Oh, hiii. How are you? I really hate it when people say they're going to start blogging again and then they don't. I always think it's better to just pretend like nothing unusual happened. C'est la vie. I'll try to remember that next time I abandon my blog - which may be tomorrow - I make no promises.
So I've got big plans for the new year, but I'm not going to talk about them yet because apparently the threat of shame from writing about something and then not doing it is not enough to make me do anything. We'll see how things pan out. In the meantime, I thought I'd catch the blog up on the major happenings from 2010. They won't be in chronological order, probably, but I do feel the need to present the big projects on the blog before moving on. I'm anal that way - I also read magazine articles in order and I can't bring myself to skip around in books of letters or essays.
Anyway, the big projects this year were all wedding invitations. Marriage. It's what brings us together. Let's begin, shall we? I printed three wedding invitation suites this year, and while all very different and unique and speshul, let's first focus on the similarities.
Number one is paper. Behold, for I have found a paper that I like and highly recommend, and it IS NOT Crane's Lettra. Longtime readers with good memories (and apparently nowhere else to go) will perhaps remember that my results with lettra were never all I hoped for. I know that many, many printers and Martha Stewart all swear by it, but I've just always found the quality inconsistent and results lacking. Obviously there are lots of papers that work great with letterpress printing, but my new go-to paper for jobs is Holyoke Fine Papers.
Here's what I like about it: 1. It might even be thicker than lettra, but it certainly feels more supple and cushion-y; 2. I feel like it prints fine lines just as well as lettra and prints everything else (solids, half-tones) better than lettra; 3. The color choices are nice (antique, bone or natural). They're actually pretty similar to lettra, but the Holyoke paper is just more elegant, somehow and the cream one isn't as ugly; 4. They offer both parent sheets and a large variety of cut and folded sizes. This is really the best part. I don't have a good paper cutter, and being able to order 100 5x7 cards is a huge time-saver, headache-saver etc.; 5. Holyoke Paper is part of Manifesto Press, which is a large printing company whose owner Bryan Hutcheson often posts smart-ass remarks to the Letpress listserv. Now I don't always find Bryan's posts amusing, but I prefer to buy from a fellow printer and a smaller, independent business. 6. Super-nice and helpful employees and very fast shipping. They're near Boston, so regular old UPS ground arrives in New York in 2 days or less and I've never had trouble with something not being in stock.
Here's the short list of things I don't like about Holyoke Paper. 1. No envelopes. You can match pretty closely by using various other companies, but it would be really nice to be able to just order envelopes at the same time. I generally use the Bone stock, which is a pretty good match with the Pearl Lettra envelopes. However, I do believe they have plans for envelopes. 2. They don't do custom cutting. Pretty small complaint actually since most paper suppliers not only won't do custom cutting, but also don't offer pre-cut stock, but I needed for there to be more than one item on my con list. 3. Oh, well I suppose if rainbows were made of puppies, it would also be nice if they offered colored stock too.
So I printed all three projects with Holyoke Fine Papers' Bone stock, and the first invitation suite I'm featuring is for Carrie & David's vaguely fifties themed wedding. Carrie and David are wonderfully fun, eclectic people, and their wedding reflected their personalities. The colors they were using included teal, black, and dark orange, but they threw in many other colors in their decorations too. After talking with them, it seemed that the over-arching themes were the fifties (Carrie's dress, the cake, some decorations) and teal (bridesmaids' dresses, the cake), so my design incorporated those. I actually presented them with two other ideas, but they chose these. The invitations are totally fifties inspired and playful - kitschy in the best way, I hope. I really feel that the invitations reflect Carrie's personality really well.
Carrie and David and I all used to live in the same building here in Brooklyn, so to save them some money, we used plates that Glendon cut on the laser cutter. As I've said before, I wouldn't use the plates on projects of people I didn't know (& even many people I do know) because the quality can be kind of difficult to control. You can see that on the RSVP card where the lines are just not as crisp as they should be. Carrie and David didn't care at all, but it of course bugged me. We re-did the plates (and my file) to avail. I actually ended up chiseling off the line next to "must regretfully decline" and printing it separately with rule that I cut to fit.
So that was that. Next time, if there is a next time, I will post on another wedding job and also talk about platemakers. Or maybe I won't.