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Weddings | Jennifer & Brandon

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This lovely, formal set of black and white wedding invitations was the suite that I had intended to post on this blog back in March, on the day that I broke my hand.  Obviously, due to extenuating circumstances, this post didn’t go up back in March, but I still love this set of invites and think that you should get to see them after the fact, anyway.

Jennifer and Brandon had a formal wedding in Newport Beach, California on April 1st of this year.  They hired Twin Ravens to design and print their wedding invitation suite as well as all of the paper goods for their wedding day.  You can see all of the pieces in the invitation suite in the above photo.  The suite included an A7 size reception invitation, a smaller A2 size invitation to a smaller ceremony, an rsvp card and corresponding silver envelope and a set of inner/outer envelopes (the inner was black and the outer was white).  All of the main cards were printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton duplex paper in Pearl White with black letterpress ink.  A funky, yet formal mix of fonts and flourishes characterized the design of this suite.

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Above you can see Jen and Brandon’s ceremony invitation all by itself.  Prior to their evening reception, they held a small, private ceremony in Crystal Cove State Park with their closest friends and family.  I really love the classic elegance of these black and white invitations, combined with an awesome mix of both script and roman typefaces.  We used lots of little flourishes throughout the designs of each piece to add decoration and create natural separations of information on each card.

The photo on the top right below is a detail photo of the ceremony invitation, and the two other photos in the grouping are of the larger, A7 invite.  While the designs for the ceremony and reception invites are very similar in style, you’ll notice small design differences, if you look closely, that set the two designs apart.  We used different fonts for different parts of each invitation and we treated the date on both pieces very differently from one design to the other.  Like I said above, I love how we were able to incorporate so many unique fonts into this design, while still keeping everything very elegant!

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For the envelopes, we printed Jen’s parent’s address in black ink on the back flap of a matching white outer envelope.  Their inner envelope was a contrasting black, and Jen hired a calligrapher to write their guest’s names in white ink on each one.  I imagine that these were just stunning!

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Their reply card was designed to match the style of the invitations and included areas for guests to check their response and indicate what entree selection they desired for the reception.  Each reply card was paired with a shimmery silver reply card envelope, also printed with Jen’s parent’s address in black ink.

After their invitations had been sent out, Jen hired me to design a few more stationery pieces for their wedding day.  In the photo below, clockwise from top left, you can see her table numbers, escort cards, and thank you cards with envelopes.  The table numbers were printed with flourishes at the top and bottom and Jen had her calligrapher write in each of the table numbers to match the calligraphy that she had done on the invitation envelopes.  The escort cards were shaped like shipping tags and had each guest’s name written in calligraphy in the center of the tag between two letterpress flourishes.

undefinedundefinedundefinedJen and Brandon’s custom thank you cards are classic and enduring, stylistically.  For these cards we picked one of the flourishy script faces from their invitations and laid it out so that the flourishes stretched off of the front of each card with the words “Thank You” on a diagonal across the center.  These cards were printed on 110 lb. Crane Lettra paper in Pearl White and were blank on the inside so that Jen & Brandon could write their own personal message to each guest.  The thank you card envelopes were black printed with their return address in silver ink on each flap.  If you’d like to check out Jen & Brandon’s save-the-dates that we printed earlier in the year, you can here.

Thanks so much again for working with us Jen!  I wish you two all the best!

Weddings | Louise & Dagan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weddings | Lindsay & Shawn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beautiful Wedding Photos from Italy

Remember those gorgeous blue and silver wedding invitations we designed and printed earlier this summer for Julie & Joe’s wedding in Italy that were posted here at the beginning of this month?  Well, Julie was kind enough to send over some photos from her and Joe’s gorgeous wedding, as well as some photos of her programs, place cards, menus and itineraries on-location!  Check them out below!

Isn’t that one of the most romantic photos you’ve ever seen?!?  Julie, Joe and Santa Margherita, Italy all look just beautiful!  Below you can see a few different images of both Julie & Joe’s wedding itinerary and their ceremony programs.  I love the silver ribbon Julie used to tie the programs together!

Below is maybe one of the most beautifully set tables I’ve ever seen.  I love Julie’s flowers!  You can also see the letterpress menus and place cards we created for her and Joe in several of these photos.  All of the place card calligraphy was done by the fabulous Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy.

And, one more of their lovely menus and placecards as well as the beautiful bride and handsome groom!  Thanks so much for sharing these with us Julie!  Your wedding was absolutely gorgeous!

Weddings | Julie & Joe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weddings | Cherie & Larry


Let me tell you: I have been totally excited to show off this wedding invitation suite, pretty much since the bride, Cherie, originally contacted me about it back in January.  The invitations and related pieces were completed for this suite in early May, however, I wanted to wait to show it to you until all of the pieces were completed, including the paper goods for the actual wedding and reception!  You can see the majority of the pieces in the photo at the top of this post.  Cherie and Larry’s suite included the wedding invitation, reply card, reply card envelope an inner/outer invitation envelope set, place cards and program covers – all of which were letterpress printed.  

So, what makes this particular suite so much fun you might ask?  Cherie & Larry have an awesome theme!  Cherie explained that for their small ceremony and reception in late June in Sausalito, California, they were having a vintage theme of “Eat. Drink. Be Married.” and their color scheme was going to be yellow, grey, blacks and whites.  I thought to myself, “Vintage + Letterpress, what could be better?”, plus the “Eat. Drink. Be Married.” part – too cute for words.  
When I began working on the initial designs for Cherie and Larry’s suite I came up with quite a few vintage-looking ideas.  Some had ornate, fancy borders, and some used older-fashioned type styles and graphics.  The designs that you see above and throughout this post, however, came from a combination of these things and were inspired by my love of vintage letterpress posters.  Back in the day, large letterpress posters (called broadsides) were printed to advertise shows and events and were often printed using antique wooden type and featured large borders and fun graphics.  If you ever get a chance to do some hunting around for vintage posters either online or at museums or in graphic design books, you really ought to, some of them are absolutely fabulous!  When I told her about it, Cherie loved this vintage poster theme idea and pretty much gave me free design reign (which I love) to come up with something awesome.  Let me tell you – these are truly awesome.  
Like I mentioned previously, you can see the majority of the pieces in the suite at the top of this post.  Below you will find a photo of just the invitation and inner/outer invitation envelope set, by themselves:
Traditionally, any formal invitation for an event was mailed in an inner/outer envelope set.  Nowadays, many wedding invitations are mailed out with just a single outer envelope.  Typically with an inner/outer set, the physical address would be written on the outside of the outer envelope with the return address printed on the back flap (just like with a single envelope) and the guest’s names who were being invited would be written on the inner envelope with no address.  In order to keep with the “traditional” aspect of their theme, Cherie chose to go with an inner/outer set – but in more modern colors.  The outer envelope was a standard white, and the inner envelope was a dark grey.  Both envelopes featured a European Pointed Flap, were sized for an A7 invitation, and were purchased from Waste Not Paper Company.  
The main piece inside those envelopes was their wonderful invitation!
Cherie and Larry’s invitation is a standard A7 size and the design for it was inspired by vintage letterpress posters.  It was printed in three ink colors: light lemon yellow, darker mustard yellow and dark grey.  I love the way that we were able to incorporate a vintage look and vintage design elements into a set of pieces with a more modern set of colors and theme.  For example, a lot of traditional posters featured some kind of fancy ribbon or banner at the top of the poster – I created a banner for the top of this design that was printed in grey ink and had their phrase “Eat. Drink. Be Married!” written in a script font across the top.  Just below the banner, are Cherie and Larry’s actual silhouettes.  Cherie had these done in California, where she lives, and sent them to me to use in the design.  Silhouettes seem to be really popular for invitations this season and I think using them in this design was an awesome idea.  Check out this close-up: 
Aren’t the colors just wonderful together too?!?  I love them!  Since the couple themselves are the “main attraction” at their wedding, I wanted Cherie and Larry’s names to be the most prominent text element on the invitation.  In order to do this, Cherie and I picked out a pretty and unique font, printed it in yellow and gave it a dark grey drop shadow effect.
I used an old-fashioned “and” graphic from a vintage poster design for the “and” between their names.  Keep in mind with letterpress, that each color is printed separately, one sheet at a time.  Because that drop shadow is so close to the thin yellow lines of the letters in their names, the grey ink layer was a real challenge to register (line up with the other colors) and then print. It took me several tries to get it right, but once I did, the affect was truly amazing.  
Another thing that I love about this suite, that’s not really possible with all designs, is the number of different fonts we could use, and in a sense “get away with” using, without making the design look cluttered.  When I was in design classes in college I can remember professors saying that generally, it’s best to only use 1-3 fonts, and not more, within a design.  This keeps your design looking clean, and uncluttered.  Generally speaking, I agree with this piece of advice, however, all of the vintage poster designs I have seen generally use LOTS of different fonts.  I think back then, it wasn’t so much a design consideration, as something they did because of what they had lying around (historical typesetters were limited to using only the wooden and metal typefaces they had on hand).  But nevertheless, for a design like this, I LOVE the look of a lot of different fonts, harmonizing with each other to make up a complete design.  (Yes, I know, I am a total design/typography nerd – sometimes there’s no hiding it…).
For the reply card, I tried to stick with the same vintage poster theme, while having all of the functionality of a regular reply card.  Most of the reply cards I design are a standard 4bar size, however, in order to accommodate all of the lovely design-element-awesomeness, I designed Cherie’s to be one size bigger.  It’s an A2, which measures 4.25″x5.5″.  Like the invitation and other pieces in the suite, this card was printed in three ink colors on Crane Lettra Pearl White 100% cotton paper.  The reply card envelopes were the same dark grey color from Waste Not Paper Company that matched their inner invitation envelope and the couples’ address was printed on the front of them in black ink.  
I tried to incorporate all of the fonts/design elements from the main invitation into the slightly simpler reply card.  In keeping with the silhouette theme, we used silhouette-symbols of different “meal options” for their menu choices.  I love using the little symbols for this and think that it adds a really cute element to any reply card.  Here is a close-up of the reply card so you can see the fonts and impression a little better: 
The other two pieces I created for Cherie and Larry are for their actual wedding ceremony and reception.  The first of these was a set of small place cards.  These place cards are tented, and when folded are the same size as a standard business card (3.5″x2″).  Once again I tried to use all three colors and design elements from the other pieces to keep everything coordinated.  They also turned out great!
Last, but certainly not least, was a set of program covers.  These covers were somewhat of a challenge to print because of their larger size and because they have a lot of ink coverage, but they turned out fabulous!  They were designed to be just slightly larger than a regular 8.5″x11″ sheet of computer paper, folded in half the long way, so that Cherie could create the inside contents of her program herself and insert it into the covers later.  Here is what the program looks like opened up, so you can see both the back and front at the same time: 
All of the design elements and fun little graphics I used for the invitation are still there in this design, just rearranged into a more program-like format.  Here is what the front of the program looks like, when folded: 
And here is one more close-up so you can get an even better look at the awesome-ness: 
Very cool, don’t you think?  So far, this is easily one of my favorite new designs this year and I love the fact that Cherie and Larry really let me take their theme and run with it!  They were fabulous clients to work with and I would gladly do design and/or printing work for them again.  In a recent e-mail Cherie even told me that some of her guests liked th
e stationery so much that they didn’t want to return the reply card – and some of them just flat-out didn’t, and called or e-mailed with their response instead.  I know that they are going to have a wonderful celebration in a couple of weeks!  
Congratulations Cherie & Larry and all the best!

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!