Visit Us at the 4th Annual Letterpress Printer's Fair in Portland!

We’ve been super-busy this week preparing for the 4th Annual Letterpress Printer’s Fair in Portland, Oregon tomorrow!  If you’re in Portland, come down to 323 SE Division Place, next to the Em Space Book Arts Center and visit us!  This is an annual fair featuring local and regional Letterpress printers and book artists, suppliers of letterpress equipment and type, ephemera, rarities, broadsides, cards and more!  Twin Ravens Press will be showing off new items from our custom printing portfolio, and we will also have cards, coasters and other art prints for sale.  This is a great event to come and hang out with us and meet lots of other wonderful artists and printers too!

Other fair participants include:

Alisa Walton, American Amateur Press Association, Art Bureau, Autumnattic Press, Bedouin Books, Cathemeral Press, Caitlin Harris, Cindi Pedersen, Em Space Book Arts Center, Independent Publishing Resource Center, Ink in Tubes, Keeganmeegan & Co., May Day Press, One O.A.K. Book Arts, Painted Tongue Studios, Phillip Stewart, Platemark X, Power and Light Press, Red Bat Press, Rendij Studio, Tiger Food Press, Triangular Press, Zebra Press and more.

You won’t want to miss it!  Hope to see you there!

Custom Business Cards | Frauke Nelte Photography

Check out these awesome new business cards we designed and letterpress printed for Frauke of Frauke Nelte Photography! Frauke specializes in digital landscape photography and is based out of Eugene, Oregon.  When she and I originally talked, she wanted to incorporate elements of a landscape as well as a camera or an image of other photographic equipment into her card.  She also wanted a card that was unique and would stand out in a crowd.  These are what we came up with!

Frauke’s cards are 2.5″ squares with rounded corners and are printed on custom duplex Wausau Eclipse Black paper.  These cards feature two of my favorite, modern typefaces, a vintage 4″x5″ camera imprinted in the background and a lovely tree with leaves floating down amongst the text.  Originally, Frauke wanted to incorporate an image of a tree from her home town in Germany that she had taken into the design of the card, but the tree was so large that we ended up making a smaller, graphical representation of one of its branches to use, rather than the whole tree itself.  As a finishing touch, each of these cards features matching copper edge painting, which really helps make the copper text and tree stand out.  

Aren’t these awesome!?!  Check out Frauke’s photography on her website, and if you’re interested in working with her, you can contact her by email.  Thanks so much for working with me on these Frauke!  Keep up the beautiful work!

New Greeting Cards for Spring & Summer!

Hi all!  In case you haven’t visited our Etsy Store in a while, I wanted to make you aware of three lovely new letterpress cards from our studio that are available now!  Above you will see three new designs I’ve released this spring/summer.  Clockwise from left are our Origami Pigs in Love, Magnolia Thank You Cards & Elegant Calligraphy Thank You Cards.  All three of these greeting card designs were inspired by our fabulous custom printing clients, and we thought they were so fun and/or beautiful, that we couldn’t resist offering them to you as well!

The Origami Pigs in Love cards are available as singles for $4.00 each, and are perfect for Valentines, anniversary cards or just to say “I love you!”.  The two different thank you cards are available as singles for $4.00, sets of 6 for $20.00 or sets of 10 for $28.00.  Each of these cards are 4bar size and were printed on 100% cotton paper.  Each also comes with a coordinating envelope.  Go check them out in our Etsy Store today!

Shop Twin Ravens Press at Type Books!

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Canadians rejoice!  Now you can shop for Twin Ravens Press products at two lovely Type Books locations in Toronto, Ontario! Type Books buyer, Lauren Stewart, contacted us back in March and ordered several of our greeting cards and other letterpress products for her stores.

If you’re in Toronto (or are planning to visit Toronto anytime soon), you should check out Type Books!  They have two locations, one at 883 Queen Street West and a second at 427 Spadina Road.  For their hours and additional information, please check out their website.

If you are not in Toronto, but would like to check out our products in person, check out our Stockists page to find the retailer nearest you!  If there are currently no retailers in your area carrying our products, and you know of someone who might be interested in them, please send us an e-mail and we would be happy to send you or your retailer a wholesale catalog and price sheet.  You can also check out our greeting cards online in our etsy shop.

Thanks so much for working with us Lauren!  I hope you and your customers love your new letterpress goodies!

 

Weddings | Jennifer & Brandon

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This lovely, formal set of black and white wedding invitations was the suite that I had intended to post on this blog back in March, on the day that I broke my hand.  Obviously, due to extenuating circumstances, this post didn’t go up back in March, but I still love this set of invites and think that you should get to see them after the fact, anyway.

Jennifer and Brandon had a formal wedding in Newport Beach, California on April 1st of this year.  They hired Twin Ravens to design and print their wedding invitation suite as well as all of the paper goods for their wedding day.  You can see all of the pieces in the invitation suite in the above photo.  The suite included an A7 size reception invitation, a smaller A2 size invitation to a smaller ceremony, an rsvp card and corresponding silver envelope and a set of inner/outer envelopes (the inner was black and the outer was white).  All of the main cards were printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton duplex paper in Pearl White with black letterpress ink.  A funky, yet formal mix of fonts and flourishes characterized the design of this suite.

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Above you can see Jen and Brandon’s ceremony invitation all by itself.  Prior to their evening reception, they held a small, private ceremony in Crystal Cove State Park with their closest friends and family.  I really love the classic elegance of these black and white invitations, combined with an awesome mix of both script and roman typefaces.  We used lots of little flourishes throughout the designs of each piece to add decoration and create natural separations of information on each card.

The photo on the top right below is a detail photo of the ceremony invitation, and the two other photos in the grouping are of the larger, A7 invite.  While the designs for the ceremony and reception invites are very similar in style, you’ll notice small design differences, if you look closely, that set the two designs apart.  We used different fonts for different parts of each invitation and we treated the date on both pieces very differently from one design to the other.  Like I said above, I love how we were able to incorporate so many unique fonts into this design, while still keeping everything very elegant!

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For the envelopes, we printed Jen’s parent’s address in black ink on the back flap of a matching white outer envelope.  Their inner envelope was a contrasting black, and Jen hired a calligrapher to write their guest’s names in white ink on each one.  I imagine that these were just stunning!

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Their reply card was designed to match the style of the invitations and included areas for guests to check their response and indicate what entree selection they desired for the reception.  Each reply card was paired with a shimmery silver reply card envelope, also printed with Jen’s parent’s address in black ink.

After their invitations had been sent out, Jen hired me to design a few more stationery pieces for their wedding day.  In the photo below, clockwise from top left, you can see her table numbers, escort cards, and thank you cards with envelopes.  The table numbers were printed with flourishes at the top and bottom and Jen had her calligrapher write in each of the table numbers to match the calligraphy that she had done on the invitation envelopes.  The escort cards were shaped like shipping tags and had each guest’s name written in calligraphy in the center of the tag between two letterpress flourishes.

undefinedundefinedundefinedJen and Brandon’s custom thank you cards are classic and enduring, stylistically.  For these cards we picked one of the flourishy script faces from their invitations and laid it out so that the flourishes stretched off of the front of each card with the words “Thank You” on a diagonal across the center.  These cards were printed on 110 lb. Crane Lettra paper in Pearl White and were blank on the inside so that Jen & Brandon could write their own personal message to each guest.  The thank you card envelopes were black printed with their return address in silver ink on each flap.  If you’d like to check out Jen & Brandon’s save-the-dates that we printed earlier in the year, you can here.

Thanks so much again for working with us Jen!  I wish you two all the best!

A Cautionary Tale…

Hello blog & lovely blog readers!  I have missed you!  It’s sure been a long time.  I’ll admit, I have bouts where I’m much better at frequent blogging than others, but you haven’t seen hide nor hair of me in over two months!  My sincere apologies.  I do have a good excuse for my abrupt and extremely lengthy absence, however.  If you are a current customer or friend, or if you were back at the end of March, you’ve already heard this story personally, but if you aren’t or you’re new to this space, I want to share with you the terrible accident I was in that caused me to be out of this for so long.

Allow me to preface this by saying that what happened to me was terrible, but it could have been a lot worse.  I, as well as almost every other letterpress printer I know, have heard stories of other printers losing fingers entirely to their equipment.  The gentleman I apprenticed under was trained by his father and his father lost two of his fingers to the gears on his press.  After his accident, he still continued printing until about two weeks before his death.  He was in his ’80s.  I, however, still have all of my fingers and am making a relatively swift and full recovery.  I consider myself immensely lucky and fortunate for how this situation worked out.

A little over eight weeks ago, on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 30th, I was in an accident involving a letterpress that crushed several bones and tendons in my right hand and broke both my index and middle fingers.  Generally speaking, letterpress printing is usually very safe.  The printing process does involve a lot of large, antique, heavy machinery, that when operated safely poses very little risk for injury.  Despite this though, accidents can happen.  I’ve been letterpress printing as the proprietor of Twin Ravens Press for the last four years, and have been letterpress printing in other capacities for the past nine years.  This is my first, and, hopefully, will be my only accident involving this equipment.

Occasionally I take on interns from the University of Oregon.  Most of my interns are either art or journalism students who are interested in the printing process, and I teach them about letterpress printing and how to print, in exchange for help around my shop, and they receive college credit.  I had had a new intern at that time who had been coming by once a week for about three weeks prior and I had instructed her to come up with a project that she wanted to print in order to learn the process.  She designed a set of business cards for herself, and on March 30th, we were to begin printing them.  I helped my intern set up the press and demonstrated how to feed paper in and out of it to create well registered prints.  The press we were working on was a motor-driven, 8×12 Chandler & Price platen press.  It’s about 980 lbs. and sits on about a 3 foot square footprint.  It looks like this:

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When it was her turn to print, I was standing on the left side of the press near the giant flywheel that you see in the foreground of the photo, and I was operating the handle that you see sticking up.  This handle is the print/trip handle.  When it is in an upright position (like in the photo), the platen of the press comes about 3/8″ from closing as the press runs, but doesn’t close all the way.  When the handle is pulled forward, the platen closes all the way, which is what creates a print.  My intern was practicing feeding paper into the press and taking it out and was truly doing a great job as a beginner!  She mentioned at one point though that she was nervous about how quickly the press opens and closed and didn’t want to feed the paper all the way in.  Here’s where my mistake came in.  I was watching my intern who was standing at the front of the press (where she should be), and decided to reach over the top of the flywheel and into the platen to adjust her paper, while the motor was running.  I was looking at my intern and not paying full attention to what I was doing with my hands.  The platen, which is made up of the two, large, steel halves of the press that physically press your paper and printing plate together to create a print closed on my hand.  It only took about 30 seconds from when I put my hand in there and when the press re-opened for the smashing to occur.  Luckily, the press was on “trip”, not “print”, so the platen didn’t close all the way, however, hands are a lot thicker than 3/8″ and the speed and pressure of the press closing for that mere 30 seconds was enough to break two of my fingers and cause significant damage to the rest of my hand.  I’ll spare you a lot of the gory details, but let me just say that there weren’t even choice 4-letter words to describe what that felt like.  Fellow Letterpress Printer Friends: Don’t ever do this – it’s terrible, and an experience that no one deserves to have.  Even if you think you know how quickly your press opens and closes, make sure you can see your hands and pay full attention to what you’re doing, at all times.

My intern rushed me to the hospital where I spent the next three and a half hours getting x-rays and lots and lots of ice.  While I was there my hand swelled up to about the size of a small grapefruit and the doctors couldn’t do anything to fix it until the swelling went down.  So, they put me in a splint and sent me home.  I went back in about a week and was put in a hard cast.  The hard cast was on for a couple more weeks and then I was re-splinted for three-ish more weeks.  I’ve been out of the splints and casts now for almost two weeks and doing physical therapy, and I’m getting much better.  My injury didn’t require surgery, and while I’m still a little swollen, and have one scar across the top of my hand (that they say will probably go away with time), I feel really lucky.  I can move both of the fingers that were broken and can type and pick things up almost the way I used to.  I still can’t pick up heavy objects and am having some minor dexterity problems, but I’m working with occupational hand therapists to correct this and they expect me to make a full recovery.  I’ve started printing again, and am slowly taking on new jobs.

I have a lot of wonderful people to thank for helping me out over the last two months.  In particular, my very supportive boyfriend Alex, and good friend Darcy Jeffs.  Darcy is starting up her own letterpress business, Neue School Press, and she has been giving up her weekends for the last two months to come to my shop and help me print my client’s jobs.  Without all of her help, I would have had to turn away a lot of work and a lot of clients whom I was already in the middle of working on jobs with.  She’s been amazing.  I also owe a huge thanks to Katie Campbell for typing countless emails for me while I couldn’t type, and to Robin Bachtler Cushman, Sarah Degrandis, Ben Weiner, Eleanor Dizon, Emma Froh and Bob Giles for volunteering their time to help me do my job when I couldn’t.  I also owe thanks to a handful of wonderful current and former clients who sent flowers, cards and/or care packages upon hearing about my accident.  You really helped brighten my days those first few weeks!  Thank you.  I’ve been overwhelmed by how truly understanding and patient just about everyone has been with this situation, and I feel very lucky to have such wonderful clients and supportive friends in my life.  You all rock!

Now, for those who are curious, I did take a few photos on and off throughout the healing process.  If somewhat gruesome pictures make you squeamish, you may want to stop reading now.  Our regularly scheduled blogging about awesome letterpress will resume next week.  Thanks so much for sticking with me!

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Shop Twin Ravens Press at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge!

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Ladies and Gents, I have been a terrible blogger this month.  My apologies.  It’s been an uber-busy month around here though, and boy, do I have all kinds of cool stuff to show and tell you about!  Today though, I want to give a shout out to Martha B. in Anchorage, Alaska, who just started carrying our cards in her store, Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge!  Modern Dwellers is Anchorage, Alaska’s only chocolate lounge, featuring chocolate bars and hand crafted artisan truffles from around the world, rich drinking chocolates, a full espresso bar, as well as fine art, handmade jewelry, and now, letterpress printed greeting cards and gifts!  Modern Dweller’s is our very first retailer in Alaska and I couldn’t be more excited that they’re carrying our products!

If you’re in Anchorage (or are planning to visit Anchorage anytime soon), you should check out Modern Dwellers!  They have two locations, one at 751 East 36th Avenue and a second at 423 G. Street.  For their hours and additional information, please check out their website from the link above!

If you are not in Alaska, but would like to check out our products in person, check out our Stockists page to find the retailer nearest you!  If there are currently no retailers in your particular state carrying our products and you know of someone who might be interested in them, please send us an e-mail and we would be happy to send you or your retailer a wholesale catalog and price sheet.  You can also check out our greeting cards online in our etsy shop.

Thanks so much for working with us Martha!  I hope you and your customers love your new letterpress goodies!

Weddings | Thom & Rachelle

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Check out this awesome, modern set of wedding invitations I finished last week for southern California couple, Thom and Rachelle!  Thom is a graphic designer and design professor, and he designed these invitations and hired us to print them!  If you’d like to check out more of Thom’s awesome work, you can find his portfolio here.  Thom and Rachelle’s invitation suite included an A7 size invitation, a 4bar size reply card with corresponding envelope, and an inner/outer envelope set.  All pieces were printed on Crane Lettra Pearl White paper and the envelopes were also Pearl White Lettra envelopes from Crane & Co.  undefined

Isn’t this just a gorgeous invitation?!?  I love Thom’s use of bright, saturated orange ink for the big script “And” and all of the little slashes separating the information below their names.  I also love the fact that they chose a dark grey for the rest of the ink, rather than black or another color.  The combination of the two is modern and eye-catching, but still formal and beautiful, all at the same time.

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Thom and Rachelle’s envelopes were designed to match.  The outer envelope is simply printed with Rachelle’s return address in orange on the back flap.  The inner envelope is unprinted, but was custom lined with a gorgeous, red and cream, Italian patterned paper.  I love the way an envelope liner can add so much more texture and interest, to an otherwise basic envelope; and I just love the pattern that they picked!

The response card and envelope, which you can see below, was also designed to match.  It’s a standard 4bar size, printed again in both orange and grey and came with a corresponding white envelope with an orange address.  I love how Thom and Rachelle made the word “Please” stand out on their RSVP card in the same way that they made the “and” stand out on the invitation.

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Aren’t these just gorgeous invitations!?!  If you like this design you should definitely check out Thom’s website that I linked to above.  He’s also done design work for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Metropolitan Master Chorale and Mendocino Farms, as well as several other businesses and organizations.  Check it out!

And here’s one more shot of their fabulous invite…

undefinedThanks so much for working with me Thom and Rachelle!  If you ever need anything else printed, please don’t hesitate to ask.  All the best!

Custom Business Cards | Steel Bloom Flowers

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Hi everybody!  I apologize for my long blogging absence last week, but things have been super-busy around here.  The great thing about that though, is that it means I have a lot of new, very cool work to show you in the coming days.  Today I want to show off a very unique and cool set of business cards for a little floral design business in Bend, Oregon, called Steel Bloom Flowers.  Steel Bloom’s owners, Stephanie & Mark McKinley, hired me to design and letterpress print their cards as well as come up with their logo and branding, and I’m super-excited about how all of it turned out!

In the photo above you can see Stephanie’s business cards (front and back) on the left and her tags for bouquets, arrangements and such on the right.  These cards are really unique and exciting!   They were printed on a custom duplexed, black, 180 lb. Wausau Eclipse Black stock.  We used silver ink for the main information and logo text on these cards, and then printed the Dahlia logo in the background using a slightly shiny black ink to create a varnish effect.  All of the cards feature rounded corners and all of them were were edge-painted with metallic silver.  Aren’t they awesome?!?

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You’ll very rarely see my fingers in the photos on this blog, but for these cards I needed to show you how cool the black on black printing for Steel Bloom’s flower motif was.  When held in the sunlight, the flower really shimmers on each card.  I love the contrast too of the silver ink on the black.  We often have customers ask us if we can print white on black.  White on black really isn’t an option for letterpress printing since white letterpress ink is actually clear.  It doesn’t show up well on dark stocks.  I think that using silver though, creates a beautiful effect and is definitely a lot more readable than a non-opaque white ink ever could be.

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In the photos above, you can see the backs of Stephanie’s business cards.  The backs have a slightly smaller dahlia motif, centered, and Steel Bloom’s logo on the back.

Below is a close-up of the tags.  Steel Bloom’s tags are a 2.5″ square shape with rounded corners printed on the same custom duplexed, Wassau Eclipse Black stock we used for their business cards.  These were printed single sided with the black-on-black dahlia in the background and silver text over the top.  Each of these cards was also edge-painted in metallic silver, which you can see in the bottom right photo below.  It’s such a cool effect!

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Stephanie also ordered several adorable enclosure cards from us in different designs to pair with her arrangements.  Some feature the dahlia on a small, white folded card in either black, grey or silver, and others feature small hearts in the center of white cards in red, pink or silver.

I actually got to visit Steel Bloom Flowers and meet Stephanie and Mark in person over President’s Day weekend and it was so much fun to see their shop and actually meet them in person.  If you are in Bend, definitely stop by Steel Bloom Flowers on Arizona Avenue!  Stephanie and Mark are awesome!

 

Programs, Thank You Cards & Favor Tags | Lindsay & Shawn

A lovely couple that we’ve been working with for quite some time, is getting married tomorrow in La Quinta, California!  Twin Ravens Press has worked with Lindsay and Shawn all throughout their wedding planning process on all of their stationery items from Save-the-Dates and invitations, through paper goods for the ceremony, and thank you cards for after.  This really and truly was a complete letterpress package!  If you missed the blog posts I did earlier on their Save-the-Dates or Invitations, you may want to go back and take a look at those, as they were pretty incredible.

Today, however, on the day before they are going to be married, I wanted to show off to you the last of the paper goods we created for their wedding.  We carried the same design elements, colors and theme through these pieces that we used on the save-the-dates and invitations, to really create a gorgeous, cohesive package.

As a favor for their guests, Lindsay and Shawn are planning to give away little bags of cookies from one of Lindsay’s favorite bakeries.  Twin Ravens Press designed and letterpress printed a cute set of 2″ round hang tags for each cookie bag.  These tags are going to have pink and black ribbon threaded through them and the ribbon will tie each glassine bag of cookies shut.  The tag features the couple’s last name, their wedding date and a little letterpress printed heart.  Aren’t these cute?

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For their programs, Lindsay and Shawn chose to go with a fairly traditional format.  This program measure 5″x7″ folded and has letterpress printing on all four of it’s panels.  The front panel, or cover, features their names, wedding date, the name of their church and their monogram.  The inside of the program has information about the wedding party on the left side and all of the ceremony information on the right.  The back panel of the program features a sweet message from Lindsay and Shawn to their guests and an “In Loving Memory” section where they name all of their late relatives who will be with them in spirit.

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I love how we were able to incorporate both of the fonts from Lindsay and Shawn’s invitations into this program, while still keeping everything very organized and easy to read.

All of the pieces that you’re seeing in this post were printed on Antique White Holyoke 100% cotton rag paper with black ink.

Last, but not least, we created a lovely, formal set of wedding thank you cards for Lindsay and Shawn to use after their wedding.  The front of each card features just their monogram, printed in black ink and the back side has a heart with their last name below it.  Lindsay has been using light pink envelopes throughout her wedding exclusively, but for these cards we chose to instead pair them with a matching white envelope, so that Lindsay could use these cards as personal stationery as well, after all of her thank you’s have been sent out.  I think this is a great idea and gives the cards a lot of versatility!

undefinedundefinedLindsay and Shawn have been a wonderful couple to work with throughout this entire process and I’m so excited for them for their wedding tomorrow!  Congratulations Lindsay and Shawn!  Thanks again for working with us and all the best to both of you!