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 8x12 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!