February 18, 2016 • Sarah Schwartz
10 Designers to Watch in 2016
This year’s stationery stars shape the playing field with individual, authentic charm
Anna Bond | Rifle Paper Co. | This reigning diva of design consistently mesmerizes the industry with whatever she creates.
Aesthetic of the Line: Whimsical, timeless and vibrant
Favorite Color: Black
Current Design Obsession: Poring over Fashion Week photos
Favorite Flower: Peony
Favorite Indulgence: Donuts
Ashley Gardner | Printable Wisdom | This Texas calligrapher’s hand-lettered creations are both gorgeous and empowering … and she inspires others to try the artform too!
Aesthetic of the Line: Printable Wisdom’s typographic works of art transform beloved quotes and Bible verses with modern hand lettering. Our pieces are often accented by watercolor swashes, bright florals and chalkboard backgrounds, turning even the simplest quote into an accent piece fit for any home.
Favorite Color: Blush Pink
Current Design Obsession: I’m obsessed with watercolor lettering! The variations in opacity and vibrancy you can get with this style of lettering adds so much depth to designs. I love how the designs take on a life of their own as the watercolor dries and bleeds.
Favorite Flower: Peonies
Favorite Indulgence: Massages — I would get one every morning if it was possible!
Dorothy Collier | Dorothy Art | Art prints, greeting cards and oil paintings from this Southern artist are infused with careful craftsmanship, sweet nostalgia and personal meaning.
Aesthetic of the Line: Every Dorothy Art piece starts with a touch of yesteryear. Created in Memphis, Tennessee, each card begins as an original oil painting atop vintage pages or sheet music, making the illustration become narrative. I love anything with a story from the past and want to translate a sense of heritage through my pieces.
Favorite Color: Lately I’ve been adding Gamblin’s Portland Grey Light to almost every painting. It has a blue tone that I love.
Current Design Obsession: Blue and white porcelain. I’ve always loved my collection and I’m very excited to start translating my love of antique home décor, brought on by growing up in my grandmother’s antique shops, to canvas in a future series.
Favorite Flower: The Southerner in me is screaming “cotton bolls!” My den is decorated with cotton stalks, but if choosing a live bouquet, I love baby’s breath or white hydrangeas.
Favorite Indulgence: A getaway trip to the beach with my husband and our puppy. If a vacation isn’t in store, an outing discovering any new restaurant in Memphis’ quickly booming culinary scene. Total foodie!
Erin Ozer | Knot & Bow | This cleanly packaged range puts a modern, fanciful and very welcome spin on partyware and stationery.
Aesthetic of the Line: Our style is simple and fun. The roots of the line are the simplest giftwrapping materials: kraft paper and cotton twine. When expanding, we add new products that can be layered on top of these materials to create a look that is fun but still really simple.
Favorite Color: A bright and sunny chartreuse. When I was in college I painted my room this color and everyone thought I was crazy! But it always made me so happy. It’s cheerful but in an unexpected way.
Current Design Obsession: I’ve been really into studying texture and lines lately. I’m working on broadening our range with more paper products, and it’s daunting to develop strong designs that are rooted in simplicity. We’ve been heavy on bright color and party products, and I’m excited to ground our line with more of the paper and neutrals that we started with.
Favorite Flower: Probably a white mini daisy. Classic and cheerful.
Favorite Indulgence: I’ve made a habit of eating pastries in the mornings. I love a good croissant with my coffee, and there are several incredible bakeries in our neighborhood. I eat pretty healthfully otherwise, so the way I see it, life is too short not to follow your heart to the amazing pastries in New York.
Jen Gotch | ban.do | Fun, lightheartedness and laughter are at the core of this lifestyle brand, a social media phenomenon and celebrity favorite.
Aesthetic of the Line: ban.do is a super fun, bright and cheerful gift, tech, paper and accessories company designed by a pretty spectacular group of girls in sunny Los Angeles.
Favorite Color: So I just realized this whole interview is about picking favorites and I am DYING. As someone who loves color I find it very, very, very hard to answer this. OK, fine BLUSH.
Current Design Obsession: Pins, flair … whatever you want to call them. I have been obsessed with this trend for years and now I am so thrilled to really see it catching on. The best accessories around!
Favorite Flower: Gardenia. Totally unassuming, yet totally packs a punch and gives me the best memories every time I come in contact with that scent.
Favorite Indulgence: My mind goes straight to fried food and alcohol, but if I get creative I would say a staying in a hotel room for no reason at all. Because that’s truly indulgent and never disappoints (and then I’d order French fries and wine from room service for a total win).
Aesthetic of the Line: The line is based on my mixed-media art and writing. The look is colorful, spirited, patterned and layered. Whimsy is at the core, but my background as a graphic designer keeps it rooted in design even as it is hand-painted, -drawn and -lettered.
Favorite Color: This is not a fair question for a designer! Classically: Mint green. Currently: cadmium orange. Forever and ever amen: metallic gold.
Current Design Obsession: I am currently quite taken with the art of Tyler Thrasher. He is an alchemist who is making unbelievably beautiful things by forming crystals on bugs and bones and other natural elements. The combination of these two things is breathtaking.
Favorite Flower: Again, no fair. If you want to send me something: Garden Roses, Peonies, and Black-eyed Anemones all together, please (no pressure.) To smell: Orange Blossoms, all day long. To grow: Succulents, about all that survives under my reign.
Favorite Indulgence: Cafe Con Leché and fancy hotels.
Mimi Kim | Clap Clap Design & Stationery | This illustrator breathes her fresh, sunny perspective into every beguiling object and pattern she draws, producing a definitively distinctive stationery range.
Aesthetic of the Line: Inspired by the surroundings from our regular life, Clap Clap brings fun and joyful imagery through cards, notebooks, gift wrap and other paper goods.
Favorite Color: Deep green.
Current Design Obsession: Wild animals! I want to make more wild animal inspired cards!
Favorite Flower: Camellias.
Favorite Indulgence: I enjoy a good Pilsner or a glass of red wine.
Patricia Shen | Our Heiday | Naming her range for the female family members who nurtured her creative spark, this self-taught ex-law student infuses authenticity and sheer beauty into every piece she creates.
Aesthetic of the Line: Our Heiday focuses on an effortless, painterly and hand-lettered aesthetic with products that exude sophistication and sentiment. We design to elevate the everyday.
Favorite Color: Neutrals, neutrals, neutrals. I think the perfect shade of taupe has a little blush, a little gray, a little chocolate. It’s perfect.
Current Design Obsession: I’ve been finding design inspiration in spaces easily overlooked, the small nooks and crannies — between alleyways, the cracks of the cement.
Favorite Flower: It would be dishonest to say that I have one, but I think one of the most underrated flowers is the cosmos. They’re delicate, simple, imperfect, and have an amazing profile.
Favorite Indulgence: A pint of McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream.
Robin Soltis | Scotch & Cream | The “Cream” to her husband-business partner’s “Scotch,” this illustrator and hand-letterer reinterprets the sleek styles of the past into designs that feel entirely fresh.
Aesthetic of the Line: Scotch & Cream is a mid-century modern inspired paper and home brand. We love the aesthetics of the modern era because of its timeless quality and sophistication. And we approach the subject of leisure — something we take seriously — with a mindset that is fun, stylish and elegant.
Favorite Color: I love gold. Gold as an accompanying highlight can transform the ordinary into extraordinary, though there is a clear line between classy and gaudy.
Current Design Obsession: I skip around between different styles frequently, but I’ve recently been inspired with all things Art Deco.
Favorite Flower: Dahlias! I love the perfectly sequential pattern of their petals. I’m in awe that such beautifully ordered design is created in nature.
Favorite Indulgence: Ice cream. Croissants. Doughnuts. I love buttery and doughy sweets. Desserts are dangerous for me!
Stacie Bloomfield | Gingiber | A childhood doodler turned full-time illustrator, this designer and boutique proprietress has a style all her own, creating a beguiling animal menagerie offset with cheerful florals and patterns.
Aesthetic of the Line: Gingiber tries to find the perfect balance of artfulness and playfulness in each illustration. Our prints, pillows, totes and paper goods are sweet enough for children but smart enough for adults. I focus on color, pattern and animal form to create our signature look.
Favorite Color: Enchanted Green — my studio walls and door are painted this color.
Current Design Obsession: I love ceramic animals, and am obsessed with everything that Small Wild Shop is making!
Favorite Flower: Daffodil
Favorite Indulgence: I live for cinnamon rolls, and if I am having a business success (or just feeling good) I find the nearest cinnamon roll and enjoy!