April 14, 2010 •
Summer 2009 Editor’s Letter

It’s been said there are a million stories in New York City. Well, there are a million design stories in the stationery and gift industries too, most of them informed by personal and family histories. This became clear to me while working on this issue’s designer profile, Leigh Standley, the cheerful visionary behind Curly Girl Design.

Leigh was all set to leave for college to carve out a career in the dramatic arts when her mother gently suggested she consider visual design instead. If not for her mother’s intervention, this industry, and not the theatre world, would have lost a rising star.

But not only are our life choices shaped by family, so too are our all-important design aesthetics. I consider mine one of my most cherished possessions, and thrive from being exposed to anything that allows it to mutate and grow.

I trace it back to my grandmother, whose stories of traveling from Philadelphia to New York as an apparel buyer in the 1930s captured my imagination as a small child and never really let go. My more visual introduction to design was acquired in childhood too, when my mother took me to more flea markets, estate sales and antique shops than I can count.

So there really is nothing new under the sun — all the visual choices made by the designers we feature in this issue (and throughout the industry) are informed by their histories as well as the friends and family who color their lives.

That seems like a fitting idea to kick off this edition of Stationery Trends with, not only because this is our first Design Issue, but because nowhere is the sense of extended family and shared inspirations more realized than at each year’s National Stationery Show.

I am certainly not unique in that I left NYC glowing from the warmth I felt from friends and colleagues I hadn’t seen in too long — and plenty of ideas about the current state of paper design. While, on the whole, designers take fewer risks during rocky times, I was pleased to see many trends deepening and going in directions I would never have envisioned.

To that end, I tried to pack a lot of amazing imagery into this issue, starting from Fresh Picks and ending with our

P.S. on the magazine’s final page, plus plenty to sink your teeth into in between. So sit back, relax and enjoy the read!

Until next time.

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