Quirky Cards & Lively Letterpress

The upcoming National Stationery Show, held May 16 through May 19 in New York, has got me thinking about my favorite new designs for written correspondence. Though normally drawn to the traditionally beautiful, lately I’ve come to appreciate the quirkier styles on the market, leaning toward the cute, witty, tongue-in-cheek, unusual, creative and just plain fun. Below, I’ve rounded up eight of my current picks:

The “Guitars” set from Set Editions pays tribute to one of the late, great guitar gods with a Gibson Les Paul letterpress piece, joined by a Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Explorer and a Gretsch Classic Hollow Body””for penning notes to your most musically enthused friends. The set is available for purchase through the Set Editions website, seteditions.com, as well as select Target and Design Within Reach stores at $18 per set of eight, which includes two of each design.

In store at The Mercantile in Brookhaven as well as its Taigan.com storefront, this punchy and monogrammable Gadabout Logarto card comes in a set of 25 for $45.

I narrowly missed the chance to interview the co-creator of this kitschy line of eco-friendly stationery, Alan Henderson, in 2007 when he was working in the art department at Southern Living. But I’ve continued to follow his debut line of correspondence cards””many of them printed on wood and bamboo””and am oh-so smitten with this “Danish Floral” number as a clever bid of thanks. Get these for $5 each on the Night Owl Paper Goods website or at Star Provisions on the Westside.

It’s hard not to love typography when you work at a magazine. This card, part of ShopSCAD’s new Amber Collection, is a clever play on both a romantic notion and one of the antique fonts we’ve come to know so well. Get this and many others in the collection for just $5 each at ShopSCAD.com.

This new engraved set from Crane & Co., part of the 2010 line, is sure to become a preppy staple for all who love the game of tennis, at $34 for a set of 25.

The SCAD Working Class Studio’s new Catherine Collection offers a fun way to teach little ones the important art of correspondence, at $5 per card. Get them at ShopSCAD.com.

From the ever-inventive mind of Bill Grant at the Grant Design Collaborative in Canton, Georgia, this witty card is an affectionate take on a modern theme””ubiquitous vector graphics””and a kitschy compliment. Get it for $6.50 at the Felt & Wire Shop, an e-retailer of this collective’s wonderful wares, or at The Store at the Grant Design Collaborative in downtown Canton.

Another find from the Felt & Wire Shop, I just couldn’t resist the “Missing U” cotton letterpress card from bluepoolroad, Los Angeles. Notice which letter of the alphabet is strategically absent from the scheme. Get these for $5 each at feltandwireshop.com.

I can’t wait to see what the National Stationery Show has in store for us this year. With nearly 1,000 exhibitors on the roster, it’s bound to be great! To secure a vendor booth at the show or to find out how you can attend, visit nationalstationeryshow.com.

If you won’t be able to visit in person, Grace Bonney over at Design*Sponge is known for composing a fabulous annual report of her findings. Check her blog mid-May for all the dish!