At Helvetia and Sons, we are always on the lookout for something new – and definitely something more – from our home in Switzerland. To share our latest finds, Founder’s Pick is our regular blog feature on fresh and innovative brands from Switzerland which are bringing new ideas and products of exceptional quality to the global marketplace.
Receiving postcards and letters the good old fashioned way is something that touches the heart and helps us feel closer to those who are a long way from us, and it is the core of the stationery brand What About Neon.
The brand actually started off as a lockdown project in Switzerland: a postcard a day keeps the doctor away! Or as its founders Thomas Frischknecht and Doris Seidl put it: “Creating a bright “neony” postcard every day, sending it to my best friend and overcoming lockdown.”
As a result, this designer duo based in Zurich, Switzerland is breathing new life into the age-old art of correspondence with their one of a kind stationery brand.
The Warmth of the Hand Written Word
Not being able to see or interact with friends and family physically has given rise to a number of online communication solutions ranging from basic chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to platforms like Zoom or Houseparty which enable you to meet virtually. But, seriously: nothing compares to the fondness and affection evoked by physical communication.
For this reason, traditional written communication in the form of heartfelt letters and postcards are surprisingly popular again. Indeed, many stationery companies are rising to the challenge posed by this particular trend by offering beautiful notepaper, notepads, and even handcrafted postcards.
This is why Thomas and Doris created the What About Neon brand. In doing so, they are helping revive the art of correspondence through stunning greeting cards and postcards that can easily double as functional art.
Modernizing the Art of Correspondence (with Swiss Design)
As Thomas and Doris put it, “Going to your mailbox and not finding any postcards or letters from friends is like celebrating Easter without a chocolate bunny, tennis sans Roger Federer, or finding your wine glass filled with soda.”
This Zurich-based creative tandem shares a love for postcards and letters, happily admitting they look forward to receiving handwritten communiqués from the people they love every time they check their mailboxes. Each letter and card is a sentimental jewel lying amongst the mundane bills and notices of everyday living – a small but welcome gesture that touches the heart and soul.
While most stationery brands feature cute albeit childish characters dancing around the margins or have sentimental verses watermarked onto the paper, What About Neon presents notecards and postcards with a totally modern aesthetic – one literally made with love and neon.
Geometric designs and abstract forms capture the duo’s creative dynamism and also calls to mind modern Swiss graphic design, but softened by delicate watercolor brushwork accented in spots by a bold yet friendly splash of neon brightness.
Each card is expertly lithographed and hand-printed on 400g/m2 Lessebo paper, and you can also purchase numbered limited edition poster prints of individual motifs which are also hand-printed on 200g/m2 Lessebo paper.
"We actually painted one postcard every day during the spring lockdown and sent it to best friends," the founders say when asked how the brand came about. This whimsical and sincere gesture helped bridged the gap between them and their friends during the lockdown and made what would have been a sad season brighter for everyone. Now, they hope their stationery will do the same for others.
"It was with great pleasure that we produced these cards and they will now bring some light into your friends' mailboxes in Singapore”, says Thomas.