art jar blog

Last Saturday, a free summer afternoon and my raw, creative energy inspired me to revisit these dream jar assemblages. Small collages I created and printed on card stock are inserted into the center of the jar. Moss, beads, rhinestones, charms, flowers and sequin birds embellish the cards; it’s a very spontaneous, random process. Lids are colored with paint, wrapped in vintage trims and rickrack or layered with an assortment of fabric flowers and wine corks. What began as a plain store-bought jar is now transformed into a imaginative little glass composition filled with paper, beads and glitter. Now my shelves are filled with eye candy and I cannot wait to create more! Enjoy!

Advertisements

We survived! Our second National Stationery Show in New York City concluded on Wednesday. I am consistently amazed how we are able to transform a sparse 8’x10’ space with a concrete floor and black curtains at the behemoth Javits Center into our cheery, orange exhibit space.

Booth: Our booth was constructed with pvc pipes, spray painted silver to give a metal, industrial feel. Small aluminum lights hooked onto the pipes & illuminated the booth. The rugs were graphic orange & white polka dots. Orange draping is now our signature color and everyone identifies us with the “orange booth.” All of our letterpressed cards were strung from wire and hung with little metal clips, all brightly showcased.

Business: We received many reorders from our existing clients, all of whom were very excited to visit with us and see our new card designs. It was a reality check for me. I work as a graphic designer and design all of my projects for clients, but the cards are designed by me and for me. It’s my chance to “play.” I am realizing my cards fit a very small niche. Stores that carry my designs cater to “bookish” customers who appreciate great typography and design. My cards are not generic, nor are they a fit for the average stationery store around the country. I did learn that my cards sell very well in the stores that carry them!

Positive: Overall, the show was a fun experience. Breakdowns on my behalf were few. Kosher hot dogs were actually a tasty lunch for three days! We found most of the other exhibitors gracious. Coming to NYC to exhibit is a big endeavor and everyone has a great story to share. I love learning about everyone’s products, processes and what inspires them.There were some beautifully designed booths and creative new products, but I have to admit the International Furniture Fair, one level below, provided the true eye candy. The colors, shapes and textures of the furniture, lamps and fabrics truly inspired me.

Negative: Standing on my feet for eight hours is grueling and I attempted Day 1 in heels. Not advised. Saw some Big Egos peddling mediocre letterpress.­ I also think the NSS should do a better job vetting the attendees who walk the aisles. They should admit more people who want to do serious business and less folk who want “free stuff” and steal items while an exhibitors back is turned. And booth breakdown is at noon on the last day of the show. Not 11:50 am. Unbelievable.

Inspiration: We are looking forward to filling our all orders. Plates are being made for new cards and I already have some new designs in mind. Thank you, New York City, for the experience + inspiration.

 

 

photo of booth 2013

photo from booth 2013 w:cake

With the 2013 Stationery Show ready to begin in five days, I have officially shipped my last box of cards, catalogs and calendars. As much as I plan, it always feels like a marathon the last few weeks and days leading up to our departure to NYC. My to-do list was never-ending in April and early May. Design booth banner: done. Design card catalog: done. Design NSS mailers: done. On Friday night I was still designing cards — ideas were baking, and I wasn’t going to be happy until they were created, printed, paired with a bright envelope and sleeved. As stressful as this show can be, I also find it creatively inspiring. Some of my best work is done on deadline, and I am always amazed at how much creative I do produce when I am super-busy!

We invite buyers and retailers to booth 1966 to check out all of our fun cards. It’s going to be a great show!

NSS Collateral mailed 5.14

This year at the National Stationery Show, RR Design Shop is proud to present three card designs (with many more in the works) celebrating Mexican American and Latino culture. Our Cinco de Mayo, Quinceañera and our Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) cards are creative, extracting the color palettes and design inspiration from these cultural traditions. Living in San Diego, there is a tremendous design influence from Mexico — I love the bright colors used for the celebration of Quinceañera (celebrating a girl’s fifteenth birthday)— neon orange, teals and hot pinks and purples. When I was in Austin, I fell in love with the little sugar skulls and marigolds placed on altars, showcased in yellows, reds and purples. They are designed to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, a holiday on November 1+ 2; two days of remembrance of friends and family who have died. Visit us at booth 1966 to see how we are honoring many different cultures through design, typography and letterpress.

Image

This year for the 2013 National Stationery Show, we have integrated some beautiful still life photography into our booth design and catalog. Our images echo the original look of our cards, evoke an memorable connection to our brand and communicate our strong aesthetic of beauty and creativity. Pops of color from fresh flowers, brightly patterned dinner plates and mercury glass ornaments all come to play! I love flea markets and have collected many frames, cake plates, rulers, coins, spoons, dice, wooden letters & numerals and other little treasures that work perfectly when composed with our letterpressed cards. As a graphic designer, I can happily declare I have now styled photographs and channeled Irving Penn. My hope is as we evolve as a stationery company, the letterpressed cards and photography will expand onto journals and calendars. It’s fun to explore new ideas. Visit us May 19th in New York City, booth 1966. Special thanks to Conrad Firestein, my partner, fiancé, and photographer. He possesses tremendous talent and I am so lucky to have him in my life.

 

Image

 

Our new, beautiful catalogs are printed! Our design folds to fit into an A9 envelope (very convenient for mailings) and opens to reveal our whole collection of 72 typographically inspired greeting cards. All of the photography is by Conrad Firestein, my business partner and fiancé. We collaborated on the images over the last six months: many afternoon photo shoots, styling our letterpressed cards with dishes, flowers, shadowboxes, and small, fun, found objects. The images are also works of art, and will be used throughout the year in our promo materials. April 22-28th is National Stationery Week in the UK — a weeklong celebration of paper, writing and stationery! It would be great to have a celebration of all things paper here in the US, but that’s what the National Stationery show is all about, and we are happy to be participants. The show is fast approaching and we are excited!

Our 2013 Catalog!

We’ve been busy— lots of designing, planning and creating for next month!

RR Design Shop is excited to be returning to NYC for the National Stationery Show, May 19-22, 2013 at the Javits Center. Our beautiful, two color letterpressed promo cards will be arriving in paper stores’ mailboxes next week. We invite everyone to visit us at Booth #1966. Our catalog of cards has expanded to 72 bright + typographically-inspired designs, letterpressed on Cranes Lettra with vibrantly colored inks. Place an order at the show and you’ll receive a little handcrafted treat created just for you! We look forward to seeing you.

take the cake still life

Finally, we have our trip to Italy planned and as I prepare to visit Milan, Florence, Venice and Rome in Fall 2012, I thought it would be great to learn to speak a bit of lovely Italian. Conrad lived in Italy for over twenty years and has been teaching me what I really need to know— the swear words. I do need to expand my vocabulary so he lent me a book that helped him learn the language, “Come Si Chiama” (“What’s What”), a 350 page wonder filled with every object, planet, animal, appliance, outfit, and sport meticulously labelled in Italian and English. At first I was overwhelmed (porca vacca)! Then I came across page 141, entitled “La Tipografia” — a subject I love! Here it was— a 1984 diagram with the detailed anatomy of letterforms. The black & white illustration was a bit dated for my tastes so in the spirit of learning a new language and creating a fun visual, here is my interpretation of typography: italian style. Arrivederci!

Image

http://www.misprintedtype.com/v3/project/invisible.php

A brief entry today:: Just came across this amazing little website and slide show as I was researching ideas for invitations. The artist is a designer from Brazil, Eduardo Recife. His combination of fractured typography, found images, collage and small hand drawings are truly wonderful. His style reminds me a bit of Martin Venezky. The movie (link above) is a poem and visuals; click on each panel to scroll forward. I want to stop working on this computer and start collaging immediately!

collage work by Eduardo Recife

It’s been over three weeks since Rosemary Rae Design Shop’s National Stationery Show adventure. New York City, as always, was bursting with creative energy and we survived our two set up days (not without some small hiccups) and the show itself, which lasted four days. Walking around the Javits Center, we got lost in the sea of paper-madness. It was reassuring, at least for me, that type and paper joy is thriving!

Immersing myself in this project was a full-time commitment of my talent and time, in the months leading up to May. Completing a card line was a dream! As a full-time graphic designer with other design obligations and looming deadlines, my project always became a secondary priority. Recently I read this great quote by Ray Bradbury: “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” It perfectly expressed my feelings about this endeavor. Attending this show motivated me to accomplish the design and presentation of 40+ greeting cards, gather feedback, and return to San Diego with a lot of creative momentum.

“What was your favorite part of the show?” I would have to say meeting all of the designers, bloggers, type-afficionados, and of course, the retailers who stopped by our booth. Everyone had a wise word to share and expressed their appreciation of my creative typography and good design. One blogger, Sonjia from bluebergitt.wordpress.com was super-complimentary and enthusiastic about my new card line and shared these kind words a few weeks ago on her blog: http://bluebergitt.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/best-of-show-rosemary-rae-design-shop/

It was also great to meet the other vendors who had booths in our row. We shared inspiration and learned more about each others’ product and businesses. I enjoyed meeting Sarah McCoy, http://www.thepermanentcollection.net, a graphic designer, who made the trip all the way from Des Moines, Iowa to present her collection of custom-designed letterpressed cards, and Monica Garrett, papercutindustries.com, a boutique wedding and event invitation designer based in Long Beach, California. Both of these women were friendly, talented and fun NSS “neighbors!”

Booth 1866 was cleverly constructed (pvc pipe painted silver with rows of taught wire to pin my cards) and we received many compliments on its simplicity and cheeriness. My cards definitely popped off the bright orange backdrop, their many colors reminding me of swirl candy! It was also an invigorating color for overwhelmed NSS buyers with fatigue! (A big thank you to Conrad Firestein, my handsome mate and partner through all of this. He was an amazing source of support, ideas and humor! I could not have done this show without him. xxoo!) Orders were written and lots of interest was generated for my unique designs.

Now I am in the midst of filling orders, developing new card designs, and completing the design of my website! And if you are reading this, watch for your happy fourth of July card!