I draw flowers. I paint them and cut them from paper. I wish I could say my nightly dreams are filled with them--but, that would be a slight exaggeration. When I was approached with the possibility of creating a set of personal stationery as a gift for a gentleman, there was a brief moment of panic at the initial realization that this project would shift the tone of my usually feminine, floral artwork to a more masculine one. The prospect of this change was exciting as custom projects always seem to stretch the subject and style of my work with positive results. Notwithstanding, if I were left to my own devices, all surfaces would be covered with trailing patterns of ferns and delicate blossoms. Balancing this impulse with the reality of the work at hand, I welcomed the challenge and set out to make the stationery set clean, modern, and moderately flower free.
In our initial conversation, the client specified this would be a gift for her father and she mentioned a few of his favorite things to begin the design process--Swedish Dala horses, wingtip shoes, and browline glasses. The strong shape and imagery of these items fit well with the design I had in mind--I latched onto them and began to sketch. As I worked, the images developed into three, handmade, papercut pieces rendered as silhouette style icons. These three icons became the artwork for the printed stationery and contributed to the graphic, modern feeling of the set.
The final piece of this project happened after the motifs were complete and the cards were sitting on my desk from the printer. I needed to design a package or container to protect the set and add to the design. Having made boxes before--I felt the same was appropriate for this project. Additionally, the cards needed the function of a box for ease of shipping. While this was in my mind, my focus was on the recipient. By using layers to conceal and expose the added moments of pause guide the interactions with the stationery through the unboxing--all to create moments of delightful discovery.
The first discovery is found upon removing the box lid--removing the lid reveals the patterned liner. Printed on translucent vellum, the custom paper is designed with a traditional flying geese quilt pattern in fresh black and white. Next step--untie the satin ribbon and fold back the paper to reveal the bound stacks of cards and the icons--those favorite things and elements of personal identity.
This conversation leaves me begging to ask what are yours--your most favorite things to create icons for your own personal stationery? I'll give you one guess at mine...
This custom set included:
75 cards in three designs and two styles with corresponding envelopes in three colors.
Card 1: Flat A7 card printed on gorgeous Savoy cotton stock in natural
Card 2: 4 Bar folded card printed on #110 uncoated cream stock
Custom patterned vellum liner
Handmade paper box
Want to create your own? Send me a message
! Flowers are of course optional. Although, when included they do make me jump for joy just a little higher.