Thursday, May 19, 2011

National Stationery Show: Letterpress Part 1

So finally here's part one of this week's National Stationery Show coverage. I'd been trying to take photos of the samples I scored from the show, but unfortunately my life is plagued with bad lighting at the moment (darn rain and mediocre camera). So these posts will be peppered with shots from the show and spotlights of great products from my favorite companies.

Letterpress still has such huge appeal and I enjoyed seeing the different ways these companies tried to stand out from the crowd. Some used simple line drawings combined with spots of color while others went the elegant calligraphy route. There were animation-style illustrations, tiny hand drawn icons, those inscribed with sweet messages and others full of bite.

This year, 16 letterpress companies banded together to create a scavenger hunt of sorts during the NSS. Each designed an original recipe card (one created a paper box to hold them all in) and attendees had to go around to collect them all. What a fun incentive to get people to your booth and give a little sample of each designer's style. Of course I got them all and will share pics when there's better light in my life. Today's roundup features some of the designers involved in this year's hunt.

A. Favorite Design's light and cheery corner booth was filled with cheeky yet sweet greeting cards and stationery (and I liked the creativity in their presentation). Designer Amber Favorite's love of typography was the inspiration for the clever Designer Series.

I'm really drawn to small, minimalist line doodles and when it's combined with letterpress, it can really produce a sweet almost childlike result. That's probably why Albertine Press' "Lines" collection quickly caught my eye.
Dingbat Press' work is so elegant and beautifully produced, even their business cards are crisp! Thank goodness that after six years in the custom design business for brides and businesses, they've decided to debut a wholesale collection of letterpress stationery and wedding suites.
Let me start by saying that the Midwest ladies in the Igloo Letterpress booth were so down-to-earth. The company, founded by Allison Chapman, uses vintage images and type passed down from Chapman's grandfather, but her collection has her own creativity and innovation. Her "Pull Out" cards, for instance, feature fun patterns on the outer cover with punched out holes that show one message and then another as the inside card slides out.
Paper Mill Designs does custom work in both letterpress and flat-printed designs for special occasions, but their Etsy shop has a few contemporary picks for everyday greetings that are pure eye candy.
Besides showing off her precious letterpress cards at the Pistachio Press booth, Rachael Hetzel was also debuting her cross stitch collection. The patterns were featured on these kraft paper-cover notebooks made with recycled paper.
Old Tom Foolery is nothing but snark and even though I can't believe they can get away with some of it, they still make me laugh. Especially with the latest additions to their "Headlines" and "Footnotes" collections.
Maginating is a whimsical set designed by former animator Brad Woods. The collection is colorful, fun and would delight both kids and the young-at-heart alike. When Brad asked me if I knew what a rebus was (oh do I!) and then had me deciper a few new designs, I became a fan of the imaginative kawaii-style cards.
I've gushed about Sapling Press before so I was really excited to finally meet Lisa Krowinski at the show. She has such great energy and was just as excited to be there herself, especially with all the attention she'd been getting this year. I'm happy to report that she's added to her popular "We Go Together Like" and "Dear Blank" lines as well as presenting her "Without U" cards. She also won a Best New Product Award at the show for her "Dear Blank" collection. (P.S. If anyone wanted to get me this tote bag, that would be allll right by me. *wink, wink*)
Wild Ink Press launched three new card lines at the show: a "Textiles" letterpress collection, another inspired by the Korean and Pakistani heritage of her two adopted sons and this cute and tiny "Literals" line.
So what do you think of the talent? Stay tuned because roundups on other letterpress goodness, the snarky/unsappy cards and a spotlight on illustrated collections are on their way.

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  1. I am wondering if this gloomy weather will ever clear up myself!!

    I must say, my eye was caught by two of those cards in particular - the bright "thank you" surrounded by the rings of dots and the "you are my sunshine" one - I just like the expression on the sun's face!

  2. Oh I love the colors used in that thank you card too. It's just so cheerful and bright. Plus, I'm on a letterpress kick right now. It looks nice AND it's nice to touch and feel the impressions left on the heavy paper.

    And there's nothing but rain in our forecast for the next 10 days (except for Monday)!

  3. It was so nice chatting with you at NSS! Thanks so much for featuring our notes on your blog!

    p.s. the movie to check out with the Dorcas character is "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers".

  4. Love the congrats, grad!* card!!


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