If you like midcentury design, bright and bold colours, paper goods that are unique, and handcrafted by local artisans, then you’ll love Badger & Burke.
Eclectic paper design company Badger & Burke was founded in 2017 by Holton Brock and Jamie Armstrong. Holton and Jamie collaborate and create a unique collection of greeting cards and prints in a variety of punchy designs.
The two designers took some time to chat with us about their small scale paper goods shop.
TGL: Tell us a bit about the people behind Badger & Burke. Who are Jamie & Holton?
B&B: We are two illustrators and designers from Vancouver, B.C. We’re obsessed with puppies and pop music, and that features in our designs.
We met in 2003 as awkward brace-faced teens, and have been collaborating ever since our fateful meeting. In the early years it was through our now defunct, well-meaning, but terrible garageband, we’ve come a long way!
Years of friendship and artistic partnership resulted in us basically becoming a single entity, so naturally we received twin undergraduate degrees from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
TGL: Tell us a bit about the story behind Badger & Burke. From garageband to paper goods, how did you get here?
B&B: Well, after years of freelance design and uninspiring jobs, we decided to once again join forces and create an eclectic paper goods company. We were drawn to greeting cards as a form of affordable and exchangeable art. The design process allows us to bring our like-minded sense of design, colour, and positivity together.
In early 2017, we ran away from Vancouver, and spent two months traveling through India, and then ended up in Bangkok, where we settled into a small studio apartment and spent six months drawing, cutting paper, and creating the collection that would become Badger & Burke.
We returned home to rainy Vancouver to devote 150% of our time to Badger & Burke and haven’t looked back since!
Our work is inspired by midcentury illustration, puppies, paper-cutouts, and tropical fruit. Our business is fueled by our unique collaborative style and lame sense of humour.
TGL: Your cards are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. What’s the process of creating the artwork featured in your greeting cards and art prints?
B&B: Thank you! This has become a pretty methodical process. Once we conceptualize an idea, we work pretty much exclusively with paper cut outs. We physically cut out the base shapes of our images and use tracing paper and pens to draw any details and text. We then scan all the separate elements, digitize them, and play with the composition and colour until the cards look and feel just right!
TGL: Tell us why you think people should be buying paper goods crafted by two Canadian artists, instead of mass produced products in big box retailers.
B&B: We really value the importance of small and local business and artists, and the sense of community that they create. We believe in our customers and their ability to value the diversity and uniqueness of small business, rather than the “been there, done that” of the mass-produced market.
We place a high value on the idea of creating affordable and unique art, and we really try to uphold these ideals to bring the quality and creativity of high end art prints at the price point of the mass produced, big box retailers. All of our cards easily double as frame-ready art, and we keep our art prints at an approachable price point.
We think that everyone should have the opportunity to have unique and affordable art; a greeting card is the perfect way to do that.
TGL: That’s amazing, and you’re right, the price point is right on par with any other business, but the designs are so unique.
Your business is fairly new, but it looks like you’ve had a lot of success and positive feedback. Tell us a bit about that.
B&B: We are so grateful that people are connecting with what we have been putting out into to the world. It’s super scary to put yourself out there as artists, so all the love and positivity we have been receiving so far has been incredibly encouraging, and really pushes us to keep going!
TGL: Can you tell us a bit about the True To My Roots print that is available to purchase in our shop? And, for fun, what’s your favourite root vegetable?
B&B: Our True To My Roots print was born out of the desire to honour and appreciate our families traditions, and to create something for them. Since we designed our collection while away from and missing our home, it seemed liked an especially fitting sentiment. Also, we’re always down for a cheesy pun, so it just naturally came together.
As for our favourite root vegetables – Holton likes beets best. Jamie seconds beets, and rutabaga!
Interview by Brianna Bell
July 11, 2018
This print, perfect for the foodie in your life, is now available in our store.