Thursday, November 29, 2007

Little Otsu, for you!

Just in time for Christmas shopping, we just got a package full of print goodies from Little Otsu! We found out about this company just before we opened a year and a half ago, and have been in love with their stuff ever since. Printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks, the duo of Yvonne and Jeremy work with some wonderful artists and put together some really special printed material. We got in a whole box of stuff, but here's a quick recap of just a few of the things in store waiting for you to gaze upon:

Three year calendar by Lart Cognac Berliner
Three years of advance planning, just in case someone asks you what day
of the week January 28th 2009 is (it's a Wednesday)

Lart drew multiple versions (an immense amount of work!) of the 2008-2010 reference calendars for her upcoming Come Along Weekly Planner (LO44) using color pencil, and a lot of them at that, especially considering it was going to be printed in one color. When she showed the folks at LO one of the versions that she didn’t end up using, they liked it so much that they thought they should make it a calendar of its own. Here it is! It’s kind of crazy to be thinking about 2010 already, but it’s only a couple of years down the road and for those of you who need to do some long-term planning, it’s a fun, hand-drawn way to look ahead. Great for an office wall or desk!

2008 Milky Elephant Postcard Calendar by Eun-Ha Paek

The postcards are perfect for framing after
you're done with the calendar. Bravo, instant art!

I'm super excited about this Milky Elephant calendar from Eun-Ha Paek! Apparently the folks at LO have known Eun-Ha since her days at RISD and loved the collective she formed with Karl and Mumbleboy known as Milky Elephant. One of the highlights they always looked forward to was her annual take on the Milky Elephant calendar, but she’s been so busy that she hasn’t made one in a couple years. So rather than be deprived of such a treat, they asked her if they could help make it happen, and lo and behold, they have one of our coolest calendars yet! That's what we like at HQ, if it's not happening on it's own, make it happen yourself!

Come Along Weekly Planner by Lart C. Berliner

So beautiful you almost don't want to write in it, but the beauty of
Larts work is that the more scribbles you add the more personal it looks.

Yvonne & Jeremy had been talking with Lart about doing a planner for quite some time and had bounced around a lot of ideas, but hadn’t found anything that stuck. That is until they thought of the long scroll they had seen at the Ehon exhibit at the New York Public Library in which a man painted his trip down a river. It gave them the inspiration to have one long landscape that extended through your whole year. Combined with Lart’s prodigious imagination and artful exploration in a new medium (colored pencil), they now have one of their coolest planners yet! Come Along has all the fun and useful features you’ve come to expect from LO planners like lists, info, and notes pages while it takes you on a journey through 54 undated weeks. And since you’re moving along a landscape (over 64 feet!), they wanted to orient it landscape-style, so you get an interesting planner shape to boot. The spiral binding allows you to open your whole week out to lay flat on a desk.

Non-Planner Datebook by Keri Smith

Keri Smith came to LO with the idea for a more unstructured datebook meant to inspire creativity more than strictly plan your life and Yvonne & Jeremy in their infinite wisdom thought that would be a fun project to add to their continuum of planners. As you might guess by the name, this is not your everyday planner, in many senses of the word. The Non-Planner Datebook randomly intersperses undated monthly overviews with journal and idea pages so that you can have some sense of framework, but not feel constricted or bound by predictability. And Keri’s whimsical structure and art are meant to amuse and make you reflect, but also just capture current moments and states. It may seem paradoxical to be simultaneously looking towards the future and the present moment, but it works in reminding you that organizing the later can be just as enjoyable as living the now. This is the perfect "planner" for all of our HQ artists!

Little Otsu Annual MINI Vol. 1 Weekly Planner
With almost a year in the making and a resultant 128 pages, the Little Otsu Annual MINI Vol. 1 weekly planner is the most elaborate project they’ve ever worked on! Collaborating with their good friend, the amazing artist and graphic designer Martine Workman, they set a goal of making a dream planner that could provide plenty of space and function while showcasing different art on every page.

Incorporating a series of pattern drawings—among them abstract flowers, clouds, and many different shaped knots—they gave each week, 54 in all, a two-page spread with lots of features and a unique look. Starting with a dateless format, which allows you to begin your planner whenever you want, they give you a shortcut by allowing you to check off the month you’re in. Then each day is given plenty of alternating lines which make for easy list-making. They’ve also added structured room below the days to write lists, notes, and to-dos for the week. To top it off, each week has a different non sequitur question at the bottom for a laugh or just a break from organizing. Who said planning had to be so serious?

Besides the great weekly pages, they ALSO built in other sections to organize aspects of your life that don’t happen on a daily basis. There are easy reference pages for personal information, your important dates (like appointments, events, travel), special occasions, gifts, and entertainment interests (books, movies, music). They’ve also included mini reference calendars for 2007-2009, address book entries, and notes pages. They’ve even made a bookmark that doubles as a list of dates to remember so that your important days are always at hand! They thought of everything!

The (approximately) 5.5\” x 4.25\” book is perfect-bound and printed locally by a family-owned press with vegetable-based inks on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, which is one of our favorite parts of the book.

Owls Thank You Card by Kate Sutton

Owls nested among flowers and strawberries, can it get any sweeter than that? This is just one of the Otsu cards we ordered from England’s Kate Sutton ( The card is blank on the inside and the full-color printing was done in Hayward, CA at a family shop with vegetable-based inks on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The card measures 6.25” wide x 4.5” tall folded and comes with a natural colored 100% post-consumer recycled paper envelope.

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