Tim Sumner’s To Have and To Hold book is a fascinating 500-page showcase of the modest paper bag
From the mind of British graphic designer Tim Sumner, To Have and To Hold is an archival project celebrating the modest history and graphic exuberance of paper bags. If its Kickstarter launch campaign is successful, the project will take shape as a 500-page paperback book showcasing a huge range of bags collected over more than 50 years; from designs found in local greengrocers to some of the UK’s largest cultural icons.
The idea to turn the collection into a book “stems from an old university project,” Sumner tells us, revealing that his passion started from an assortment given to him by then tutor Andy Bainbridge. “Now the collection is just over 1000 bags and counting,” he reveals.
Adorned with a serrated bespoke typeface, the book is also a paper bag in itself; with its intelligently constructed 8-page cover opening out to form a pair of die-cut handles. The book’s inner pages are intentionally minimal in their design, allowing the eclectic character of the paper bags to shine. Söhne, from Klim Type Foundry, acts as a functional sans serif counterpart to guide the reader through the pages without distraction.
Paper bags have been present in our daily lives for more than 100 years; serving as a functional item that we take entirely for granted. Despite this, seeing them all together within Sumner’s collection offers a rare and timely insight into consumerism and our social history; outlining changes in culture, fashion and typographic preference.