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.

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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.

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Wedding Invitation with Metallic Edge Painting

Gold foil is still all the rage for invitation, business cards, cd covers . . .  and this extra-large, 5.5×8.5 invitation’s golden laurel wreath uses foil to beautiful effect. Metallic gold edge painting adds sparkle and is a bit more economical than gold foil on the edges. A lavender Pantone is set off by the pearl white, double-thick stock.

It’s high wedding-invitation season in the print shop, so we’ll be posting more shining examples in the coming weeks.

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Letterpress and digital chapbook

It’s always a treat when we get to make a chapbook. This diminutive volume was designed by Kathleen Lynch of Black Kat Design, a specialist in book jacket and cover design, as a gift for her clients at the end of 2013. We printed the cover on 110#, 100% cotton Lettra, and, to stay on budget, the interior pages on matching 90# text-weight Lettra. The city skyline hints at the setting of many of the microstories inside: New York.

While we don’t offer digital printing in-house, we work with a great local printer whose massive “digital press” can perform all kinds of magic, including photographic reproduction, large solids (which is not letterpress’ forté), and a pretty decent black.

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Shindig Grey Chipboard Business Card

We’ve had the pleasure working with Jill at Shindig Invitations on several projects (have a look at this lovely event, featuring some very lovely paper), so we had a suspicion that, when it came time to print her business cards, they would be just as excellent as her invitations. She wanted chipboard, but not the usual brown, so she selected this pale grey instead. It has all the inclusions and chips of brown chipboard, but the effect is softer and provides more contrast with the gold type. To set off the robin’s-egg blue, we duplexed the stock to make a super beefy, double-thick card that resists bending with all its might. Satin gold foil on both sides gleams subtly.

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Wrapping up 2013 at Thomas-Printers

I’m still working on Thomas-Printers’ annual New Year’s greeting card–last year it went out in March (ha)–so I’ll take a small break from that to share our last few projects of 2013. 2013 was a great year, filled with letterpress-related travel, family visits, and, happily, lots of letterpress printing. Our last projects of 2013 are a good summary of what the year held: baby announcements, business cards, last-minute projects, and wedding invitations. We had time for one last foil project, duplexed to a gray Colorplan sheet, a gift card and envelope for an international yoga studio, several holiday cards, and a notepad for my little nephew to scribble on. As usual, we want to thank our customers for choosing print and choosing letterpress–both increasingly important choices in our digital age. Choosing print helps support a whole network of craftspeople, from the people who make our papers and printing plates, to the printers in our community, to the postman who delivers the printed piece. Thomas-Printers could not do it without you, so, once again, thank you.

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