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From the Mailbox | Awesome Wedding Bag from Erica & Noah

It’s really fun to open your mail and receive something other than bills and junk, and I wanted to let you all know, I got something totally awesome in the mail today!  Last spring I worked with a couple in New York, who were married in June, on an awesome set of wedding invitation booklets that were letterpress printed on wildflower seeded paper and hand-bound by us.  These invitations were featured on our blog here, back in May and they were one of the most complex (and beautiful) suites I’ve ever designed and produced, that utilized the talents of not only myself, but a couple of my other favorite artists/calligraphers/designers, Crystal Kluge and Fran Heider.  You may recognize her invitations from another well-known wedding site, WeddingBee, if you had seen them before, but not from us.  Erica is Mrs. Hermit Crab.  Erica and her husband, Noah, were two of my favorite clients last year, and so it was awesome to receive some mail from them several months after their wedding had passed.  They sent me the cute postcard that you see above with a photo of them on their wedding day, and the lovely blue canvas bag that you see below.

Erica’s postcard explained that she and Noah had had these bags printed for their out-of-town guests who were attending the wedding.  The bags featured the same hand-drawn map by Crystal Kluge that they had commissioned for their invitation suite.  I thought this was a cute idea, plus, I’m super-excited to have a bag of my own!  If you wanted to see just a glimpse of what their invitations were like, you can below.  The image on the left is of the actual invitation page in their booklet and the image on the right is of their map in the booklet.  If you’d like to see more photos of their invitations and read more about them, click on the link above to go to the full post!

Thanks so much again Erica and Noah!  You two are too sweet!  All the best!

Weddings | Andrea & Adam

Way back in March of this year we completed a really wonderful and unique set of wedding invitations for an awesome couple in Vancouver, Canada who were married in June.  This is one of those sets of invitations that I had been planning to blog about all along, both because it and the couple it was created for were so cool, but as usually happens during the spring, time got away from me when we were super-busy, and I’m only catching up on the blogging now.  At any rate, check out Andrea and Adam’s totally awesome, custom invitation suite above!

Like many couples who work with us, Andrea and Adam wanted a set of invitations for their upcoming wedding that were totally personalized and unique, and ones that really said something about their personalities and who they are as a couple.  Andrea explained to me that she and Adam are avid outdoor enthusiasts and had actually met while climbing in British Columbia.  Aside from climbing, they are also avid backpackers, hikers, skiers, etc.  They wanted their wedding invitations to have an earthy, natural, outdoors-y feel to them, and this is what we came up with.  Andrea and Adam’s invitation suite included an A7 size invite and corresponding envelope, an A2 size reply post card, and a coordinating 3.5″x2″ website card.  The three main pieces in their invitation suite were printed on a really fabulous paper: Magnani Annigoni, which is handmade in Italy from a blend of cotton and wool fiber.  It is unbleached, and not died, so the color you see is what the paper looks like naturally.  It’s not a paper that my customers choose very often, but I absolutely love it when they do!  It’s just so unique!

As I mentioned above, Andrea and Adam’s invite was a standard A7 size (measuring 5″x7″) and was printed in one ink color: a rich chocolate brown.  For the design, Andrea sent me a topo map of the area around Wedgemount Lake in BC – a wilderness area that is very special to Andrea and Adam’s relationship.  In order to incorporate this in to the design, we chose to blind emboss the entire section of map into the background of the invitation.  This created some phenomenal texture!  The design we printed in brown over the top, was fairly simple, but absolutely lovely.  We created two evergreen trees which were placed on the left side of the design with the text of their invitation justified to the right of them.  We used a combination of a classic serif font for the main information, combined with a much more decorative script for the couple’s names, wedding date and the name of their venue.  Isn’t their design just cool!?!

We paired the invite and other pieces with a Moss Green envelope from Waste Not Paper Company and printed their return address in the same brown ink we used for the invite on the flap.

Andrea and Adam’s reply post card also included blind embossing of the Wedgemount Lake wilderness topo map in the background, and we used another evergreen tree to separate the two sides of the card, rather than a plain line.   Like a regular postcard, the couple’s return address and a place for a stamp was printed on the right hand side.  The left side included lines for guest’s to write in their names, check boxes to indicate whether or not they planned to attend, and then a space for guests to initial meal choices for the reception.  We used our popular animal icons for the meal choices, which I just never get tired of.  They are way too cute for words!  We also included a line for guests to indicate how much parking they anticipated needing.  This line was indicated by a little brown VW Bug (my favorite!).  Check out some of the details and blind embossing in the photos below!

The top two photos as well as the bottom left one in the grouping above are detail photos of Andrea and Adam’s reply card.  The photo on the bottom right, however, shows their website card.  Andrea and Adam chose to create a small separate website card to include with their invitations so that guests would know where to go to get further information, without having the web address printed right on the invitation itself.  This card is 3.5″x2″, which is the same size as a standard business card, and was also printed in chocolate brown ink.  We created a super-cute compass design for this card, with Adam and Andrea’s initials on the compass on either side of a heart.  Isn’t that sweet?!?  I just love how every little detail we included in the suite really tied in well with Adam and Andrea’s personalities and outdoor hobbies.

Andrea also created a separate belly band herself to tie everything together after she received her invitations from us.  She was kind enough to send me a photo of everything all tied up together, and I wanted to share it with you too:

Didn’t she do an awesome job?!?   I love the bark paper she chose for the actual band and I think the brown raffia and little compass tag she created to tie it up are really cute.

Thanks so much again Adam and Andrea for working with us on your invitations!  I imagine that your wedding this past June was just beautiful!  If you ever need anything else, please don’t hesitate to let me know!  All the best!

Weddings | Erica & Noah

Hi all and welcome to our new website!  Wow, it feels like such a long time since I was last here, doing the blogging thing, and really it has been.  My last post was April 11th, which was (eep!) over a month and a half ago.  Seriously, where does time go to anyway?!?  In the last month and a half we not only moved from our old blog site, to this new, awesome, much prettier, and much more informative one, but we’ve also designed and printed several new and gorgeous invites to show off to you, have a new service to show off, and we went to our first national trade show last week in New York City.  It’s been pretty crazy around here, but all that means for you is that there will be a lot of awesomeness to read about on this blog in the coming weeks – so stayed tuned!

As for today, though, I have a truly amazing set of wedding invitations to show off to you that I showed you a sneak peek of right before my extreme blogging absence over the past month and a half.  Without further ado, I present to you, the wedding invitations of Erica & Noah.  I’ve been working with Erica for quite some time now, creating paper goods for their very quickly approaching wedding in New York City.  If you missed their Save-the-Date cards that I posted about a few months ago, you really ought to go and check them out here.  Erica and Noah have been an amazing couple to work with and I’m so excited to be finally showing these off to you in their full glory.  At the top of this post you can see all of the pieces in the main invitation suite together.  For Erica and Noah’s wedding we created gorgeous, hand-sewn, letterpress printed wedding invitation booklets, a set of printed, custom-lined envelopes for each book to slip in to, matching directions cards, reply card and reply card envelopes.  These booklets were a true collaboration, not only between Erica, Noah and myself, but also between Twin Ravens Press and some of our favorite outside artists and wedding vendors.  More on that momentarily.

Here is what the invitation booklets look like on the outside.  Each booklet was hand-sewn with chocolate brown linen thread and the covers were made from blue Nepalese Lokta paper.  This paper is handmade in Nepal using centuries-old traditions with fibrous bark from the daphne cannabina shrub, which grows at high altitudes in the Himalayas.  Each sheet is made by hand, making each one subtly unique! As a decorative detail, we attached a small sprig of magenta leptospermum flowers to each book.  Aren’t they pretty?!?

When you open the booklet to the first printed page, this is what you would see:

All of the interior pages of these booklets were printed on  handmade, totally awesome, cream colored paper from Porridge Papers that has mixed wildflower seeds embedded.  Like the paper we used for Erica & Noah’s Save-the-Dates, this paper will actually grow wildflower seeds if it is planted!  The first page of the booklet features gorgeous hebrew calligraphy by Jerise, and gorgeous english calligraphy by one of my favorite calligraphers in the universe, Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy.  The calligraphy is of a traditional Hebrew poem, often used in Jewish weddings.  I think this is a really nice and personal touch and is a great “opener” for a booklet-style invite.

The second page of the booklet is Erica and Noah’s actual invitation:

Erica & Noah’s invitation features a lovely design of poppies and lavender letterpress printed in three ink colors: a deep, bright red, spring green and navy blue.  The invite page also featured more english calligraphy by Fran and Hebrew calligraphy by Jerise.  I love how the different calligraphy styles and our hand-drawn flowers came together so beautifully to create such a stunning page!  Next up is a page featuring a hand-drawn map of New York City with landmarks that are notable and relevant to Erica & Noah’s relationship and upcoming ceremony.

The map page was hand-drawn by another one of my favorite artists, Crystal Kluge.  I’ve worked with Crystal before on a few other map and calligraphy projects and her work is always amazing!  The fourth and final page in the booklet you can see in the bottom right of the above grouping and it is a simple information page which included accommodations and transportation information.  I love the way that a booklet-style invitation keeps all of the relevant information for the couple’s celebration together in one spot.  Plus, booklets make a really beautiful and wonderful keepsake for both the couple and the family and guests to cherish for years to come.

Along with the gorgeous booklets, Erica also had us design and print a few additional pieces to go along with the suite.  Here is their reply card and envelope:

Erica and Noah’s reply cards were also printed on wildflower seeded Porridge Paper in navy blue ink.  They featured more of the pretty floral design from the inside of the booklets and more calligraphy from Fran.  The envelope was a light blue shade from Waste Not Paper and had the couple’s return address letterpress printed on the front, also in navy ink.

There was also a separate directions card for getting to and from the ceremony and reception from various locations in and around New York City.

Erica chose to keep this page separate from the booklets so that guests could easily tuck it into their purse or glovebox on their way to the ceremony without having to remember the entire book.

In order to mail these off to their guests, Erica and Noah needed some pretty nice envelopes.  They chose a luxe cream colored envelope from Waste Not Paper and we lined it with slightly off-white, lighter-weight Nepalese Lokta paper that was embedded with pink flower petals.  We also printed their return address on the back flap of each envelope in navy ink so that everything coordinated perfectly!

In all honesty, I love just about every detail of this invitation suite.  It was a long and extremely detailed endeavor for our studio, but the results were truly spectacular, and Erica and Noah were super-happy and excited about them.  If you’re reading my post and thinking to yourself that you may have seen some of these photos before, wonder no longer.  You may have.  If you are a reader of WeddingBee.com, Erica is one of the featured bloggers over there, and she wrote many wonderful things about these invitations for her Weddingbee blog.    If you want to go and check them out, you can see her save-the-date and invitation-related posts here, here, here, here and here (she’s Miss Hermit Crab, by the way).  I loved reading Erica’s posts about the work we did together and it’s also been really fun sneaking peeks at other details of her wedding!

It’s not over yet though!  A few months after we finished her invitations, Erica and Noah hired Twin Ravens Press again to create a set of matching thank you cards to use after their wedding.

We printed these on a similarly-colored non-seeded paper from Crane (as Erica figured it would be easier to write on) with the same navy blue ink from the rest of the invitation suite and we paired it with the same light blue envelopes that we used for her reply cards, but this time, printed their return address on the back flap instead of on the front.  Aren’t they cute?!?

I’ve absolutely loved working with Erica and Noah these past few months and I know that their upcoming June wedding is going to be just spectacular!  Thanks so much Erica & Noah, you guys are awesome!  : )

Weddings | Maria and Ashley



I recently had the pleasure of working on a wedding invitation suite for a couple in Cali, Colombia! The couple is currently living in Florida, but they are having their wedding and reception this month in the bride’s home town of Cali.

Way back at the beginning of this year (wow, almost a year ago already – yikes!), the bride, Maria, and I began working on a design for her save-the-date cards. Maria wanted her invitation suite to be formal and traditional, and warm and inviting all at the same time. We chose a very traditional layout and fonts for the design, and to warm things up, used a chocolate brown (rather than black or grey) ink for the printing. The save-the-date was an A6 size, which measured 4.5″x6.25″. It came with a matching A6 size, white envelope with Maria’s brother’s return address in Cali, printed on the flap.
I absolutely love how decorative and beautiful a nice script face can be all by itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love designing pretty images and patterns for wedding invitations as well, but there’s just something about beautiful letterpress printed typography on white 100% cotton paper that brings joy to my heart. It’s just so lovely!
Not too long after we did her Save-the-Date cards, we started working on the design for the main invitations. Maria wanted to continue with the gorgeous all-text design we had used for the save-the-dates for her invitations as well as keeping with the same fonts and ink color. Her main invitation suite included an A7 size invitation, an A2 size reception card, a 5″ square map card and a beautiful set of inner/outer invitation envelopes. You can see a photo of the full suite at the top of this post and below is an image of just the invitation and invitation envelopes together.

For her invitation envelopes, Maria chose a matching set of white, A7 size envelopes with European pointed flaps from Waste Not Paper Company. We used the same address printing plate from her save-the-date card envelopes to print the return address on the flap of the outer invitation envelopes. The inner envelope was lined with a gorgeous, handmade paper from Nepal in a chestnut brown color. Maria hired one of my favorite calligraphers, Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy, to calligraph her addresses on both sets of envelopes. I’m sure the calligraphy was absolutely lovely!
Above you can see the invitation all by itself. Maria explained to me that it’s tradition in Colombia, and many other spanish-speaking countries, to include the parents names on the top of the invitation. I thought this was a really interesting tradition. Once again, I love the way the classic-looking script really accents and draws attention to Maria and Ashley’s names in the center of the invite. I wish you could feel it too through your computer screen, because the texture of the letterpress impression feels amazing!
Maria and Ashley’s reception card is an A2 size and featured the reception information, prominently in the center of the card and the phone number to RSVP to in the bottom left corner.
Isn’t that a classy card?!? I love it!
Creating a map for Maria and Ashley’s wedding was somewhat of a challenge. It was surprisingly difficult to find an english map of the city of Cali (even google maps’ map was in Spanish), and although I speak spanish fairly well, navigating a map of an unknown city, in a foreign language, while trying to locate certain streets and landmarks, was really challenging. Maria was awesome though and drew me a map of a little portion of the city that she wanted to use and I used that to create the map card design.

This map measures 5″x5″ and was letterpress printed in chocolate brown ink. The thick dark line running through the center of the map is a river, the Rio Cali, and we created cute little icons (inspired by a map created by Crystal Kluge earlier this year for this wedding) to represent major city landmarks, the Catholic church where Maria and Ashley’s wedding will be, their home, hotels they recommend, and for the reception location. Here is a close-up so you can get a better look:

I love the way this suite turned out and I know that Maria and Ashley’s wedding in Colombia in a couple of weeks will be really neat! Congratulations Maria & Ashley!

Weddings | Allison & Matt


As this summer was such a whirlwind in general for Twin Ravens Press, I’ve really been enjoying going back over the photos and samples of wedding invitations that we did all summer and getting to show off the ones that got missed on this blog earlier this year. The wedding set you are about to see in this post was designed and printed for a wonderful couple who were married in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 8th of this year. Allison found me through a post on Wedding Bee by a blogger, Mrs. Coconut, that we had done invitations for the November before. I was then contacted by Allison and Matt’s fabulous wedding planner, Alia Kennedy of Parasol Events. Alia was really great to work with and I would highly recommend her if you’re looking for a wedding planner in Hawaii. I worked with her with another set of clients shortly after working with Allison and Matt (whose stationery I’ll show off soon), and she’s totally great! Check out Parasol Events’ blog here, if you’d like to see more!
Anyway, back to Allison and Matt! They were really a fabulous couple to work with and I love the photos from their wedding that Alia sent me last week! That’s them at the top of this post, and there are more photos from their wedding further along in the post. You may recall hearing about them here before if you’ve followed this blog for a while. I did a post in March about their Save the Date Cards that we designed and printed, which you can find here. Allison loved the blind-embossed scroll pattern and pink hibiscus motif that we used for her Save the Date cards and wanted to continue the theme throughout the rest of her invitation suite.
Allison and Matt’s invitation suite included a 6.25″ square invitation, a 4bar size reply postcard, an A2 size directions card and a lined 6.5″ square invitation envelope. All pieces were printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper in Bright White with 2 ink colors: black and hibiscus pink and all the pieces included blind embossing details.
Here is Allison & Matt’s invitation and envelope.
We kept the layout for this piece fairly consistent with their Save-the-Date card design. A wide blind-embossed scroll pattern adorns the whole left side of the invitation and their pink hibiscus detail is featured prominently on the top left. We used black ink for the main body of their text and the same pink for their names. The return address on the envelope was also printed in hibiscus pink. Their envelopes are a European Pointed Flap style from Waste Not Paper Company.
Each envelope was hand-lined with a very light magnolia pink envelope liner created from paper made by Green Paper Company. I think the touch of light pink on the inside of the envelope added just a little extra touch of sweetness and elegance to an otherwise very traditional envelope. Here are a couple of detail photos of the invitation so you can see the blind embossing, impression, colors and fonts a little better:
I love the design of their reply postcard! It is a 4bar size and really keeps with the design of the invitation and save-the-dates. To switch things up a little on this we used the blind-embossed scroll pattern and hibiscus on the bottom edge instead of on the side.
I also love the tiny hibiscus detail next to the line about saving seats in the shuttle. That was Allison’s idea and I thought it was too cute!
For their directions card I created a map of a portion of Honolulu and their venue, Lanikuhonua, from some sample maps of the area that Allison and Matt’s wedding planner, Alia, sent to me.
We also included written directions on this card and some information about Allison and Matt’s wedding website. I continued the blind-embossed scroll and hibiscus motifs on this card and we also blind embossed the area of the map that is the ocean for a just a little bit more texture!
I absolutely love how gorgeous this suite turned out! I also love how we were able to create a design that was tropical for a destination Hawaiian wedding, but also very elegant at the same time. Check out this amazing photo that Allison & Matt’s photographer took of one of their invitations with their rings:
(Photo via dulcephoto.com)
Gorgeous, don’t you think? Allison and Matt, as well as their ceremony, looked absolutely beautiful and everyone look so happy! Check out the photos below from their wedding (all photos by Dulce Photo, courtesy of Alia Kennedy at Parasol Events).
I love the above photo, it’s so tropical and romantic! Aren’t the flowers in the photo below, just gorgeous?!?
I also love these group photos (particularly the very casual one of all the guys! Cheers!)
Gorgeous! Thanks so much Allison and Matt for having us do your stationery! It was wonderful to work with you! Congratulations and all the best!

From the Mailbox: Gorgeous Watercolor Maps by Crystal Kluge

Yesterday afternoon I was totally delighted when my mailman came and brought me a large chocolate brown colored envelope that was decorated with some gorgeous calligraphy, labels and those very awesome king & queen of hearts postage stamps that came out earlier this summer:
I get quite a bit of mail and it’s not everyday that you receive a package that looks this neat on the outside. Check it out, she even calligraphed our address on the large light grey circular label on the front:

This package was from a wonderful artist/calligrapher that I worked with a couple of months ago named Crystal Kluge. Crystal and I worked together with our clients, Allison and Ryan, to create a gorgeous wedding invitation booklet, complete with hand-illustrated maps for their wedding in September. Crystal illustrated three maps for them, and did the calligraphy for several different pages of their booklets, and I letterpress printed it all, along with the art I designed for their invitation, and hand-bound it all into small invitation booklets. If you don’t remember what this amazing suite looked like, check it out, here.
Anyway, in the previous post I mentioned that Allison and Ryan had commissioned Crystal to illustrate the three maps that were included in their books and I letterpress printed them. They also had me print a few loose maps on watercolor paper and send those to Crystal so that she could hand-watercolor them. Allison and Ryan wanted to have these maps as keepsakes and gorgeous art pieces that they could frame and hang up in their home. Crystal sent me photos of the finished maps she did for Allison and Ryan a couple of months ago and you can see those here. At the time, I sent Crystal a few copies of each map so she had some extras in case of mistakes or in case she wanted a set for her portfolio or for other promotional purposes.
Anyway, yesterday I opened her gorgeous envelope and found these:
Crystal water-colored a set of the letterpress printed maps and sent them back to me!! How awesome is that!?! I wasn’t really expecting it because I know that doing work like this is incredibly time-consuming, but I was absolutely delighted to get them in the mail! They are gorgeous! Check it out:
This is the first map in the booklet. It shows a detail of Allison and Ryan’s wedding location on the Oregon coast. The next map was a map of a large portion of western oregon and the I-5 corridor:
I love all three of these maps, but I think I love this center map the best. You can also see in the above photos the very sweet note that Crystal wrote me. And the third map was of Portland, Oregon:
Aren’t her maps and watercolor work just absolutely stunning?!? If you want to see more of Crystal’s work online, be sure to check out her website or her blog. She is incredibly talented and just a super-awesome person all around. If you love her style and are considering having a map, calligraphy or any hand-illustration done for your wedding invitations or another project, Crystal would be a wonderful person to contact. Believe me, it was a total pleasure working with her, and I can’t wait to work with her again! It was so much fun too to receive such wonderful work and a reminder of our collaboration in the mail yesterday!
Thanks so much for the gorgeous maps Crystal! They will most certainly be cherished.

Weddings | Katie & Matt

Photo Courtesy of Bishop Photography
Earlier this year I letterpress printed a really sweet set of wedding stationery for a really sweet bride-to-be in Baltimore named Katie. Katie works for Baltimore Magazine and contacted me about printing a really fun set of wedding invitations that she had designed herself for her then-upcoming June 27, 2009 wedding. Katie recently got back in touch with me about potentially printing some wedding stationery for one of her friends and at the same time sent me some totally fun photos from her wedding in June. Since I hadn’t had a chance to blog about Katie’s wonderful paper goods, I thought this would be a fabulous opportunity to not only show off her stationery, but also show off a few photos from her wedding.
The photo at the top of this post as well as the next two are photos Katie sent me from her wedding. I love the shot on the steps of them with their wedding party in the background and I LOVE the shot on the park bench where you can see Katie’s orange heels.
Photos Courtesy of Bishop Photography
Don’t Katie and Matt just seem like one of the cutest couples you’ve ever seen? Anyway, on to the stationery!
Like I mentioned previously, Katie designed the invitations for her wedding herself and hired Twin Ravens Press to print them. Katie and Matt’s suite included the invitation and corresponding envelope, a reply card with corresponding envelope, a reception card and a lovely hand-drawn map card. You can see an image of the whole suite above. Katie’s colors were navy blue, orange and chartreuse and I absolutely love the way she managed to incorporate all three into the suite! Here is an image of Katie & Matt’s invite and invite envelope separately:
All of the pieces in Katie and Matt’s suite were letterpress printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper in their Pearl White color. The invitation envelope was also Crane Lettra Pearl White and featured a pointed flap with their return address printed in navy blue ink. I love what Katie came up with for her invitation! Rather than spending extra money on printing multiple ink colors for her pieces, Katie used a different color from her wedding palette for each piece. In order to make the invitation stand out a little more from the others, she had us matt the invitations onto navy blue card stock, leaving a 1/4″ border, and then she secured an orange ribbon around the middle of the invite, with the ends being hidden by the card stock matt. I love the way the ribbon creates a natural visual separation between the actual invitation portion of the text and the text that explains where the event was taking place. I also love how the ribbon added an extra “splash” of color and texture to the piece without adding additional costs to their printing. Here is a closer look at the invite and a detail of the printing with their names and the ribbon:
Another thing I absolutely love about Katie and Matt’s invitation is the fun mix of script and roman fonts that Katie chose to use in the design. She also created a simple and playful, but elegant, monogram of her and Matt’s initials that was featured at the top of the design. Below is a detail of it. The letterpress impression turned out fabulous!
Since Katie and Matt’s wedding was held in a church and their reception was being held in a different location
(The Baltimore Museum of Art), Katie designed a separate reception card to include in the suite. The reception card was also printed on Crane Lettra and this time we used orange ink to coordinate with the ribbon from her invites.

Katie’s reply card was also printed in another ink color. In order to incorporate all three of her wedding colors, it was printed in chartreuse! Again Katie did an excellent job coordinating all of the pieces by keeping the “look”, fonts and layouts fairly consistent while switching up the colors on the different pieces. Here is the reply card by itself:
Katie’s reply card (as well as her reception and map card) was a 4bar size and came with a coordinating 4bar envelope from Waste Not Paper Company. The reply envelope was a light blue color with a European pointed flap and we letterpress printed the address on the front of it in navy blue ink. Here are the reply card and reply card envelope together:
The last (but certainly not least!) piece in Katie and Matt’s suite was their map card. Over the last few years I’ve seen and done map cards several different ways. Some map cards for weddings have a map and directions, some just have written directions with no map and others just have the visual map. Katie’s map card didn’t feature any written directions, however, the drawing was so self-explanatory and, needless to say, absolutely adorable, that I don’t think anyone could have gotten lost. Katie drew the map herself and I letterpress printed it in navy ink.
Isn’t it sweet?!? Katie and Matt were one of the sweetest and from the looks of it, cutest, couples I got to work with this spring. I’m very excited to potentially be working with Katie again on some stationery for one of her friend’s upcoming weddings. I’m also very excited that she let me share some of her wedding photos and photos of her stationery with you! Everything turned out fabulously and I wish them all the best!
Congratulations Katie & Matt!

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!

Weddings | Allison & Ryan

I’ve had the pleasure the last few months of working on a rather complex, but totally beautiful wedding invitation suite for a lovely couple who are getting married near the Oregon Coast later this year!  Allison and Ryan’s invitation suite (or rather, booklet) is one of the most unique projects I’ve printed lately, partially due to it’s complexity, partially due to getting to work with some other very talented artists/designers and partially because of the bride, Allison’s, totally awesome, eco-conscious style!  
From the very beginning of our design discussions, Allison knew she wanted something for her invitation suite that was beautiful, but also highly eco-conscious and sustainable as well.  We accomplished this in several different ways.  First of all, Allison’s book design was created using natural and sustainable papers from a couple of my favorite sources, and secondly, the book design allowed us to put all of the information Allison wanted in her suite into one gorgeous little package, eliminating the need for extra cards the would have used more paper and might be tossed after the ceremony.  
You can see a picture of what the booklet looks like open to the main invitation page at the top of this post.  Here is what the booklet looks like closed: 
Allison’s booklet’s measure 5″x5″ square and the covers were made from beautiful dark brown, Nepalese Lokta paper.  Allison has a French-inspired lavender and poppies as well as an outdoors/summer camp theme for her stationery and wedding.  In order to dress up the outside of the books a little I glued a stem or two of fresh pressed lavender to each cover flap.  This gave all of the books a much more unique and natural feel, as well as causing them all to smell absolutely lovely (like lavender!).  
If you were to receive one of these invitations, open the front cover, and this is what you would see: 
Allison’s books were comprised of six pages on the inside, all made out of a custom 100% cotton recycled paper that is embedded with wildflower seeds from Porridge Papers.  I’ve worked with a variety of Porridge’s creations on several different occasions and their paper is so wonderful, beautiful and unique!  It takes letterpress impressions beautifully and the most awesome part is that it’s truly plantable – if the seeded paper is planted it will actually grow wildflowers!  How cool is that?!?  
Here is a close-up of Allison & Ryan’s first page: 
Allison and Ryan’s book opens with a very sweet little poem letterpress printed in chocolate brown ink.  All of the hand-lettering that you will see throughout these books was done by the very talented, Crystal Kluge of Minneapolis.  Allison and Ryan hired Crystal to do much of the lettering for their invitations as well as to design some gorgeous maps which you will see later in this post.  Seriously, if you haven’t checked out Crystal’s work, or blog you really ought to. Her talent truly runneth over…  Plus, she’s incredibly awesome to work with.  If you’d like to see her posts about this suite, you can find them here or here
Turn the page and you will find Allison and Ryan’s main invitation.  The invitation is simply another page of the book, however, to make it stand out a little more from the rest we printed it in three colors (chocolate brown, violet, and deep red) and we did some blind embossing as well, as part of the design.  You can see a view of the whole book, opened to this page at the top of the post, and you can see a close up of it here: 
The invitation and graphics for it were designed by Twin Ravens Press, and the hand-lettering was done by Crystal.  I didn’t know it until we were well into the design process, but Crystal also designed the font that we used for the body text of the invitation.  It’s called Silverstein.  If you like it, you can purchase it from Font Bros. here.  
Because Allison and Ryan are currently working out of the country (and just because they were curious), I took several photos of the invitations throughout the printing process to e-mail them.  We figured, this way, they could have a virtual experience of seeing the process of how their invitations were created.  Here is an image of one of my presses, an 8×12 Chandler and Price platen.  This is the press that was used to create Allison & Ryan’s (as well as most of my other client’s) wedding invitations.
And here is what one of her invitation pages looked like as it was coming off the press: 
Pretty neat, huh?  As always, if you are a client local to Eugene or Oregon, and if you’d like to come by and see your invitations as they are being printed you are more than welcome to!  Just let me know.  Likewise, if you are an out-of-town, out-of-state and/or international client and would like us to take pictures of the process of printing your invitations, I’d be more than happy to oblige.  Just ask!
After the gorgeous invitation, are three separate pages each with a different hand-drawn map of different areas relating to Allison and Ryan’s upcoming ceremony.  The maps feature Portland, Oregon, a larger view of Western Oregon and their ceremony site.  All maps were hand-drawn/designed by Crystal Kluge.  I love how whimsical they are!  Crystal sent me the drawings and then I created a printing plate of each of them and printed them on the separate pages of Allison’s books using chocolate brown ink.  Check them out: 
Aren’t they gorgeous?!?  Last but not least, the final page of the book explains how to send your reply for this gorgeous event.  For logistical reasons, as well as to save paper, Allison and Ryan opted to have their replies made via a website.  This is a great idea if you are moving, out of the country, and/or just want to save some paper and postage right before your wedding.  
Each book was hand-bound by me using chocolate brown linen thread.  If you flip the books over, to the back cover you will find a tiny surprise!
Very subtly letterpress printed in black ink you will find a tiny (about 1″ square) Viking-Ninja.  Allison told me a wonderful story, which I’m sure she may elaborate on more in detail later on her blog (she’s a blogger over on weddingbee.com).  However, the Viking-Ninja was at Ryan’s request – he one day wants to write a very cute sounding children’s story involving one and they wanted to have him featured as a subtle and quirky little extra on their invitation.  The viking ninja was drawn by one of my very good friends, and also the proprietor of Spastic Rabbit Studio on etsy, Tara M.  I just love it when couples include an element or elements that are truly and uniquely “them” as part of their invitations.  It makes the whole thing so much more personal and fun!
The other piece we printed in conjunction with Allison and Ryan’s lovely books was a 5.5″ square envelope to go with them!  These envelopes are from Waste Not Paper company and are their Luxe Cream color.  Allison and Ryan’s return address, as well as one stalk of lavender, was letterpress printed in violet ink on the back flaps.  You can see the envelope and booklet together in these images:
Aren’t they gorgeous!?!   Allison and Ryan were absolutely wonderful clients to work with and I know that their quasi-French, eco-friendly, summer camp wedding on the Oregon Coast in September is going to be totally awesome and beautiful.  Once again, if you’d like to read more about Allison’s wedding in her own words, go check out her blog, she is Miss Bearcub on Wedding Bee.  
Congratulations and thanks again, Allison and Ryan!

Weddings | April & William

Earlier this month I finished printing a really awesome job for a couple of designers in Covington, Kentucky for their upcoming wedding in June.  William, the groom, designed all of the pieces in their invitation suite and hired Twin Ravens Press to do the letterpress printing.  You can see a photo of all of the pieces together at the top of this post.  Their suite included a custom sized invitation, reply card, map and two sets of envelopes.   
Both the invitation and map card were a custom size that was almost the same size as a standard T-length card, just a little skinnier.  Here is the invitation by itself: 
All of William and April’s pieces were printed on Crane Lettra Bright White Paper with Chartreuse and Pewter Grey inks and blind embossing.  I really love the way that William chose to incorporate some subtle embossed elements into each of the pieces.  I often find that it’s really fun and interesting to use blind embossed element in a design because it is something that can only be achieved with this printing method and it shows off the different capabilities of letterpress really well.  I also really enjoy William’s use of a serif and san-serif font for their names – they way he designed it looks really classy and modern.  Here is a close-up so you can see what I’m talking about: 
The main information on the invitation (the couple’s names, date and place) was printed in a combination of the chartreuse and grey inks, while the other information (times, etc…) was blind embossed.  I think the look of it is just awesome.  Here is a close-up of the section with the blind embossing: 
Throughout all of the pieces, William created a very modern and fresh line pattern that was embossed throughout.  For the invite, he used this pattern as decoration on the bottom of the piece and I printed some nice text over the top of the pattern in chartreuse.  I never asked where the text he used came from, perhaps it is a song lyric or from a poem or story the couple enjoys.  I think it’s really whimsical and romantic though and adds a little bit of sweetness and whimsy to an otherwise very modern and classy design. 
**Note** After reading this original post, I received a very nice e-mail from the bride exclaiming how wonderful the invitations turned out.  In the e-mail she also informed me that the lyrics in the invitation design at the bottom are song lyrics from the song “This Twilight Garden” by the Cure.  Apparently, it’s a B side, so not as popular as many of their other songs, but William and April loved it so much that it became a theme for their wedding.  Pretty cool…
Very cool, don’t you think?  The invite was paired with a chartreuse T-Length envelope from Waste Not Paper Company, and the couple’s return address was printed on the flap in opaque white ink.  
For the reply card, I printed a flood of chartreuse ink on the left side of the design and then blind embossed the decorative line pattern over the top.  I love the simplicity of the information on the card – it’s brief, to-the-point, and keeps with the classy, modern and clean look of the other pieces in the suite.  This card was also paired with a chartreuse envelope from Waste Not Paper Company with the couple’s address printed on the front in opaque white ink.  Here is the card and envelope and a close-up so you can get a better look at the printing and embossing.
Last, but certainly not least, is the map card.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a very good photo of the map card all by itself, but you can see it in the picture of the full suite at the top of this post.  Like the reply card, the map card featured a flood of chartreuse on the left side with William’s decorative line pattern blind embossed over the top.  The information about where the celebration will take place is printed in chartreuse and grey inks in the white area to the right of the line pattern.  Then, the right-most half of the card is an actual map!  
Like the patterned sections on both the map and reply cards, the map section of this card was printed with a flood of chartreuse ink.  The roads and names of areas are actually areas where we didn’t print the flood and the white is the actual white of the paper showing through.  For the map, I blind embossed the Ohio River on top of the printing which helped to create a tactile as well as visual representation of the geography.  
I really love the way that the pieces in William and April’s suite turned out and it was really fun to get to work with another pair of designers!  Congratulations William & April!