Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Peekaboo...I see...Bamboo?!!

Along the fence right outside the door to my letterpress studio is a little grove of bamboo. I use the term "little" loosely because the bamboo wants the entirety of our outdoor space and it's all my gardeners and I can do to keep them contained along the fence. Our bamboo, for all its appetite for world domination, helps to create a very zen atmosphere and shields the studio from heat. When it's 100+ degrees out, it's a manageable 80 degrees in the printshop without AC.

When the fellas at Smock introduced bamboo paper to the letterpress world a couple years ago, I was (and honestly still am) skeptical of how much MORE eco-friendly bamboo is than cotton. I mean, cotton paper, as luxurious as it is, is made from linters (basically waste product from the ginning process), making it as eco-friendly as they come. But Smock was saying that bamboo paper was the cat's meow and the bee's knees and on top of it all more eco-friendly than cotton. It really made me curious to try bamboo paper. So when I saw a letterpress printed sample of Legion Bamboo at the Stationery Show, I decided that I should look into trying it out, especially since I had an awesome design that I was about to print that would fit perfectly with bamboo paper -- a panda!

Introducing Peekaboo Panda:
He's an A2 folded card letterpress printed on bamboo paper and paired with a 100% recycled (30% PCW) kraft envelope. Quite possibly the most eco-friendly card we've ever printed. I couldn't resist putting the card up in the bamboo --

And, because Mr. Panda is special, I decided to print a little note in the back of each card so everyone would know that Peekaboo Panda was letterpress printed right here in southern California on bamboo paper:

I also letterpress printed Peekaboo Panda as A6 flat stationery:

I'm a little indecisive about whether to round the corners or not. The original design calls for but I like the way it looks with square corners, too. So I will continue to waffle on the corners for a couple days. (If you have an opinion, let me know!)

My foray into letterpress printing on bamboo paper was fun. Legion Bamboo is a tad thinner than Crane's Lettra and Reich Savoy at 265 GSM (I believe that translates to 100lb cover, only slightly thinner than Lettra and Savoy at 110lb and 118lb, respectively). It has a different feel to it -- I can't describe it exactly -- and the paper behaves in a slightly different way on press. I really like it actually, but it's been a madhouse in the printshop right now because we've been printing on five different papers and it's been blowing my mind a little bit trying to remember the personalities and peculiarities of each type of paper! I'm going to figure out a way to use bamboo to complement Joie Studio's current collection, but if you want bamboo for your next project, just let me know.

The good people at Legion Paper have been really lovely taking care of Joie Studio, so I'm excited to try out some other letterpress papers that they sent me. Check back on the blog for further reports later!

Happy letterpressing!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love peekaboo panda! So cute in both the card and stationery!

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