Though NYIGF has a rep for showcasing mass-produced commercial items, the kind you might find in a gift shop that sells candles and cards and tea towels—and certainly there is plenty of that—their 'Accent on Design' section lent visibility to some wonderfully original and talented young designers and design studios this year. We noticed a resurgence of bright and playful pattern work with heavy geometrical and botanical influences from the female designers at the show. Some of the best work came from Banquet Atelier & Workshop, a Vancouver-based studio run by founding partners Sarah Edmond and Tammy Lawrence.
Edmond and Lawrence make beautiful hand painted illustrations for stationery sets and notebooks as well as hand lettered notecards in great contrasting color combinations like neon pink and orange printed on brown craft paper. Their real specialty, however, are their print editions, large and affordable posters influenced by historical natural history drawings. We love the Marine Animals Print ($60), a can-you-find-me-style silhouetted collage of sea animals of the Pacific Northwest with accompanying text like, "Did you know a group of jellyfish is called a smack? That sea cucumbers expel their internal organs when disturbed and re-grow them later? Or that the blackbelly eelpout is sometimes referred to as a fish doctor or lawyer? "
Banquet also keeps a lovely blog that reads like a series of mood boards. If you flip back through it you can see the evolution of their design work, like their Paddle Cactus Print ($38), which began as a couple of snapshots Edmond and Lawrence took of various cactus plants they liked, then an old black and white photo of a bulging Saguaro followed by a few watercolor studies they made.
Aside from cacti, Banquet says their current inspirations include "cherry blossoms, Sister Corita, mixed prints, big necklaces, a great sandwich, turquoise and dark green together, Lygia Clark, vintage quilts, model ship building, that certain lavender pink paint color, and freckles as constellations." See more of their work here.