53.4167° N 3.0000° W

Ideas on Paper


52.9540285° N, -1.1458652° W

1 Cobden Chambers
Pelham Street
United Kingdom




+44 (0) 797 709 8375
+44 (0) 115 924 2415

Social Media

Twitter | Instagram

In Nottingham’s creative quarter you’ll find a cluster of independent retailers tucked away in Cobden Chambers, located off Pelham Street and in between Market Square and Hockley. Previously just a derelict set of buildings, Cobden Chambers dates back to 1801 and is now home to several creative businesses, including Ideas on Paper, a specialist magazine and bookstore. Opened in April 2014, Ideas on Paper was founded by Nottingham native Alex Smith. Smith had spent most of his career working in luxury retail in London (he had completed stints at Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Duchamp) before upping sticks and returning to his hometown in 2012.

Ideas on Paper is part retail space, part concept store and is centred around specialist independent magazines, journals, books and stationery items all carefully handpicked by Smith. The selection covers well-known and thought-provoking independent titles spanning fashion, art, culture, design, business, economics, food, wine and travel, and all publications are housed in store. Inspirational lifestyle titles such as Kinfolk, Cereal, Inventory and Another Escape sit next to newcomers The Challengers Almanac, Ingram's Review and Hop & Barley. Smith’s focus on presenting smaller and unknown publications means that creative minds in Nottingham have access to hard-to-find zines such as Aperture (photography), Apartamento (interiors) and Printed Pages by It’s Nice That. Ideas on Paper’s collection also extends to more weighty titles and long reads including publications by The Do Book Co., Gestalen's Monocle Guide to Good Business, The Outsiders and Winkreative’s Design Stories. Alongside Smith's collection of printed matter he also presents stationery from Nottingham based Nota Bene, Moleskine and School of Life.

Still in its infancy, Smith explains how Ideas on Paper is dedicated to spreading the creative word and offers inspiration to others hoping to turn an idea into something physical. Grab some reading material and head for a nose around nearby neighbours Vintage Reclaimed Ltd before taking a pit stop at Wired Coffee.

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday
11:00am – 6:00pm

12:00noon – 5:00pm

Nearest Train Station
Nottingham Train Station

Nearest Bus Station
Lace Market (Tram Stop)

Words by Lee Fleming

Photography by Mike Gannon