Design Materials In The Mail

I love opening the mail. Even before the age of e-everything, getting a birthday card or a handwritten letter from a pen pal was incredibly exciting. Nowadays opening the mailbox to find anything worthwhile (read: not a lame coupon book or the latest offer from Time Warner) is downright bizarre. So when “Print” moved operations from NYC to Cincinnati (where HOW is produced), the redirected mail began flooding in. Overly taped brown boxes stuffed with exhibition invites, magazine subscriptions and new artist demos were shipped straight to our door. I was bestowed the task of opening, sorting/disposing and otherwise managing the a mess of letters and packages addressed to the editors.

While some might consider this duty to be busy work or one of those mundane responsibilities every job includes, I was pretty elated. Why you ask? Who but the letter-opener-wielding enthusiast gets first pass at the best design-related swag? Most of the fun stuff makes it to the free-for-all table in the back of the office, but here’s a brief roundup of some swag worth sharing:

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This postcard from Calori & Vanden-Eynden (C&VE) promotes the design firm’s 30th Anniversary and its “Public Images Book.” The book is actually a series of 30 postcards featuring real-world examples of “the diversity and character of graphic communication in the built environment.” The photo on the postcard addressed to “Print” is Public Image No. 36. While the individual postcards are not available for purchase, a link to buy the book can be found on the C&VE website.






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Un-studio sent Color & Share Set of Three Letterpress Cards as part of a Color & Share promotion from PaperSpecs, along with Neenah Paper and Full Circle Press. The bellybanded pack also has how-to instructions and a note to “Sing, grow & Bloom! Share with friends, & color freely.” Each numbered postcard includes address lines, a pale blue and orange color palette and one of three (sing, grow or bloom) words. While the set is lovely on its own, it can be colored using watercolors or other mediums (perhaps some colored pencils?). To share the design in a special social media garden, simply scan or photograph the finished work and send it to

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A simple, letterpress “P” postcard from the U.K. also caught my eye. It was sent to call attention to an initiative from The Lab called Print for Good. Print for Good taps crafters, artists, designers, printers, thinkers and “do-ers” of all kinds to produce exclusive, limited edition print items. Each creation is sold through an online store with proceeds going to charitable organizations like ShelterBox, an international relief group that sends specially tailored disaster survival boxes to those in need, and Cancer Research UK. One of the letterpressed prints available in the store is “Faces from Places” (shown here) that benefits Arthritis Research UK and other Print for Good causes.





Speaking of the mail, have we received your submission to the In-HOWse Design Awards & Competition? If not, be sure to send something in electronically before May 1st.

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