The Thomas Printers Blog

Custom Calligraphy at Thomas Printers

Exciting news everyone: now you can add custom calligraphy to your letterpress project! We’re happy to be working with Kim Nichols Calligraphy for all our lettering needs. Kim has decades of experience hand-lettering everything from invitations to certificates to place cards to poetry, has studied with some of the best calligraphers in the world, and lives and breathes letterforms. Bonus: she’s right in town so there’s no shipping lag from press to pen! Just let us know that you’re interested in calligraphy when you send in your estimate or contact form.

Calligraphy addresses on envelopes calligraphy table numbers and escort cards

Save-the-Date on Black with Rose Gold Foil

Before we turn on the way-back machine and look at some really great past projects in the next few posts, we wanted to shine the spotlight on this super-shiny save-the-date for Amy and Alan. Amy wanted to mimic the look of a patina on copper, so the solution for this card was to pick a rose gold foil and overprint a minty foil on some of the blossoms. Our foil printer nailed the tight registration; no mean feat. Amy chose a heavy black paper from Colorplan to make the art nouveau blooms glow even brighter.

Foil save-the-dateLetterpress Wedding Invitationart nouveau flowers rose-gold foil save-the-date

Andrew + Antonio Wedding Invitation

This invitation, designed by both Andrew and Antonio, was one of our favorites of 2014. A new take on the classic silhouette-style announcement, this one represents the grooms’ most recognizable characteristics in simple graphic strokes. Clean and crisp, and somehow really charming. Savoy, the cotton paper we chose for this project, has a nice smooth surface, which allowed the solids to print up nice and saturated with ease.

Letterpress Wedding InvitationSilhouette close-upInvitation detail

A Proper Party Invitation (with silver foil)

This card, printed with shining, starry, silver foil, is the invitation for the “proper party” mentioned in this announcement for a surprise wedding that we printed earlier in the year. Silver foil looks especially great on darker stock, especially this cobalt-colored paper from Colorplan. The elegant–and really fun–evening cocktail party was not only the wedding reception for Paul and Andrea, but it was also a great way to welcome new year.

It’s safe to say that 2014 went by almost too fast. We built a new print shop (or had one built–post on that to come), moved shop with only a few days down-time, bought new presses, worked on a lot of great projects, and spent some quality time with family, friends, and customers. Every year we’re keeping these presses’ wheels turning makes me grateful to be in this business and working for all of you letterpress-lovers–so thanks again for a great year.

Silver Foil Party InvitationLetterpress Party Invitation on Blue PaperSilver Foil DetailLetterpress Party Invitation

Blind-deboss business cards

Just like that, December is upon us. How did this happen? Part of the reason it seems to have blindsided me is the fact that it’s still been so warm–any snow that dares fall is gone the next day. Speaking of blind, how about these business cards with a blind-deboss? The first one, from Fueled by Coffee design in Norway, shows the textural side of a blind impression. With lots of detail, the delicate scrolls of the pattern lend texture to the card without cluttering it up. The card for designer Joey Vestal uses the best possible (probably) typeface for a blind-deboss: big, bold, easy to read.

Blind-debossed business cardsblind-deboss detailBlind-debossed type

Bricolage Floral Stationery

Chelsea from Go Forth Creative designed this lovely floral stationery for her friends at Bricolage Curated Florals in Austin, Texas. She based the art on the favorite flowers of the florist herself, and selected a gray stock so rich it’s almost lavender. For some nice tone-on-tone action, the ink is a dark charcoal gray. Both stocks are Colorplan, a delightful line of colorful papers from England. In Chelsea’s words: “This project had an ease about it that shows through in the end.” As is often the case with letterpress printing, less is more: sometimes all you need is a nice typeface and a good design (sounds easy, no?).

Bricolage Floral Stationery

Floral stationery detail Letterpress Stationery (3)letterpress tagtag detail

Letterpress Chapbook: Poems

We love printing and designing books, but since the pleasure is a pretty rare one bringing this chapbook together was a treat. Poet Mark Jackley wanted us to create a keepsake edition of his collected poems, letterpress-printing not only the cover (which is far more common), but all the text pages as well. Entitled Appalachian Night, the chapbook contains more than twenty poems, set in Mrs Eaves and printed in crisp black ink on creamy, soft white Mohawk Superfine paper. To keep the production costs of the edition affordable, we had the books perfect-bound by local bookbinder Bindery Associates.

Chapbook Detail











Elegant gold foil and blind deboss invitation

We like to say that the beautiful deboss letterpress speaks for itself. That’s especially true in this lovely A8-size invitation from our friends at Mia Lane Design. Alena made friends with the white space on this large, 5.5×8.5 inch invitation, keeping the type clean and minimal. The gold foil adds a ribbon of shine, and the blind deboss (that is, an impression of the printing plate without ink) adds texture as well as subtle embellishment. We used Lettra 220#c for its substantial heft and beautiful blind-debossability.


Blind deboss gold foil wedding invitationLetterpress Wedding InvitationLetterpress Wedding InvitationLetterpress Wedding InvitationDeboss detail

See you at the printers’ fair?

Printers' Fair

We’ll be at the second-annual Letterpress Printers’ Fair in downtown Lancaster, PA, this Sunday from 11-5. It’s the only printers’ fair in the area, and it’s a good one. We’ll be representing Ladies of Letterpress, and will be selling t-shirts, printers’ aprons, baby onesies, iron-on patches, and more. The fair is held behind Building Character, a neat old factory replete with antiques, crafts, as well as local printing outfit the .918 Club’s historical print shop. Food trucks will be there too! Come on out, enjoy the fall weather, and meet some real-live printers. Sounds good to me.

Hand-drawn invitations

We love the designs over at A Printable Press. Their letterpress-ready invitations are a great way to get a custom-looking invitation at a less-than-custom price. This hand-drawn invitation for Christine is no exception. The mix of hand-drawn typefaces, digital typography, wreathes and arrows would look great on kraft paper, or on Pearl White Lettra, as shown here. There’s an increasing number of digital typefaces available that mimic hand-lettering and even calligraphy. And while we certainly don’t recommend replacing a skilled artisan with a machine (ahem), sometimes a healthy mix makes a beautiful invitation.

Hand-Drawn wedding invitationhand-drawn invitation detailwedding invitation garland