Dinosaur Invasion

We’ve been gearing up for a local holiday craft bazaar and printed these fun and fresh note cards featuring an orange dino silhouette and light blue edge painting. We love this color combination because they aren’t true compliments (not directly across from each other on the color wheel) but the bright and subtle addition of the blue gives it a fresh spunky feel. It’s a little retro, but retro is modern these days, right?

These were printed on double ply paper to give a thick and luxurious feel…and to hold the edge painting a little bit better than single ply paper.

Aren’t these perfect for every kid in your life…or every kid at heart? Head over to our etsy shop to get your own set  of 10 today!

How to: preparing for a run

You may have heard or read that letterpress printed goods are hand crafted. But what does that really mean? For us, our hands are involved in every aspect for design and production. We’ve posted about drawing and how to mix inks. And it’s obvious that each piece is hand cranked through the press. But what you didn’t realize is how much ‘prep’ we go through before running a job.

After we’ve hand mixed our inks and inked up the press, we prep for a press run by first creating a few test prints to check impression depth, inking consistency, and clarity. We evaluate these test prints, make adjustments to the packing (the layers behind the paper), rollers/rails, and ink, and then re-test until we are happy with the results. We do this for each run of the press because different forms (plates/type) and ink create different print conditions. And since I don’t like to waste paper, I’ll often times just rotate the paper and test again if the design allows for it. Maybe it’s just the artists/architect in me, but I actually love how these palimpsest test prints highlight the printing process–what do you think?

Below, you can see the card on the right has all of my notes. In this particular case, the date and Lauren’s name were printing lighter than the rest of the invitation on the first test. In order to adjust that, I cut layers of packing to fit those particular areas and laid them on the platen (the part of the press that the paper sits on). This brings that area of the paper a hair closer to the form allowing for a little more pressure on the next pass. And after several attempts and adjustments, voila…we’re ready to print the whole run!

In this modern age, our society values economy and efficiency. But it’s great that we can also recognize the value of hand crafted goods where you still see the person behind the product.

Confetti Wedding Suite!

My college roommate, Emily, got married 2 weeks ago in Richmond, Virginia. We dodged Hurricane Sandy and their celebration was truly magical.

We had the honor to be a part of her paper trail from the very beginning. Remember her paint chip save the dates and Anthro Bridal Shower? If you don’t let’s recap. Emily is a beautiful, fun spirited, modern, metropolitan, smart, funny, and all together awesome woman. When we started to design her wedding suite, she loved the idea of a confetti border and wanted to use the distressed font from her save the dates. So, we came up with a few options for her–from traditional to fun and modern.

Emily and Rafael chose to go with a graphic text block and confetti border throughout their suite. We designed and printed their invitations and reply postcards in our studio. The inserts were flat printed at her local print shop on silver iridescent vellum. These were all assembled in pocket enclosure seen here and sealed with custom stickers that we designed and fabricated here.

The pocket enclosure served as the inner envelope with her guests’ first names–a great modern twist with a formal allusion. We even got a chance to practice our calligraphy skills–more on that in another post…

We had so much fun creating these for Em and Rafael and really enjoyed celebrating with them a few weeks ago. You guys are amazing and congratulations!

Home Sweet Home!

We’ve been in our new house and studio for just under 2 months now and it has been quite the journey to get here!

My husband and I started looking for our first home early spring 2012 with our awesome realtor, Bob, at Nest Realty. He was great and really listened to what we were looking for in our ideal house. He took us to many homes around town and finally decided that we didn’t want to leave the neighborhood that we were renting in. Although this narrowed our choices, we weren’t in a rush, so we waited until we found the perfect home (and studio).

Long story short, we made an offer that was accepted, filed a bunch of paperwork, closed, filed more paperwork, and MOVED in!

And if you have ever met us, you know that it takes us absolutely forever to unpack. Yes, we had a few unopened boxes 2 years after we moved into our old apartment. We just like getting a feel for the space before making any huge commitments…and…truth comes out, but we’re procrastinators.

We, along with our pup, LOVE our new home. Best part is, I now have a dedicated room for the studio! WOOHOO. No more working out of a glorified hallway! Although we are still trying to figure out storage for the studio, the press and work desk are both set up and running. We even finished printing and assembling our moving announcements. We were inspired by this shadowbox by Young House Love a few weeks ago and decided to use keys in our announcements to allude to our 100 year old house and the people (and dog) that make it a home.

Are you wondering how we made these double sided postcards without and show through impression on the other side? We actually printed each side separately on 110lb lettra and then duplexed together to create a double sided 220lb postcard. Yep, and if you do the math, that’s 2 colors, 2 sides, 4 runs through the press per card for printing alone.