sketch, sketch, sketch all day long

I spent the summer of 2006 and 2010 abroad for a drawing program through the architecture school at UVa. The first time around, I was a student, and subsequently was the teaching assistant. These trips really helped me understand my LOVE for drawing. While there, we spent literally 8 hours a day with our sketchbooks in tow drawing everything we saw from buildings, landscape, details, and even some awesome hats on Italian Independence Day.

I still love drawing and pull out my sketchbook for every project we have. Some projects require more intense sketchbook time, like Tourterelle, and other times it’s just sketching out concepts and layouts.

We loved the drawing for Anne’s Farm to Table invitations so much that we then had boxcar press create a plate for us to make a few sets of these cards featuring our veggie drawings. We even packaged a few sets up already and sent them to our friends Sarah and Andrea who put us in touch with our most recent clients.


Lettuce Turnip the Beet

We’ve seen this clever little saying floating around cyberspace and seen it on posters, t-shirts, and more. We were thrilled when Anne asked us to create an invitation for a farm to table themed shower around this pun.

So we started brainstorming and decided to draw some really awesomely composed vegetables similar to vintage botanical drawings…you know what I’m talking about, black and white lines drawings showing all the beautiful details of all sorts of flora.

Although these invitations were not letterpress printed, we did order some plates from boxcar and are planning on making some very hip greeting cards with our drawing.


Sketches transformed

We are lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful and talented friends! Our friends Dan and Anna contacted us about creating some personal cards that really reflected their personality and their new home in San Francisco. Dan is an architect and Anna is a law student out in Berkeley. They have an amazing view of the bay and the city from their living room window. Dan drew a sketch of this amazing view and sent it to us to convert into completely unique letterpress cards just for them.

We chose to use the long #10 cards in lieu of a traditional folded card in order to further emphasize the panoramic view. Now Dan and Anna can write on the back of these San Francisco Bay cards and have a hand drawn and hand written note to send to all of their friends!

Local resources + classes

Letterpress is such a wonderful art and we are so excited it’s seen a revival in the past 10 years. We’ve blogged about  a great online resource for letterpress enthusiasts–, but we think the best way to learn is by interacting face-to-face and getting some hands-on experience.

I fell in love with letterpress and all things typography a little over two years ago after I took an “Intro to Letterpress” class at a local community studio through the Virginia Art of the Book in Charlottesville. I was able to spend a Saturday afternoon designing a card, setting type, locking up a chase, creating a makeready, and finally printing a small run of my greeting cards.

It was such a great experience for me to be introduced to typography and letterpress from teachers that have been life long printers and experts in the field. I was able to learn so much from that one afternoon and started to really appreciate the printed word and all of the love and labor that goes into the art. It’s very different to be able to set lead type than it is to make a few font/size changes in the computer.

We want to encourage anyone who is interested to find your own local resources. This could mean contacting a local print shop, a community studio, or the art department at a local college or university.

Below is the first letterpress card that I ever designed and made two years ago at the VABC. I used Korbel and Copperplate lead fonts and printed them on a Vandercook Universal I proof press. Thank you, VABC, for introducing me to such a rewarding and wonderful art!

It’s a yellow kind of day

We ran a few thank you cards yesterday with the extra yellow ink from our school of fish press. We love this mix of yellow that we call sunshine. It’s the perfect balance of brightness and gentleness that will truly bring a smile to your face. The thank you cards are simple and elegant where you can express your gratitude with a personal note inside.