A while back I traced what happened with a few photo mailers I received, and I thought I’d add an update to that conversation. Basically, this morning I looked around my space and realized that photo mailers were stacking up around me. Although I do look at them all, and find inspiration in more than a few of them, I realized that my desk was becoming a dead end. Not cool.

So I created a wall of photo mailers here at the fine REI headquarters. That way the fliers, postcards and sheets are out in the open, and my team of designers, art directors and dozens of other folks who run this business can soak in the cool, captivating work. And if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, all is not lost. 

What's cool is that when you post a bunch of work on a wall, it’s a whole lot easier to spot trends and patterns in a body of work. One thing that’s clear to my eye is that I respond strongest to those who are telling a story. It's not a literal step-by-step thing, but it's usually a consistency of tone, texture and attitude that create a vision for a possible life to live.

Props to the folks who do this well. That’s the challenge the crew here is faced with – how to tell stories in an authentic and resonant way. Yes, my brain oscillates between needing vibrant, captivating single images for quick hit moments such as ads, but I'm more and more using those to drive people to a series of images that tell a captivating story. To see people doing this well makes me happy.

I like the photo wall because it's a simple idea that's easy to maintain, which in my world gives it a longer life. I also like it because I've seen a ton of folks staring at the images today, which I think is cool. It means a group of photographers are getting an additional dose of exposure, and although they don't know it, they're at the center of a creative conversation and are participating through their work. 

That seems like an excellent success for any mailer.