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Letterpress Printed Watercolor Maps


Remember the awesome letterpress printed invitation booklets I blogged about last week that were created for Allison & Ryan?  Well, there was one other part of that project that I didn’t mention yet: water-colored letterpress printed maps.  When Allison and Ryan hired me to do their invitation books, they also had me print a few extra copies of their maps to send back to the original designer/mapmaker, Crystal Kluge, to be water-colored.  I was just over checking out Crystal’s blog this morning and saw some images she posted of the finished maps and boy do they look fantastic!  You can see a photo of one of them at the top of this post, and you can find the pics of the others here.  Aren’t those great?!?  And what a fantastic and beautiful keepsake to hang up on your wall.  Love ’em!

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.

F is for Fail (A Short Film About the Creative Process)

F is for FAIL from Brent Barson on Vimeo.

If, like me, you work in some kind of design or creative field full-time, you’re sure to appreciate this video.  You’ll also like it if you are just a fan of really awesome uses of typography.  

From Vimeo:
F is for Fail is a short film about the creative process, and the failure we always encounter, but usually overcome.  Told using the alphabet, each letter informs us of the state of the protagonist’s creativity/state of mind.  Each letter has two words associated with it (except A and Z); sometimes the positive word overpowers the negative word, and vice-versa. 
Creative direction, design, and animation by Brent Barson.   
I thought it was really cool!  Check it out!  

Don't Divorce…

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

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

From the Mailbox…

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

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

Hee hee…

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

Image via ffffound

50 People, One Question

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

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

Good Design


I was blog hopping earlier today and ran across this poster. The first thought that came to my head was, literally: “Dude, that would look pretty cool letterpress printed, with some nice old wood type.” The second thought was “Wow, that’s sad, but painfully true.”

(Image via Design Crush)

Carlos Lascano

I’m headed up to Portland this afternoon to run a few letterpress-related errands and potentially do some shopping.  While I’m away, you can tide yourself over with this lovely stop motion animation.  I recently discovered Carlos Lascano, and I think that I may be in love (with his work).  As another blogger put it: his talent truly runneth over.  More letterpress tomorrow.  Enjoy!