While I don’t get to work with paper that often in my projects, it’s definitely my favorite medium. Nothing feels quite like it, and paper can evoke so many memories through touch. Whenever I hold a piece of colored construction paper, the kind used in elementary school, I get transported back to the sensation of drawing on it or cutting it out for a project.
Going to the Art Director’s Club 2014 Annual Paper Expo wasn’t exactly that, but it still inspired. What I would consider the best part, and the main reason I went this year was to hand crank my own limited edition letter pressed print (along with 499 other people) of the ‘Livin the Dream’ design from illustrator Scott Biersack (aka @youbringfire). Scott was the winner of Aldine’s Featured Artist contest for the ADC Paper Expo. In addition to the print, which I patiently waited 40 minutes to get (20 of which were spent fixing the letterpress after they ran into some technical problems), I of course picked up some samples from most of the vendors.
I’ve always had an affinity for well-designed small packages. If I see something I like, I’ll buy it, even if it’ll never be of use. I’ve bought/collected candy, cards, cigarettes, condoms and [almost a set of] knives just because the package was perfectly designed with the product in mind. I think it’s the combination of paper/texture and typography that I really enjoy ogling over. And the fact that it’s pocket-sized, or close to it, makes it feel like a piece of art that I can add to my collection.
Something less obvious, but equally appealing are business cards. These little pieces of identification have become so much more interesting than just a boring name and contact info. They’ve become functional pieces, some of which even have entertainment value. I think Vistaprint really started to get people involved in and excited over creating their business cards. Sites, such as Moo, took that a little further by offering complimentary products like minicards, stickers and even gifts. But when you understand just how important a business card is, you realize that there are tons of possibilities to make them more than just a 4 sided piece of paper with ink.
Cardonizer is a site solely focused on unique, unusual or just plain interesting business cards from all around the world. There’s as much inspiration as there is eye candy. Slodive is a design blog with a showcases of the “50 Business Card Designs that Break the Mold.” There are tons of other sites, but these are good starting points for viewing an impressive collection.
Whenever I see a package of colored construction paper, it reminds me of elementary school. The colors were always vibrant, and the paper was thick and sturdy. A pair of scissors, crayons, and glue were all you needed to create a ‘masterpiece.’
Jen Stark takes the basic skill of cutting paper and combines it with the passion and instinct of making art. When I saw her work it immediately transported me back to my old house where we used to have this draw full of art supplies. I just wanted to pull a bunch of paper out, grab a pair of scissors, clear the table and start cutting. Her art is one of those few types that could impress a bunch of adults just as much as a classroom full of kids.