No one writes letters anymore. I know, I know, your grandmother has been lamenting it for a decade but, these days, when I go to the mailbox and there’s something for me which isn’t a bill or a magazine I don’t even remember ordering, it’s like a cause for effervescent, unruly, and intense celebration (I exaggerate, but only a little). I make this statement, of course, as someone with a major pen and paper obsession who almost never takes the opportunity to send written correspondence. I mean, I had to order stamps from Amazon the other day to send a couple of postcards. Sure, they were the Wonder Woman stamps, but still.
Honestly, it’s a shame (shame on me, shame on you, shame on everyone, SHAME!!!). Because there’s something special about the personal touch of a handwritten note and, also, because there is some really gorgeous stationary out there waiting for someone to love it.
These cards are printed on my favorite stock: ivory, thick but not inflexible, and soft. Tough enough for fountain pen and kid pen pressure but not that lumpy, crackly stuff which, well nigh unto impossible to damage, is nice for art making but not so nice for writing upon. The graphics are lovely reproductions of water colors which capture the variability and whimsy of the medium, and the natural variation in tone, without the potential for damage and smearing that comes along with a water soluble medium.
In short? Art that is begging to be used and shared.
My favorite feature of the set, however, is that each card pulls double duty as a means of correspondence and of art education. Robinson selected six different elements of color theory to form the set’s theme and each card features not only a visual representation of that element but also a short explanation of it on the back of the card. As an art/art history geek, it brings me no end of pleasure to spread such factoids around. People often avoid learning about the intricacies of art because they feel the subject is too big, too complicated, too esoteric. Robinson’s cards make it accessible, concrete, and applicable to the design literally in the receiver’s hands.
Come on, you know you’re curious. You know you want to look.
Ha! Made you learn!
Admit it. It was fun.
The Color Theory cards are no mere slips of paper to find their way directly into the recycling either. You’ll want to keep and display them. And you can use your newfound knowledge to impress your friends. Had my daughter not stolen 10/12 to send to her friends (look, she’s cute and, at age 4, will already go to the art museum with me. It’s hard to say no when your kids show enthusiasm for some of your favorite things), I’d likely have framed one of each card and hung them with great delight.
Princeton Architectural Press was kind enough to send me a review set of cards.