NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Amy Heitman

I’m a big fan of Amy Heitman’s beautiful illustrated greeting cards, and I’m so excited that she’s exhibiting at the National Stationery Show for the very first time (booth #2066)! Amy will debut more than 20 new greeting cards, including a brand new foil collection, and a new collection of illustrated gift wrap patterns. Here’s a little sneak peek!

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Amy Heitman

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Amy Heitman

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Amy Heitman / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Amy Heitman

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Amy Heitman

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Amy Heitman

More from Amy Heitman right here!

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations

Normally we hear the designer’s perspective on a particular wedding invitation, but today we’re lucky to hear from both the designer and the printer of these beautiful gold foil architecture-inspired wedding invitations and save the dates. Such a treat! Designer Ryan DePaola drew inspiration from his adopted home town, Los Angeles, for both the invitation and save the date design, then the talented production team at Mama’s Sauce brought the design to life through a combination of screen printing, letterpress printing, and gold foil!

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

First, a few notes on the design inspiration from designer Ryan DePaolaOur wedding suite was inspired by our venue, its location and what the two together represented to us. We choose to incorporate both ourselves as well as the city itself in our invitation to further integrate the two as one. The foil line work and flourishes are really an homage to the city of LA itself and the impact it has had – not just in style and architecture, but to us.

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

LA is where my fiancé and I first met and dated, so for the save the dates I wanted to pull in all the beautiful architecture of all the buildings in downtown LA that had had special meaning to us. Where we had our first date all the way to our pizza spot. Where we had built our relationship and where we are solidifying it.

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

From Mama’s Sauce on printing and production: Ryan’s suite was ultimately letterpress and foil in the end, but for his Save the Date we also incorporated screen printing. That was the only piece in his suite that utilized a different paper. We chose to to go with the smoother, less fibrous, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White for the Save the Date to ensure the half tone screen printed portion of the design (the marbling) printed as consistently as possible. Little technical decisions like this can go a long way when you’re really thinking through the best way to bring art to life within a process, as each design marries (pun!) with the process and paper differently.

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The remainder of the suite was foil stamped and letterpress printed on double thick cotton paper that resulted in a strikingly consistent impression from both processes. They were pre-duplexed to double thick, as there wasn’t any relief printing on the backside.

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Suites like this are a dream to work on for us. The designer is the client, and in this case the designer-client knows how to design well for our processes, yet is able to lean into our expertise for suggestions in order to make the package really shine, like foil is supposed to do.

Gold Foil Architecture-Inspired Wedding Invitations by Mama's Sauce / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Thanks Ryan and Mama’s Sauce!

Design: Ryan DePaola

Letterpress, Foil, and Screen Printing: Mama’s Sauce

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Mama’s Sauce

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Bella Figura

For today’s NSS 2016 sneak peek, we’re getting a glimpse at the brand new Flora Collection from Bella Figura! Bella Figura collaborated with photographer Kate Ignatowski and Photosynthesis Floral Design to create these beautiful and romantic floral images, which are available as envelope liners and backgrounds for enclosure cards. Aren’t they so pretty when paired with some of Bella Figura‘s elegant calligraphy wedding invitation designs?

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Bella Figura Flora Collection / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Bella Figura Flora Collection / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Bella Figura Flora Collection / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Bella Figura Flora Collection / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Bella Figura Flora Collection / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Bella Figura Flora Collection / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Also! For Stationery Show goers, Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna will be in the Bella Figura booth (#1840) on Tuesday, May 17th calligraphing names and favorite phrases! And if you’re in New York City but won’t be going to the show, you can catch a sneak peek of the Flora collection, along with a bit of on-the-spot calligraphy, at the Bella Figura flagship store at a special event with calligrapher Ted Clausen on Saturday, May 14th from 2-6 p.m.! The Bella Figura flagship store is located at 1031 Lexington Avenue (at 74th street) in New York City.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon

The National Stationery Show is right around the corner and I’m here with London-based designer, Katie Leamon, who’s sharing about balancing designing versus managing staff as her business has grown to be an extension of her family. Katie takes us through her business’ journey, explaining everything from her sketching process to her first debut, straddling studio spaces and more. –Megan

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Welcome to our little world at Katie Leamon. Firstly, can I say a big thank you to Nole and Megan for sharing our story. I’m Katie, creative director at the company – we are a family run card and stationery business based in London, UK.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The company grew organically from relatively humble beginnings as I spent my weekends and evenings sketching ideas, building a website and pulling together designs alongside a full time job in fashion. It wasn’t until Spring 2011 that I had a collection together and was ready to launch myself into the world of stationery design and production more seriously.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I was fortunate enough to be accepted to compete in Liberty of London’s Open Call Day – a day which will remain one of the most significant of my career, and one so filled with fear and elation in equal measure! My brand had been born and the summer of 2011 I launched into the world of trade shows by exhibiting at Pulse London, and landed a few incredible new stockists including high profile stores Paperchase and Selfridges.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Before long, I needed another pair of hands and my mum and sister began helping to pack cards and fulfill orders to allow more time to design and drive the business forward. Since then we have gone on to build a production studio in the garden of my family home in the Essex countryside just outside of London, where they both continue to run our production studio. I am still in London where I work from another studio in an old train depot. There are four of us here including my partner, Ruairi, who joined the company a couple of years ago to help me with sales and business development. Being spread across two studios sometimes poses a logistical problem, but generally speaking it works really well and allows us to concentrate on our roles. I think if the production was being done around me I would never get anything done as I still love being hands on with the cards and wouldn’t leave the warehouse!

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I was sharing a studio with my brother for the first couple of years and he was a huge inspiration in helping me find my method that we still use today. Our rubber stamp technique was born the Autumn of 2010. We brought a stamp making kit made a series of hand made stamps which, although I don’t make the stamps anymore, the process remains the same and each card is individually hand printed. This is something that I think helps to stand us apart and maintain the tangible, personal touch that goes into our products.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by Laura Hutchinson

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our style is quite minimal with a muted colour palette and simple typographical and illustrative designs. I combine this playful nature with repetitive geometric patterns, which adds a bit of structure to our collections. I keep a close eye on trends and like to know whats happening in fashion, architecture, and interior design trends as they tend to filter down to the stationery world – and it’s good to be ahead of the game in such a competitive industry with so many amazing brands. They key is to adopt trends but make them your own, with your stamp on them to ensure the integrity and heart of the brand is always prevalent.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by Laura Hutchinson

A typical day for me starts by checking emails and updating our Instagram account whilst making a smoothie. Ruairi and I walk to work most days and spend the journey catching up with things for the day ahead. Once everyone is else in at about 9 – 9:30am we run through various ideas and projects that are going on at the time. We also catch up with the production team every morning – Facetime has been incredible at easing the distance between the studios. I go out there once a week, but we are able to catch up with them multiple times a day and visually see samples and deal with issues, which has proved really helpful. There are generally four people out in Essex including my mum and sister, and another four of us in London.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Georgia was my first full-time intern and deals with all our marketing and press as well as helping out with everything in between! Olivia is the latest person to join us full time and she helps Ruairi with wholesale accounts and manages production demands. Our team is incredible; they are an extension of the family, and all invaluable in helping to run the company. We have had a steady growth since I started out in 2010, and it’s lovely to have people to share the highs and lows with. I’m very lucky to be doing something I love for a living and sharing what I do with my partner and my family is such a bonus!

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by Laura Hutchinson

For me personally, it can be difficult to juggle my design time and the responsibilities that come from running your own business. There is endless paperwork, forms and logistics that need to be organized, not to mention the managing of everyone in the team and ensuring they are all working as well as possible. I am in the process of restructuring the way I work and making time to get away from my computer to design. It’s a constant battle – one in which I am taking steps to improve but is probably my biggest challenge.

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The time I do take to design and brainstorm is lovely. I love to get away from my desk with a sketchbook and pencil and start jotting down ideas, whether its phrases I want to add to a card, people I want to collaborate with, new products I want to explore, or new colours of things that are selling well. My sketchbook has everything in it; it’s a bible of everything going on in my mind and I’d be lost without it. I scan drawings in, send things off for colour matching, print ideas out, and collage them together to see if an idea has any legs to grow. More often than not, I visualize the end product and work backwards to make that come alive. I piece it all together by sourcing the right stock, getting the right shade, and ensuring a very fine detail comes out as I want. I’m a perfectionist, so getting it quite right can sometimes take some time, but it’s worth it. I love nothing more than the day new samples arrive on our doorstep and I get to see my designs come to life.

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Photo by Laura Hutchinson

Behind the Stationery: Katie Leamon / Oh So Beautiful Paper

My goal is to create beautiful stationery that people buy and almost don’t want to use, to ignite excitement in our customers when a beautiful package arrives, and to make things I would not only use but am also proud of. As a company, I am incredibly proud of how far we have come and that we continue to savor and pay homage to the beauty of hand printed, hand written letter, all the while having a wonderful working life with close family and friends.

Thanks again to Nole and Megan for having us! See you in New York!

Photos by Katie Leamon except where noted.

Interested in being featured in this column? Reach out to Megan [at] ohsobeautifulpaper [dot] com.

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper

Okay everyone, hang on to your hats! It’s the final week before the National Stationery Show, and I’ve got some MAJOR sneak peeks lined up for you. And we’re starting with some serious gorgeousness from the queens of gorgeous: Sugar Paper! I think the ladies of Sugar Paper may have finally outdone themselves this year. The new release includes everything from a chambray agenda, tons of beautiful leather, new gold foil gift wrap, and the option to add gold foil monograms to journals and leather goods! Can you even handle all the pretty???

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

From Sugar Paper: We finally took everything we learned about planners and boiled it down into the perfect high-end planner. Our favorite layout, a simple and sophisticated design, chambray (because who doesn’t love chambray?) and gold foil touches throughout. We worked hard to get the wire ring perfectly gold and we added sections to track thank you notes and birthdays. It’s designed for smart, stylish, sophisticated women.

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Aaaaaand then we added leather. Italian leather, handmade in LA. Agenda Case, business card holder, key fob, and an envelope clutch. We’re not messing around. The leather agenda cover and accessories will all debut alongside the Agenda at NSS, and will be available for purchase on our website and through our retailers at the end of the summer.

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

But, we didn’t stop there. We’re smitten over our brand new gold foil wrapping paper, and we couldn’t design perfect wrap without creating the perfect ribbon to match. And on top of that, we created tailored fabric-bound journals, our Signature Pens in two new colors, and an option to have a gold foil-stamped monogram added to journals and all leather products to make it all your own. It’s our best release yet. We’re in love.

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2016 Sneak Peek: Sugar Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Aaaaaaaaahhhhh!! I can’t wait to see it all in person next week! But in the meantime, you can find more from Sugar Paper right here!