Have you noticed that the Lunalux blog has been kinda quiet lately? Me too. The main reason: I took several weeks off from work in October because my mom passed away. I come from a great big family, so we all huddled together for a while to take care of each other. There is, indeed, strength in numbers! We all pitched in to help plan the funeral, too. My task: creating programs for the service. Late one night, with one of my brothers peeking over my shoulder, I did my best to create a quiet, beautiful design for my least favorite thing ever. After staring at the computer screen for an hour or two, we discovered a lovely coincidence: the lily of the valley image includes 10 individual flowers, one for each of my mom’s 10 kids. The next afternoon, we (and by “we” I mean 2 brothers, 1 sister and myself – we’re all printers) letterpress-printed the covers with green and gray inks on pearl white 100% cotton Lettra cover; the interior pages were modest photocopies, because there wasn’t time to do every element so fancy. The programs were bound with green double-faced satin ribbon. Extra program covers are doing double-duty as thank-you notes.
It feels a little weird– wrong, even – to blog about something so personal and sad. But I think it would feel even more weird to skip over this monumental project like it never happened. So here it is. And now we’re moving on to other things.
Even though it’s practically a holiday, I’m enjoying a bustling and productive day in the studio. Planning to work late, even! We’re expecting a little visit from Blue and Jack, a couple whose unique wedding invitations we printed earlier this year. They’re having a night-before-the-wedding party at the dance studio next door (hello, Four Seasons), and might pop in for a visit before they get their champagne on. The bride and groom live in London, but are enjoying Independence Day nupltials at the James J. Hill Library in downtown St. Paul. The bookish locale inspired wedding invitation booklets with their names pressed into the cover, and pages for the invitation, travel information and response card. Extra booklet covers will be repurposed as covers for the ceremony program (Blue took care of the detailed interior pages) and thank-you notes. We also printed two A2-sized envelopes – the bride’s parents’ address was used for the invitation envelopes, but Blue and Jack’s London address went on envelopes for the thank-yous.
The booklet is made from three folded cards, printed in navy blue and saturated yellow on 100% cotton Lettra cover. The last page, an RSVP postcard, was micro-perforated for easy removal. We nested the pages together and gave the assembled invitations a face-trim. With such thick pages in the booklet, interior pages jutted out of the cover a bit; this final post-assembly trim left the finished piece looking more, well, finished. Blue took on the Herculean task of hand-stitching over 100 invitations. I tried to stitch a few together for sample albums and photo shoots, but kept pricking my finger and messing up the snowy white cover. So our sample shown here is bound with a slim satiny ribbon along the spine.
I’m really proud of how this invitation turned out. Blue and Jack get lots of credit for coming to Lunalux with the idea of a booklet invitation, and for giving me a nice balance of articulate direction and creative freedom. The finished invitation feels substantial and special, and looks like it was meant to be letterpress-printed. The unexpected format executed with classic typography turned out to be perfect for their wedding in the stacks. The ornamentation is bookish, but the exaggerated proportion of the dingbats on the cover add a modern touch to an otherwise simple, classic composition.
Since we quietly launched our website redesign on April 19, we’ve been enjoying a steady stream of compliments regarding the new look. If you haven’t taken the time to click around a bit, we hope you do – there’s lots of good stuff to see and read here! The site was redesigned by our friends at Dragonfly Networks, and we were happy to return the favor by creating remarkable business cards for them. In addition to letterpress-printing their basic contact information in navy ink, we also ran the cards through the Heidelberg a second time to print a dragonfly wing with no ink. We love the juxtaposition of the structured block of text with the curvy, organic wing. The cards are printed on soft 100% cotton Lettra cover, which takes the deep letterpress impression so perfectly, and trimmed to an unusual size (1.625×3.5 inches, rather than the standard 2×3.5), which makes them stand out even more. We can’t say “thank-you” enough to Mark and Nick at Dragonfly Networks for giving our website a dramatic and much-needed face-lift. They built a custom WordPress theme for us, full of hand-coded bells and whistles like drop-down menus on the top navigation, and dynamic sidebar content. They translated our napkin sketches and off-hand suggestions into a real hum-dinger of a site. We’re still discovering and ironing out the occasional kink, but overall we’re pleased as punch!
More recently, we printed similar calling cards for a client who’s on the prowl for a new job. Jenn supplied the design, we just did the heavy lifting (i.e. printing). Normally the Lunalux blog features projects we designed in-house, because that’s what we most like to do. But these cards turned out so great, and fit so perfectly into this blog post, we couldn’t resist sharing. Like the wing on the Dragonly cards, Jenn’s initials are printed without any ink. And we used Lettra cover again. Click on the image to the right to view a larger picture of the cards, along with the photopolymer plates we used to print them. If you’re thinking about getting new business cards or calling cards, you can read more about our design and printing services by clicking here.
With Taylor & TJ’s wedding reception planned at the Minnesota Transportation Museum’s Jackson Street Roundhouse, the blushing bride wanted train-themed invitations for their big day. Our challenge was to create a suite that would cultivate nostalgia for old railroad culture without explicitly incorporating trains, train tracks, and engineers with their tell-tale caps – we’re talking wedding stationery, not invitations to a little boy’s 4th birthday party! After poring over pictures of early-1900’s steam locomotives and train-related ephemera, this simple suite took shape. The icon on the top of the invitation, which includes the couple’s names, wedding date and wedding location, was inspired by old railroad logos. The typeface for their names was chosen because of its similarities to style of numbers painted on many old engines. Each of the three cards (inviation, reception card and RSVP postcard) were letterpress-printed in black ink on pearl white 100% cotton Lettra cover, and paired with metallic copper envelopes. The back of the response cards included a request for the guests to jot down a personal message or image for the couple. We love the vintage feeling of the finished invitation, and the basic black and white color scheme. Like all of the invitations we create, this one can be customized for different events. Imagine how great it would look printed in a combination of red and black inks, or on a rougher material like chip board. Thinking about custom invitaitons for your wedding or other event? Click here to read more about our design and printing services, or browse our blog archive to read about other invitation packages we’ve created.
If you dine at Nick and Eddie (right next door to Lunalux) your meal will be served on a large white plate decorated with the restaurant’s name in black. That simple dinner plate was the inspiration for the design of their gift certificates, which we made this winter. We letterpress-printed the text in black ink and blind-embossed the plate image on super-soft bright white stock, because we wanted to create a really striking texture. Opening the card reveals standard gift-certificate fare: to/from/amount blanks, the restaurant’s location and hours, and the certificate’s unique number (forgers beware!). Imagine if you received a card like this, tucked inside a deep red envelope – we think the gift certificate itself is so beautiful, it’s almost a present even if you couldn’t redeem it for fancy food!
We printed business cards to match, too. The typesetting mimics the gold and black lettering on the restaurant’s big front window. Like the gift certificates, the cards are printed on 100% cotton Lettra cover. Simple, urban and luxurious. And while we’re tooting our own horn, we’ll give some love to our neighbors too. We love Nick and Eddie because it always feels like there’s something happening there, whether we’re enjoying a raucous Saturday-night burlesque show or reading the new City Pages at the bar on a quiet Wednesday. This newest kid on the block has brought some much-needed energy to the neighborhood! And now that our favorite chef Steven Brown is working there, we love it even more.