orange beautiful’s type line (letterpress)

i love this modern and funky type line series of handmade letterpress cards recently released from chicago-based paper wizard emily martin of orange beautiful. the assorted fonts make an elegant statement, the pieces are printed on substantial textured card stock. they can be purchased separately or in sets of ten.

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purchase these cards at orange beautiful’s etsy shop, see many other gorgeous things on their website and say hi to emily (and bff/blog collaborator laura) on their blog too (which is chock full of excellent goodness)!


gilah press and design: let’s chat!

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in the world of handmade stationery, choices abound that reflect many facets of our personalities. i for one have a bag full of cards in my closet that range from elegant letterpress to hipster sarcasm to simple pretty greetings. my stock reflects my ever changing moods, which is one of the many reasons why i love the clever, bright and pretty stylings of kat feuerstein and her company, gilah press. when i look at the collection of witty and just sacastic enough humor wrapped up in a classy letterpress card, it makes me howl with laughter. gilah (which is hebrew for joy) is a design company that not only creates clever cards and accessories, but also does custom work for corporate identities and invitations for special occasions. i enjoy this collection because it makes quick written correspondence so much more personal (and humorous) than a generic greeting card, and leaves the receiver not just with a gorgeous physical souvenir of a moment in time but also a fond memory to keep. let’s have a chat with kat and find out more!

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q: where do you live, and where do you create your collection?
a: i live in a little eclectic neighborhood (hampden), which is located in baltimore, md with my husband (adam) and two cats (reo & mel). i create my collection in the very same neighborhood, a few blocks away in a big pink warehouse that i share with two assistants (whitney & nathalie), two interns (justin & maggie), a colleague (emily) and a cat (pica).

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q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i went to maryland institute college of art (mica) where I earned a degree in graphic design. from there i worked for a couple of design firms, knowing that one day i would start my own company. i started doing some freelance design and happened upon letterpress through a friend of mine and the rest is history.

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q: how did you come to work in paper as a medium?
a: i’ve always had an obsession with the printing process, so it was a pretty natural progression. there’s something so rewarding when you see a project come to life as the ink hits the paper and your vision becomes a real, tactile object. i love working with a variety of different paper types because every paper will react in its own way to the design.

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q: are there any distinct challenges and rewards in working with a letterpress?
a: YES and YES. rewards wouldn’t be so rewarding without the challenges. with letterpress there are a lot of variables and almost every project we print comes with its own special set of challenges. the 100 year old presses we use can be finicky buggers, there are lots of rigs to help the process along. it literally depends on the weather some days, if it’s humid out the rollers will swell and we have to compensate for that. if the project we’re printing has a large solid area of ink coverage, we will print that differently than we would print a block of text. if we’re printing white ink on brown paper a whole new set of rules applies. if the ink is pushing out too much (looking sloppy) we can add masking tape to the rails that the rollers ride on to help correct that problem by bringing the rollers back to “type high”. so, to make an already long explanation longer, there are certainly lots of challenges every day, but that’s what we love about it and that’s what makes it so rewarding every time we print a beautiful looking piece.

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q: are there any differences in your creative process between custom work and production work?
a: the custom work certainly takes more time in the beginning phases. there’s a lot more thinking involved, you know, in the shower, at the bar, on the couch to come up with the design and the specifications of what will work best for the design in terms of paper and printing. with the production work we really just have to make the time to bang it out, we already know what we’re getting into.

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q: what inspires you to make the line?
a: inspiration comes from the things i surround myself with. my friends, my neighborhood, wine, the studio, etc. i also enjoy traveling to become inspired by new sites. a few months back we took a studio road trip to tennessee to visit yeehaw industries and hatch show print, talk about inspirational. the more sarcastic lines come naturally out of my acerbic sense of humor that i’ve had since i can remember. i’m a smartass at heart.

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q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: our single greeting cards generally retail for between $4 and $6. we have some boxed notes and postcards that go for $10-25.

you can find gilah press cards around the country, at places like kate’s paperie (ny and ct), and powell’s books (or) and anthropologie (everywhere). if you’re a retail buyer you can see kat and the crew at the national stationery show in new york from 5/18-5/21/08, and if you’re looking for a perfect design for your special event in charm city, the studio is open by appointment. those of us who aren’t lucky enough to live in the are can stop by the gilah press website to see their full collection and say hi.

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thank you kat!


artghost prints

seattle artists (and husband and wife team) eric adler and liz wong make prints and paintings, personal accessories and greetings with retro style and a wicked sense of humor for their artghost studio.

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purchase these pieces at the artghost website, see what liz and eric are doing at their blog and be sure to check out liz’s website too!

via indie shopping


catch and release letterpress

i am enjoying these pretty letterpress cards from seattle graphic designer nicole stanton for her company catch and release.

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i also like her handmade, limited edition sketchbooks made from old record album covers. they are made in batches of 30 pieces and contain graph, trace and drawing paper, along with assorted fun screenprinted pages in between to keep it lively and ensure that no two are alike.

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purchase these pieces at nicole’s etsy shop, see what she’s up to on her blog and see more lovely things on her website.


letteria stationery & gifts

i like these pretty, simple letterpress and printed coasters and cards from swiss artist christa schumacher-black of letteria. christa has a background in graphics and visual communication and it comes through perfectly clear with her singular, focused styles. when you aren’t having a cocktail party or sending correspondence, you can also festoon your favorite room with her happy garlands!

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find the collection at her etsy shop, and be sure to see her flickr stream and website (in swiss-german language) for more!


robot stationery by moonmum

please enjoy the talents of bendigo, australia crafter belinda, aka etsy seller moonmum. she makes these sweet and funny little robot cards with a combination of machine and hand stitching. some of them even come with bonus robot doll! i love how some of them look like their mouths are open – they’re greeting cards after all, and have something to say!

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if you have a girl or guy friend who likes the geekery, science or electronics, these might be a great gift for her or him. i do believe they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

purchase these cards and see more delightful samplings here.


fun fomato greeting cards

check out these very humorous illustrations and graphic text greeting cards from the creative los angeles stationer called fomato. the creative force behind these whimsical illustrations and witty stories woven into the sentiments prefers to remain anonymous, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy these cards, many in three or four panel versions, and little badges too! (ed. note: sorry if the bigger cards are tough to read – hopefully you can see some of the stories in the close ups…)

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i love the style and the bold colors. for me though the intriguing (and hilarious) stories on the longer cards are the hook. i would love to see a print series or a continuing serial of some kind with these wacky characters, since they make me smile so much.

see the full complement on the fomato website. they’ll have an online shop sometime this fall, but in the meantime you can purchase these terrific cards at black ink (boston), zipper (los angeles), magma (london), hazel or paper doll (chicago) and posman books (new york).


twins and doubles art (round up)

so i’m minding my own business driving in the car and then a song comes on the radio that rattles around in my head for hours. does this ever happen to you?

today’s song was a tasty treat by beloved 70’s rock band foreigner. and it stuck around in my dome and that’s when i got this idea (perhaps a way to exorcise that demon song out of my brain?)

fill my eyes with that double vision…

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the double-sided vivienne print from matte stephens

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hand hammered sterling double bubble earrings from brooke medlin

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double lolly tote bag from charlie and sarah

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handprinted double bunny card (with carrot heart) from floating palace

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double mint lip balm from cavendish soap works

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the unappreciated gift print from sunny buick

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two peas in a pod crocheted plushie from the yummy pancake

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vintage lovely ladies figurines from racheltrouble

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twin chairs pincushion from rabbits moon

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twin pop print from anna tillett designs

ahhhh… it’s out of my head now. thanks for the help, etsy!


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