The image above is a simple black and white illustration drawn onto an envelope by Susanne Varley. It cleverly combines a every day object and makes it a part of the illustration. It combines the address into the string of the kite, and the stamp becomes the kite.It feels to me the journey is being emphasised, from the hand or paw of the mole, the letter travels a journey only possible by the use of the stamp and the address displayed on the envelope, without these two core aspects the letter would not reach its destination, just as without the wind a kite could not fly. The kite string continues off the envelope further adding to the notion of the journey carrying on.
As researched the image further I came to learn that the illustration of the envelope by illustrators is an art form within its self.
Klauss Flugge the founder of Anderson Press has been receiving illustrated envelopes for over 30 years. the envelopes have now been collated and been published in a book. The Guardian details some of the envelopes in an article called ‘A Publishers Postbag.’ (The Guardian 2011)
The tradition continues with Nosy Crow publishers sharing the same experience and blogging about their illustrated envelopes. (Nosy Crow 2012)
Below is another envelope by an illustrator who has been capturing my imagination since I was a child Maurice Sendank
As I read about this act of illustration on envelopes I am really captured by it and wonder what other envelope art is out there. Let the research continue. From one simple image a whole world has opened up, and for me that’s the magic of illustration.
- The Guardian (2011), ‘A Publishers Postbag in Picture’, The Guardian Online [online]://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/gallery/2011/apr/21/illustrated-envelopes-posy-simmonds-axel-scheffler-tony-ross-david-mckee [Accessed 25th October 2014]
- Bonnick,T, (2012) ‘Our Crow Wall’, Nosy Crow 3rd April 2012 [online] Available at: http://nosycrow.com/blog/our-crow-wall [Accessed 25th October 2014]