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Posted Jul 19, 2010 in Cool Shit | 1 Comment

Not Your Average Hallmark Card

Who doesn’t love paper products? I mean, let’s face it, in the age of laptops and emails, writing anything down by hand feels special, and receiving mail from friends is a rare treat. So why not make those occasions extra special by bypassing the boring, trite drugstore stationary and choosing something that reflects who you are and what you love? Here’s a place to start:

For notebooks and journals, you can’t get any better quality than Moleskine. Recreating the simple black notebooks used by artists for over two hundred years, they offer a huge selection of journals in various sizes and colours (though my favourite is still the basic black).

If you’d like something a bit more ornate, then Paperblanks is for you. A company based in Vancouver, they’re available at retailers across Canada. Their designs transform the journals’ covers into anything from traditional fabric patters to handtooled leather. The range is huge and there’s really something for everyone. They also offer dayplanners and guestbooks.

For the young at heart and the environmentally conscious, there’s Ecojot. The designs are fun and all products are as sustainable as you can get.  Everything is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper products, no bleach is used, and all glues are bio-degradable. And if you buy a journal or sketchbook, Ecojot donates one to schools in developing countries.

My all-time favourite card company has to be PAPAYA! They offer lots of different products, but it’s their colourful greeting cards and stationary that really stand out. Every birthday card is a piece of art, and even something as simple as an envelope is made beautiful.

I especially love the limited edition work that artist Sabrina Ward Harrison did for them, and I am also planning on buying some of their wrapping paper next Christmas season.

Another favourite of mine is Vancouver’s The Regional Assembly of Text. A small shop located on Main Street, The Regional Assembly of Text offers everything from books and shirts to letter writing kits. In fact, they host a monthly letter writing club for anyone interested, so if you’re in Vancouver you only need to enjoy sending and receiving letters to be welcome. The designs are adorable and clever, and the shop itself is easy to spend hours in.

Other notable designers include Tokyo Milk, whose combination of vintage drawings and witty messages I find amazing.

And there is also Ontario’s Whale and Bee. These simple but beautiful cartoon cards can put a smile on a person of any age’s face, and who wouldn’t love to receive an invitation to sushi from a monster?

Montreal’s Paper Trail Studio is another of my favourites. They offer notebooks, pins and stationary, but I prefer their cardboard tags. The graphics are beautiful and the prices extremely reasonable.

Last (but not least!) there’s photographer Shoichi Aoki’s postcard set. The cards, featuring different Tokyo street fashions from his book Fresh Fruits, come in sets of 45 and are really fun to send. I’m also a little in love with Ruby Press‘s embossed coasters. Keeping watermarks off furniture was never this fun (and their embossed thank you cards are also pretty awesome).

There are plenty of choices out there, so what are you waiting for? Go send a loved one something nice!

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