You Deserve Cake : letterpress

Well Mad Men Season 4 just kicked off* so I might look all topical but trust me – these have been a long, long time coming!

I sold my first 1950s-inspired cards – flat printed in bright pink and orange – in March 2007.

(It’s hard to overstate the awfulness of the picture below… we lived in Seattle; I had no light!!!)

I had experimented with lino-block printing them, but the large areas of solid colour didn’t like that method. Block printing didn’t produce the super-precise edges I was looking for, either. (I had a very early blog post on one of those block-printing attempts, which I later deleted in a fit of embarrassment over the (lack of) quality. My Dad would disapprove of the “revising of history”, but I have my pride.)

I took a couple of detours into different colours…

…(mainly because of custom design requests to fit wedding themes)…

…and in the end I settled on pink and orange as the colour scheme for the collection. It was an eye-catching combination, and customers loved it. (Better light in the South, see?)

When Sweet Olive Press became my full-time work, I wanted to figure out a way to shift this collection to letterpress. Once again, I was thwarted by the large areas of solid colour. Platen presses like my Chandler & Price don’t like big blocks of solid colour – the results are variable at best, disappointing at worst.

Solution: break up the solid! A pattern was perfect for the job, and it made the image more interesting. I changed to a more compatible font, created the pattern for the dress and decided to print the letterpress cards in chocolate brown, so they can be paired with envelopes of almost any colour. (Besides, a girl can only take so much pink and orange…)

One of these two (below) will be the next card I redesign for letterpress.  Leave a comment to let me know your favourite!

Perfect for saying “thank you” or “happy birthday” or “congratulations” – You Deserve Cake letterpress cards are now available in the Sweet Olive Press online shop!

* {Truth: I haven’t yet managed to watch a single episode of Mad Men, despite excellent intent. But you’d have to live under a rock not to know it was most anticipated season debut of the summer!}

.  .  .

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6 Comments

Filed under Letterpress Thank You Notes, Uncategorized

6 responses to “You Deserve Cake : letterpress

  1. shelley

    I am LOVING the new style. Nice work Helen!

  2. 11studio

    Hi Helen, the letterpress cards look amazing, LOVE the pattern on the dress! And I actually love the depth the letterpressed piece has compared to the solid color on the larger areas of the offset card. It has such a beautiful handmade feel to it. It’s the difference between original art and a poster. Great Job! I would love to see the Ciao Bella one next! Best, Bettina

  3. I like the “All You Need Is Love” one. Very nice work! Oh, and I agree, the patterns make them look very interesting in a very good way.

  4. Thanks so much you guys! I really appreciate the comments and the votes — looking forward to getting back in the studio and printing some more!

  5. Helen, the letterpress on “You Deserve Cake” looks amazing – I love the brown with color too, it always looks sharp!

    My favorite of the new designs is Ciao Bella . . .

  6. Thanks Michelle! Ciao Bella is one of my favourites too, maybe my living-in-Italy fantasies are influencing me…..

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