RifleRifle Paper Co. 

What a whirlwind (and all we did was walk the show)! The National Stationery Show (NSS) was four days of inspiration in one of the world’s best cities, the Big Apple. NSS is a trade show for stationery buyers, an opportunity for designers to showcase their new paper products. NSS was a visual feast, with designers from across the US, Canada and internationally featuring their stationery lines and related products. There are so many great moments to share, which are impossible to encapsulate in just one post, so stay tuned for more!

20160515_162444

For the last few years, Ink Meets Paper creates a new design for their Text Less, Write More postcard. A piece of letterpress art, this postcard is my mantra. I love this year’s design (possibly too much to send out).

Steam Whistle Letterpress is simply the cat’s pajamas. Designer and printer Brian Stuparyk uses vintage type and images in his designs, which he describes as a throwback to the days when letterpress was king. He wins for most inventive business card, which actually folds up into a whistle (and it works!).

CRD200_card_im-nuts-about-you

Before getting married, my husband and I were in a long distance relationship (or LDR as the kids call it). Sometimes, we went months without seeing each other (cue violins) and it was tough on us. Tiffany, the fab and talented maker behind Shifting Status Kuo, has designed a line of cards that is perfect for couples in different area codes.

Amy Heitman is sweet as pie, and her designs are gorgeous. An artist and illustrator, Amy creates beautiful prints, cards and wrap with thoughtful sentiments. I adore her florals and use of color.

il_570xN.1011848605_ab47

August Paper Co.‘s Marissa created a seriously cool tissue paper collage backdrop for her booth at the show. She starts each card with a tissue paper collage, which is photographed and printed, and then uses a letterpress to add sentiments to each design.

August Paper

More posts to come, as well as some interviews with the designers we met!

 


radtacularSpring is in the air and I feel bright and cheery! I thought I’d find some cards to reflect my mood. I’m loving Texas-based Hello Small World, with a fun mix of cool illustrations, lettering, puns, and pop culture references. With sayings like ‘I heart you more than rom-coms’ and ‘I like you in the kissy kissy way’, this line offers up cards for all occasions. Here are some of my faves.

call me maybeforthe recordYellow House Paper Co. combines kraft stock with screen printed lettering, bright envelopes and super sweet charm bracelets/necklaces on nylon cord. These designs are way cute, and I pretty much want all of them.

il_570xN.664264287_6xnw goodluckcharm il_570xN.719315231_9lzn

I really do adore kraft cards, and Katie Leamon combines kraft with her gorgeous lettering and script, black and white, neons and metallics. Utter perfection.

For_KatieLeamon_January2016_089-500x500 For_KatieLeamon_January2016_139-500x500

Banquet Atelier & Workshop designs beautiful products with a focus on paper and textiles. Their aesthetic is distinct and draws inspiration from nature, often featuring flora and fauna. 

il_570xN.660956638_juim il_570xN.924020943_nj1y

Parrott Design Studio’s cards feature gorgeous script lettering. And they’re letterpressed. Designer Sarah creates simple, whimsical designs often using candy-coloured hues.

bonjour snailmail

 

Make someone’s day, and send out some snail mail!


superpower_greymoggie

Letterpress  always looks so good, text and ink engrained into luscious-feeling paper. There is something really appealing about the process – setting type, inking it and printing. It’s no wonder that I adore Grey Moggie Press. Melanie, the designer behind the line, has  a great sense of humor, which comes through in her cards (see her ‘best friend’ and ‘truth’ lines). And, the series of cards devoted to snail mail won my heart immediately. In addition to being a funny, talented creative, Melanie is a mom who left her career in law to make Grey Moggie a full time gig. In short, she’s all kinds of cool.

You were studying to be a lawyer when you took a letterpress class at a local art center as a creative outlet. What was it about letterpress that drew you in?

I’ve always been a letter writer and a big fan of snail mail. During law school, I reconnected with playing with paper the way I had when I was younger. I was trying to make cards I’d want to send and I felt that I could do that with letterpress. At first it was just a way to be creative, get my hands dirty, and make a few things to send to friends and family.

il_570xN.938275930_2wv1

At what point did you decide to purchase your first press?

When I was pregnant with my daughter (now 4.5 years), I realized with a baby at home, it wouldn’t be as easy to get out of the house to print at the art center where I’d been working. I got a small tabletop Kelsey press. In the end, it was a misguided purchase because it’s hard to find time to print with a baby, even at home. Later I purchased a C&P 10×15 platen press that is now the workhorse in my studio. I found it on eBay and had to hire a rigging company to get it from Massachusetts into my studio at the time, a carriage house on Capitol Hill in DC.

il_570xN.938207116_dauh

In addition to taking on a full time job in the field of law, you taught classes at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. What did you enjoy about teaching and the studio environment there?

My favorite thing about Pyramid Atlantic was that beginner artists and hobbyists could work alongside people who had made art a career. I loved overhearing all the big, creative ideas people were sharing while I printed. It was so different from the environment I was in all day as a law student and later when I worked in a law school.

il_570xN.912111139_bpcy

Please tell me a bit about the name Grey Moggie.

We want people to be excited about paper, about writing letters instead of email, about sending physical and not electronic invitations. I love the idea of sitting down at my desk on a rainy afternoon with my favorite pen, a cup of tea, and my grey cat (moggie is British slang for cat). That would be a perfect afternoon and we want everyone to feel that way about writing letters and sending mail.

il_570xN.936755178_rgmm

In 2012, you decided to pursue Grey Moggie full time – what led you to this decision?

I was craving flexibility in my work life when my daughter was very young. I didn’t want to be at a 9:00-5:00 job while she was just a baby so I quit and started selling cards at a weekend market here in DC. It was a great set up. I could be at home with my daughter most of the week, take an evening or two to print new work, and sell on the weekends a couple times a month. From there, the wholesale side of my business grew, and now we do more wholesale business than in-person sales events. We seem to have come full circle and I’ve adopted something closer to a 9:00-5:00 schedule recently, because it works for my family and my business right now.

il_570xN.826724384_ojl1

While I adore all of your cards, some of my faves are the snail mail themed ones, like ‘I Keep the Postman Busy’. Are you a letter writer? What do you enjoy about snail mail?

I love all of it! The feel of different kinds of paper, seeing a good friend or family member’s handwriting, checking the mailbox every day. I also love that getting a letter means the sender took the time to choose a card for you, sat down to write a letter, got a stamp, and walked to the mailbox or post office. It’s a level of effort that isn’t there with email or social media and it conveys love, and friendship, and caring.

il_570xN.914680606_st4z

What are you working on currently?

We’re focused on a new website and branching out into non-card categories. We’ll release a new catalog in early May, and we’re really excited about a new greeting card collaboration with a local illustrator who shares our sense of humor. Look out for the new cards this spring!

 


honizukle

With Mother’s Day just weeks away, it’s time to do a round up of cards that are just right for mom, whether she’s the type of gal who prefers pretty florals, your hilarious sense of humor or being reminded just how badass she is.

honizukle2

Honizukle Press (above) features seriously pretty and sweet letterpress styles, a classic stationery choice for your classy mom. Sweet Peony Press‘s gorgeous card (below) is vintage in style, a love note for mom, just as the gardener-themed F as in Frank Paper Goods card (below).

sweetpeony

fasinfrank

I love the sassy sense of humor behind 417 Press.  Designer Michelle Secondi always makes me laugh with her real talk cards.

This Bench Pressed design says it like it is. Ditto for the McBitterson’s card below it.

badassmommcbittersons

 

 


the world is your oyster croppedDesign Design is a stationery and gift manufacturer and distributor founded in 1987 by Don Kallil, and based in Michigan. The company, whose mission it is to connect people to people, works with artists based in the US and beyond to create an exciting range of products, including a series of gorgeous card lines (their letterpress cards and stylish journals are my personal faves), tableware, packaging and gifts. I had the chance to interview members of the creative team and to learn more about trend forecasting, the design process, and to talk snail mail.

some cliche bullshit 1

How do you forecast stationery trends from season to season?

Kate, Trend & Design Director: Forecasting trends can be gathered from all sorts of angles. Understanding what people bought and liked from current and past seasons is key to forecasting what people will want next. Combining lifestyle, and fashion trends with seasonal are important in our industry because consumers want what they buy to reflect their style and taste. To keep our trends forward we take all these aspects but also research patterns and trend evolution to determine where we think the wants and needs will be for the future seasons.

Colin, Product Director: Our creative team travels the world studying trends and determining which will offer the most relevance to our customers. We find inspiration in fashion, media, as well as our own friends and family. We continue to find balance as a leader in trend- being ahead of our competition while also staying in tune with current market needs.

i carry your heart

You work with a number of artists nationally and internationally on the creation of card designs. How do you move from idea, and design collaboration to printed product?

Tom, Senior Director of Creative: Our research starts with attending design shows in Europe, and trend shopping in Paris, London, and Germany. With the inspiration we gain, we create a trend specific design direction book. This is where we begin our product development process.

When we start working with an artist it is because we appreciate their designs and feel that their work would be a great addition to our product line. Once we connect with the artist, I give them our Artist Guidelines, which explain our products categories, seasons we’re looking for art for, and process of development. We look for trend driven or related designs that we feel would work with our design direction and diverse product categories. I personally like working with artists that are diversified in their design styles and understand the specific needs for the creation of greeting cards and product development. We discuss what I’m looking for design-wise for specific products. Once a design is chosen, we discuss our licensing and royalty program, a  contract is used with all of the artists  we work with. We request artwork files, the contract is written for each individual product we license and are going to publish. Once that is all done, with the help of our in-house design team, the licensed artwork is applied to a variety of templates to create the perfect card, tableware collection, etc.

journal pic 6

What is the role of a Creative Director in the design development process?

Tom: The roll of Creative Director in the design development process is to choose the correct art for from hundreds of submissions for specific product development, and to balance the product line by selecting artwork that compliments the product category per product release.

send love pic 2What is the appeal of stationery and snail mail in an increasingly digital world?

Tom: Yes, digital greeting cards are out there, but how exciting is it to go to the mailbox and receive a brightly colored, hand-addressed envelope? And, then, to open the envelope and discover a greeting card that a friend went out of their busy way to select to personally send to you, write a message or greeting in, address and stamp the envelope for, and then drop in the mailbox. How thoughtful and personal that is!

Elyse, Associate Creative Director: In an increasingly digital world, I think stationery, and greeting cards especially, have more relevance than ever. Putting pen to paper forces you to slow down and express yourself in ways that are lost through e-mail and Facebook. Handwritten notes, cards with beautiful artwork and a nice paper stock show you took the time to pick this little gift out for someone else. We may be a little biased but I can’t think of much sweeter than a card is my mailbox at the end of the day!

Colin, Product Director: We know that in our current environment of instant digital communication, physical mail and the true written word gain even more appeal and relevance. Juxtaposed with a quick text or post, a real greeting card or note, sent or hand-delivered with care, creates a special connection between the giver and receiver.

make someones day

The company logo features a butterfly-please share the reasons for this.

Colin: Our butterfly is the visual essence of our brand. The figurative and literal attributes of a butterfly embody who we are and who we strive to be everyday. Their beauty represents our drive to achieve superior artistry in our work and practices. Their variation represents the range of our product line and the solutions we provide. Their movement and migration represent how our products connect people to people, while their transformation reminds us of the power of enhancing relationships and lifting moods.

shine bright 2

What are you currently working on?

Elyse: We’re almost constantly working on our core line for both cards and product. We strive to keep up with the latest trends and relevant products for our customers and sales team. In addition, we have different seasonal releases sprinkled throughout the year that cause an additional challenge but a little fun to the day to day. We work almost an entire year in advance and sometimes that means developing Christmas ideas in August! We are always trying to push ourselves with new processes, new partnerships with artists whose work we really hold in high regard. The cards we’re releasing in May, right before the National Stationery Show in NY, are such a fun, eclectic mix. In addition to those, we have some amazing things in store for our biggest core release in November!

people to people

Design Design was founded in 1987 by Don Kallil, a stockbroker turned entrepreneur. What about the greeting card industry appeals to the team at Design Design?

Elyse: I think what we are all drawn to in this company is that we create products that connect people to people. We live and breathe this concept in all areas of our company and I think this is a huge part of why Don started Design Design in the first place. We think about the people who are receiving our cards from their loved ones on their birthday or when they need a pick-me-up. We envision the families that host parties with our paper tableware or the gifts a grandmother might be wrapping for all her grandkids with our gift packaging products. It’s a really unique challenge and wonderful opportunity we have as a social expressions company to spend our days helping to foster these connections between individuals.

Design Design will be at the National Stationery Show in New York this May, at booth number 2420. You can follow along on Instagram. And, you can enter a Mother’s Day contest for a chance to win $50 of Design Design merchandise, by clicking here.

 


Designed by two lovely, funny and creative women, RED Paper Boutique is a line of greeting cards that ranges from sweet florals, and unique pocket designs to real talk. The dynamic duo behind these cards is Gabriela and Maryrose, Alberta, Canada-based nurses, turned entrepreneurs. These mombosses have five children between them, continue to work as nurses and add new designs to their card line.

RED_Amborella_March2016_025

How did you meet?

We went to the same high school and were a year apart. We didn’t know each other at school and it wasn’t until we were both working on a mental health unit as nurses that we  crossed paths. It was then that we realized that we’d always been around each other unknowingly! From that point on, we realized our lives would always be intertwined whether through our nursing careers, developing our company RED Paper Boutique or growing our families together.

Vintage2

You share a love for design and paper, and for connecting people. How did RED Paper Boutique evolve?

RED started as Real Engaging Designs- a place where we could help couples create their dream wedding invitations. Through marriage to our own amazing hubbies and with the addition of little ones, time became something that was super precious (and limited). RED became RED Paper Boutique where we began designing and creating greeting cards. This slight change in direction offered us the ability to balance being mothers and continuing to pursue our stationery dreams.

REDParentCollection021

What does your creative process look like? How do you collaborate on the design of your cards?

We consider ourselves really blessed to have such an amazing partnership and friendship. We both bring very unique and personal qualities to RED Paper Boutique, while still maintaining the same thoughts and ideas in terms of direction for our brand. We laugh at how often we both say, “get out of my head” when it comes to sharing new ideas! A lot of our more recent collections including our Being Parents Greeting Cards happened organically through our journey as mothers. We’ve spent endless hours laughing over the phone saying, “There’s our next design”. It’s important to us to create something that people can relate to and stems from our own hearts.

il_570xN.942791012_ebod

You’ve come up with a fantastically unique design – the Pocket Greeting Cards. What made you add this sweet little feature to your cards?

We really wanted to create something that was different – a little surprise when you opened our cards. The idea for our Pocket Design Greeting Cards came from our background designing wedding invitations. Our most popular invitations had a pocket in the enclosure to hold extra information. We’ve loved hearing how creative people get when sending our cards, using the pocket to add gift certificates, pictures and even little bags of tea as a special gift!

REDParentCollection017

Your Being Parents series speaks right to parents; no sugar coating…no doubt parenthood was the inspiration for these cards. 

Maryrose kept mentioning how there was a lack of cards that specifically spoke to new parents. She would design an individual card to give her husband to validate their journey together as parents. Once the first design was created, the others just came flooding out. We realized how many other parents could relate and they became an instant hit! Confession: one of our cards may in fact have been designed while on the toilet with little people storming in like there was some kind of magic pony inside.

RED_Amborella_March2016_018

Have you transitioned from working as nurses to focusing on RED Paper Boutique full time? If so, what has that transition been like?

We both continue to nurse and work on RED Paper Boutique full time. We could definitely both use a few more hours in every day! Hence came the inspiration for our first gold-foiled art print (Momboss). Our passion has always been to help people first and we really get a unique type of perspective working with people with mental health issues. Working on RED allows us a creative outlet- a type of creative therapy that helps us realize we are all connected in some way.

RED_Amborella_March2016_058

In addition to your various card lines, you do custom work including bridal invitations. What do you enjoy about working with couples on their big day?

We LOVE working with clients on customizing their perfect wedding invitations! The best part has to be figuring out how to take everything they have told us; dreamt about since child; been influenced by in their lives; and, definitely pinned to Pinterest- and combine all of that into something tangible that represents them as a couple! We also love the moment they see their design for the very first time! Still makes us get all mushy and teary!

Please complete this sentence: Snail mail is…

Definitely still the number one way to make someone else feel appreciated! Our belief is that technology has actually made snail mail that much more significant. There is literally nothing more validating then opening the mail and seeing a letter or card inside. It still evokes that childhood feeling when your pen pal would write or grandma would send birthday money!

Shop RED Paper Boutique on Etsy.

All photos by Sue Moodie Photography.

 


The Honey Bee Paperie

Spring has sprung – and that means florals, glorious florals. I love having an excuse to send out cards featuring beautiful blooms (and I really don’t need one). Flowers are a staple in my stationery collection, and ought be in yours too. Here’s a round up of some of my currents faves.

bigger2_2048x2048

The Honey Bee Paperies Jaimie combines her gorgeous lettering with watercolor flowers. These are the perfect cards for the season, with pretties for every occasion.

il_570xN.933400531_c5b7

Flowers and calligraphy are a perfect pair – Olive Branch and Co.‘s cards are evidence of this. Melissa is the artist behind this elegant line of cards; she does custom work as well.

happycouple_2

Paper Raven Co. features hand-illustrated florals that grace greeting cards, wrapping paper and notepads. These beauties are all pretty irresistible.

DarkFloralThankYou_Paper Raven

Brannon of Happy Cactus Designs draws inspiration from nature, and flowers feature heavily in her sweet designs. In additional to creating stationery, this designer makes intricate, beautiful hand embroidery, also featuring florals.

HB38-SQ_1024x1024 HB42W-SQ_grande

 


write_onApril 1 (tomorrow!) marks the beginning of National Letter Writing Month and the write_on campaign, an initiative that encourages people to write 30 letters in 30 days. This fantastic campaign, now in its third year, was created by the lovely people behind two truly stellar greeting card companies, Egg Press and Hello!Lucky.

They started the campaign in 2014, and have generously continued it, inspiring people all over the world to take the time to send handwritten missives; they send out free stationery kits, including specially designed cards. Sakura of America has been on board since the first year, contributing their fab gelly roll pens to the kits. This year, Mohawk Paper and Chronicle Books joined in as well.  I can’t wait to take part in write_on and to cheer people on as they send snail mail love. Join in! Here are some of my fave snail mail themed cards to inspire you.

How awesome is this series of letter writing themed letterpress cards from Grey Moggie Press?

grey moggie_superpower grey moggie 1 postman

The dynamic duo behind the ever awesome Sea + Lake Paper Co. line have these two gems (among many others) in their line of cards.

sea+lake sea+lake text

It took me months, possibly a year, to part with the first Ink Meets Paper ‘Text Less, Write More’ postcard that I acquired. It’s the perfect sentiment.

ink meets paper text less 2ink meets paper_text less

Designers like Whimsy & Wild and Wit & Whistle (perfectly paired alliteratively speaking) have great cards that star snails in their collections.

whimsy + wild wit + whistle

Fox & Fancy features fun and fabulous cards including these two pretties.


dearhancocok_easterbunny

My new snail mail loving friend Rhea (@devoteddiarist) has committed to 366 days of letter writing. I’m cheering her on in her endeavor and drawing inspo from her for this post – she has declared it ‘bunny week’, so it’s all about rabbit-themed stationery.

gc_141

Dear Hancock Paper Goods features a series of cards dedicated to bunnies, holding items from maracas to tools, and wearing fashions including a beret, cape, and ugly holiday sweater. Don’t carrot for bunnies? There are loads of other hand drawn cards that you’ll love!

Paula & Waffle_dessert bunny

Paula & Waffle has a line of bunny cards, and they make me super hoppy to send out. Whimsical and sweet, these cards are designed and assembled with love.

GC-098_Missing_You_Bunny-3_1024x1024

Warren Tales is a unique stationery line, that features witty cards, designed by snail mail lover, Lindsey.

il_570xN.609721970_cfkl

Love letterpress and paper awesomeness? Hello!Lucky is for you. These purveyors of stationery offer up bright, fun, hand-lettered and drawn cards that are punny and gorgeously designed.

hl-1170 hl-1179
Blackbird Letterpress features a great series of die-cut animal  gift cards. This rabbit is all set to hold a special note, photo or a gift card.

il_570xN.355284594_ktk3

 

 


greenbird_chocolateGreen Bird Press

I more or less still believe in the Easter Bunny, because chocolate. Any holiday that involves hunting for chocolate goodness is okay by me. And, I can never pass up a reason to send a card! Here is a round up of some of my Easter letterpress faves.

easterfeaster_farewll

Farewell Papery

miniegg_greymoggie

happypeepsseason_greymoggie

Grey Moggie Press

happy easter_inkmeetspaper

happyeaster_inkmeets

Ink Meets Paper

missive_easter

Missive wegomoo_bunny Cow Goes Moo

Kiss and Punch Designs