Press From The Challenge

New York, May 1st 2017

Kikkerland and Paper Source Launch a Design Challenge for ID Students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

Winning design will be produced by Kikkerland and sold nationwide at Paper Source

Kikkerland is proud to announce its partnership with Paper Source to host a design challenge for the industrial design students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). 

For its 10th design challenge, Kikkerland Design invited the students to design a simple, inspiring and executable product within four core categories:

  • Mindful Desktop: Design a stylish yet functional office item that promotes mindfulness and focus in the workplace.

  • Cocktail Culture: Offer unique and innovative cocktail/wine accessories to add some flare to parties.

  • Tech meets paper: Create a product that links the physical and the digital world for the generation that is connected to their devices, but nostalgic about reading physical books, writing in notebooks, and handwriting cards.

  • Hydration: Everyone carries a water bottle with them wherever they go. What is the next innovation in hydration?

The goal is to give design students a platform to present their product ideas for a well-respected retailer, and the chance to see their ideas produced. The product submissions need to appeal to Paper Source values: live, give, create and celebrate and include Kikkerland’s signature fun and functional characteristics.

Assistant Professor of SAIC’s Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects (AIADO) program Pete Oyler has guided students during the Spring semester. Paper Source and Kikkerland reviewed and critiqued the projects.

Final products will be hosted online for a public vote May 5th-12th.

Anyone can vote for their favorite designs to determine the People’s Choice Winner.

The Prototypes will be sent to a jury of buyers, merchandisers and industrial design professionals to determine the pieces selected for production. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 12th 2017 at SAIC.

Winners in the two categories below will be announced at the awards ceremony:

  • Production: Selected product(s) that Paper Source intends to buy and Kikkerland intends to produce. Student will receive a licensing agreement when the product gets developed.

  • People’s Choice: Product that received the most votes from the online voting website. The winning designer will receive an award and will be given additional consideration for Kikkerland production.

For more than 15 years, Kikkerland Design and Paper Source have had a long-standing partnership and committed to bringing thoughtful and well-designed gifts.

“We are honored to partner with Kikkerland for their annual design challenge. At Paper Source, we’ve always believed that life moments should be celebrated in a fun and creative way. Kikkerland has always been a retailer that inspires solutions for everyday life. We’re proud to be working with the bright and talented SAIC students who will be brainstorming new gifting products for special occasions,” said Paper Source CEO Winnie Park.

About Paper Source 
Founded in 1983, Paper Source is a specialty retailer offering a unique selection of fine and artisanal papers, invitations and announcements, personalized and distinctive gifts, gift wrap, greeting cards, custom stamps, and an exclusive collection of envelopes and cards. Much of Paper Source’s original aesthetic, with a distinct color palette and proprietary designs, are handcrafted by their Chicago-based design team. Paper Source operates stores in 29 states, including the District of Columbia, plus an ecommerce store and wholesale division.

About Kikkerland Design 
Kikkerland Design ( was founded by Dutchman Jan van der Lande, who launched the label in 1992 from a houseboat anchored in the Hudson River, delivering orders by bicycle for the first few years. Looking for well-designed products laced with humor, a poetic twist and a clever distortion of everyday language, van der Lande has represented young, self-producing designers since 1987. 

Today, Kikkerland adds 150 new items to its catalog every six months—averaging out to a remarkable one product per day. The wide-ranging collection offers everything from kitchen and bar products, stationery and tech accessories to games, tools and tabletop items for living space and the bath. These objects are witty, aiming to engage and inspire the curious viewer while embracing innovative technologies and wide-ranging materials.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman. For more information, please visit