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Weddings | Vicki & Larry



I’m very excited to show off this lovely set of wedding invitations I recently printed for a couple in Philadelphia, Vicki & Larry. Vicki and Larry actually found out about Twin Ravens Press via their super-awesome local wedding planner, Christina Hill. If you’re planning a wedding in the Philadelphia area, you should definitely think about getting in touch with Christina at CHill Weddings. I really enjoy the opportunities I get to work with other wedding vendors, and other graphic designers, and I had a fabulous experience working with Christina as well as her clients, Vicki and Larry. You can find out more about Christina via the CHill Weddings website or on her blog.


Anyway, on to the stationery! Vicki and Larry actually had several different pieces in their invitation suite, but in order to save some money, they opted to have us print only their actual invitation and invitation envelopes. The other pieces in their suite (including a reply postcard, reception card, directions card, and accommodations card) were printed by a separate offset printer. I’ve mentioned this before in other posts, but if you are interested in having your wedding invitations letterpress printed, but don’t necessarily know if you can or want to spend the money to have everything letterpress printed, having an offset printer print part of the suite is always an excellent alternative. It will save you quite a bit of money and allow you to do some really spectacular things (like using special papers or multiple ink colors) on the pieces in the suite that matter to you the most (like your actual invitation).

You can see a picture of the three pieces I did (invitation, inner envelope and outer envelope) together at the top of this post, and below is the invitation by itself:


Larry & Vicki’s inspiration for their design was from an image they saw in a wedding magazine of an invitation featuring the New York skyline. Because they are getting married in Philadelphia though, they wanted their invitations to be a little more reflective of Philly as well as the fall colors that will be starting to happen on their wedding date (they are getting married in the middle of September). All of their stationery was designed by Christina’s in-house graphic designer, the very talented June Park of June Park Designs Isn’t the design simply fabulous?!? Click on the image above if you’d like to see it bigger. Just in case you’re curious what the other pieces in Vicki and Larry’s suite looked like, I snagged this image from Christina’s blog post about them:



It’s not the clearest image ever, but I do love the way that June carried the fonts, flourishes, and the Philadelphia skyline and Liberty Bell motifs through the entire suite. Here is a close-up of the invitation so you can check out the letterpress impression, fonts and colors more closely:




While we’re talking about the invitation I do have to mention that we did have a slight miscommunication regarding the colors for these initially. When Christina originally sent me the design, she said that the color didn’t need to be totally specific. However, when Vicki got her order from the offset company for all of the other pieces and the order from me for the invitations, the red/orange color for the names and branches on the two different pieces didn’t match. Why would something like this happen you ask? Well, the simplest answer is that all computer monitors aren’t calibrated the same, and because of this what a printer sees color-wise on the screen, doesn’t actually tell them anything about how the print should look when it’s printed. Have you ever been in a big box store like Best Buy or Target and looked at the giant display of lots and lots of different TV screens that are made by different companies, and come in different sizes, but are all playing the same movie? Ever notice how the color on the different screens looks a little bit different from screen to screen, even though the movie they are playing on all of them is the same? If you haven’t, check it out the next time you’re in a store like that. The same thing is true of computer screens and monitors. If you or an outside designer sends me a design, it may look totally different color-wise on my computer screen to what you see on yours.


How do we remedy this, you ask, and make sure that everyone ends up with the color they want when the invitations are printed? The best and most guarantee-able way to do this is to provide us with a Pantone color number for the color that you want. Pantone has created an industry standard for colors and color matching and you can request to look at one of their books (also called Color Formula Guides) from almost any printer or designer in your area. They look like this:



(Image Source)


Seriously, if you are having something printed by us, or another printer for that matter, and really want a specific ink color, all you have to do is walk into any Office Max, Kinko’s, or other big box print/copy center in your area and ask to see one of these books. Each book has thousands of different colors for you to choose from, and all you have to do is tell us the three to four-digit number of the color you want and we can make it happen!


To show you the difference that having a number or not can make, here is an image of the first run of invitations we printed for Vicki, before we had a Pantone number:



As you can see, this invitation is really pretty, but quite a bit more orange than the ones that I put up previously in the post, and it’s quite a bit more orange than the other cards that had been offset printed. Vicki, Larry and Christina were all fabulous to work with, and completely understanding through the reprint and this is what the new invitations looked like:



As you can see, the red is a much better match to their other offset pieces.


The other two items I printed for Vicki and Larry were their invitation envelopes. Vicki chose an inner/outer envelope combination from Waste Not Paper company. The inner envelope was a charcoal grey to match the ink color on the invitation and it was left unprinted. The inner envelope was a sparkly white (called Stardream Opal) and it had their return address and the liberty bell image letterpress printed in charcoal grey ink on the flap. Check them out:



I love how Vicki and Larry’s invitations turned out and working with them, Christina and June was absolutely fabulous!


Congratulations Vicki & Larry!


Weddings | Allison & Ryan

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

Custom Business Cards | Edgar Fandino (The USPTA Never Looked So Good!)


The last week or so has been an absolute whirlwind around here, (which is great, don’t get me wrong), but once again I am a little behind on my blogging!  I’m trying to finish up a couple of new custom wedding jobs before the Easter weekend, so this post is going to be short, but I thought that you would all like to see these awesome custom business cards that I recently finished for USPTA Tennis Instructor/Professional Edgar Fandino!  Edgar is a good friend, and actually, my personal tennis coach, and I traded him a set of these cards for more lessons.  They are 4 ink colors (red, navy, yellow and black) on Crane Lettra, 110 lb., 100% cotton, bright white card stock.  They turned out awesome!  Check out the photo at the top!  The USPTA logo was a little tricky to print, considering that the different colors are extremely close, but not actually touching each other.  However, it turned out great.  

If you live in the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area and are thinking about taking tennis lessons or just need to freshen up your game, Edgar is currently seeking new students and would love to hear from you!  If you’re interested, give him a call or send him an e-mail (contact info above, in the photo).  He’s an incredibly nice guy and a wonderful tennis instructor, plus, he has really awesome business cards!  

There will be more wedding-related stuff later today or tomorrow, I promise! 

Custom Business Cards | Kerplunc

I recently completed a brand new set of business cards for a small Calgary, Alberta Canada-based company that does web design, development and hosting called Kerplunc.  If you’re interested in checking out some of the stuff that Matt Hall and his business partner, Nick, are up to at Kerplunc, they operate two blogs: Resource Pile and Exploding Wumpus.  If you are in need of web hosting, check out their hosting sites SuperBytes and Fanatical Host.  I had mentioned in a previous post that a new site for twinravenspress.com is in the mix, and I may have to contact Matt about helping me out with it as soon as I figure out exactly what I want.
Matt discovered Twin Ravens Press through our Etsy shop, where he purchased one of our Robot Heart cards for his girlfriend (Awww…).  Shortly after, he placed an order for these custom cards:
 
I really like the design of the cards – they are really simple and clean and incorporate the red K Logo on one side that Matt already had for his company, and simple, black informational text on the back.  I love how much space Matt chose to leave on the cards – that way if he or the client or potential client need to write something down, they already have space to do it.  These cards were printed on Crane Lettra’s 100% cotton letterpress paper in Bright White.  The softness of this paper left a really great tactile impression for the letterpress work – particularly that raised, white, unprinted K from the logo (check out the close-up photo of it at the top).  Thanks so much, Matt!
If you’re looking into the possibility of ordering new business cards for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]  We would love to work with you!

Weddings | Isabel & Luis

I was thinking today that it’s been a little while since I posted anything about weddings, and since I have had quite a few potential custom wedding clients appear over the past week or so, it might be good to write about some of the wedding stationary that has been recently finished. A few months ago I was contacted by a lovely bride, Isabel, through my etsy site about letterpress printing a set of custom wedding invitations that she was designing herself.  I feel really honored to have gotten to work with this couple, because, although they are living in the U.S. now, Isabel is originally from Spain and her husband-to-be, Luis, is originally from the Dominican Republic and right before their wedding they will be leaving the U.S. to move to Tunisia for work.  Personally, I love to travel and I always thought it would be really neat to have a job that you travel and live in different countries for.  I didn’t quite end up in a job like that (obviously, even though I love the job I have very much), and I don’t plan on trying to move my nearly 1,000 pound printing press around to different places just so that I can say I’ve lived and worked in other countries, but I do still love to travel to, see and experience different places whenever I get the chance.  Because of this I feel really excited to have gotten to work with a couple who is doing that, and who will be here for awhile and then be somewhere else. It’s really neat that they chose to work with me, out of all the other possible people they could have throughout the U.S., the world and their travels.  It’s pretty neat how the internet and e-commerce can bring people and businesses together who are hundreds or thousands of miles apart.
Anyway, on to the stationary.  Because they have many friends, speaking different languages, all over the world, Isabel & Luis decided to have two sets of invitations printed.  The design of both sets is the same, but one set is in English and the other set is in Spanish.  You can view images of both complete sets below.  
Each set included an A8 size invitation, a khaki invitation envelope with their return address printed on the flap and a reply card.  All of the pieces (except the envelopes) were printed on Crane’s Lettra paper in Ecru.  We decided to use the standard weight of Crane Lettra (110 lb.) for their reply cards and the double-thick weight (220 lb.) for their invitations.  Check out both invitations below.
I haven’t printed on Crane’s double-weight paper too often, but I really do like the way that it looks.  The paper itself, while still being 100% cotton is so stiff and thick, it almost feels the same as my coaster stock.  It prints really beautifully and because of the thickness of the sheet to begin with, you can get a fairly substantial impression without a lot of effort.   Check out a close-up, detailed image of one of the invitations below:

Pretty, don’t you think?  I really love too how the combination of the warm red and chocolate brown inks on the warm Ecru 100% cotton paper really makes it feel like a decadent and romantic Spanish wedding.  It’s almost like a preview of what the actual celebration at a very old cathedral in Madrid, Spain will be like, in paper form.  
Below are closer-up images of both sets of reply cards.  Rather than going with a standard reply card where your guests fill in their response and mail them back to you, Isabel and Luis opted to go with more of an informational-style reply card and are having their guests respond online.  I did a similar type of card for the last couple I wrote about, Valerie & Rebecca, for the same reason: both couples are moving in between when the send out their invitations and when they have their actual weddings.  I think this is a really great thing to do so that you can still have a separate reply card if you are in the same or a similar situation.  Check them out:
Last, but not least: the envelopes.  Isabel and I went back and forth a lot on what the envelopes for this set should be: white, ecru, khaki?  What size should they be? Etc…  We finally decided on a Khaki colored A9 envelope from Waste Not Paper.  The actual invitation is an A8, but Isabel was making some sort of fancy fabric inner envelope to put the invites, etc. in that would go inside the printed mailing envelope, so we decided that going with the bigger size would be the safest idea in order to make sure that the fabric inner-envelopes would fit.  Isabel designed a rather fancy return address image and I printed it in chocolate brown ink on the back flap.  
Finally, it’s always wonderful to hear a little bit of praise every now and again for what you do, day to day, even if what you do is really really cool…  Normally, I would just link to this sort of thing, but in this instance I didn’t want it to be too hard to find, so below is what Isabel wrote on her wedding website about Twin Ravens Press and my work:

The letterpressed part of the wedding invitations (inner invitation, RSVP card and envelope) were designed by Isabel but printed by the awesome Twin Ravens Press.  They were A+++ on customer service and went above and beyond to find the highest quality at the best price.

Thanks so much, Isabel!  I know that they are going to have an absolutely beautiful and romantic wedding in Spain in May.  

Congratulations Isabel & Luis!