Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Whiff of Nostalgia


Several years ago I purchased my first issue of Uppercase magazine. It was issue #5, and I read it cover-to-cover that night. I subscribed the next morning, also buying #3 and #4, the only remaining back issues. Every few months the magazine arrives, the inside of the envelope filled with that fabulous fresh ink smell. I had always dreamed of being featured in the magazine, of course for my design work, but recently an opportunity came up for me to contribute in a different way.

Some of you may know that my obsession with collecting (hoarding) includes a passion for vintage stickers from the 1970s and '80s. For the first 10 years of the 2000s, right after I turned 30, I was consumed with finding and buying all the stickers I collected as a kid, replacing all those I had stuck to old notebooks and magnetic photo albums with pristine, unused stickers on their original backings. This included scratch and sniff stickers, which had to be unscratched and still have their smell. And I wasn't the only one--eBay was crawling with avid sticker collectors, especially those who wanted sniff stickers. It was a tense 10 years, watching hundreds if not thousands of listings and usually bidding at the last second to try to win. But my collection is nearly complete, and occasionally I am able to fill in some holes when I get the inkling to check out the eBay listings again.

During this time I was fortunate to collaborate with a fellow collector, bubbledog, writing a book dedicated to scratch and sniff stickers: The Vintage Scratch & Sniff Stickers Collector's Guide. It took us a couple years to compile all the information and images (working on opposite coasts while also having full-tme jobs didn't make it any easier!), but the labor of love has brought me full-circle to the latest issue of Uppercase, #17, in which I am thrilled to have contributed a short article about the stinky pieces of paper!


This issue is the "Special Stationery Issue", so inside you'll also find profiles of 50 stationers, stationery from around the world, a history of the envelope, and so much more--too much to list--on over 100 beautifully-designed pages. Oh, and did I mention the cherry-scented scratch and sniff cover?! If you're not familiar with the magazine, you can check out their website here, and even flip through this issue here. If you decide to subscribe, use the special code "CONTRIBUTOR17" at checkout to get $10 off your subscription!


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