Cards By John McDonald Design Make Me Want to Dance and Sing!

I love following the threads of how people came to have things in their lives or what led them to go to a certain resort or restaurant.

I believe that what we like and what we wear and how we decorate our house is a full extension of who we are and finding out whether you came to a book because of its cover or someone told you something intriguing about the author just fascinates me.

So it’s interesting that in doing a piece earlier on The Gift Bag Factory, I came across an artist and designer who had done something for them – a pink bag that had a very romantic scene of a man playing a song for his lady on what looks like the edge of a river. The image is off to the side with modern flowers and leaves in white grasping at its edges from the top and bottom of the bag. It’s there that I followed up on the artist, seeing what else he had produced.

And it turns out the John McDonald of John McDonald Design makes incredibly cool cards! He also has some upcoming projects in the new year with both The Gift Bag Factory and The Museum of Modern Art in New York that I’m sure will also engage and excite us ( I got a sneak peek at his MOMA card designs – they are incredibly original and a load of fun! I can’t wait for you to see them!)!

His background in textile arts and graphic design is evident in his bold and colourful designs. His 3 new lines are whimsical and touching, modern and yet have a clear eye on the past.

His Celestial Kaleidoscope cards are like looking at snowflakes or stars through a kaleidoscope.! They are bright and bold, with delicious colour combinations like blue/green/orange/yellow and plum/pink/sky blue.

They are on thick, thick card and have the loveliest look to them – somewhat matte, yet a little glossy somehow – and I think the rounded edges is just one of the many details that sets John’s work apart for the rest. That and the coordinating pattern on each accompanying envelope! Brilliant (p.s. These features are available with all of the cards mentioned here)!

I like these cards because they are perfect for any occasion. They are celebratory enough to be sent as a birthday or anniversary card, but are the perfect, “Hi, I was just thinking about you” kind of card that I am always on the hunt for but are just so hard to find.

And it doesn’t get much sweeter than John’s Gnome Notes. These cards highlight a day in the life of a gnome, all in a silhouette form, which really adds a modernity and a touch of humour somehow. I love the apple green one where the gnome is pushing a barrel full of flowers with butterflies dancing above and a rabbit looking on with interest and the gnome playing a tune on a blue background with a bird joining in on the fun. All of the gnome cards are a great deal of fun and perfect for the upcoming spring and summer season.

It makes me want to go out to the garden and lift up the mushroom tops and search for the little fellas!

And the Aesthetic Spirit cards are a nod to the Aesthetic period of the late 19th Century that John is such a fan of. They incorporate vintage inspired patterns and images with words that say it simply, yet say it all.

These cards are extremely colourful and with the mix of old images and contemporary touches, really tug at your nostalgic memories.

Freedom’s blue birds remind me of my childhood backyard where my dog Bogie and I would spend hours playing underneath the long branches filled with birds keeping us company. And the Beauty card with its buttery yellow background and red bird on a branch transports me back to my apartment above the antique store where I had dark hardwood floors and buttery walls and redwood branches as a stand in for a pine Christmas tree for 5 years that I lived there.

John McDonald’s cards are true works of art and nothing like you’ll find at the mall.

So go online and get yourself boxes of these. You’ll thank your lucky stars you did.

Stephanie Dickison

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