Monday, 25 July 2011

Snail Mail My Email

Of course, we all know that email is impersonal, lacking creativity and quite devoid of any significant effort on the part of the sender...

Ivan Cash, Artist, Designer, Art Director has created a nice twist on this with his Snail Mail My Email art project.

"Snail Mail My Email is a month-long (July 15 - August 15), interactive community art project which seeks to both share the warm-fuzzy feeling of receiving a personalized letter as well as inspire people to send their own snail mail. Anyone with internet access can partake by simply sending an email, after which the very same message will be handwritten and physically mailed to the chosen recipient anywhere in the world, completely free of charge.
In a culture overrun with instant gratification and on-demand services, this project cultivates appreciation for the lost art of letter writing."


Much as we love art... We love the idea of sending snail mail cards with personally handwritten sentiments even more. Especially those sent from Cool Cards.

Source: Flickr

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Harrogate Home and Gift - 2011

Cool Cards were at the Harrogate Home and Gift Trade Show today searching for new greeting card ideas for you. Did we find any? Yes we did..! And here are a few of our favourites... 
You'll soon find some of these, and more, at Cool Cards.

So, in no particular order... enjoy.

First up. Building on her success at many design-led trade shows, the enchanting and understated London based Graphic Designer Roisin Cafferty bravely made the long journey Up North and quite caught our attention with her stripped down, super cute, back to basics, less-is-more style of cards which confidently stood out amid the wash of the many samey, "Yorkshire" cards at Harrogate this year. We couldn't quite decide if they're right for Cool Cards though... What do you think?


Next up. We also fell in love with Velvet Olive years ago... but never took the plunge.

The delightful Kathryn Fletcher continues to expand her designs which we enjoyed catching up with at Harrogate. Supremely classy, timeless and yet contemporary designs, wonderfully finished - but with a RRP of £3.25 are they a bit too much for Cool Cards..? The cards are finished to such a high standard it's impossible to fully appreciate them with a website image. Can we do them justice?

This is a small sample of just one Velvet Olive design range which caught the apple of our eye/s. Clean, clear, classy.
Seriously, they don't do any justice to these stunningly beautiful cards.

"Back to Black
Cream textured board, print finished with beautiful black thermography, a technique which gives a raised and glossy impression, also hand finished with Austrian cream pearls."

But before you decide... Some important stuff you should know about Velvet Olive.

"She detests washing up but loves hoovering.
When designing, she very rarely moves from one spot for hours at a time, then eats 10 slices of toast and galleons of tea in one hit.
She loves typography and unusual types of board and paper.
Furniture, she can spend hours in a junk shop, buy nothing she needs, and then her poor house is filled to the rafters with her odd finds.
Architecture, she loves, loves, loves beautiful and interesting buildings, old or new. 
She hates bananas."
What more could you need to know?

Moving on... These next cards are quite simply a must-have, no-brainer addition to Cool Cards. You'll be seeing these soon. We used to have a Fair Trade shop and the lack of ethical, Fair Trade greeting cards on Cool Cards has always been a great source of shame for us... But, today we found these beauties at the Shared Earth stand: FairMail Fair Trade cards.

This is why we like them...

"FairMail is a company producing fair trade greeting cards in Peru and India and is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation."
The card images, to be fair (...sorry) aren't all that strong. But that's not the point. It's the Fair Trade back-story that's important to us.

What's the back-story? "The photos on FairMail cards are taken by underpriviliged Indian and Peruvian teenagers. FairMail offers them photography training, part-time work, medical insurance and guidance in making their future plans."

"The teenagers get 50 % of the profits of the sale of their own cards to finance their housing and education."

We like that a lot. And we want more, more..!

Not shown here, but the back of each card shows an image of the person who will benefit from the sale of each card and information about them.

See more FairMail...

More?  Youtube FairMail Channel  (Mostly Dutch - the birthplace of the Fair Trade movement)
More more? Greedy guts. Search YouTube and Google for Fair Trade.

More cards? Oh, ok...

Susan Entwistle

We haven't had many Art Cards for a while, but these caught our attention... Any thoughts?

" Susan Entwistle, an artist with a textile design background, paints gardens from her visits around the country, using a contemporary, pointillist style in layers of coloured dots. She undertakes commissions for both public and private gardens as well as landscapes and florals."

Had a super day at Harrogate. So nice to meet existing Cool Cards publishers and some new ones too, but that's all for now (It's getting late and it's time for some FIBS backgammon to nicely round the day off) - more soon.

Those links again...
Super Classy Velvet Olive cards (trade only damn her to super hell)

Couldn't make the show? See for yourself... Harrogate Home & Gift Exhibitor list

Friday, 15 July 2011

R.I.P. Banksy Gorilla

"A BANKSY mural on a former social club in Eastville has been painted over.

The Gorilla in a Pink Mask mural, depicting an ape with a pink eye mask over its face, has been a familiar sight on Fishponds Road for more than 10 years."

"But the stencil was whitewashed over when the building was turned into a Muslim cultural centre. It could prove to be an expensive mistake – an 8ft mural on a hotel in Torquay is claimed to have raised the value of the building by £150,000.
Saeed Ahmed, owner of the cultural centre, said he had never heard of the famous artist and painted over the gorilla because he thought it was a regular piece of graffiti.
Mr Ahmed said: "I thought it was worthless. I didn't it know it was valuable. That's why I painted over it. I really am sorry if people are upset."
A paintings conservator, Richard Pelter of Park Street-based International Fine Art Conservation Studios, was last night attempting to remove the whitewash using large cotton buds and sensitive cleaning materials.
Neighbour Dean Meadows said: "It's a shame. It's currently being shared around the world on Twitter, so hopefully Banksy will hear and replace it himself."

"I thought it was worthless. I didn't it know it was valuable. That's why I painted over it. I really am sorry if people are upset."

Yeah right. Mr Ahmed, no offence, but Jesus H Christ that seems somewhat unlikely...

Get your memorial Banksy Gorilla Mask cards quick sharp from Cool Cards before Mr Ahmed comes round and Tip-Ex's them.

Source: Banksy Cards

Monday, 4 July 2011

Royal Mail... Junk Mail, Scam Mail, Stupid Mail... And Why? Profit.

Why Hate Junk Mail? BBC Panorama, the world's longest running investigative TV show, looks into the junk that pours through your doors every day... 

A somewhat lightweight Panorama 'investigation' and many many years too late we'd say, but better late than never...

"It invades our homes, dropping onto our doormats in its millions and costs the taxpayer a fortune to get rid of. It might be a menace in our mailbox but without junk mail, would our postal service survive? Panorama reporter Tom Heap asks whether junk mail is only good for one thing, burning it to heat his home, and investigates whether Royal Mail is addicted to the darker side of the letters business - scam mail."

Aside from the huge waste of limited resources and energy in sending such stupid mail, how upsetting must it be to receive unsolicited mail addressed to your ex or your recently deceased?

What the Panorama documentary fails to tell you is that you can very easily opt out of receiving junk and scam mail in the UK.

"The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up 20 years ago and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office.
The MPS Consumer File is a list of names and addresses of consumers who have told us they wish to limit the amount of direct mail they receive. The use of the Consumer File by list-owners and users is a requirement of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing administered by the Advertising Standards Authority. It is also a condition under the Code of Practice of the Direct Marketing Association."

And similarly, junk phone calls too:  Telephone Preference Service

Source: Panorama - Why Hate Junk Mail?