Saturday 22 September 2018

These designers send illustrative ‘how to’ guides to each other on postcards and they’re beautiful

The guides are funny, informative and #friendshipgoals in one.

Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Josefina Bravo/Dear How To)
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Josefina Bravo/Dear How To)

By Nicola Irwin, Press Association

These are the beautiful designs which show people how to do just about anything – explained in hand-drawn instructions contained on the back of a postcard.

From eating an egg and making Japanese maki to stretching out after a long time sat down.

The postcard guides are sent between a group of three friends – who all work in the design industry – and who met while studying for an MA in information design at Reading in 2013.

The pictures are shared on their website dearhow.to on a week-by-week basis.

ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded258780
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Sol Kawage/Dear How To)
ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded258784
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Sol Kawage/Dear How To)

“We started the project because we needed to channel our creativity in ways that even creative work such as ours doesn’t always allow,” explained Sol Kawage, a designer from Mexico living in Italy and working in Austria, who is one-third of the project.

“The project forces us to think and observe and keep a sense of wonder. We received enthusiastic feedback from friends and colleagues from the get-go, so we stuck with it.”

The cards are sent between Sol in Italy and Josefina Bravo, a French-Chilean designer living in Twickenham and Tomoko Furukawa, a Japanese designer living in Richmond.

There is one rule: the postcards are drawn entirely by hand with no text/written instructions allowed.

The project was inspired by Dear Data which works on a similar theme but focuses on data visualisation.

In one week the group drew and received “how to peel an easy peeler and use the skin for trash”, “how to throw at nine-pin bowling” and “how to pack efficiently for Easter holidays”.

ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded258779
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Josefina Bravo/Dear How To)

Related content

“At the beginning we decided we’d do it for one year, sending one postcard each every week,” Sol told Press Association. “Real life has got in the way, and while our plan is still to draw 52 postcards, it’s taking us a wee bit more than a year to do so.

“Other than that, the spirit hasn’t changed, we’ve just got increasingly better at finding interesting ways to draw what we mean and to find ways to explain things without the use of text.

“The postcards are often a window into our lives, because the instructions we draw are for things that we are doing or do often.”

Tomoko added: “I have many (favourites) but the first thing came to my mind was Sol’s week 31 ‘How to brush your pearly whites’. It’s so smart, purely information design, and at the same time fun to look at.”

ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded258984
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Sol Kawage/Dear How To)

Josefina added: “I love that whenever people see Tomoko’s week 27 (how to cut tofu cubes without a cutting board), they are totally concerned about health and safety.

ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded259028
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Tomoko Furukawa/Dear How To)

“And from the ones I’ve made, I like week 29 (How to make a racing track out of a cardboard box), I think mostly from a graphic point of view: the layout, colouring and because of the non-letter Ikea logo. I also had to draw that one twice because it got lost in the post the first time.

ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded259326
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Josefina Bravo/Dear How To)

“I think apart from specific drawing styles, our different approaches come through. Sol has some excellent examples of diagrams and an innovative approach that keeps the project fresh.”

ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded258785
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Tomoko Furukawa/Dear How To)

“It’s challenging while fun to do, it keeps us away from the computer, and we are in it together,” added Sol.

“Thinking up and drawing the postcards is hard work and takes time. Children and full-time jobs don’t really help, but as they say, nothing worth doing is ever easy! It is also a joy because it is so different from anything else we do.”

ipanews_88f3008c-abaa-4b58-9b2b-c95e45486424_embedded259051
Instructional postcards sent to dear how to scheme (Josefina Bravo/Dear How To)

More pictures are available on dearhow.to

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News