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Weddings | Vi & Lalo

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember a post from over a year ago about an awesome set of very modern black & white save-the-date coasters we did for a Texas couple named Vi & Lalo. The coasters are pictured below.  I loved printing this design, and as a result have designed and printed several other very similar save-the-dates since.  This reminded me that in all of the excitement and busyness of last fall, I never actually wrote about Vi & Lalo’s invitation suite.  Their invitations were super-cool too!

Vi and Lalo’s invitations were also black and white and were a square pocket folder style.  The suite included an invitation with coordinating envelope, a reply card and envelope, a reception card, and a sweet, simple belly band.  In the grouping of photos below you can see Vi & Lalo’s pocket folder invitation all closed up with the belly band.  The belly band was a simple band of purple paper that was printed with their names and wedding date in silver ink.  When the pocket folder was opened, it revealed their awesome, 6.25″ square invitation in the center of the folder with the extra pieces in the suite neatly stored in the pocket on the right.  In the bottom right photo below you can see a close-up of their return address from their invitation envelopes.  The invitation envelopes were 6.5″ square metallic silver ones with their address printed in black ink on the flap.

I love how modern and unique Vi & Lalo’s invitation design was!  Vi and Lalo designed all of the pieces in their suite themselves and then hired us to letterpress print them.  All of the printing was done on 110 lb. Crane Lettra Bright White 100% cotton paper in black ink.  I love Vi’s use of ultra-modern fonts and how she made the letters of her and Lalo’s names join together in certain areas and connect to the modern flourishes at the top and bottom of the invite.  They’re so cool!!

Vi and Lalo’s reply card was designed to match and utilized the same fonts and similar design elements from the invitation.  These were a 4bar size and came paired with a coordinating purple envelope in the same shade as the belly band.  Each reply card envelope was printed with Vi & Lalo’s address on the front in black ink.

Last, but not least, Vi & Lalo also included a separate reception card with their suite.  Their wedding was held in a church and the reception in a hotel, so this extra little card was perfect for making the distinction.  I love how Vi continued the modern flourishing on this card even though she didn’t have larger typography to connect it to!  The continuity throughout this suite is just so cool!

I loved working with Vi & Lalo last year on these invitations and just love their modern sense of style!  Thanks so much again for working with us Vi!  If you ever need anything else, just let me know!  All the best!

 

Weddings | Tamera & Trevor

(Image courtesy of Lauren Brown Photography)

I have to preface this post by saying that I feel pretty lucky. I get to work with a lot of amazing people, all over the country (and world!) doing something that I love, almost every day. So when I tell you that the wedding invitation suite that I’m about to show you, is quite possibly one of my favorite invitation suites that we did this year, it’s not to say that I wasn’t totally excited about the others, it’s just that this suite and the couple it was created for, were just really awesome.

Tamera and her now-husband Trevor are from a small town in North Dakota and were planning their wedding at a lodge in Montana, just south of Glacier National Park for this past July. Let’s just say that while I create stationery for a lot of different types of weddings (rustic to high-class, casual to formal, etc.), I felt that Tamera’s sensibility and style, as well as what she was planning for her wedding, would be right in line with the sort of ceremony I would plan for my own. After all, she and I have quite a bit in common: she’s from a small western town and so am I, she was planning a casual outdoor ceremony in a beautiful place, which is probably what I would do for my own wedding, her wedding was small with just her closest friends and family, etc. Let’s just say that when we started talking and she told me what she wanted, everything just sort of clicked. I completely understood her style and vision, and I loved it! Here’s what we created:
Tamera and Trevor’s invitation suite included a slightly-smaller-than-A7 size wedding invitation that was double-matted on Nepalese Lokta paper in olive green and plum purple and attached to a chocolate brown pocket folder. Inside the pocket folder were five insert cards: a registry/website card, a map card, a reply card with corresponding envelope, an accommodations card and a directions card. All of the interior cards were printed on a custom, handmade, 100% cotton, recycled paper from Porridge Paper in their birchy dirt color that was embedded with mixed wildflower seeds. Porridge’s seeded paper is really neat in that, while it is one of the most environmentally-friendly papers I’ve ever found, it will also actually grow flowers if the paper gets wet. Pretty neat, don’t you think?!? As you can see above, all of the little cards and inserts fit inside a chocolate brown pocket folder that looked like this when it was all closed up:
Each folder was sealed shut with a band of the same Nepalese Lokta paper in both the olive and plum colors that we used to matt the invitation and then tied with a piece of natural raffia. I love how earthy and beautiful each of these little packages looked! Each folder fit inside of an A7 size envelope in Khaki from Waste Not Paper Company.
Each envelope had the couple’s return address and a small flying bird printed in chocolate brown ink on the back flap and their bird design that we used throughout the suite printed in three colors (3 colors!!) on the front of the envelope. Most envelopes that I print are only printed with one ink color, so it was really a treat to get to print these envelopes with all three. Each invitation envelope was also lined with Nepalese Lokta paper in either the olive or plum color that you’ve seen above. We did half in one and half in the other, just to mix things up!
Let’s look at the main piece in the suite: the invitation.
As I mentioned above, Tamera and Trevor’s invitation was slightly smaller than a standard A7 size so that it could be matted with both of their lokta paper colors and then attached to the inside of their chocolate brown pocket folders. We used a classic serif font for the majority of the text of their invitation and printed the couple’s names in a more fancy script font in a lime green ink. The bottom of the invitation features a small wild grass motif and the top features a lovely design of plum purple birds in branches with little green flowers. I’ve used elements of this design on a few other invitations since Tamera and Trevor’s, and let me tell you, it really is gorgeous in several different color combinations and layouts.

I love the way that all of the small details in this design worked together so harmoniously and how the fine lines and gorgeous colors created such a beautiful and crisp impression in the wildflower seeded paper! Aren’t the too close-up photos above just lovely?!?
Since their wedding was a destination wedding, Tamera and Trevor had quite a bit of information that they wanted to convey to their guests. In order to do this, we created five separate insert cards in different sizes that fit into the pocket of their pocket folder. Each insert was printed in three ink colors on the same paper as their invitation.
The tallest insert was their directions card which featured directions to their wedding venue, Holland Lake Lodge, from all different parts of Montana.
The second tallest was their accommodations card. Tamera actually had me design and print two separate, but similar accommodations cards. One was for the family and wedding party that would be staying at the lodge with the couple, and the other was one for their other guests, which gave other accommodation information for people who wouldn’t be staying at the lodge.
The card for the family and wedding party was single-sided and featured fill-in the blanks that Tamera used to tell them where they would be staying. The other accommodations card was double-sided and gave guests lots of choices for places to stay, from hotels to campsites, that were near the couple’s wedding venue.
The middle card was Tamera and Trevor’s reply card. This was the only card in the suite that was horizontal rather than vertical. It featured a standard accepts/regrets option as well as a question about what other wedding events guests might be attending. Tamera and Trevor planned a red bus tour of Glacier National Park and a whitewater rafting trip as other wedding events! Each reply card came with it’s own corresponding envelope that had Tamera and Trevor’s return address printed on the front in chocolate brown ink with their bird motif in three ink colors in the top left corner.
The second shortest insert was their map card. Originally this was going to be part of the directions card, but Tamera had directions from so many different places that we ended up creating a separate card just for her map.
A map like this is more decorative than anything else, but I think it adds a wonderful and whimsical touch to any wedding suite!
Last, but not least is their tiny combined registry/website card.
Sometimes you just need one extra little card for all of that “extra” information that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else. This card gave guests information on where Tamera and Trevor were registered as well as an address to their wedding website.
Isn’t their invitation suite just stunning!?! I absolutely love how it turned out and think that it was a gorgeous beginning to what I imagine was an absolutely gorgeous outdoor summer wedding! Tamera also had me print one small piece for their wedding reception:
I designed a set of coasters like this for another couple, Lynn & Matthew almost a year before, but Tamera loved them so much that she wanted to use them for her own wedding, in her colors. Each coaster was 3.5″ round and printed with two ink colors: chocolate brown and plum purple. Aren’t they cute?!?
Working with Tamera and Trevor was an absolute joy and I hope that their wedding ceremony this past July was everything they had hoped it would be!
Congratulations Tamera and Trevor! All the best!

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!