On the Wire: Designer to Watch, Taylor Hamilton
Starting in 2010, every Winter Issue of Stationery Trends has featured a cavalcade of 10 Designers to Watch. There are no strict criteria to my selection process, rather I just know a perfect fit when I see it — I tend to sense that each person in every year’s special 10 is on a most interesting trajectory. Today it’s a real treat to share one of these personalities with Felt & Wire readers.
Millennials have their own language, and no one speaks it better than Taylor Hamilton, founder of TAY HAM. The native New Yorker, now transplanted to Wilmington, North Carolina, hand-illustrates every card with her signature bold designs, clever wordplay and pop culture-tinged content. The result is an intoxicatingly clever, laugh-out-loud range with a design for every life event and un-occasion alike. “We specialize in belly laughs, rock babes, secret jokes between friends, guacamole, and above all keeping it real,” reads her site, “TAY HAM is the best way to say whatever.”
How did you get into stationery & paper design?
You could say that I’ve been in the card game since 1989. I have a clear memory of sitting under our dining room table while my mom folded laundry “wishing on a star” for envelopes and a yellow legal pad. Simpler times, hahaha.
What role do you see paper playing in your work?
I like to go back to basics and hand-make cards whenever I can. Collage plays a big role in that process; I love using magazine cutouts, old photos, and playing with layers and different textures of paper. That’s actually how the flipside images on the back of our cards came to be.
What recent release of yours best represents your personal style?
I’m a weirdo with untameable hair, and a self-proclaimed clairvoyant, so I’m pretty excited about the ‘Treasure’ card.
Can you give us a sneak peek of a project you are developing?
The ‘Treasure’ card is actually a 2018 release so that’s a big ol’ sneak peek for you!
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Last summer we bought a Mid-Century Modern house and have spent this year restoring it back to its original state. I love digging around in estate sales and Craigslist to fill the space with cool pieces. Basically I like giving other people’s junk a new life. I flexed my skills most recently on our new baby girl Seven’s room.
Paper choice can influence the way we experience photography in a printed piece. Lightly colored paper can elegantly shift the tone of an image, while subtly textured paper can make a big statement. Have you ever thought how choosing the right paper can add a unique and surprising layer of interest?