Visiting Designer

Brian French, Paper Prince

October 21, 2013
Erin Beckloff

French Paper Company’s Brian French, sixth-generation of the family-owned paper mill, stopped by to entertain and educate Miami U. graphic designers. He gave a presentation about the French history and information about paper production which they have done with 100% hydroelectric energy since 1922.



French Paper Company has been manufacturing paper for more than 140 years in the same community of Niles, Michigan. In an industry known for corporate acquisitions and shutdowns, French Paper has persevered, emerging as one of the strongest, smartest, and most consistent paper brands around.

Remaining as one of the last, small, independent mills in America, French Paper has learned to take their direction from customers, not corporate consultants. They keep their eye on the bottom line by improving their product lines, and when they talk about stock, they mean papers, not shareholder value.

Brian also shared some anecdotes about the 20+ year designer/client relationship with Charles S. Anderson Design Co., “one of the most unique and long-standing of graphic design history.” He presented several of the award-winning promotional creations from posters to books to Blow-up Doll Jerry (French) that CSA designed for French Paper Co. over the years. Below is a video featuring some of the brilliantly quirky work.

BrianFrench1Who knows why she’s hanging out in the studio, but since she was there, we had to make Brian take a picture with the graphic design mannequin.

Thanks to Brian for making Wednesday quite fun and extra big thanks for the French Paper items—every new designer needs a CSA/French poster, Paper Stache and Pop-Tone swatch book. Okay, honestly designers young and old love French Paper swag.

Inspiration for Graphic Designers:
French Paper Sample Room





Return to Top