Post Wedding Thank You Notes

After the wedding, once you've returned from your honeymoon sun-kissed and relaxed, there's still one thing left to do for your wedding - send out thank you notes! There's nothing nicer than receiving a handwritten thank you note, especially when it's on custom, letterpress stationery. You can include your monogram, new last name or an image that relates to your invitations, like this New York City note card.

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Get started on those thank you notes right away and work on them little by little. Thank anyone who attended or sent a gift, exceptional vendors and most importantly, whoever hosted your wedding. They have been with you through thick and thin, while planning this event - let them know how much you appreciate their help.

Letterpress Bridal Shower Invitations

The term bridal shower may have come from a party thrown during the Victorian age, where a hostess filled a parasol with gifts, and opened it over the bride's head "showering" her with presents. If true, we can only hope that those gifts were small and lightweight!

Now we like to use the opportunity to shower the couple with love, advice for married life, and gifts to start their new home together. We love when friends or family come to us to design a unique letterpress invitation. Its such a thoughtful thing to do and sets a nice tone for the event.

This bridal shower brunch was thrown by the sister of the bride in her home. She loved this image of a stately home, and wanted to keep things simple with rich, black ink. We added a bit of color with a soft, sage green as an accent on the house and the bride's name.

Wine tasting at a bridal shower sounds like such a treat! This invitation marries bright colors with a classic, somewhat formal design. The fluorescent pink ink looks so pretty when paired with silver.

We used our Forest Grove wedding invitation design as the basis for this couples shower invite, printing it in silver and bright coral ink. They held their event at a beautiful, outdoor club, so the trees were the perfect motif. It was fun to design a shower invitation for both the bride and groom to be, and we thought the additional card honoring all the hosts was very sweet.

Custom Letterpress Notecards

Nothing is more elegant than crisp black letterpress printing on bright, white cotton paper. Black ink never goes out of style, so it's always a great choice for business stationery.

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Here is another simple letterpress note card that we printed recently. We love take on a custom note card for a family of five. The Chinese Zodiak signs add such sweet character to the stationery set, especially when printed in such a striking orange.

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Inside the Printer's Studio: All About Letterpress

This month we're starting a new series covering all the ins and outs of designing and printing stationery in our shop. While discussing all the wedding invitations we've done this year, we realized that most of our clients had similar questions about design, wording and printing, in general. We realized it would be a fun project to dive deep into each aspect of the process, so that is exactly what we've decided to do!

We're hoping to provide an extended glossary of sorts, for all things letterpress. Each post will cover a different aspect of the process of designing and printing letterpress, mostly in reference to wedding invitations. This week, we're going to answer some basic questions that we often get when first speaking with a client. Let's get started!

What is letterpress?
Letterpress printing is relief printing where type and image are literally "pressed" into paper. Although movable type can be dated back to 1040 in China, Johannes Gutenberg invented the first actual printing press in 1440. In all that time, some things have changed, but it remains a 100% manual process. Each piece of paper is fed and printed by hand on one of our vintage Golding Jobber presses. While some printers continue to set wood and metal type, we rely on plastic plates made from photopolymer. By using polymer plates, we're able to print our artwork from digital files, giving us more freedom in our designs.

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Why should I choose letterpress printing for my wedding invitations?
Your invitations are the first glimpse your guests will have of your wedding, so it's nice give a good impression (pun totally intended). With letterpress you can run your fingers over the type and feel the indentation in the paper. There is no mistaking a letterpress-printed item for something mass-produced. Your guests will love the luxurious paper, the imprint of letters and images and the weight and feel of the invitation in their hands. These invitations will tell your guests that this is a wedding not to be missed.

Why should I work with a stationer?
We have years of expertise working with clients to create beautiful, custom designs. We're very proud of the experience and skills we've earned from all of our hard work. Designing and printing is what we love to do, so we work hard on each and every project that passes through our shop.  We have become adept in listening to clients' ideas and preferences and translating those visions to the stationery design.  We know what works well and how long it will take to print a suite so we can make sure to meet deadlines and stick to a budget.  Planning a wedding can be a lot of work and by hiring a professional stationer, couples can rest assured that the invitations will be perfect and they can move on to focus on another part of the planning process. 

What makes letterpress invitations more expensive than digital printing?
Letterpress is a manual process, so there is a lot of time invested in each piece. We mix many of the colors by hand and each color is printed separately, which means that there are multiple set-ups for each job. We use the highest quality materials available to give you the highest quality work. The paper we use is from a local company, Reich Paper, and is specifically made for letterpress printing. All this hard work, does make letterpress a but more expensive, but we think it's worth it.

What are the limitations?
The main limitations for letterpress printing are the number of colors and certain design elements. Remember that each color is printed as a separate layer, so the more colors you have, the more expensive the job becomes. Large, solid areas are not great for letterpress printing, as they are hard to keep consistently solid. Often, those areas print a little "salty", meaning the color of the paper may show through. If a vintage, handmade look is what you're going for, then that might be perfect for you. Size is also a big limitation. We recommend 5 x 7" for an invitation, although we can go a bit larger.

Another request we often get is to print a light colored ink on dark paper. Most letterpress inks are translucent, so they don't completely cover the paper. We recommend doing the exact opposite and printing dark ink on a light paper. Rich, black ink on crisp white paper is a printer's dream!

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I am a designer.  Can I send you my design to letterpress print?
Definitely. We can print directly from your artwork files (Illustrator) or, if you have just an element you'd like to include, like a hand drawn image, we can help translate this to letterpress and design around that.  For details on submitting a file for us to letterpress print, please view the Print Your Design page on our website.

I'm on a budget, but I love the look and feel of letterpress? What are some ways I can cut costs?
Keep the number of colors to a minimum. We do a lot of one color invitations, and they are classic and just as beautiful as multi-color jobs. There are lots of creative ways to cut costs also, like using a cute gift tag as an RSVP or combining several bits of information into one card. Although it is traditional, you can forgo the use of an inner and an outer envelope. Finishing services, add greatly to the cost, so if you love the look a painted edge, consider doing that for the invitation card only. Whatever your budget, we'll work with you to create a beautiful set of invitations.

Alright, I'm interested! How does the process work?
The first step is to take a look at our website. Pick out some templates, fonts and colors and let us know what inspires you. To give you an estimate, we'll need to know roughly what quantity you need and what pieces you'd like to have printed. Once you've decided to work with us, there is a 30% deposit and then the real work begins! We'll send your designs as digital proofs and make any edits you'd like before we have plates made, cut your paper and start printing.

How many colors can you print and how do I choose?
We recommend using 1 or 2 colors on your wedding invitations. We print one color at a time, so the more colors you use, the more time consuming, and therefore expensive.

We have a range of colors on our website that you can choose from. Keep in mind that colors can appear dramatically different on screen.
We can always send a sample of a printed color, so you can have a better idea. If you are interested in a color that isn't listed on our site, then you can send a physical swatch for us to match. Even better, if you have access to a Pantone book (it must be Pantone Uncoated), let us know color code.

I'm very interested and would love a closer look at your work. Can I come in for an appointment?
Sure! We are available for appointments from 10 am - 5 pm, Monday through Thursday. Set up a time and we'll happily go over all the details with you in person. If you live internationally, fear not! We have extensive experience working with clients overseas, so although you can't pop in for a visit, we would love to work with you.
 

Thank You Stationery Set

We're happy to debut a new set of deluxe stationery in our online shop! These lovely thank you cards are letterpress printed in rich black ink with gilded edges, making them extra luxurious. These cards make it easy to send a thoughtful thank you note. black-thank-you-stationery-set-sesame-letterpress

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You can pick up a set of 20 letterpress printed cards with matching blank envelopes in our online shop. They make great gifts, but we don't blame you if you want to keep them for yourself!

Say thanks with bespoke letterpress stationery

We print many custom stationery sets during the holiday. They make wonderful gifts, perfect for sending out thank you notes, post-holiday. Here are a few we particularly enjoyed designing and printing in 2014. custom-classic-monogram-stationery-sesame-letterpress

These notecards feature an assortment of blues and grays, perfectly matching the cloudy January sky.

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Initials always look great in letterpress, whether they are small and sleek or larger and more decorative. Adding an image is a great idea, especially if it's as cute as this carefree rabbit taking a leap over such a fancy monogram.

 

Eye Love You!

We're debuting a couple new greeting cards this year, in celebration of Valentine's Day! We love this playful card with a striking blue and gray eye. The message is simple and sweet. eye_love_valentine_card_sesame_letterpress

Nothing says I love you like a sweet, hand-written note and a really good box of chocolates. We've designed these red and gray cards with that thought in mind. The inspiration for this card, the Whitman's Sampler box, has been a Valentine's Day staple since 1912.

love_sweet_chocolate_box_valentine_card_sesame_letterpressWe encourage sending handwritten love notes all year long, but if there's one day a year to write to your paramour, this is it. These and more Valentine's Day cards are available on our website now!

Seeing green: A winter California wedding

This fall we designed and printed a beautiful set of art nouveau inspired wedding invitations for a couple in southern California. They started things off sweet with a bookmark sized Save the Date, printed in a warm gold and green combination. gold-green-letterpress-save-the-date-bookmark-sesame

The invitation features a delicate border of dark green vines that accent the fine lines in the type. A wreath-decorated home was the perfect image for their intimate reception.

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The gold ribbon woven through the wreath is a sweet, little detail that makes this response card stand out. The simplicity of this letterpress wedding suite is what makes it such a nice sight. It's all in the details!

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Baby notecards

Just a very quick post because we can't get over how cute these notecards are. blue-baby-footprint-letterpress-custom-notecard-sesame

We can scan the footprints, reduce the size to a tiny little motif like this, and then print these highly-personalized notecards for the new arrival. The letterpress impression really picks out the details of all those cute toes!

Bespoke envelope lining

Most of our printing is custom: our clients love having personalized items with their name/monogram or other individual details included. And for an additional bespoke element, how about choosing your own paper to line envelopes? You can go for something simple in a single color or choose a really unique fine paper with a pattern or design. We love how the ink color used on this thank you card is picked up in the verdant lining paper used for the envelopes:

Hand illustrated social stationery

Sometimes clients ask us to include an illustration that they provide on their printed materials. As long as the design is suitable for letterpress, we are happy to do this. It's always great for us to see the work of other artists and craftspeople. We printed these pretty notecards which feature a hand drawn illustration of the client's home. These look really smart in cool gray ink and they're extremely personal and bespoke.

Stationery for ourselves

Every so often, we print stationery for ourselves. Whether it's a new set of Sesame Letterpress business cards or notecards with our name at the top, it's always a treat to experiment with some of the layouts and fonts that we regularly work with. Breck was in need of a new set of social stationery so she designed a really lovely, elegant layout:

These are printed in our saturated black ink, using Carolyna font. We love how these have a really strong look while also featuring a few little flourishes and embellishments. So simple and so perfect. Here's a close up of the printing:

Working with Provisions by Food52

We are massive fans of the website, Food52. It's our go-to for delicious, healthy recipes. So we were happy to work on printing some lovely stationery for the founders to use. As the site became more and more popular, they expanded into a great online shop called provisions and - guess what - a few of our printed items are featured on there! Each month, the very creative team behind Food 52 come up with a different theme and then they style gorgeous photos that illustrate the theme, using some of the products they sell.

This month, our Woodsman journal is featured and we think these photos are just stunning: