Hats off to the #NSSClassof70!

I can’t continue my National Stationery Show (NSS) coverage without tipping my hat to the 32 members of the #NSSClassof70 … it is graduation season, after all!

The project was generously sponsored & spearheaded by Legion Paper — who donated all the paper for the project — in conjunction with NSS, The Paper Chronicles, Stationery Trends and Parse & Parcel — whom we have to thank for all these gorgeous images that follow.

The project started several months back with an invitation for confirmed exhibitors to submit a trading card based on 70s design. Little did I realize that the results would be a Project Runway for our industry, with designers taking different elements from the decade and adapting them to their own vibe. While there is a fun (and actually very current) 70s gloss to the project, the results mirror both current design trends and printing techniques. Each is a little piece of art … and, since the 70th edition of NSS has come and gone, is now a collector’s item!

First-time exhibitor Noat created this edge-painted, silver-foiled, mini-masterpiece on ultra-thick Museum board.  34 copyMeanwhile, Page Stationery caught a bad case of Foil Fever! 40 copySmudge Ink took an interactive approach with a letterpressed Name that Do directive. 56 copyColorbox Design & Letterpress letterpressed this freewheeling floral in two neon colors on Strathmore’s pure cotton chino. Color Box copyDapper Ink took a cue from baseball trading cards for this posh duplexed design. The green Colorplan paper is the exact shade of a baseball diamond!Dapper Ink 2 copy Dapper Ink copy417 Press’ card has the 70s color palette and design vibe down, letterpressed on Arturo paper. One of Legion’s goals with the project was to encourage designers to try out different papers — and this centuries-old paper is an excellent luxe option for ‘pressers!File Apr 21, 8 47 13 PM copyGolden Fox Goods used its animal namesake Goldie as the centerpiece of its colorful digitally printed design.Golden Fox 3 copyFirst-time exhibitor Good Juju Ink incorporated both its love of elephants, baseball and San Francisco into its adorable design, with gold foil on the front and red on the back. Business in the front, party on the back!
Good Juju Ink copyI love the uneven plaid created by the neon pink and yellow lines of this design from Haute Papier. Parse & Parcel’s Jill loved how it arrived at her studio — I’m so glad she captured the cards’ packaging.Haute Papier copyHester & Cook’s screen-printed study in minimalism was one of three designs they submitted. We had a hard time picking this one, as they were all divine!Hester and Cook copyFirst-time exhibitor ilootpaperie profiled Pierre, its namesake bandit — who has stolen millions of hearts with his expert lightfooted wordplay — on its mirrored design. I loot Paperie copyJust in time for summer, this cool design from first-time exhibitor Inklings Paperie — whose booth was mobbed each time I strolled by — has its booth number blind printed at the bottom, a clever touch from a brilliant range!Inklings 2 copyI find Mudsplash Studios’ suspender-wearing, roller-skating pig irresistible. On the front of the card (where he is depicted in sunglasses), his face is a series of dots, evoking true ’70s comic book style.Mudsplash studios copyPaperFreckles contributed this jive turkey design — love the lettering and sassy stripes on front!Paper Freckles copyPaula & Waffle used a great airmail-inspired border for its sweet card. Loved the watermelon paper in which it arrived!Paula and Waffle copyScotch & Cream’s is a liquor cabinet supreme — so cool! And right in keeping with the vibe of this swinging line.Scotch and Cream copySmarty Pants Paper Co. used ultra-colorful risograph printing for its Southern-kissed “Tease it to Jesus” design. Smarty Pants Paper copyAnd Steam Whistle Letterpress contributed this handy letterpress infographic — making me nostalgic for the filmstrips of my school years. I can almost here the “beep” which prompted teachers to go to the next slide.Steam Whitsle Letterpress copyEveryone sent their designs to Parse & Parcel’s office, where they were painstakingly arranged in piles by staffers in early May. I paid a visit that day, and it was fascinating to see everything start to come together! Meanwhile Jill is posting her take on the project on Parse & Parcel blog today — don’t miss it!
Noat - stacks of cards copyEverything was tucked into this magnificent gold-foiled box, created by Reyn Paper Co.use_me_2Most rewarding to me was seeing NSS attendees walking the show specifically to collect their set. You can see both the front and back of the glittered postcard created by Underwood Letterpress listing everyone’s booths in Margaret’s hands — and that’s Cat Seto in her booth in the background!
outofhand copy 2Thank you so, so much to everyone who participated in the project, and of course all its sponsors. I am already thinking of next year’s, which I hope to make equally fabulous! The design challenge is open to all confirmed NSS exhibitors, more details to come. Collection - flat lay copy