The idea behind ‘PaperCat’ started to develop when we felt the need to combine between our design fields (illustration and graphic design & industrial design), and create something together. With the birth of our children, we started missing our childhood toys. Toys that were naive and colorful mostly made of wood, paper or metal.
Especially today, in the era of the fast internet, the branding and commercial plastic toys- We aspire to create products that bring back patience, working with hands, concentrating and deferred gratification. To create beautiful aesthetic products that also challenge kids to think, as well as to use their motor skills and logic intelligence.
The material mostly used in PaperCat products is paper, since it is a very diverse material: it is accessible and known, it can be illustrated and printed on, it can bend and be folded, and by folding it- it can change from 2-dimensional to 3-dimensional product. And of course, it can be recycled which makes it ecologic.
PaperCat’s vision is to create designed and illustrated products, all made from paper or cardboard, that combine quality, sophistication and aesthetics. Products that have a nostalgic “feel” but with a twist, and encourage you to create and to think.
We are a team working together.
We start with listing our memories and fantasies about toys and products, pick and choose ideas and start sketching them and building models. We always try to choose themes that people can identify with, and still would make unique and surprising products. We also try think of ideas that can put a smile on everyone’s face.
Hadar is in charge of the visual appearance (illustrations, graphics and colors) and Eitan is in charge of the shape planning and final configuration. All final decisions are done together. After we have a prototype model, we research with friends and other people by asking questions regarding the product. By researching, we get a lot of important information, and in many cases we make changes according to it.
In parallel we meet with industry people, and get professional evaluation on the product manufacturing, including any limitations of the material and production. Then we decide together about pricing, marketing etc.
Who are we
Hadar Kimchy and Eitan Shiloh are designers who met during their academy years, as students. Hadar studied illustration & graphic design and got her first degree BA Honors in 1998. Eitan studied product design and got his BA degree in 1999.
They started working as designers:
Hadar – as an illustrator for newspapers and publications in Israel, (The first children’s book she illustrated was printed in 2000 – “Gombotz & Karchibachi” written by Shoham Smith- a well known writer – about 2 funny uncles that are completely the opposite of one another.).
Eitan – started working as an industrial designer in ‘Tenenbaum studio’.
They got married in May 2001 and decided they’d like to develop their careers in order to become professionals, by exploring “the real world”- NYC, USA. They flew to New York on September 11th 2001 (!), but first landed in Italy.
The shock of the September 11th terror attack was an experience they’d never forget, although terror was a familiar thing to them – as Israelis.
Although New York City was in total chaos upon their arrival, the city slowly came back to its normal life. Eitan worked as a senior designer in a successful design studio (One80 design), and Hadar worked as a freelance illustrator with various News papers and Magazines (including The New York Times, Stocks & Commodities Magazine-WA, Lilith Magazine-NY, Biz-Ed-Ohio and more).
On July 5th 2004, at Beith Israel Hospital in NYC, their first son, Karny was born.
On June 2005, after 4 fulfilling years in New York they came back to Israel.
Hadar and Eitan, new parents of new baby-Karny, got to know the ‘toy world’ all over again. Because they are both designers, they were constantly searching for unique toys, and also for things that reminded them their childhood.
That’s when ‘PaperCat’- our joint venture was created.