1.2–1.3 Ephemera Collection

James Grady
2 min readJun 25, 2012


Ephemera Collection

1. Videotape
2–3. Brass Number Three
4. Project Description
5. Paper Swatch Book
6. Pantone Swatch Book
7. Name Card
8. One-way Amtrak Train Pass
9. Button
10. Small Clip
11. Pantone Chip
12. 10x Loupe
13. Reflective Sticker S
14. Reflective Sticker T
15. Reflective Sticker E
16. Reflective Sticker P
17. Respond Design Sticker
18. Claim Check Ticket
19. Parking Claim Ticket
20. One-way MBTA Train Pass
21–27. 12 Trip MBTA Train Pass
28. Calendar At-A-Glance
29. Silver Number Three
30–33. Reflective Sticker 1
34–35. Reflective Sticker 326–37. 12 Trip MBTA Train Pass
38–58. Train check-in tickets
59. Clam Cake Bag
60. Color-Aid Box
61–65. Chap Stick
66. Book
67–68. X-Acto Blade
69. Paper Angel
70–72. Marker
73. Pen
74. Pencil
75. Pen
76. Marker
77. iPhone
79. Student ID
80. Altoids
81. Emergen-C
82. Lighter
83. Hole Punch Reinforcer
84–86. Rubber Bands
87–88. Small Clip
89. Pencil Sharpener
90. Baby Photo
91. Bottle Cap
92. Small Clip
93–94. Penny
95. Dongle

1.3 Reading a Collection as Possibility
Any one of the ninety-five previous objects could be a piece of trash or a spark of inspiration. Each object has the ability to be examined, studied and elaborated into its own thesis topic. The Train ticket stubs (38–58) may relate to the history of the Industrial Revolution or the first locomotive. The brass address numbers (2–3) perhaps unpack the history of the single-family home, suburban expansion in America or social class structures defined by Marxism, or they could relate to the current U.S. economic and political environment. The calendar page August 3, 2011, (28) may be the impetus to discover the Gregorian or Egyptian calendar or elaborate on one of the most amazing days of my life, which was when my daughter Joy was born. The iPhone (77) potentially investigates the current state of technology and how it is just one device in the future continuum of mobile technologies and communications. The paper angel (69) may speak to the concept of kitsch, religious iconography or good luck charms.

Originally published at http://jamesjgrady.com on June 25, 2012.



James Grady

Principal, Design Axl & Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Boston University