Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hot off the Letterpress

Growing up, if you had asked me what my dream job was, I would have told you that it would be to have my own stationery store and design cards all day long.  A couple of years ago while browsing the merchant stands of Unique L.A., I happened to mention this in passing at the Dee & Lala paper goods shop, where the kind sales associate (perhaps one of the owners, unbeknownst to me) told me that their studio offered letterpress classes.  I don't know why it took me so long to sign up, or how I even remembered this recently, but friends - I have finally taken the class, and it. was. awesome.

{my freestyle text design}
I arrived at Lala Press in Silver Lake and was greeted by Mable, the owner and class instructor.  Although the class sizes can range up to six people, my class was just another paper lover and me, which meant that Mable got to spend a little more instruction time with each of us.  She led us through each step of the production process, from selecting our paint color from the Pantone color wheel (so many choices!), mixing the paint color ourselves, and applying the paint to the press, to running the card stock through the press one sheet at a time and literally cranking out our designs.

The class included making 25 folded note cards from a combination of one of Dee & Lala's "Thank You" card templates, and a typography design of our own.  I chose to make five thank-you cards and 20 personalized note cards, and mixed a fun coral color to apply to my design.  You can never go wrong with custom, right?

As expected, I found the production process to be very interesting, and was grateful to experience first-hand each of its elements.  What I'm most excited about is that now that I've successfully completed the class, I can rent press time from Miss Mable for future projects.  Who knows; maybe I'll have a future in paper after all!

{the Vandercook press with our first color and plate}
{first round, first color}
{color switch and finished card}
{custom folded cards}

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