Once upon a time there were schools with real books and they were even made from paper..Imagine that! For most of us the scent of fresh Collins books with a pack of sharpened Derwent pencils heralded the start of a new school year. If you were exceptionally spoilt you would have the tin with 72 luscious colours and a whole lot of envy from your friends. Your inability to draw was irrelevant, it was that you had them and your classmates did not. Out of all the books though it was the atlas which inspired the greatest attention. It hinted of far away countries with exotic sounding names. Rivers wound through these lands as wandering ribbons of blue and high snow-capped mountain ranges were green and normally raised. The maps spoke to you of the potential of travel and the promise of escape from the drudgery of logarithms.
The above photo illustrates the reincarnation of one such atlas as a series of tantalising gift cards. A talented friend of mine scours local markets and book fairs for damaged books to rebirth for this very purpose. She made a very interesting observation that when people looked at the tags they inevitably went for one which had some geographical significance for them. It could have been the county of their father's birth, a honeymoon to Moorea, or that wistful trip to Graceland! What they did was act as visual prompts for people or a trigger mechanism for a postive association. Not bad for a recycled gift tag!
Photo Brian Tunks