Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Hello everyone! Boy, do I have some pretty calligraphy to share with you. It’s not often that I get that wish-I-could-plan-my-wedding-again feeling. But for sure, when I stumbled on the work of Miranda Griffiths of Miranda Writes — I wanted to jump right back into planning table cards and menus. Because geez, this is some beautiful lettering work. Let’s get straight to the good stuff, shall we? – Jen

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Here’s an awesome side note: When I reached out to Miranda, I found out her inspiration for starting calligraphy started right here! Yep, here’s what Miranda shared: “I started learning calligraphy after stumbling upon Oh So Beautiful Paper’s post featuring Primele Studio’s work.” How amazing is that! Great work inspiring more great work. That’s what it’s all about. And what a small world it is. That handmade paper she uses for these wedding place cards and menus —  so so pretty!

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

How did she jump from simply being inspired to creating calligraphy of her own? Miranda explains, “I then tried to replicate her writing style in my regular handwriting in college while taking tons of notes in class, not realizing that she wasn’t using a regular pen or marker — she was actually using calligraphy tools. From there I self-taught, mimicking styles I found on OSBP or Pinterest, and I’ve been lettering things ever since.”

(Also, can we pause for a moment on how I’d really love some gingerbread cobbler with vanilla ice cream — what a yummy menu!)

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Nothing beats a pretty calendar page, so I wanted to share Miranda’s take on this month (and hello, is anyone else shocked that it’s already March!). Why does Miranda love calligraphy? She shares, “I think the coolest part of calligraphy is that it’s handmade and 100% one of a kind, which brings a unique component to weddings and other events. My current favorite style is to write with a smaller pointed nib and create extremely thin-lined letters.”

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Miranda created these modern moving announcements and a return address stamp for when she and her husband moved into their first home. A custom calligraphy return address stamp is at the top of my list for when we have our very own home. It’s such a special way to put your stamp on any correspondence — and mark that this is your home.

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Photo Credit: Spencer Studios Photography

A big thanks to Miranda for sharing her work! I wonder if her calligraphy is going to inspire the next new calligrapher — and the creative circle continues on. Amazing to think what can come out of some simple doodling.

See you back here soon!

All other images: Miranda Writes

Modern Gold Foil Birth Announcements

We always adore when Designer Rolodex members send over the stationery they created for their own special occasions – it feels like a family affair! Sarah from Banter & Charm recently welcomed her second child, a darling baby boy named Alexander, and we’re thrilled to share his adorable birth announcements here today! Sarah kept things clean and modern, pairing his birth details with modern illustrations printed in gold foil. So sweet!

Modern Gold Foil Birth Announcements by Banter and Charm

From Sarah: As a designer, creating something for yourself can be one of the hardest things to do. I am my own worst client. I wait until the last minute, change my mind constantly, have a terrible time making a final decision, and usually give up. That is exactly what happened with my first child. When Abby was born, I had aspirations of designing an amazing announcement just for her. However, the first few months of her life flew by in a blur, and while I created several designs, none of them were exactly what I wanted. So, in the end, I gave up on a custom announcement for my daughter.

Modern Gold Foil Birth Announcements by Banter and Charm

When I found out I was expecting my second child, I promised I wouldn’t let that happen again! I went back to the announcements I originally created for my daughter, and as soon as I saw this design, I knew it would be perfect for Alexander. The illustrations were simple and sweet, and paired with a modern type they made the perfect accompaniment to Alex’s photo.

Modern Gold Foil Birth Announcements by Banter and Charm

I went back and forth on colors, but eventually decided to go with my favorite neutrals: gray and gold. With this birth announcement, I had the chance to use a printing combination I had wanted to try for a long time: flat printing paired with foil printing. Alex’s photo and all his statistics were printed first, then the tiny icons and frame were added in gold foil. The little gold clock is my favorite!

Modern Gold Foil Birth Announcements by Banter and Charm

Of course, I couldn’t pick just one photo to share, so I added a collage of photos to the back of the announcement.

Modern Gold Foil Birth Announcements by Banter and Charm

I am so glad I was able to give this sweet design a purpose as Alex’s birth announcement. I can’t imagine anything more fitting for a second child’s birth announcement than a hand-me-down from his older sibling.

Thanks so much Sarah – and congrats!

Design: Banter & Charm

Newborn photography: Simply Gorgeous Photography

Banter & Charm is a member of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beautiful work right here or visit the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Banter & Charm

Stationery A-Z: Sorry and Apologies

Let’s be real for a second: sometimes we mess up. After all, we’re just humans trying to exist together. On occasion, we say the wrong thing, do something insensitive, or take out our bad mood on an innocent bystander. Don’t be a jerk – take the high road and own up to your mistake by sending the offended a note of apology. Whether you treat the sentiment with humor or sincerity is up to you. Either way, we’ve collected a number of options to put things back where they belong!

Stationery A-Z: I'm Sorry Cards

 

From top left:

1. If emitting sympathy is your strategy for achieving forgiveness, this Fugu Fugu Press card is for you.

2. Don’t make a game of your apology, but this Hasbro-inspired design will certainly lighten the mood if necessary. (from Smudge Ink).

3. Come clean and move on – own up to your faults with this hand-lettered design from One Canoe Two.

4. This signage inspired design from Power and Light Press contains just the right amount of groveling.

5. No gimmicks, no jokes: just a straight, sincere message direct from the heart. Hand-lettered, designed and produced by People I’ve Loved.

6. Humor that child of the 90’s with this Urkel reference (I swear, it was hilarious at the time) from Farewell Paperie.

7. If I made a Justin Bieber reference, will I have to send an apologies greeting card? If so, I’m definitely choosing this one from Sapling Press.

8. Egg Press is constantly inventing new ways to explore die cutting, and this ‘Sorry Pal’ bus design is no exception.

9. Speaking of die cuts, if this sad crab from The Social Type doesn’t immediately solicit forgiveness, I’m not sure what will.

10. Loving the use of the term “salty” to describe off-putting behavior. It would be hard for anyone to stay angry for long with this pretzel illustration from Hello!Lucky.

11. You’ve got all the bases covered with this checkbox design from In Company.

Behind the Stationery: 9th Letter Press

Welcome to Behind the Stationery! After a brief hiatus, we’re excited to jump back into this fan favorite series with behind the scenes peeks and advice from some of our favorite stationers. Today we’re joined by Isabel Davis, the designer and owner behind 9th Letter Press. Isabel is here to share her story with us, including how she decides which designs make it to print, how she ruthlessly edits her collection each quarter to keep inventory under control, and her design secret for making sure her collection stays true to brand. Welcome Isabel! –Megan

Behind the Stationery: 9th Letter Press

From Isabel: 9th Letter Press is in the heart of Winter Park, Florida. Our studio houses every part of our business — our letterpress, production and assembly, office area, and retail store. We moved in almost in five years ago and haven’t looked back since. We love our location, even if at times it does feel like we’re literally swimming in paper, envelopes, cardboard boxes, and tissue paper.

Behind the Stationery: 9th Letter Press

The stationery world is a saturated industry and I had to come to terms with the breadth of stationers out there — it’s grown tremendously since I first started! At first, I tried to offer so much and so many things to keep up. But after a while, I noticed our best sellers were the products I started the business with: charming and whimsical stationery with a blend of pretty and quirky lettering (bonus points if I could wrangle in an illustration).

Behind the Stationery: 9th Letter Press

Today, I’m still of the same mindset and happiest designing and selling letterpress and foil printed greeting cards. If I get a really great notepad idea, I’ll for sure do it if I just LOVE it. Our Grocery List and Meal Planner is the perfect example. It continues to be a bestseller, so I’ll be coming out with a new design for May. Basically, if I love it and if it’s true to us and our brand, we’ll run it. I only want to offer what I personally love, which might mean offering less. But learning that I didn’t have to do it all freed up space to concentrate on products that work well for us, and our assortment.

Behind the Stationery: 9th Letter Press

9th Letter Press Grocery Meal Planners

We’re a very flexibly run enterprise. Everyone knows their job and a typical day looks different for each position. Our Wholesale Coordinator is in every day, and hers looks like the typical 9-to-5. However, if we’re hosting workshops in the studio, or pop up shops around town, she’ll adjust her hours so her life isn’t 9th Letter Press, all day every day.

Our printer works to keep up with our ever changing inventory, and the season might demand she puts in more hours to make sure we have enough of everything we need. On our production and assembly end, there are days we have lots of orders to get out the door, and other days it’s slower. That’s been true for us since we’ve started. Whenever we go through a busier season, I’ll make sure to hire more part timers to package and ship orders.

9th Letter Press Ink + Paper

As for me, I’m the sole designer at 9th Letter Press, as well as the Instagram poster, buyer for our retail shop, and point person for any pop-ups or events. My to do list varies from day to day. Usually it means planning and coming up with new card ideas for the upcoming buying quarter, or keeping up with the website. I try to post on social media at least once a day, and once that’s done, I’m emailing potential custom design clients (anyone from brides to people needing birthday party invitations). Sometimes, I’ll reach out to prospective shop owners and send samples, too. It just depends on the needs of the day.

9th Letter Press Store + Production Side

As a night owl, my creativity comes roaring to life some point after 11PM. I keep a notebook with me at all times, and I’ll jot down phrases that might make great cards. Most of the time, I’m designing something because there’s a need for it. This year we’ll be coming out with new bachelorette cards, which is a first for us. There is always something new to try. A new angle. A new way of saying something. I get so excited when I’ve stumbled onto a fresh take on a birthday card.

9th Letter Press Isabel Sketching

Once I get my idea, I’ll start drawing and lettering. I really prefer to only start designing once I have an idea in my head. Sessions that begin that way always fare better than when I’m “forcing” something into creation. I always design in black ink to ensure our style stays true to 9th Letter Press. Once I’ve scanned in the sketch, I’ll add color. But I’ve found starting with the same color/ink ensures I’m staying under our umbrella brand. If I started using watercolor, or gouache paint, etc., it wouldn’t feel like 9th Letter Press.

9th Letter Press Card Sketching

It used to be only me that saw the new design before it went to print – not so anymore. Over three years ago we started having a “line review” where the team, plus friends who I trust, come to the studio to discuss each new card. Over lunch, we’ll vote on each one. (You can imagine how nerve-wracking this is!) Only the cards that score high for everyone make it into our new releases for that quarter and ensures that all new cards have a shot at becoming bestsellers.

9th Letter Press Computer Sketch

With each line review, we also ruthlessly discontinue cards. If we don’t, our inventory turns into a scary beast — unmanageable and too expensive to keep up with. I always look at a report that tells me what cards haven’t sold well in the last year, and no matter how much I personally love it, the card is transferred onto our discontinued list. I used to get sad about this, but in the end pruning our inventory has meant keeping only the cards that continue to pull in business.

9th Letter Press Card

Once we’ve landed on the winning designs, I’ll turn around and make sure the files for the letterpress cards are ready to be turned into plates. We locally outsource the foil printing, so that basically means the same thing except I’m doing press checks at their facility instead of in house.

My favorite day is seeing the finished card, all shiny and new, and come to life from my sketchbook. Then I usually say a prayer that it’s well-received and finds a home in a cute mom and pop shop somewhere in the country. 😉

9th Letter Press Isabel

All photos by Soo Peterson Photography and Isabel Davis.

Want to be featured? Reach out to Megan at megan[at]ohsobeautifulpaper.com for details.