In anticipation of the 2021 term – a term with high hopes of returning to normal, physical teaching – Central Saint Martins commissioned us to design a welcome pack to be mailed out to the new students. Rather than the usual prospectus and welcome letter, the mailer was conceived first and foremost as a source of inspiration and preparation for entering a new learning environment.
Titled Compositions, the mailer-publication was designed as a highly tangible object focused on materiality and utilising a variety of production methods, however linking to online resources using links and QR codes. It consisted of thre parts: a booklet containing welcome letter, a video greeting from Head of college, and a reading list – a card containing 16 abstract prompts, inspired by Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies and written by a group of students – and a sketchbook linked to the card, meant as a space for notes and sketches. The envelope itself functions as the container.
Produced in an edition of 4,000 copies, a prerequisite for the project was that sustainability had to be a strong consideration in the production. Our solution was to use only recycled, recyclable, and compostable materials, using low-energy Risograph printing with rice-based inks, and having everything produced within Greater London by small, local businesses. To highlight this aspect, we were able to – as a world’s first – use Notpla Seaweed Paper, made from seaweed waste and recycled fibres, to convert the envelopes.
Riso printing by Pagemasters, duplexed and foiled cards by Benwells, envelopes and collating by Packaids, typeface is Edition by Elias Hanzer.