Artists are starting to tell it like it is. Walking the aisles of the National Stationery Show recently, I noticed a growing number of greeting cards whose sentiments were anything but sappy. It's a trend I welcome wholeheartedly, since I never met a sarcastic person I didn't like.
I wouldn't describe Julianna Holowka's Mean Cards as sarcastic, exactly; nor are they mean as their name implies. They are honest, simple, poignant and funny. Julianna's from the midwest and now lives in Philadelphia designing home accessories including lampshades, pillows and prints. She recounted to me how her first greeting card designs were born out of desperation - broke and unemployed, she blew what little money she had left on art supplies and expressed herself on paper. I wish all therapy was this productive - I'd be a millionaire by now. I love this card, which reminds us that it will make everything all better. Martinis usually do.
For the raw foodies among you comes uncooked. The duo behind uncooked, Natalie and Armand, are animators and have done work for MTV. I really like their style, while I can't say I'm a huge fan of the copy on the cards. I want to like it, but I just don't connect with this:
But some of them, like this one, I find really funny. Regardless, they are certainly clever and are most certainly not Hallmark. Thank God.
ones to watch: The guys from Bald Guy Greetings are flat out great. In their former lives, they worked for advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners on the west coast. Now, at their second Stationery Show, they've seen the greeting-card light. Ian Kalman is a wordsmith with a wicked sense of humor and Sean Farrell is an incrediby talented illustrator who would make Edward Gorey proud. Together they produce the funniest cards I've seen in a while - but funny isn't really the right word. Witty, clever, dry, subversive... maybe I'll just shut up and let you decide for yourself.
For the record, Ian is the bald guy and Sean fulfills the hirsute quotient with a full head of hair, beard and mustache. I bet they are a blast at parties.