this way we design five or six products between us and then one or maybe two as a combined effort. I have said before, I think new products are like buses, you wait for ages for one and then three turn up at once.  


Designing this new website and rebrand for our business has given us a whole new energy for designing products too. A dedicated online visual space to help tell our story has definitely inspired us to create more and clarified the new direction and future for Wood Paper Scissors. 


On a side note, the grenade has been really well received and was featured on the hardtofind.au this week!

hard to find australia email

a creative partnership and it's challenges blog post 


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