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

 

olive route

 

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

twig & fig

 

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

aerialist press

 

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!

antlers antlers wedding inspiration shoot

woodland_menus top 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

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. bliss&bone-reverence std

 

{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):

 

bliss&bone-devoir

 

 

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

 

bliss&bone-effloresce

 

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

 

 

bliss&bone-lucent

 

 

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?). pitbulls1

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 snow1

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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neither snow3

 

 

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!

joy and weddings and logos galore

for the past few weeks, i've been designing and drawing up a storm here in the (for the meantime) stormless city of chicago. i thought i'd share a few of the most recent projects i've finished. first up, for our recent lululemon athletica store reopening party at the 900 n michigan location, we decided to honor our amazing yoga, run, spin, and dance ambassadors (see the lovley amber cook, rebecca niziol, antonia desantis, mike thomson, karim tonsy, and jim bennit). custom cards housed a very special surprise for them, and i was more than happy to provide the lettering for these inspiring and incredible members of the downtown chicago community.

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secondly, a lovely wedding logo for a couple of engaged new yorkers, wilma and theresa. they wanted a design that brought the two of them together with their new shared surname. i think it'll look lovely on everything they decide to use it on throughout their wedding planning, and thereafter.

wilma wedding logo final

 

and thirdly, the most lovely woman from north carolina contacted me a few weeks ago to design the logo for her wedding photography business. anne liles is incredibly talented, and her style is so indicative of everything i find beautiful about love - the simplicity, the purity, the vibrancy and richness of all the senses. she captures all of that and more, and i was so pleased to be able to design something that represents that, along with her motto, 'life is art'.

anne liles photography final

 

danielle and bobby: envelopes are on their way

my darling, lovely, hilarious, gorgeous cousin danielle is getting married this coming june to an equally wonderful, funny, fun, handsome fellow, and they asked me to help in the preparations by addressing their wedding invites. this being something i love, of course i said yes! here are the final envelopes, about to be packed up with a bow and shipped back to massachusetts where they'll be stuffed and sent out to the world. many many congratulations to danielle and bobby - i can't wait to see them tie the knot this spring!

on the scroll - calligraphy samples

recently i had the opportunity to put a few samples together for a bride's upcoming new orleans nuptials.  not sure yet if the gig will go through, but i thought i'd share the sample envelopes i designed for her anyway.  she is a huge fan of using scrolls on the outer envelopes, and will also use them in the invitation and possibly rsvp card design, so i played around with this idea and really quite like what came of it.

wedding invitations like whoa

hello everyone! i've been bombarded with yoga lately, both at the lovely lululemon and in the community, where i've been both teaching and practicing as much as i can!  i can say, however, that in the midst of all these downward facing dogs, i have been inking my pen up quite a bit as well.  i'm happy to post some photos of two sets of wedding invitations that i recently addressed for my cousin's and a friend's upcoming marriage celebrations.  the actual invitations that went along with these envelopes were breathtaking, and i wouldn't be surprised if they showed up on the blogosphere or in some local wedding magazines.

the first was for my friend rochelle's wedding.  she and her fiance pat are working with the 'rustic/elegant library' theme (everything included in their wedding, from the invitations to the escort cards to the centerpieces, revolves around books!), and so i decided to utilize a hybrid style for their invites.  soft, fluid script for the invitees atop a more calculated upper-case print for the addresses themselves.

the second, which i just completed last week and which i've already received in the mail myself, was for my cousin jessica's wedding.  she and brendan, her fiance, are to have an elegant, evening wedding.  white and tradition being the main components of the wedding, i went with a slightly flourished scroll for these invitations, completing the inner envelopes with the same effortless fluidity.

i am so looking forward to attending both of these weddings, and seeing what the two creative pairs have in store for their special days.  let me know what you think, and as always, if you or anyone you know has any interest in personalized hand-lettering, please feel free to contact me!