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Angus Hyland's Cass Art pads

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Top designer Angus Hyland has produced these gorgeous designs for the Cass Art own-brand materials, combining quality craftsmanship with Pentagram’s trademark excellence. They are hitting the shops over the coming weeks and are sure to be popular among creative professionals and amateur art buffs alike.

Ahead of the launch – and him taking over the guest post slot next week – we caught up with Angus to ask him about the project and found out that it is part of an ambitious mission to break the all-powerful digital hegemony, and get people creating.

Hi Angus. What’s the thinking behind the new designs? What were you trying to achieve?

This is the first time that Cass Art has launched such a large range of own-brand products. We have in the past designed individual products and the response has been very good – selling up to ten times the volume of the equivalent product from the brand leaders. We thought it was an untapped market. 

Who are you aiming these at?

Well, Cass Art is an aspirational brand and, at the risk of sounding like a marketeer, it’s a “lifestyle choice.” It sits in a unique (possibly ironic) space where the John Lewis Partnership meets the Futurist Manifesto and it’s aimed at anyone who can fit into the centre of that Venn diagram.

We are aiming beyond the professional artist to anyone who has the courage to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush or spray can and make some art. It’s fun after all, and accessible.

Are artists’ materials too often overlooked? Or just done badly?

Probably both. None of the brand leaders have felt the need to update their existing packaging – in some cases for decades. They would argue that their market is too diffuse and customers are very happy with what they’re familiar with. But Cass Art has a much more targeted audience, and it’s easier to be brave with own-brand products because you have much more control of the retail environment in which they are sold. 

What role do really nice pads like this have at a time when the computer is king? Are they part of a fightback?

Too right. We must all learn – including me – to get off the screen (at least for a break) and get real – make a mess, make a physical mess. Make a mark.

The Cass Art manifesto includes the battle cry: “Let’s fill this town with artists." Can these products help?

Joseph Beuys tells us: “Everything under the sun is art.” If you believe that then we are all artists since the human being is a creative being. All Cass Art is doing is providing the tools to encourage Beuys’ expanded concept of art.

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.