here’s the schedule of events for XPF!

XPF stamps

All events (with the exception of Thursday night’s lecture at Chronicle Books) are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 13th:

5:00 – 7:00 pm: Chronicle Books and Ex Postal Facto kick off the Ex Postal Facto Conference with  “A New Look At Stamp Design”, presented by Niko Courtelis

located at: Chronicle Books, 680 Second Street (between Brannan and King) PLEASE NOTE: this event is currently at capacity. If you register for this event, you will be placed on a wait list.

what’s happening:

-award winning creative director and philatelic designer Niko Courtelis will speak about contemporary postage stamp design and aesthetics.

Friday, February 14th:

5:00 – 6:00 pm: pre-reception and “mail art mixer” for Ex Postal Facto attendees

located at: Arch Drafting and Graphic Supplies, 99 Missouri (at 17th Street)

what’s happening:

-shopping and socializing

-issuance of commemorative Ex Postal Facto/Arch artistamp

after stopping by Arch, walk over to the San Francisco Center for the Book for the opening reception of “mail/art/book”!

6:00 – 9:00pm: opening reception for “mail/art/book”

located at SF Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street (btwn 16th and 17th Streets)

what’s happening:

-“will call” passport pick up/passports also available for purchase

-passport stamping for official Ex postal Facto passports

-mail art creation station-postal cancellation window –> make your mail art, deposit at the postal “counter”

Saturday, February 15th:

11:00am – 4:00/5:00pm: vendor shop & swap, with over 25 vendors of mail art and artistamp items!

located at: SF Elks Lodge #3, The Kensington Park Hotel450 Post Street (btwn Powell and Mason Streets)

what’s happening:

-passport stamping for Ex Postal Facto passports

-25 different vendors selling, sharing, and swapping their wares

-ADDED BONUS: San Francisco’s Chinese New Year parade starts at 5pm; parade route runs 1 block away from the Elks Lodge

Sunday, February 16th:

1:00 – 4:30pm: panel discussion series on correspondence art and artistamps

located at: Koret Auditorium, SF Public Library Main Branch, lower level, 100 Larkin Street (at Market)

what’s happening:

-passport stamping for Ex Postal Facto passports

-1:00pm lecture: “A History of West Coast Mail Art” with guest speakers Lowell Darling, Carl Chew, Leslie Caldera, and Anna Banana. Moderated by John Held, Jr.

-2:30pm lecture: “Artistamps and Their Makers: Seeing the World in Miniature” with guest speakers James Cline, Harley/Terra Candella, James Felter, and Ginny Lloyd. Moderated by Jennie Hinchcliff

-3:45: reception for speakers and Ex Postal Facto attendees


event just added — “A New Look at Postage Stamp Design” !

Niko Courtelis, alongside on of his "Philatelic Atrocities"...

Niko Courtelis, alongside one of his “Philatelic Atrocities”…

The Ex Postal Facto team is pleased to announce that publisher Chronicle Books will be hosting a lecture on Thursday, February 13th in conjuction with the Ex Postal Facto weekend. Titled “A New Look at Postage Stamp Design,” creative director and stamp designer Niko Courtelis will discuss not only postage stamp aesthetics, but also the design fundamentals for an understanding of stamp graphics.

design/art direction: Niko Courtelis

design/art direction: Niko Courtelis

PLEASE NOTE: Limited seating is available for this event; attendees are required to have an RSVP ticket. For full details (as well as registration) head over to Eventbrite to sign up.

copy/art direction by Niko Courtelis; "Stamp Story" is a visual documentary about vintage postage. (

copy/art direction by Niko Courtelis; “Stamp Story” is a visual documentary about vintage postage. (

Niko will have a selection of his “Philatelic Atrocities” on display as part of the SF Center for the Book’s “mail/art/book” exhibition. He has taught graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY; is design director of World Stamp Show NY2016; and is a former member of the Board of Governors of The Collectors Club in New York City. He is a partner at PLAZM magazine and design.

(did we mention that he is also an AWESOME postage stamp designer? The Ex Postal team is excited to be working with Niko over the course of the conference and can hardly wait to hear what he has to say about designing postage!)


PS: want to know more? Steven Heller wrote about Niko’s Christmas seal collection for Print magazine; get ready to be inspired!

2014 has arrived — Ex Postal Facto can’t be far behind!

new year's greetings from Leslie C./Creative Thing...

new year’s greetings from Leslie C/Creative Thing…

Happy New Year to all mail artists, artistamp makers, visual poets, collagists — in short: this always expanding Network that we happily work within and with. As 2013 turned into the “fresh start” of 2014, I couldn’t help but be excited by all of the possibility and promise offered: new correspondents to meet, new projects to embark upon, new address books to fill.

Leslie C/Creative Thing's XPF artistamps, close up

Leslie C/Creative Thing’s XPF artistamps, close up

Part of this excitement stems from my anticipation of mail artists and postal enthusiasts arriving in SF for next month’s Ex Postal Facto event. Every day my email inbox seems to hold another piece of I-can’t-hardly-believe-it news: another luminary, attending XPF; an idea for an additional event; someone working on a wonderful design or artwork for the weekend (ed: see Leslie Caldera’s artistamps for the event, above).

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing all of this exciting news with XPF readers. Places to stay, special announcements about “in-the-works” outings, names of other attendees, write ups in the press — these are all topics that will be addressed over the next few weeks. Be sure to stay tuned! And it goes without saying: I can hardly wait for 2014 to GET STARTED!


if a photo’s worth a thousand words…


(ed: take a look in the upper right hand corner of this page…notice the newly added “artists: “mail/art/book” tab? If you click through, you can view an alphabetical listing of all participating artists.)

I’m happy to report that things are moving along quite smoothly for Ex Postal Facto! Today, I bring you news about the “mail/art/book” exhibition — if you contributed artwork for the show, you might want to read further!


This weekend, photography will begin for the exhibition catalog. See that photo above? That’s what 300 pieces of mail art looks like, when it’s been categorized, archived, and prepped for photos. I feel extremely lucky to be working with Von Span (photographer) and the Happenstance Type-o-Rama design crew (hey Kate! hey Maureen!) once again; if you liked the look of Good Mail Day, you’re gonna love this new catalog.


I’m not gonna lie: it’s been a pretty epic task organizing and sorting all of your incoming work. I mean — three hundred pieces?!?! But each and every artwork is a fantastic world unto itself — taking the time to enjoy each one has been a delight.


As with every mail art show I’ve curated, there are a couple of orphans — pieces where the sender forgot to include their name, return address, or any sort of contact info. See those four pieces above? If one of them belongs to you, please get in touch ASAP! For one reason or another, I was unable to determine who sent these pieces in.

Stay tuned for more updates!


some lovely Ex Postal write ups…

a little love for the City...

a little love for the City…

Now that the deadline for “mail/art/book” has wrapped up, it’s time to move on to other exciting aspects of the Ex Postal weekend. I took a little bit of internet “vacation time” and found that the following bloggers, artists, and Networkers have posted about Ex Postal Facto! Very exciting, and I’d like to thank each one of them for their kind words…)

Tic Tac (words of encouragement and visuals from this incredible artist!)

Margaret of  Paper Pastries (a great show-and-tell of her project for the “mail/art/book” exhibit)

Jackie of Letters & Journals (thanks to Jackie for helping get the word out about the event!)

Heebee Jeebee Land (I always love and appreciate Test’s well written posts…)

Planet Susannia (wonderful photos of Susannia’s entry for “mail/art/book”…)

Karen of I Am Rushmore (talking about her excitement re: visiting SF)

Emma of Letter Loves (writing a bit about her project for “mail/art/book”)

just a handful of the many...

just a handful of the many…

Do you have a blog? A “real-time” magazine or zine? Would you like to know more about the Ex Postal event, and share the story with your readers? Let us help! Send an email inquiry to Jennie at:; I’m happy to answer questions, conduct interviews, and share photos!

Keepin’ it postal —


best. present. ever.

fluX postal facto!

fluX postal facto!

Mail artist extraordinaire Sally Wurlitzer gifted me with this gem over the weekend; you better BELIEVE that all of my outgoing, Ex Postal related correspondence will be stamped with this puppy!

An event like Ex Postal Facto is only as good as the people working to make it happen — organizers and attendees alike. Planning an event such as this takes a dedicated and talented group of planners — something I am oh-so-lucky to have on my side. Networkers Sally Wurlitzer, Maureen F., JU13, Kate K., and Angelique E. are generously giving their time and talents to the Ex Postal Facto cause, and I cannot thank them enough. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting each of them (and their mail artworks) in order for Ex Postal followers to get an idea of just who we are and why we are doing this.


just a few days left!

mail bag

…to send in your entries for the “mail/art/book” exhibit, taking place at the SF Center for the Book. Artwork needs to be in the mail by October 15th; we are fast approaching 100 wonderful pieces of mail art, from all over the globe! The video below shows Nina’s (from The Netherlands) mail art “in action” :

Exhibit details are at the bottom of this entry; if you haven’t sent anything in, now’s the time!

The SF Center for the Book will publish a catalog that will be available for sale both at the opening reception and online. (details about the catalog will be posted here at the Ex Postal Facto blog). Additionally,  Jennie Hinchcliff/Red Letter Day will send out limited edition documentation created specifically for participating artists.


Questions? Ask away! –>

See you in the mail!



THEME: “mail/art/book”

Artists are invited to submit work exploring the intersection between mail art and artists’ books, in whatever way, shape, or form that may take. Mail art, artistamps, artists’ books, and other artworks that can be mailed and relate to the theme of mail/art/books are encouraged.

POSTMARK DEADLINE: October 15th, 2013

FORMAT: work must be sent directly through the postal service. Please apply postage directly to your work.

TECHNIQUE: All techniques and mediums accepted including mixed media, collage, montage, sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography, etc.


Documentation in the form of an address list and art zine will be sent to participating artists. Please include your mailing address. The San Francisco Center for the Book will produce a print catalog of the exhibit, which will be available for sale at the opening reception and throughout the show (February 14-April 30, 2014)


Jennie Hinchcliff

Attn: mail/art/book

PO Box 170271

San Francisco, CA. 94117

(Artwork submitted for the exhibition becomes part of the Red Letter Day archive)

This show is curated by Jennie Hinchcliff and John Held Jr. and hosted by the San Francisco Center for the Book. The opening reception for “mail/art/book” on February 14, 2014 kicks off the Ex Postal Facto Conference, which runs February 14 – 16, 2014. For more information about Ex Postal Facto, visit:

By submitting artwork for this exhibit, you agree that both the San Francisco Center for the Book and Jennie Hinchcliff/Red Letter Day can photograph and use images of your work for future publication and press materials. Additionally, the artist also agrees that they will not receive any direct financial compensation from either the San Francisco Center for the Book or Jennie Hinchcliff/Red Letter Day.

Questions? Contact Jennie at