Texture, Surface, and the Return to Authenticity – or, perhaps you’d prefer: – ‘Oh! the way pressed paper makes us feel like real boys and real girls!’

February 23, 2015

It is no secret that designers -despite our digital surroundings- are just as likely to get awkwardly crazy-eyed and geeky over high quality card stock and old timey printing techniques, as we are about discussing the elegance and subtlety of a particular font (here’s looking at you Garamond). The opportunities for a blind embossed AND foil stamped business cards seem few and far between these days, but the yearning for these techniques thrive in many designers.

While the quality of an immaculately letter-pressed invitation is undeniably beautiful, we think there may be something greater at work than the merits of aesthetic beauty in and of itself.


letters to touch

We dare you to try to resist making regular paper seem as though it were pressed with the imprint of some heavenly design-mollusk-fossil

We know that the movements and whims of the art and design world are often dictated by a reactionary call-and-answer dialogue with itself; a schizophrenic door-slamming match. If we survey the landscape of popular graphic design currently we can see two distinct lines of thinking: those that celebrate the flatness of the digital experience (Apple’s move towards a flat interface for example) and the ornate throwback typography and embellishments of turn of the century design (complete with filigree and swooshes and often printing techniques developed in the same era).


So, it is possible to interpret the desire for the reemergence of these textural qualities in a designer’s arsenal as a desire for her work to be manifested to a maximized physicality, to be in direct opposition of the flat, ink-on-paper, realist approach. After years of designing for web and apps and the trends they inculcated, perhaps some designers are so feverishly set on creating something that is as substantive conceptually as it is physically. That by participating in the celebration of the physicality of the design itself, their work itself is rooted more in “the real”, in authenticity, both in terms of experience for the viewer, and in the experience of creation as well.



Brionie Garnham

January 24, 2015


Jen Toole and Herself.com

February 22, 2015


Graphite Flow State

March 1, 2015


Why Wonder?

February 8, 2015