NSS 2011: Double Bravo

The Year We Said I Do cards by Double Bravo were one of the cutest things I saw at NSS this year…designer Barbara Buenz has designs for NYC, San Francisco, London, Portland, Chicago and Los Angeles…its the perfect card and memento to give to newlyweds!

[images from Double Bravo]

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NSS 2011: Eggpress cards

I’m such a huge fan of Eggpress that I nearly jumped for joy at seeing some of their new products…the patterns and colors are just so fun!

These cards have punch out shapes for you to make your own jewelry!  Great as a thank you to your bridesmaids or flower girls.

The new collaboration with Angela Adams brings a whole new dimension of pattern to an already exceptional line.

[images from Eggpress]

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Studio tour: Papél New York

Name: Raegan Hirvela
Location: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Company: Papél New York

What do you do? Papél New York is a Brooklyn based modern paperie catering to the urban chic family in search of what is not easily found. We provide an intimate selection of eco-friendly social stationery, greeting cards, and customizable invitations & announcements.

What is your aesthetic? I always had a vision of the shop aesthetic having a classic concept with a modern edge.   From our store fixtures and window displays to the products we carry, I look for items and ideas that are timeless.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Although the music is fun, the cards on the shelves get more than just a giggle, and Francesca my daughter is constant amusement for the customers, but when it comes to collaborating with a client, it’s all business.  We have a dedicated space in the back of the shop where the bride & groom can sit down, relax and flip through our edited selection of wedding vendors.  We created this space so that it was secluded enough for client meetings, while un-obstructing the flow of the store.   It allows first time customers a sneak peak into the customized world of stationery and invitations that we offer.  We achieved this with our room divider made of reclaimed coffee tables that I picked up at thrift shops and the Salvation Army across the city.  It is simply awesome!

Favorite part of your studio? Without a doubt, my favorite part of the shop would have to be our newest addition, my 5 month old daughter Francesca.  Here at Papél, bring your daughter to work day is almost everyday for me!  She is a tough boss and sets high expectations for us. Don’t be fooled by her slight of smile or charismatic kick of the socks, she means business when at the shop.  Oh, and our paper airplane installation on the ceiling is also whimsical and eye catching!

Where do you go for inspiration? I get a lot of my inspiration from the neighborhood.  If something catches my eye, I try to track it down, or find a vendor that offers that concept I am looking for.  I find that flea markets and craft fairs are hidden gems for potential new vendors.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? That would have to be my Point of Sale system.  It is a super intuitive system and is built specifically for Mac.  So it offers a very “sexy” feel at checkout; well, as sexy as software could possibly be.  I don’t mean to geek out, but it not only functions as our POS system, but it fully integrates my inventory and sales and streamlines work flows.  It also allows me to give prospective clients an itemized quote for their invitations or announcements.  I take great care in pulling these detailed quotes together and find that my clients really appreciate that.  I believe that putting a lot of time into these customized quotes allows my clients to have a transparent and easy to understand view of what to expect from a design and price point perspective.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? One of my biggest goals right now is to get my website up and running.  I have been working with a designer to configure my webstore with the POS system.  The idea is to make the site easy to navigate but also to highlight our highly edited selection of products and services while keeping the feel of who we are.

Anything else we should know? We are a real multi-generational shop and you will often be greeted by my Dad, my amazing daughter Francesca or even Parker, the most rugged and tough poodle you will ever meet.  After much convincing, my Dad decided to throw his gloves in from retirement and help renovate and now man the shop with me.  Do not be surprised if you see him behind the counter offering our customers dried apricots or animal crackers.  He is a real charmer!

[images from Papél New York]

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Studio tour: Milkfed Press

milkfed sign

Name: Victoria Heifner
Location: Oakland, CA
Company: Milkfed Press

What is your aesthetic: “Ye Olde Chic” [ha ha].

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic?: For starters, I  think that the equipment I use is so beautiful. I consider myself to be more of a craftsperson than an artist, and I try and utilize all of the things in my studio. All of the vintage cuts, the wood type, my linoleum cuts—it’s all part of my working process.
The studio itself was a grocery store long ago, and I still have some of the original pieces from then. The Wonderbread counter, the baskets where I keep my cards are all recycled. Sort of like my (once obsolete) equipment; I like to give things new purpose, new life.
I like to think that this is conveyed in my design and working process, too.

Favorite part of your studio?: First choice is on-press. Another little detail that I love, is my transom window. Sounds silly, but I have a long stick with a hook on it (what is the official word for this?) that I use to open it. It’s the same way we used to open the windows in elementary school, and it makes me smile every single time. I am a bit of a princess in this space–it’s quite large and I am the only one who works here. I love that.

Where do you go for inspiration? : The grocery store and the library. I am a nut for interesting or foreign packaging. Funny that I work in a reclaimed grocery store and yes, I used to work at a library.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? : My printing presses!

Is there anything you’d upgrade to?: For a few years I was considering the larger, more production-oriented Windmill press. I’ve decided that the slower, hand-fed methods that I use, while more time-consuming, suit me just fine. I like the quality I can produce and each piece really becomes a work of art.

Anything else we should know?: Thanks for letting me share my space with you! The funny thing is that a majority of my of my clients live out of the Bay area, so never come in to my space itself. While I am in love with all-things old, I am grateful for the technology which lets me create and work with people all over the country. xo Victoria


This beautiful press is dated 1871. It originally came with a treadle (like the treadle sewing machines) for the power, but at some point, someone put a motor on it. It’s a beautiful piece of equipment and I love just it!



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Studio tour: Moontree Letterpress

moontree studio 1

Name: Rebecca Kutys
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Company: Moontree Letterpress

What is your aesthetic? Simple graphics, muted colors, lots of white space.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I believe that keeping the studio clean and organized makes me much more productive.  As soon as I get messy or cluttered I slow down.  I think my design reflects this too, less is more.

Favorite part of your studio? My favorite thing about the studio are my studiomates:  Breck (of Sesame Letterpress) and her full-time employee Amanda.  We get along so well, with the perfect mix of hard work, NPR and laughter.  I’d go crazy if I had to work alone…

Where do you go for inspiration? I go outside.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My ruler, guillotine cutter, my press (of course), Quickbooks, iphone, Pandora, Adobe Illustrator, UPS, Pantone Book of Colors

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? Anything computer-related, probably nothing press-related.

Anything else we should know? I can’t believe how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing.  Owning a business is so challenging, but it’s also the adventure of a lifetime.  Thanks for checking out my studio!  🙂

moontree studio 2

moontree studio 3


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