Sunday, March 2, 2014

ATCs: The Fine Print (text only)

I am always fascinated by how people's minds work and how they interpret words, concepts, and situations. This month's Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are a case in point.

"ATCs" (a typographic digital collage)
by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
To give a little background… throughout the year I gather theme ideas for future FiberAntics ATC swaps. It's just a running list. I make a notation when I find a potential idea. Random trolling, happenstance, and amusing or interesting situations that catch my attention all play a part in its compilation.

Toward the end of the year, I review and cull from this extensive list for the upcoming year's themes. Sometimes the words or phrases are either too abstract or too verbose, so an editing and refining process ensues.

For the ATC themes, I try to have a mix of identifiable or physical objects (birds, favorite authors, pasta, architectural elements, numbers, colors), situations (First Thing in the Morning, A walk in the Park, Things found on Restaurant Napkins), and open-ended interpretive concepts (What's in your Heart, Around the World, It's about Time, Just add Water). My intent is to make the swaps interesting and challenging for the participants as well as keep our brains active with a monthly session of mental aerobics.

When editing the ideas for the themes, my career, life experiences, and surroundings, no doubt, enter into the process—whether consciously or subconsciously. Herein lies this month's theme: "The Fine Print (text only)." I am a typographer, printer and graphic communicator by trade. Thus said, I thought it would be interesting to have a theme that was "typographic"… using letterforms... text only. So, rather than post "Typography Only," the theme morphed into "The Fine Print."

So, hit me upside the head—that's what this month's ATC artists submitted in response to the theme, "The Fine Print (text only)"—a lot of very fine (read: small) print! The ATCs are clever, funny, and all handsomely crafted, with uniquely individual expressions. (See what I mean by different interpretations of the same phrase?) So get out your reading glasses or magnifying glass and enjoy the "fine print" in this collection:

The first card details the "expenses" for the FREE Kitty, ending with "Unconditional love for the owner—priceless." (The last far outweighs the others, I would say.)
"Free Kitty Free Kitty Free Kitty"
Unconditional love for the owner—Priceless
by Karen Downer
This Valentine ATC expresses "All you need is LOVE" and "LOVE makes the world go round." The woven (shredded) strips in the background are a nice complement to the hearts.
"The Fine Print: Shred it and make Valentines!"
by Linda Smith
This next card is related to the snow-filled season we have all had this year. Let Spring begin, already!
"The Snow Plow Contract"
by Bonnie Stevens
The small print in the background of this next card appear to be addresses from the phone book. Would you like to live on ATC Drive, or ATC Lane?
"The Fine Print" by Sharon Griffith
The stark, black-and-white fine print with the bold, red, all-caps 7-letter word stamped across the page portrays a serious and somber situation.
"The Fine Print" by M. League
Somehow, I wonder if the back of this ATC illustrates a different mood??
(back of ATC)
Thank you to all the ATC artists who participate in my monthly ATC swaps! You continually open my eyes and mind to new ideas and interpretations. Not to mention, great art!

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