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Weddings | Theresa & Matt

Here is another lovely wedding invitation suite I completed last month for a couple in South Carolina!  Matt and Theresa are getting married next month in Greenville, South Carolina and wanted a classic, elegant and beautiful set of stationery for their wedding.  You can see a photo of all of the pieces from their invitation suite at the top of this post!

Above is a photo of their invite.  Matt and Theresa chose a standard A7 size for their invitation and wanted to stick with classic black ink and two beautiful typefaces.  They chose Crane Lettra Pearl White paper for all of the pieces in their suite, because it’s beautiful, soft and takes the letterpress impression really well.  Here is a close-up photo of part of the invite so you can see the pretty typefaces they chose: 
Their reply card is a standard 4bar size, printed on the same 100% cotton paper and in the same fonts.  I really love the beautiful swash “T” at the top for the “The” in “The favor of a reply is requested…”  I also really like how Theresa chose to have her guests indicate which event(s) they planned to attend.  If you are having multiple events happen on your wedding day, in many cases it’s nice to know which event(s) guests will be attending and who will be at what, especially if, say, the reception doesn’t immediately follow the wedding.  Here is a photo of the reply card by itself: 
And another close-up to show off the letterpress impression and the pretty fonts: 
Prior to hiring me, Theresa had seen this suite that we did several months ago for Kiely & Scott that style-wise is fairly similar.  I sent her a sample in the mail of Kiely & Scott’s invitation when we first started working together, and Theresa really liked the envelopes that Kiely had chosen for her suite and decided to use the same ones.  Both the reply envelope and the invite envelope are from Green Paper Company.  Green Paper Company is an awesome Chicago-based paper company that produces beautiful, colored papers and stationery items, all of which are made of at least 30% post-consumer recycled waste.  I enjoy working with them because they are both beautiful for letterpress and great for the environment!   Here is a photo of Theresa’s reply card with it’s corresponding reply envelope from Green Paper Company, printed by us: 
If you read the post about Kiely and Scott’s invitations, you’ll recall me talking about a pretty shiny paper in blue that is almost like fabric that we used to line Kiely’s invite envelopes.  Theresa really liked that paper, but she’s incorporating evergreen and chocolate brown into the accent colors of her wedding.  Lucky for her, the same liner paper also comes in an evergreen!  Here is a photo of her invite envelope lined with the evergreen shiny fabric paper liner: 
And here is a close-up of the return address printing I did on the flap.  I really like how Theresa chose to use the script font that she used for her and her fiancee’s names on the invitation for the whole address on the invite envelope.  It’s so pretty!   
To complete their invitations we also designed and printed a separate reception card with a map of the area on the back.  It is also a 4bar size, like the reply card, printed on Crane Lettra in black ink.  I really love letterpress printed maps, they always look so cool.  Here is a photo of the card, back and front: 
Very pretty, don’t you think?  I think they turned out fabulous!  I am currently in the process of producing a gorgeous multi-page, letterpress printed program, a dinner menu, a kissing menu, table signs and thank you cards for this same couple for their upcoming wedding.  I will post some info and photos of those when they are done!  
Theresa and Matt have been an absolute pleasure to work with and I’m really excited they chose to hire me for their wedding!  They are also a really really cute couple.  When we first started working together, Theresa sent me this link to a YouTube video of Matt’s marriage proposal.  Theresa is an executive producer at the NBC News station in Greenville and Matt proposed to her at work.  I’ve watched this video a couple of times now, and it just makes me totally happy every time I do because it’s so cute.  Check it out if you’d like:  
Congratulations Theresa & Matt!

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!  

Weddings | Danielle & Matt

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

Weddings | Lynn & Matthew

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

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

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

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

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

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