Last week Parse & Parcel had the pleasure of co-hosting The Strathmore Archives in Cleveland. We teamed up with our friends at Mohawk – makers of Strathmore, and local paper merchant Millcraft, to bring this exhibit to Cleveland. On what had to be the warmest evening of the summer, a group of 100 designers, printers and paper peeps joined us to celebrate the legacy of Strathmore and see first hand the evolution of American graphic design.
Exhibit curator and Mohawk’s Creative Director, Chris Harrold gave an engaging presentation about the Strathmore Archives and the history of this iconic grade. Strathmore was founded by Horace Moses in the late 1800’s and he pioneered the concept of the paper promotion by teaming up with leading illustrators of his day to show how paper and print can work together to produce amazing results. You saw the prominence of deckle-edge papers (which still exist in Strathmore Pastelle), the evolution of the grade’s trademark thistle and a look at a campaign, Paper is Part of the Picture, that spanned decades. The campaign commissioned work by noteworthy designers like William Addison Dwiggins, Oswald (Oz) Cooper (as in the Cooper Black typeface) and Walter Dorwin Teague. After seeing this collection of rare artifacts, I was left speechless. It really is an amazing display of American graphic design over the last century – influences of the arts & crafts movement, art-deco and mid-century modern design can all be seen within the exhibit artifacts.
As if the archive exhibit wasn’t enough, Mohawk had an awesome display of print samples set-up for guests to view. The event was held at Zygote Press, an artist workshop dedicated to print-making. Attendees got to try their hand at letterpress on one of the Vandercooks. The team at Parse & Parcel designed a print inspired by Mohawk’s Maker series and guests had their choice of papers to print on: Strathmore Letterpress 111# Cover in Ultimate White or Gray or Mohawk Loop 110# Cover Straw. On top of all that guests left with a fun swag bag that not included the newest issue of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly, a set of gorgeous notecards featuring the new Strathmore heritage colors AND the brand new Strathmore Swatch Book! We also gave away a limited edition poster featuring the covers of the vintage Strathmore paper promotions from Millcraft’s own archives.
When we began planning the event early this spring, Mohawk’s Beth Reardon (another Cleveland paper girl) knew she wanted it to be something special for the local design and print community. We decided to have the invitations printed on Strathmore Letterpress Pure Cotton in Ultimate White and enclosed them along with the program in hand-lettered envelopes by calligrapher Molly Brill. It was so much fun to catch up with our local print and design friends, and we’re so lucky to have been able to bring the Strathmore Archives to Cleveland. Thanks Mohawk! Want to know if the archives are planning to make a stop to your city, sign up here to be notified.