Flip happy business card

Every few years I design a new business card for myself. See my social media callingrams here and my masking tape covered Shastablasta Wraps Presents Well blog cards here.

Personal business cards have always been a fun exercise for me to hand off a little of my personality alongside my contact info. A primary goal when I create a business card is always to make the receiver feel like they’re getting a little gift. Now that it's easy to put contact info in phones it feels especialIy important to make business cards more about the experience of meeting someone.

If this wasn't my own card I'd probably call it overkill. I know someday these cards are destined for the recycling bin but in the meantime I hope they bring some purposeful amusement to the recipient. 

Merry Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and a lot like my Christmas cards will be arriving late in the mail. While my cards were one of the first holiday projects I made this season they're the last to make it out the door. I'm checking my list (and addresses) twice. Soon my holiday greeting and paper tree will belatedly arrive at doorsteps.

When designing this years card I kept in mind the limitations of my small table top letterpress. I also wanted to incorporate my calligraphy to illustrate the card. I knew I wanted to send out a folding Christmas tree so the design of the card evolved from that concept. Of course it should be presents for under the tree. I'm very pleased with how it all printed.

It was not possible to keep a heavy inking consistent for the green of the packages so I knew I'd be letting the ink naturally fall off as I printed my cards.

It was not possible to keep a heavy inking consistent for the green of the packages so I knew I'd be letting the ink naturally fall off as I printed my cards.

Put the presents under the tree! To keep things less complicated I drew a pattern   that could be printed back to back without worry of registration. And I cut all these trees out by hand (with x-acto) so I needed the pattern to be forgiving for that as well.

Put the presents under the tree! To keep things less complicated I drew a pattern that could be printed back to back without worry of registration. And I cut all these trees out by hand (with x-acto) so I needed the pattern to be forgiving for that as well.

I added gold elastic to turn some of my pop-up trees into gift toppers.

I added gold elastic to turn some of my pop-up trees into gift toppers.

Have a wonderful Christmas! I'm hoping to have one more post before taking a little break to enjoy the festivities.

Show and Tell: Summer Renegade SF 2014

A couple Sundays ago all of San Francisco was drenched in fog. A little winter like made it perfect for going inside to the summer edition of the Renegade Craft Fair. Held at Fort Mason it's also a good reason to walk by the bay and hear the clickety clang of all the sail boats in their berths. Renegade is one of my favorite fairs and there was so much good stuff this time around. One of the stand outs was all the variety of ceramics. Each vendor had their own twist on the medium. I could have done a whole post on that. 

If you missed the fair or don't live near one of the host cities it's worth checking out the vendor list. Especially if you're in the market for some handmade goodies. If you want even more handmade to look at I wrote about summer Renegade last year also.

Below are some of my favorites and unique finds. I've been pretty wordy lately in my posts so I'll keep things brief and fill this one with pics.

Jo Boyer

At first glance I thought these were crazy shells I hadn't seen before. Nope just porcelain with lots of details. 

At first glance I thought these were crazy shells I hadn't seen before. Nope just porcelain with lots of details. 

I had recently bought some earrings by Nikki at a local shop called  Gather  which features hand made goods here in SF. I've been getting lots of compliments on them so I was excited to stumble upon her booth.

I had recently bought some earrings by Nikki at a local shop called Gather which features hand made goods here in SF. I've been getting lots of compliments on them so I was excited to stumble upon her booth.

Of course I found some adorable cat goodies.

Of course I found some adorable cat goodies.

These would make a very unique gift. And bonus they're made from recycled liquor bottles.

These would make a very unique gift. And bonus they're made from recycled liquor bottles.

These kits are adorable. A great way to learn about embroidery.

These kits are adorable. A great way to learn about embroidery.

Great modern rustic pieces. Is modern rustic a thing?

Great modern rustic pieces. Is modern rustic a thing?

I loved Madeline's cake display! Also I know Madeline but I didn't know she was going to be there so it was a fun surprise to run into her booth.

I loved Madeline's cake display! Also I know Madeline but I didn't know she was going to be there so it was a fun surprise to run into her booth.

I'll let you figure these out. They are really beautiful on their own as an object. I was told they could also be used for incense.

I'll let you figure these out. They are really beautiful on their own as an object. I was told they could also be used for incense.

I'm  friends  of the Weekend Press and knew they've been diligently printing goods for the last couple months. So proud to see it all together!

I'm friends of the Weekend Press and knew they've been diligently printing goods for the last couple months. So proud to see it all together!

For an easy five bucks I got my membership (complete with membership card) to the Letter Writing Alliance. Check it out and get yourself a pen pal!

For an easy five bucks I got my membership (complete with membership card) to the Letter Writing Alliance. Check it out and get yourself a pen pal!

Here's the cumulative list and links to all these fabulous makers.

Jo Boyer 
Nikki Montoya 
Trelabela 
Reclamation Etchworks 
Kiriki Press 
Salt and Pipper 
Miwak Junior, Ceramic Connectors 
The Weekend Press 
Letter Writing Alliance

Now I'm getting excited for all the Christmas fairs!

Callingrams

Today I'm headed to Craftcation and taking some newly letterpressed business cards with me. Or should I say callingrams? Each one has an image from my Instagram feed.

I came across this fun sticker product from Social Print Studio and was inspired to design something with them. My other cards don't have my social media contacts on them so it was the perfect project to incorporate these little stickers with my photos. Plus I do love to make labor intensive cards.

I tend to hoard end cuts of paper from printing projects thinking I'll find a clever use for them some day. Well I finally did when I cut them even smaller to make these miniature polaroids. 

I tend to hoard end cuts of paper from printing projects thinking I'll find a clever use for them some day. Well I finally did when I cut them even smaller to make these miniature polaroids. 

These stickers are so fun and I'm already finding other things to use them for. Each order has two booklets for $10 but I would recommend getting two orders because the shipping is $7. They're printed in Taiwan but that shipping rate does make them arrive speedily. Mine arrived just 3 days after I ordered. I was super impressed. I do with they had other slightly larger sticker sizes. I'm sure I'd find many more projects to create with them. 

Show and tell: The Weekend Press

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A few weeks ago I was invited along with my letterpress to a celebration in the East Bay. The occasion was both an open house for The Weekend Press and the start of their Oakland Illustrated Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is a collaboration between Oakland Illustrators to create unique Oakland inspired art with the added benefit of helping fund the newly christened graphic design and letterpress shop. 

It should be noted that as I publish this there are just 4 days left in the campaign. I'm happy to say they've met their goals but partaking in funding the Kickstarter is the best way you can purchase these prints. So check them out!

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Jenny Pan and Peter Pham are the graphic designers who have been giving up their weekends and more to create The Weekend Press.

Jenny Pan and Peter Pham are the graphic designers who have been giving up their weekends and more to create The Weekend Press.

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The prints on display looked great but they are actually only the beginning of the printing process. After seeing how the art was producing the files will be tweaked to produce even better prints. I loved that there was no glass covering the prints. You could really get in and see the details. (Forgive my images and lack of closeups as I only had my phone to shoot with that day). 

They've got a pretty big collection of business cards they've printed showcasing different printing techniques.

They've got a pretty big collection of business cards they've printed showcasing different printing techniques.

The Weekend Press is two floors with the upper being the production office. While taking myself on a self guided tour I was happy to find a nice display of all the elements that go into the printing process of the Oakland Illustrated prints.

A file is outputted to film. 

A file is outputted to film. 

The film is used to expose a polymer plate. The polymer that is exposed hardens and becomes the printing image after the excess polymer is washed away.

The film is used to expose a polymer plate. The polymer that is exposed hardens and becomes the printing image after the excess polymer is washed away.

A different plate is used for each color that needs to be printed. This shows the three seperations needed to create one final print.

A different plate is used for each color that needs to be printed. This shows the three seperations needed to create one final print.

The end results of all three plates combined.

The end results of all three plates combined.

So why was I there with my letterpress? 

A high end letterpress shop uses machinery too loud and dangerous for showing off during soirées. Peter and Jenny wanted to show their guests the basic concepts of letterpress printing along with folks being able to try it out themselves. I have a table top printing press which is far friendlier for the uninitiated. Everything is done by hand. You load each piece of paper and pull the lever to make each print. I helped guests print a souvenir coaster. 

My letterpress and I. Notice I was randomly wearing polka dots on a blue shirt just like Jenny. And we were not alone. Polka dots were the unintended dress code amongst the ladies that night.

My letterpress and I. Notice I was randomly wearing polka dots on a blue shirt just like Jenny. And we were not alone. Polka dots were the unintended dress code amongst the ladies that night.

The black plate was fist printed on a Heidelberg   Windmill press and then my press added the big one.

The black plate was fist printed on a Heidelberg Windmill press and then my press added the big one.

Jenny printing.

Jenny printing.

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When I first walked into the light filled Weekend Press it took me a moment to actually see my press. It was so dwarfed by the size of the other machinery in the shop. To give a little perspective in the image above you can see a third of their Windmill printing press on the right.

And now some gratuitous pics of their presses.

The workhorse press is a Heidelberg Windmill.

The workhorse press is a Heidelberg Windmill.

You can see the coaster die used for the souvenirs.

You can see the coaster die used for the souvenirs.

Self inking rollers for when the press is not die-cutting.

Self inking rollers for when the press is not die-cutting.

Their Kluge is dedicate to foil stamping. I'll be looking to find a reason to take advantage of this.

Their Kluge is dedicate to foil stamping. I'll be looking to find a reason to take advantage of this.