sf crushing: letterpress letterpress

sf crushing letterpress

my very dear wonderful talented friend, rebecca elliot, came to visit san francisco this weekend, so it seems only apt that my next sf crushing series is focused on letterpress studios in the bay area. rebecca herself is a letterpress maven, with a giant hunk of steel of her own back in chicago, and meekling press as her homestead for printing unique and quirky (not to mention exceptionally well-written) books and story collections. in her honor, here are my picks for this corner of the country’s best handlers of old vandercooks and chandler and prices.

 

Olive Route

 

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olivia san mateo, owner of this berkeley based print shop, has such a lovely, natural eye for collection. each piece in one of her wedding suites can stand well on its own, but put together with all the elements, the whole unit speaks clear and well-constructed volumes about the couple getting married. i especially love her use of texture, natural elements, and of course, varied types of type. i really appreciate a designer who can weave a story into their work – and her use of layers, small details, and perfect color palettes does this for everything she prints.

 

Twig & Fig

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another berkeley enterprise! twig & fig have, first of all, such a quirky and fun website – this tips me off firstly that their work is made up of personalized and unique elements. i love their uncomplicated, slightly edgy, sophisticated, and utterly fresh approach to designing. it’s clear that their inspiration comes primarily from the people they work with. which, when paired with masterful letterpress and design skills, ends up yielding incredibly gorgeous stationery and invitations.

 

Aerialist Press

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well, apparently i’m in love with letterpress studios based in the east bay. it might be a little biased, since i’m in oakland now, but seriously, when you go take a walk around aerialist press’s website, you just tell me how hard it was for you to leave. not only do they have an abundant portfolio of gorgeous, delicate, type-and-illustration-driven designs, but when executed onto paper, the final product takes your breath away, it’s made so well. i also have a particular penchant for design teams that are motivated not only by their clients’ love, but by their own. alexandra and craig have such a lovely story, and it’s evident that they infuse every project they undertake with the same passion and dedication that they share with each other.

 

 

so much love for these paper wielders. tune in next week for a peek at some of my favorite winery wedding venues in the area!

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the coolest baby shower ever

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my wonderful friend, molly, is about to welcome a new little boy into the world any day now. a few weeks ago, her talented coworker tiffany munster, of soiree weddings and events, threw her the most well-styled, deliciously catered, fun and hipster-inspired baby shower at the beautiful headquarters of stem line creative. in attendance were some of the coolest people in the chicago wedding industry – including naomi from tipsy cake, who brought over a blue velvet sugar-dinosaur topped cake for the mum-to-be.

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i wish i had some photos from the actual night; here are the menu signs and place cards i put together for the shower. i can’t wait to meet molly’s little boy, and if he’s anything like his mum, he’ll have excellent taste – in friends and design.

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antlers antlers wedding inspiration shoot

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over the holidays i had the great fortune to work with some amazing new clients, chicago-based wedding and event planners, and some very creative individuals. one of my favorite (favorite!) shoots took place at the historic keith house in chicago’s prairie district. it’s located in a pocket of chicago that’s home to some old mansions, a quaint little park, one of my best friends, and a path that takes you straight to the lakefront.

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splendid occasion shoot

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tiffany siladke (a splendid occasion), a talented chicago-based wedding planner and event stylist, had such a gorgeous vision for this inspiration shoot. she wanted to air on the darker side of things – it being winter and all – and decided to incorporate some animal-inspired elements. complete with antlers, cages, fur, darker, lush florals from natural beauties florals, antique pieces from rent vintage chicago and aged vintage rentals, amazing pies from bang bang pie shop, the whole shoot had an amazing woodland wonderland/big bad wolf feel to it. not to mention the models were stunning, with hair and makeup from nika vaughan.

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i was asked to create some hand-lettered menus for the table design, a sign for the place card table, and individual place cards that fit into gold-painted animal figurines. tiffany hand-charred the edges of the paper, which gave everything even more of a forest-feel.

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in truth, i loved putting together the paper elements for this shoot. and i love the photos even more. i can’t quite share the professional (and might i say breathtaking) photos that karissa kreager took, but here are a few self-shots of the menus and place cards for you. i promise to share the full photo set once it’s been published!

 

 

other vendors that worked on the shoot:

treat bags- fox and hound paperie, http://www.etsy.com/shop/FoxandHoundPaperie?ref=search_shop_redirect

invitation- tweedle press, www.tweedlepress.com

dress – nearly newlywed, www.nearlynewlywed.com

hairpiece –  danani handmade adornments, www.dananionline.com

men’s attire – bonobos, www.bonobos.com

video – amelia st. studios, www.ameliastreetstudios.com

models – nick zmuda & bri kreager

handwritten invitations – still a thing of the present

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last monday, i had the pleasure of visiting the ladies and gents of zapwater communications, sit in their sunlit , exposed brick office, and pen out 18 handwritten invitations to a sneak preview of one of their client’s new restaurant ventures. it always amazes me how much longer it takes to complete work like this than i’d originally thought. after just 6 short hours, i finished all 18 invitations and envelopes, to be hand-delivered that afternoon. that, and a delicious lemon chocolate chip scone from little goat down the street made my day pretty awesome.

 

 

 

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design crush

i’ve just been, you know, browsing the interwebs for hours on end, looking at gorgeously designed paper products for inspiration and general soul-quenching purposes, and holy gorgeous have i found something beautiful to share with you. let’s dig into this paper design crush session with the imagination and logic that makes up cindy and carl, the couple behind bliss and bone.

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{bliss & bone – reverence suite save the date}

 

i’m in love with everything about this design firm – from the webpage layout, the photos that make you wonder, ‘is this a paper design company, or a clothing company, or a fine arts photographer’s site?’, to the actual, innovative, super unique designs themselves. each suite is only available for one year, so if you choose them, you know you’re getting something that won’t be around the block tons of times. and honestly, it’s the kind of stuff that people will most likely keep on the fridge for a while afterwards, because it’s all just so gosh darned beautiful (and i’m sure, really fun to touch).  plus, cindy admits to wearing lululemon while she works, and being a yoga instructor/employee of the company/designer from my own home studio, i can tell you one thing – girl knows how to be comfortable, and stylish. i feel like we’d be friends, if i lived in hollywood hills. anyway, take a look, and gush with me over these suites:

 

the devoir suite – very parisienne (which, of course, i love love love):

 

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the effloresce suite – rorschache-inspired, deep colors, bold lettering that doesn’t weigh too heavily on the paper

 

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the lucent suite – very light, airy, loose lettering juxtaposed with laser cut block letters, set amidst a rosy color palette

 

 

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i also love that they include style guides with their invitation suites (and website design, by the way). i might start incorporating that into my own design process. can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in the coming years!

 

paper and pen crush

i’ve been doing a lot of perusing around the stationery world recently (and by recently, i really mean for the better part of the last three years), and i just have to remark on some of the lovely work that’s kept my eyes trained on the screen (sometimes at the sacrifice of doing my own work… it’s all in the name of inspiration, right?).

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pitbulls and posies – an la-based paper goods and design shop run by amber moon (who seems to love her hippy-esque name just as much as i did upon first glancing at it). i love the mixture of softness and edge that permeate all of their projects. some of my favorites include the deconstructed chevron pattern with sequins suite for an elopement announcement, and their desert mod invite suite, full of vibrant colors, tumbleweed silhouettes, and a playful layout.

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neither snow – this lady’s penmanship is breathtaking. all at once whimsical, fluid, edgy, and graceful, it’s so utterly romantic, it makes complete sense why people would want her script on their invitation designs, or their bodies. i’m in love love with the parisian wedding for which she scripted dinner menus, place cards, and table numbers on distressed vases. it’s all so timeless and fluid, organic and wistful, almost melancholic. i tend to draw a lot of inspiration from things that have those traits, and mara’s hand is one of them.

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just a little eye-candy to keep you occupied for the rest of your afternoon, as you look longingly out the sunny window and wish you had an extension cord long enough to bring you outside to finish your work… err, or that could be just me. either way, happy wednesday!

the wedding march, a soiree event

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tablescapes and stemline table

yesterday i had the most amazing opportunity to be a part of the vendor list for the wedding march, an event hosted by soiree weddings and events of chicago. soiree, spearheaded by the amazing tiffany munster, and aided in a large part by the talented molly blonn and rebecca niziol, brought together an impressive array of talented chicagoans to curate a wedding event at the gorgeous floating world gallery space. the event included a florist (see: stemline creative), sweets services (sugar chic designs), dj, photobooth company, photographer, stationer, catering company (fig – so delicious), bridal workout gurus, and many more.

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for my part, i was asked to script and create menus for the center stage table that stemline and tablescapes put together. i had so much fun drawing these up, and then deciding on names for all the guests. i’d love to work on more projects like this, so if all you brides out there need calligraphy services for any paper portion of your wedding, i’m your girl!

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invitations – lululemon style

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i recently had the opportunity to design some invitations for a lululemon athletica ambassador event, for the 900 n michigan store in chicago. i love love love all of that store’s ambassadors (namely because i know all of them, and have taken all their amazing yoga, pilates, spin classes), and so this project held a special place in my heart. i hope you have fun learning all about the lululemon culture, amber cook, rebecca niziol, antonia desantis, tracy zindell (check out her gorgeous jewelry in her etsy shop too), jenny finkel, jessical aiken, and the token gentleman, mike thomson!

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