Weddings | Anna & Zane

One of my favorite designs that was created by another designer and printed by Twin Ravens Press this summer was for a wonderful Eugene couple, Anna and Zane. Anna and Zane were married on August 2nd in an outdoor ceremony at a Lavender Farm in Yamhill, Oregon, just outside of Portland. Their letterpress printed wedding invitation suite included a monarch size invitation with corresponding envelope, a 4bar size reply card and corresponding envelope and monarch size programs. You can see the four pieces of their invitation suite (excluding the programs) at the top of this post.

Their gorgeous invitation was designed by Anna’s good friend and bridesmaid, Liz Grant. Liz works as a professional designer in Sacramento, California so if you’re looking to have some design work done, give her a shout out! The invitation she designed for Anna and Zane was a horizontal monarch size, which is slightly shorter than a standard #10 card, measuring 3.75″x7.25″. I love the way that this size for an invitation almost looks like a ticket to the wedding or celebration rather than a classic invite! This design featured a somewhat photo-realistic depiction of the Cascades printed in light blue ink with an evergreen tree and the typography of the invitation printed over the top of it in silver ink. Isn’t the design so pretty and wonderfully unique?!? Here is a close-up so you can check out some of the detail in the mountain design, the ink colors, the tree and the wonderful letterpress impression:
We paired the invitation with a “Cloud” colored monarch size envelope from Green Paper Company and printed their return address on the flap of the envelope in silver ink. Here is the invite and envelope together:
The reply card for this suite was fairly simple. It was also printed in silver ink and utilized the same typeface that Liz had chosen for the invitation. To mix things up a bit we paired it with a grey envelope from Waste Not Paper Company.
I love how this card was kept nice and simple, while still keeping with the design of the invitation.
Not too long after they had sent out their invitations, Anna and Zane also hired me to print their wedding programs. Their programs were also designed by Liz Grant and were a vertical monarch size. For the invitations we used the standard 110 lb. weight of Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper in Pearl White. For their programs, Anna and Zane wanted the same paper, but a little bit heavier stock, so we chose the Pearl White Crane Lettra in 220 lb. for them. Since the celebration was taking place at a lavender farm, Liz incorporated some lovely, stylized lavender images into the program design.
These programs were printed on a single, monarch size sheet, double-sided. Their wedding party information was featured on one side in silver ink and their ceremony information was printed in silver ink on the other.
I love the really light shade of lavender ink that we used! I think it paired with the silver that was used throughout all of the pieces in the suite so well! Here is a close-up so you can get a better look:
Very pretty, don’t you think?!? I love the way that this suite turned out and I imagine that Anna and Zane’s celebration a month and a half ago was wonderful!
Congratulations Anna & Zane! Thanks again!

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!

Thank You Cards, Miami-Style

Happy Monday morning everyone!  I wanted to share with you a really nice little set of thank you cards we completed last week that compliment a wedding set we created and shipped back in January.  The wedding set was for Danielle and Matt who are from New York, but getting married in Miami this Saturday.  If you didn’t get to see the original post on their invitations, you may want to check it out here.  They are pretty cool.  
If you remember seeing their suite before (or if you just checked out the above link), you’ll remember the cool Miami skyline we used throughout the different pieces.  We chose to continue with that theme for the thank you cards by creating a really nice 4bar card on Crane Lettra 100% cotton pearl white paper with the skyline on the bottom edge.  We then printed the couple’s names in the sky area above the buildings in turquoise ink.  All of the cards are folded, blank on the inside for their own thank you message and have a matching turquoise envelope with their return address printed on the back flap in black.  You can see a photo at the top of this post, or below: 
This is just one of several cool new things we’ve been printing around here lately that I have to show you.  Coming up later this week will be a new letterpress Bar Mitzvah invitation set, two new wedding invitation sets and some fun new cards that will be available in our etsy shop, so check back soon!

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!