Plastic Paper: A Celebration of Everyday Design is 144 pages of beautiful photography cataloging the range of designs printed on single-use plastic bags, found throughout New York City, and collected over nearly seven years. Printed in an edition of 1,000, it’s an embossed softcover book with a UV-reactive mark, and 4C offset printing.
Sho Shibuya, founder of PLACEHOLDER, a multidisciplinary brand design studio based in Brooklyn, moved to New York City from Tokyo. One of the first things he noticed was the grainy prints on thin plastic bags. They were so different from the ones that he saw in Japan. He was struck by the ubiquity of the bags — not just the sheer number of them, but the consistency of their designs.
It is no secret that single-use plastic bags are choking our cities and our planet. This book is not an exercise to advocate for wasteful plastics; it is quite the opposite. It is an act of preservation of the everyday design and a call to give greater care to the objects we use every day, to reuse them and waste less, and to find happiness and inspiration in the little acts of art and creativity we’d otherwise miss.