Posts

Weddings | Jackie & Brent

One of the things I get asked for, all the time, is whether or not we can “put a modern twist on a classic wedding invitation”.  The answer is “Yes!”.  Twin Ravens Press prints lots of different “classic” and “traditional” looking wedding invitations, that incorporate modern elements into their design.  For example, check out the suite that we created above, last year, for Massachusetts couple, Jackie & Brent.  Jackie and Brent wanted a classic, elegant, black & white wedding invitation suite that incorporated a few modern details.  Their suite included an invitation and reply card that featured black ink and blind embossing.  Matching, white envelopes that were printed with black ink and a paper + ribbon belly band to tie the suite together.  We lined the invitation envelope with a custom printed, light blue, damask liner for a touch of color!

As you can see below, the invitation itself is traditional looking.  It features a nice, crisp letterpress impression in black ink, script names, roman body font and a decorative blind embossed pattern at the top and bottom to frame the text.  These invitations were printed on super-thick, duplex-weight, 100% cotton paper.

As I mentioned above, both sets of envelopes were white and were designed to match the invitation.  The reply card was also printed on duplex paper stock and featured blind embossing on the bottom of the card.  Jackie & Brent’s belly band medallion was printed in black ink and featured their initials as a scripty monogram.  Look how pretty it looked, tying their invitations together with an ivory, satin ribbon!

I love how this suite is a classic, black & white letterpress suite, making it perfect for just about any formal occasion, yet it incorporates some modern and whimsical elements like the belly band and damask envelope liner to add a splash of color!  Contact us if you’re seeking something classic, with a contemporary twist for your upcoming event!

 

Weddings | Jennie & Jason

The set of wedding invitations I have to show you today are pretty special for me and for Twin Ravens Press.  I’ll get to why in a second, but, in order to understand why this job means so much to me, you need a little back-story first.  A year ago today, I was working with an intern in the printshop and I smashed my hand in our platen press and broke it.  Not only was this accident terrifying on principle, but at the time, there wasn’t really any certainty as to whether or not I would fully recover, and I had no way to know how this would affect my ability to continue my career as a letterpress printer.  I’m happy to say that, a year later today, I’m fully healed and entirely capable of creating beautiful letterpress invitations with no loss of dexterity.  I was really lucky.  So, what does this have to do with the beautiful set of wedding invitations you see above?  Well, a couple of days prior to my accident, a year ago, Jennie and Jason signed a contract with us and put down a deposit to have me design and print their wedding invitations.  When I broke my hand, it was going to be at least six-ish months before I could work again and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do this job. As I’ve always said, if something is meant to be, it finds a way of working itself out.  This job certainly did…

Up until last March, I was basically running Twin Ravens almost entirely by myself.  I had occasional help now and then from interns and very-part-time employees, but there wasn’t a whole lot of consistency in terms of that.  When I broke my hand, I called up a now-very-close friend, Darcy Jeffs, and asked if she wanted to work here, part-time, until I was able to print again.  Luckily for me, she said yes!  Darcy is a graphic designer herself and worked in both Holland and New York City prior to moving to Oregon.  She now lives in a century-old schoolhouse on the Oregon Coast with her fiance and three adorable cats.  She’s also the proprietress of Neue School Press, and one of my very best friends.  Darcy took over this job with gusto, and designed the gorgeous suite for Jennie and Jason that you see above.  After the designs were complete, we printed and assembled these together, here at Twin Ravens.

Jennie and Jason’s wedding suite included an A7 size matted wedding invitation, a 4bar reply card, a Paebaek Ceremony invitation, a small website card, a custom belly band and two sets of envelopes.  Let’s check out their wedding invitation first!

Jennie and Jason’s wedding invitation was an A7 size that was printed in three ink colors (orange, red and chocolate brown) on lovely, 140 lb. Holyoke Natural 100% cotton paper.  Each invitation was matted on a shimmery deep red card stock to create a border.  Darcy created the gorgeous fall leaves and branch imagery that you see on each of the pieces.  We paired the invite with gold A7 envelopes from Waste Not Paper Company and letterpress printed Jennie and Jason’s return address in red ink on the flap.

Didn’t the graphics and letterpress printing just turn out so beautifully!?!  Darcy did an amazing job taking on a project that I was (quite literally) unable to handle last year, and the invitations turned out absolutely gorgeous!  The fall theme that she and Jennie came up with was perfect for Jennie and Jason’s September wedding at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

Above, you can see what the invite looked like with the belly band.  Jennie and Jason’s belly band was composed of a circular medallion that was made out of the same Holyoke paper they used for their invitation, and was printed with their initials in red ink.  The printed medallion was then matted onto a slightly larger medallion made out of the same shimmery red paper we used for their invitation matt.  Then, the actual band, was made out of a shimmery bronze (similar to chocolate brown) paper.  It was scored in two places and fastened in the back of the invitation with a clear round seal.

Above you can see two of Jennie and Jason’s inserts!  The one on the left was their invitation to their Paebaek ceremony.  A Paebaek ceremony is a traditional Korean celebration held at weddings.  If you’re interested in what this is, you can read more about it here.  The Paebaek ceremony invitation was a 4bar size and was printed in chocolate brown ink.  On the top right, above, you can see Jennie and Jason’s website insert.  The website card was the same size as a standard business card and was printed in the same orange ink that we used on their wedding invitation.

Below, Jennie and Jason had two different reply cards, one with a July RSVP date and one with an August date.  Sending out two rounds of invitations is a great way to limit the number of attendees to a certain head count, particularly if you have a large guest list.  Both reply cards were printed in red ink and featured a place where guests could indicate what type of entree they wanted at the reception.  Each reply card was paired with a shimmery red envelope that had Jennie & Jason’s address letterpress printed on the front in gold ink.

Jennie was so sweet and patient to work with throughout this whole process, especially considering that my prognosis was so unknown.  I loved working with both her and Darcy on these and I think the final product couldn’t have turned out more beautiful!

Jennie was sweet enough to also send us some images from her and Jason’s wedding day.  Check them out below!  In the next two groupings, you’ll see both family photos from the wedding and photos from Jennie and Jason’s professional photographer, Jennifer Hughes of Jennifer Hughes Photography in Baltimore.

Aren’t they just a lovely couple!?!  Jennie & Jason, thank you so much, for continuing to work with us in spite of my accident!  I’m so happy that we got to do these, and it looks like your big day was absolutely gorgeous!  Thanks again!

Weddings | Priscilla & David

It’s been a little chilly out here in Oregon, so I thought, for a change of weather-pace, I’d show off this awesome set of pocket-folder invitations that we created for Florida couple, Priscilla and David, last year.  Priscilla and David were married last May in sunny Key West and their invitations definitely have a warm, inviting, beach-y feel.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember their awesome palm tree save-the-dates from last year.  If not, go check those out too!

Priscilla and David’s colors were orange, green and chocolate brown and we were able to incorporate all three into their stationery design to create a very awesome suite!  Above you can see all of the pieces in the suite together, which included their pocket folder invitation and envelope, a reply card and envelope, directions, accommodations, and reception cards, a custom letterpress map and key, and a schedule of events card.  We also made them a very cool custom belly band!

If you were to have received one of Priscilla and David’s invitations, below is what you would have seen when you first opened the envelope.  Priscilla and David’s envelopes were a white monarch style envelope from Green Paper Company that was custom lined with an olive green lokta paper from Nepal.  The pocket folder which enclosed all of the other pieces was a chocolate brown folder and we created an awesome custom belly band to seal it shut!  The belly band featured a large band of the same olive green lokta that we used for their envelope liners, with three strands of natural raffia twine, and a layered, square medallion.  The medallion was made out of a square of Kagome Bamboo paper, olive green lokta, and a letterpress piece with their names and wedding date in chocolate brown ink with a little green palm tree in the background.  These were super time-intensive to make, but the look was just amazing!

Check out the awesome textures of their belly band!  The letterpress printing was amazing and the Kagome Bamboo, lokta, and raffia just add so much extra depth and texture!

Below is what you would see when you opened up the pocket folder!  Priscilla and David’s wedding invitation was printed in three ink colors: green, orange, and chocolate brown, and was mounted into the folder with a lokta and kagome bamboo double-matt.  The pocket on the right contained five different inserts.

The texture of everything in this suite was totally awesome!  Priscilla chose our house Holyoke 100% cotton rag paper in Bone White for her invitation and all of her inserts.  It’s such a lovely paper and takes the impression of the letterpress printing so well!

Below left and bottom right are close-ups of their invitation.  I love their bright, tropical color scheme!  The image in the top right below shows their green return address that we letterpress printed on each envelope.  All of the custom calligraphy that you see throughout this suite was done by the wonderful and talented Michele Clark of Calligraphy by Michele.

Each of Priscilla and David’s inserts were designed to match the invite.  Below you can see their 4bar size reply card, which was letterpress printed in two ink colors: olive green and orange.  I love all of the little tropical icons we used at the top of the insert cards and next to the events on the reply!  Below, top right, is the envelope we paired with Priscilla’s reply card.  This envelope was printed with chocolate brown ink and featured their same palm tree graphic from the invitation on the left hand side.  Below, bottom right, is an image of their reception card by itself.  This card was smaller than the RSVP and was printed in a single color: olive green.

Above, priscilla also included an olive green directions card that featured a wonderful little starfish motif!  Below left, is a separate insert for accommodations and transportation information.  Below right, is the back side of Priscilla and David’s custom map.  The back was a key that was created by the very talented Crystal Kluge.  Scroll down to see the actual map itself!

Each invitation included the above A6 size map printed in olive green ink.  The map design was created by Crystal Kluge and featured adorable illustrations for all of the important Key West landmarks for Priscilla and David’s wedding.  Check out the detail below!  It’s awesome!

Above, bottom left: We letterpress printed a larger version of this map in black ink that you can see above that Crystal hand-watercolored for Priscilla and David.  It’s such a lovely keepsake and piece of artwork that they could frame and hang up in their home after the wedding was over!

Lastly, each invitation included a schedule of events card that was printed in two ink colors: olive green and orange.  This card had the places and times of each event, as well as a website URL for guests to reference for additional information.

I loved working on this suite and I imagine that Priscilla and David’s Key West wedding was warm, tropical and absolutely beautiful!  Thanks so much for working on these with us last year Priscilla!  All the best to you and David!

Weddings | Vi & Lalo

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember a post from over a year ago about an awesome set of very modern black & white save-the-date coasters we did for a Texas couple named Vi & Lalo. The coasters are pictured below.  I loved printing this design, and as a result have designed and printed several other very similar save-the-dates since.  This reminded me that in all of the excitement and busyness of last fall, I never actually wrote about Vi & Lalo’s invitation suite.  Their invitations were super-cool too!

Vi and Lalo’s invitations were also black and white and were a square pocket folder style.  The suite included an invitation with coordinating envelope, a reply card and envelope, a reception card, and a sweet, simple belly band.  In the grouping of photos below you can see Vi & Lalo’s pocket folder invitation all closed up with the belly band.  The belly band was a simple band of purple paper that was printed with their names and wedding date in silver ink.  When the pocket folder was opened, it revealed their awesome, 6.25″ square invitation in the center of the folder with the extra pieces in the suite neatly stored in the pocket on the right.  In the bottom right photo below you can see a close-up of their return address from their invitation envelopes.  The invitation envelopes were 6.5″ square metallic silver ones with their address printed in black ink on the flap.

I love how modern and unique Vi & Lalo’s invitation design was!  Vi and Lalo designed all of the pieces in their suite themselves and then hired us to letterpress print them.  All of the printing was done on 110 lb. Crane Lettra Bright White 100% cotton paper in black ink.  I love Vi’s use of ultra-modern fonts and how she made the letters of her and Lalo’s names join together in certain areas and connect to the modern flourishes at the top and bottom of the invite.  They’re so cool!!

Vi and Lalo’s reply card was designed to match and utilized the same fonts and similar design elements from the invitation.  These were a 4bar size and came paired with a coordinating purple envelope in the same shade as the belly band.  Each reply card envelope was printed with Vi & Lalo’s address on the front in black ink.

Last, but not least, Vi & Lalo also included a separate reception card with their suite.  Their wedding was held in a church and the reception in a hotel, so this extra little card was perfect for making the distinction.  I love how Vi continued the modern flourishing on this card even though she didn’t have larger typography to connect it to!  The continuity throughout this suite is just so cool!

I loved working with Vi & Lalo last year on these invitations and just love their modern sense of style!  Thanks so much again for working with us Vi!  If you ever need anything else, just let me know!  All the best!

 

Weddings | Louise & Dagan

Hi all!  I must apologize for my lack of blogging this week, but it’s been crazy – busy around here!  To make up for my absence, I want to show you a really special set of wedding invitations that we created last year for a couple in Indiana who had a destination wedding in Florida last April.  Let me tell you, this is a post I should have written, literally, about a year ago.  The couple I’m going to be writing about, Louise and Dagan, were so awesome and wonderful to work with, and so understanding when situations weren’t ideal, that they have been long overdue for some blogging love.  You see, I worked with Louise last year on her fairly extensive set of invitations that you can see in the photo above.  The invitation suite included an A6 size invitation, A7 size inner and outer envelopes, An A2 size reply card and coordinating envelope, a custom monogram belly band, 4bar size rehearsal dinner and brunch invitations and a smaller website card.  The suite utilized combinations of three different ink colors including chocolate brown and two lovely shades of green.  All of the pieces were printed on Crane Lettra Pearl White paper and the invite envelopes were also from Crane.  The lovely light green envelopes that Louise chose for her reply card envelopes were from Waste Not Paper Company.  Everything went completely as planned with this job, and we were a week away from going to print on it, when I fell hiking and broke my leg last January.  I expected Louise to freak out about the sudden, unplanned delay in her printing, but she took everything with stride and was so completely sweet about it to boot.  Despite the delays, her invitations were amazing, and I’m so excited to finally be showing them off to you on this blog.

In the photos above you can see what the whole “package” looked like together.  Louise and Dagan’s invitation suite came in an A7 size envelope and featured all of the cards I mentioned above tied up with a custom, letterpress monogram belly band.  If you have a lot of different pieces in your invitation suite, and aren’t including something like a pocket folder, this is a really nice way to tie everything together (no pun intended) and make it look really nice for your guests when they pull it out of the envelope.

Louise and Dagan’s belly band was a 2″ round medallion featuring their initials in the darker of their two green inks with two little love birds perched on either letter.  The medallion had two small holes drilled on either side of the initials so that we could thread a 1/4″ wide, green, double-faced satin ribbon through each one.  Each ribbon tied in a small knot behind all of the stationery.

The main piece in Louise and Dagan’s suite was their gorgeous, three-color, A6 size wedding invitation.  The invitation featured a classic roman typeface for the majority of the invite text and then a lovely, playful script in green for their names.  The motif on the top of the invitation, was one that I’ve used before several times, but that I love very much.  It’s a couple of love birds in branches surrounded by clusters of lovely blossoms.  Isn’t this invitation gorgeous?!?

Louise and Dagan’s A2 size reply card was also printed in three colors and was designed to match their invitation.  It featured a smaller bird-in-branches motif in the top right corner and all of their response options below in a mix of the roman and decorative script fonts we had used on the invitation.  For the meal at the reception, Louise had her guests indicate whether they wanted Surf-n-Turf with a cow + lobster icon, or vegetarian, represented by a couple of carrots.  I use little animal and vegetable icons for meal choice options on reply cards all of the time, and let me tell you, for some reason they just never get old.  I love them!

Loise and Dagan’s reply card envelopes were printed simply with one ink color (the darker green) on a light green envelope from Waste Not Paper Company.

There were also two smaller invitations – one to a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding and one for a brunch the morning after the wedding, included in Louise and Dagan’s invite suite.  Both of these invitations were printed on 4bar size cards in one ink color.  The Brunch invite was vertically oriented and printed in the darker green ink and the rehearsal dinner invite was horizontally oriented and printed in the mintier green.  Last, but not least, they also included a small, 3.5″x2.5″ card with their website information and two more little birdies in an even darker green ink.

I just love how everything coordinated so well with this suite!

After we completed their invitations, Louise and Dagan hired me again to do some design work and letterpress printing for their actual wedding ceremony and reception.  We designed and printed for them a coordinating set of thank you cards, some cute monogram favor tags, table numbers and place cards.  Louise’s thank you cards, which you can see in the top photo below, were a 4bar size folded card printed in one ink color that came with matching white envelopes.  The thank you’s featured the same script we used throughout the invitation suite and two little flying love birds across the front of the card.

For their favor tags, Louise and Dagan had me print more of the the little monogram medallions we had used for their belly bands, but instead of drilling small holes in the sides, we drilled a single hole in the top of the medallion instead.  This allowed Louise to run a tiny 1/8″ wide satin ribbon through each medallion and tie them to her favors.

Their table numbers and place cards were really cute!  These weren’t actually letterpress printed, but what we did is took one of the bird designs from the invitation and scaled it up fairly large.  We then found coordinating papers that would match their green inks and custom die-cut several little birdies out of the different green papers.  Louise used one shade of green for the place cards and the other for her table numbers.  She hired a calligrapher to write out the names and numbers on each little card and for the place cards, we drilled holes in the cards so she could hang them from a small tree at the entrance to their reception.  Totally cute idea – don’t you think?!?

Lastly, in lieu of a guest book, Louise and Dagan had me print a run of double-sided postcards in their design in green ink.  The postcards were left on a table, where you might find an ordinary guest book, and guests were instructed to write their well-wishes on a postcard that would be mailed to Louise and Dagan later on in the upcoming year.  I think this is a totally fun idea, not only because it’s more letterpress, but also because then you get wonderfully happy mail from all of the people who attended your wedding throughout the coming year.  Very cool idea.  Very cool.

So, do you want to see some wedding photos from Louise and Dagan’s big day?   I know you do.  Louise sent me these a couple of months after the wedding.  She was such a beautiful bride!  All photos below courtesy of Goode Green Photography in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Aren’t they one of the loveliest couples you’ve ever seen?!?  Thanks so much again Louise and Dagan for working with me last year!  You two were so wonderful to work with and I hope I get to work with you again at some point in the future.  All the best!

Weddings | Jasmine & Kristin

Remember the pretty celadon green and blind embossed Save-the-Dates we created for Jasmine and Kristin who are getting married in May, this past fall?  Well, shortly after we finished their Save-the-Dates, I finished designing and printing their wedding invitations!  Jasmine and Kristin were really on top of it when it came to figuring out what they wanted, so designing for them was an absolute breeze!

Jasmine and Kristin’s wedding invitation suite included a 5.5″ square invite with corresponding envelope, a 4bar size reply card with corresponding envelope and a ribbon belly band with a medallion to hold all of the pieces together.  Both the invitation and reply card were printed on 100% cotton rag Holyoke Paper in their Bone White color and both sets of envelopes were a khaki color from Waste Not Paper Company.

For their invitation envelope, we wanted to do something fancy that incorporated one of their wedding colors that we hadn’t used in the save-the-dates: chocolate brown.  In order to do this, Jasmine and Kristin picked a khaki colored envelope and I printed some gorgeous flourishes on the top left and bottom right corners in chocolate brown ink with their return address printed on the back flap.  For their names in the return address, we used Jasmine’s handwriting, just like we did for the Save-the-Date!  I love how personal and unique it is when we use a bride or groom’s handwriting as part of their invitation design.

When you open up their invitation envelope, this is what you would see.  Enclosed are the invite, reply card, and reply card envelope, stacked in order of size, and tied together with a 1/4″ light pink ribbon that has a celedon green medallion in the center of it with Jasmine and Kristin’s initials printed on it in chocolate brown ink.  I make these types of belly bands a lot and I think that they are a lovely way to, literally, “tie-together” an invitation suite! You can see the whole “package”, in greater detail, in the photo below.

For the actual invitation, Jasmine and Kristin chose a design with cascading light pink flourishes and celadon green text.  For the majority of the text on this invite, we used a modern san-serif typeface, and for the names, we used Jasmine’s actual handwriting.  In order to achieve this for the letterpress print, I had Jasmine write out several versions of her and her fiancée’s names on a plain sheet of white paper, then we scanned the names in to the computer, turned them in to vector graphics and made a photopolymer plate of the version they liked best.  I think it turned out great!

Their reply card was designed to match the invite and was also printed in two ink colors: light pink and celadon green.  I used one fancy cascade of flourishes to decorate this card coming in from the top left corner of the card and the same combination of fonts (the modern san-serif and Jasmine’s handwriting) for the text.  It’s so simple, but so beautiful, at the same time.

Last, but not least, we created a reply card envelope in the same colors and style as the invite envelope, but this time in a 4bar size to fit the reply card.  I decorated the front of this envelope with some chocolate brown flourishes and we used a combination of handwriting and regular type for the address on the front.
Jasmine and Kristin were such a fun couple to work with and I’m sure their wedding in Tennessee this upcoming May is going to be just lovely!  Thanks again Jasmine and Kristin!  You are awesome!

Weddings | Lindsay & Shawn

A couple of weeks ago I finished a very beautiful and elaborate set of wedding invitations for California couple Lindsay and Shawn’s upcoming wedding in La Quinta at the end of February.  We’ve been working with Lindsay and Shawn for a while now.  I posted about their awesome, letterpress + photo save-the-dates back in September here.  Lindsay and Shawn have an awesome sense of style and we were able to create several gorgeous pieces using the same colors and design elements that we had previously used for their save-the-dates.  Their wedding invitation suite included an A7 size wedding invitation with coordinating inner/outer envelope sets, a 4bar size reply card with coordinating envelope, an A2 size reception card, and an A6 size map/directions card.  The entire suite was printed in one ink color, black, on 100% cotton Holyoke paper in Antique White.  We created a gorgeous invitation wrap out of light pink, lacy, Japanese Uzumaki paper and tied the package shut with a custom letterpress printed monogram medallion belly band.  We also printed letterpress wedding menus and place cards for Lindsay and Shawn, which you will see farther down in this post.

A beautiful set of invitations often begins with a beautiful set of envelopes, so let’s start there.  Lindsay and Shawn chose to go the traditional route with their envelopes and had us print an inner/outer set.  Both envelopes have pointed flaps and are 100% cotton envelopes from Crane & Co.  The outer invitation envelope is simply printed with their return address in black ink.  The inner invitation envelope features no printing, but a lovely custom lining made from screen printed, floral, lokta paper in black and white that Lindsay picked out.  I really love the pattern she picked and I think it compliments the rest of her suite beautifully!  In the image on the top right above, you can see what the inner envelope looks like, opened with the invitation package inside.  It’s just gorgeous!

Here is what the invitation suite looks like when you pull it out of the envelope.  Lindsay and Shawn’s invitation, reply card and envelope, reception card and directions card are all stacked in order of size and wrapped in a custom-made, light pink, spiral, Japanese Uzumaki paper.  This paper is tissue thin, yet fairly strong and totally beautiful!  When we talked about what their guests would see when opening the invitations, I thought it would be lovely if the pieces were held together in some sort of package, and this is the solution we came up with!  I just love how functional, yet delicate, and beautiful this invitation wrap is!  The wrap is tied closed with a 2″ round monogram medallion that was printed and die-cut from Holyoke paper, and has a 1/4″ wide, black satin ribbon threaded through it.  All of the materials and textures of this suite and just gorgeous together!

Lindsay and Shawn’s wedding invitation is an A7 size and is the largest and most prominent piece in the package you see above.  For the invitation design, we used Lindsay’s damask pattern from her Save-the-Dates to decorate the bottom of the invitation and her monogram at the top.  The text is laid out in a traditional arrangement with the couple’s names in a lovely script font and the other information in a classic serif face!  I just love the impression that letterpress printing this design created in the Holyoke Paper.  It’s just as beautiful to touch as it is to look at!

Lindsay and Shawn’s directions and reception cards were designed to match the invitation and were also printed in black ink on Holyoke paper.  For these two cards we used the damask pattern on the side, rather than the bottom, and continued to utilize the same script and serif typefaces from the invitation.  For the directions card, I created a small map of La Quinta and Indian Wells with Lindsay and Shawn’s church, rehearsal dinner location, and reception location on it.  This card should be a handy little reference for guests who are trying to get from one venue to the next.

Lindsay and Shawn’s reply card and envelope, which were also designed to match, are a 4bar size and were printed in black ink.  Like the invitation, we used the damask pattern to decorate the bottom, and Lindsay used my adorable animal and vegetable icons for her reception entrée choices for guests to indicate.  You may have remembered that we used light pink envelopes for Lindsay and Shawn’s Save-the-Dates.  We used the same color of pink envelopes her her reply card envelopes to tie the suite together even more!

Lindsay has a couple of bridesmaids who are taking calligraphy classes, and they offered to do calligraphy for her invitation envelopes and for her place cards.  So that they would have plenty of time to do the place cards, as Lindsay and Shawn get their reply cards back, we designed and printed their place cards at the same time as the invitation suite.  These beauties are traditional, simple, and match the invitations perfectly.  They were printed on Holyoke Paper as well, and feature Lindsay and Shawn’s damask pattern on the fold of each tented card.  The pattern wraps from back to front, as you can see in the photo below, making both sides pretty and perfect for writing guest’s names.  You can also see another image of the belly band and the Japanese Uzumaki paper we used for the invite wrap in the photo below – just ’cause I thought it was pretty!

For the wedding reception, we also designed and letterpress printed a set of lovely wedding menus to go at each place setting.  Lindsay and Shawn’s menus are a #10 size and feature their monogram at the top and damask pattern on the bottom.  We used their script font for the headers of each course and the traditional serif face we’ve been using all along for the descriptions of each dish.  Aren’t these gorgeous as well?!?

Last, but certainly not least, Lindsay and Shawn wanted a nice little rehearsal dinner invitation that would coordinate with their wedding invitations, but not necessarily match them.  For these A2 size invites, we lost the damask pattern and monogram, but kept the same fonts as the other pieces in the suite.  Lindsay wanted to use a small motif that would speak to their southern California location, so we chose a small, vintage-looking palm tree image to decorate the top.  These cards also came with light pink envelopes in the same shade as the envelopes we used for their reply cards and Save-the-Dates.

I’ve absolutely loved working with Lindsay and Shawn so far on all of the paper goods for their wedding!  Lindsay and I are currently working on designing some thank you cards and wedding programs to go with this suite, so I’ll be posting photos of those as well, when they’re done.  Thanks so much Lindsay & Shawn!  Talk to you soon!

Weddings | Julie & Joe

Happy October everyone!  I can’t believe 2010 is flying by so fast.  It’s amazing.  At any rate, Twin Ravens Press has a very big congratulations for San Francisco couple, Julie & Joe, today.  Julie and Joe ordered their wedding invitations and other paper goods from Twin Ravens and are getting married today in Italy (actually they are already married and having their reception, since Italy is so far ahead time-zone wise, but you get where I’m going with this).  We worked with Julie and Joe on several different stationery pieces for their wedding, from invitations to pieces for the actual ceremony and reception (happening now!!).  You can see their whole invitation suite at the top of this post which included an A7 size invitation printed in two ink colors: deep navy blue and silver, a 4bar reply card, matching envelopes for both and a custom letterpress printed belly band.

All of Julie and Joe’s stationery was printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Pearl White Paper in one or two ink colors: deep navy blue and/or metallic silver.  Their envelopes were also from Crane’s Lettra line and were pearl white with square flaps.  When you first opened Julie & Joe’s wedding invitation, this is what you would see:

Isn’t that a gorgeous package?!?  Julie and Joe’s envelopes were printed with silver ink and all of the pieces in their invitation suite were held together with a custom printed, paper belly band that had the word “Amore” (“Love” in Italian) in script in the center of it.

Above you can see their invitation by itself.  Julie wanted to invoke a sense of old-world style and romance for her Italian wedding with her invitation.  The invitation we designed is a traditional A7 size and featured a delicate, formal, romantic border, printed in blue ink all the way around.  Inside the border, we used three different fonts for the text of the invitation.  Julie and Joe’s names as well as the name of the church where they are being married in Italy were done in the fanciest script of the suite, with lots of delicate flourishes.  We used a simpler, but still very decorative, script face for the wedding date and Julie’s parent’s names, and then we used a still formal, but less decorative, classic serif typeface for the rest of the text.  It’s sometimes difficult to incorporate a lot of fonts into a design without making the design too busy, but I think the way we did it for Julie & Joe’s stationery turned out really really elegant.

We also created a 4bar size response card to accompany their invitation.  The response card was printed in blue and the envelope for it was printed in silver ink.  We still managed to incorporate all three fonts in to the actual card and we used a very decorative circular motif, printed large for the decoration on the card.  The reply envelopes featured Julie’s parent’s address on the front and a small flourish on the back flap, both in silver ink.  In the group of photos below you can see detail photos of the reply card, both envelopes and the belly band.

After their invitations were mailed out, Julie and Joe hired Twin Ravens Press again to create some additional stationery pieces for their actual ceremony and reception.  Here is their wedding program:

The program is also an A7 size with a fold in the center to create a little booklet.  We helped Julie design the interior pages for this piece as well.  In order to save some money on printing, Julie opted to have the cover of her programs letterpress printed and the interior pages digitally printed.  This is a great way to save money on programs and other pieces that may have multiple pages, while still maintaining the look and style of letterpress printing.  For this design I created a couple of new flourish-y border elements with birds, and we utilized the same fonts and same dark blue ink color that we had used on the invitations.  Julie also had me print a short, sweet little message on the back of each program, which you can see in the bottom right photo of the above grouping.

Many of Julie & Joe’s guests were planning to spend time in Italy before and after the wedding as well.  Since Julie and Joe wanted to spend as much time with their guests as possible and also give them ideas and tips on other things to do in and around Santa Margherita, they had me also design and print a wedding itinerary booklet for each guest.  Like the program, the cover of these itineraries was letterpress printed and the interior pages were digitally printed.  Julie’s guide included tips on things to see, places to eat, maps and other things to do.  It seems like a really fantastic guide, especially for guests who had never travelled to Italy before.

The left and top right image in the above grouping are of the Itinerary cover.  The image in the bottom right is of their place cards for the reception.  These place cards are tented and feature a little bit of the motif from their belly band and reply card in the bottom left corner, and a brand new border printed in blue ink.  Julie hired the fabulous Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy to calligraph both her invitation envelopes and her place cards.  If you are in need of a calligrapher for you upcoming event, I can’t say enough good things about Fran and her work.  She’s just fabulous!

Last, but certainly not least, Julie and Joe also hired us to design and print a set of wedding menus for their reception dinner.  Julie and Joe planned to have a traditional, Italian, multi-course dinner for their wedding reception.  I lived in Italy for a short time in college and, let me tell you, one of the best things about Italy is the food and the way the Italians take their time and enjoy it.  As you can see from the above menu, their wedding dinner involved five amazing-sounding courses.  We printed these menus in both English and Italian in blue ink on a #10 size, long and skinny piece of paper.  The border we used for the design is the same border I created for them for their invitation.  Aren’t those gorgeous, and doesn’t their dinner just sound amazing!?!

Julie and Joe were so much fun to work with and I’m sure that their wedding in Italy today has been amazing.  Julie promised to share pictures from the day once they are back in the States, and I can’t wait to see them!  Congratulations Julie & Joe!  Have a wonderful rest of your trip, and we’ll talk to you soon!

Weddings | Kara & Steve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aren’t these just too cool?!?

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

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

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

Thanks so much Kara & Steve – you guys rock!

Weddings | Caroline & John



Shortly before Christmas I completed a lovely, formal set of wedding invitations for a wonderful couple in Massachusetts who are getting married in Rhode Island this June. Caroline and John wanted a traditional, formal invitation suite to compliment the style of their upcoming New England wedding, with a little extra something to give a nod to Caroline’s Chinese heritage. You can see all of the pieces in the suite pictured in the image above. The suite included an A7 size wedding invitation with corresponding gold envelope, a 4bar size reply card also with corresponding gold envelope, a 3.5″x2″ website card and a lovely, ribbon belly band with medallion to tie the whole suite together.

Let’s take a look at each of the pieces in Caroline & John’s suite individually!
Here is their wedding invitation. All of the pieces in Caroline & John’s suite were printed on beautiful, cream, Rives BFK printmaking paper. This paper is 100% cotton and has a very smooth, hot press finish and it holds a letterpress impression and fine lines beautifully. We chose a very formal layout and fonts for the invitation design and printed it in one ink color: black. I’ve said it before and will say it again: I absolutely LOVE how crisp, black ink on an all-text invitation looks letterpress printed onto fine 100% cotton paper. There’s really nothing else like it and it is oh so classy! Check out a closer detail of the typography and printing:
Caroline & John chose a lovely, shimmery yellow-gold envelope from Waste Not Paper Company as their invitation envelope.
Caroline and John’s reply card is a standard 4bar size and also came with a coordinating yellow-gold envelope. This piece was also printed in black ink on Rives BFK and we continued using the more formal, classic fonts that we had picked for the invitation in order to carry the style all the way through the suite.
When I originally sent Caroline samples of some other invitations that we had printed in the past, she mentioned really liking the use of icons to represent meal choices for guests, rather than writing out the meal choices in words, so we used this same idea for her reply card as well! As you can see in the above images, Caroline and John’s reply card features the reply-by date at the top, a line for the guests to write their names, a place to check whether or not they will be attending the wedding and then below that is the question regarding meal choices. Each meal choice (fish, beef or vegetarian) has a line next to it for the guest to write in initials of who wants what entree. I love doing this on reply cards and think it adds a little extra whimsy to an otherwise very traditional reply card.
Like many couples I work with, Caroline and John have a wedding website where guests can locate more information about their upcoming wedding, directions, information about where to stay in Rhode Island, etc. In order to inform guests about their website, Caroline and John had me create a small (business card-size) website card featuring just the URL of their wedding website.
As with the other pieces, we still kept with the same, formal design and fancy typography. I think this is a lovely way to share your website with your guests!
To tie the whole suite together (literally) we created a belly band to coordinate with the suite. This belly band was made from 1/4″ matching, yellow-gold ribbon from Waste Not Paper, and a custom, letterpress printed, 2.5″ round medallion.
I’ve created belly band medallions like this for wedding invitation suites in the past and typically they feature the couple’s initials and/or monogram, but for this particular suite, Caroline wanted to use the Chinese double-happiness character on her medallion instead. This symbol, as well as the color red, is very traditional and significant for Chinese weddings, and I thought this was a lovely way for Caroline to incorporate it into her suite.
Here is what the suite looked like all put together:
The various pieces were stacked, largest to smallest, with the double-happiness belly band tying everything together. I love the way the whole “package” looks – it’s formal, beautiful and absolutely elegant. I also love the way the belly band keeps all of the pieces together, just so, so that the above is what the package looks like when it is pulled out of the envelope.
Gorgeous! I’m so glad I got to help make Caroline and John’s invitations and vision a reality! I know their wedding this June is going to be absolutely elegant!
Congratulations Caroline & John!