Thursday, April 30, 2009

Letterpress wedding invitations for how much?

We're honored to be a contributor for Paper Shop Ink! Thank you Candis for inviting us to be a part of your blog. We've been big fans of your blog for a long time.

9SpotMonk has been selected to contribute every Thursday on everything letterpress, everything cool to Paper Shop Ink.

Below is our first post about doing letterpress invitations on a budget, we hope you enjoy it!

This is my first post with Paper Shop Ink. Very exciting! It feels like a first date, not sure what to say and not sure what to show. At the 9SpotMonk Studio, we're busy working on a new eco friendly custom wedding album, launching in May. We're focusing on themes that are more nature based (naturally) and trying to bring that smell of the first day of Spring on to paper. So with that said our first post will focus on that theme.

A second theme for this post - price. We've been doing letterpress invitations for some time now with pricing all over the spectrum but have noticed in the past year brides and grooms looking for still beautiful invitations but have been more budget conscious. There are many ways to keep within your budget and still bring the wow effect to announce your wedding day. Doing 1 colour instead of two colours, printing 2 colours on the invite but staying with one colour for the rest of the pieces - response, reception, thank yous, etc. Size can also be a determining factor as well. A smaller invitation still can pack a punch, both on the receiver and the wallet. Don't forget, a smaller invitation will need less postage as well.

Call on your local stationery stores that carry custom designs. Sales staff are always happy to work with you to bring your idea to paper and meet your budget needs. Call on your local letterpress stationers. Many of these studios are run by the owners/designers themselves. They are the champions of assisting you bringing your wedding theme into paper. They know first hand paper selections, envelope choices, all things to help you again - keeping within your budget.

Etsy! Etsy is a great resource if you cannot find a local printer/designer to meet your needs. Everyone I have ever spoken to who has a shop there is helpful and knowledgeable on their craft.

This week I'm highlighting some spring themed invites, all letterpress printed from small studios. The goal is to find a set of 100 invites and response cards for around $1000. Let's see how well we do...

This beautiful very simple and modern invitation comes from our friends at Bella Figura. A 5 by 7 inch size, it is one of my favorites.

For our package -
100 2 colour invitations 5 by 7 size
100 1 colour invite envelopes
100 1 colour response cards
100 1 colour response envelopes

They offer free 2 day shipping, this is definitely a perk. Shipping for 100 sets can get very costly with Fedex Ground getting to upwards of $50 (depending on how many pieces are ordered).

If I wanted to cut costs down on this suite even more, I'd opt for a one colour invitation. That would bring my price down to $930, which is under my $1000 budget.

To see this suite, visit Bella Figura

From Hello Lucky, this smaller rectangular invitation has a great balance of artwork to text ratio. What do I mean by this? Well, sometimes the text can overpower the artwork and vice versa. But I love how the beautifully laid out leaves, swashes and the little perched canary work all together.

For our package -
100 1 colour invitations 7 by 4.125 size
100 1 colour invite envelopes
100 1 colour response cards
100 1 colour response envelopes

Hello Lucky also free ground shipping!

Have a little more to spend? Get your printed envelopes sent ahead for an additional charge of $40. Make sure you have plenty of time to address those envelopes. Remember you friend who does calligraphy on the side? It's time to call in a favor.

To see this suite, visit Hello Lucky

I heart Inky Lips Press! Casey McGarr runs a design and printing studio in McKinney, Texas. His work to me, is the ultimate letterpress inspiration. Old school linoleum cutting and letterpress printing paired with modern graphic design, to us, it's a pretty cool match. Inky Lips is known for their letterpress posters. Check out the amazing linoleum carvings done by Casey himself.

I like the use of type in this wedding invitation, it's uber creative and brides and grooms, it takes a lot of time and patience to get those tree branches just right.

For our package -
100 1 colour invitations 5 by 7 size
100 1 colour invite envelopes
100 1 colour response postcards

We opted for a 1 colour invitation on this one. Two colour brought it up $88.00. For an additional colour without adding printing cost, think about doing a coloured envelope for this one. The set will have a 2 colour feel with a 1 colour pricing. How can you be eco friendly on this set? Response postcards! No envelope needed, you save on costs and save a few trees.

To see this suite, visit Inky Lips Press. They are super friendly and experienced, we love working with Casey.


Sometimes you need minimalism. There's not a lot of minimalism in weddings these days but for those who opt for a clean line, check out Bird on a Branch from Pistachio Press. We found Rachel's work on Etsy, on our quest for the budget invitation.

I like the clean lines this invitation offers. It's simple, evokes a feeling of spring and would be perfect for just about any spring wedding. She uses Crane Lettra stock, which is 100% cotton so it's uber eco friendly.

For our package -
100 2 colour invitations 5 by 7 size
100 1 colour invite envelopes
100 1 colour response cards
100 1 colour response envelopes

Pricing on Pistachio Press' Etsy page says 'pricing generally starts at $700'. I am assuming that what she shows in the photo is what you'll be paying for in regards to number of colours on the invite, response, etc.

To see this suite, visit the Pistachio Press Etsy site.

Thanks for reading my first post on PaperShopInk and thanks to Candis for inviting me to be a contributor to her great site. I am already busy working on next week's post.

Have a great week! - Vivian

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Custom Social Invitations

We were cleaning out the studio last week and found 5 huge boxes of printed samples from past clients. Some are pretty cool and some are better off never being printed in the first place. But they're all here. So we picked some oldie but goodies and will be posting them here and there in the upcoming weeks.

This birth announcement was actually my first paid letterpress job. The announcements were for one of our good friends, their first child (a boy) and wanted to announce the news in style. Parents decorated their little one's room with a space theme and thought it would be appropriate to do a space theme announcement as well.

One of our earlier clients back when we were still in Hoboken... We designed and printed Kristine and Bill's wedding invitations (which I will post up soon) and they returned to us for announcements and matching thank you cards for their little girl.

Navy blue bar mitzvah invite with custom folder, Inside has a pocket to house all the additional pieces - response, reception, directions, etc.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Asian Inspired Civil Ceremony Custom Invitation

This invitation is one of our favorites. My father wrote the Chinese calligraphy that is blind debossed in the background (the calligraphy is of the couple's names in Chinese). This is an invitation for a civil ceremony reception. The couple, based in Japan, had their ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand and their reception and renewal of vows in the US. We worked with the couple on this invite mostly via email after one initial meeting in NYC.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A thank you curtsy to fellow bloggers

Thank you! Chic & Chivalrious for featuring our mini notebooks on your blog. They do make great wedding favors! They're eco friendly and can also be customized... we can think of a few words we could add too...

Thank you to Poppytalk for featuring our new Recession Letterpress line on your blog, we heart Poppytalk!

Thank you Tina, from Swiss Miss for featuring us in your blog.

To see the full post, please see

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DIY: Neat Tarp Tote and Give Away

We made these cute tarp bags to give away at one of our trade shows last year. Giving bags away, whether they be paper or fabric are common place these days. We put our brainstorming cells together to create a cute bag that once was done in it's life of holding catalogues and business cards at a trade show to be able to be used for something else. I wanted the bag to be big enough for most hand outs at the show but small enough so it's not overwhelming. Nothing is more annoying (to me anyway) than 500 people holding a ginormous unsightly bag.

So, we came up with this little tote made out of tarp, yes the same stuff people use to cover their roofs in a pinch when it's leaking or cover the back of their pickup trucks when it's raining. I initially thought there was only that electric blue (not so nice) or black (nice but wanted something that popped and get noticed at the show). We couldn't believe the amount of colours tarp came in, so we picked our signature colour - orange.

The tote dimensions are 12 by 14 inches, have grosgrain ribbon for handles, and we letterpressed the label on chipboard and sewed everything together.

We got some really great responses from buyers who got the bags and realized the bag can be reused as
- lunch bag
- school bag (for pre school kids)
- dance bag (ballet slippers)
- hand bag
- and in a pinch can be used as a rain hat

Let's do a give away....

Share your ideas, what would you use the tote for? Best idea emailed to us by Tuesday, April 7th will receive a free tote. Email answers to hello at 9spotmonk dot com

Good luck!