Judit Szolnoki-Szendrődi founded the Malinovka brand in 2013 after she got a degree in product design and design management at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) in Hungary. Malinovka’s beautiful paper product collection that combines illustration and design and consists of appointment books, sketchbooks, booklets, and other stationery can be found in numerous design stores and museum stores in Budapest.
We asked the founder and designer of the brand, Szolnoki-Szendrődi, how Malinovka came to be, about her design and manufacturing process, and what is the magic that has made Malinovka the market-leader stationery brand in Hungary.
All the Malinovka paper products are beautiful, what makes the brand so unique, why does that customers love it?
Judit Szolnoki-Szendrődi: The unique character of Malinovka objects is given by the raw graphics and abstract, typically black and white patterns combined with the sleek design. During the construction, traditional, manual procedures, manual binding methods, recycled and creative raw materials fulfill the individuality of the objects. Malinovka pieces are created as a result of a creative process, and the users’ creativity writes them into whole stories.
The secret of Malinovka’s success is to meet the diverse user needs of creative professionals and creative people at a very high level and in addition the brand gives inspiration to creativity.
Malinovka works on the creation of the objects in cooperation with several printing houses, workshops, and bookbinders. The brand is the market-leader stationery brand in Hungary. The secret of its success is to meet the diverse user needs of creative professionals and creative people at a very high level and in addition the brand gives inspiration to creativity.
A lot of attention and detail has gone into making each notebook. How is your process from start to finish?
Judit Szolnoki-Szendrődi: The objects are created through a creative process based on hand-drawn drawings. The manufacturing processes and the decisions are all in the hands of a single person, me, the designer. These all result in the creation of irreplaceable objects in a unique style, made with a lot of love and attention.
The small number of limited paper products are hand-bound, and the embossing of the sketchbooks is still done on a 100-year-old machine, by converting every piece into a unique and unimitable object. The unique, limited edition Planbook/Diary has been prepared for 5 years in a row, with increasing numbers of copies from year to year due to the great interest.
During the manufacturing process, the focus is on the charm and personality of the analog approach, creation, and hand touch. Even for products with a large number of copies and a higher printing capacity, there are production phases that are still made by hand, so it is possible that the desk diary made in more than 1000 copies could be made by coordinated work of several production workshops. Assembly is based on local labor and resources.
The small number of limited paper products are hand-bound, and the embossing of the sketchbooks is still done on a 100-year-old machine by Judit Szolnoki-Szendrődi, who coverts every piece into a unique and unimitable object.
Besides your own paper product collection, you offer custom editions and uniquely tailored products as well?
Judit Szolnoki-Szendrődi: Yes, as the complete design and high-quality workmanship of paper design products is Malinovka’s strength, not only do we provide a printing service, but also clean and creative graphic design services, in which individual and company orders are included. Our portfolio presents a number of reference works that have been created in collaborations along with art and design themes, in collaboration with other designers, brands, or art organizations, such as the Katona József Theatre, NON +, KAZA, YESS Event Hire, and Synlab.
And of course, we want to know about the papers Malinovka uses, which papers you’ve chosen and for which products? Why did you decide on these particular papers?
Judit Szolnoki-Szendrődi: We chose Munken Pure 120 gsm for the Sketchbooks because in this case it is very important that customers can use them well with a variety of writing tools and the subject serves the diverse needs of the creators. The selected paper is really fine to the touch, inspiring creation. Its thickness makes it suitable for water-based works (such as watercolors, inks, felts) to create works of artistic quality.
For the Planbook diary the Munken Lynx 100 gsm was used. The color and touch of the high-quality paper also fit well with the sleek and sophisticated design. Working on pages with a variety of tools is also a great choice for multi-layered diary-keeping, sketching, writing, drawing with fountain pen and ink. The Unfinished Interactive Love Book (see video below of the creative book full of interactive illustrations) and Wanderlust Experience Booklet also encourage users to create and to be creative, both are realized on Munken Pure.
We chose Munken Pure for sketchbooks because in this case it is very important that customers can use them well with a variety of writing tools and the subject serves the diverse needs of the creators.
Visit Malinovkas’s webshop for all your paper product and stationery needs, and make sure to follow Malinovka’s popular Instagram account where the focus is on supporting art and creative activities, inspiring the audience by putting emphasis on the community-building and promotion role.