Archive for June, 2011

Color crush: Aqua
June 28th, 2011

It’s no secret we love color here at J. Falkner. We seem to spend an inordinate amount of time gazing at our pantone book, considering this shade of blue or that shade of green. One color we always return to is Aqua. You might see turquoise, or celadon, or green-blue — but we like to call it Aqua, which conveys that beautiful shimmery color of water on a summer’s day.

We have a favorite little vase — which you’ll see in the picture above — that has followed us over the years from London, to New York and now Palm Beach: its wonderful color and glaze delights us every time we see it.

We love aqua because it is a color that plays well with others. Consider it with chocolate brown; this is a pairing we’ve used on a number of our cards (for example, the elephant and balloon icons). It also works well with a crisp white, but it’s surprisingly effective with orange, too. There are very few colors that aren’t enhanced by aqua, which is why it’s become one of our go-to colors at J. Falkner.

And here’s an interesting bit of color history: for the better half of the last millenium, the sea was portrayed in western art as green. It was only from the early 1500s, due to the new popularity of the Virgin Mary and her signature blue, that artists started interpreting the seas and oceans as the blue we recognize as standard today.

* Aqua: our pantone reference is 573.

Stand-out Shop! Petite & Sweet, Toronto
June 23rd, 2011

Ok, we confess: we love stores. To us, finding a perfect shop is a little like discovering a wonderful story. Which is why we’re introducing a new series to our blog called ‘Stand-out Shops’.

A stand-out shop is one that, through its mix of merch and interior design, genuinely inspires us. We see colors, shapes and textures that make us want to run back to our studio and create. Naturally all these stores carry cards (and sometimes ours!) but they are not always stationery stores.

Petite & Sweet is full of light and charm: delicious coffee, chic desserts, colorful ribbons and wrapping, and unexpected gift items – for example, who wouldn’t adore these white owls? Petite & Sweet run a very successful event company and, just 3 months ago, they created this retail space in Rosedale (a tony Toronto neighborhood).

What inspires us? The delightful use of colors, the streamlined black and white decor, the sense of whimsy in the party decorations (old fashioned candy bags and straws!), and the you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it realistic silk flowers (made on-site). And how adorable is their logo?

As well as our line, they carry the enchanting letterpress cards from Mr. Boddington’s Studio.

* Petite & Sweet, 420 Summerhill Ave, 647-348-7700.

Natural inspirations
June 9th, 2011

The garden of the Four Arts is one of the most beautiful places in Palm Beach. The plantings have such beautiful details. For example, if you look closely at this little patch of green it is actually full of the most wonderful textures and shapes. I was especially delighted by all the clovers, and thought that this could be a charming pattern for a card. And there you have it – the inspiration behind our ‘Aren’t We Lucky?’ Anniversary card.

Stunning Sonia Delaunay Show in NY
June 5th, 2011

The exhibition posterA detail shot to see the vibrant color play

Before I left New York after the Stationery Show, I ran uptown to catch the Sonia Delaunay show at the Cooper Hewitt. It was revelatory. All those beautiful pulsating colors. Delaunay was a Russian artist who settled in France and whose most popular medium was in textiles. She adored color and believed it was ‘the skin of the world’. A principle of her art was ‘Simultaneity’ … which was the sensation of movement caused by putting certain colors together. Sounds complicated, but look at how her patterns come to life and you immediately see what she was getting at.

Personally I was struck by how modern & unexpected her color combinations were: lime & grey – royal blue, black & red – deep navy with lime and orange accents. 80 years ago she was right on today’s trend of color blocking in fashion. Truly inspirational stuff – so don’t be too surprised if you see some Delaunay-worthy color combos popping up in our next collection of cards!

If you miss the show, there’s a great book you can amazon – Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay.