Interview with the founder Olof Hansson

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“Some people actually get upset by that fact”

What is Whitelines?
– Whitelines is a lot! A life investment, a set of values, a company and of course our products.

What is your background? Are you an art director? Or industrial designer?
– No, I used to work as a musician and had idea generation as a hobby. I have always been fascinated by ideas. One day I took the lifeturning decision to change that relation, and since that point, ideas have been my focus area.

And what exactly was the origin of Whitelines paper?
– I was doing sketches and made photocopies of Sinko* when I got annoyed by the dark lines disturbing my sketch. I realized that this was a familiar but annoying insight. When we then started our product development work we also found that white lines on slightly colored paper gave a really nice reading and writing experience. Both for the eye and the brain. I was struck by the mission to make white lines available to everyone in the world.

And this idea didn’t occur somewhere else?
– No, not to our knowledge.

But, the idea is so simple?
– Yes, some people actually get upset by that fact…

A few years ago, everyone was talking about a paperless society, but as we all know it is not (yet) here. Why are people still using paper?
– I think the main reason is that people like the tactile connection you have to the media. The fingers want to interact with the pen and the paper. The graphical elements and the fonts  you have access to via the computer is not very nuanced. Your creativity is limited to the copy. If you use your own handwriting you have so many more options to express yourself. To believe that paper should go out of fashion is like believing that we all should go to virtual reality vacations in the future. – I believe we always will want to experience the scents, the tastes, the feeling of the pen towards the paper.

You claim that Whitelines can support your creativity and yet it is just a paper? How?
– The most creative idea generation processes are structured and rather templated. Structure gives your brain the right support for free thinking. In the same way we claim that Whitelines paper gives your brain and your ideas support without inhibiting your creativity.

In your vision you say that you want everyone to free 1% more creativity in order to create a better world. What do you, yourself do, to live up to that?
– There is one thing that I carry out and I think we all should do. That is, to be kind to each other. The biggest threats to creativity are fear and old habits. Those in combination lead to potentially wasted creativity.
So I want everyone to be kind to each other, listen and not be too quick to draw conclusions in line with your previous experiences. They might be wrong you know…

 

 

Interview by Michaela Wickman

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