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!