Sometimes when I see an artist’s humdrum business card I’m reminded of the off-duty comedian’s reply to someone he’s just met who tells him he doesn’t seem funny: “Well, I’m not doing it NOW.” Still, a card that fails to somehow convey an artist’s work is a real missed opportunity. It is NOT an opportunity missed by bronze sculptor Driaan Claassen thanks to the mesmerizing stationery designed for him by Erwìn Bindeman.
This is not so much a case of a designer creating collateral for a business – Driaan’s Reticence – but one artist having wonderfully influenced another. How else to describe business cards that seem to be relics of an alien race carved from obsidian, or envelopes that draw you in with a hypnotic pattern?
The “alien” idea is not as odd as it might first sound. The South African artist’s sculptures are themselves eerie blends of shiny bronze and dark matter that wouldn’t be out of place in the forthcoming “Alien: Covenant” flick – substantial meditations on the interplay of darkness and light.
Erwìn’s stationery captures this concept perfectly in paper form with symmetrical interplays between foil accents, type and the spot UV symbol on the front of the card, all set against the backdrop of the black paper.
Duplex laminating the cards only furthers their resemblance to the chunky sculptures themselves. The certificate of authenticity for each sculpture, for example, with its record-like concentric circles and 3-level embossing, draws further comparisons with the alien motif, giving the visual impression of a message received from space.
“These certificates had to be as unique as his bronze art pieces themselves and had to bring the same essence and attention to detail,” Erwìn explains. “Most importantly they had to look and feel authentic.”
These certificates were foil stamped on Arjowiggins Curious Skin 270gsm and finished off with a 3-level blind embossing, adding that final stamp of authenticity and balancing the darkness of the paper with the lightness of the foils.
So often paper choice is crucial to the success of any project, and in this case it is a fascinating one. The use of Arjowiggins Curious Skin could have easily undercut all of the work that went into this design, negating the hard look of the stationery with a soft touch. But here, too, that uncanny skin-like feel instead knocks us off balance, giving us one final extraterrestrial experience to ponder and enjoy.
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