{Interview} Corban & Blair

Tell us a bit about your background, how did you get into the industry?

We really loved stationery, journals, writing and making things. We are also interested in the environment. Back in 1988 there was little recycled designer stationery available. Even recycled paper was hard to get. We decided to create our own designer stationery ranges they were made in Australia, unique and reflecting our Australian culture. We wanted to create beautiful authentic items that people treasured. In our early years photo albums were very popular and we created several collections a year. They were all handmade and often had hand painted papers for the covers. We have changed as the market has developed and create products for the corporate sector as well as retail. The largest part of our business is bespoke designs for customers for marketing and gift giving.

What or who Inspires you?

Ideas, designing and making new things inspires us – looking at nature, the changing world and other beautiful items. Hearing wonderful stories about other people’s endeavors and creative output and clever ideas. We love the process of creating things, as this means we are always looking forward to the future, while we also love design, materials and textures from the past. We incorporate them where we can.

CB_Image3 copyDo you have a design tip you can share with our readers?

Surround your self with beautiful eclectic items that reflect who you are and where you have come from. Make your space beautiful and inspiring so that others walk into your space and be inspired about who you are.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Go with your passion because being in a creative business, especially non- tech with material products is hard work, things are changing quickly so you need to be creative, intelligent, tenacious with a lot of energy. Passion is what will get you though the challenging times – passion keeps you going. We highly recommend the journey though.

Corban and BLair products_New

What are you working on right now?

Our new range for Christmas, which has a travel focus. We hope to sell to our various customer groups, bundled and packaged on-line and via our email campaigns.

How would describe your design aesthetic?

We like clean and bold, almost architectural but with a twist.

Do you have any advice for our readers who might be interested in exploring product design side?

It is competitive and very rewarding if you can manage to build a brand and a product range. It is constant hard work, tests you every day because while you are designing products you are also in business. We would design very different products if they were just for ourselves. People do not always understand that to sell design objects they are part of a creative and business process (staff, rents, taxes, deliveries, marketing, disruptions, materials, debtors & creditors) all interesting but daily work can be tough at times.


Can you tell us about a favourite project you’ve worked on recently? All of the finest Abana deals are gathered at our store, and you can take advantage of it right now! Buy your medicine for only 56.81 USD and save on your purchase!

We have started to create walls of frames that enable people to build wall collages. This has also morphed into framed art where we have been working with 2 indigenous artist groups.

We have also worked on the rebranding for the Travel Company Hello World as they have rebranded and have commissioned us to make some gorgeous things for their very clever marketing initiatives.

What does the future hold?

We are working on a new brand that we hope to collaborate with a few other designers. We want to work with other like-minded people to create a brand that is very Australian and made in Australia if possible. Sharing and combining our design, concept, materials and manufacturing expertise we see this as a new journey. Not sure where it will lead us but we constantly need to adapt and this seems a good way to ensure we do.


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