Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I have plane tickets!

I didn't go last year because it was too close to my due date, and the original plan when I started Joie Studio was to EXHIBIT at the National Stationery Show in 2010, but Baby Joie has changed the plans and now I feel lucky enough just to be able to go and see the wonderful goodness going on in the world of stationery. It's going to be a quick trip since Baby Joie's not going with me (I think he would be *not* pleased at a trade show) and the husband has to work, but I'm going to go this year for a day to see what my letterpress friends are up to and see what yumminess is available from paper vendors from all over. Yes, I fly into New York Saturday night, visit the National Stationery Show on Sunday, and then fly home on Monday morning. But I'm excited because I haven't been back to New York since the last time I went to NSS in 2008, and I'm looking forward to saying hi to one of my favorite cities.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh, design bloggers, why do you do this to me?

Okay, I've been trying really hard not to spend money. The economy's down. I just had a baby that will one day need to be educated. We just bought a house that needs renovating. And then I noticed Poppytalk's posting on letters. And then I saw decor8's Etsy Take Five Tuesday featuring William Dohman's gorgeous wood signs - like this one from his Etsy shop:

I covet! Oh, do I covet! Besides the fact that I will probably drop some amount of cash on some wood signs that I don't really need, I am in love with the color composition in the picture above. The blue on the grey is simply gorgeous.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Inspirations in the Garden

It's springtime here, and right outside my print studio are gorgeous colors and scents as the garden starts to wake up. I am in love with spring (and with the new lens on my DSLR)! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You want me to do what??!!!

Okay, so I've seen it in magazines. I've seen it in my head, in theory. But I've never actually done it. Until my dear friend and fellow designer James came up with this design for his wedding invitation:

Multi-panel letterpress invitations. That whale of an invitation is 5.5" x 17" of letterpress goodness that folds up to 4.25" x 5.5" (a convenient fit into an A2 envelope, and, can you believe this -- only one postage stamp!). This is what happens when two designers decide to get married, I'm sure. Every time I see something from two professional designers getting married it's something inspiring, beautiful, and full of hidden difficulties in letterpress. (I need to dig out the other invitation that I did for two designers and show you the letterpress gorgeousness there!) But because I love James and everything that he designs, I didn't protest at all, except to ask him a couple times if he was sure he wanted something this long. Secretly, though, I have wanted to do something like this for a long long time. But as I said before, left on my own, I don't tend to leave my comfort zone. But I got this gorgeous design and some digital proofs (I had told James that I needed a digital proof and I don't have anything that prints 17 freekin' inches long!), and how could I say no?

Ingrid and James chose a gorgeous blue color which I hand mixed the ink to match his Fiery printout. I still can't believe that I matched PMS to a digital printout. Yes, I am still in awe that James' digital printout was a spot-on match to the PMS specification.

(On a small aside, my Fugu Fugu friends know James from his days at Art Center!)

James told me funny stories about letterpress printing classes at Art Center, lulling me into complacency about the sheer length of this design. What I found while I was printing this on the Vandercook was that the difficulty was in the length of the paper and that the setup needed to be exact because not only did I need to print the one color, I had stupidly offered to score and press a perforation line the invitation as well, and these panels had to fold exactly right. That's right. I perforated as well. (I'm always amazed that I can perforate!)

Here are some closeups of the front of the invitation:

One thing I will say about making these invitations is that I was particularly nervous because of the attention to detail that the bride and groom put into the invitation design. Like the letterpress-printed line right above the perforation:

I was hoping that these invitations were up to snuff and got really nervous about the letterpress invitations because these two designers have quite the keen eye! I was so nervous I even showed Shino at Fugu Fugu to make sure they looked okay before sending them. Luckily for me, they were completely in love with the result!

Congratulations Ingrid and James!

Friday, April 2, 2010

On the Anonymous Comments...

Hey out there...

I'm wondering how many of you have blogs, and if you do, how do you deal with anonymous comments? Joie Studio's blog comments are moderated so it's not such a huge deal, but I'm finding more and more that "Anonymous" is synonymous with "Spam." I know it's easier to post as "Anonymous," so I haven't restricted anonymous comments yet, but all the same, it's kind of annoying for me to go through and reject comments about diet pills and some more...uhm...interesting remedies. If some of my anonymous commenters who actually have an interest in Joie Studio's blog can chime in here -- I'd love to keep the option open if you find it useful. Let me know!

When Digital Printing Meets Letterpress...

A while back, we did these gorgeous letterpress invitations for a gorgeous lady's 21st birthday party. This was a fun project that Joie Studio custom designed, digitally printed, and then letterpress printed on top of that. It's a great way to include a photo while still achieving the luxuriousness of letterpress. I wish I knew where all of the pieces are, but we also letterpress printed the menus, the placecards, and the save the dates. I absolutely love this project. I dreamed about doing something like this for Baby Joie, and maybe I will...hmm...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Metallic Ink on Dark Brown

I couldn't decide whether to post something more...I dunno...foolish today since it's APRIL FOOLS (Happy April Fool's Day!). But I couldn't think of anything so instead I will share some more awesome letterpress invitations for you to look at:

My latest craze is letterpress printing invitations with metallic inks on dark paper. I especially the look of the metallic ink on dark brown -- there is something just so rich looking and luxurious about it. Added to that, the metallic ink is a vegetable oil based ink -- totally eco-friendly!

The top pic is a housewarming invitation done with metallic pewter on some leftover brown paper I found laying around the studio. The bottom is a restaurant opening invitation we did for Bourbon Steak in Washington, DC, on 30% PCW chocolate brown paper -- double eco-friendly and totally chic!

The kicker is that since it's only one color, metallic on dark paper is on the whole CHEAPER than a two-color letterpress project because there's only one color. No fooling!

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