Maritime Holiday Cards: In Process

We've been busy printing holiday cards these days and we figured we'd give you a peek into the process while we print our Ship Holiday card, which is one of our favorites. In case you couldn't tell, we're crazy about nautical themed goods! From whale gift tags to anchor note card sets, we've got it all.  Our beloved Golding Jobber press came from a New England seaside town, so it seems fitting that it should be used for these projects. sesame-letterpress-ship-holiday-card-press

We print the red portion of the card first (the boat and red lights), followed by the navy (you can see the plate for the navy in the photo above) and finally the green string of lights. Lining the layers of a card as precise as this one takes a keen eye and a bit of patience.


We hate to waste paper so we constantly reuse scraps for set up and registration while we perfect the prints.  Sometimes the most interesting things happen by accident. The combination of the soft blue filigree and the navy ship on this piece of makeready really caught our eye.


We have lots of different letterpress holiday card sets available on our site, as well as some great nautical themed gifts for everyone on your list.


Tools of the trade

We are totally obsessed with all things letterpress (obviously!). We adore the delicate, beautifully detailed, elegant invitations and stationery pieces that we print, one-by-one, by hand, in our studio. So isn't it an amazing juxtaposition to see the rough tools used to produce this work? We are constantly grateful for our big, cumbersome, yet perfectly calibrated presses. Here are a few pics that are a little different from our usual product shots:

The Letterpress Community

I never realized that there is a whole community of people who champion the use and preservation of antique letterpresses. Obviously, here at Sesame, we are all enthusiasts and we have quite a few presses which we are constantly caring for and printing with. But there are also some amazing online resources with active members who are regularly posting about their printing projects, design ideas and love of old letterpresses. Here are a few suggestions if you want to start exploring letterpress. And these sites also have listings where you can buy and sell old presses... Briar Press - this is our go-to site with nearly 70,000 printers, artists and designers!

British Letterpress - as the name suggests, this site is quite UK-centric. It features lots of hands-on guides and ideas.

Happy exploring!

Update, 1/15/13:

Thanks to Shayna at Steel Petal Press for letting us know about another excellent new website for letterpress fans:

Letterpress Commons - great new open source site built by the letterpress community. Loads of really awesome information and links.