Well, the paper arrived a couple days ago. Hannah picked up the two boxes of matching envelopes for her Addressing Party. The parent sheets arrived the next day. So I spent all day yesterday in the Shop, cutting and trimming the stock, proofing the text, re-leading the lines (creating more space between each line to lengthen the forme) and finally, setting up the make-ready on the press and running the brown for each item of stationery, both the RSVP Post Card and the typeset text of the announcement.
For the RSVP, we chose to borrow from the hand drawn fern motif, which were adapted to form corners with "arabesques", or 'curly-ques' in a more modern vernacular. Just a bit of useless trivia: these little 'curly cues' were in turn, adapted from the filigree work executed by the London Scribe Clark, from a copper plate print sampling of his letter-forms which were printed in 1704! There is a right way and a wrong way to execute flourishes with a pen. If you want to contact a real expert, may I submit Angela Welch, for whom I do the printing of her amazing calligraphy. Angela is also a designer for Crane Stationery, and owner of "Pen & Pauper".
The size of these post card RSVPs is 3.5 x 5.5 inches, and can be printed front and back. Post Card RSVPs have become a popular choice for brides & grooms to be for on reason: they cost less to handle, and somewhat less to have printed. Post card postage is cheaper than a card in an envelope, and naturally an envelope is not needed. I'm all about saving my clients money if it can at all be done!
A close-up of the fern motif corners. Owosso Graphics created this metal die for me, and was able to hold the very, very delicate ridges, or rather, "ruffles" in each leaf of the fern itself. Consider that each corner is about the size of a smallish postage stamp. Hats off to the gang at Owosso.
Here is the announcement. It turned out that while the curve of the original type setting was spot on, the lines needed to be leaded out, about one point per line to spread out the text. The above photo shows the black proof of the fern (an original pen and ink rendering, also made into a metal die by Owosso Graphics), trimmed close and adhered to the card to show the relative position of the fern in relation to the text. The fern itself will be printed in green today. I like the little fleuron touches at the bottom, it actually lent quite well to the fern motif.
Here is a close-up of the announcement inpression. The ink used is boiled flax-seed based....Linseed, in other words. This is a formula that is over three hundred or more years old. The "Open Face" Caslon Titling font came out crystal clear, with an understated deboss that does not punch through the card, yet leaves a pleasing tactile sensation when handled. But then, that's what Letterpress is all about!
Stay tuned for the next installment in our Adventures in Letterpress.