Q&A: Meet Silas Tom!

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Do you know Silas Tom, the quirky and clever paper goods collection designed by Dallas veteran graphic designer, Rob Wilson? Wilson creates greeting cards, cocktail napkins and wrapping papers that feature modern yet meaningful images that delight the eyes, warm the heart, and, at times, tickle the funny bone. Not only are his greeting cards printed on one of our favorite sheets, Domtar Cougar Digital 100 Cover in Smooth, but his greeting card line is now available at select Target stores this summer! Read on to discover the person behind the paper…

Q: Who is Silas Tom?
A: Silas Tom was my grandad. I named my company—Silas Tom Paper Goods—in honor of him.

Q: When did you decide to start Silas Tom?
A: On a warm winter day in January 2011.

Q: Why paper goods?
A: I’m a designer and illustrator and I like to create artwork on paper. In our glass and plastic world of smart phones and online media, the simplicity of seeing ink printed on paper and being able to touch it is something I enjoy. It engages the senses in ways that a touch screen can’t.

Q: Where do you look to find inspiration for your designs?
A: My inspiration has always come from traveling, collecting, admiring, reading and paying attention to details. I would like to say my only influences are from obscure performance artists, cutting-edge techniques or new theories about color perception. However, I recently found a Crayola Crayon Project Book in a box I hadn’t seen since I was a child. I was surprised by how much it reminds me of the illustrations I do now.

Q: How did you come to create greeting cards?
A: I’ve made cards for family and friends as long as I can remember. Most were created at the last minute: before a birthday party; the day before Mother’s Day; a week before Christmas. The time constraints made my ideas simple and bold, usually with a sense of humor (and sometimes, panic).

Q: Why did you select Domtar Cougar Digital for your card stock?
A: Domtar Cougar Digital prints amazingly well on the Indigo press. The colors are vibrant and crisp. And the stock has a really nice feel. Its surface is much smoother, and less fluffy, than Domtar Kitten Pelt.

Q: What is the number one thing you look for in the papers you print with?
A: Opacity.

Q: What is your favorite paper?
A: The kind made from opaque trees.

Q: What is your most cherished paper-based item?
A: Any book I’m reading at the moment.

Q: What’s next for Silas Tom?
A: The Silas Tom collection includes new images which have just been added, with more fun items coming soon. And this summer, Target stores will be carrying some specially-designed Silas Tom birthday cards (be on the look out for them!). The best way to keep up with all that’s going on is to have a look at our blog, http://silastom.tumblr.com/.

Cards available at silastom.com and select stores. The Texas Icon series is available at The Nasher Sculpture Center Store.

Silas Tom images & inspiration:
1. The original Silas Tom.   2. Snow Sprawl.   3. La Fonda del Sol sun design by Alexander Girard.   4. Sign in Germany.   5. View in NYC.   6. Crayola Crayon Project Book.   7. My hometown in West Texas.   8. My bookshelf.   9. French poster found at the Brooklyn Flea.   10. Pin from Dia: Beacon.   11. Turkey in the Craw.   12. NY Nest. 
13. Domtar Cougar Digital is greater than Domtar Kitten Pelt.   14. Tall Drink of Water.   15. Summer Daze.   16. Bully Dog and antique bulldog bottle opener.

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