Saturday, February 28, 2009

Save the Date: Victoria & David are Getting Married!

Here is another wonderful Save-the-Date card that I recently completed for a custom wedding client!  Right around the first of the new year, I was contacted by a charming bride-to-be in Grand Prairie, Texas about creating first a set of letterpress printed Save-the-Date cards and then a complete set of wedding stationery for her wedding which is coming up in late October of this year.  Victoria discovered Twin Ravens Press through Mrs. Coconut on  I designed and printed her stationery last year.  If you'd like to see photos of her stationery on this blog, you can find them here.  

As a designer, it's always really exciting when you get to work with a client who wants something - a paper type, a design, a color scheme, etc. that you've never used or worked with before.  I was really excited to work with Victoria from the get go because she had a really unique set of colors that I hadn't ever used in an invitation suite before: chartreuse, violet and charcoal grey and because I knew that designing for her might be a challenge.  Why was it going to be a challenge you might ask?  Her design looks really modern and straightforward.  Well, when we first started talking, I asked Victoria, like I ask many of my clients and perspective clients, what sorts of designs appeal to them.  When asked this question, Victoria initially said that she liked modern looking invites, but just really didn't like "designs".  Hmm...  What I ended up discovering after working with her for a few weeks, wasn't that Victoria didn't like designs, it's just that she didn't like or want any graphic elements.  This was kind of exciting for me because, while I do love doing invitations and other printed pieces with pretty images and graphics, I also get really excited about designing and printing invitations and stationery suites that are just text.  It's fun, very modern or classic, depending on the typefaces used and it's always a great challenge to see what you can do with beautiful typography.  

We worked on several designs and finally came to one that it seemed like Victoria and her fiancee, David, really liked.  Below is a screenshot of the digital mock-up of that design.  

At about the same time that this design was going to go to print, Victoria informed me that her sister was also a graphic designer and that she was really looking forward to creating the designs for their wedding stationery.  I think Victoria was a little worried that I would be upset or something by this, but honestly I found it really exciting.  I love working with other designers and it's a lot of fun to see how someone else approaches a design project in ways that you may have not even thought of!  This is the design Victoria's sister came up with and the one we ended up printing: 

It still incorporated Victoria and David's awesome charcoal grey, violet and chartreuse color scheme, but the design filled the card a little more, and in my opinion, looked slightly more modern than the original design we were going to go with.  I like it a lot!  It's modern, fun, a little bit funky, and using the phrase "tie the knot" on your cards: really cool.  We chose to print the Save-the-Dates on Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper in their Bright White color.  Because the design was all big, san-serif text without any borders or super-fine details, it was fairly easy to get a pretty deep impression on the paper.  The day that I printed them, we had some really pretty sunlight in my shop, so I just took the photos of them while they were still sitting on the feed board of my press.  I love how in the above photo you can actually see little shadows that the raised (unprinted) parts of the letters (like the insides of the A's and O's) cast on the printed parts of the invite.  It seems a little nerdy to be so excited about that, but I thought it was pretty cool.  

Victoria's Save-the-Dates are an A2 size (4.25" x 5.5") and we chose a coordinating Chartreuse A2 envelope from Waste Not Paper to go with them.  All of Waste Not's envelopes have a European pointed flap.  We printed her and David's names and return address in two colors: Violet and Charcoal Grey to stay consistent with the design of the Save-the-Date cards.  Here is a close up of the return address on the envelope:

Isn't it cool!?!  I love how well the colors all go together and how fun, modern and fresh the whole design turned out to be.  Victoria has hired Twin Ravens Press to print the rest of her wedding stationery as well, so if you like the way these Save-the-Dates turned out, keep watch on this blog!  I'll be posting pictures of the rest of her stationery as soon as we finish it!  

Thanks so much Victoria & David and congratulations!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Custom Business Cards: Lisa daCosta

I'm going to be pretty busy this afternoon finishing up a new custom wedding invitation job for a lovely couple in Flagstaff, Arizona, but I thought in the meantime that I would share with you one of my latest custom business card designs.  Right after I posted about a custom set of letterpress printed business cards here for a company called Kerplunc, I got quite a few inquiries from other individuals and companies about creating custom business cards for them.  This is the first card design that resulted from one of those inquiries.  

Lisa contacted me about creating a new business card design for her to use that was both general and beautiful and not-too-specific work-wise.  This is because she is a "girl-at-large" who is involved in many thing from business and political consulting to non-profit fundraising, and she needed a card that was beautiful and unique, while still being able to cover all the bases.  

At the top of this post is a photo of one of her finished cards.  It is letterpress printed in two colors: chocolate brown and emerald green on Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper in Ecru.  This is the same paper stock I use for my Twin Ravens Press business cards and I just love the way it looks: classy and unique without being too over-the-top.  Lisa chose a nice floral design for the card and chose a cursive, somewhat pretty and feminine looking typeface that is still very ledgible.  She kept the information on the card simple by only using her name, e-mail address and phone number.  I think this sets of cards turned out absolutely lovely and will work very well for all of Lisa's business pursuits!  

If you are interested in having custom letterpress printed business cards designed for you or your company, feel free to contact us at!

Thanks again, Lisa! 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cara & James are getting married!

Here is another wedding invitation set I recently completed that reminds me of why I love great, elegant, letterpress printed typography so much!  When the bride, Cara, originally contacted me, she was planning on designing her wedding invitations herself and wanted a really clean, crisp, classic and elegant design.  Her wedding colors are champagnes, whites, gold and pale pink.  Her set included an invitation, reply card with envelope, reception card and an inner and outer invitation envelope.  You can see the whole set above!  In the following paragraphs I will go through each piece with more detail, show more pictures and talk about why I like these designs and ones like them so much!

Here is a photo of Cara & James' wedding invitation with the two different envelopes.

Cara chose a lovely script font for her and her fiancee's names as well as for the name of the chapel and then used a classic serif font for the rest of text on the invitation.  Her invitation is a somewhat unconventional, larger size than a lot of wedding invitations that I do.  It measures 6" x 8.125".  Generally the standard size for invitations is an A7 which measures 5"x7", so part of what made this invitation suite really unique is its unconventional sizing.  All of the pieces in Cara's suite were printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper in their bright white color.  We paired the invite with a 100% cotton inner and outer envelope set from Arturo Fine Paper.  If you are in the process of designing a wedding invitation suite (or other set of invitations for another event) and want 100% cotton envelopes in unconventional sizes, I would highly recommend Arturo's line of envelopes and stationary.  They are beautiful, tactile and take the letterpress printing very very well.  I printed Cara's return address on the flap of the outer envelope and then the inner envelopes were unprinted, but we lined them with a fabulous sparkly gold paper (it's really really gold) from Paper Source that Cara found online.  Here are a couple of other close-ups of the invitation so you can see the pretty fonts: 

Cara did a beautiful job of carrying the whole "look" of the invitation design through the other pieces in her stationery suite.  Here is her reception card:

It is still a fairly simple text-only design, but she did a gorgeous job of using the script font from her invitations for the decorative text at the top, while keeping her other information in the same serif font that was used previously.  I love the way the script looks for the words "Dinner & Dancing" it's so elegant and classy!

Here is Cara's reply card and envelope.  Once again she continued the same open, elegant design with lovely black letterpress typography.  She even incorporated both font types (the script and the serif) into her address for the front of the reply card envelope.  

Aren't those pretty?  The reply card was a standard 4bar size (3.5" x 4.875") and we used Crane Lettra's 4bar envelopes in the bright white color to match the paper.  I think this whole suite tied together beautifully and the letterpress printing on it turned out amazing!  

Cara has been a fabulous client to work with and I would be more than happy to print any stationery she designs in the future.  If you are considering designing your own invitations or stationery and would like more information about our letterpress printing services, please feel free to contact me at!

Congratulations Cara & James and thank you so much for your business!  

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lisa & James are Getting Married (today!)

It's currently early in the morning out here on the west coast, but as it's almost one o'clock in the afternoon in Massachusetts I think that it's safe to assume that two of my recent custom clients, Lisa & James, may be getting married right now, if they aren't married already.  Several months ago I was asked to customize one of our standard thank you card designs for a wedding by a customer (Lisa) through the Etsy shop.  Lisa had discovered our Elegant Scroll Thank You Cards in blue and decided they would be perfect for her then-upcoming February wedding.  Then in Mid-December, Lisa contacted me again.  She loved her thank you cards so much that she wanted to know if I could create both a set of custom menus and a set of custom programs for her wedding.  I told her we absolutely could!  You can see a photo of both the program and menu at the top of this post.  

Lisa is having a somewhat more traditional wedding ceremony in a church in Massachusetts and as such, wanted a more formal, classic and elegant design for her menus and programs.  She chose to do them in one color: navy blue, to go along with the other blues she was using in her wedding.  Here is the table menu:

Lisa's menu is an A2 size (4.25" x 5.5") and features a very simple design with a gorgeous little motif at the top that we carried through both pieces, and two lovely fonts.  We letterpress printed these on Crane's 100% cotton Lettra paper in Pearl White.  I love the little graphic motif at the top of the menu.  The fine lines really captured the subtle impression of the letterpress so well, along with the typography!

The second piece I designed for Lisa was a custom program.  Often when I'm asked to do programs, the client wants me to just design and print the cover, from which they will glue, staple or sew in the actual program page(s) that they've had flat printed later.  Because it was so close to her wedding though, Lisa already had all of the information for the inside of her programs and asked if we could print it all letterpress.  Let me tell you: those programs are beautiful.  They are a traditional, folded A7 size (5" x 7") and are printed in one color (still navy blue).  I used the same graphic motif from the menus on both the front and inside of the program.  Here is an image of the front cover:  

I love the way the capital serif font we used harmonizes with the script font we chose for the names.  Isn't it pretty?  And, here is the inside:

You'll have to excuse my fingers at the bottom of the picture.  Since the program was printed on reasonably heavy, 110 lb. paper and had just been scored and folded right before I took the photos, they didn't really want to stay open on their own.  We went with a very traditional format for the program with the information about the wedding party on the left side and the actual program for the ceremony on the right.  If you're considering a more traditional format for your ceremony program you may want to click on the above photo to see it larger.  I really like how Lisa chose to list both the family/wedding party information and how she arranged the actual different elements of the ceremony for a program.  It's informative, but to-the-point and oh so pretty!  As far as impression goes - I love how when you are printing double-sided on the Crane Lettra paper you can still feel a slight impression on both sides, but you can't see the text from one side to the other (on a program or other item where you're reading both sides, it would be pretty ugly to see a lot of impression from one side on the next).  

If you'd like more information about custom letterpress printed wedding programs, menus or other stationery, please contact me at:

Congratulations Lisa & James and have a wonderful wedding day, today!  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Save the Date: Sherry & Thomas are Getting Married!

I mentioned in my post yesterday, that it's been really busy around here lately with custom work. Most of the custom work I've been doing this time of year is for weddings!  Typically spring, summer and early fall are the most popular times of year for people to get married and because of this, we're always busy in the winter working on wedding invitations for people getting married in the spring, summer and early fall of the coming year.  So this will be the first of several posts coming up that have to do with upcoming weddings!  

Right after I returned from Japan last November, I was contacted by a lovely bride-to-be in the Washington, DC area about creating a set of 200, custom Save-the-Date cards and wedding invitations for her September 2009 wedding.  Sherry told me that she didn't have a particular theme for her upcoming West Virginia wedding, but that she wanted her stationery to be simple yet elegant and in a classic color scheme: black and white.  

I've been thinking a lot lately about different possibilities for classic, elegant, black & white color schemes, partly because it seems to be in vogue this season, but also because classic black and white letterpress printing on white 100% cotton paper is always beautiful regardless of the time, year or event.  Many historical letterpress invitations and announcements that I have seen were printed in black and white with beautiful typography and were just as beautiful then as the ones we're doing now.  

I gave Sherry and Thomas several options, but this is the one they liked the best:

I originally designed this Save-the-Date as an A6 size, which would measure 4.5" x 6.25", but after looking at the design for a while, Sherry decided she wanted it a lot smaller.  So we altered the design to be a 4bar size (3.5" x 4.875").  This is the size I typically use for reply cards and the like, and I have never actually used it for a Save-the-Date card prior to Sherry and Thomas'.  After seeing it in print though I'm really in love with the small, gorgeousness of it and I'm going to start suggesting it to other potential custom clients.  

These Save-the-Dates were printed on Crane's 100% cotton lettra paper in Pearl White and came with matching 4bar 100% cotton lettra envelopes, also from Crane.  I love how the scroll pattern we used in the background and to frame the text turned out.  I printed it as a blind emboss, which is where you print a design on the letterpress without ink, just to get the impression and textural affect and in this design it turned out beautifully!  You can see a detail of the pattern in the image at the beginning of this post as well as in the photo below: 

Isn't it gorgeous?!?  This new scroll pattern is one that I recently came up with and have never used before and I just love the way that it looks!

Here is a detail of the little 4bar envelope that is paired with it.  We used the same font that Sherry and Thomas picked for their names on the Save-the-Date and printed the return address on the back flap of the envelope.  I love how Crane's Lettra envelopes truly match the texture of their paper.  If you are planning to use Crane's paper for your letterpress project and want a white (or off-white), pointed or square flap envelope to match, I would highly recommend going with theirs.  They are beautiful looking, feel great to the touch and print with just the slightest bit of impression without the impression showing on the other side.  Simply gorgeous!

Sherry & Thomas have also hired me for the design work and printing of the rest of their wedding stationery so if you love the way their Save-the-Dates turned out as much as we do, check back in a month or two for the rest of their stationery.  I know it's going to be gorgeous!  

Congratulations Sherry & Thomas!  I'm looking forward to working with you more!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and long Valentine's Day and President's weekend this past weekend.  I've been meaning to do a little blog post for a while now to show off all of our new love-themed cards for Valentine's and this spring, but we've been so busy with custom work lately that this blog has been sadly neglected for over a week.  If you've been watching our Etsy shop, you've probably already seen these designs, but in case you haven't here they are below!  With the exception of the Valentine Checklist card, I feel that all of these designs would be a wonderful way to tell the people you care about and are thinking about that you love them throughout the year!  And really, who doesn't love getting a sweet "I love you and I'm thinking of you." message at random?  Just because it's not Valentine's Day anymore, doesn't mean you shouldn't tell 'em you love 'em.  

Our first new love-inspired design is an A2 size card that we're calling "Love Letters".  Inspired by vintage valentine's and wedding postage stamps this letterpress card features the letters L-O-V-E inside of a light pink rectangle with little grey finches perched on and flying towards them.  You can see the full card at the top of this post and there are a few detail images below.  

Check out how awesome the embossed white letters look in the above detail photo!  They are really fun and tactile and beautiful to see and touch!  Each of these cards comes with a corresponding A2 envelope in light pink and they are available for purchase as singles here.

For our next new love-inspired card, we decided to try out a brand new card size.  The size is a monarch size, which measures 7.25" x 3.75".  I've done a few save-the-date cards for weddings and a few programs that were this size in the past, and I liked the size so much that I thought I'd try it out for a greeting card.  Check it out below:

Each of these cards features an adorable baby elephant running across the front with a trail of little pink heart-shaped bubbles trailing behind him.  The bubbles continue across the front of the card and a few even float around to the backside.  It features a very simple message: "Love you.", letterpress printed on the front and it is blank on the inside for your own personal message.  Want one of your own?  You can find it here.  

Our totally Valentine's specific design for this year was a cute and somewhat humorous checklist card.  The card is a 5.5" square size that is folded and has a lovely brown, leafy vine pattern stretching around the list on the front.  The list was printed in brown also with little pink checkboxes that you can fill in yourself depending on who you plan to send it to.  It's really the perfect card for all of the Valentines on your list!  Here is a photo:  

We still have a few of these cards available in our etsy store, so if you'd like to stock up for next year, you can find them here.  

And, last but not least, is an adorable card design for the dog-lover in all of us!  My family and I had black labrador retrievers growing up and they were such wonderful family pets - and so sweet and loyal - that I decided to make a love card featuring them.  The card design is fairly simple - there is a black lab on the front with a light pink heart in his mouth.  See below: 

You can find the black lab cards here.  Do you love this design, but would rather have a chocolate or yellow lab?  We have those too!  

You can find the yellow labs here and the chocolate labs here.  

I'm going to try to get back into a regular schedule of posting here soon, and I have lots and lots of new custom stuff to share with you!  So if you're especially interested in custom wedding invitations stay tuned, more of those will be up very soon!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Don't Divorce...

I work with a lot of people all over the world who are getting married.  These people want to share their life with another person completely.  They want to start families.  They want to be there for each other and support each other through good times and bad.  In my opinion, it is beyond all reason that two individuals who want to be wed and have families should be prevented from doing so.  I think that it's pretty powerful and very lucky if you believe you've found that one person in your life that you want to share everything with and can't imagine being without.  

Last month, Ken Starr, who led the campaign to impeach former President Bill Clinton in 1998, filed a legal brief on behalf of the "Yes on 8" campaign.  If validated it would forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in the state of California last year before the passage of Proposition 8 in November.  

The video entitled "Fidelity": Don't Divorce... was Courage Campaign's response to this action.  Courage Campaign is an online organizing network that empowers nearly 400,000+ grassroots activists to push for progressive change in California.  Watch the video, and if it moves you, you can sign their letter to the California Supreme Court asking them to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr's case, and allow all loving, committed couples to marry regardless of their sexuality or gender(s).  

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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  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, 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!