‘Love Sampler’ Valentine’s card by Melbourne designer Peter Borg, for The Hungry Workshop.

‘We’re Good Together’ Valentine’s card by Melbourne designer Jesse Mallon, for The Hungry Workshop.

Don’t kill me but this is kind of a Valentine’s related post. In my defence, I figure some people do need to know where to buy things for their loved ones at this time of year, and frankly I’d rather steer them to The Hungry Workshop than, say, Hallmark. For all you V-Day haters don’t worry these cards are actually quite multi-purpose so perhaps you will still find a non-romantic use for them. :)

The Hungry Workshop should be your first port of call when hunting for a unique, handcrafted gift card in Melbourne. What I love most about their cards, especially the ones we’ve highlighted here, is that while they’re always beautifully designed, they also steer clear of the usual giftcard clichés, and are always gender neutral! And it’s so bloody hard to find a nice card (let alone a gift) for the design-savvy MEN out there, isn’t it?

For Valentine’s day this year, The Hungry Workshop have commissioned insanely clever local designers Jesse Mallon and Peter Borg to design two new cards, both pictured above.  As it happens, Jesse and Peter are also a couple – wow, I just realised we’re featuring two romantically linked creative collaborations this week…what has come over me!?

Actually, I am genuinely Jesse Mallon‘s biggest fan, because he is the brilliant designer from South South West responsible for TDF’s re-design last year (!!), while his partner, Peter Borg is an equally talented graphic designer who works at highly respected local firm Nexus Designs. It’s such a sweet idea to have commissioned these guys to produce a card each for Valentine’s Day…those Hungry Workshop kids really are so clever!

We asked Jesse Mallon a few questions about this recent collaboration -

How did the collaboration between you, Peter and The Hungry Workshop come about, and how long has it been in development?

Simon and Jenna from The Hungry Workshop contacted us about designing the cards in December. We’ve known them for a little while now, and jumped at the chance to work with them. Peter and I let some ideas swim in our heads while we were travelling for a few weeks in the US over Christmas, and then executed the designs in January.

Were you given a brief as to what the V-Day cards should encompass or did you have free rein creatively? What inspired each of your designs?

We weren’t given a direct brief, but we both got a chance to sit down with Simon and Jenna and have a chat about ideas for the cards. We discussed that the cards should be gender-neutral, and to obviously steer clear of Valentine’s Day clichés.

We also talked about the cards potentially being a statement on equality – we used the sentiment of ‘love comes in all forms’ as a starting point for our concepts. From there we just had fun with the idea, and worked up illustrations that we thought in some way represented a diverse range of relationships (gay or straight, romantic or platonic).

In addition to Jesse and Peter’s designs above, we’re also loving The Hungry Workshop’s ‘Blank’ collection, pictured below, which allows you to fill in the blanks for a semi-customised message! There are many more inspired designs in The Hungry Workshop online shop…and individual cards start at $7.00 each, which really is ridiculously affordable for locally letterpressed stationery!

‘Blank’ collection cards from  The Hungry Workshop online shop