Features Industry Profiles

January 24, 2018 •
Ten Designers to Watch in 2018

Our ninth annual class is rich in personality and style

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Tuesday Bassen | Tuesday Bassen, shoptuesday.com

This award-winning illustrator has a definite Los Angeles vibe — but that doesn’t keep her range from speaking to empowered women across the nation.

Aesthetic of the Line: Local Handywoman Chic.

Current Bestseller: Customizable pennant patches.

Personal Favorite: Happiness is Owning a Chainsaw.

Surprise Hit: We’re consistently surprised that if we stay true to our personal interests, that is usually what will sell best, which is what happened with the “I Fucking Love Power Tools” socks. We were super stoked on them but assumed they wouldn’t be the most popular, but they quickly rose to the top with our newest release.

Iconic Selection: Mixed Emotions Club Jacket.

Favorite Color: Bubblegum Pink and Tomato Red.

Current Design Obsession: VFW Halls.

Favorite Flower: Pink carnations.

Favorite Indulgence: Jeni’s Ice Cream.



Theresa Berens | Boss Dotty, bossdotty.com

This light-hearted range is a serious celebration of strong women supporting strong women — so it’s rife with best friends, girl gangs, cat ladies, boss ladies and broads with bangs.

Aesthetic of the Line: Dreamy and light-hearted illustrations laced with humor and can-do attitude.

Current Bestseller: Glad You’re in My Girl Gang. This was actually one of the first cards I ever designed, and its popularity really shaped the rest of my line. I learned women enjoy celebrating women, regardless of the occasion (or lack thereof!)

Personal Favorite: Congrats, Boss Lady! I love sending this card to applaud the achievements of the women in my life.

Surprise Hit: The LaCroix addiction card — there are more seltzer obsessed people out there than I’d have expected.

Iconic Selection: Ombré Breasts.

Favorite Color: Right now, it’s dusky lilac; the perfect intersection between blush, lavender and soft grey.

Current Design Obsession: Zines and graphic novels! I love design-led work from author/illustrators and visually connect with linework and limited color palettes.

Favorite Flower: Giant dahlias — they’re so dramatic.

Favorite Indulgence: French Fries and champagne



Stephanie Clarke | Dahlia Press, www.dahliapress.com

This Seattle studio packs a strong and loving punch with understated, clean design.

Aesthetic of the Line: Bold and playful with a dash of sass! We want our hand-lettering and letterpress printing to take center stage, so we keep our palette simple and our message strong.

Current Bestseller: You’re the Tits! Need I say more?

Personal Favorite: Nevertheless She Persisted art print. It reminds me everyday to stay strong and never give up. It’s a wonderful mantra for any female business owner.

Surprise Hit: Women Take Action Postcard Set — a beautiful way to spread an important message.

Iconic Selection: Moon + Stars. So much of our line is about love. It’s a classic.

Favorite Color: Always black … and anything copper.

Current Design Obsession: Asymmetrical patterning, especially when created with a brushy stroke. I love how perfectly imperfect it is.

Favorite Flower: Dahlias obviously … but I’ve got a mad crush on peonies too

Favorite Indulgence: You’ll find me by the cheese plate, with a delicious glass of red.


Ali Mac | Lark + Raven, www.larknraven.com

This former Jonathan Adler designer uses Sharpies to create a bold, bright universe populated by spellbinding patterns and dynamic illustrations.

Aesthetic of the Line: Cheeky and chic like my grandmother, the woman who played a very big role in inspiring me creatively.

Current Bestseller: Bloody Good Birthday.

Personal Favorite: Rare Love.

Surprise Hit: I Dough.

Iconic Selection: NYC

Favorite Color: Apparently, it’s pink! I didn’t realize this until I updated my portfolio and noticed that it’s heavily used in the majority of my illustrations.

Current Design Obsession: Gouache botanicals on bright backdrops.

Favorite Flower: Anemones

Favorite Indulgence: Anything with frosting.



Valerie McKeehan | Lily & Val, lilyandval.com

This heartfelt range mixes homespun wisdom with appealing hand-lettering, inspiring legions of fans.

Aesthetic of the Line: Charmingly rustic and quaint with a touch of elegance and a nod to nostalgia.

Current Bestseller: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary — a special family cookbook/recipe keeper combined with a journal for recording stories and memories.

Personal Favorite: Coffee is Always A Good Idea Print. I started experimenting with different textures, like kraft paper, and fell in love with this humble, unexpected surface.

Surprise Hit: Thank You Hoop Card. Hand-drawn embroidery was a quirky, little idea, but I think people really love the nostalgic feel of it.

Iconic Selection: All of our Chalkboard art prints and cards!

Favorite Color: I love soft pink and blush! The Lily & Val brand is very pink.

Current Design Obsession: I am loving loose, messy, almost abstract handwriting. There is such beauty in its imperfection. I’m also loving pen and ink botanical drawings.

Favorite Flower: Peonies! My grandmother used to have the most amazing peony bushes. They remind me of her.

Favorite Indulgence: Staying in PJ’s all day watching movies.



Kelly Romano| BenjaminPOP!, www.benjaminpop.com

The pop here comes from an abundance of dimensional texture and well-placed color, combined with attention-grabbing messaging.

Aesthetic of the Line: BenjaminPOP! is a print and design studio in Orlando, Florida. We celebrate the art of clean design with the craftsmanship of fine printing. Our products are authentic, engaging, and with (of course) some added POP!

Current Bestseller: You the Real MVP, currently in the “Congratulations” collection in Paper Source nationwide.

Personal Favorite: “HECK YES!” stamped with silver holographic foil.

Surprise Hit: From our Hamilton Collection, The World’s Going To Know Your Name.

Iconic Selection: Our XO color block set.

Favorite Color: Black. It’s classy and will never go out of style.

Current Design Obsession: My daily Domino Magazine email. There’s always a photo, product or trend that inspires me.

Favorite Flower: Any of them — they’re all beautiful.

Favorite Indulgence: Talenti’s Gelato and Crime TV. Together.



Samantha Rothenberg | Violet Clair, violetclair.com

The color palette may evoke yesteryear’s sweet girl next door, this smart and often snarky range speaks to the authentic 21st century woman.

Aesthetic of the Line: Modern, quirky and humorous product in a sweet pastel color palette.

Current Bestseller: Birthday Vibes Rosé. The wine bottle and pink-on-pink color palette has really resonated!

Personal Favorite: Kitten Bouquet because … is an explanation really needed?!

Surprise Hit: It’s Lit Menorah. I was worried it might be a little ‘out there’ for a holiday card, but buyers and customers have been loving it!

Iconic Selection: BFFs for Life. It’s been in my line since the very beginning.

Favorite Color: Light purple! Violet Clair means “light purple” in French, and it’s also our signature envelope color.

Current Design Obsession: Czech movie posters from the ‘60s.

Favorite Flower: Lavender, for its color, scent and versatility.

Favorite Indulgence: Splitting a bottle of wine with a friend on a weeknight.



Ashkahn Shahparnia | Ashkahn, www.ashkahn.com

Thanks to its enigmatic creator, this range is full of contradictions: sweet yet naughty, off-kilter yet right on target.

Aesthetic of the Line: Like falling in the center of love at a million miles an hour.

Current Bestseller: PARTY TIME! This is the first card that is larger than the rest. Did I mention it also comes embossed with silver glitter foil?

Personal Favorite: My personal favorite is the new birthday card here. I love tequila so this message comes from the heart.

Surprise Hit: Bravo Fucking Bravo is killin’ it. So happy about this.

Iconic Selection: One of the iconic ones that is currently out of stock but will be back soon is I don’t understand half of the things you say but I laugh anyway.

Favorite Color: I call it “Eternal sunset day glo pink.” I use it on all my envelopes.

Current Design Obsession:  Does roasting coffee count? If so, I’m obsessed.

Favorite Flower: Tulip.

Favorite Indulgence: Margaritas.


Afsaneh Tajvidi | JooJoo Paper, www.joojoopaper.com

Lose yourself in this colorful, ethereal world that celebrates the joy in life’s simple pleasures.

Aesthetic of the Line: Soulful, dreamy and positive.

Current Bestseller: Zodiac Birthday.

Personal Favorite: Accordion Player Birthday.

Surprise Hit: Moon Cake Birthday.

Iconic Selection: Mermaid Birthday.

Favorite Color: Hard to pick just one, I love the combination of colors together.

Current Design Obsession: Creating dreamy atmospheres that can convey a positive mood and pull the viewer into the scene.

Favorite Flower: Plumeria.

Favorite Indulgence: Soulful, dreamy and positive.


Amy Voloshin | Printfresh, www.printfresh.com

This fresh range echoes runway fashion with touch-me textures and a most streamlined sense of cool.

Aesthetic of the Line: Globally inspired with a bohemian, textile-inspired flair, this sumptuous stationery features tactile finishes, subtle color palettes and pops of metallics.

Current Bestseller: Abstract Daybreak small velvet journal.

Personal Favorite: The Memphis Mint velvet journal. It’s lovely for keeping on your bedside. I’ve been wanting to get better at keeping a journal for a long time, and this fancy one has inspired me to keep up with the habit!

Surprise Hit: Moonphase Bandana Purse + Pocket journal in blue.

Iconic Selection: Our new Wabi Sabi brushstroke velvet journal. We do a lot of painting in the studio so I love those loose brush marks, and it’s on a feminine velvet fabric, which brings in our brand’s textile focus. And everyone in the studio is obsessed with gold foil!

Favorite Color: A dusty blush color is always so pretty!

Current Design Obsession: I’ve been studying Wabi Sabi lately, and I’m totally enthralled. I love this design philosophy of embracing the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.

Favorite Flower: Lavender (for the smell of course!). I’ve been doing ikebana lately and it’s made me discover flowers I wouldn’t have discovered before.

Favorite Indulgence: I splurge on a private yoga class every week, and it’s one of my favorite things I do for myself! Being a busy entrepreneur it’s so important to take time for a little self-care, and yoga really helps me clear my head and stay focused and inspired.

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