Arts and Culture

Postscript postcards bring new life to Denver streets -- and the U.S. Mail

These days, it seems like the only things that come in the mail are coupons and bills. Jared and Rachel Rippy want to change that by creating pieces of art that are intended for the mail. Through their new business, Postscript, the husband-and-wife team create letterpress postcards with graphic art that honors Denver.

And anyone would be honored to receive one of these cards in the mail.

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Postcards "are one of our favorite forms of communications, and it's just a good platform," Jared Rippy explains. "We're trying to revitalize it a little bit, too. It doesn't seem like people get in touch that way anymore, because of the digital age we live in."

So they decided to give the medium new life by making postcards that are actually art.of art. "It kind of becomes a piece of ephemera once it's been sent," Rachel Rippy says.

The designer duo created the art for the postcards and took it to Banshee Press to print on a letterpress. They feel this technique gives the postcards more personality. "It's a much more tactile feel," Jared says. "It just had more life, it's more interesting-looking. And it's more of a hands on process."

For the first two series of Postcript postcards, they decided to focus on how Denver streets got their names. "Those streets have a life of their own," Jared notes. "We're just trying to embrace that. We just love everything about Denver, so it's kind of a natural choice for us to reinterpret those things and try to create a new memory for those streets."

The first series takes a literal approach, depicting the street name in art-deco style, with a story on the back telling how the street got its name. The second series is more whimsical, with imaginary animals that take on the characteristics of the street. "It's kind of based off the personality of those streets and some of the characters you might see there," Rachel explains.

Other animals are based on the history of how the street was named. For example, for Otis Street they created a three-brained creature with a condescending look. "It was named after a Supreme Court judge who lived in Denver and I think founded Arvada, so we made him a really judgmental character," Jared says.

The Rippys plan to do at least one more street series. They'd also like to get other Denver artists involved, and have them create postcards based on the streets where they live or work.

In the meantime, the first two series of postcards are available on the couple's Postscript website; they'll soon be sold at the I Heart Denver store.

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Nathalia Vélez
Contact: Nathalia Vélez