Notes On Paper
by Tina Manzer
A paper fanatic myself, I was happy to see many references in my summer reading to decorative paper and how it’s used. I also read about stationery and its surge in popularity, and the new interest in old printing-on-paper techniques. Here are some of the stories I spotted.
FROM THEWALL STREET JOURNAL, AUGUST 25
Under the headline, “P.S. Fancy Stationery Returns” was a story about social media fans who are embracing paper. “Paper has a particular appeal for those who spend hours at a time in front of a screen,” wrote reporter Katherine Rosman. “Much of the recent small-stationery resurgence has taken place in letterpress printing, a method that uses raised type to make a deep impression in thick paper, creating a substantial, textured object.”
“You can pet it,”said Elizabeth Bailey Weil in the article. She owns letterpress house Paperwheel Press in California, and is also an executive at Twitter. “I think there are a lot of us who live frantic, digital lives and long to make things with our hands.”
Handmade paper products are a staple at Etsy, the article said, with more than 66,000 items listed in its stationery subcategory.
FROM THE NEWSLETTER OF THE NATIONAL STATIONERY SHOW
Show Manager Patti Stracher mentioned that she, like me, was “thrilled to see greeting cards and stationery positively mentioned in many consumer publications and even by several celebrities.”
Today’s papers are trendsetters for sure. “Anyone who is looking for fashion and the latest trends/designs in paper and gift items should attend the National Stationery Show,” recommended Terese Profaci of Barnes & Noble. Fair trade and eco-friendly items in unique designs and materials, and paper and writing products from Italy and France were some of the finds she discovered at the show’s 2011 edition.
Another trend, spotted by blogger Jen Turner from FineStationery.com, was bold mixed topography on wedding invitations and baby announcements. “Why choose one typeface when you can choose four or five that work together to create a stunning design?” she asked. “With a surge in bold and mixed typography, motifs and other design elements are taking a backseat.”
Turner also noted, “Letterpress is quickly becoming the most coveted printing style on the block. It’s showing up in a variety of designs, ranging from the most classic look of black ink on white stock to multi-ink, multi-typeface creations.
Next year’s stationery show will be held May 20 through 23 in New York City.
This documentary, produced by not-for-profit production company Kartemquin Films, showcases the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The museum houses more than 1. 5 million wood letterforms organized and available for visitors “to consider, hold, and if they attend a workshop there, use for printing.” For more information, visit typeface.kartemquin.com.
ELLE DÉCOR, APRIL 2010
Themagazine asked six frequently flying designers what they bring home from their travels. Textile creator Lulu de Kwiatkowski said that she hits art materials stores “for rich pigments and beautiful papers.”
FROM THE CLASSIC 1998 BOOK, DECORATING DETAILS: PROJECTS AND IDEAS FOR A MORE COMFORTABLE, MORE BEAUTIFUL HOME BY MARTHA STEWART
In the “how to make a basic paper lampshade” section, Stewart said this: “Be sure to use [a decorative paper] that looks good when illuminated from behind. According to David Aldera, manager of the paper department at New York Central Art Supply, ‘People bring flashlights to the store when they’re looking for lampshade paper. You can’t count on the store to have the right kind of light source.’”