In anticipation of our summer issue, which hits newsstands next Monday, here's a sneak peek at the handiwork of one of our favorite calligraphers, Mara of Neither Snow, who did all of the scribing in our new floral clip art story.
Mara studied Copperplate, but when mimicking words began to feel like a chore, she embraced the little imperfections that became her signature style, and Neither Snow was born. With a quirky name inspired by the US Postal Service's motto -- "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" -- the company's "messily elegant" aesthetic is reminiscent of "handwriting one sees on very old pieces of correspondence written by people on very good terms with their intended recipients. It’s familiar, not formal, but still fancy enough." Neither Snow believes that mail matters, and is tangible evidence of our relationships with other people across distances near and far. In this digital age, this feels especially important and rare, don't you think?
specialties: As much as she enjoys working directly on paper (envelopes, place cards, personalized love letters), she loves to see the "creative uses for her scanned calligraphy: tattoos, bookplates, silkscreens. The ideas are endless: laser-cut, iron-on transferred, embossed, embroidered. It's interesting to see the physical end products created from these digital files."
biggest project: She calligraphed 800 envelopes in one week for a gala for a major fashion house. Writing the names of A-listers was exhilarating (and nerve-wracking). Or perhaps it was a lovely family tree -- one mistake on a birth date and countless hours of work are lost!
Neither Snow LOVES: Anything that tells a story, from a box by Joseph Cornell and a poem by Lisel Mueller, to old commonplace books, audio documentaries from StoryCorps, or The Victoria & Albert Museum. She's also inspired by the subjects honored in old stamps. According to her, they "represent a catalog of our values and speak to different moments in our country’s history."