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Partying Platypus: Ari's Bar Mitzvah


I must begin by saying that this post is long overdue, however, I would much rather be overly-late in showing off cool things, than not show them off at all.  Remember how I mentioned a while back in this post that I enjoy designing and printing stationery for a variety of other events, as well as weddings, and that I hadn’t had many opportunities to design and print for Bar & Bat Mitzvah’s but really enjoyed doing it when I did?  Well, even though I finished this set of stationery back in February, I thought it would be great to show you, because it is Twin Ravens Press’ second Bar/Bat Mitzvah invitation set!  This set included an invitation, reply postcard, an invitation envelope, program covers and some really cool, die-cut favor envelopes.  You can see the full invitation/reply card and invite envelope at the top of this post.  

Like our first Bat Mitzvah invitation, the Bar Mitzvah, Ari, and his mom, Annette, decided to go with a combination invite/reply card that was printed on a single sheet of paper, separated by a perforation so that the reply postcard could be torn off and mailed back.  This is a really cool option, in my opinion, to do with an invite and reply set because it keeps everything together in one place for the invitee.  Ari’s invitations were a 5.5″ square size, printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Ecru paper, printed in two ink colors: chartreuse and chocolate brown.  They came with a coordinating chartreuse envelope from Waste Not Paper Company that had the family’s return address letterpress printed on the back flap.  Here is a close-up of the top, invitation portion of the invite/reply card set: 
If you click on the above photo to enlarge it you can see the two fonts we used for the different verbiage on the invite.  I think the combination of the classic serif font for the names and the more modern, san-serif font for the other wording looked really nice together.  When I asked Ari what he wanted on his invites, he asked if he could have a platypus.  Now, I get asked to draw/design a wide variety of things for invitations, but this was the first time I have ever been asked to do anything with a platypus.  As much as I would love to take credit for those awesome and cute little guys that adorn Ari’s invitation and other pieces, I can’t.  Ari, the Bar Mitzvah, drew them himself!  I think they are awesome and totally unique!  I mean, really, how many times are you going to see a letterpress printed partying platypus, wearing a kippah, on a invitation?  They are really just too cool…
Here is the reply card section: 
As I mentioned above, the reply card for this set is a postcard style and was part of a perforated combination card with the invite.  It was printed in the same colors as the invite and feature Ari’s awesome platypus as well.  Because it was a postcard, it was printed double-sided with the reply portion on one side (above) and the address it was going back to on the other side.  Here is the back (address) side of the same card: 
Isn’t it cool?!?  This wasn’t all though!  For the actual ceremony and party afterwords I also got to design a couple of different pieces: a program cover and some favor envelopes.  
The first piece for the actual ceremony was a letterpress printed program cover, in the same style, using the same fonts and platypus from the invites.  
This program cover was slightly larger than 5.5″x8.5″ and was folded, so that it could hold a standard 8.5″x11″ sheet that had been printed and folded in half.  Here is a close-up of the front of the program cover, so you can see the letterpress impression and the nice fonts: 
The other piece I created for the actual day of the ceremony was Annette’s idea and was something that I had never done anything similar to before.  Annette had been reading Martha Stewart Weddings online and had come across this page, showing off some really cool paper envelope packets that had a window cut out of them for jelly beans.  Ari really likes jelly beans and Annette thought they would be the perfect favor for his party following the Bar Mitzvah, and I thought this was a really cool idea too!  Here is a photo of our finished packets (I’m pretty sure when Annette filled hers with jelly beans that she used a clear cello bag inside the envelope so that you could see the jelly belly’s a lot better – I didn’t have any clear bags that size when I went to take these photos, so I used a glassine envelope instead, but you get the idea): 
We designed the window, text and image for the front of the packets to coordinate with the other stationery pieces we had created.  When it came time to make these, I ordered some chartreuse coin envelopes from Waste Not Paper, the same company I had gotten the square invitation envelopes from, and letterpress printed the text and platypus image on the front.  Then I used the letterpress to die-cut a 2″ circle shape in the center of the envelope.  Annette then inserted slightly smaller cello bags into the envelopes and filled them with coordinating green, chartreuse and brown jelly beans.  Here’s another photo with the jelly belly’s: 
I think this was a really cool idea for a Bar Mitzvah (or really any type of party favor).  If you want to make something like this for your upcoming event, Martha has a really nice little tutorial about it here.  Martha’s aren’t letterpress printed, but you can get a similar effect using a rubber stamp and one of those small shape punches you can buy at a craft store (it will just take you a lot longer).  What a cool idea though!  
I’ve heard from Annette and Ari, since the event, and apparently, everything was a big hit!  If you are interested in more information about Twin Ravens Press’ custom design and letterpress printing for your child’s upcoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah or another event, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]!
Thanks Annette & Ari!

Laura & Scott are Getting Married!


This is one of the prettiest, most-unique, one-color, wedding sets I’ve completed in the past few weeks and there are several more to come!  A lovely Canadian bride, Laura, contacted me back in January about some Twin Ravens Press designs she had seen on Wedding Bee and a design that she really liked that she had seen on this blog.  The design she really really liked was a design we had printed for another couple, Lindsay and Jordan, back in November of last year.  You can read about that design here.  

For Laura & Scott’s stationery we wanted to stick with the same general idea layout-wise as Lindsay & Jordan’s stationery, but we changed up the color scheme and added in some additional elements.  Laura & Scott’s suite included four pieces: the main invite, the invitation envelope, the reply card envelope and a really cool perforated reply/accommodations card combination.  You can see an image of the full suite at the top of this post.  
Here are Laura & Scott’s invitation and perforated combination card together: 
Both cards are an A7 size and both were printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton ecru paper in navy blue ink.  Both the accommodations section of the combination card and the main wedding invitation were blind embossed with a pattern of diagonal lines.  Blind embossing is one of the best, low-cost, ways to create some extra depth and interest to any letterpress printed design, particularly ones that are printed in a single ink color.  Here is a close up of the embossed pattern we did on the bottom left-hand corner of Laura’s wedding invitation:
Here is a close-up photo of Laura and Scott’s wedding invitation by itself:
 

I love the way that the blind embossing acts as a frame around all of the centered information on this invite and I absolutely love the beautifully organic border separating the blind embossed space from the invitation wording.  It’s beautiful and classic while still being modern and unique looking! 
 I must say though, that my favorite part of this suite is the combination reply and accommodations card.  It was Laura’s idea to combine the two small card designs into one larger one and perforate the card in the center so that her guests could tear off the reply card to mail back while retaining the information about accommodations.  You can see the full card in a couple of images I’ve already posted above.  The top half of the card I tried to design to be very similar looking to the invitation, except that the frame is horizontal instead of vertical.  We used the same fonts in both designs and we continued the blind embossed pattern around the sides of the frame.  
The bottom half of their perforated card was the reply card portion.  The reply card had no blind embossing, however we continued with the navy blue ink and fonts from the other two pieces to keep all of the elements in the suite consistent.  Laura had a couple of different questions to ask her guests other than whether or not they would attend, including what dinner entree they would like to have at the wedding and what songs would get them out on the dance floor!  Here is an image of the reply card portion: 
For the meal options, we used small icons of a chicken, cow and carrots (to represent vegetables), rather than writing out the meal options with regular wording.  I love using icons to represent different options and think it is a cute and super-fun thing to do on a reply card for a wedding!  
The last (but certainly not least!) element I would like to share from Laura & Scott’s suite is their envelopes.  Laura and Scott ordered two sets of envelopes (one set of A7 size envelopes for mailing out their invitations, and one set of 4bar reply card envelopes for the reply cards).  Both sets of envelopes are a very deep navy blue color from Waste Not Paper Company.   Both sets have European pointed flaps and have the couple’s address printed on either the front (for the reply envelope) or back flap (for the invitation envelope) in a bright metallic silver ink.  Check those out below: 
I love the way metallic inks look on dark papers, and I think this was a gorgeous way to round-out Laura & Scott’s suite!  Laura was a wonderful client to work with and I know she and Scott are going to have a beautiful wedding celebration later this summer!  
Congratulations Laura & Scott and thanks again!

Our first Bat Mitzvah


Today I thought I would share with you the first Bat Mitzvah invitation suite I ever designed and printed.  This isn’t a newly completed job, but it’s less than a year in the past and I thought it was a lovely one!  I’m also showing this one off because it lead us to another client who ordered invitations for her son’s Bar Mitzvah which will be held next week – those invitations turned out awesome as well, and I will share them with you soon! 

For those who don’t know, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah (Bar for boys and Bat for girls) is a Jewish ceremony celebrating a boy or girl coming of age in the Jewish community.  The Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony is typically an ordinary Sabbath service in which the boy or girl participates for the first time as an adult.  Typically a boy becomes a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13 and girls become Bat Mitzvahs at the age of 12.  Following the service there is often a celebratory meal or other type of party with family, friends and members of the Jewish community.  If you’d like to read more about Bar and Bat Mitzvahs you can here.   
I really enjoy designing paper goods for various types of celebrations.  Currently the majority of custom invitation work that Twin Ravens Press does is for weddings, but I also really enjoy doing invitations for different cultural rituals and ceremonies other than weddings, as well as for occasions like baby showers and birth announcements.  It’s a lot of fun and is one of the things that keeps the work that I do interesting.  
So, as you can see from the photo above, the first Bat Mitzvah invitation I ever did was for a girl named Dahlia who had her Bat Mitzvah last September.  Dahlia and her mom came by my studio and we worked on creating an invitation and postcard-style reply card for her then-upcoming celebration.  Dahlia’s favorite color is blue and she really wanted a blue dahlia flower on her invites.  We did something really unique for Dahlia’s invitations that I think is a great idea for any type of ceremony that will involve a response card.  We printed the invite and the reply card on a single sheet of paper and then perforated it so that the cards could be easily separated from each other when the recipient was ready to mail back their response.  This is a great idea especially if you know you will be mailing out your invitations far in advance of the ceremony and you’re worried that your invitees might misplace the reply card.  Having them as one perforated sheet helps keep both parts together until the recipient is ready to send their response back!  You can see Dahlia’s invite/reply card together in the photo at the top of this post.  Below is a close-up of just the invitation portion:  

I really love how simple, yet beautiful this design turned out!  The large blue dahlia in the background is fun and whimsical and the font Dahlia & her mom chose for the name and date went with it perfectly!  They chose a coordinating blue envelope to go with the invites and we printed their return address on the back flap, just like we do for most wedding invitation suites.  Here is a photo of the two parts (invitation and reply card) separated along with the envelope: 
Below is a close-up of the response card portion.  The response card was a postcard format so there is a front and back to it.  Here is the front side: 
And here is the back side:  
For the back side of the reply card, we used the same large blue dahlia that we had been using throughout and then simply printed the family’s return address in the center with a little box in the upper-right hand corner for the stamp.  
Aren’t they pretty?  This coming week I will share with you my first Bar Mitzvah invitation suite which was just completed last month.  
If you would like more information and pricing on our custom bar & bat mitzvah invitations, please e-mail me at [email protected]!