Posts Tagged ‘Letterpress Wedding Invitations’

A happy, joyful A and T dance all over Amber and Tim's wedding invitations

A happy, joyful A and T dance all over Amber and Ted’s wedding invitations

When my sis, Liz, called to tell me my niece Amber was getting hitched and asked if I would make her invitations, I was so happy about it. Liz came out to California for a visit from their Indiana home, and we went over things together at my sister Sandi’s summer place near the ocean. How should it be?…SIMPLE (many times reiterated). Check. Outdoorsy!! Check.

What are her colors? asked I. “Watery-aqua-ish-old canning jar color, and maybe silver,” replies she. Check! Old canning jar color it will be…

I later wrote to Amber about the discussion the mom and aunties had had, and sent her an idea (the one you see above): “Well, I got creative today, finally. I hope not TOO creative! I decided to make you a monogram but I didn’t want it to be a stuffy old monogram. Rather something happy, young, dance-y, fun!, and because you are getting married in the spring/summer, something that relates to that season. This is what I came up with. Do you see the “A” and the “T”? You will be able to use this monogram on lots of things, like your table tags or whatnot, or your stationery for your thank you notes. Your towels, the side of your delivery truck…[kidding]”

Amber had a BIG year…getting married AND graduating with a BA all within months of each other. We were all so proud of her. It made me very happy to create her wedding invitations AND to get to go out to the wedding with all my siblings together for the first time in a long time. Beautiful!

Amber + Tim's big square wedding invitation

We were going to do them digitally, but oh heck, this was too big for that. I ended up doing them letterpress on 300 gram Cranes Lettra, and mounting them on an “old canning jar colored” backing sheet. They are printed on generous six-and-a-half-inch square cards and the big seven-inch square envelopes sported the same monogram (of course). It really was such a family affair. My talented middle sister Sandi did all the flowers…

Auntie Sandi made Amber's bouquet

Auntie Sandi made Amber’s bouquet

And one of my favorite moments was before the wedding when all the sisters were getting dressed and made up in a big flurry…

Aunties and Cousins getting ready

Aunties and Cousins getting ready

Auntie Mary's cupcakes and hand made candies for miles

Auntie Mary’s cupcakes and hand made candies for miles

Auntie Mary made the cupcakes for miles and Uncle Joe and I catered the rehearsal dinner. Cousin Dylan did the wedding taco dinner that was ultra-yummy.

Indiana Gothic -- Uncle Joe and Cousin Dylan with the canoe paddle they used for their

Indiana Gothic — Uncle Joe and Cousin Dylan with the canoe paddle they used for their “guest book.”

A very wonderful time was had by all. Lots of laughs and lots of tears and lots dancing and lots of love.


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laser die cut cage for wedding invitation

We were commissioned to print the letterpress wedding invitations for a Canadian couple. It’s a little convoluted, this story, because the pedigree of these invitations spans a continent, borders and imagination: The designer (Nicole at Duly Noted) and the stationery store (Duly Noted, in Halifax, Nova Scotia) are in Canada, as is the laser-cutting company that accomplished the incredibly complicated filigree seen above (Laser Creative in Ontario, Canada). They gave me permission to put their photos on my blog. The part played here at Studio Z Mendocino in northern California was to print the invitations and the Rsvps and Rsvp envelopes on very thick white paper in gold foil and black ink. I think it’s incredible and extraordinary in every way, and honestly I wish i had designed it! How utterly gorgeous can you get?

Here is the Rsvp and Envelope. All pieces were printed by Rhea Rynearson on Heidelberg Windmill presses. Black pieces were laser cut at Laser Creative.

Rsvp and envelope

Rsvp and envelope


InvitationInvitations and Rsvps were printed on 600 gram Lettra.

Closeup of invitation

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Bi-coastal couple Arri and Richard live in New York but are getting married a whole continent away, in Los Angeles. Their wedding color is black-on-black. Richard, who is a graphic designer, made up these amazing save-the-date invitations and Studio Z Mendocino executed the printing. We started the conversation, as most often happens, with my sending them a little package of our printed samples, which show different papers, foil and ink colors, treatments. They called back all excited because our super-thick, yummy black Museum Mount paper was exactly what Richard had in mind. At almost an eighth of an inch thick, it’s the fattest paper that will go through a Heidelberg Windmill — practically illegal!

They wanted a swank look with a modern edge. Richard wanted it to be blind embossed at first but I talked him out of that because plain, no-color debossing into the paper, even when hit very hard and deeply, often appears flat and unreadable. To make the beautiful typography really pop I suggested using a gloss black foil for the smaller type and either silver or pewter foil for the big swooshy names.

On the press, Rhea and I knew on sight that it had to be the pewter. I called Arri and Richard from beside the press and said, OK, executive decision time: we are putting pewter foil on these. There is NO question it’s the best choice.

When light hits the foil, there is a bounce and liveliness to the (you would think) understated color scheme that’s as unexpected as it is intriguing. Holding the incredibly substantial card in one’s hand is a sensory experience you have to have in person. They are totally amazing objects.

Is this DRAMATIC enough for you? OMG. So fabulous. And the bride and groom to be were v. happy indeed.

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Alexia and James got married in Mendocino last month in one of the great celebrations the town has seen. We were so happy to work with them on their invitations, which they wanted to be very luxurious and traditional, but with a modern flair. We kept a very muted palette of cream, cappuccino and chocolate brown, and of course printed everything by letterpress on our thickest, yummiest paper, 600 gram Lettra Pearl White. The motif of a graceful olive branch held it all together beautifully.

Everything about the wedding was so romantic, happy, fun and gorgeous. The whole wedding party went out on the headlands then paraded through the village back to the big white tent at the MacCallum House for dinner and dancing to a totally get-down funk band. Very much fun working with this beautiful couple on their amazing day.

Their folding thank you notes finished the wedding suite and they got lots of extras so they could use them long into their marriage for many purposes…invitations to dinner, thank you notes, quick messages to loved ones, announcements of important events, condolences, congratulations and happy birthday missives. There are still times when a nothing but a hand written note on real paper, with a stamp, in the mailbox, will do. Yes, really. And it’s great to have some beautiful paper to grab when the moment strikes. No more going to the store to look for that perfect message: you make up your own and put it on your own personalized informal, which is what this smaller folding note is called.

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I love love love Annette Thurmon’s wedding dress designs. They are sooo dreamy and gorgeous, and I am lucky to say that Annette is also a dreamy and gorgeous client of mine.

I got to work with Annette when I did her business cards a while back, and today she posted an interview with me on her beautiful website: Chaviano Couture.

I hope you will go see her beautiful designs and read my interview!

xo Zida



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It’s not too early to start planning your Kentucky Derby party for 2012. I know, Animal Kingdom has hardly stopped sweating, but believe me, a Kentucky Derby party worth its julep is going to take lots of creativity and lining things up in advance. You don’t want to get down to the wire and suddenly find the best party planners have already been booked, or that the guests you counted on have already responded to another save-the-date.

You might want to emulate this invitation we created to a Kentucky-Derby-theme birthday party that happened last December here in California. We printed them letterpress on super thick white paper, which we mounted to a gorgeous, deep red backing sheet. That formed a frame and gave the piece even more presence. Then we put it into a deep red BOX. The mailing labels mimicked the horse theme and we tied the whole thing up with a skinny little brown ROPE. We included also in the box instructions about its being a surprise party, and a directions-to-the-venue card. Everything went into a FedEx box and was delivered one-day-air.

The tickets were also printed letterpress on the same super-thick white stock, replete with a perforated stub to make them look even more official. I love the idea that they were sent in a subsequent mailing in #10 Cranes square flap envelopes, which only added to the anticipation for all the fun.

.The party was a hit and everything went off without a hitch, so to speak. Perfect food and drinks, perfect place, perfect guest list, perfect everything. And it was a complete surprise. A perfect winner.

We have been doing lots of wedding invitations in boxes over the last few years, and the idea in this post can be adapted to any number of party or reception themes. Boxes come in a big array of colors and we can choose gorgeous contrasting ribbons to tie them up and an infinity of different ways to make them uniquely your own.

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The two most-asked questions I get from email inquiries are what you see in the title of this post. The answers depend on so many things that it’s almost impossible to pin it down. But I want to address these questions because having these cards is a kind of spendy proposition, and it takes more time than most printing, but it can be so worth it because the cards say such good things about you when you are out of earshot.They tell a big story about your talent, your attention to detail, your fabulous aesthetic and hipness quotient. They get more attention and they get more jobs. They are audacious and they are convincing. They are worth it, in other words.

As beautiful Lara Rios said the other day…”Everything goes up and nothing ever goes down.” That is too true. Paper costs have been out of sight the last couple of years. And we use such extra-special papers that it’s even truer for us.

So, what does it cost to get your hands on some of these fabulosity-drenched business cards? Let’s say you already have a logo that you love. Let’s say it is a two color design, which can translate to two ink colors or two foil colors or one of each.

If you get 1000 cards made up with two color runs, printed front and back, on super thick 600 gram Lettra or on even thicker black or colored Museum Mount, it will usually come in around $1100 or $1200. Adding a third color run will add about $225 to $250 for extra dies and printing to that price. Edge painting is additional too.

Yes, I know. It starts around one dollar per card, plus. If you think you would like to save money by getting fewer cards, it is something you need to think hard about because, in printing, it’s always “cheaper by the dozen.” I mean, cutting the quantity in half does NOT result in half the price. This is because the prepress things are in that price no matter if you get one or ten thousand. In the end, getting MORE cards actually saves money in the long run.

Five hundred of the same sort of card will not be $600, but will be more like $800+, so the unit price, in this case, goes up to $1.60 per card. This will make you really think hard about giving your cards away, which defies the whole concept of getting your name out there. So we recommend doing more than less, if you possibly can.

Now, the question of how long it will take: I have done cards in one day, in five days, and I have taken a YEAR to get cards out the door. This usually depends on the customer’s ability to make a decision and we were not working on the card every minute of that time. I promise.

We usually like to say it will take between two and half to four weeks, depending on what is lined up on our press schedule and what processes have to be done to the card, how long it takes to get paper and dies lined up and so forth. If they will be edge painted, that adds one and a half to two weeks to the timeline. Sorry this is so nebulous, but it is the truth. We can really go fast if everything is in place but sometimes it is not so super fast.

If you need a new logo, that too is not easy to pin down. Everything is custom, so we would need to talk about your needs before venturing an estimate. But we do logos and branding and websites here, too. Just ask.

I hope this is helpful and that you will call soon. 707 964 2522 We would love to work with you on your next business cards and stationery, your invitations or announcements, your website or branding.

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