Maya and Bryan are getting married!

I had so much fun working with Maya and Bryan on their entire wedding suite. They are such a wonderful couple and they somehow always bring a smile to your face. They are getting married this July in Washington DC and wanted their paper suite to match their personality–fun and modern. During one of our first meetings, Maya mentioned that Bryan loved fly fishing and wanted to SUBTLY include flies into the suite. So after a few drawings, Maya and Bryan fell lin love with the movement of the swooping lines which were reminiscent of fly lines. And I was even able to tuck in small flies between some of the lines to further tie the whole theme together.

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The pattern of the lines + flies are printed without ink to create a blind impression into the paper. This allowed the text to really pop off the page. The blind impression really shows off the beauty of letterpress printing since you both see and feel the impression.

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I also had the joy of illustrating a coordinating map for Maya and Bryan that highlighted all the things they wanted their guests to enjoy. She really wanted a whimsical map, so we included lots of hand drawn icons. My favorites? A copper penny representing the Lincoln Memorial and the fishing fly in place of Roosevelt Island.

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Thanks for letting me work with you on your wedding invitations, Maya! It was truly a blast

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How-to: registration

I’ve mentioned “registration” as part of the printing process in an earlier post. Some of you readers might be wondering: what is registration? To put it simply: it’s the method of aligning different colors on the same page. Because printing multiple colors requires multiple plates, each piece of paper is run through the press once for each color. A few weeks ago, I printed 60 3-color invitations: that’s 180 passes through the press, with 3 ink mixes and 3 setups & wash-ups per color.

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Aside from multiplying press time, each additional color also makes set-up more challenging: the plates and paper guides have to be repositioned in order to print in the same spot. This method of aligning the printed areas is registration. With some designs, a loose registration doesn’t really matter – and could add some playfulness – but sometimes tighter registration is required so that colors are exactly aligned. Did you know that even an untrained eye can perceive a 1/100th-inch discrepancy in alignment?

Some printers use registration marks on their plates to make sure everything lays neatly on top of each other. In most of my printing, the crop marks play double duty as registration marks. Since I know the crop marks need to hit the paper in exactly the same spot for each color, it’s an easy way to align the plates without much additional setup.

Here’s a step by step of how I printed this most recent 3 color job:
1. set up and print color #1  //  this is done like any other set up…plate on the base, print on the paper. At this point, I’m not too worried about where exactly the form hits on the paper, just as long as all the crop marks hit the page.
2. washup & clean
3. ink up color #2  // without the form on the base, apply ink to the ink disk + rollers until you have even coverage
4. register color #2  //  adhere the plate to the base (if using photopolymer) or lock up your form in the chase. Print directly on the tympan to see where it hits on the platen. Use pins (that’s where the term pin registration must come from) and poke small holes on the tympan where the crop marks printed. Poke corresponding holes on your printed paper where those crop marks printed. Align the holes with the pins. Add gauge pins or guides to set your paper in place.
5. print color #2
6. repeat steps 2-5 for all subsequent colors until final prints are complete
7. trim  //  use your crop marks to trim your final piece(s) to size.

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Just remember that between plates, you’ll probably have to adjust your packing and make ready…but that’s a given with set up. Also examine the first few prints in each run to make sure everything is hitting correctly. If not, make slight adjustments to your gauge pins or guides.

It’s true, the more colors, the more frustrating the process…but in the end, it’s all seems worth it! Happy printing everyone!

Fishing Flies!

I recently worked on a wedding suite where the groom loved fly fishing. They even went fly fishing for their engagement photos…in the freezing rain, now that’s dedication.

I drew several different flies to incorporate into their suite and I loved the drawings so much that I decided to print a few notecards with them.

As stated in the previous post, these are for sale at our etsy shop!

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printing blitz

I’ve been spending so much time printing and designing (hey, I’m not complaining) that I have been too tired to blog about each project fully. Here are a few things we’ve printed in the past couple of weeks…no literally, two weeks. And please excuse the photos…they were taken on the back porch with my phone…

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Fishing fly notecards (available at our etsy store this week)

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designed by Nicole Leombruno

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designed by Rock Paper Scissors | Charlottesville

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personal stationery + printed envelopes

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wedding program

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designed by James Huemoeller

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screen printed by motivators.com

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designed by Rock Paper Scissors