Viva Snail Mail: I love this card. What inspired you to design it?
Jamie: When I decided I wanted to make greeting cards—which I’ll come to later—I decided I’d needed some photo references so I wandered the town taking pictures. After going through the shots I stopped on the payphone and mailbox and started thinking about how much more obsolete they have become since the advent of cell phones, email, texting, online bill pay, etc. While they both work as clever ideas, the mailbox in particular has a sentimental quality to it.
As I tried to think of the greeting I wondered if we’d get to/have gotten to a time when younger generations hardly use mail or mailboxes. As they’d have no sentimental attachment to it and, let’s face it, fewer and fewer needs that require its use, they could go a long while never stepping up to a mailbox. Would their be a day when its use and purpose is unrecognizable? This thinking led to the “What is this thing?” line, as a comment on that possibility.
VSM: Why do you make greeting cards?
Jamie: Designing greeting cards solves 2 issues for me.
First, I’m a print designer by trade and I love print, love design you can hold in your hand. It may never disappear completely but there’s a definite shift. Designers typically do as much or more online and interactive design as print design. Faced with this shift in my work, I see designing greeting cards as a way to hold onto my true design passion. I find I’m seeking that a lot.
Second, like a lot of things these days there’s very little romance, style or grace left to corresponding with each other. Digital correspondence is mostly devoid of heart and soul. That’s not to say I don’t use it, I do. But when it comes to a real expression of anything, emails, texts and instant messages lack pretty much everything. They even confuse some things. I think the greeting card remains one of the best ways to correspond in an every day fashion. I wanted to be a part of that.
VSM: Besides sending out products from your etsy shop, what’s the most recent paper mail that you have you sent and received?
Jamie: As a card designer I tend to send out a lot of cards. When I do something new I like to send it out to a friend or family member. It feels more genuine as a designer, if I use my own designs from time to time.
I think the last piece of mail I sent out – that wasn’t a bill – was a card-o-rama for my mom as her birthday falls close to Mother’s Day.
The last piece I received was a wedding invitation from my friend in London. She’s having an authentic country wedding. The invitation was engraved, black wedding script on a white card. No ribbons, no foil, no iconography, just a proper English invitation.
VSM: Thanks Jamie. Viva Snail Mail!Jamie’s work can be seen at: