Margie + Morgen’s Art Deco-Inspired Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Kathryn from Blackbird Letterpress created these gorgeous Art Deco-inspired invitations for her cousin’s wedding this summer, and I’ve been waiting (very patiently) to feature them ever since Kathryn sent over the corresponding save the dates back in May.  Inspired by the wedding venue, the Queen Mary, these invitations feature stunning calligraphy from Betsy Dunlap, Kathryn’s beautiful illustrations and patterns, and fun die cut elements – all in a sea green and coral invitation suite.

From Kathryn: Margie and Morgen are both amazingly talented.  Morgen has an interdisciplinary firm specializing in architecture and technology, while Margie is an architect and the co-creator of Larks & Japes.  Since the wedding was to be on the Queen Mary, we developed the style referencing the era of the 1930s, inspired by Art Deco architecture and jazz.  Margie loved the wave pattern from the save the dates, so I drew it again here to become a sea green ocean.  A small image of the ship in silhouette continue throughout the suite and other pieces.

We commissioned Betsy Dunlap to letter the names and other calligraphy elements.  The typeface used for the main text is Verlag, which is very close to what was used on the Queen Mary’s original menu.

The die cut idea came up when we both wanted an small element of surprise.  Instead of using an enclosure folder or inner envelope, we agreed on a folded card with cut outs showing just a peek of the ship and invitation text.  Cruise ships of the time period are known for their telegraphic communication, but since this was to be mailed, Morgen suggested using “Postalgram.”  It gives reference to the old form of communication but with our own twist.

The rehearsal dinner was held at an old theater in Long Beach, California.  An old movie was shown along with a casual dinner.  Since the wedding was a destination wedding, the dinner invitation needed to be included with the invitation mailing.  Printed in coral, the stylized waves were brought back along with a bit of Betsy’s calligraphy.  Margie found these fantastic “crown” tickets that we incorporated into the design.  Thank you cards were designed by Betsy with her signature ribbon illustration.

I couldn’t get enough of the ship images and wave pattern, so for wedding favors, I formatted the illustrations to fit on round 4″ coasters, with two different designs.  The coasters were wrapped in sets of 6 (3 of each design) with orange and white baker’s twine and placed at each place setting at the reception.  My mom and aunt threw a bridal luncheon the day before the wedding and commissioned me to print a favor for that, so the ship and waves were again printed, here on Moleskines with squared/grid pages in honor of Margie and Morgen’s architecture background.

The escort card tags were letterpress printed and numbered on kraft paper tags with waves printed in coral at the bottom, a reinforced kraft circle around the hole, and tied with orange and white baker’s twine.  Morgen graciously volunteered to type everyone’s name and hometown with his vintage Underwood typewriter.

Thank you so much Kathryn!

Design and Printing: Blackbird Letterpress

Calligraphy: Betsy Dunlap

Blackbird Letterpress 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: Ben Christensen Photography

  1. I love the vinatge feel of the ship illustrations. And the colors are just gorgeous!

    ~Cassy @

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