Local Food Dinner Menu

One of the good things about our location is that we’re surrounded by a huge variety of local food and small farms; this menu we made for a recent local food dinner attests to that. The dinner benefited another great local program, L.E.A.F., which seeks to help local youngsters learn about organic farming. We printed this three-color card of deliciousness on tree-free, cotton stock in ecru, and included a tiny letterpress micro-green for the occasion. We were happy to contribute a small thing to the farmers and groups who do so much for so many!

Letterpress Menu

Letterpress Menu

Letterpress Menu (1)

Spring Business Card Roundup

We had a busy spring of business card printing interspersed with the usual spring wedding work. Noting a trend towards simplicity, we printed several tidy, one-color cards whose clean typography was accentuated with creamy or white cotton paper, or, in one case, a tiny green lettuce. We printed a dramatic card on super-thick 4pt Rising Museum Board using just a touch of transparent white for deboss definition, and then painted the edges a bright, cherry red. An artist‘s card also got the cherry-red edge treatment, which, when printed with a bleed off the edge, gave the cards a hand-dipped look.

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Neon Surprise Wedding Announcement

When family friends Paul and Andrea called us with a top-secret project, we knew something great was afoot. They wanted something whimsical, neon, and tiny to share the news of their surprise wedding–a little piece that belied the big-ness of their excellent announcement. We came up with a business-card-sized card in an equally diminutive envelope, all enclosed in an aqua envelope that was the right size for mailing.

The icing on this cupcake was the chance to use Tilda, the typeface designed by Jessica Hische for the movie Moonrise Kingdom. While the typeface will be officially released later this year, the intrepid Paul was able to purchase the beta version of the face so that he and Andrea could have the script of their dreams!

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Paul Muldoon Broadside

Every year, we get to print a broadside for Dickinson College’s Stellfox Residency, one of the largest literary awards of its kind in the U.S. We choose an artist, the Stellfox honoree picks one of his or her works, and the artist creates a unique piece that we print up for the occasion. This year’s winner was Irish poet Paul Muldoon, and the artist was Deborah Harris. Split-fountains are one of my favorite printing techniques–you can see a past example here–and I thought the effect would be perfect for this project to infuse the hay bale with a soft glow. The results are somewhat unpredictable and various, as the printer is blending two ink colors by hand on press. The goal is to make one ink color blend subtly into the other. In this case, I chose a soft gray and a metallic gold, and printed 50 copies on Somerset Velvet.

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Neon Business Cards with Edge Painting

I’d like to take a small break from wedding invitation posts to show off these neon beauts, printed for our friends at design firm Creat-Ink in Florida. The yellow doesn’t seem to photograph as brightly as the orange (referred to here fondly as “electric salmon”), but both are quite bright and really pop on the fluorescent-white paper. We printed one set for both partners in her color of choice; each card includes a blind deboss (an impression without ink), a run for the black, and a run for the neon on 220# Lettra. That extra-thick stock allows for a good amount of the edge painting to show, too:

Neon Letterpress Business CardLetterpress Business Card edge paintingNeon Letterpress Business Cardblind deboss business cardNeon Edge Coloring

Lovely Pattern Invitations

There are traditional wedding invitations with flowers and bouquets, and then there are these fresh patterns from our friends at Mia Maria Design. (You can see more images from the event these were made for here.) We printed these on 220#c to allow a bit more thickness for texture; ecru was chosen to compliment the warm terracotta and tomato red. The second example is a bold floral pattern highlighted with softly shining gold foil and art deco typography. Unlikely textures and saturated color may be a bolder choice than classic florals, but invitations this tasty are hard to resist.

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Many ink colors made affordable: overprinting!

Letterpress printing can (usually) only run one ink color at a time. That’s what makes an invitation with multiple ink colors sometimes less than affordable: each ink color not only requires a separate run, but also a separate printing plate, more paper, more waste, more labor, etc. A handy way to get around this is to overprint two (or more) colors to achieve a third. (Remember the color wheel from elementary school?) Corinne designed her own invitations, and to get three colors of beach glass, we overprinted the aqua with the pale green to achieve a third teal-ish color, which is visible in the detail shots below. We’ll sometimes make the inks a bit transparent to enhance the overprinting. Still waiting on the perfect plaid invitation, which this technique would be perfect for!

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Gatefold letterpress invitation

The wedding invitation season started off on a sweet note with this lovely gatefold creation from our friends at Shindig. Printed on super-soft Reich Savoy, this invitation makes good use of crisp black calligraphy and dusty pink for the peony petals. We do love printing on Savoy, which is creases particularly well and without cracking if done properly. The two scores allow the front flaps close over the actual invitation, giving the recipient a nice surprise to open. The reply card is printed on Latte from Paper-Presentation in two colors.

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Pink and Foil Wedding Invitation

This foil stamped invitation has a glamor which suits the wedding location perfectly: the 1930s Cree Estate in California. Anne designed her own wedding invitations using a combination of satin gold foil, charcoal gray ink, and a blind deboss–an impression without ink–of their monogram. We used Colorplan paper in Candy pink for the invitation, and duplexed two cards together so that each side’s art could have a nice crisp bite and so that the card would be weighty, rather than floppy. The response card is printed in two sides with gold foil on a hefty chipboard–a simple stock made beautiful by letterpress.

two sided letterpress invitationblind deboss wedding invitationletterpress wedding invitation pink paperFoil rsvp card chipboardFoil rsvp card chipboard

This year’s New Year’s card: 4-color letterpress

Every year we do a New Year’s greeting card (you can see past examples here and here) which seems to get sent out later and later every year. The tricky part is that I always feel that I need to wait until I have a meaningful idea, one that will impart a small inspirational message to the recipient and has an eye-catching image as well. Unfortunately, I seldom have that idea the previous November or December, when it would be advantageous from a printing and timeliness standpoint, so when the idea strikes January-ish, and production can be finally scheduled in early February . . . the new year tends to not to be so new anymore. If we stopped calling it a New Year’s card I imagine the slight feeling of shame in sending it out so late would dissipate. But I digress.

I’m pretty proud of this card, which may be the most fun I’ve had printing ever. The ship was printed in four colors–cyan, magenta, yellow, and black–to achieve the full-color image shown in the image below. As you can see in the second set of pictures, the ship was built up one color at a time–first yellow, then magenta, then cyan, then black–and with each press run, the detail became a little clearer. It was so amazing to me to see the ship emerge from the background of these colors that I can’t wait to try this again with other art. The ship image itself was from a postcard from the late teens or twenties, and so already had a vintage look which the letterpress process only emphasized.

The ship (and poem on the back) portion of the card is perforated so that it will eventually detach from the beautiful quote from Cheryl Strayed. Significance of the RMS Olympic? I encourage you to Google it and to read this excellent New Year’s editorial from The New Yorker‘s Adam Gopnik.

New Year's card 2014Four Color LetterpressFour Color Letterpress Card detailLetterpress New Year 2014