[Kim Rogala] “I’m a sucker for vintage packaging.” And that, my friends, begins the story of this month’s featured collection for MOO.com’s The Luxe Project. Designer Katie Barcelona, told us about her inspiration behind the designs for her collection, Tiny Papers, Big World.
Katie spotted these vintage cigarette papers (above) at a flea market in Barcelona. (Yes, Barcelona in Barcelona! She’s undoubtedly heard that a million times.) For years she toted these tiny papers around this big world with her, waiting for the opportunity to use their inspiration in her own work. Then along came MOO … Katie’s collection, appropriately titled, Tiny Papers, Big World is the third collection in The Luxe Project series. Previously featured collections were designed by Dan Rubin and Michael Osborne.
“These cigarette papers [above] were bold graphically, but unpretentious. Memorable but anonymous. I knew this Luxe project with MOO was the perfect opportunity to use them for inspiration,” Katie says.
Katie’s collection (above) brings a vintage feel to a modern and fresh design with a good old-fashioned message: Say hello and make connections.
Growing up in what she refers to as a “painfully small town,” Katie developed a passion for travel and cultural diversity. “Travel is the texture of my life and the ink to my creativity,” she says. Tiny Papers, Big World uses a small canvas to share the things that Katie loves about this big world — design, vintage packaging, travel, culture and meeting new people.
Because The Luxe Project is about sharing great design with the world, each month’s featured designer gets to choose a charity to donate 100% of the net proceeds of their collection’s sales. Katie’s charity of choice is GVI, Global Visions International, a global volunteer organization running over 100 programs in 25 countries. GVI sends volunteers all over the world to conduct environmental research, conservation, education, and community development. “Travel and discovery were the inspiration for this collection, and I hope in a small way this collection can support travel and discovery to others, as well as the opportunity to make a real difference in places that need it,” Katie says.
Katie, who has recently left her position at Pentagram NY to start her own firm, is first taking some time for herself, “I’m spending the spring in Spain. I’m here learning Spanish and eating tapas, but more importantly incubating my new design studio. Barcelona has always been a place of massive inspiration for me, so I’m here letting it all soak in. In olive oil. Lots of olive oil.”
Katie Barcelona has worked for various design firms including Vanderbyl Design, Interbrand and Pentagram Design in New York under partner Michael Bierut. Her client list includes Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors, the Kimbell Art Museum, Manhattan School of Music, New York University Abu Dhabi and Saks Fifth Avenue. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Parsons, The New School for Design, teaching a senior portfolio class to Design & Management students in the School of Design Studies.
Photos courtesy of Katie Barcelona and MOO.com