Our Ceremony Programs

As we anxiously await our wedding photos I thought I might blog about our wedding programs.  This was the trickiest piece of our entire suite for me to conceptualize and design.  Wedding programs can be executed so many different ways that even I found the options to be overwhelming and I print wedding related stationery all the time!  Questions I asked myself: Should we do booklet style? Should there be multiple pages?  Should the paper be cut into a beautiful shape?  Should we make them into super useful hand fans? Should we fold them?  Should the wording be elaborate or minimal?  Should we include the text of the readings? Should we include the names of the entire bridal party, should we include how we know them?  It is enough to drive a bride crazy!  Finally we just decided to keep it simple… very simple (though the hand fans would have been genius since it was about 100 degrees that day in Napa!).

We decided to go with a single sheet.  Our suite had been very simple all the way through and we liked the cleanness of a one page program.  Next we decided to incorporate the twigs from our overall theme but tweak it so that this page was very distinct.  We also wanted some fun tossed in so we decided to frame A <3 C inside the branches- a nod to when I used to write that same phrase on my notebooks in high school!  The colors were also a no-brainer for us- pale pink and pewter- our accent colors.  Since there was so much purple during the ceremony in the form of ribbons, bridesmaid dresses, boutonnieres and my bouquet we wanted a non-competing program.  And those were the easy choices!  The hardest decisions were text-based.  In the end, we decided to go VERY minimal.  We didn’t include the text of the readings that my step-mom and C’s mom did.  We included the names of the bridal party but not how we knew them.  In essence our programs were like a fairy-tale: simple, sweet and so us.  Check them out:

I love our initials nestled in the branches.

I love our initials nestled in the branches.

I still think pink and pewter are beautiful together.

I still think pink and pewter are beautiful together.

Lettra has such a great texture, don't you think?

Lettra has such a great texture, don't you think?

The end!

The end!

I think when navigating the wild waters of wedding programs you just have to stay true to your own wedding personality.  Your wedding is all about you and every detail should reflect that, especially the drop-dead gorgeous wedding stationery! I know, totally something I read in Martha Stewart ;)  But you know she’s right!

xox, A

Dot your “I”s

Bella!

Bella!

For the fashionista finds this week I think this photo from the Vogue Italia shoot by Tim Walker called “A Play of Dots” is incredibly apt.  Don’t you just want to take this room and make an invitation suite out of it?  Well, I do!  I don’t even remember where I came across this image, but I just recently unearthed it from one of my many inspiration photo folders clogging my desktop.  Please, someone choose polka dots for your invitation!  Look how lovely!

xox, A

Alex’s Wedding Present #2: Nerd Poetry

For the second piece of Alex’s wedding present I decided to letterpress a nerd poem, since we are both major nerds deep down inside. For all the people that are not graphic designers or web geeks #FF0000 is the equivalent in computer terms for red and #0000FF is blue. Damask patterns are really popular with our brides right now so I decided to top off the piece with some nerd damask at the bottom as a border, which Alex thought was the cutest and funniest thing she has ever seen.  It is actually diagrams from video games instead of the pretty patterns we use for our clients.  Toward the end of the poem, WOW stands for World of Warcraft and is a throwback to our high school days (yes we are high school sweethearts) when I was addicted to video games and Alex still hung out with me.  We have come a long way since then, but I still like to tease her that I am going to start playing again every so often.  Keeps things interesting ;)

Nerd Poetry

Nerd Poetry2

Craig

Alex’s Wedding Present #1: Shakespearean Poetry

I wanted to show all of you what I made for Alex as her wedding gift. I’m a pretty ambitious person and once I get an idea I can’t help but take it all the way, pretty much no matter what challenges crop up. I spent two days from sun-up to sun-down pressing her gift, after printing several client orders, for three days before the wedding to make it absolutely perfect. I printed five different pieces and four of them were two color.

My grand plan was to letterpress poetry in several different ways for Alex and then combine them in a pocketfold. This first piece is my attempt to mimic Shakespeare in all his glory using an Old English font and a traditional rhyming scheme. I found a really beautiful image of Romeo and Juliet that I just fell in love with and had to use. I printed everything on 220lb Crane Lettra stock which made a really stunning impression. The text was pressed in antique gold ink and Romeo and Juliet in a charcoal gray color.  This post is the first in a series that I will be blogging showing off Alex’s present and of course the crazy beautiful letterpressing skills we have over here at the AP.

pic2

pic1

Pour Chaque Jour

I am a bit of a Francophile, having fallen in love with the language and culture over eight years of French instruction.  Madly.  My wonderful bridal shower (Thak you Liz) was a French theme with lovely pink stiripes, polka dots, black feathers and subtle eiffel towers thrown in.  It was absolute perfection and I loved it.  I still go gaga for any pretty little French-themed find, no matter what it is.  So this week’s fashionista find is this soft and oh so sweet day calendar:

The day calendar comes with the cute little cat notebook too.

The day calendar comes with the cute little cat notebook too.

I stumbled upon the calendar while perusing my google reader this morning and was reading the utterly wonderful Creature Comforts blog, a long-time favorite!  This is on her Christmas wish list and I have to say it is now on mine!  Each page is different and has a French inspired watercolor- the beauty of this book is that it can be used anytime.  The pages aren’t dated so you can write in any date you like, skip a Tuesday, skip a whole month even and begin again.  I am always wasting pages on dates where I forget to use my calendar and I think this is a perfect, and very stylish remedy :)  The date book is sold at Paper Source, where else?!  I love that store, if you haven’t already noticed I am crazy for all things paper.  Hope you think it is just as lovely as I do.

xox, A

Catie and Ryan: Simple Script Invitation Suite

Catie and Ryan’s suite was one of the first jobs we ever printed on Roxy, I think the third to be really precise.  We had a much smaller press before that, which wasn’t giving us the depth of impression we needed so it we ended up upgrading pretty quickly, which was one of the best decisions we ever made!  Roxy is amazing and gets a beautiful deep and clear impression, EVERY TIME.  It always amazes me that such an old machine can make such beautiful art.

Catie and Ryan are both artistic, creative types so they needed something fresh for their invitation suite, Catie contacted me looking for something that was script dominated with a bit of interest thrown in.  She was having a wedding that her family described as “rustic elegance” which we fell in love with. I would describe our own wedding almost the same way!  Catie proposed using a more calligraphc script and having little dots next to their names.  The dots were used on the coordinating response card and thank you note as well, which was a great choice.  The whole suite was unlike anything we had ever printed before.  The color she chose, a deep aubergine-like purple has become one of our most popular colors since then.  We use it so frequently that I even keep a stock of it pre-mixed in the studio. Gorgeous.

This is the only copy we have of Catie's invite- we didn't print many extras when we were first getting started!

This is the only copy we have of Catie's invite- we didn't print many extras when we were first getting started!

The script we used is Baker and it is one of my faves.

The script we used is Baker and it is one of my faves.

This is the front side of their thank you card.

This is the front side of their thank you card.

The back- romantic right?

The back- romantic right?

We actually don’t have a photo of their response card but it was equally lovely and totally “rustic elegance”!

xox, A

Elise and Brandon: Mapping the Invitation

We love maps over here.  I rave about them as much as possible because they really do personalize your suite and as Martha has told us a million times, it is all about details and personality!  Maps are just one detail with TONS of personality.  This is why I was SO excited when Elise contacted me about creating an invitation with a map as the main focal point.  This is something we hadn’t done before and were thrilled to be able to try.  We decided to keep the map a separate color from the text so it would stand out and I think this was a great choice.

Elise is getting married on the island of Kaua’i so the map shows some great features and landmarks on that particular island.  Some of my favorites?  The little sailboats in the bottom right with the teeny hearts on their sails, the adorable whale with hearts coming from his blow hole, the hula girl adding vintage flair to the center of the island and the lighthouse at the very top.  In designing this piece we asked Elise to draw us a rough guideline with the symbols she wanted us to use.  We then tracked down or drew the appropriate symbols and put the whole thing together.  I love the casual script she used throughout (it was the smallest size we could do) and the variety of special places she chose to feature.  The little hearts hidden throughout the map just add that subtle romantic touch and makes the whole thing really sweet and personal.  I think the invite really gives their guests a flavor of what they will experience after making the long trip to be present at their wedding.  And even better?  Elise is bottling the invite and response card for her non-Hawaiian resident guests so it is like they are getting a secret message from across the oceans.  Fantastic, right?

Love the golden tan color used for the map.

Love the golden tan color used for the map.

Isn't the level of detail amazing?

Isn't the level of detail amazing?

xox, A

Amy and Luke: Pretty Peony Invitation Suite

Amy and Luke were in a bit of a rush when they found us and needed their invitations within about two weeks.  This was right before we got married so we were already in a crunch with the other orders we had going on but we love a challenge and Amy’s vision for her suite struck a chord with my letterpress loving self.  I also know what it is to be a bride with a last minute project and I couldn’t help but sympathize, so of course we said we could do the job and got started on the designs.  Amy was looking for a floral letterpress invitation with the main design in the two corners, the text centered down the card and a coordinating response card, also in two colors.  Amy also needed her return address letterpressed on the invitation and response card envelopes, which we love doing because it completely finishes of the look.  It is amazing how well the lighter 32lb envelope stock takes an impression from our press, I wish I could post a photo but I don’t want to compromise Amy’s privacy!

Amy also knew right from the start that she wanted a powder blue and chocolate brown as the colors for all the pieces.  I think this was a great choice- blue and brown are just so right together.  Surpisingly, we don’t end up lettepressing many blue suites so this was fun for us.  I custom mix all of the colors we use myself and it really is an art form.  To be successful at it you really have to understand how each of the component colors blend to create the color you are looking for.  I use the Pantone solid matte guide for the color formulas, which is great because Adobe Illustrator has a color book analogue that gives the digital versions of the Pantone colors.  It really helps clients to get a better idea of what the ink will actually look like.  We also recommend that brides requiring a very close color match send us a paint chip or fabric swatch that we can mix to.  I have spent so much time mixing inks that I can get extremely close matches with samples, it really is amazing and one of my favorite parts of this business.

I hope you like Amy’s suite as much as we do.  I think the soft powder blue peonies are so pretty and fresh.  There is no fussiness here, just effortless chic, just as I’m sure Amy’s wedding will be!  I always tell people that we are really lucky and always have the most stylish clients :)

You can really see the impression on the close up shots.

You can really see the impression on the close up shots.

I love a soft blue.

I love a soft blue.

Two color response cards always coordinate so well with two color invites

Two color response cards always coordinate so well with two color invites

I like to recommend simple text on the response cards, a clean look is always a good thing!

I like to recommend simple text on the response cards, a clean look is always a good thing!

xox, A

Great Gloves

I think a new installment for the AP blog-wise is to have a weekly fashion spotlight.  I am a clotheshorse- I love beautiful colors, fabrics and prints and I love shopping for them and to curb my addiction I think the only way is to let it all out through writing.  Lucky Craig that I have come up with this instead of letting it all out via my credit card :)  The AP is a letterpress house, yes, but we also love all things beautiful, stylish and fresh.  And fashion is definitely all of these things.

So what am I currently lusting after?  GLOVES!  It is getting chilly here in the bay area, 60 degrees today!  And I am all about getting my warmness on.  Normally you will find me with a coffee mug between my hands to warm them but honestly the coffee is making me a very jittery girl.  So I have been questing for gloves.  But not just any gloves- gloves with true style.  These are hard to find and so far all my favorites have turned up at guess where? Anthropologie.  That should be no surprise.  Anthro is the chic version of artsy-wear with a keen attention to details.  And they have the most lovely gloves.  Soft, pretty, unique…RUFFLY, yes, they have a great pair with ruffles.  Only downside?  They are all above the $70 mark, which means they will not be warming my hands anytime soon, just my cold little fashionista heart through my laptop screen!  Check out the loveliness:

How sweet and feminine!

How sweet and feminine!

You already know me to be a bow fiend.

You already know me to be a bow fiend.

Do you see what I see on the left ring finger?

Do you see what I see on the left ring finger?

I love the little gem on the ring finger of the last pair of gloves.  How thoughtful and fun!  I think of the three the first pair is my favorite, it reminds me of my wedding dress, albeit a bit remotely.  Which pair is your fave?  Do you love winter wear as much as I do?

xox, A

Twig Letterpress Coasters

Alex and I got married less than two weeks ago. I can’t believe I get to call her my wife now, it’s super exciting. We are still waiting on the professional pictures and when we get them I’m sure she will be posting away. The week right before the wedding was super stressful and we were cramming in all these do-it-yourself projects at the last minute. One of the things we decided to do was print coasters as a gift to our guests. Since we have the letterpress capability, why not go crazy with it right?  So I went ahead and cut and printed 480 letterpress coasters. This was a massive project and took a whole day while Alex was running around town trying to get her maid of honor’s dress hemmed 4 days before the wedding.

Since we were running low on time Alex suggested we just do a one color printing. I’m a big fan of two-color letterpress, one color is nice but two colors really make the piece pop. So I took the time and hand fed 480 coasters into the machine twice, once for the gray ink and once for the purple. I’m so glad I did because they turned out stunning!

We were originally going to circle cut them so the twigs wrapped around as a border, but we ran into a problem. We printed them on the 220lb paper which is extra thick. The plan was to hand the coasters off to Alex’s parents and have them circle cut them all. I know, we are really nice. Unfortunately, the small craft circle cutters just were not strong enough to cut through the thick paper and we haven’t bought the equipment to die-cut on our letterpress machine yet.  Alex and the parents decided it was best to just go ahead and round the corners and keep the square shape instead so they bought a corner rounder from Micheal’s and went at it. The paper was still too thick and broke the cheap corner rounder after only 20 coasters!

The whole time this is going on I am in Berkeley printing something for Alex for the wedding, which I will post about soon. On Thursday afternoon, 2 days before the wedding, I drove back to Sacramento where all of our family is. I stop by Alex’s parents house to drop off some things and get a cookie, Alex’s step mom makes the best cookies :). About 5 minutes later Alex’s dad walks in cheering and bursting with excitement. He had called around to local offset print shops to find an industrial corner rounder and sat for hours rounding all the corners of the 480 coasters (we definitely need to get one of these for our shop). Below is our team effort to get beautiful letterpress coasters at our wedding!

Letterpress Coaster

Letterpress Coaster

Craig