From the Design Desk: The Power of Tiny

Sometimes scale is all that you need to take something to the next level of awesomeness. For example, the World’s Smallest Post Service is an ongoing project by artist Lea Redmond wherein she handcrafts tiny gift packages and even tinier letters (complete with lilliputian envelopes, wax seals and stamps).

After we visited Lea’s studio, we were so inspired that we teamed up with her to publish a kit for the World’s Smallest Post Service. The WSPS has endless uses, both sweet and silly—editor Jason Sacher wrote a letter to his sci-fi hero Doctor Who as soon as the kit was available. But Lea is not alone is giving power to the written word by making it really small. Artist Nicole Buffet created Novelita, a project composed of tiny painted books, all cut and bound by hand.

Buffet’s artist books are generally single subject and are a delight to pick up and flip through.

There’s also this tiny paper kindle we read about on The Atlantic.

Design student Rachel Walsh created it as a physical model to explain the Kindle to someone from the 19th Century.

Whether it’s tiny letters, books, or even people, I like how scale can enliven the mundane and quite literally change our perspective. Claes Oldenburg may have been on to something with his giant pop culture sculptures of everyday objects. But when I see handmade miniatures I can’t help think of the Albert Einstein quote, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”


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