On Making Things by Hand

I’ve been doing a lot of production lately. A lot. Whenever I tell my boyfriend about a long printing/cutting/folding day, his response is always to “automate it!” (As though I could simply toss a motor in the general vicinity of my press and the work would get done by magic!)

Even if that was feasible, I don’t think I’d want to make my production process less hands-on. For the business cards I’ve been printing lately, for example, prepping the press, custom mixing the perfect shade of ink and lining up each piece of paper to print is only the beginning. Once the cards are dry, I trim them by hand, weeding out any misprints. Then I sort through the well-printed cards, pulling the best ones, ten at a time, until I have the quantity ordered. The leftovers go into my sample pile for future clients.

I think there’s something great about knowing each card has had a human touch before it even gets to the client. Here are three very different cards I designed and printed in the last few months!

blueline_8085You all know I can blather on for days about letterpress projects and island life, but some of the most difficult writing I’ve ever had to do is in the form of self-promotion: cover letters, website content, etc. Blueline Web Studio provides writing and editing services for professionals on the hunt for a new job. Owner Alice is super professional and organized (and awesome to work with!), so I wanted her business cards to feel that way too. She wanted a pattern on the back of the cards to add a little extra point of interest, so I whipped up this line gradation for her (and later found out that I can make a plaid pattern with it! How neat is that?!)

racheldenny2_8089Rachel is a repeat client for me—I printed her first cards way back in 2009. She’s still creating awesome work and wanted to stick with a fairly similar design, just change up the colors and modernize the typography. Done and done! I love how these turned out!

johanna_8337Johanna’s new cards might be one of my favorites of all time. She loved my dandelion illustration and was hoping it could translate into business cards. I loved that she kept it simple and let the design shine!

Film festival

urbana, twenty-one hundred productions, letterpress, video

Several months ago, I received an email titled “Special Request” from someone I had never met. It was a producer from a local production company asking to film in my studio. Fast forward two months and here I am, spending six hours with a three-person video crew documenting the process of printing invitations for a conference they put on, and now I finally have a sneak peek of the final product. Check it out here! Oh, and in case I didn’t mention… here’s where it aired (ahhh!):