Thursday, 31 December 2009

Recycle your Christmas cards - Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust Christmas Card Recycling Scheme
They turn cards into trees

Just take your Christmas cards to WHSmith, TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer stores and drop your cards into the special bins in stores during January 2010.

Why take part?
You'll be helping to plant more trees in the UK, creating places for wildlife and people.

Who runs the scheme?
The Woodland Trust, the UK's leading woodland conservation charity.

How it works
They'll recycle your cards and plant trees, with your help they're aiming for 12,000 trees!

Where should they plant the trees? You decide!

Clive Anderson, Comedian and Woodland Trust President

"If everyone recycles just one Christmas card with the Woodland Trust this year enough funds will be generated to plant 15,000 trees. So imagine what the Trust could do if everyone recycled all their cards with it this year."

Jane Horrocks, Actress

"More than 1 billion cards get sent in the UK at Christmas and we want to recycle as many as possible."

Gabby Logan, TV presenter

"Be a good sport this year and go green by recycling your Christmas cards for the Woodland Trust. If we all recycled just one card, the Woodland Trust would be able to plant 15,000 trees! So please don't forget - every card really does count. Just take them along to your nearest WHSmith, Tesco, TK Maxx or Marks & Spencer store throughout January."

Woodland Trust

Thursday, 24 December 2009

New: Bald Guy Cards

Bald Guy Cards

Refreshingly honest, sometimes brutal, always sarcastic, but never the less very caring cards.
Ian Kalman & Sean Farrell of San Francisco, California, a snarky greeting card partnership that lovingly tell it like it is.

Supposedly, the UK has led the world in greeting card design, but the likes of American designers Bald Guy cards and Fomato cards suggest that's not quite the case nowadays..?
Seems to be a huge UK market for crude, in your face, blunt greeting card messages along with sickly sweet traditional sentiment cards. America seems to be hitting the middle ground just lately, and doing it rather well.

We don't like the word 'exclusive' - we're just that way.
But can you buy Bald Guy birthday cards online elesewhere in the UK? No you can't.

7" x 5" - green envelope - not cello wrapped - recycled board

Bald Guy Cards
at Cool Cards

Monday, 21 December 2009

In praise of: Posties

Christmas at the Royal Mail

Another gem from Roy Mayall:

"Christmas is the most important time of the year for the Royal Mail. It is when the company comes into its own.

It’s not only about the volume of traffic, though this is phenomenal. People are receiving ten, fifteen, or twenty times their usual mail. And it’s not just Christmas cards either. Everyone is trying to sell you something. So there are endless catalogues, brochures, special offers, two-for-the-price-of-one deals.

And then, after this, there are the presents. People may not send as many letters as they used to, but they can sit up all night browsing the internet for gift ideas, paying for them by credit card, and getting them sent by post the next day. Most of this comes through the Royal Mail.

There’s something of the Dunkirk spirit in delivery offices at this time of year. It’s a veritable assault of mail, and postal workers are braced for the force of the attack. There are times when we feel like the last troops defending the beaches as a never ending barrage of letters and cards and magazines and parcels is thrown at us. And then, after that, we are like the little ships evacuating the mail through the channel, on our bikes and in our trolleys, safely delivering the post to your homes.

It’s a great feeling. There’s great camaraderie in the office, great spirit, and a huge sense of achievement when it’s all over; after which we get two days off work – Christmas Day and Boxing Day – before we resume our rounds again.

But – as I say – that’s not all there is to it.

There’s something else, something more subtle, but no less substantial.

Because we are not only delivering the mail. We are delivering goodwill. We are delivering keepsakes and remembrances. We are delivering thoughts of our friends. We are delivering Christmas wishes and New Year greetings from across the country and around the globe. We are more than just posties then. We are the thread that weaves through the fabric of society, binding it together.

You see, us posties are being grossly underestimated. You think that all we do is read an address and then stick the letter through the door, but there’s much more to it than that.

These days there’s immense pressure on us. We are carrying more mail than ever, and working at a faster pace. There has been a 30% reduction in staff levels in the last two years and increasing volumes, particularly of parcels. There are more part-time posties and casuals. There are more rounds being done on an ad-hoc basis with no full-time postie being assigned. There’s an ever increasing volume of junk mail being generated by data bases in computers sent to people who moved out years ago, to addresses that no longer exist".

Continue reading Christmas at the Royal Mail by Roy Mayall

Saturday, 19 December 2009

NEW: Fomato cards

New to Cool Cards, a snarky big welcome to: Fomato cards.

A small greeting card company based in Los Angeles, Fomato was formed in 2004 by a group of disgruntled restaurant co-workers.

Emmie Hsu, the disgustingly talented designer of Fomato cards, just doesn't know when to stop when it comes to greeting card design. More often than not she fills the front, both inside pages AND the back page with snarky words and images.

Can you buy Fomato cards online elsewhere in the UK? No you can't.
Can you personalise these cards? No you can't. There isn't room.

12.5cm x 17.5cm - White envelope - not cello wrapped - NOT personalisabubble

Cool Cards
Cool cards: Fomato cards

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

In praise of: Royal Mail

Junk Mail

  • The average home receives over 200 items of unwanted junk mail every year.
  • Over half a million tonnes of junk mail is generated annually in the UK.
  • UK junk mail uses 3.5 million trees each year.
Source: BBC - Junk Mail - Climate Change
  • 17.5 billion pieces of junk mail are produced every year in the UK. This includes both addressed and unaddressed junk mail.
  • To produce all this junk mail 550,000 tonnes of paper and 16.5 billion litres of water are used.
  • 650 pieces of junk mail are posted through the average British letterbox every year.
  • On average 80 pieces of addressed junk mail are sent out to the 583,000 people who die every year in the UK following their death.
Source: Stop Junk Mail

How can you help combat climate change, save over 4kg of CO2 a year, reduce landfill, reduce the need for recycling and help postie at the same time? Here's one very simple way to do it: Sign up to the Mailing Preference Service and opt out of junk mail.

In praise of: Royal Mail

Roy Mayall (Roy Mayall - Royal Mail, geddit?)

Roy Mayall is a postman. 50 something. Lives down south and has been doing his round for "a number of years". Roy has the most fascinating blog detailing his working life and a portrays a wonderful view of life within the Royal Mail.

His book, 'Dear Granny Smith: A letter from your postman', is currently the Radio 4 Book of the Week. "A letter from your postman written by Roy Mayall and delivered by Philip Jackson; a heartfelt musing on the past, present and future role of one of the oldest British institutions, the Postie. Why postmen used to have the best job in the world, and why it's heading towards becoming the worst"

Listen to it here: Radio 4 Book of the Week

Visit the Roy Mayall blog: Going Postal

In praise of: Royal Mail

Night Mail.

December, busy time of year for the Royal Mail. Or rather, a busy time for its employees. Let's spare a thought and give thanks to this invaluable service and its dedicated workforce eh?

Let's start with a bit of nostalgia...

Night Mail.

Night Mail is a 1936 documentary film about a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train from London to Scotland, produced by the GPO Film Unit. A poem by English poet W. H. Auden was specially written for it, used in the closing few minutes, as was music by Benjamin Britten.

Night Mail Poem - W. H. Auden:

Night Mail - Film:
Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

New: Positive Ageing, Edward Monkton

Positive ageing and gay kittens.

Just in... Just-in, bit of a gay name is Justin, but true all the same... a bit Welsh.

Anyway. Just in...

From Edward Monkton: The Birthday Gayness Test.

We've made mention of Positive Ageing before now, but it seems to be slow progress... Edward seems to suggest why...


Let us all LEARN from the Dignity
and Wisdom of the Old, for their
LIVES have been RICH and varied,
and their KNOWLEDGE is beyond
our normal understanding.

So... start SPEAKING!

Where and how do old people learn how to begin to learn how to speak?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Design idea: Weird Books

Guess which are real books...

Answer: They all are.

And, at the time of blogging, available to buy from from Abe books - Weird Book Room

Design idea: Nails

How expressive can a nail be? Czech photographer Vlad Artazov shows just how...

Vlad Artazov
also: Design Swan