Red Crane Tattoos & Awesome Shoes

Back in November a lovely Etsy shopper in the UK, named Catherine, contacted me about ordering a set of our Red Origami Crane Thank You Cards.  She was getting married in April and wanted to use them as thank you cards after her wedding.  She also told me that she loved my crane design so much that she was hoping to get it tattooed in celebration of her impending nuptials.  She wanted to know if it was okay with me for her to use my design as a tattoo.  Frankly, I found the idea totally exciting, and said yes.

I was extra excited to wake up this morning and discover an email from Catherine.  She got married last week and sent us a photo of her awesome wedding shoes, with our little red crane peeking out from them.

(Photo Courtesy of Julie Tinton Photography)

Isn’t that totally awesome?!?  I’m honored.  Plus, I LOVE her shoes.  I’m so excited that  Catherine shared this photo with us and that she loved my little crane artwork so much that she wanted to carry it with her forever.  : )

Above is an image of the original card design that Catherine had her tattoo based off of.  These cards are available in our Etsy Store as singles and in packages of six or ten.  Larger quantities and bulk pricing is available for larger orders.  If you’d like some little red cranes of your own, go check them out!

Thanks so much for sharing, Catherine!  You rock!

Save the Date | Vi and Lalo are Getting Married!

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I LOVE a good, modern design when I see one.  I’ve been so excited to show off these awesomely modern, save-the-date coasters since I printed them last week, that I was even more excited this morning when I got an e-mail from Vi letting me know that she and her fiancé received them yesterday, loved them, and that I could put them up!  Check them out!

We designed Vi and Lalo’s Save-the-Date to be printed on a 4″ square coaster, with rounded corners, in black ink.  The design incorporates a fun mix of über-modern fonts, and all of the text is printed on an angle across the front of the coaster.  The words “Save the Date”, and the date to be saved, are printed entering from the top of the coaster, and the couples name’s, the phrase “Plans are Brewing” (I loved this coaster pun and it was totally Vi’s idea), the location, and “Formal invitation to follow” were printed at an opposing angle coming in from the bottom left.  I love these!  I love the fonts.  I love the angle of the printing.  I love that they are coasters, and I love that they are black and white.  These also came with coordinating little, square 4.25″ black envelopes that have the couple’s return address printed in the same fonts on the back flap in silver ink.

If you’re thinking you want black envelopes or black paper for your letterpress printed piece, silver ink is a fabulous option for printing on it.  White letterpress ink is actually clear, and is very translucent, so it doesn’t show up on black (or other dark) papers.  It’s mostly used as a mixer to lighten other colors.  Instead, printing with a light metallic color, like silver, can help us achieve the same effect, while having your printing be visible and most importantly, readable for the post office and your guests.

Aren’t these awesome!?!  I’m so excited!  Vi and Lalo have been so much fun to work with so far and I’m looking forward to designing and printing their invitations very soon!  Thanks Vi & Lalo!

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!

Thirty-Three Pounds of Awesome.

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

Letterpress on Sesame Street

A friend of mine sent me this clip from a 1970’s episode of Sesame Street. I remember watching Sesame Street as a little kid. I mean, who doesn’t remember watching at least a little Sesame Street as a kid? I don’t remember this episode though. I also don’t remember it being quite so strange, and I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but not having seen it for a good twenty+ years and watching just this clip now, I have to say I find it a little odd. But that aside, it’s pretty darn awesome that these 1970’s youngsters take a drawing of their lost dog to a letterpress printer to have a sign made. Although it’s pretty brief, the demonstration of the letterpress process, isn’t bad either. The press they’re using is even a Chandler & Price, which is the same kind of press as one of the presses at Twin Ravens Press. Anyway, it’s entertaining, nonetheless. Check it out!

The OMG-WTF Spectrum

I can’t believe it’s already the last day in August! Seriously, where has the last month/year/summer gone?!? This week is going to be a really busy week between printing an awesome set of promotional greeting cards for a wedding planner in California to keeping up with the design work for some upcoming winter wedding clients before I leave for Seattle on Thursday afternoon. I’m hoping to have a new blog post up later today too to show off some more awesome things we’ve been working on this summer, but in the meantime, I found this online this morning and thought it more than appropriate. If any fellow designers out there are reading this blog, I know that you can appreciate this too. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the OMG-WTF Spectrum:

(via Neatorama)

In my opinion this is very applicable to design work, be it letterpress related or otherwise (way before I opened Twin Ravens Press I worked in marketing for a university bookstore and this was applicable there too). Also sometimes applicable for personal relationships, traffic, and tech support…
There will be more awesome letterpress-related stuff later! In the meantime, have a Happy Monday!

Nikki McClure

Image copyright Nikki McClure, via
Happy Friday everyone!  I just found this interview online of one of my favorite artists, Nikki McClure.  Nikki lives and works in Olympia, Washington and is best know for her painstakingly intricate paper-cuts.  Nikki uses an exacto knife and a single sheet of paper to cut out complex images that speak to ideas of motherhood, nature and activism.  I know she’s also done some mixed media work with letterpress as well.  The video interview below totally speaks to many of the reasons why I enjoy being an artist myself and to why I love living in the Pacific Northwest.  Anyway, if you aren’t already familiar with her work, you ought to check out the video below, as well as her website.  Have a fantastic weekend!

How Letterpress Works

When I first begin working with clients and often when I’m just talking to potential clients about a potential letterpress project, I am often asked “how does letterpress work?” or “how does working with your studio work?”.  These are fair questions, and ones that I’ve been meaning to address here (as well as the more formal website for Twin Ravens that I’ve been working on) for quite some time.  I still plan to eventually put this out, in my own words, in the near future, however, I came across this video this morning and thought that it would be a great basis for explaining what it’s like to work with a letterpress studio.  At Twin Ravens Press, I print from both antique lead type and from photopolymer plates. My studio does a few things different from Starshaped Press, like we always offer several rounds of digital proofs of our designs, prior to printing, etc.  All in all, though, I think that their video is a great, short, demonstration of how working with a letterpress studio works.  If you are a potential client and are curious about the process of creating your future letterpress printed piece, or if you are just curious, watch this video.  It’s pretty cute too! 

Fonts + Geeky = Awesome

Happy Friday everyone!  For those who need a little bit of semi-work-related humor after a very busy week, like I do, I found this awesome video.  It’s got fonts, superheroes, personifications and more!  What could be better?!?  

Very Cool Bike Design!

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

This week seems to be shaping up to a week where I’m not only blogging about awesome things that we’re doing, I’m also blogging about awesome things that other people are doing and things that I love as well.  Living in lovely, eco-friendly, Eugene, you see a lot of awesome-ly designed, random, different, or customized bikes around.  Many of these bike owners have built or customized their bikes themselves, but nonetheless, it makes for awesome people-watching, as well as awesome alternative transportation for a city that’s keen on protecting the environment.  I have a pretty awesome bike, that I ride all over the place when the weather is decent to nice, but I always thought it would be great to have a bike trailer to haul stuff around with.  Well, what if your bike and bike trailer were an all-in-one, awesomely designed package?  Check out the Madsen.  It may be one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen this week.