Weddings | Kara & Steve

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember a post way back in October of last year, about some very, very cool, modern Save-the-Date cards that featured some awesome blind-embossed details and letterpress printing of the handwriting of the bride.  Don’t remember that one?  You really ought to check it out here – it was just too cool to miss.  For their Save-the-Dates, awesome Seattle couple, Kara & Steve, had me blind emboss a bunch of wedding-related text on the backside of their long & skinny, monarch size, save-the-date card and then letterpress print their website and names over the top of it in aubergine ink.  On the reverse side, we still included details in Kara’s handwriting and used a modern, san-serif font for the rest of the text.  We paired the Save-the-Date with a light green (Balsam Fir) envelope from Green Paper Company.  For their actual wedding invitations, Kara & Steve wanted to keep with the same “theme” and general look that we had used for their Save-the-Dates, but really wanted to step the “cool factor” up a few notches.  The wedding invitations that we created for them definitely accomplish that goal, and, in my opinion, are quite possibly one of the coolest invitation suites we’ve printed this year (if not ever).

The above photo shows two of Kara & Steve’s long & skinny T-length invitations (which is about two inches longer than their monarch size save-the-date), one of which is open in the center and the other is all tied up on the left-hand side, the chartreuse string-and-button envelope that they were mailed in, and their 4bar size reply card and corresponding envelope.  This suite truly utilized many of the different design elements and options Twin Ravens Press has to offer.  The set incorporates blind embossing, metallic inks, belly bands, letterpress printing and something brand-new: laser cutting!!

Allow me to walk you through what it would be like to receive one of these awesome invitations in the mail.

Kara & Steve chose to send out their invitations in a chartreuse #10 size string-and-button envelope from Waste Not Paper Company.  I personally find this style of envelope kind of fun and whimsical, particularly because most envelopes you see these days don’t have the little string-and-button detail anymore. Upon first opening the invitation, this is what you would see:

For Kara & Steve’s invitations I got to design a unique, totally awesome sleeve which acts as a wrap for the actual invite.  This piece is both functional and decorative, and I’ve never designed anything quite like it before.  The chocolate brown sleeve wraps all the way around Kara & Steve’s invitation.  It features Kara’s signature handwriting of her and her fiancee’s names as well as a brand-new allium flower design, laser-cut into chocolate brown cover stock.  Kara wanted to keep with the ultra-modern feel from her Save-the-Dates with these invitations, but she also wanted to incorporate something rustic and Montana-esque into the design, without everything feeling too “Western”.  As the wedding is taking place in Kara’s hometown of Billings, Montana, we chose to create a modern design of allium flowers (a native flower to that region) and carry it through not only the above sleeve, but all of the pieces in the suite.  The sleeve was sealed shut with a small, letterpress printed medallion belly band that had the couple’s wedding date printed on it in aubergine ink and was threaded with natural jute twine.  Check out a closer view of the laser cutting:

Having seen some laser-cut paper products prior to this project, I knew that laser-cutting was an awesome option, but this is the first time I ever had the opportunity to design a laser-cut piece for a client!  I am totally blown away and completely stoked by how awesome this turned out!  The allium flower design is super delicate, while retaining quite a bit of detail.  There is literally a window cut into the sleeve with our small flowers branching up out of it.  Laser-cutting is definitely a technique that has to be well thought out and planned with great detail, and it certainly isn’t the cheapest option available, however, the results are absolutely stunning!  If you have the means, it’s definitely worth considering for your own project.

Below on the left you can see what the sleeve looks like from the back-side.  I tied the jute twine of the belly band in a small bow to seal the sleeve shut.  When the belly band is untied and the sleeve opened, the right image below is what you would see.

In order to create a “background” behind the laser cut window, each invitation was wrapped in a handmade, green, Thai Mango Leaf Paper.  I love how soft and textural this paper is, while still working with the modern, earthy feeling of the invitation suite, and I love how it adds another splash of another color to this piece without adding additional inks!  The ecru colored piece you see in the middle is the actual invitation.

One side of Kara & Steve’s invitation features a blind embossed allium flower and all of the relevant details of their wedding printed in aubergine ink.  We printed these on 220 lb. Duplex Crane Ecru paper for a super-thick card and an ability to print a fairly deep impression double-sided without a lot of show-through from one side to the other.  The back side, which you can see on the right above, features Kara & Steve’s names in Kara’s handwriting and their wedding website address in aubergine ink printed over the top of a bunch of blind embossing – just like their save-the-date.  The blind embossing has phrases like “Kara and Steve are getting married!”, the wedding date, “Billings, Montana”, and so on and so forth.  It created a really awesome texture for the back side!

Aren’t these just too cool?!?

To accompany this magnificent invitation, we also created a matching 4bar size reply card.  This card was printed on standard 110 lb. Crane Lettra ecru paper and features the same blind-embossed allium design, the word “reply” in Kara’s handwriting, and a spot for the guest’s names and their response.  I love the super-clean look of this card, which I think makes it fit in perfectly with the look of the rest of the suite.

Each of these cards comes with a corresponding reply card envelope.  The reply envelopes Kara chose are the same chocolate brown color that we used for the laser-cut sleeve and they were printed with copper ink.  I love how the copper stands out on the chocolate brown paper – it’s one of my favorite color combos!  I also love how we continued to use Kara’s handwriting and the allium design even on the envelope!  This whole set ties together so well!

Kara and Steve have been so much fun to work with!  I love Kara’s elegant, modern, and slightly-rustic, natural style and I’m so excited that we’re working with her already on more awesome paper goods for the actual wedding.  If you like this suite and are interested in learning more about letterpress and/or laser-cutting please contact us, and keep an eye out in the next month or so to see the menus, programs and coasters that we’re creating for Kara & Steve’s big day!

Thanks so much Kara & Steve – you guys rock!

Sew in Love: Bridal Shower Cocktail Napkins

A couple of weeks ago, we printed a set of adorable, letterpress cocktail napkins for a bride-to-be named Ellie who is currently living in Portland.  Ellie was having a sewing-themed bridal shower in California and wanted some cute cocktail napkins for her party.  Ellie chose a light, tangerine-colored napkin and had us print the words “Sew in Love” on them in bright pink ink!  

Aren’t they just adorable?!?  Letterpress printed cocktail napkins are a really fun addition to any wedding, shower, party or other celebration!  Check out a couple of our older posts here and here to see some other napkins we’ve printed in the past.  Thanks Ellie!

Stayin' Alive

Alright, I’ll warn you now that this post is way out of left field, and really has nothing to do with letterpress, but bear with me.  With the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup going on down in South Africa, I’ve found it difficult to stay fully on-task, all day long for the past week or so without periodically checking my iPhone or the internet for updated soccer scores.  Along with this, I’ve also been checking in periodically on the blog of the one South African artist I know of, Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx, hoping to see some photos or updates from someone who’s actual right there where the World Cup is happening.  (If you’re curious about Skinny Laminx, go check out Heather’s Etsy Shop.  I’ve purchased her tea towels and aprons before and trust me, they are awesome).  Heather hasn’t posted much about the World Cup on her site, but as I was catching up on her blog this morning, I did run across a pretty awesome bicycle video.

Cycling is another sport that I can get behind, as much as, if not more than, soccer.  I love riding my bike places instead of driving, and quite frankly, Eugene/Portland/Oregon in general are some of the most bike-friendly places I’ve ever lived in or been to.  Bicycling is pretty much a culture in and of itself up here.

Anyway, The Bicycle Portraits Project, which takes viewers on a bike-themed tour of South Africa, one of which is set to the most unusual version of the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” that I’ve ever heard is being funded through Kickstarter Funding, and I think it’s a pretty nifty project.  I’ve reposted the videos below, so go check it out!

Baby Announcements | Cameron Claire

A few months ago a friend I’ve been working with for a while now on business-related graphic design work and printing, Amy, had her first child, a beautiful and absolutely adorable little girl named Cameron.  Amy and her husband, Matt, wanted a cute little announcement that they could send out to family and friends with a photo announcing Cameron’s birth.  Here is what we came up with:

Cameron’s announcement is an A2 size card with rounded corners, that features two little buzzing bees and their pink dotted flight paths.  The announcement was printed in three ink colors: black, yellow and a bright, cheery, strawberry pink.  The announcement was paired with a matching strawberry pink envelope from Waste Not Paper Company and the family’s return address and another little bee were letterpress printed on the back flap.

Twin Ravens Press doesn’t print nearly as many birth announcements as we do wedding invitation suites and related materials, but I absolutely love doing them when we get the chance!  A letterpress printed birth announcement is such a classy, sweet and charming way to announce/introduce the newest member of your family!  Check out some more close-ups of Cameron’s below!

Aren’t they just too cute!?!  If you or someone you know has, or is going to have a new addition soon, and you’re interested in birth announcements or shower invitations, please contact us!  We’d love to work with you!

Thanks so much again Amy, Matt and Cameron!  You guys are awesome!

Twin Ravens Press & BnS Letterpress Interviewed by FLUX!

We recently participated in a video interview by John Bansky and Amy Carr of Flux Magazine.  Flux is both a printed magazine and a collection of video stories written and produced by the students of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.  FLUX Magazine, the traditional way the world has experienced FLUX, is an award-winning print magazine that delivers gripping feature stories and stunning photos. FLUXstories is the next step, bringing the excellence of FLUX Magazine to the digital world.

If you’ve ever been curious about what the letterpress process looks like, or wanted to hear about it from me and one of my favorite letterpress printer friends, Bob Giles, check out this video!  If you’d like to see more videos in FLUXstories recent collection, entitled “Do it Yourself, Again!”, you can find the videos here and more about the magazine here.  Enjoy!


The Letterpress Revival – FLUX Magazine – Do it Yourself (Again)

Weddings | Jackie & Brandon

Right before I left for New York City a few weeks ago, I printed a set of invitations for a couple who are getting married this upcoming August at The Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, New York.  These invitations are on the large side, measuring 7″x7″ square, but boy does the large size help to show off the awesome designs on the sides and the totally sweet three-color letterpress printing!  

The three colors we used for these invitations were a nice medium grey, bright yellow and a deep magenta pink.  The design was created by an outside designer that we’ve worked with before, Christina Reinersman, of Villa Hills, Kentucky.  We worked directly with Christina for coordinating the printing of these invitations.  If you like this design, get in touch with Christina, as I’m sure she’d be happy to work with you to design an invitation for your upcoming event.  Here are some more photos so you can see the beautiful and very intricate design elements Christina used on the invitation:

Thanks so much for working with us Christina and Jackie!  You are awesome!

Save the Date | Shannon and Stuart are Getting Married!

Sometimes I look around this studio and wonder where the time has gone.  It was nearly two months ago that we printed these Save-the-Date cards for a super-nice couple in Topeka, Kansas, Shannon & Stuart.  Shannon had seen our Origami Crane cards in our Etsy shop and hired us to design and print a simple Save-the-Date of a similar design.  Here you can see what we came up with!   

Shannon and Stuart’s Save-the-Dates are a cute, simple A2 size card (measuring 4.25″x5.5″) printed on Pearl White Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper in black ink.  We used a charming script font for all of their save-the-date information and printed a single, white origami crane at the top of the card.  I absolutely love how sweet and simple this design turned out and I can’t wait to see what we come up with for their actual invitations!

We paired these Save-the-Dates with a light pink envelope from Waste Not Paper Company and printed Shannon & Stuart’s return address on the flap, also in black ink.  Aren’t they just adorable?!?  Be sure to keep an eye out in the coming months if you want to see some more origami crane wedding goodness!  Thanks so much again Shannon & Stuart!

You Turn Me On.

Happy Friday everyone!  It’s been quite a while since I listed anything new in our etsy shop, so I figured today was as good of a day as any to remedy that.  Way back in January I had some big plans to release several new greeting card designs for Valentine’s Day, and then I broke my leg, and my attention immediately shifted from doing both custom work and creating new cards for the shop, to making sure that custom work got done.  As a result, we didn’t release anything new for Valentine’s Day, which is okay.  Sometimes things happen that are out of your control.  I did, however, print up this super-fun, geeky, sassy, little card right before my accident and even though it’s no longer Valentine’s season, I figured, “Hey, you can be geeky and turned on at any point during the year.  Why not celebrate that?”  So, here it is folks, the Twin Ravens Press “You Turn Me On” card.

These cards are printed on 100% cotton Crane Lettra paper with silver ink and each card comes with a coordinating light blue envelope.  They can be purchased individually here in our etsy shop, or if you are a retailer interested in ordering these in bulk at our wholesale price, please contact me directly.

In other Etsy-related news, our String of Crane’s cards were featured in an Etsy Treasury today entitled “Full Spectrum. Go.”. It’s a pretty cool treasury with a wide variety of super-colorful items.  Go and check it out here.  If you’d like to purchase some of our String of Cranes cards, they are also available in our etsy shop here and here.

Have a fantastic weekend!