Featured Artist: Kelli Anderson

Kelli's Letterpress

I was first introduced to Kelli Anderson’s work when Elizabeth sent me a link to Kelli’s well known Wedding Record Player invite. You can probably relate to me when I say it is very hard to come across something truly original. Needless to say, I was in awe when I saw this invite.

It was amazing. Most girls want to get married for the dress, is it weird I now want to get married just for that invite? I guess paper can be dangerous. When I went to Kelli’s site I was blown away with her talent and creativity. I took a chance and emailed her to see if she could give little ol’ me some time to do a short and sweet Q&A and to my surprise she was as sweet as could be and told me all about her love for design. I can’t tell you how excited I was. I still want that invite, but maybe I can find another way to incorporate it in my life 🙂

Is this a fulltime business for you?

Yes, although a great deal of it ends up not being business stuff 🙂

I know that you are talented with everything from brand identity, graphic design, and illustration, but when discussing letterpress, how did you choose paper as your medium?

Making tangible, physical things is simultaneously very frustrating and rewarding.  It always seems like there is a lot of non-creative drudgery in finding the right paper that performs in the correct way (is the right color, accepts the ink in the right way, transmits sound in the right way – whatever the objective.)  But it is very gratifying when the research pays off and you can create something that “works” as a flat design, but is also perfect in its unmediated state—that can be handled and just “feels” right. (The research, paper sample gathering and shopping are always in the service of reaching that point B for me, I take no pleasure in that part!)

Handkercheif Map Invite

Handkercheif Map Invite (detail)

What led you to this?

I went to school for fine art, so I’ve always produced physical objects. I like design because then there is a place for those physical things to go immediately after they are done, so they get photographed and get whisked out into the world.

How do you begin a “theme” for one of your works?

If it is self-initiated, I exhume a half-baked idea from the archives in my head and see where I can take it.  These are the things that I “shelve” because I am busy trying to meet deadlines for other projects. Always good to have a few of those in the background.

If it is client-work or some sort of collaboration with a friend, I usually start by doing research until something sparks an idea for a solution.

Letterpress Calling Card

Interactive Design Work for AirBnb-Map

What are your personal views on traditional print vs the electronic design world. Is one winning out?

I think the book publishers and newspapers are really concerned about the future of publishing, but I don’t think it is really that consequential for people who make things. It is interesting, though, to have the public so engaged in this conversation about format. All of the electronic readers are trying to figure out how to capture all of the good of “bookness”, while eliminating the inconvenience of “bookness”!  Kind of absurd, but also kind of wonderful because it forces people to really articulate an experience that we’ve collectively taken for granted.

Do you ever feel “artist’s block”, and if so how do you overcome it?
Yes! I usually go for a bike ride or take a trip out of town—usually means that I need a change of  scenery to get some perspective on the situation.

Clairvoyant Paper Fortune Teller

Interactive Paper (Insert correctly for message!)

How would you describe your style?

Disruptive wonder. My favorite things that I make are “wrong” in some very fundamental way, but work anyway.

Who are some of your favorite artists and sites?

There are so many… I like a lot of artists that work with text (Ed Ruscha, Mark Lombardi)… the only websites that I check with any regularity is ffffound and vvork.  I just have those disembodied images float onto my phone and I flip through all of them.

t-shirt designs/patterns commissioned by Madewell/J.Crew and Calvin Klein

Kelli's creative space

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

Owen Wilson playing Woody Allen

Since you are so creative, I am assuming you are a lot of fun too. Any hobbies you can tell?

Nope- I am totally boring! All I do is work and ride my bike around.  Seriously.  I happen to live in a cool place with people who do cool things, so sometimes I accidentally end up doing something fun.  To that end, I like making fake newspapers and being a part of dance parties on the subway because I like being involved with other peoples’ cool projects.

Kelli Anderson


The images I posted of Kelli’s work are just a glimpse into the vast assortment of work she designs. She designs in a variety of mediums from print and web, to illustration,and letterpress. To really understand her work, go to her site (she has so far the best designed site I have seen) which is very interactive and descriptive. Thanks again Kelli!

Kelli Anderson.com



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