ADC Paper Expo

Some paper samples from the expo, with the letter pressed Livin the Dream design print in the center
Some samples from the expo

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.


The limited edition Livin the Dream letter-pressed print       Close of of the limited edition Livin the Dream letter-pressed print

Creating my limited edition letter pressed print. STEP 1: Inserting the paper into the press.       Creating my limited edition letter pressed print. STEP 2: Cranking the press so the plate imprints onto the paper.

Creating my limited edition letter pressed print. STEP 3: Releasing and removing the print.

Business Cards: Pocket-sized art

collage of business cards

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.




Jen Stark

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.