Archive for the ‘modern design’ Category

As I’ve been writing about all things paper, I’ve neglecting THE thing, the ONE aspect of stationary that thrills me, awes me, and makes me want to buy everything in sight when I find it.  Letterpress.  Letterpress is like an old friend and a complete stranger to me.  As long as I’ve been buying stationary, I’ve been attracted to letterpress.  My wedding announcements were letterpress, and both of my daughter’s birth announcements were letterpress.  There’s something about it – it’s old school, antique, vintage, and retro all at the same time.  It’s been going through quite a revival, and the more I’ve been researching it, the more I want to get on the bandwagon.

For all that I love about letterpress, the process is somewhat of a mystery to me.  I vaguely remember making letterpress notepads in sixth grade shop class (the alternative to woodworking).  I remember learning about ‘the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ – a panagram, a concise, short sentence using all the letters of the alphabet.  I made something for my mom – business cards, or a notepad – that smelled like ink and rubber cement (we made vinyl notebooks, too, and being that the class was in the basement with no ventilation, we created our first contact high as well).  I loved that class, and if it was the sixth grade as I recall, I also loved boys and tap dancing and NKOTB.  So, letterpress was shoved back in the type drawers, so to speak…

In college, I was given the option of writing a senior thesis.  As an English major, I should have been REQUIRED to write a senior thesis, but for whatever reason, the department didn’t make it mandatory.  My advisor suggested I write about the history of printing and publishing.  I was already well on my way to a low-paying, long-hour publishing job anyway; I may as well know how the books got there, right?  Right, ASK a senior you know to SEE if they WANT TO write a thesis.  I passed on the 60 page paper.  However, the idea of learning about printing never left me.

And, so, here I am again.  My girls are in school in the mornings, and do I really have some time on my hands?  Maybe a little, a smidgen, a tiny, tiny bit.  And I’ve been thinking and thinking about it, and, while I can’t learn how to letterpress hands on right now – I am GU (geographically undesirable, as they say), to a visual arts school – maybe I can learn in other ways.  Take a typography class on-line.  Learn some graphic design.  Read – hey, I like reading!  I do that enough, why not add more to the huge pile of books next to my bed?  Do research.  Do something!  Begin, as they say, at the beginning.

While doing some research today, I found a letterpress company whose name says it all – Letter Pressed.  Letter Pressed is a husband and wife team from Central California.  They press incredibly clean and precise cards, all in small batches, but all with large statements.  They also employ artists to print limited edition cards that seem to sell out FAST.  Here are two of my favorites –

                            Letter Pressed Did I

                            Letter Press airplane

I’ll be writing a lot about letterpress companies, but also about the process, the equipment, etc.  These won’t be my only postings, but expect to see a lot.  If you know of a good paper company, stationary shop, etc., that you think I might like, please let me know!


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Fabulous Stationery has consistently been one of my favorite notecard/invitation companies.  They are simultaneously retro, modern, and classic, covering weddings, baby, personalized notecards, even couples notecards.  Every design is completely customizable, and the envelopes have a unique return address window.  No piece of stationery is ever boring from this company.  Here are some favs (the silhouette card makes a great surprise party invitation) –

         Fab1                             Fab2

         Fab3                             Fab4

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