Laura & Scott are Getting Married!

This is one of the prettiest, most-unique, one-color, wedding sets I’ve completed in the past few weeks and there are several more to come!  A lovely Canadian bride, Laura, contacted me back in January about some Twin Ravens Press designs she had seen on Wedding Bee and a design that she really liked that she had seen on this blog.  The design she really really liked was a design we had printed for another couple, Lindsay and Jordan, back in November of last year.  You can read about that design here.  

For Laura & Scott’s stationery we wanted to stick with the same general idea layout-wise as Lindsay & Jordan’s stationery, but we changed up the color scheme and added in some additional elements.  Laura & Scott’s suite included four pieces: the main invite, the invitation envelope, the reply card envelope and a really cool perforated reply/accommodations card combination.  You can see an image of the full suite at the top of this post.  
Here are Laura & Scott’s invitation and perforated combination card together: 
Both cards are an A7 size and both were printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton ecru paper in navy blue ink.  Both the accommodations section of the combination card and the main wedding invitation were blind embossed with a pattern of diagonal lines.  Blind embossing is one of the best, low-cost, ways to create some extra depth and interest to any letterpress printed design, particularly ones that are printed in a single ink color.  Here is a close up of the embossed pattern we did on the bottom left-hand corner of Laura’s wedding invitation:
Here is a close-up photo of Laura and Scott’s wedding invitation by itself:

I love the way that the blind embossing acts as a frame around all of the centered information on this invite and I absolutely love the beautifully organic border separating the blind embossed space from the invitation wording.  It’s beautiful and classic while still being modern and unique looking! 
 I must say though, that my favorite part of this suite is the combination reply and accommodations card.  It was Laura’s idea to combine the two small card designs into one larger one and perforate the card in the center so that her guests could tear off the reply card to mail back while retaining the information about accommodations.  You can see the full card in a couple of images I’ve already posted above.  The top half of the card I tried to design to be very similar looking to the invitation, except that the frame is horizontal instead of vertical.  We used the same fonts in both designs and we continued the blind embossed pattern around the sides of the frame.  
The bottom half of their perforated card was the reply card portion.  The reply card had no blind embossing, however we continued with the navy blue ink and fonts from the other two pieces to keep all of the elements in the suite consistent.  Laura had a couple of different questions to ask her guests other than whether or not they would attend, including what dinner entree they would like to have at the wedding and what songs would get them out on the dance floor!  Here is an image of the reply card portion: 
For the meal options, we used small icons of a chicken, cow and carrots (to represent vegetables), rather than writing out the meal options with regular wording.  I love using icons to represent different options and think it is a cute and super-fun thing to do on a reply card for a wedding!  
The last (but certainly not least!) element I would like to share from Laura & Scott’s suite is their envelopes.  Laura and Scott ordered two sets of envelopes (one set of A7 size envelopes for mailing out their invitations, and one set of 4bar reply card envelopes for the reply cards).  Both sets of envelopes are a very deep navy blue color from Waste Not Paper Company.   Both sets have European pointed flaps and have the couple’s address printed on either the front (for the reply envelope) or back flap (for the invitation envelope) in a bright metallic silver ink.  Check those out below: 
I love the way metallic inks look on dark papers, and I think this was a gorgeous way to round-out Laura & Scott’s suite!  Laura was a wonderful client to work with and I know she and Scott are going to have a beautiful wedding celebration later this summer!  
Congratulations Laura & Scott and thanks again!

My Cousin Rocks!

I hope everyone’s tax day went smoothly.  So once again things are quite busy here and I don’t have any totally awesome photos of new work ready to show off to you at this moment, however, my mom sent me this awesome video today of one of my younger cousins skydiving in Arizona, and I must say, I don’t know that I would ever have the guts to do this, but it’s pretty kick ass, nonetheless.  Check it out: 


Okay, this one isn’t letterpress, or wedding, or stationery related in the slightest, so if that’s all you’ve come for, you may want to skip it.  However, I saw this photo this morning on ffffound! and thought I needed to share it with you.  It seems like living in a college town you see tons of “Lost Dog” and “Lost Cat” posters up on telephone posts and bulletin boards every spring (well, and all times of the year), but I thought that this poster, even though it probably wasn’t put up in my town, was, in a word: awesome.  

I have lots of awesome new stationery to share with you later this week!  Stay tuned!

From the inbox…

You may remember a post I did back in October, prior to the most recent Presidential Election about some cards that I designed and printed in support of the Obama campaign.  You don’t remember that post?  Well then, you can go back and read about it here.  We ended up giving away all of the cards as a result of that posting and today I received a lovely e-mail message from one of the recipients.  She wrote: 

I’m one of the people that you gave an Obama card to back in October and I just wanted to let you know how it ended up. I framed it and gave it to my mom for Christmas.  I was a little nervous about it because it was a good bit smaller in comparison and not made by me as my sisters presents were, but she absolutely loved it.  (She definitely got a little teary eyed.) 
Thank you so much!
She even sent us a picture of the framed card we sent her, which you can see at the top of this post.  Pretty cool, don’t you think?  It’s always great to hear from people who are enjoying your work.  

In case you were wondering, I no longer have any more of the Obama cards from the original printing.  However, because of their popularity, I am considering doing a second printing, which I will post about here, when and if it ends up happening.  It won’t be for a little while, due to the number of different custom jobs for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and baby showers/announcements that are currently in the works, but I will definitely keep you posted.  

Thanks so much Caitlan, and I’m so glad you and your mom loved the card!

Wedding Sneak Peek

I’m very excited about a rather large wedding invitation order that I’ve been working on printing this past week.  The wedding colors are deep plum and white and I’ve already printed the invitations, reply cards, outer invitation envelopes and reply card envelopes.  Those four pieces, as well as the unprinted inner invitation envelopes are on our house paper, Crane Lettra in Pearl White, printed with deep plum colored ink.  This wedding set also includes a reception card, menus and programs.  The reception card, menus and programs are being printed in a cream (almost white) colored ink on a custom made deep plum colored paper.  I just finished the reception cards and boy do they look cool!  Check them out above and below: 

Pretty fancy, unique and awesome, don’t you think?  (The photos were taken in the shop, which explains the uneven lighting and the press and other accoutrements in the background).  
The custom paper was made by Porridge Papers in Lincoln, Nebraska.  If you are unfamiliar with Porridge, they are a small batch custom paper-making studio.  All of their paper is made to order and they have some really fun options, like custom colors (just about any color you could want), scented papers, sparkly papers and plantable papers with growable seeds embedded in them. If you have the budget for it, having custom paper made is definitely a wonderful option for your wedding invitations or other special event.  We are also printing the menus and programs for this suite on this same plum colored paper.   Watch out for those and the rest of this suite in a later post!  

Save the Date | Sherry & Thomas are Getting Married!

I mentioned in my post yesterday, that it’s been really busy around here lately with custom work. Most of the custom work I’ve been doing this time of year is for weddings!  Typically spring, summer and early fall are the most popular times of year for people to get married and because of this, we’re always busy in the winter working on wedding invitations for people getting married in the spring, summer and early fall of the coming year.  So this will be the first of several posts coming up that have to do with upcoming weddings!  
Right after I returned from Japan last November, I was contacted by a lovely bride-to-be in the Washington, DC area about creating a set of 200, custom Save-the-Date cards and wedding invitations for her September 2009 wedding.  Sherry told me that she didn’t have a particular theme for her upcoming West Virginia wedding, but that she wanted her stationery to be simple yet elegant and in a classic color scheme: black and white.  
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about different possibilities for classic, elegant, black & white color schemes, partly because it seems to be in vogue this season, but also because classic black and white letterpress printing on white 100% cotton paper is always beautiful regardless of the time, year or event.  Many historical letterpress invitations and announcements that I have seen were printed in black and white with beautiful typography and were just as beautiful then as the ones we’re doing now.  
I gave Sherry and Thomas several options, but this is the one they liked the best:
I originally designed this Save-the-Date as an A6 size, which would measure 4.5″ x 6.25″, but after looking at the design for a while, Sherry decided she wanted it a lot smaller.  So we altered the design to be a 4bar size (3.5″ x 4.875″).  This is the size I typically use for reply cards and the like, and I have never actually used it for a Save-the-Date card prior to Sherry and Thomas’.  After seeing it in print though I’m really in love with the small, gorgeousness of it and I’m going to start suggesting it to other potential custom clients.  
These Save-the-Dates were printed on Crane’s 100% cotton lettra paper in Pearl White and came with matching 4bar 100% cotton lettra envelopes, also from Crane.  I love how the scroll pattern we used in the background and to frame the text turned out.  I printed it as a blind emboss, which is where you print a design on the letterpress without ink, just to get the impression and textural affect and in this design it turned out beautifully!  You can see a detail of the pattern in the image at the beginning of this post as well as in the photo below: 
Isn’t it gorgeous?!?  This new scroll pattern is one that I recently came up with and have never used before and I just love the way that it looks!
Here is a detail of the little 4bar envelope that is paired with it.  We used the same font that Sherry and Thomas picked for their names on the Save-the-Date and printed the return address on the back flap of the envelope.  I love how Crane’s Lettra envelopes truly match the texture of their paper.  If you are planning to use Crane’s paper for your letterpress project and want a white (or off-white), pointed or square flap envelope to match, I would highly recommend going with theirs.  They are beautiful looking, feel great to the touch and print with just the slightest bit of impression without the impression showing on the other side.  Simply gorgeous!
Sherry & Thomas have also hired me for the design work and printing of the rest of their wedding stationery so if you love the way their Save-the-Dates turned out as much as we do, check back in a month or two for the rest of their stationery.  I know it’s going to be gorgeous!  
Congratulations Sherry & Thomas!  I’m looking forward to working with you more!

Don't Divorce…

I work with a lot of people all over the world who are getting married.  These people want to share their life with another person completely.  They want to start families.  They want to be there for each other and support each other through good times and bad.  In my opinion, it is beyond all reason that two individuals who want to be wed and have families should be prevented from doing so.  I think that it’s pretty powerful and very lucky if you believe you’ve found that one person in your life that you want to share everything with and can’t imagine being without.  

Last month, Ken Starr, who led the campaign to impeach former President Bill Clinton in 1998, filed a legal brief on behalf of the “Yes on 8” campaign.  If validated it would forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in the state of California last year before the passage of Proposition 8 in November.  
The video entitled “Fidelity”: Don’t Divorce… was Courage Campaign’s response to this action.  Courage Campaign is an online organizing network that empowers nearly 400,000+ grassroots activists to push for progressive change in California.  Watch the video, and if it moves you, you can sign their letter to the California Supreme Court asking them to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr’s case, and allow all loving, committed couples to marry regardless of their sexuality or gender(s).  

From the Mailbox…

Hello, world!  Sorry it’s been a whole week since my last post, but things have been pretty busy around here.  I got something totally awesome in the mail at the end of last week though that I wanted to share with you.  Do you remember the couple that I wrote about last month who are getting married in Spain, Isabel & Luis?  If not, click on that link and  you can go read about them and then come back here.  
I knew when I printed Isa’s stationery that she had more planned for her invitation suite than what I was printing for her, but I had no idea to what extent she was planning for the rest.  So she sent me one!  As I mentioned in my previous post, Isa designed her whole suite herself and then hired Twin Ravens Press to do the letterpress printing for her invites, RSVP cards and invitation envelopes.  
Check out what I got in the mail:
Here is what the invitation envelope looked like when it arrived in my mailbox.  Check out the beautiful calligraphy on the front!  I’m not sure, but I think Isabel did the calligraphy herself.  I don’t currently offer calligraphy as one of my services, but, I do know of some wonderful calligraphers in the Eugene/Springfield area that I would be happy to recommend if you think you’d like your invitations printed by me, but want calligraphy for the envelopes.  It’s also fairly easy to find a calligrapher in your area if you are not local to Eugene if you’d like me to do your printing and want someone in your area to do the calligraphy.  As far as whether or not to have calligraphy for your envelopes done goes: sure it will save you some money if you address your invitations yourself.  However, calligraphy is highly classy and beautiful and I think that if you have room in your budget for it that it’s a really wonderful touch for any formal event.  
Another nice touch that really tied everything together, in my opinion were the custom postage stamps that Isabel ordered from  Here’s a close-up so you can see them a little better: 
The U.S. postal service has several companies that it works with, including, that will print you totally valid, US Postage with whatever image on it you want.  You can use a photograph you’ve taken, a map, a drawing, another image or graphic you designed, etc.  and for not much more than you would pay for regular postage have that image made into stamps!  I think this is a really cool idea if you’re going to be sending out Save-the-Date cards, wedding invitations, baby announcements, etc. because it’s just one more little personal touch that you can add to make the whole suite totally yours.  
Here is what I found when I opened up the envelope:
Isabel created a small, fabric-covered, hardcover, folder-like booklet for her entire suite that closed with a ribbon tie.  Here is the booklet when you first open it up:

Inside was a semi-transparent sleeve with an old-fashioned looking world map printed on it that was tied with a thick, red, somewhat shiny ribbon that had a skeleton key (yes, a real, metal key) tied onto it.  Isabel’s stationery featured a pair of keys that ran throughout as one of the design elements on all of her pieces, so I thought it was really cool to open up her booklet and find an actual key in there.  Slide the world-map-sleeve and the ribbon with key off and here’s what I found:
The invitation we printed a month ago (see the two keys at the top?).  And all of this: 
Inside I found, not only the invitation, but the RSVP card that was also printed by Twin Ravens Press, a small separate folder with two flat-printed maps, and a small reception card that was also flat printed.  Here are some close-ups of the flat printed pieces:
Typically I wouldn’t highlight pieces that had been flat-printed like this on this blog, partially because flat printing isn’t a service I offer (all we do is letterpress).  However, Isa incorporated these other pieces into the suite so nicely, and made the feeling of them go so well with the letterpress pieces, and the rest of the booklet that I had to show off the whole thing.  If you’re on a budget, flat printing some of your pieces like maps and extra informational cards is a great way to save some money, while still being able to have some of the fancier pieces like the invitation letterpress printed.  I think everything in this suite worked together so well and really gave an elegant, Spanish, romantic feeling for their upcoming ceremony.  Plus, it was really fun to get a complete set in the mail!  
Congratulations again, Isabel & Luis and thank you so much for sharing!  

Hee hee…

I don’t know why, but I saw this this morning and I must admit that it made me giggle, just a little bit…

Image via ffffound

50 People, One Question

An old friend from college sent me a link to this video, this evening. What a beautiful thought…

In a few words: do what you love, love what you do and be happy where you are, right now. More letterpress tomorrow. Enjoy!