Letterpress Stationery for Palette & Parlor

As we were moving Parklife Press from North Carolina out to Oregon last summer, Ivy and John were bringing their Chapel Hill furniture studio into full swing. We're no longer in the same town, but that doesn't mean we can't still work together. 

We printed note cards and business cards with custom inks on 300g Fluorescent White Lettra paper with die cut corners and matching A6 envelopes.  A nice complement to P&P's simple aesthetic.

Custom Monogram in Santa Fe

Ah, the blind-pressed monogram. Hard to go wrong when you use a lightly tinted white ink with a deep impression on thick cotton paper.

We carried the variations of the monogram through to each piece — an accommodations card with a tear-off reply card, a menu, table numbers with a blind chevron pattern and inkjet numbers, and programs with silver ink on navy cotton paper.

Most letterpress inks are transparent, so we can't print light ink on dark paper. But silver is an exception — it's about 75% opaque. Not quite as opaque as foil, but not as pricey either.

Photos by Sarah Arneson

Botanical Postcards

This two-sided client-designed save the date postcard combines light warm gray letterpress ink for the front with flat inkjet printing on the back.

The botanical image has wonderful ornate detail while the R+B monogram on the back is simple and clean. The two styles work beautifully together.

When printing two-sided, we can use letterpress for both, but it's sometimes nice to flat print one of the sides like we've done here. That way the impression from one side doesn't interfere with the impression from the other.

PDX Sports Fan Letterpress Coasters

Looking for the perfect gift for your beverage-sipping Portland sports fan friend? Well shoot, these aren't for sale. But if they were, they'd be perfect... if not a little pricey.

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We printed the Timbers side with two inks on 300g Fluorescent White Lettra. On the opposite side, we printed a modified Trail Blazers logo with silver and red inks on ridiculously thick 4-ply rich black museum board. Then we duplexed the two sheets by hand and die cut them to 4 inch 80pt thick circles.

Silver is one of the few letterpress inks that's opaque; most non-metallics are transparent. So we printed the full Blazer logo in silver to create a light-colored base, then printed red ink on top of the silver for half of the logo. If we'd just printed red on black, the color would be completely lost.

Lavender & Mint in Scappoose

Here's a lovely wedding set for Parklife's favorite brother and his favorite new wife. For the save the date we used two custom inks on thick 600g ecru paper.

For the invitations, we carried through the same inks, paper, along with a few variations on the Gotham typeface.

On the back of the invitation we added a hand-duplexed backing that's letterpress printed with a tonal ink and a fine halftone screen. The image is adapted from an early nineteenth century drawing of Portland.

Photos by Sarah Arneson

Growing Businesses, One Card at a Time

You know how sometimes you have to move thousands of pounds of antique machinery from one edge of the country to another, and then get it all set up properly so you can keep your business running? Wait, you don't? Ah ... count yourself lucky. Parklife Press moved from lovely North Carolina to beautiful Portland, Oregon this summer, and setting up the new studio was a f… a fun opportunity for greatness! And truly, it turned out great. But it was a challenge. And you know who you need in your corner when facing challenging situations? (Especially ones which involve basic elemental needs like heat, power, and protection from the elements?) Talented professionals. You know it ... here begins a good old-fashioned business card round-up!

We did these cards as thank yous for the electrician and contractor who renovated the new studio. They were great to work with. They kept us dry, and (seasonally) warm or cool.

Each card has tiny graphic representations on blind deboss (ink-free) impressions — hammers for the contractor and electric bolts for the electrician. It was fun to get to work with these fellow craftsmen and small-business owners.

Speaking of growing a business: cards we did for Grow. These involved three custom letterpress inks on the front, offset flood and one letterpress ink on the back. They were hand-duplexed (two different paper stocks glued together) and edge-painted in a corresponding brick-colored ink. That sounds like a lot of press runs, right? Three runs just to make one side of this card! Oh, and, we did cards for 28 employees. Nothing says "we're glad you work here" than the boss handing an employee a box of beautiful, hand-crafted letterpress business cards.

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Some detail shots are below. Check out Grow's subtle plant motif in black-on-black.

Listen, we're a bit late on giving thanks on this blog, but we figure gratitude shouldn't be limited to one month of the year. So to our new neighbors, fellow business owners, new clients and old: we are thankful for you. Thank you for your business, and for helping us (directly or indirectly) fix the roof over our heads and the electrical outlets for our presses. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Photos by Sarah McCarty Arneson

Leaves in Motion

This cheerful set was based on Parklife's Antiquity. It's one of our most popular designs. As we describe on the site, "The overlapping light and dark motifs give this invitation a sense of motion that's unlike anything else in our collection." This version has been modified a bit: the couple chose pearl white paper and a vertical orientation. By the way: we love it when people ask for modifications; our designs are a jumping-off point, but we want our clients to have exactly what they want.

This set had a fun combination of a traditional-looking calligraphic script paired with a modern, expressionistic contour drawing of leaves and garlands.

The thin parts of the script's stroke mirror the line art of the flora design. The two inks, midnight and peacock, compliment each other beautifully, and pop off the pearl white stock. The pieces are edge-painted in midnight.

Along with the invitation and RSVP card and printed return envelope, the set included these two additional pieces. An information card detailed directions and accommodations, and a separate card invited guests to a welcome dinner and a farewell brunch.

The dancing vines weren't the only graphic elements of this set. The RSVP card used playful icons — a cow, a fish, some carrots — for guests to select either the beef, seafood, or vegetarian dinner options. And, the "additional events" card featured custom illustrations done by Parklife Press. For the welcome dinner: a homey, old-school charcoal barbecue; and for the farewell brunch: a bloody mary, complete with celery stalk.

Photos by Sarah Arneson