Thursday, 2 October 2014

An Interview with Slinkachu

Our Minimiam cards are inspired by the inventive and creative work of Slinkachu.

Artslant bagged a fascinating interview with him - read it here.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Design: Tanaka Tatsuya - Miniature calendar

Tanaka Tatsuya, an artist in Japan, maintains a sense of playfulness and imagination which is all too often lost when we leave the realm of childhood. He creates miniature dioramas using everyday objects and, since 2011, presents them daily on his calendar. They remind us of course of Slinkachu, but also of the Minimiam range of cards we sell.
"Everyone must have had similar thoughts at least once.
Broccoli and parsley might sometimes look like a forest, or the tree leaves floating on the surface of the water might sometimes look like little boats. Everyday occurrences seen from a pygmy’s perspective can bring us lots of fun thoughts.
I wanted to take this way of thinking and express it through photographs, so I started to put together a “MINIATURE CALENDAR” These photographs primarily depict diorama-style figures surrounded by everyday items.
Just like a standard daily calendar, the photos are updated daily on my website and SNS page, earning it the name of “MINIATURE CALENDAR”
It would be great if you could use it to add a little enjoyment to your everyday life.

 Tanaka Tatsuya - Miniature Calendar - Facebook

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Design: Eid & Ramadan

Mosques of Iran.

To mark the end of Ramadan, please enjoy these beautiful photographs by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji - age 23.

"In Iran, we have many historical sites - but some of the greatest are places of worship like mosques. As we have a grand mosque in every big city there are many historical buildings with lots of beautiful mosaics to capture.

I like looking for the symmetry, mosaics and artworks in these temples. I like how they let the light come inside and columns are special too as they divide interior space and give some depth.

Maybe some of these historical sites will not exist in 20 years or change a lot during that time. When I am capturing these pictures, I think about how they will be recorded and in future I hope people will be able to see their beauty."

His Facebook page
His 500px page
Daily Mail feature

Monday, 28 July 2014

First World War 1914 Stamps

Royal Mail have issued 6 new stamps to mark the start of the First World War, 28th August 1914.

 "These evocative stamps represent the six series themes of Poppy, Poetry, Portraits, War Art, Memorials and Remembrance and Artefacts. The cameo head of The Queen by David Gentleman appears in Royal Mail Red, echoing the colour of poppies, the most poignant symbol of war and remembrance. As ever, they are brought to you in pristine, unmarked condition.


 The poppy quickly became symbolic of the war. It was previously associated with the powerful effects of opium and detested by farmers as a stubborn weed, but its tendency to spring up on disturbed earth made it a common sight among the broken ground of shell-torn battlefields. The poppy’s deep red colour seemed to evoke the blood of wounded men, while the flower’s delicate petals might hint at the fragility of life itself. In this specially commissioned painting, artist Fiona Strickland captures the fine texture and translucency of a poppy’s petals.


In 1914, Laurence Binyon was a senior curator at the British Museum and an authority on East Asian art. Born in 1869, he was too old to enlist at the outbreak of war. He had been a published poet since the age of 16, and on 21 September 1914, The Times printed his seven-stanza poem ‘For the Fallen’. At this time, the British Expeditionary Force was in retreat, having suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of Mons. Binyon’s poem is very well known today, being used across the world in the ‘Ode of Remembrance’.


Private William Cecil Tickle enlisted during the height of the recruiting rush on 7 September 1914. Despite being underage, he managed to join the 9th Battalion, Essex Regiment. After a period of arduous training, the battalion was deployed to France and on the third day of the Battle of the Somme attacked near the village of Ovillers. The troops were hit by machine-gun fire from three sides and suffered heavy casualties. Among the dead was Private Tickle. Having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson was born in London in 1889. A leading exponent of Futurism, he went to France and Flanders as a Red Cross orderly, later joining the Royal Army Medical Corps. After being invalided out of the Army, he secured a commission as an official war artist. One of Nevinson’s official works, Paths of Glory, showing two dead British soldiers lying amid mud and barbed wire, was controversially censored. In A Star Shell, Nevinson depicts the weird, unearthly light of an illuminating artillery flare. The shell’s harsh glow reveals a strange landscape of broken ground and barbed wire and captures the disorienting alien nature of the battlefield.


The Response, otherwise known as the Renwick Memorial, was inaugurated in Newcastle in July 1923. A spectacular sculpture by William Goscombe John depicts the volunteers of the Northumberland Fusiliers marching to the station on their way to France. Led by drummers and heralded by the figure of Victory, the men walk resolutely as two sweethearts part for perhaps the last time. Field Marshal Lord Kitchener’s call to arms in September 1914 met with an instant and overwhelming response. While the pre-war British Army needed 30,000 recruits a year, at the peak of the recruiting rush this number enlisted in a single day. By the end of 1915, 2.5 million had volunteered.


On 15 October 1914, Princess Mary launched her Christmas Gift Fund. In a public letter, she wrote, “I want you now to help me send a Christmas present from the whole nation to every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front.” Her appeal was met with an enthusiastic response, eventually raising over £162,000. On Christmas Day 1914 alone, 426,724 gifts were distributed to British service personnel. Each included writing materials, a Christmas card and a photograph of the Princess, and most contained tobacco and cigarettes, all enclosed in an embossed brass box. Many boxes survived, becoming distinctive mementoes of the war’s first Christmas.

Source - Royal Mail
Read more - Telegraph

Monday, 21 July 2014

Puzzles for Postmen - James Addison

Puzzles for Postmen - James Addison - Graphic Designer - Poole Dorset


"I’ve always had a fascination with the Royal Mail. How a letter can physically travel from one end of the country to the other for just 57p is still brilliant (you can’t even buy a Double-Decker chocolate bar for that price).

For the past five years I have been challenging the British postal system by writing and sending cryptic addresses on envelopes. From maps and symbols to word-searches and drawings of the destination, they never fail to deliver and I have a growing admiration for their patience and perseverance.

Puzzling post has been a hobby of mine for quite some time and I am always delighted when the post office writes and draws little messages in return. One envelope had three addresses to various friends’ homes with a little biography about each of them. It invited the Royal Mail to ‘Choose the person who best deserves to receive this letter’. When it arrived I was surprised to hear that there was a written conversation across the envelope where postal staff across the country had diverted its destination in a sort of debate. The final address had a giant pink heart drawn over it in crayon.

For me this sums up the Royal Mail; an efficient machine with a very human spirit and a great team of people dedicated in delivering every letter they receive. Somehow I very much doubt that any other postal service in the world would embrace badly addressed envelopes in such an eccentric and light-hearted way."

Source - James Addison
Source - Puzzles for Postmen

Friday, 27 June 2014

Eid & Ramadan Cards - Salma Arastu

Just in from America, stunning new Eid and Ramadan cards from the ever talented artist, Salma Arastu.

View these and more at Cool Cards - Eid & Ramadan Cards

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

World’s oldest message in a bottle

“Why are people all over the world moved by a plain, handwritten postcard in a bottle? Because in our age of high-speed communications and great uncertainty, time stands still for a moment. It is a message from the past, reaching us now."

When a German fisherman saw an old brown beer bottle floating in the Baltic Sea, he could never have predicted that it was more than a century old. Even greater was his surprise when he found out there was a message in the bottle, dated 1913.

The International Maritime Museum in Hamburg, Germany, analysed the worn postcard hidden inside the beer bottle and discovered that it was written by a baker’s son, Richard Platz. Though much of the ink had faded, a return postal address was readable. The museum tracked down the sender’s 62-year-old granddaughter, Angela Erdmann, in Berlin.

Erdmann never knew her grandfather, and was ‘very surprised’ when a genealogical researcher knocked on her door to deliver the message from her grandfather, who was 20 years old when he threw the bottle into the sea. “He included two stamps from that time that were also in the bottle, so the finder would not incur a cost. But he had not thought it would take 101 years,” she told the Guardian.

“In our age of high-speed communications, time stands still for a moment”
Researchers believe it is the oldest message in a bottle ever found. The Guinness World Record for the previous oldest one dated from 1914 and was discovered after 98 years. The bottle and message are on display in the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg, where experts will attempt to recover the full message.

Holger von Neuhoff, curator at the museum, said: “Why are people all over the world moved by a plain, handwritten postcard in a bottle? Because in our age of high-speed communications and great uncertainty, time stands still for a moment. It is a message from the past, reaching us now. For many visitors in our museum, this was a short journey back in time, combined with the question: what will people in 101 years think about us?”

Source: Positive News - The GuardianThe Local

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Jesus & Mo on Newsnight

Did you catch Newsnight this week? The Author of the Jesus & Mo cartoon was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman.

Prior to this, the Author made his thoughts known regarding the censorship imposed by Channel 4.
"This will be obscure to you if you don’t know the backstory. Last night, Channel 4 News did a piece on the Maajid Nawaz/J&M controversy. They showed the comic, but censored Mo – thus playing to the worst stereotype of Muslims as violent fanatics, pushing liberal Muslims “further into a ditch” (Nawaz), betraying the principles of journalism in a democracy, and providing fuel for true anti-Muslim bigots.
Nice work, Channel 4 News."

Jesus & Mo
Jesus & Mo greeting cards  at Cool Cards

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Postman Pat: The Movie

(pronounce in a deep, gruff, american accent)
"Postman Pat: The Movie"

Pat gets seduced by the lure of fame and fortune.

"The 3D animated film will see Stephen Mangan voice the beloved cartoon character as he enters a TV talent show competition. Ronan Keating will provide the singing voice for Pat.

Speaking to Digital Spy at the recent Sky Arts South Bank Awards, Mangan admitted that he hopes the movie will take Pat to "the dark side".

"What can I say about Postman Pat?" he said. "One of the most iconic cartoon characters ever, and also one of the nicest.

"Being nice for an hour and a half is not that interesting, so we take Pat to the dark side. He gets seduced by the lure of fame and fortune.

"He even falls out with Jess. That's all I'm saying, don't tell the kids!"

David Tennant, Jim Broadbent and Rupert Grint also feature in the voice cast for Postman Pat: The Movie, which will be released in UK cinemas on May 23."

iMDB - Postman Pat - The Movie

Monday, 3 February 2014

Vinegar Valentines

Who knew that Vinegar Valentines was a thing? And why are Hallmark not milking it?

The Collectors Weekly have a great piece on these forgotten gems of anti-sentiment, entitled Happy Valentine's Day, I Hate You.

The Collectors Weekly - Happy Valentine's Day, I Hate You