Who are we?
We're Soumkine, the Paris-based analog lifestyle brand bent on reviving the paper and writing culture. We run a local production, tirelessly safeguarding the beautiful tradition of pre-1950s French bookbinding.
We’re not crazy. We know the former CEO of Leica lost his job in 2004 for saying "I believe in a great future for film, digital photography is a temporary trend."
But Soumkine has a different story. We launched our brand in 2016. By that time the digital age was in full swing. We envision paper not just surviving through a world of social media and tablets, but keeping writing traditions alive—without appearing old-fashioned.
That vision begins with people.
Imagine a family seated around the dining room table, covered in sumptuous food, growing cold because everyone is glued to their phone—consuming, not producing.
Or, the child who hops from one digital device to the next, all day long. But the frazzled parent allows this indulgence because they have no alternative form of entertainment.
Or, the successful executive with fancy suits, nice shoes, and of course, an expensive fountain pen. Yet the pen is wasted on cheap, mass-produced paper. Isn’t that weird? After all, who drinks Margaux or Petrus from a plastic cup?
These three situations have one thing in common—the people need an alternative.
Soumkine is the alternative.
In our first years we were so busy learning how to make the world’s best notebooks that we simply said that we love paper. We were naive to think people should buy our products just because we made them.
It took us a few years to understand why paper is disappearing. Now we know that experts predict that by 2025 audiobook sales could reach 40 percent of all book sales. Digital books 60 percent. Books printed on paper, zero.
Soumkine is the last producer of notebooks to remain in France and not move to Asia. We are proud of this.
Why a limited edition?
We’ve made a limited collection and will probably develop it. The proceeds will be used for new developments and solutions for lovers of quality hand-made things. Let's save together an environment where everyone has a choice—digital or paper, expensive or cheap, mass produced or handmade.
Our vision isn’t to completely replace smartphones. But we at least want to try!
And we need your support.
Founder at Soumkine
© Photography by @martinarigotti for Soumkine S.A.S.