Ex Postal Facto 2014: what a weekend!

now THAT'S an opening reception!

now THAT’S an opening reception!

A great big, gigantic THANK YOU to everyone who traveled from near and far to attend the Ex Postal Facto weekend — words can’t describe how incredible this event was. Three days filled with stories, laughter, and creativity underscored the fact that the mail art community is filled with some of the kindest, most generous people on the planet.

From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank the XPF team who helped make it all happen: Maureen Forys, Kate Kaminski, Sally Wurlitzer, Jennifer Utter, and Angelique Evans — through the talents of these five fantastic “postal partners in crime”, Ex Postal Facto came together into one unforgettable weekend.

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting video and photos, snapped over the course of the weekend. I’d also like to invite anyone who has Ex Postal Facto related stories, artworks, photos, etc. to send them my way; plans are already in motion for an Ex Posto Facto yearbook! More details to follow, ASAP.

Thanks for the amazing weekend.

Now I can reply to all of that correspondence that’s been piling up!



24 hours left to pre-purchase your XPF passport!


Just a friendly reminder: online sales for the official Ex Postal Facto passport will end at 5pm PST on Wednesday evening. If you haven’t had a chance to make your purchase, now’s the time! We’re down to a mere 32 passports. Designed by Happenstance Type-O-Rama and silkscreened by The Lords of Print, these babies are sure to become collector’s items.

The Lords of Print mix ink like nobody's biz...

The Lords of Print mix ink like nobody’s biz…

While there will be a handful of “walk in” passports available over the course of the weekend, the XPF team expects that these will sell out at SFCB’s opening reception. Why’s that, you ask? Well, “mail/art/book” and Ex Postal Facto are going to get some very good -ahem- press on Thursday…

how to decide? (at Happenstance HQ...)

how to decide? (at Happenstance HQ…)

With that in mind, I’m looking forward to seeing all you postal moderns in a few short days!


you want rubber? XPF’ll give you rubber…

got a passport? then you're in luck!

got a passport? then you’re in luck!

Ex Postal Facto has plenty of rubber stamping going on throughout the weekend — what would a mail art get together be, if it were lacking in rubber stamps? (boring, that’s what!) Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite rubber stamps and art making tools to wreak artistic havoc in other people’s passports — all part of what makes a good correspondence “congress” GREAT. Here’s some inspiration:

During Ex Postal Facto, each day’s event has a special “visa” (see first photo above) which will only be stamped in Ex Postal Facto passports. Stop by the “Passport Control/WILL CALL” table to get yours!

yep: it's exactly what you think it is...

yep: it’s exactly what you think it is…

In addition to passport visas, there will be a commemorative postal cancellation available during the opening reception of “mail/art/book” at SFCB. Ex Postal Facto attendees are welcome to bring their own pre-addressed mail art and hand it off to our Postmaster-For-The-Evening, Mr. James. For those of you travelling light, there will be a mail art creation station for those last minute valentines and love letters.


The following guidelines must be observed, if you are interested in bringing your own mail for cancellation:

  • postcards/letters must be legibly addressed with proper postage. Your return address must be included in the upper left hand corner.
  • if you have 3D elements attached to your outgoing mail, please affix the proper amount of postage (i.e. “more”). Otherwise, the recipient runs the risk of having “postage due”.
  • mail art that does not have postage affixed, cannot be read, or does not have a return address will not be mailed and will find it’s way to the Red Letter Day Dead Letter Office.
  • mail will not be cancelled at the event. It will be cancelled and mailed once Ex Postal Facto has wrapped up.

Alright gang: time to get to work creating something fabulous! Photos can be shared over at the Ex Postal Facto FaceBook page (if you’re into such things); just search “Ex Postal Facto 2014”.

Postally speaking —


Ex Postal passports are hot off the assembly line!

passport sewing party

Ex Postal Facto passports are HERE! A legion of volunteers spent the better part of Saturday folding, stitching, sewing, and corner-rounding (see above & more on that later) to complete 250 of these cuties. With silkscreened covers by The Lords of Print (thanks Rick!), hand stamped details, and plenty of pages to fill with artwork and ephemera, this is a FANTASTIC way to commemorate your Ex Postal Facto adventure!


The full run down is available at the “WILL CALL passport” shopping page, but here are a couple of super-important, not-to-be-missed details:

WILL CALL passports can only be picked up in person at one of the following events: SFCB opening reception, the vendor expo at the SF Elks Lodge, or the lectures held at the SF Public Library.

WILL CALL passports will not be mailed out. If you are unable to attend Ex Postal Facto, but are interested in purchasing a passport, there will be a small portion of passports held aside for this purpose. Further info will be posted on the Ex Postal Facto website, in regards to this type of purchase.

WILL CALL passports must be purchased by 5pm on Wednesday, February 12th. Online passport sales are limited to 100 passports. There will be a small amount of “off the street” passports (i.e. people who attend XPF events, but do not purchase a passport in advance) available at the above listed events, however the Ex Postal Facto team cannot guarantee availability of passports.

XPF_passport_inside front cover

The Ex Postal Facto team is excited to see what these passports will be filled with — artistamps, visas, rubber stampings, artwork of all types and kind! Don’t delay, order yours today:

Passports for Ex Postal Facto 2014 can be purchased here.

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. (http://gautamdutta.net)

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

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!

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! –> redletterdayzine@gmail.com

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: http://www.expostalfacto.wordpress.com.

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 redletterdayzine@gmail.com



thank you to everyone who has…

be on the lookout!

be on the lookout!

…sent in artwork for the “mail/art/book” exhibition! Wonderful postcards, artistamps, zines, and artists’ books have been arriving from around the world! There is still time to send in artwork: the show deadline is October 15th, 2013. The call-for-entry can be found here.

perforation confetti!

perforation confetti!