Endless Inspiration: Fiona Richards

I've been obsessed with Cartolina Cards for a long time now. This line is designed and produced by the talented British Columbia-based graphic designer, Fiona Richards. And, I have quite a large stash of her cards in my drawer, ready for the next occasion!

Fiona's designs are influenced by exotic curiosities that surrounded her growing up in Scotland with her grandparents in their 300 year old stone house, filled to the brim with strange and curious mementos from their lives as textile dealers in old world India.

The odd collections of things that filled her home were items that her grandfather brought back from India and South Asia. Everything from books & pictures, to silverware and ornaments. Since childhood, Fiona was exposed to a world of curiosities that have influenced her design work.

Fiona's family photographs are a bizarre collection of elephant riding, pith helmet wearing, and family swimming in the Indian Ocean wearing pointed grass hats.

Elephants play a leading role in imagery for Fiona's cards. They are always a favorite for buyers.

(above) A couple of Fiona's favorite pieces of ephemera that her grandfather collected from India and Asia.

These old French letters sit in a glass jar next to Fiona's computer. The handwriting inspires her every day...

Fiona's studio is filled with artful treasures and design relics she collects on her travels to the markets and shops nearby and abroad. She has amassed quite a collection of vintage items that give her endless inspiration such as her "favorite little tins."

She loves their typography and handpainting...

Curious collections of Fionas include these 2 miniature drawings from Switzerland from a local farm sale, hand-carved wooden boats found in the walls of a Victorian house; tortoiseshell eyeglasses; extra-long paper scissors; rubber stamps

Ancient patterns, colors, exotic images and textures make Cartolina Cards one of my favorite lines...And they're printed on recycled paper of the highest quality!

Even the back of the cards are so beautifully detailed...

Cafe Cartolina cards can be found in shops all over the world, from the U.K. to the U.S. Or, you can purchase them online here at Modern Paper Goods.

Wait! Did I mention that Fiona has one of the most beautiful blogs? Cafe Cartolina is a feast for the eyes. Join Fiona on her latest quests from travel & collecting to design & fashion.

Thanks Fiona for your endless inspiration, and for giving me a reason to visit my local gift shop frequently!

photos from Cafe Cartolina & Cartolina Cards


These are so awesome. I'm going to check out her blog right now. Thanks for sharing!
lisa golightly said…
Oh these are so whimsical .... LOVE that ! Going over to check it out. Thanks Lynn !
Jacqueline said…
Oh Lynn,
Her cards are so whinsical. I think that I have to get me some of those !!
... and, her home looks a treasure trove of wonderful curio's. Fabulous. XXXX
Linda said…
Fiona's blog is a morning ritual along with my coffee. She is so very talented.
Great feature! And thanks for the mention! Fiona's brilliant! Cartolina Cards are really beautiful and in person you can really see the detail. The backs are also quite intricate which is why we include photos of the back view on the site.
How did I miss this creative talent especially from a Canadian? I am ashamed. Thanks for telling me about her Lynn. Xo
Oh, what a great post, thank you!!I feel inspired to look around at my surrounding for ideas as she did.
Cashon&Co said…
ooh, look at the handwriting on those old letters...that would inspire me also
I always enjoy Fiona's little vignette collections. Nice to find them here!
Di Overton said…
She really is inspirational

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