Mr Cup


Fabien Barrel ist Mr Cup und betreibt unter diesem Pseudonym seit einiger Zeit ein Designblog, einen Onlineshop mit außergewöhnlichen, typografischen Produkten und sein eigenes Designstudio. Seit einiger Zeit verfolge ich seine Arbeit und als ich den letzten Mr Cup-Newsletter erhielt, war es nun an der Zeit, ihn euch mal vorzustellen.

Who and what is behind Mr. Cup? 

I am Fabien Barral, a happy graphic designer from France. In 2008 I joined forces with my wife Frédérique to create “Harmonie intérieure”, a business and brand that pushes poster and wall sticker design beyond the limits we expect from a commercial undertaking. 

I also run the “graphic-exchange” blog, a popular online venue for graphic designers. I learnt my trade as an agency art director, working on projects for large corporations. For me, relationships and exchange of ideas are the most important to achieve a project. After years working under my own name, it is now under Mr-Cup pseudonym that I develops my own products : letterpress calendars, coasters … In 2012, I visited, with family, Thaïland, Singapore and Bali to see what life can offer, share experience with other designers and to met craftsmen to work with them on new products … After 1 year and half of a hobo life, I am now back in France.


You stayed one year on Bali –€“ what have you done there and did it influence your work/shop? 

Yes, I wanted to live a different life for a while, and it was an amazing experience. In Bali, I met local craftman to see what we can do together. I always had the idea of a collection of wood letters, and we did 3 in different woods based on Helvetica. This is was a great experience, putting design and typography to another level, a great collaboration. We also did a wood holder for computer and coasters. My idea is always to do limited edition products, I do not want to produce a lot, just small quantities … Now I am back in France, I am doing a letterpress calendar with a printer I found in Spain and was happy to met. During the trip, I often went to Singapore, and with my blog behind me, many doors of design studios were open, and it was so great to meet people, so inspiring … I share that on my blog …


Which articles in your shop do you like most? 

Well, each product is related to a moment of my life, an experience … The wood products made in Bali have a special place for me as it was really something I did by instinct, I was not sure it would work and it was a great experience. This year letterpress calendar too, as I went to Zaragoza to met the printers after founding them on instagram… I also introduce the “found” object this year which are products I found on flearmarkets … They are all related to my love for type, so they are vintage metal packaging, books, etc. … I love this feeling when I found something …

What can we expect in the future from Mr. Cup’€™s online shop? Which kind of products would you like to offer?

I am working on letterpress posters, much more found products I have to shoot and list, and following the success of the wood letters from Bali, I may have access to an amazing collection of letterpress wood blocks that I will sell next year!