Personal Stationery | Kara & Steve Herschkowitz

Hello everybody!  I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend!  Check out this gorgeous set of custom letterpress personal stationery we completed last week for a wonderful couple that we’ve been working with for quite a while now, Kara & Steve.  If those names sound familiar to you, it’s because you may have seen their awesome, super-modern Save-the-Dates that we created for them last October here, or their incredible letterpress and laser-cut wedding invitations that we posted this past June, here.  Or, maybe you saw Kara’s very cool wedding programs and menus here, in September.  At any rate, Kara has been a wonderful, long-term customer that I just love working with, so I was super-excited when she contacted me recently about creating a set of custom stationery with her new last name to use for personal correspondence!  In keeping with Kara’s, simple, wonderfully modern style, we created a set of white, 100% cotton, letterpress printed, 4bar size folded notecards, that were printed with just her last name in the bottom center of the card in a fun, funky, typewriter font.  The cards were then paired with a variety of four different colors of Waste Not Paper envelopes, all of which had Kara & Steve’s return address printed on the back flaps of them in black ink in the same typewriter font.  The envelope colors Kara chose were a lovely reddish-orange called “Papaya”, “Gravel” grey, a nice turquoise blue called “Pool” and a bright yellow called “Curry”.  I just love the look of a simple, white card dressed up with bright colored envelopes!

Thanks so much again, Kara!  You rock!

Save the Date | Alanna & Tim are Getting Married!

One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to work with all kinds of couples and families from all over the country and the world!  Alanna and Tim contacted me all the way from South Australia not too long ago about creating custom invitations for their April 2011 wedding.  Alanna pretty much had her designs all figured out when she found us, but she hired us to refine them slightly, and add in a few little hand-drawn touches here and there, and then do the letterpress printing, of course.  We just finished her Save-the-Dates earlier this month and are in the midst of working with her to create a set of custom, coordinating invitations!

Alanna and Tim’s Save-the-Dates and corresponding envelopes are an A7 size, measuring 5″x7″.  They were printed on Crane Lettra 220 lb. Duplex 100% cotton paper and were paired with matching 100% cotton pearl white pointed flap envelopes.  Both pieces were printed in two ink colors: a lovely light grey and a soft, aqua blue.

Alanna’s design has a very soft, romantic, whimsical feeling to it with many, small, hand-drawn elements and a combination of a typewriter-like font and a romantic script face.  All of the typography (with the exception of the script word “Love” towards the top of the design) on these Save-the-Dates was printed in light grey ink and all of the small decorative elements were printed in blue.  You may recognize the tree at the top of the design from a Save-the-Date we created earlier this year for another couple, Lauren and Warren.  It’s such a lovely, little, whimsical element.  Alanna’s design also featured some cute little hearts interspersed with the text, and a small, leafy flourish, hand-drawn by yours truly.

Alanna and Tim’s envelopes also featured many of the same, sweet decorative elements from their invitations.  The front of the envelope has a burst of light aqua blue tree branches and leaves coming in from the left corner, while the back features their names and the heart from the Save-the-Date card and the same typewriter font for the address.  Just to be extra decorative, we even included my little, leafy flourish on the center of the flap.

Alanna also did some fabulous customization to her Save-the-Dates once she received them in the mail from us!  I pulled the photos in the grouping below off of a link she sent me to a Facebook album.  Don’t her Save-the-Dates look so cool tied up with blue and white baker’s twine?!?  You’ll notice in the photo that Alanna also used a small, kraft brown pouch to hold small reminder cards that accompanied the package.  She also included a small kraft brown tag with a heart punched into it and strung beads onto one end of baker’s twine.  The beads have hearts and their wedding date on them.  Pretty cute, and totally personalized!  I love it!

Alanna and Tim have been so much fun to work with so far and I can’t wait to show you their awesome accordion-invitations that we’re working on in the next couple of months.  They are going to be stellar!  Check back in to see those in the near future.  Thanks so much Alanna & Tim!  I’m looking forward to working with you more!

Custom Business Cards | Symmetry Beauty

A couple of weeks ago we completed a lovely set of business cards for Nyrie Aitken of Symmetry Beauty.  Symmetry Beauty is a boutique beauty agency catering to brides and private clients all over Southern California.  Nyrie teams up with many of Los Angeles’ elite makeup artists, hair stylists, estheticians, manicurists and massage therapists to provide top-notch artistry and luxurious spa services in a client’s home or other location of choice.  Nyrie is one of the most sought after artists and hair stylists working in fashion, entertainment and advertising.  Her work can be seen in countless magazines, advertisements and commercials and she’s even worked with many recognizable celebrities such as Ginnifer Goodwin, Carrie Underwood, Whitney Port and Zac Efron.  She’s also worked with countless brides to make their wedding day flawless!  If you’d like to see more of Nyrie’s work, check out her website here.

Nyrie wanted something simple, beautiful and unique for her new business cards, while also wanting a card that would stand out in a crowd.  We achieved this by beautifully letterpress printing her cards on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Pearl White duplex paper in two ink colors: a rich, bright persimmon orange, and a lovely, light tiffany blue (teal).  Nyrie’s logo was printed in the center on one side of the cards and her name and relevant contact information was printed on the reverse.  Each card was die-cut with rounded corners for a smoother, softer look and then for a bit of pizazz we edge painted each card with a bright metallic gold!  We actually went through several ideas when we originally talked about doing the edge painting.  We tested out tiffany blue, metallic silver and and metallic gold and ultimately the gold won out!  It was just too cool!

Working with Nyrie was an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait to collaborate with her again!

If you are interested in having a set of business cards letterpress printed by Twin Ravens Press, please don’t hesitate to contact us!  We would love to hear from you!

Thanks so much again, Nyrie, and keep up the gorgeous work!

Weddings | Chatie & Hanzy

2010 seems to be just flying by folks!  While we’re still well in the middle of printing wedding invitations for 2010 though, I’m excited to show off our first 2011 invitation to you today!  We designed these lovelies for a couple getting married in the Philippines this coming January and letterpress printed them last week.

I love how warm and tropical this design feels!  Chatie had us design and print her invitation, which is a standard A7 size, and was printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Pearl White paper.  We created a lovely and whimsical starfish/bubble pattern along the bottom and right edge that was blind embossed for a wonderful, textural effect.  We also created and blind embossed a fun interwoven monogram of Chatie & Hanzy’s initials for the top.  All of the wording is handwritten calligraphy by Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy.  We’ve worked with Fran on numerous projects and her work is always absolutely gorgeous!  All of the calligraphy was made into a letterpress printing plate and printed by us, using a light turquoise ink.  Check out some of the details below.

I absolutely loved working with Chatie to create her invitations, and I know that her wedding in the Philippines this upcoming January is going to be just beautiful!  Congratulations Chatie & Hanzy and all the best to you!

Donna Boucher Photography

Check out these awesome business-related items we printed for Donna of Donna Boucher Photography in Madison, Wisconsin last month!  Donna found out about Twin Ravens Press from Crystal Kluge (thanks Crystal!).  Donna had hired Crystal to design a logo for her photography business and then needed a letterpress printer to print the design on business cards, thank you notes and on some signage.  Above you can see all of the pieces we created for Donna together.

The large print that you see in the top left above is just of Donna’s logo.  The logo features a camera (hand-drawn by Crystal Kluge) and her name in calligraphy, also done by Crystal.  Donna loved the logo that Crystal created for her so much that she wanted some signage to use for her business, or just to frame and keep as a keepsake, so we printed these on 5″x7″ paper, so that they would be suitable for hanging and framing.  

We also designed and printed some simple, yet lovely business cards for Donna using her new logo.  The logo was printed in black letterpress ink on one side of the card and her contact information was printed on the back.  The font we chose for the contact information was also designed by Crystal Kluge (it’s called Silverstein).  I just love the way that these cards are playful and contemporary, yet professional all at the same time.  Donna does mostly children’s and portrait photography, so we needed a little bit of both (playfulness and professionalism) to really convey the nature of her business, and I think these cards do an excellent job of it! 

Last, but certainly not least, Donna also had us create a set of matching thank you note cards for her to send out to her clients.  The notecards are a 4bar size, letterpress printed in black ink on 100% cotton Crane Lettra paper and come with coordinating pool blue envelopes from Waste Not Paper Company.  Aren’t they just too cute?!?

I had a wonderful time working with Donna on this project and working with Crystal Kluge is always awesome!  If you like the look of Donna’s logo and wish to have a similar one designed for your own business contact Crystal!  And, if you’re in the Madison, Wisconsin area and are looking for a wonderful Children’s and Portrait Photographer, get in touch with Donna.  You can also check out Donna’s website and blog to see more of her gorgeous photography!  Thanks so much Donna and Crystal!

Weddings | Joanna & Ian

Over a month ago (wow – I can’t believe it’s been that long already), I finished this lovely wedding invitation suite for a couple currently living in New York City, who are getting married in Hawaii this upcoming May. The bride, Joanna, is originally from Hawaii and her fiancee, Ian, is originally from New Zealand. They wanted to incorporate a little bit of their roots into their invitations, without the invitations seeming too tropical. You can see the entire suite at the top of this post. It included a 5.5″ square invitation and 4bar reply card both printed in one ink color (a sagey, turquoise-y green) and blind embossing on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Ecru Paper and corresponding, matching envelopes for both pieces, also from Crane.

Here is the invitation and invitation envelope together.
Joanna chose a cute, square shape and square flap envelopes for her design. The envelopes were printed with her return address in the center of the flap.
For the design of the invite itself, we chose to keep things pretty traditional and elegant, but add a few modern and whimsical elements to make it unique.
Joanna had liked the blind embossing she had seen on some of our other invitations, so in order to incorporate this into her design we chose to do a pretty simple blind embossed border all around the design. For the text we used a pretty and modern script face that wasn’t too flourish-y for their names and a nice serif typeface in all-caps for the rest of the information. In order to incorporate a little of their roots I mentioned above, Joanna had us create a small palm tree and kiwi bird graphic element for both the invite and reply card. The palm trees were meant to represent Joanna’s Hawaiian background and the kiwi was meant to represent Ian’s roots in New Zealand. Here is a close-up of the motif:
Isn’t that cute?!? Below are a couple of other detail photos that I took so you can see the blind embossing, impression from the letterpress, fonts and colors a little bit closer.
For the reply cards, we chose to go with a matching design that incorporated both the palm trees/kiwi motif and the blind embossing. This card is a traditional 4bar shape and incorporated both the script and roman fonts we had used previously on the invitation.
This card also came with a matching ecru envelope that was printed with Joanna & Ian’s address on the front.
This suite came together so beautifully and Joanna and Ian were an absolute joy to work with! I know that their tropical Hawaiian wedding in May is going to be just spectacular! Congratulations Joanna & Ian!

Save the Date | Theresa & Dermot Are Getting Married!

Check out these awesome Save-the-Date coasters I finished last week for a couple in New York City! Theresa & Dermot wanted to do something a little unique and different for their Save-the-Date cards for their upcoming July 2010 wedding, so rather than having us print a standard card and envelope, she chose to have us print her Save-the-Dates as coasters with matching envelopes! I think this is a stellar idea for any party, wedding or otherwise!

Theresa and Dermot’s Save-the-Date coasters were letterpress printed on 4″ square coaster stock with two ink colors: turquoise and a greenish-yellow “lime” hue (think the inside fruity part of the lime, not the skin). We used a playful and lovely script font for their names and their wedding date and a tall and skinny serif font for the rest of the text. The date was framed within a very decorative 1920’s-ish looking flourish-y border that Theresa found, and the rest of the coaster was dotted with stars!
I have been looking for square envelopes for a while that are smaller than 5.5″ and I finally found some! These coordinating cream-colored, linen envelopes from Envelloper Inc., fit our 4″ coasters perfectly!
They feature a European pointed flap and were just big enough for us to letterpress print Theresa & Dermot’s return address on the back.
Pretty cool, don’t you think?!? Thanks again and congratulations Theresa & Dermot!

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!

Weddings | Nataliya & Christopher and Calling Cards Fit for a Gentleman

Here is the most recent custom job from the press!  I think these stylish calling cards for Sebastian St. John: Gentleman of Leisure are downright awesome.  I mean what gentleman doesn’t aspire to a title like that?  These cards were designed by the client as a gift for her fiancee’s best man for their wedding.  They were printed on Crane’s Pearl White calling card stock with silver edging in silver ink.  It’s hard to see from the photos, but the ink nearly matches the edging on the cards and is really nice and sparkly.  

I also had the pleasure of printing the wedding invitations for this same client right before I got this blog up and rolling.  Nataliya, the bride, is a photographer and part-time graphic designer in New York, who designed her invitations herself and then hired me to print them.  You can check out some of her photography work here.  The suite included a square two-color invitation, two-color RSVP card, white invitation envelopes with turquoise ink for the return address and turquoise response card envelopes with black ink for the address.  Check out the photos of the suite below:  
Here is the whole suite all together.  It included a 5 inch square invite, a reply card and two sets of envelopes.  
Here is the RSVP Card by itself.  

And the Invitation by itself.

And, here is a detail of the invitation so you can get a closer look at the design.  Beautiful, don’t you think?  Stay tuned because there will be more photos of new custom work later this week.