"We were inspired by free printing, free paper and full creative control," explains Hans Thiessen, Designer at WAX. "That glorious trifecta doesn’t come around very often. And when it does, it's usually not the same high quality printing/paper that Flash/Unisource are known for. Also, since there would be 11 other issues created by 11 other design shops in Canada, we aimed to raise the proverbial bar as high as our creative muscles could flex. Go big or go home crying to your entire extended family as they say."
The concept of "Napkinisms" is based on the use of the napkin as a medium for jotting down creative ideas when inspiration strikes.
"After many rounds of ideas, we all loved the idea of creating a book that was a stack of napkins," explains Hans. "Since mustard stains wiped from the corners of our mouths would make for a fairly dull read, we figured we'd better let the best and the brightest creative heavyweights make napkin magic instead."
After deciding on the format, the team at WAX put together a list of creative industry leaders they hoped would contribute to the project. "Then it was a matter of whether or not they were intrigued, available and / or allergic to napkins."
Requests were mailed out to the list along with a stack of napkins and a return envelope. Those interested responded by mailing back their napkins with quotes, doodles, drawings and advice. The final piece includes submissions from Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh, Robert Wong of Google Creative Lab, Ian Grais of Rethink, Lance Martin of Union, Nancy Vonk of Swim, Jon Finkelstein of Proximity, Gary Taxali, Angus Tucker of John St., Sean Adams of AdamsMorioka, Debbie Millman of Sterling Brands, Peter Ignazi of BBDO and James Victore of James Victore Inc.
"A good napkin will soak up a lot of mess. So we soaked Napkinisms full of as many layers of information, secrets and curveballs as we could. Everything from the blind embossed edge patterns to the fluorescent blobs in the interior of each napkin play a role," says Hans. "Pick up a copy and find out in the flesh."
Readers are invited to create their own 'Napkinism' at www.napkinisms.com
About Wayward Arts
Wayward Arts is a monthly publication printed by Flash Reproductions, with paper provided by Unisource Canada in conjunction with their mill suppliers. A different design firm is invited to curate each issue, changing the design, layout, colours, mood and paper to reflect their interpretation of the year’s over-arching theme.
Copies can be obtained by request at waywardarts.ca/subscribe.