Saturday, 3:10pm
14 February 2009

Who’s writing this script?

Valentine’s Day is a field day for Marian Bantjes

Design magazines don’t receive Valentine’s Day cards as a rule. Sure, we get plenty of Christmas cards. And even more New Year’s cards and fancy calendars, from all those design studios who didn’t quite hit their Christmas deadline. But 14 February always seemed too . . . arbitrary, too commercialised and/or too personal. Until Marian Bantjes came along.

The Canadian designer-illustrator has produced a series of Valentine’s Day and Hallowe’en greetings on paper that have to be seen to be believed: beautiful, tactile and impossibly intricate. And sometimes personalised to an extraordinary degree – you can see the 150+ designs she sent in 2007 here.

WE first became aware of this in 2005, with a pink poster. Followed by a ‘True heart’ in 2006. Last year’s Valentine was quasi-typographic, a series of ‘Love letters’.

For 2009, Marian has sent out a folded page of handwritten script on glassine paper, posted in a transparent envelope with a tiny stamp. We presume it’s part of some longer story, which might be decoded one day by finding people on her mailing list with different pages. Or not. Anyhow, we appreciate the thought. Thank you Marian, and Happy Valentine’s Day.

(See Marian Bantjes’ essay about Origami, ‘Surface to space’ in Eye no. 67.)

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.