I recently came across a great quote originating on Twitter by Stephen Fry concerning the debate on the analog-digital dethronement sequence: "Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators."
I'm a man neck-deep in digital technology (one prime example: I mostly draw digitally in Photoshop on a Cintiq tablet, which uses "brushes" coded to act like anything from watercolor to oil paints to graphite) and I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Fry. The more my surroundings convert to lines of code, sandwiched between a backlit screen and a power source, the more I want to balance it all out with things I can touch, taste, and smell.
Correspondence is one of those areas: I email and text a lot, but recently I've started to turn to my old friends at the U.S. Postal Service to send my most important messages, for the simple fact that nothing says "I care" more than a handwritten note. (Check out our post on the still-existing power of the handwritten letter for more on the subject.)
The only thing is, if I'm going to take the time to write someone a letter, I'm going to go the extra mile and forego the cheap printer paper. So, along with a good pencil or fountain pen, the number one item I need for this task is some good, high-quality stationery that looks like it came from...well, me. Read on for some of my favorite suppliers!
If you've ever walked down the greeting card isle during February, you know it can be a sensory overload of 100's of pink and red frou-frou Valentine cards. Somewhere between the cheesy one-liners and floral designs maybe a descent card awaits for $5, but by the time you settle for it, loved ones have already filed a missing persons report and you've contemplated arson because they're out of the correct envelope size. Avoid the hastle, skip the corporate-generated professions of love and print one of these simple Valentine's Day cards at home...
Even in the era of smartphones and digital address books, I still maintain a classy business card is a must for every guy. If you don't currently have a job where you need one, here's hoping you have passions or a lifestyle that needs communicated...and remembered. Especially when you meet somebody new, and pull it from a pad of stacked cards like a complete b***ss.
I've long been a fan of business cards that are so unique that they become, essentially, impractical. The blogosphere is rife with interesting business cards, but this is the first time I've seen concrete business cards. Impractical? Maybe. But the awesomeness of these makes them total worth it.
Let this be a reminder: If you weren't yet aware, Mother's Day is less than 2 weeks away! We don't want you to be that kid who buys mom a last-minute Garfield card from the gas station (she doesn't like that...I know from experience). How about this year you get mom a nice, handmade card? No time to make a card yourself? No big deal, because we've compiled a roundup of 15 great handmade cards from Etsy that mom will surely love.
Nothing says "I love you" like a clever pun or an esoteric reference to something you and your sweetheart enjoy together. So, NPR is offering a collection of public radio-themed Valentine's. If you haven't secured a greeting yet, and your Valentine will get any of these, then you're good to go with just passing this along. Trust me.
If you're going to send a Valentine this year, I say: make it a memorable one. Do something extra so that it actually engages its recipient, instead of being opened and placed atop the rest of the mail.
Like...say, make 'em do a little extra work to even get to see it? Cause admit it, even when junk mail has scratch-offs, you totally go looking for a quarter.
Everybody knows Valentine's Day is silly, manufactured by the greeting card and candy companies, and that people in real relationships don't need a special day to say, "I love you."
True. So, send one these clever, pun-y V-Day, and get points for both not falling into the trap, and being thoughtful anyway.
Valentine's Day is a curious holiday. On the one hand, you don't wanna fall into feeling obligated to go for lots of red and lace and candy and baby's breath (unless your partner says you should feel obligated, in which case you most certainly should), but you don't wanna just ignore the holiday altogether. So this year, send something thats full of stuff that you're into...like good design.
LA-based artist Alex Gross came across a collection of cabinet cards from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With them, he did what any of us would do...
He turned them into mixed-media super heroes.
Sometimes, it only takes a single hand gesture to effectively convey what we want to say. So those of you that are more inclined to use non-verbal communication might want to buy (or better yet, make!) one of these hand gesture pop-up greeting cards.
I've been thinking about it all morning, and I think I can safely say: I've never sent a Christmas card. Sure, I think about people I wanna connect to around the holidays, and have reached out to them in many ways, but as far as an assembly line of adding "Dear ____" to the top and "Season's Greetings! Love, Chris" to the bottom of a box of cards (which I'd then have to address!)?
Never done it.
Not that I wouldn't, of course. I'd just need to come accross the right holiday greeting cards. So, for help, I asked my buddy and stationery expert Carina Murray, of Crow + Canary, to help me pick out some of the best manly and guy-friendly holiday cards this year. And, boy, did she ever...
On this dark, rainy fall day, I'm feeling all warm and gooey inside having spent the morning with This is Indexed, a project by Jessica Hagy in which she catalogs life, relationships, and culture in line graphs and Venn diagrams, which she draws each morning.
Back in the heyday of business card exchangin' and rolodexes, classic was the game: Cillian Braille on bone, eggshell with Romalian type, or raised Pale Nimbus on white.
But, in the days where everything's online and most people can just folks they meet to "Google me," all bets are off, and folks are producing some seriously creative business cards.
Interactive cards, edible ones, foldable, cutable, those with games and those with free favors, it'll make you think differently about letterpress altogether.
Sometimes, a card from the grocery store will do. (Grandma.) Sometimes, some stationery from an independent designer is right on. (Non-artsy sibling.) A handmade card is always tops for those you like and with whom you have inside jokes. (Good friend.) But, what about when you need a kick-butt, custom card for those closest to you, that deserve the next step.
Why, you gotta take things into the next dimension.
While I always advocate making gifts for your loved ones, especially for B-side holidays like Valentine's Day, it's not always the most feasible option: the timing's bad, a lack of original ideas, or perhaps you're DIY skills aren't quite up to snuff.
In those cases, of course it's okay to buy something; just don't head to the card store at the mall.
Instead check out some of these cool card and gift options for guys.