Monday, October 28, 2013

Our 2013 Christmas Card, Now Available on Etsy!

It's that time of year again!  It's been an eventful year for us: in March, G. Johanson, Printer officially became "Paper Wren Press", and almost immediately thereafter I found myself in the hospital coming within an inch of my life and eternity.  After several months of recuperation,  we found ourselves creating  multiple suites of Custom Wedding Stationery, signing a contract with Affluent Bride, producing a series of greeting cards with designer Anna Coleman, attending two Indie Market shows, and now, it's Christmas.  So what are we doing for our card design this year?  Well . . . . 

Since time is of the essence, we decided to reach into the past and reprise our card from last year, only with some slight changes.  The first change is the "Christmastide 2012" legend, which we changed to "Merry Christmas".  It is still printed in oil based gold florentine, which I like a lot better than gold foil.  Another change is the reverse, which sports our new logo!  These cards are currently for sale on our Etsy Shop outlet. Another change is that this year we are offering a customization of this card: since the legend is typeset with 18th century Fleuron brackets, we are offering custom text, in which "Merry Christmas" can be substituted with another line or multiple lines.  For details, contact us either through our site at, or directly via email at

And now, some photos we took during the process of creating these unique custom limited edition Christmas greeting cards:

The black run on these cards were printed in folio, both sides at one shot.  This year, we included our logo, which is a mag cut.  We 'quadded' it out to accommodate text which is typeset beneath.  In essence, this card is "laid up", or locked up in the same manner the printers would have used back when the featured woodcut illustration was new : 1490!  Two years before Columbus' maiden voyage!  In fact, this cut comes from that part of Italy where Columbus hailed from at the same time in which he lived there!

Here's the first pull from the folio impression.

I flipped the camera around for a closer look, right side up.

Just in case Latin escapes you, this print in it's original 1490 publication was part of a larger volume entitled Legenda Sanctorum Trium Regum, which means "Legend of the Holy Three Kings", Modena Italia, 1490.  You Latin scholars check me out on this, ok?  Hey, how do you like our new Logo?

The completed card after the red and gold impression runs.  This card reminds me so much of the cards we would send when I lived in Munich, Germany as a kid in primary, or Elementary School.  That German cultural streak has been something I've carried with me my whole life long, and has influenced my design tastes almost to the point where sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't market my stuff in Europe!  As a Letterpress Shop in an era of Hipster "whimsical" design approach, we tend to be hopelessly Carolingian in our tastes.  That is, except for the designs we carry by Anna Coleman.

Here is the card after the printing process, where each card is scored and hand folded with a bone folder.  This card saw a run of 200 in this series, which means over 200 impressions through the press for the black, the red, the gold, the scoring of the fold line with a brass rule, then each card is hand folded to ensure a perfect and level fold.  A lot of hours . . . and a lot of Coffee!!

Another shot of the back side.  The card stock chosen is Crane's Lettra, 320 gsm extruded Pearl White 100% cotton, which comes with a matching envelope.

So, there it is.  Our 2013 Christmas Greeting Card.  It is an "A2" sized card, which means it measures 4.5 x 5.5 inches, bifold.  The interior is, as usual, left blank, ready for your own creativity!  Custom return addressing is available upon request, please contact us for details.  I might add that bulk ordering of this card at a reduced price is something that can be considered, but remember these are limited run cards, unique, one of a kind.  Thus, a bulk order would be considered another limited edition run. 

Thanks for joining us in our guided tour of this year's Christmas Card offering.  We have yet another design which might . . . might be able to be slipped in before December.  It is based upon the 1933 U.S. Christmas Seal.  More on that, later.

I remain Your Humble Servant,
G. Johanson, Printer.
Paper Wren Press.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful work, Gary. But I wouldn't expect anything less.