P is for…

Here are a few pictures from our newest addition to the alphabet series. We’re now experimenting with adding color into the cards by introducing the letter as a signature color for the graphic on the page. This peacock was hand drawn in our sketchbook and then directly translated into the letterpress. We tried to get as much texture in the drawing as we could to emphasize all the beautiful textures in these majestic animals.

Digital Studio

Here’s a quick peek into our compact studio. We’ve shown you the press itself in previous posts, but here’s a look into the other half of the studio–the digital (yet still very manual) studio.

We are set up with a computer, pens, pencils, and a drawing board. Our process begins with a sketch with pen and paper and then we convert these drawings into digital files, that then get translated into plates, and finally back on to paper by inking up the letterpress. Sometimes, it seems round about and cumbersome, but we love the mix of digital work, hand drawings, and letterpress. Each technique adds a new layer of texture and character that enriches the quality of the final product.

Below is an example of how we started to conceptualize the carousel horse cards a few weeks ago. We tried several different iterations of horses and made adjustments with each drawing–both physical and digital. Once we had something we were happy with, we sent off our digital files to Boxcar Press, and a week later, we were printing these awesome cards.

Mixing Inks

We love playing with color in the studio, and are consistently experimenting with different combinations. We use the Van Son Rubber base inks to mix a wide variety of colors (basically any color you could think of) using our Pantone formula guide. Yesterday, we mixed a new turquoise color from process blue, pantone yellow, and transparent white. The mixed color looks a lot darker on the board than it does on the paper, so we’ve learned to trust the Pantone guide and not our eyes alone.

We are always amazed when we mix colors to see the vast variety we can get from just a few base colors!

Vintage Car

We are tying a few new techniques out at the studio this week. Here’s an idea of a classic artist technique of line and wash. We drew a vintage car with a black line and created a wash of color over it. A wash is usually achieved by using watercolor and a brush to create a semi-transparent layer of color over the line drawing. For these cards, we created the brush texture in the computer and then pressed that texture into the card. We think these experimental cards turned out just how we imagined.

H is for…

Here’s the second in our series of alphabet cards (the first was F is for…). We were inspired to draw carousel horses because I grew up in a small town that was known as the carousel capitol. We had 6 functioning carousels from the 1920s that a local family donated for a town revitalization effort. I’ve always been drawn to these wooden creatures and admired their poise, movement, strength, and delicacy.

H is for (carousel) horse, hoof, hair, happiness! We love the whimsical character of these cards and would love your input for future letters!

1000 Business Cards

We finished pressing 1000 two-color business cards for Flaire Weddings & Events last week. We pressed these on double ply crane lettra paper in order to give the cards more texture with a deeper impression. We had a great time working with Flaire and look forward to making your new luxurious cards soon!