Weddings | Anne-Laure & John

I recently completed another gorgeous letterpress wedding set for a couple in Philadelphia.  John and Anne-Laure contacted me a few months ago about creating a wedding set for them, similar in style to a classic and elegant design I printed earlier last year for another couple, Kiely & Scott.  

Anne-Laure and John’s suite included the invitation, a reply card with envelope, a separate reception card and a directions card.  Anne-Laure was getting her invitation envelopes done by a calligrapher, which is why you won’t see them in any of my photos.  In the photo at the beginning of this post you can see what all five of the letterpress pieces look like together. 
Here is the invitation by itself: 
We utilized the same typefaces for Anne-Laure and John’s suite as we did for Kiely and Scott’s, but to make the design a little different, we printed all of the pieces in a light grey ink rather than black and instead of going with a classic A7 size invitation, we went with an A6 size, which is a little smaller, just to be unique.  
The directions card had a pretty substantial amount of information to be included, so for this one we decided to stick with just the san-serif typeface that was used in the invitation and not use any of the script face.  This allowed us to put a lot of information on a small card will still maintaining good readability and clarity.  
Below is their reply card and envelope.  Anne-Laure’s invitation envelopes from her calligrapher were from Waste Not Paper in their Gravel Grey color.  We decided to use the same color of envelope for the reply cards, just in a smaller (4bar) size.   Another unique thing about their reply card is that it’s a vertical format, rather than a horizontal one.  
For their small separate reception card, we decided to use the same gravel grey color paper from Waste Not Paper to print on.  This paper comes in several wonderful colors, but isn’t quite as plush as the 100% cotton paper from Crane that we used for the invitation, directions card and reply card.  Because of this, you can’t really see any impression from the letterpress in the same way that you can for the other pieces.  However, the text still looks crisp and beautiful, just the same.  
I really love the simplicity and elegance of both this suite and the suite I printed before for Kiely & Scott.  If your ceremony is elegant and you don’t really have a specific theme that lends itself to graphic or pictorial elements easily, I think that choosing a wedding invitation design with just beautiful typography and colors that you love, with no other graphic-y elements, is a beautiful way to go!
Congratulations Anne-Laure & John!

Weddings | Danielle & Matt

I must begin this post by saying that the set of stationary that I’m about to write about, is quite possibly the second most complicated set of stationary I’ve ever committed to designing and working on.  For those who are curious, I actually haven’t written about THE most complicated job I’ve had to date on this blog, but I promise, one day I will, but that will be a much longer post, for a different day.  For this stationary set, the bride, Danielle, had a grand vision for her wedding invitations from the very beginning.  She and her fiancee, Matt, live in New York City, but are having a destination wedding in Key Biscayne, Florida.  Due to the fact that the majority of their guests are not local to their wedding destination, Danielle and Matt had a significant amount of information that they wished to convey to their guests through their wedding stationary.  
I’m often asked by prospective clients, “How long will it take from when I hire you to when I receive my stationary?”.  It’s a totally fair question, but one that’s often hard to answer.  At Twin Ravens Press, we design the majority of our wedding sets entirely from scratch for the specific client.  We don’t really have a set of pre-designed designs that you can choose from, like many other stationers.  Of course, if you’ve seen a design that we’ve done before that you’d like us to adapt to your particular wedding, we’d be more than happy to do so, but in general the majority of wedding sets (and Save-the-Date cards, and birth announcements, for that matter) are designed from scratch, start-to-finish, with the particular client in mind.  In all honesty, I truly enjoy this and I think that it’s just one extra little detail that makes my company special and unique.  We want to work with you, to make the paper products of your dreams, that you probably couldn’t find anywhere else.  So to go back to the “How long will everything take?” question, sometimes it can only take a month, if the couple hiring me has a really clear, decisive, vision for what they want.  Other times, it can take up to three, four, five or six months…  It really depends on you.  If you hire me, it’s my job and my challenge to make sure we come up with exactly what you want.  I want you to be excited about and proud of your stationary and I want it to be something you, your family and some of your guests will cherish for years to come.  I want it to reflect who you are and what your wedding, celebration or announcement, etc. is about.  Because of the personal (and very detailed) nature of this desire, sometimes designing a complete set of stationary from start-to-finish can take a long time. 
So, for Matt & Danielle’s stationary, due to the larger amount of information and the number of guests they are inviting, and the “style” they wanted to convey, let me just say that this one took a lot of time.  I’m very proud (and I think they are too) of the final result, but let me say that if you plan to hire me and you have something this complex in mind, the earlier you can start, the better (Danielle first contacted me in late July 2008 and she received her finished stationary in the mail in January of 2009, granted, I was gone for about a month total during that period traveling, but still, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead).  
The other thing I have to write about, that I think is really important to discuss in conjunction with this project, is that very rarely, but sometimes, things go wrong during the course of a job, that have to be altered or corrected part way through.  As much as I hate to admit it, every job that we do doesn’t always go entirely smoothly from start to finish.  I think that it’s important to discuss and admit this, because it’s a difficult thing to talk about.  I mean, really, who wants to hear about when things don’t go perfectly right?  While the final results of this job turned out beautifully, I must admit that many problems that normally don’t occur, did occur during the course of this job.  I’m not going to go into the dirty specifics on this except to point out that Twin Ravens Press is not a big corporation.  We sometimes make mistakes because we’re human, our distributors sometimes make mistakes because they’re human, etc.  I will say though that because I’m such a perfectionist and because I take a lot of pride in my little company and my work, I have a policy about what to do when things don’t go completely right.  It’s a pretty simple one really:  If you ever order anything from me, and you’re not completely satisfied, let me know.  If what you’re not satisfied about is something that can be altered or fixed, even if it means my having to reprint part or all of your job, I’ll do it, because I want you to be happy with the end result.  I figure that for most people, their wedding stationary may be the only custom stationary that they ever purchase in their life.  Hopefully it’s not, but regardless of whether it is or not, I want my clients to be happy with their stationary, even if it means putting in a few extra materials or little more labor on my part.  My partner’s grandfather once said that a person’s reputation is their best currency.  I figure that I’m very lucky to be able to do a job that I love everyday – most people don’t have that luxury, and the reason I get to do the job that I love is because of all of the wonderful clients who have purchased my work, continue to purchase my work and who recommend me, my company and my work to their friends.  Without them (you), Twin Ravens Press would still be a pipe dream, and because it means so much to me that it’s not, I will do everything in my power to keep you happy and hopefully keep you and your friends coming back for more.  
So, anyway, on to the stationary!  As with the majority of my wedding posts, you can see the complete set in the photo at the top of this post.  Danielle and Matt’s suite included a 5.5″ square invitation that was matted on a turquoise backing and then tipped in to a black pocket folder.  The pocket folder had four additional two-color information cards: a map, a directions card, an accommodations card and a reply card.  There were two sets of envelopes: one set for the reply card and one for the invitation and accompanying pieces to be sent out in, and they also ordered place cards!
Below is a photo of the main invitation.  Some of the information has been blurred on purpose at the couple’s request.
As I said above, each invitation measured 5.5″ square and was matted on a turquoise backing sheet and then tipped into a black pocket folder.  For the design of the stationary itself, Danielle wanted something that was contemporary and repre
sentative of their destination wedding, while still being elegant, and as she put it, “Not seashells and beaches and palm trees”. We worked on several different designs and design elements that I think were all good possibilities, but the one we finally settled on was a contemporary, almost photo-realistic (as much as letterpress can be) version of the Miami skyline.  Coming up with this image presented a bit of a challenge.  Danielle and Matt are in New York, Twin Ravens Press is in Oregon, and I have never been to Florida.  Let me tell you, to come up with what this skyline was going to look like, I had to do a lot of Google searching for the city of Miami.  We went through several versions of the skyline and I must admit that up until the printing plates were made I was a bit worried that that part still wouldn’t turn out the way we wanted it, but let me tell you – it looks and feels pretty awesome.  This combined with a nice serif font in caps and a decorative, but not too decorative script font, made for a really pretty, modern, and unified stationary suite.  Here is a detail shot of the suite so you can see how pretty the type looks and the impression from the letterpress:  
For the parts of their stationary suite that were printed on white paper, Matt and Danielle chose to use Crane Lettra in Pearl White – one of my favorite letterpress papers to print on. If you look closely at the above photo you can see the great amount of detail you can get out of it while still achieving some impression especially around the turquoise script lettering of their names.  Really pretty…  
The next four pieces of the suite were the other ones that were inside their black pocket folder.  They were a map, a directions card, an accommodations card and a reply card.  Danielle had the great idea that it would be cool to have them be different heights that stacked up in the pocket to each reveal basically a tab with a different title for each card at the top.  All of the titles she came up with were single words that began with the letters re-, which I thought was pretty clever.  Here are the four cards fanned out after being removed from the folder: 
All of them were printed in two colors: turquoise and black and had the Miami skyline featured at the bottom.  The tallest one and the one that was the farthest back in the stack for the folder was the directions card, titled “Resource”: 
The second tallest was the reply card shown below.  The heights/sizes of the three other cards were designed around this card’s size.  This card had to be kept a consistent size so that it could be paired with an appropriately sized envelope.  I really enjoyed how Danielle utilized her reply card to ask guests other questions relating to the wedding such as whether or not they needed transportation to and from the reception, or what songs they should play to get their guests to dance at the celebration.  I think this is a very cool thing to do for reply cards along with simply asking whether or not your guests will be attending.  
The third card (second from the front), was titled “Relax” and was a nice little resource for what accommodations the bride and groom recommended for their destination wedding.  
The fourth and shortest card (but the first one you’d see in the front when you open the folder) was a map card, titled “Rejoice”.  It’s not the most informational map I’ve ever done, partially because of it’s small size, but it is really pretty and I think it’s a nice addition to the suite that kind of helps set the mood for the celebration in a fun and unique way.  
The map was hand-drawn by yours truly and features a semi-realistic depiction of Matt & Danielle’s wedding and reception site from bird’s-eye view, a compass rose, and a little tiny sailboat in Biscayne Bay.  
As I mentioned before, all of this folded up nice and neatly in a black tri-fold pocket folder, and each folder was tied with a matching turquoise double-faced satin ribbon.  Like so: 
This is what it looked like with the ribbon slipped inside the turquoise invitation envelope: 
Voila!  As I said before I think that this set is one of the most impressive “complete packages” I’ve designed and printed so far.  It’s unique, contemporary, beautiful, and I think it will really set the tone for Matt & Danielle’s destination wedding.  
Congratulations Matt & Danielle!  Thanks for everything!

Weddings | Isabel & Luis

I was thinking today that it’s been a little while since I posted anything about weddings, and since I have had quite a few potential custom wedding clients appear over the past week or so, it might be good to write about some of the wedding stationary that has been recently finished. A few months ago I was contacted by a lovely bride, Isabel, through my etsy site about letterpress printing a set of custom wedding invitations that she was designing herself.  I feel really honored to have gotten to work with this couple, because, although they are living in the U.S. now, Isabel is originally from Spain and her husband-to-be, Luis, is originally from the Dominican Republic and right before their wedding they will be leaving the U.S. to move to Tunisia for work.  Personally, I love to travel and I always thought it would be really neat to have a job that you travel and live in different countries for.  I didn’t quite end up in a job like that (obviously, even though I love the job I have very much), and I don’t plan on trying to move my nearly 1,000 pound printing press around to different places just so that I can say I’ve lived and worked in other countries, but I do still love to travel to, see and experience different places whenever I get the chance.  Because of this I feel really excited to have gotten to work with a couple who is doing that, and who will be here for awhile and then be somewhere else. It’s really neat that they chose to work with me, out of all the other possible people they could have throughout the U.S., the world and their travels.  It’s pretty neat how the internet and e-commerce can bring people and businesses together who are hundreds or thousands of miles apart.
Anyway, on to the stationary.  Because they have many friends, speaking different languages, all over the world, Isabel & Luis decided to have two sets of invitations printed.  The design of both sets is the same, but one set is in English and the other set is in Spanish.  You can view images of both complete sets below.  
Each set included an A8 size invitation, a khaki invitation envelope with their return address printed on the flap and a reply card.  All of the pieces (except the envelopes) were printed on Crane’s Lettra paper in Ecru.  We decided to use the standard weight of Crane Lettra (110 lb.) for their reply cards and the double-thick weight (220 lb.) for their invitations.  Check out both invitations below.
I haven’t printed on Crane’s double-weight paper too often, but I really do like the way that it looks.  The paper itself, while still being 100% cotton is so stiff and thick, it almost feels the same as my coaster stock.  It prints really beautifully and because of the thickness of the sheet to begin with, you can get a fairly substantial impression without a lot of effort.   Check out a close-up, detailed image of one of the invitations below:

Pretty, don’t you think?  I really love too how the combination of the warm red and chocolate brown inks on the warm Ecru 100% cotton paper really makes it feel like a decadent and romantic Spanish wedding.  It’s almost like a preview of what the actual celebration at a very old cathedral in Madrid, Spain will be like, in paper form.  
Below are closer-up images of both sets of reply cards.  Rather than going with a standard reply card where your guests fill in their response and mail them back to you, Isabel and Luis opted to go with more of an informational-style reply card and are having their guests respond online.  I did a similar type of card for the last couple I wrote about, Valerie & Rebecca, for the same reason: both couples are moving in between when the send out their invitations and when they have their actual weddings.  I think this is a really great thing to do so that you can still have a separate reply card if you are in the same or a similar situation.  Check them out:
Last, but not least: the envelopes.  Isabel and I went back and forth a lot on what the envelopes for this set should be: white, ecru, khaki?  What size should they be? Etc…  We finally decided on a Khaki colored A9 envelope from Waste Not Paper.  The actual invitation is an A8, but Isabel was making some sort of fancy fabric inner envelope to put the invites, etc. in that would go inside the printed mailing envelope, so we decided that going with the bigger size would be the safest idea in order to make sure that the fabric inner-envelopes would fit.  Isabel designed a rather fancy return address image and I printed it in chocolate brown ink on the back flap.  
Finally, it’s always wonderful to hear a little bit of praise every now and again for what you do, day to day, even if what you do is really really cool…  Normally, I would just link to this sort of thing, but in this instance I didn’t want it to be too hard to find, so below is what Isabel wrote on her wedding website about Twin Ravens Press and my work:

The letterpressed part of the wedding invitations (inner invitation, RSVP card and envelope) were designed by Isabel but printed by the awesome Twin Ravens Press.  They were A+++ on customer service and went above and beyond to find the highest quality at the best price.

Thanks so much, Isabel!  I know that they are going to have an absolutely beautiful and romantic wedding in Spain in May.  

Congratulations Isabel & Luis!

Weddings | Valerie & Rebecca

Hello all!  I know I’ve been posting a lot of stuff about Etsy and holiday cards lately and not a lot about custom work, so I thought I would take a break from showing off all of the cool stuff you should go out and buy for the holidays to write about a recent custom job.  Remember how I said a while back that I somewhat hastily completed not one, but three custom jobs and got them sent off to their respective clients right before leaving the country for two weeks to go to Japan? Well, I wrote about the first two of those custom wedding stationary jobs here and here, and this my friends, is the third one.  I saved the post about this job for last, partly because I had a lot more to write about it than the other two, partly because the first round of pictures I took of this stationary didn’t really do it justice and I wanted to take more, and partly because I was struggling with the tiny imp inside me who never *really* wants to write about politics in conjunction with my work, but sometimes just can’t resist anyways.  Remember this post about the Obama cards and voting that I put upright before the election? Yeah, like I said, sometimes it just comes out.

Several months ago, long before the election and Japan and other stuff that’s been going on here lately, I was contacted by a wonderful (and rather talented!) lady named Valerie about creating a wedding set especially for her and her fiancee.  I get contacted fairly frequently about creating custom wedding sets, so initially this job wasn’t all that different from the many others that I’ve written about here.  You see, what makes this job somewhat unique other than the stationary designs themselves (and what gives me political-imp amo) is that Valerie’s love of her life is also a lady.  So, here we go, political rant first, then pictures of pretty stationary.  (If you would rather skip this part because you’re not in the mood for a political rant, or you’re like “Yes, Kristin, we know, you’re preaching to the choir”, feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph and the next one.  After that, I promise, I’ll be talking about the actual stationary).

Unless you’re reading this from outside of the U.S., or you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you’re probably aware of the fact that the U.S. has some pretty unfair and inconsistent laws regarding marriage.  On the whole, marrying someone who is your same-sex in the United States is either banned in most States or recognized as a union, but not recognized as “marriage” in others.  Whether or not individual states allow or recognize same-sex marriages or unions is still a major issue in contemporary politics and elections and is one of the main issues that divides people in this country politically.   The most recent display of this kind of political injustice was this November’s passing of Proposition 8 by the state of California which banned same-sex marriages in the state despite a Supreme Court ruling on May 15th of this year that stated “the right to marry in California extends equally to all, gay and straight alike…”.  Personally, I find California’s contradictory behavior on this issue as well as the majority of the country’s lack of acceptance a little appalling.  Personally I think you should be able to marry whomever you want because you’re in love with them and want to spend your life with them, regardless of who they are or what gender they happen to be.  I feel much the same way about same-sex marriage as I do about the abortion issue: simply put, if you don’t agree with same-sex marriage (or abortion), then don’t have one.  That doesn’t give you the right, however to tell others they can’t if the decision is right for them.  I think in general marriage is a wonderful gesture, but the fact that it isn’t extended equally to everyone in this country is pretty sad.  Valerie wrote about these issues briefly in correlation with why she and Rebecca chose to get married on her website far more eloquently than I ever could.  She writes: 

“There are a lot of things about marriage that we don’t like, particularly the way marriage excludes some couples and elevates the state of coupledom above all other relationships, but we knew that we wanted to make this commitment to each other, before our friends and family. It is not the right choice for everyone, but it is for us. That’s why we’re recreating marriage for ourselves. Not to say we’re better than other couples because we threw a big party, but because we’re leaping off a cliff together and we want the other people we love (because we also don’t want to cut off all ties from everyone else just because we’re getting married) to be there to catch us.”

I think for the majority of people out there, gay or straight, this is what marriage is about or what it should be about.  I don’t believe that one couple is “better” or more “real” than another because of the gender or genders of the people in it and because of this and the fact that they are a wonderful couple to begin with, I was delighted to work with Valerie and Rebecca on their wedding stationary.

One of my favorite things about working with any couple on their wedding stationary is that you really get to learn about who the couple is – both as individuals and as a unit.  Valerie is a poet and creative writer receiving her MFA from Florida State University and she and Rebecca fell in love at a music festival under an oak tree in Michigan.  They’re favorite colors are orange and green. They wanted to incorporate some of these aspects of their personalities and their story into their wedding stationary – which makes the creative designer part of my job really fun.  We came up with several different designs incorporating botanical elements, oak-themed elements, poetry and literary elements into the designs and this is the one V&R decided on:
Above you can see a picture of the whole stationary suite.  It included an A7 size invitation, A2 size reception card, a 4bar reply card, 2 sets of invitation envelopes, folded 4bar thank you cards and thank you card envelopes.  All of their stationary was printed with three colors: chocolate brown, light green and orange and the four main pieces all feature an oak tree with scattered oak leaves, referencing the place V&R first fell in love.  To incorporate a bit of the literary element into this we chose Garamond as the main font for the stationary, which is the same font Valerie uses for all of her poetry.  We then chose a more whimsical, contemporary font printed in orange for select elements on all of the pieces, like names and dates, etc.  The second photo above is of the invitation itself with the two different envelope colors.  Both of these are outer envelopes that were lined with a white paper – we ended up doing half of one color and half of the other rather than doing an inner and outer envelope.    Below is a close up of part of the invitation so you can see the small details on all of the oak leaves and the different fonts:

The reception card and reply card had a similar layout to the invite and featured the same elements for continuity, but were different sizes.  You can see pictures of these two cards separately below as well as the invite, reception and reply cards all stacked up together.  Notice on the reply card that the format is fairly different from others that I’ve done.  V&R are having their guests RSVP on their website rather than sending the card back because they’re moving in between when they mail out their invites and the actual wedding.  This is a great idea, in my opinion, for couples who are in a similar situation (yay for modern technology!).  

The last part of Valerie and Rebecca’s suite was an oak tree thank you card with a coordinating green envelope for after the ceremony.  Check it out here:  
I really love how this set of stationary turned out.  The design and colors were really fun, the couple was wonderful to work with an
d the printing turned out beautifully.  I especially love how all of the little elements in the stationary really reflect the story and personalities of Valerie and Rebecca.  Valerie was pretty excited about it too.  If you’d like to read what she had to say about the stationary and about working with me and Twin Ravens Press, you can read it on her blog
here.  Congratulations Valerie & Rebecca!  You two are awesome! 

Weddings | Lindsay & Jordan

I hope everyone out there had a very Happy Thanksgiving!  Mine was very successful, with a quick drive to Portland, great food, wonderful company and lots of Pecan Pie.  
Now it’s back to business though:  below you will find photos of the second of three wedding jobs that I completed just prior to going to Japan.  A few months ago I was contacted by a lovely bride-to-be in Corpus Christi, Texas about printing a wedding invitation she designed herself.  The suite included the invitation, a reply card, and two sets of envelopes.  The colors for her wedding were Chartreuse green (with other greens) and light grey.  We ended up printing her invitation and reply card in light grey ink on Crane Lettra Pearl White paper.  The invitation envelope was also Crane Lettra in the Pearl White to match the invitation paper with the return address printed on the flap in grey ink.  The reply card envelopes were from Waste Not Paper and were a grey color that coordinated very well with the ink – the address on those were printed in black.  Check out some photos of the individual pieces below:
The coolest thing about this invitation set, in my opinion, was the blind embossed pattern that we printed on the invitation.  It’s difficult to see from the pictures of the whole invite, but you can check it out in this close-up:

In order to create this effect, we used the same kind of printing plate that we normally would for an inked image, but instead, took our rollers off of the press and printed just the impression the plate would make, without any ink, into the paper.  This technique created a really neat blind-embossed pattern in the paper that is noticeable, but subtle, and in my opinion added an elegant touch to this invitation without printing any more colors or incorporating fancy graphics or patterns into the design.  Check out the whole suite below: 
Very nice, don’t you think?  I think so.  Congratulations, Lindsay & Jordan!
On another note: for those of you who haven’t bought your Christmas or Holiday Cards yet, Twin Ravens Press is extremely late in releasing our new Holiday Card Designs (what with being in Japan for two weeks and all), but the designs will be up on this blog early next week and they will be available for purchase in my etsy store starting late in the week next week.  I’m sorry I’m so late in getting these out to you and I really appreciate your patience.  Have a great week!  

Weddings | Classic & Elegant: Kiely & Scott

Right before I left for Japan there were three different sets of wedding invitations for three different clients that I finished and sent off.  Because I had finished them right before I went out of town, I didn’t have time to post about them here before I left.  So, while I get caught up on upcoming custom printing and design jobs and get the *new* Twin Ravens Press Christmas and holiday cards ready for December, check out this beautiful wedding set for a couple in Virginia.  

Kiely & Scott were fabulous clients who wanted a simple, but truly elegant look for their wedding invitations in the form of classic, beautiful typography.  Their desired “look” for their invitations struck a soft spot in my heart because when I first began learning about letterpress printing, the only thing I printed for quite some time were designs made up entirely of typography from antique metal type. While I enjoy designing invitations and cards with multiple colors and a variety of graphical elements, I really enjoyed designing and printing Kiely & Scott’s wedding set because it brought me back to my original graphic design/letterpress printing roots.  
Check out the beautiful typography on the invitation.  Kiely & Scott’s invitation is a horizontal A7 size invite with two classic typefaces: the script is called “Mozart” and the serif face is “Engravers”.  Check out the completed invitation and a close-up of the typography below: 

Pretty, don’t you think?  The entire set was printed in black ink on Crane’s 100% cotton Lettra paper in Pearl White, which gave the typography a crisp, beautiful impression that you can see and feel.  Also included in their invitation set is a response card with envelope and a separate, smaller reception card utilizing the same gorgeous typefaces.  Check out the close-up pictures of those below:
The last part of the suite that I haven’t mentioned yet is their invitation envelopes.  Kiely & Scott’s wedding colors are evergreen and navy blue.  When we originally talked, Kiely wanted to somehow incorporate at least one of her wedding colors into the invitation suite, but still retain the rich, elegant, classic look of black letterpress typography on white cotton paper.  The best way we could come up with to do this was with a colored invitation envelope liner.  Kiely picked out a beautiful and unique navy blue paper for her liners which you can see in the photo at the beginning of this post.  It’s hard to see from the photo, but the paper she chose looks more like a semi-shiny, woven, mildly-textured fabric than paper (but it is paper!).  I think that using this paper for the envelope liners was a really nice way to add a splash of color to the wedding set without being too overwhelming and distracting from the other gorgeous paper, printing and typography.  Mmm… classic typography, how I love thee so…

Weddings | Nataliya & Christopher and Calling Cards Fit for a Gentleman

Here is the most recent custom job from the press!  I think these stylish calling cards for Sebastian St. John: Gentleman of Leisure are downright awesome.  I mean what gentleman doesn’t aspire to a title like that?  These cards were designed by the client as a gift for her fiancee’s best man for their wedding.  They were printed on Crane’s Pearl White calling card stock with silver edging in silver ink.  It’s hard to see from the photos, but the ink nearly matches the edging on the cards and is really nice and sparkly.  

I also had the pleasure of printing the wedding invitations for this same client right before I got this blog up and rolling.  Nataliya, the bride, is a photographer and part-time graphic designer in New York, who designed her invitations herself and then hired me to print them.  You can check out some of her photography work here.  The suite included a square two-color invitation, two-color RSVP card, white invitation envelopes with turquoise ink for the return address and turquoise response card envelopes with black ink for the address.  Check out the photos of the suite below:  
Here is the whole suite all together.  It included a 5 inch square invite, a reply card and two sets of envelopes.  
Here is the RSVP Card by itself.  

And the Invitation by itself.

And, here is a detail of the invitation so you can get a closer look at the design.  Beautiful, don’t you think?  Stay tuned because there will be more photos of new custom work later this week.

Weddings | ¡Ileana y José están consiguiendo casados!

Just a quick little post this morning because I’m going to be thoroughly busy printing pretty much all day.  Remember those cool wedding coaster’s that I printed for Lynn & Matthew? Well, Lynn posted about how much she liked them here on Wedding Bee and shortly after that I got an order from a new couple, Ileana & José, for the exact same coaster design – only with their names and wedding date.  So, what’s so different and special about this job, you may ask… Ileana & José are from Puerto Rico and wanted their coasters in Spanish.  I just finished them last night.  Check them out: 

I think they turned out really cool.  What do you think?

Glowing Reviews

Now this may sound a little pretentious, but Twin Ravens Press loves glowing reviews of our work almost as much as we love puddle stomping and Oreo cookies with peanut butter on them.  While I feel like getting to do what I love every day is reward enough in-and-of-itself, reading or hearing about someone else loving my work is always an added bonus.  Remember the most recent wedding I posted about?  Well, the lovely bride from that post, Lynn, just posted another glowing review of her stationary and Twin Ravens Press on Wedding Bee, and on her personal blog.  Thank you, Lynn!  I’m very touched.  Go check it out!  

Weddings | Lynn & Matthew

This will be the first of many posts on this blog regarding weddings and custom wedding stationary.  When I first started Twin Ravens Press I knew that I was really interested in doing custom letterpress printing and design work, one on one, for various clients.  Don’t get me wrong, I like doing the cards and other commercial printed items for etsy, arts & crafts shows, and retailers a lot, and I get really excited every time I sell something to someone somewhere where I’ve never sold anything before (so excited in fact that I’m tracking them on a map like you do in elementary school, but more on that later), but there’s just something so much more awesome about getting to create work for an individual client.   It’s even more awesome when said client is great to work with and really excited about what you’re doing.  Lynn & Matthew were this kind of client.  
I’m not entirely sure at the moment where Lynn found out about me.  It could have been through my etsy shop, or from another blogger who blogged about my work, but it was most likely from a previous client blogging about my work on her wedding bee blog.   You see, Lynn is also a blogger on wedding bee (she’s Miss Coconut), so I’m guessing that’s probably where she found me.  
When I first started working with Lynn she told me that her wedding colors were chocolate brown and yellow and that she really liked my elegant scroll pattern thank you cards from etsy and that she was also trying to incorporate a bird theme into her invitations, decorations and other stationary items.  Check out this cute reception poster she found from another etsy seller.  After trying out some different ideas based on this info, this is what we came up with:
The entire stationary suite incorporates both yellow and chocolate brown inks on Crane Lettra Pearl White 100% cotton letterpress paper.  This job was a lot of fun because we got to create so many different pieces and it’s always fun figuring out how to use a theme throughout several pieces in the design.  
The main piece of any custom wedding stationary suite, is of course the invitation.  Lynn & Matthew’s invitations are an A7 size invite and incorporate both colors and two of the three fonts we used throughout the suite.  You can see photos and close-ups of just the invitation and invitation envelope below.  (Please Note:  there will be selective blurring of certain information on the following photos to protect the client’s privacy).  
Here is the invitation with both the front and back of the envelope.  The address on the flap was letterpress printed in yellow ink and Lynn hired a calligrapher to do all of the recipient addresses on the front of the envelopes.  I don’t personally do calligraphy, nor does my shop offer it, but I think that it’s awesome when people use it for their stationary.  

To complete their invitation package Lynn and Matthew also ordered some cute RSVP cards with matching envelopes and a Directions/Accommodations card.  Both the RSVP and Directions/Accommodations cards are double-sided.  I modified a map Lynn provided for the map on their directions card so that it would fit in a little better with the whole “look” of the other pieces and elements in the suite.  I think it turned out really well.  You can see photos and details of both cards below: 

The top photo above is the RSVP card, front and back, with envelope and the second photo is detail images of the RSVP card.  Below are details of the accommodations/directions card.  
Another popular option that I like to offer my clients for their stationary is thank you cards.  I think this is a really nice thing to get, especially if the couple getting married has gift registries. Sending out matching thank you cards for your wedding presents to your guests is always a classy gesture.  Check out Lynn and Matthew’s thank yous below:

Sometimes my clients also order stationary items for their actual ceremony.  Lynn and Matthew ordered program covers, menus and place cards for theirs.  The program covers are square and were printed on chocolate brown Waste Not Paper with yellow ink.  For the place cards I printed a small scroll pattern on the bottom and Lynn’s calligrapher is going to write the individual names on each of the cards.  You can see pictures of these three pieces below.  

Last but not least, when I started designing all of the little “extras” for Lynn, one of the designs I came up with was for a custom coaster for them to use at their ceremony.  I kind of like the idea of having coasters at a ceremony for cocktails or during the dinner and I think that making them custom to your specific ceremony and design taste is really cool.  Believe it or not, I actually had never printed coasters prior to this custom job.  When looking at everything else they were getting L & M didn’t think they had room in their budget for this one extra thing, but since they were such totally awesome customers (and they had already ordered so much stuff!), and I liked the design and wanted to try out printing some coasters, I decided to print them for them anyway as an early wedding present.  The turned out pretty good, don’t you think?  

I’ll be posting about more upcoming and past custom wedding jobs in the future, but I thought that this was a great one to start with because it was so much fun and really shows off all of the different types of things that Twin Ravens Press can do for a wedding or other event.  Lynn was really excited about all aspects of the process and about her stationary.  If you’d like to read what she had to say about the stationary or about working with Twin Ravens Press you can find it on her personal blog here and here.  Or on wedding bee here, here, or here.  Another wedding website also read what she wrote and wrote about it here.  Check it out!
Congratulations Lynn & Matthew!!  Thanks for being so awesome!