Archive for August, 2010
A while back we featured Andrea and John’s penguin motif letterpress save the dates, which we printed for our friends at Union Street Papery in San Francisco and today we’re excited to share their invitations! The charming custom penguin motif is carried throughout the invitation suite, letterpress printed in grass and midnight inks. Both the invitation envelope and the cute letterpress escort cards feature envelope liners in our Seneca pattern in grass, making for a fun, preppy look. Thanks so much to the folks at Union Street Papery for working with us on such a cool design!
Last week our Smock team temporarily relocated to New York City and the Jacob Javits Center where we attended the New York International Gift Fair for the first time. Now that we’re back in Syracuse, we thought we’d share a behind the scenes look at the setup of our booth and the final result, including a sneak peek at some of our newest eco paper goods and stationery!
When you show up at Javits, this is what you show up to – a blank space with bare floors and a sign declaring the space as yours. In our case, the sign was crooked and hanging by a thread. No worries! We had a plan.
After many hours of work, we finally started unwrapping product to place in the booth. We merchandise the booth the way we envision merchandising an awesome store filled with nothing but Smock goods. (Now that would be a cool store!)
So there you have it! Check out our newest eco paper goods (including new gift boxes, sticky notes, gift wrap and gift bags!) and thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit us at NYIGF last week!
Brought to us by our friends at Francis-Orr in Corona del Mar, California we just love this ocean inspired letterpress invitation suite, printed for a destination 50th birthday party! It is a custom design featuring motifs from our Social Occasions album in fun tropical colors of midnight and papaya. The letterpress invitations, events cards, and reply cards were tucked inside a patterned folio featuring our Willoughby pattern on the interior and a seahorse on the exterior, both printed in midnight. To bring it all together, the envelope was lined in Willoughby in papaya for a complete package that is bright, festive and just perfect for a fun-filled birthday getaway.
Many long but fun hours later, we’ve finally wrapped up setup on our first ever New York International Gift Fair booth! Tomorrow through Thursday, you can find us in booth 7555 at the Jacob Javits center showing off all of our favorite paper goods and stationery. If you’re attending the show we do hope you’ll stop by and say hi. We’ll be blogging and tweeting throughout the week so stay tuned for more from New York!
If you’re headed the New York International Gift Fair this weekend, come see us in booth 7555! Smock is making our debut at NYIGF this year and we could not be more excited. We’re bringing all of our latest releases including our new super stylish and super eco stationery and paper goods. With brand new greeting cards for spring holidays and an incredible selection of gift items and FSC certified paper goods, you don’t want to miss out on all the new Smock goodies. We’ll see you at the show!
New for 2010 and recently unveiled at the National Stationery Show, we are excited to introduce two new calligraphy fonts exclusive to Smock! Calligrapher Kelle McCarter of designsgirl is the talent behind our new Bescal font, a playful modern lettering style that we feature on our 2010 National Stationery Show invitations. Kelle hand lettered each of the characters in our new font, which we developed with an internationally recognized typography firm. All of our calligraphy fonts (now four in total!) are available with no additional calligraphy fee when you order stationery from Smock. Visit one of our awesome Smock dealers to see samples!
How did you become interested in calligraphy?
I have always been enamored with beautiful writing. I remember vividly the day I became excited about learning calligraphy. I saw a logo of “Bell ‘Occhio”, a San Francisco ship, in a book. It was designed with a pointed pen illustration and whimsical lettering and it was magically captivating to me. This is when I knew I wanted to be a calligrapher.
What tools does one need to start learning calligraphy?
You need to find a good teacher (through a local calligraphy guild) or good instructional books such as The Zanerian Manual of Alphabets and Engrossing for Copperplate style lettering or for a more modern instructional guide, I like Lisa Engelbrecht’s Modern Mark Making. Then you will know what nibs inks, and papers are best for the type of calligraphy you want to learn.
What was the process like for designing a font for Smock?
I love typography and to have my calligraphy made into a font for Smock was thrilling. The key to this work, which was done over several months, was to not worry about the results and to be free with my strokes so that the personality and the movement of the style would be preserved.
What do you think makes calligraphy so special?
Everyone loves the beauty of a hand lettered envelope or invitation. For those whose budget does not allow for calligraphy services, the calligraphy font is a fine alternative…True calligraphy is where pen and ink meet paper and there is no substitute for this artistic, textural and organic element. It is one of the most special details of a wedding; just ask any bride who has heard the oohs and aahs from those receiving a hand lettered wedding invitation in the mail.
What was the first calligraphy style you learned?
I spent months with my first teacher, Laurie Doctor, learning monoline lettering, the simplest form of lettering with no thick or thin lines, to gain a foundation for developing the basic strokes of each letter. At this time, I did not even know how to put ink on my nib.
Are you right or left handed?
I am a left handed calligrapher which presents some challenges in calligraphy because most oblique pen holders and broad edged nibs are made for right handers. But an artist and fellow calligrapher recently hand carved a left-handed oblique penholder out of African Blackwood for me that I am learning to use.
What is a normal workday like for you?
Since I work from my home studio, I must establish a regimented schedule. I handle client correspondence in the morning and then work in my studio until lunchtime. Our two Golden Retrievers, Garner and Gibson, are always by my side at my desk and can often be found with splatters of ink on their noses. They are very good assistants. I break for lunch, maybe hike with our “girls” and then resume projects in the afternoon. I usually end my work before dinner. If I did not set limits on my workday, I would be in my studio around the clock. I reserve time in the evening for practice and experimentation.
Other than invitations, envelopes and place cards, what other fun things do people have hand lettered?
Wedding vows are a popular anniversary gift that I am asked to do. I love doing calligraphy for custom rubber stamps and one of my favorite projects was creating forty “I Love You” note cards for a client to place in her husband’s suitcase when he traveled. My goal is to be the first to do custom calligraphy for golf balls. The idea comes from my father who was a PGA Tour professional and he was the first to have his signature imprinted on a Titleist golf ball.
What is your favorite letter in the alphabet to calligraphy?
It is the capital “D”. There is a rhythm to this stroke that is like a waltz- one and two and three and four. It is done with only one stroke and ends with a beautiful swirl that tucks into the vertical stem of the “D”.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?
It must be Super Woman for her ability to fly, have daily adventures, right wrongs and save the world.
What do you look to for inspiration?
This is the most exciting aspect of my work and my designsgirl business. I awake and fall asleep filled with ideas of what I want to create and calligraphy styles I want to develop and I love incorporating my calligraphy into embroidery and journaling projects. The inspiration is everywhere, particularly from fashion designer sketches and illustrations, textile patterns, flowers, architecture, typography, interior design, paintings, magazine and books.
This like asking to name my favorite child; impossible. For classic literature, The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. For artistic creativity and uniqueness, Century Girl: 100 Years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies by Lauren Redniss.
How long have you been doing calligraphy professionally?
I started designsgirl officially when I married and moved to Denver four years ago. It has been a dream of a lifetime.
You are very accomplished on the golf course. How many hours do you get to spend on a course a week now that you have designsgirl?
My husband began playing golf when we married, just for my sake, but now he is an avid golfer. We practice three to four hours each week and play about once a week at the Country Club at Castle Pines, where we live.
A bit of news this morning for all of you facebook junkies out there – Smock is now on facebook! We’d love to have you stop by and “like” our page where we will be updating regularly with beautiful new things we’re printing, promotions, updates, new products and more. In fact, right now you can check out our page for photos of our newest eco stationery and paper goods, available at retailers worldwide and coming soon to our website. We will also be posting about events and promotions happening at Smock stores nationwide and internationally so don’t miss out on all of the fun! Please share your photos and your comments – have something you’d love to see on our facebook page? Email us at email@example.com and we’d love to hear from you!
While we love printing pretty letterpress stationery for all occasions, we get really excited every time we have the opportunity to print cute letterpress baby announcements. It’s one of the happiest occasions a family will celebrate and we secretly love the chance to print in fun child-like colors and design with cheerful baby-inspired motifs. These baby announcements were no exception. They feature our Ellie motif from our Social Occasions album, printed in tangerine and verbena on our 1-ply bamboo paper. A big thank you to our friends at Paces Paper in Atlanta for bringing us this adorable customization!