TPC readers know I love a good design challenge, so I can’t not show some love for that presented by National Stationery Show. All exhibitors were invited to submit an original Valentine postcard design. The winning postcards in contemporary and traditional categories will be printed and mailed around the globe to promote NSS. The paper was graciously provided by Mohawk, who broke out some of their best for the February holiday: Superfine Smooth, Ultrawhite 120C.

In the Contemporary Category, finalists were Sparkvites (shown immediately below) and Ratbone Skinny (right below that).

And the winner is Valley Cruise Press, who created this “Will You Accept This Rosé” design in collaboration with artist Rachel Peck. I love that toothsome pink and blue combo, it just feels sugary, in this fun nod to everyone’s favorite Monday night addiction, The Bachelor.

“This card was inspired by nights spent binge-watching and sipping on rosé,” noted Peck. “This card is perfect for your Bachelor-watching BFF. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!”Now, on to the traditional category. Finalists were Quilling Card — who created the dimensional box of chocolates — and Joo Joo Paper’s heart and Cupid inspired design.And, the winner is Good Juju Ink! “One of my greatest joys is using the natural world, specifically the animal kingdom, as inspiration,” described artist and co-founder Juliana Tyson. “Valentine’s Day is often wrought with preconceived notions and expectations about what love is supposed to ‘look like,’ but the beauty in using animals as the expression of human love is that they can represent EVERY human. Bears, and more specifically ‘bear hugs,’ represent a universal tenderness and safety and warmth that can be found across all different kinds of relationships. “

In other words, there’s a lot we can’t agree on, but I think we all agree that a bear hug is a wonderful (and welcome) thing! Finally, an unplanned but very understandable Honorable Mention was given to Inklings Paperie for the strong design below showcasing some NSS love!  “Making the design specific to the show wasn’t something we requested, but we liked it so much, we wanted to recognize it,” explained NSS Show Director Kelly P. Bristol.

Congrats to everyone! These are all so full of joie de vivre, and make me so excited for NSS. I know all these booths are going to be fabulous! And might I mention that another big design competition for confirmed NSS exhibitors is going on — that for Show Us Your Money! — and we are trying to get design concepts in by TODAY. Email me if you want to submit but aren’t quite ready, so we can figure something out. I haven’t seen all the submissions, but those I have seen are incredible! I can’t urge everyone to be a part of it enough — I can’t think of a better win-win for everyone than a promotion that lines the aisles of NSS with everyone’s big-picture show objective: money!  

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