James Cropper has recently completed a unique design project to transform its paper delivery fleet in partnership with paper artist Kyla McCallum of Foldability.

Led by sixth generation chairman Mark Cropper, the brief was challenging. The artwork had to communicate the intrinsic beauty of James Cropper’s bespoke papers, be delivered at a huge scale – the full length of an articulated truck – and to an unprecedented quality.

“I came across Kyla’s work on Instagram and it immediately struck a cord”, explains Mark. “Her work transforms a flat sheet into something dynamic and multi-dimensional that redefines the material. It is simple, but beautiful and completely authentic. The fit was perfect”.

Following a trip to Kyla’s East End studio to find out more, Mark commissioned her to create four paper sculptures, each to be made from Kendal Green paper, James Cropper’s signature colour.

Kyla takes up the story. “The four paper sculptures include a total of over 10,000 lines, each one folded individually by hand. I wanted to create pieces with interesting geometric patterns that could work at the largest scale and reflect the precision and craftsmanship that James Cropper is known for”.

A film of the process was also commissioned from Pantling Studio – launched to coincide with this release – as well as photographs to the highest definition available. The final images submitted to trailer suppliers Schmitz Cargobull were over 1GB each, the highest definition they had ever handled.

“Every fold and crease is visible, even the texture of the paper itself”, adds Mark. “The final result is fabulous. It is perfect representation of what James Cropper stands for – an unmatched dedication to quality, and every sheet of material tailor made to exacting specifications. The three dimensionality is also very fitting, providing a link with our newest paper product Colourform, a fully recyclable alternative to moulded plastic”.

At the heart of the project is the company’s Kendal Green paper, a bespoke colour based on a woollen cloth the area was famous for in the middle ages. The original pigments used to dye the cloth were identified and the colour brought back to life in James Cropper’s colour lab.

“I was very keen our brand colour had an authentic provenance”, notes Mark Cropper. “We’ve been experts in colour for over 170 years and this experience is a key reason brands from all around the world choose to work with us. So it was important our own colour was as unique and true to our roots as those we make for so many others.

See the video

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