Hi! I’m Nikki and I’m a hoarder. Not of clothes, or antiques, or mini bottles of shampoo…but of paper. When I come across something made of paper that inspires me, I keep it. This means I end up with piles of random scraps, cards, and tags all over my desk.Read More
I saw these printing blocks at Uncommon Objects and of course had to rearrange them to make a word. (This photo has been flipped because the letters are actually mirror images.) I'd totally start a collection of these if I had more storage space...
Here's a super special sneak peek at another project we just wrapped up today! So much is in the works that we haven't had a chance to blog about it all yet...but you won't be disappointed!
Socialology is an event planning and design company based in Washington, D.C. and they are the proud new owners of a gorgeously crafted stationery suite! This business card is our baby...it combines offset, letterpress, foil stamping, a multi-level emboss, AND edge painting. We love it and couldn't be more proud.
Like I mentioned earlier, press checking is something of a treat for me. I never leave without learning something new, and I have the wonderful team at In to Ink to thank for that. Today, for example, I stopped by to take a look at our letterpress Christmas cards that were supposed to be printed "blind" (aka, without ink) on white cotton paper. In my head, I thought it would look really elegant, but when I saw the sample I quickly realized a lot of the detail was lost without ink. Most other printers would have just run the job without thinking twice, leaving me with several hundred cards that were cute but mediocre. Instead, Larry (the letterpress expert at In to Ink) laid a swatch book on the table and asked, "So, what color do you want to try?" About twenty test prints and three roller-cleanings later, I ended up with a metallic silver with a hint of purple and a tint base swept with copper dust. Umm, never in a million years would I have come up with those sitting in front of a computer!
Lucky for me, I've found a gem of a printer that not only looks out for my best interests (i.e., our clients' best interests), but lets me participate in the process every step of the way.
Here's a sneak peek at our new letterpress card:
So we're not 100% sure how Define Bottle found us through Google, but we're sure glad they did. The creators of a reusable glass "fruit infused water bottle" contacted us in August to bring their brand to life, and when they showed us a prototype image, we hopped on board. With the help and expertise of AN Design Lab, they have developed a product that is not only beautiful, but also supports healthy habits.
Here's what Carla, Co-Owner of Define Bottle, had to tell us:
Tell us a bit more about your line of work. What products do you offer?
We are the creators of a reusable glass "fruit infused water bottle." The nature of our bottle allows the consumer to put fresh fruit, herbs, etc. in the bottom portion of the bottle. The fruit is held at the bottom half of the bottle, and the bottle is then filled with water. It allows you to have fresh fruit infused water without any chemicals or added sugars. Plus, it looks really cool to see the floating fruit in the bottom half of the bottle.
We couldn't agree more. In fact, we already ordered a set and can't wait for them to arrive in December!
If a potential client were to see your branding, how would you want it to make them feel?
I would want them to think it was modern, sophisticated, classy, and a bit fun.
If you were to describe your brand in 5 words, what would they be?
Driven, smart, athletic, healthy, and likes nice things.[hr]
With that in mind, we came up with a custom logo, color palette, and pattern:
Fast forward to a few weeks later, and we have Define Bottle's new letterhead suite! We kept it modern, clean, and fresh, and increased the luxury factor by way of cotton paper, double-sided letterhead, wrap-around address labels, and a truly unique business card.
Letterhead // Offset printed on Classic Crest 24# Writing (2 Pantones on front, 1 Pantone on back) Wrap-Around Address Label // Offset printed on Mactac Metro 60# Crack'n'Peel (1 Pantone) #10 OE Envelope in Cement
The business card has been offset printed in 1 Pantone on the front, then foil-stamped in yellow. On the back, the Define Bottle pattern has been letterpress printed in 1 Pantone. Two sheets of Savoy 118# Cover have been glue mounted to make one thick, classy card! If only you could see (and feel) it in person...
For stationery, we got a little creative. Using one of the patterned second sheets, we made an A2 envelope liner; for a card, we used an A2 flat card in cement (to match the #10 envelope), then wrapped one of the address labels around the top left edge. Instant stationery at little extra cost!
Here's a detail shot of the shimmery back of the business card. The printer had a little fun with this and dusted a select few with silver- and blue-toned powder. So beautiful! We love how this pattern turned out. It brings the suite together so nicely.
For our other post on Define Bottle's social media branding, click HERE.
Business Card // Letterpress in Pantone 4625 U // Brown Chipboard Paper (22pt.) // Custom Die Cut
Hot off the press this week ::
Here is a letterpress business card we designed for Annie Alessio, who has just branched out on her own as a Real Estate Transaction Coordinator here in Del Mar. Inspiration for this equestrian-themed card comes from Annie's love of animals and down-to-earth personality. The card not only commemorates her late horse "Chip," but also nods to Del Mar's favorite past-time: horse racing.
We love these inverse rounded corners...it gives the card that extra bit of personality but stays true to Annie's simple, straightforward tastes.
Best of luck with your new business, Annie!
Since we talk so much about other companies' branding, we thought we'd share some of our own today. Here's what we use for our simple, clean, creative everyday correspondence:
- Standard Business & A2 Kraft Envelopes // We like the dark, heavy kraft paper.
- Custom-made Return Address Stamp // We stamp using white ink.
- A2 Stationery Postcard // Our seaweed graphic has been clear foil stamped on black paper.
- 2-Color Letterpress Business Card // It's pretty standard, but the design is clean.
- Custom Engraved Wood Flash Drive // This is how we send files to clients now.
- Washi Tape // These match our colors and pattern and do a great job sealing envelopes.
We like to call this look Coastal Organic. (Oooh, fancy!) The stationery suite has a lot of texture (which we love), and the materials (cotton paper, recycled paper, wood, and soy-based inks) are eco-friendly.
Overall, our goals were to create something UNIQUE that 1) wouldn't break the bank, and 2) felt personal, professional, yet laid-back...just like us. Or so we hope.
// detail of return address stamp //
// detail of clear foil //
Introducing My Private Jeweler, Inc.—a new, exclusive private jewelry consulting company in San Diego! Grace, the GIA accredited small business owner, needed business cards and stationery that could live up to her client's high expectations and refined tastes. She wanted a clean, sophisticated look combined with luxurious textures and quality paper.
In lieu of standard letterhead, we created a stationery postcard for everyday correspondence. For her A2 notes we used 100% cotton paper off-set printed with a single Pantone. The design is clean and simple, with limited text on the front and a diamond weave pattern lightly screened on the back. A return address is elegantly printed on a Curious Metallics envelope in Lustre, calling to mind the sparkle of precious metals.
The business card, however, is the star of the show. Here we have a glue-mounted piece using Strathmore Writing Wove 130# cover in Ultimate White. This card is literally two cards in one, making it one-tenth of a millimeter thick. On the front, the slim, detailed text has been letterpressed, giving it texture that exudes quality. The sapphire ring has been off-set printed—it was simply too complicated to print any other way—then clear foil stamped to give it a subtle sheen, then embossed with a multi-level sculptural die. On the back, the diamond weave pattern has been clear foil stamped to complete the elegant-yet-understated look.
So there you have it...off-set, letterpress, foil-stamping, and embossing in one piece!
It's a Valentine for pit bull and dog lovers everywhere! Check it out in our Etsy shop by clicking HERE.
Greeting : None (Blank Inside) Size : 4 Bar (3.5″ x 4.875″ folded) Fold : Top Ink : Soy-Based, Pantone BlackU Stock : 100% Cotton, Brilliant White (tree-free, archival, acid-free, recyclable & biodegradable) Printing : Letterpressed in limited quantities in the U.S.A.
Quantity : 1 Card with 1 Envelope in RED
Meet Nani, our pit bull mix. Once a quivering bundle of fear at the Humane Society, Nani has become an integral part of our family. She enjoys napping in the sun, chewing on tape and superglue without permission, and dismembering and de-fluffing new toys. The background of this card features a dog-bone pattern in the lightest of light grays.
* This special edition card comes with a coin envelope filled with hand-punched heart-shaped confetti and one blank, unattached pink banner. Think of it as a very simple DIY kit. You write your own message and attach it to the card wherever you like, then you fill the red envelope with confetti. Ta-da!
For FREE SHIPPING in February, use coupon code BEMYVALENTINE at checkout!
A portion of the proceeds from all dog cards will go to animal charities in San Diego.
After over 3 years, we finally gave our business cards an upgrade!
Our new cards have been letterpressed in two Pantones on 118# cover (Savoy in Brilliant White). The cotton has such a wonderful feel to it...and this card in particular has been given some extra zing with a light dusting of metallic powder. [hr]
If you're curious about letterpress (and printing in general), here are a few facts:
The most popular "printing" techniques for business collateral are digital and off-set, followed by foil-stamping and letterpress, followed by screen printing, laser-cutting and metalpress. (Laser-cutting isn't exactly a printing technique...but it gets the same job done.)
How much do they all cost? Well, that's a complicated question. Print pricing is VERY specific to each and every project; it depends on a number of factors, including (but not limited to): the quantity you need, how quickly you need them, what kind of colors you're using, how important color is to your brand, what kind of paper you want to use, etc.
Here's a BASIC breakdown:
Digital // Great for low quantities, quick turnaround, and full-color layouts Off-Set 4-Color-Process // Minimum usually starts at 250 or 500 pieces, relatively quick turnaround, full-color layouts, and great image quality Off-Set with Pantone(s) // Minimum usually starts at 250 or 500 pieces, relatively quick turnaround, great if you need a specific color Off-Set with 4-Color-Process and Pantone(s) // This works well if, for example, you need to print both a color photo and a logo that needs to be a very specific shade of navy blue. Of course, each time you add a Pantone color, the price goes up.
[ Hot ] Foil-Stamping // If you're looking to print in neon or metallic, OR apply a "light ink" on dark paper, this is probably the answer. Minimum is roughly the same as off-set. And, you guessed it: each time you add a color, the price goes up. A custom die must be made for each color you use. Basically, what happens is a machine stamps a thin sheet of heated foil into the paper. So, instead of ink being applied, a layer of foil is essentially "cut" and bonded to the paper.
Letterpress // Letterpress has a turnaround more like foil-stamping because custom plates have to be made for not only each color you use, but also for different types of graphics. It's great if you want something a little more tactile, vintage/classic, or upscale, but if you need something printed in full-color this won't work.
Keep in mind: You can always combine several techniques!
Here's a quick video about letterpress using the same machine our printer uses: