Julian's Bar Mitzvah

In case you haven’t noticed, this week I’ve been featuring tree-themed invitations on the blog. This wasn’t totally intentional, I just happened to realize earlier this week that we’ve been doing a lot of tree-themed designs lately and I figured it would be a good opportunity to show them off, all together, so you could see how many different possibilities can come out of one, simple theme. The designs I’ve been showing off so far have been for wedding invitations and Save-the-Date cards, but we also recently printed a fabulous set of Bar Mitzvah invitations, for a young man named Julian, in the Los Angeles area.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, a Bar Mitzvah is a Jewish ceremony celebrating a boy’s coming-of-age in the Jewish community. The Bar Mitzvah ceremony is typically an ordinary Sabbath service in which the boy participates for the first time as an adult. Typically a boy becomes a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. There is also an equivalent celebration for Jewish girls, called a Bat Mitzvah, which happens typically when the girl turns 12. Following the service there is often a celebratory meal or other type of party with family, friends and other members of the Jewish community. If you’d like to read more about Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, you can here.
Julian and his mom, Suzanne, had seen some of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations I had designed and printed, here, on this blog, and decided to contact me about designing and printing Julian’s. Julian and his family wanted some sort of Tree of Life theme and imagery when it came to the invitations, but were open to having that tree image be fairly modern and more organic than other more traditional depictions. Julian also expressed to me when we talked that he liked more antique-looking typefaces, so I made sure to take that into account when coming up with his design. Julian’s Bar Mitzvah invitation suite, which you can see all together at the top of this post, included an A7 size invitation, a 4bar size reply postcard and an A7 envelope.
Julian’s invitation was printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Ecru paper in two ink colors: a very light, sagey green and chocolate brown. I created a very organic, natural, Tree of Life that surrounds the text of Julian’s invite and bleeds off of both the left-hand side and top of the invitation. If you look at the detail photo below you can see all of the amazing detail that went into this tree – particularly in the leaves. It turned out so great letterpress printed! All of the text was printed in chocolate brown ink. I used a classic, serif typeface that reminded me of old wooden letterpress type for Julian’s and his parent’s names, and a different, classic, roman typeface for the rest of the text. Julian’s family chose to include information about both the actual service at the temple that is going to happen in the morning, and information about the evening party at a downtown hotel, on the invite.
Julian and his family chose to pair the invitation with a simple, matching, ecru, square-flap envelope, also from Crane. The envelope had their return address letterpress printed in chocolate brown ink on the back flap.
For the reply card, Julian and his family chose to do a postcard, rather than a traditional card with an envelope. This is an awesome option as it saves both money on printing, as well as paper. The reply postcard was double-sided and looked like this:
Like the main invitation envelope, we kept the back of the postcard very simple and printed just the family’s address on it in brown ink.  The front of the reply postcard was very similar to the invite, and featured the Tree of Life image on the left-hand side, with text printed in chocolate ink to the right of it.  Like the reply card for a wedding, Julian’s Bar Mitzvah reply card featured a line where guests could write in their names and a place to indicate whether or not they planned to attend. This particular reply also included a portion where adult guests could choose an entree selection for the party in the evening. Isn’t it just great?!? I love the way this set turned out!!
Julian and his family were really fun to work with. I honestly loved getting phone calls from Julian about the designs when we were in the middle of the design process, especially because most of my clients are quite a bit older. It was especially fun to get to work with someone so young, who was so interested in having a say in how his invitations came out! If you’d like to see some more examples of Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations I’ve designed and printed in the past, you can check them out on this blog here, here and here. Thanks so much again, Julian, Suzanne and Randy! You guys are awesome!!

Save the Date | Whitney and Naysa are Getting Married!

Check out these absolutely adorable Save-the-Date cards we printed recently for a lovely couple in New York City who are getting married in Connecticut this September! Naysa and Whitney already had their design (it was designed by the bride’s brother) when they contacted me, but were looking for someone to letterpress print it! I absolutely loved their design and had a wonderful time bringing it to fruition.

Naysa & Whitney’s Save-the-Date cards are a #10 size, which measures 3.875″x9.25″ and were printed on Crane Lettra Pearl White 100% cotton paper in two ink colors: chocolate brown and a deep violet-burgundy. These were paired with corresponding #10 square flap envelopes, with the couple’s return address, also printed in two ink colors on the back flap.
I’m sure most all of you have read Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” (or at least had someone else read it to you) at some point in your life. I don’t know for sure if Naysa and Whitney’s Save-the-Date idea took inspiration from this book at all, but I have a hard time looking at the design and imagining that it didn’t.* In the book, Silverstein’s illustrations of The Giving Tree are very similar in style to the tree featured on Naysa & Whit’s Save-the-Date. They also incorporated a very sweet use of a handwriting-like typeface, to give the design a more fun, casual and playful vibe. I also LOVE all of the small violet-burgundy accents throughout the design: the leaves on the tree, the circle around their wedding date on the calendar, and the heart around their initials that were “carved” into the tree trunk. The whole design is just so thoughtful and cute. Check out the detail photos below to see the colors, type, letterpress impression and cute little details of the design even better!
*Edit: After putting up this post, Naysa e-mailed me to say that yes, their design was, in fact, inspired by The Giving Tree, and actually, while her brother modified the design a bit for them, they found the original idea on merrimentdesign.com, here. I haven’t seen much else from Merriment Design, but based on how this turned out, it seems like a great place for inspiration!
Aren’t they just too cute?!? I almost can’t get over it… I totally LOVE them! And, as if they couldn’t get any sweeter, the envelopes that Naysa chose to pair with her cards are perfectly complimentary, and the design of their address totally matches the design of their Save-the-Date.
As I mentioned above, the envelope they chose is also from Crane and is a #10 Lettra envelope with a square flap. The fact that it’s a nice, soft 100% cotton envelope allows us to get the letterpress impression to show, even on a surface as thin as the envelope flap. For the address, Naysa’s brother used the same handwriting-like font from the card and used one single tree leaf as an accent motif below the actual address. We printed the type in chocolate brown and the leaf in the violet-burgundy color for a perfectly matching set.
These turned out so beautifully
and I’m so excited to show them off! Naysa and Whitney are also working with us on the design and printing for their actual invitations, so you’ll get to see those in a few months as well! Thanks so much Naysa & Whitney, you guys are awesome!
If you’d like more information about our custom letterpress printing and design services, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Weddings | Joanna & Ian

Over a month ago (wow – I can’t believe it’s been that long already), I finished this lovely wedding invitation suite for a couple currently living in New York City, who are getting married in Hawaii this upcoming May. The bride, Joanna, is originally from Hawaii and her fiancee, Ian, is originally from New Zealand. They wanted to incorporate a little bit of their roots into their invitations, without the invitations seeming too tropical. You can see the entire suite at the top of this post. It included a 5.5″ square invitation and 4bar reply card both printed in one ink color (a sagey, turquoise-y green) and blind embossing on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Ecru Paper and corresponding, matching envelopes for both pieces, also from Crane.

Here is the invitation and invitation envelope together.
Joanna chose a cute, square shape and square flap envelopes for her design. The envelopes were printed with her return address in the center of the flap.
For the design of the invite itself, we chose to keep things pretty traditional and elegant, but add a few modern and whimsical elements to make it unique.
Joanna had liked the blind embossing she had seen on some of our other invitations, so in order to incorporate this into her design we chose to do a pretty simple blind embossed border all around the design. For the text we used a pretty and modern script face that wasn’t too flourish-y for their names and a nice serif typeface in all-caps for the rest of the information. In order to incorporate a little of their roots I mentioned above, Joanna had us create a small palm tree and kiwi bird graphic element for both the invite and reply card. The palm trees were meant to represent Joanna’s Hawaiian background and the kiwi was meant to represent Ian’s roots in New Zealand. Here is a close-up of the motif:
Isn’t that cute?!? Below are a couple of other detail photos that I took so you can see the blind embossing, impression from the letterpress, fonts and colors a little bit closer.
For the reply cards, we chose to go with a matching design that incorporated both the palm trees/kiwi motif and the blind embossing. This card is a traditional 4bar shape and incorporated both the script and roman fonts we had used previously on the invitation.
This card also came with a matching ecru envelope that was printed with Joanna & Ian’s address on the front.
This suite came together so beautifully and Joanna and Ian were an absolute joy to work with! I know that their tropical Hawaiian wedding in May is going to be just spectacular! Congratulations Joanna & Ian!

Weddings | Erin & Andrew

It always amazes me how time does fly here at Twin Ravens during the early parts of spring. It seems like almost all (not all, but almost all) of our clients this time of year are having us design and print stationery for their upcoming weddings in the early spring and summer. We do have quite a few other projects in the works this time of year, including some very sweet baby announcements, an awesome set of Bar Mitzvah invitations, and several different sets of business cards and other business-related stationery, but by and large, this time of year seems to be dominated by weddings. While I truly enjoy this time of year and getting to work with so many amazing people, I must admit, it does make things very busy, which would explain my extremely inconsistent blogging. However, I do have some absolutely lovely things to show you in the next few weeks, starting with this.

Nearly a month ago we finished a really fun, yet classic set of invitations for a couple in North Carolina who are getting married at the end of April. Erin and Andrew had seen some invitations I had designed and printed previously on this blog and chose to combine/modify a couple of them to create their own unique invitation suite! Their suite included an A7 size invite with matching envelope, a 4bar size reply card envelope and a combined A7 size reply card and accommodations card that were perforated down the middle so that the reply card could be detached and mailed back. You can see all of the pieces in this suite together at the top of this post.
Erin and Andrew’s wedding colors are navy blue and a light green and we chose to incorporate these into her suite with both her ink colors and her paper choices. Here is Erin and Andrew’s invitation all by itself:
This invitation is an A7 size, measuring 5″x7″ and has a fun, organic frame surrounding a mix of a classic serif typeface and a fun, modern script, all printed in navy blue ink. To give the invitation some additional texture, we blind embossed a series of vertical lines in the background behind the framed portion of the invitation. I love how a little bit of blind embossing can add some wonderful texture to a design, without being too overwhelming! Below are some detail images so you can see the texture of the embossing and printing better.

We had originally planned to pair this invitation with a green envelope (Erin and Andrew’s other wedding color), but due to a very long backorder of the green from our supplier, we ended up going with a matching white envelope, printed with navy ink instead. Check out the cute heart detail below their address! Isn’t that adorable?!?
For their reply card envelopes, we did end up using the green. This green is a light green color called “Balsam Fir” from Green Paper Company. Not only are these envelopes a fabulous green color, because they are made from 30% post-consumer waste, they are also “green” environmentally-speaking too!
For Erin and Andrew’s two insert cards, we did something that I absolutely love, but have only done a few times before: we combined them. There are, in fact, two separate cards here, but they were designed and printed to be mailed as a single card (5″x7″), but perforated down the middle so that the reply card could be detached and mailed back.
As you can see in the above photo, an accommodations card that is similar in design to Erin and Andrew’s wedding invitation is the top half of the joined card, and a cute, navy-blue-on-white reply card is the bottom half.
The accommodations portion of this card also featured some blind-embossing: this time diagonal lines behind our cute frame. The interior of the frame featured information about where to stay and were to find Erin & Andrew’s website. If you look closely at the above photo, you can see the perforation in the card right below where the blind embossing ends. Isn’t this just cool?!?
The lower portion of this card is their detachable reply card.
Erin and Andrew included a space for guests to write in their names, check-box options for the actual response and an area for guests to initial what their meal preference is for the reception. I just love this combined-card idea. It saves money for the couple on printing (by printing effectively one card instead of two) and it’s a great way to keep all of the enclosure information together until the reply is ready to be sent back.
Erin and Andrew were wonderful clients and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them on this suite! Thanks so much Erin and Andrew and congratulations on your upcoming big day!

Weddings | Katie & Michael

Right before I left for Minnesota a couple of weeks ago, I printed this lovely set of invitations for a couple in Texas who are getting married in May. The bride, Katie, designed these invitations herself and I just love the pretty flowers and sweet, whimsical grey hummingbird at the bottom. This suite includes a #10 size invitation, letterpress printed in two colors on Crane Lettra Pearl White paper, a #10 invitation envelope from Waste Not Paper Company in gravel grey and a 4bar size postcard that was digitally printed on a matching flat stock also from Waste Not Paper. At the top of this post you can see the whole suite together and below are photos of each of the pieces in detail.

Here is Katie’s invitation by itself. She chose a really nice, light green ink for her floral details and names and a medium grey ink to match her envelopes for the rest of the text and for her hummingbird. I just love how whimsical and sweet this design is! Below are some detail photos so you can see the ink colors, fonts and letterpress impression a little better.
The reply postcards that went with these were a little bit simpler – no flowers or birdies, but the same great fonts Katie used were carried throughout. In order to save some money on printing, we chose to have this card printed digitally on a white card stock from Waste Not Paper that was a near-match to the 100% cotton stock we used for the invitation. Here it is below, front and back:
And, last but not least, come the envelopes. For her invitation envelopes, Katie chose a #10 size, long, skinny, grey envelope from Waste Not Paper. We printed her return address on the flap of it in a slightly darker grey than the invitation and envelope color.
Pretty sweet, don’t you think?!? Working with Katie was a pleasure and I hope that their wedding this May is just as wonderful as their invitations! Thanks so much and congratulations Katie & Michael!

Weddings | Francie & Greg

Check out these beauties that I printed last week for a lovely couple who are getting married in Massachusetts this spring. The bride, Francie, already had her invitation design all laid out when she hired Twin Ravens Press to do her letterpress printing, but looked to us for a way to make her invitation really stand out. Our solution: create a custom-made, absolutely beautiful, handmade paper in a unique, French Blue color and letterpress print her design on it in pewter grey ink. The paper we had made is really luscious and thick (about 220 lb. actually) and was created by the wonderful folks at Porridge Papers, and the letterpress printing was done by us. Below are a few more images so you can see the printing and the gorgeous paper a little closer.

Aren’t they just lovely?!? If you’re interested in learning more about custom paper or custom letterpress printing, please feel free to contact us. Congratulations Francie & Greg!!

Thirty-Three Pounds of Awesome.

Hi all! I must apologize again for my lengthy absence from the blog world. I returned from my trip to Minnesota last Monday (I’ll have some awesome things to share about my trip here soon) , and it’s been pretty much non-stop ever since I got back. I’m working on some truly awesome stuff though, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks if you want to see some of the awesomeness I’ve been working on. And, speaking of awesome things, I received, literally, 33 lbs. of awesome in the form of handmade, wildflower seeded paper from Porridge Papers last week shortly after my return. The awesome paper maker out there that I’ve been working with, Samantha, even dubbed it so on the outside of the UPS box. She doesn’t lie. The paper we received and the project we are in the midst of printing with it, is indeed, 33 lbs. of pure awesome. More on that soon!