We all love New York’s creative energy and style, and can’t help but be drawn to the LA scene, but what about the cities in between? Neenah Paper wanted to know what designers find inspiring about the cities they live in so, with the help of Design Army, a mission was formed: Find six up-and-coming, design-centric cities, discover the innovators who are making their marks, and challenge them to design their inspiration.
Mission accomplished. Meet the seven designers who visually interpreted their cities in the new Neenah “Future Classic” promotion. Design Army went looking for, and found, independent designers at the top of their market, in varying geographic areas, who could work with Neenah CLASSIC Papers to bring a unique perspective to the project.
“It’s so interesting to see the way each of the artists approached the design project, the types of artistic treatments they used, what about their cities inspired their design, and the different ways they used the papers,” says Pum Lefebure, co-founder & chief creative officer, Design Army.
The 15-page, perfect bound book includes an actual spinning record to illustrate the musical heritage of Oakland; the only way to eat a real Chicago-style hot dog illustrated as a transit map; and a seven-day walking tour of the must-visit eateries in Atlanta.
Let’s take a tour of the six cities, and let Design Army’s Pum Lefebure tell us what inspired her about each of the artists.
Portland, Oregon’s cut-paper artist and designer Emily Brown combined a die-cut sleeve with a die-cut and embossed invitation to a Summer Solstice party in Forest Park, her favorite spot in the city. Emily finds inspiration in Portland’s strong connection to green space.
Design Army: Emilyʼs hand-cut paper pieces are nothing short of amazing. We knew it would be a challenge to recreate her intricate, artisan style en masse, but we loved her appreciation of paper and wanted to see what she would create with the CLASSIC line.
Illustrator and surface designer Kate Zaremba used hand cut and hand drawn icons, lithography and gold foil stamping to create a collage of 14 must-visit artist spaces around her hometown of Washington, DC.
Design Army: We liked Kate’s fashion background, the fact that she had worked with Jonathan Adler, and thought her experience with textiles could play out into a unique patterned piece. Plus, she really knows the art scene in DC.
The phrase “go big or go home” captures Sarah Jacoby’s philosophy when it comes to paper craft. Growing up in and around Philadelphia, Jacoby was fascinated with the tradition of the Mummers, so she handcrafted a Mummer’s mask — a very large one — by cutting and layering hundreds of pieces of CLASSIC papers.
Design Army: We were first drawn to Sarahʼs very organic style of illustration, but when she came back to us with the concept of the Mummer’s mask, we were really excited about the idea of an artist using CLASSIC papers to craft a 3D object.
Partners in crime and founders of Guts & Glory Faun Chapin & Meg Paradise chose to focus on Oakland’s musical roots. Using their design mantra “If at all possible, use gold foil,” the duo highlight hip-hop artists like Tupac, En Vogue and MC Hammer in foil-stamped line art illustrations in the background. The record — yes it spins! — uses raised UV printing to recreate the unique surface texture of a classic vinyl record.
Design Army: We first discovered Meg and Faun through a large mural they designed for a new Starwood Hotel that opened in DC and we had a fondness for their design thinking behind many of their projects.
Simply put, this illustrator and designer thinks that Chicago is the best city in the world. Working with what he sees as the quintessential and essential aspects of Chicago, Jay Fleck designed a Chicago-style hot dog transit map. With opaque white and metallic silver lithography plus yellow and metallic red foil stamping, the very specific ingredients of the perfect hot dog are mapped out.
Design Army: We spotted his illustrations on Society6 and liked his sense of whimsy and distinctive style. Then we noticed that he has done a lot of illustrations of Chicago, which solidified the fact that he really loves, and is inspired by, his city.
Russell Shaw thinks there’s something special that happens when you sit down around a table to a meal with others. And through his project “Atlanta on 30,000 Calories” we can see there’s no shortage of places to find a table. The grommeted pamphlet maps out the perfect seven-day eating tour of Atlanta. From Monday through Sunday there are a total of 47 hot spots for food, drinks, and even a round of cornhole.
Design Army: We wanted an illustrator with a great hand-drawn style, and Russell jumped out at us immediately after we saw a map he did of Portland. He has a great sense of humor that translates into his illustrations.
See more photos on Instagram #CLASSICNEENAH.
Visit NeenahPaperBlog.com to read full interviews with each of the artists.
PaperSpecs readers, enter to win one of 50 ‘Future Classic’ books today! Hurry, contest ends midnight ET July 8th! If you miss out, contact your local Neenah Paper rep to request a copy.
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