Tuesday

Real Card Studio exhibiting at National Stationery Show 2014

Thrilled to announce that Real Card Studio will be back at NSS this year! We have not exhibited at the National Stationery Show since 2008, and every year we've really missed it. So why this year? I'll tell you why: we have a spectacular new offering for in-house print capabilities: engraving!

More info to follow, we are working furiously to have as many new samples ready for the show as we can. Stay tuned!  And hopefully we'll see you (stationery store buyers) in New York!

Friday

Love Boldly, Valentine!

Love Boldly Valentine by Real Card Studio
Split fountain letterpress printing in neon yellow and neon pink on Reich Savoy 118# cotton. Designed by Real Card Studio.
I didn't quite get to sending out Christmas cards this year, but I think I've made up for it today. I've been trying to find the right project to try out a "split fountain". Split fountain means instead of putting just one ink color on press, you split the fountain and put two colors on at once and let them run together in the middle. Pick the right colors, and you get a beautiful ombré gradation like the one we did here.

We dropped in the personalization in gold foil at the bottom (and I used these for work, personal and Union Street Papery mailed out to their version to all of their valentines!)

Love boldly, my friends. Have a happy Valentine's day.

Valentine designed by Real Card Studio. Photographed by Fresh Outtakes. (See Kim's post about receiving this valentine in the mail here!)

Find what you love.

 

(This is what I wanted to do for my Valentine... but feedback was that it might be a tad dark.)

My dear,
Find what you love and let it kill you.
Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness.
Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.

~ Falsely yours

Charles Bukowski. (Or was it?)

Custom Illustrated Bride and Groom Save the Date Card

Custom bride and groom illustration save the date by Real Card Studio. Illustration by Juli Douglas Illustration.
Custom illustrated bride and groom personalize these save the date cards

Save the Date card by Real Card Studio
Isn't this the sweetest bride and groom you've ever seen? And doesn't it just make it THAT MUCH COOLER that it was custom illustrated to reflect the attire to be worn by the couple at their wedding? I've been fascinated by the color and comparative drama of South Asian / Indian weddings for several years now. South Asian Bride magazine, and let's be honest, "Monsoon Wedding" movie (and Bollywood in general) have a lot to do with my piqued interest.

Not involved in a Hindu wedding? You may not be wearing vibrant red or pink to your wedding, but you can still have a custom illustrated save the date or even program, like this one we've blogged about here: illustrated wedding party program. Juli Douglas Illustration works magic with your wardrobe images, simplifying and personifying at the same time.

Real Card Studio created this custom illustrated save the date for Magnificent Milestones in Chicago. Illustration by Juli Douglas Illustration. Photography by Fresh Outtakes.

Wednesday

Classic Country Club Wedding Invitations

Traditional Jewish wedding invitation by Real Card Studio
Classic cotton invitation letterpress printed in two colors + blind impression monogram

Wedding insert cards by Real Card Studio
Wedding weekend accommodations, events and response cards
Response set by Real Card Studio
Opal metallic envelope offsets the matte texture of heavy cotton cards

Classic wedding invitation with Hebrew by Real Card Studio

Some venues and celebrations call for the utmost in classic elegance when it comes to invitations. It's tempting to go with something trendy for your invitations, when there are just so many fun designs available now. But your invitation's job is to give your guests clues to what to expect. A busy hot pink chevron patterned invitation would not give your guests the right information for a traditional wedding at the Princess Anne Country Club.

But just because you're going traditional, doesn't mean it has to be boring. This elegant invitation is personal, warm AND traditional. The blind impression monogram did not show up well in the photos, but on 220# cotton paper, the guests receiving these invitations definitely experienced it. The warm wheat and grey inks gave a more subtle and natural treatment of traditional copperplate gothic type, that was exceptionally inviting.

Real Card Studio created these elegant invitations for RSVP Stationery at their new location in Virginia Beach. Photography by Fresh Outtakes.

Tuesday

Just About That Action, Boss


I have to confess: I'm a fair-weather football fan. I couldn't be bothered with it for most of the season, I finally watched the last 5 minutes of the Seahawks vs. 49ers game, and then the Super Bowl. (They kind of made that whole business look pretty easy.) We've had a great year, and the Seahawk fans are, well, total fanatics. It's been contagious. And the team this year is just so interesting. Great guys, great personalities.

So I admit, I've caught the fever and hopped on the band wagon. Call it what you will, I'm not ashamed. And as a lover-of-a-good-quote, our own Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch gave such a catchy one in his brief interview that I've been repeating to myself all day. (And I'm not the only one, it's been remixed too.) So here's my homage to the Seattle Seahawks. Because I, too, am all about that action, boss.

Wednesday

Morning Crossword Puzzle Theme for a Brunch Wedding Reception

Modern rustic kraft, black and red invitation by Real Card Studio
Modern rustic invitation on kraft with black and red with ikat native diamond patterned envelope liner.

Kraft with black grosgrain placecards by Real Card Studio
Kraft placecards with black grosgrain bows topped mini stacks of pancakes at each seat.

Crossword puzzle themed table signs for wedding breakfast reception by Real Card Studio
Crossword puzzle table signs with table numbers spelled out in red on grocery bag kraft paper.


Crossword themed invitation and seating cards by Real Card Studio
Crossword puzzle themed kraft, black and red invitations, table signs and place cards by Real Card Studio.
Crossword themed invitation and seating cards by Real Card Studio
Crossword puzzle themed invitations and table signs for a breakfast wedding reception and Bloody Mary bar.
Seattle Met Bride & Groom magazine

Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom "Day Into Night" featuring table cards by Real Card Studio
Axis Pioneer Square venue in Seattle hosted Seattle Met Bride & Groom magazine's "Day Into Night" feature, with invitations and table signage by Real Card Studio

Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom "Day Into Night" featuring table cards by Real Card Studio
Custom crossword puzzles and puzzle themed table signs at a breakfast wedding reception and bloody mary bar.
Sometimes, the things I become most obsessed with I first resisted. (Don't tell my husband I just admitted that.) So when I started working on the paper pieces for Seattle Met Bride & Groom's magazine feature "Night Into Day" with Carna Lapping, Very Important Events, it took longer for me to embrace Editorial Director Laura Cassidy's vision for a morning crossword puzzle theme than I care to admit. I adored the burlap bags-as-table-runners and the antique coffee cans for the floral centerpieces... I wanted to work with every element of this styled photo shoot but the crossword puzzle. Once I yielded, the result was captivating. Typical.

Kraft and burlap seemed natural choices for the texture and paper for this wedding brunch reception's invitations and table cards. Taking cues from the screen printed coffee bean bags for the invitation design, Real Card Studio used bold black typesetting offset with red for drama and to tie in the prominent Bloody Mary bar. Table signs were filled-in crossword puzzles spelling out the table number across or down. Placecards attached to toothpicks and tied with tidy black grosgrain bows accented a small stack of mini pancakes at each plate. Each plate had a real crossword puzzle with pencils for guests to work out answers to questions about the newlywed couple. And the highlight of any brunch – caterer Lisa Dupar's Bloody Mary Bar, with it's own crossword puzzle sign on burlap textured background.

Real Card Studio created invitations, place cards, crossword puzzles and a Bloody Mary bar sign for the "Day Into Night" feature in Seattle Met Bride & Groom magazine's Winter/Spring 2014 issue. Magazine photography by Dennis Wise. Portfolio photography by Fresh Outtakes. Venue, Axis Pioneer Square. For more credits, see the magazine image above.

Chef Themed 50th Birthday Party Invitations

50th birthday party invitation by Real Card Studio
Copper foil printed 50th birthday party invitation by Real Card Studio for Blacker and Kooby Stationers.
For this foodie's 50th birthday party, an epicurean chic event was the special of the day. Real Card Studio created this ecru and copper foil (because what other color could we do for the big chef's pot?) warm and urban invitation for Blacker and Kooby in New York City.

Tuesday

Amore Custom Valentine's Day Card

Custom gold foil and duplexed Valentine by Real Card Studio

Custom gold foil and duplexed Valentine by Real Card Studio





















Sending Christmas cards is a fun, seasonal tradition. A new trend that is gaining in popularity is to send custom Valentine's to all your friends and family, too. (Or if you didn't quite get to the holiday cards this past year, Valentine cards are a great way to make it up to everyone.)

Lauren, owner at Rock Paper Scissors, designed this delicious Valentine for her client. It looks like an expensive box of chocolates! Real Card Studio custom duplexed the card, so the front is red and the backside is metallic gold, with matte gold foil printing. We heart this!

Real Card Studio created this custom Valentine card for Rock Paper Scissors in Franklin, TN. Photos by Fresh Outtakes.

Saturday

Modern and Elegant Wedding Invitation with Edge Paint and Letterpress Printing


Duplexed, Beveled and Edge Painted Wedding Invitation by Real Card Studio
 Heavy card with charcoal gray beveled edge by Real Card Studio
Traditional wedding invitation suite by Real Card Studio
Add caption

Hand addressed envelopes by Matthew Sherman Calligraphy


Traditional response card wording for a wedding by Real Card Studio


Letterpress printed monogram wedding stationery by Real Card Studio
Petite trifold wedding program by Real Card Studio
Petite trifold wedding program with map of Seattle by Real Card Studio
This is a beautiful wedding stationery suite for an elegant wedding ceremony at Benaroya Hall with reception at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle. (Fun fact: Chihuly's glass art assembly studio is just across the street from Real Card Studio.) Traditional heavy cotton invitation with letterpress printing in charcoal ink is made modern with the addition of a charcoal duplexed backer that we beveled and edge painted in matching gray ink.

The beautiful natural white cotton envelopes were lined in cement grey to match the backer, and of course the couple had a calligrapher hand address them to their guests.

For the day of the ceremony, the grooms chose petite trifold programs in a size that neatly fit into a formal jacket's breast pocket, and included a map of the area for their out of town guests.

And no formal wedding ensemble is complete without matching luxurious cotton personal stationery to make writing those gracious thank you notes a treat rather than a chore.

Real Card Studio created this elegant wedding invitation, program and stationery for Charlie and Kevin. Envelopes addressed by Matthew Sherman Calligraphy.

Wednesday

Pink and Navy Arrow Monogram Wedding Invitations

Monogram wedding invitation ensemble by Real Card Studio
Trendy-chic monogram with a heart for the wedding day, and the couples' new H monogram for their stationery.
Monogram wedding invitation by Real Card Studio

Thank you to our family and friends Favor Card by Real Card Studio
Finally getting to use the new monogram with their last name initial at the wedding reception
Thank you to our family and friends Favor Card by Real Card Studio
To our family and friends, thank you for being our support system, our encouragement, our partners in crime...

Pink and navy monogram wedding program by Real Card Studio
Wedding program by Real Card Studio
Silhouette wedding party program by Real Card Studio
Silhouette wedding party program by Real Card Studio
Bridal portrait photographed by Azzura Photography

If you follow our blog, this invitation may look familiar, because we featured this couple's save the date earlier this year.

I love when we get to do all the pieces for an event from start to finish, as it really makes for a very coordinated event. And the pieces get easier and easier to design, as many of the tough decisions made at the beginning carry through to the end. After you've fussed about the colors and paper, those decisions are already made for the next round. Not that this bride had any trouble making decisions. As an event producer for a technology product group, she didn't waste any time choosing and approving the designs. And I have to say, there's not a piece in the bunch that would have been improved by more contemplation. It's pink and navy perfection throughout. And I've been dying to share the series of three monograms we designed for Lauren and Chuck.

I'm a stickler for proper monogram etiquette. The rule I see people break most often is using a three letter monogram with the groom's last name initial (without the bride's) on the save the date, wedding invitation or program pieces. (Even when the bride and groom have the same initial... showing just one implies it's his). Technically, that monogram should not be used until they are actually married. (Read more about monogram etiquette.) So for this couple, I came up with three monograms that they would change as the engagement and wedding progressed. A diamond icon for their engagement, a heart for the wedding, and finally their shared name initial for the reception menu, stationery and into perpetuity. Cute, right?

And of course, the ever-popular silhouette wedding party program, using illustrations created by Heather McGrath Design. Silhouettes have been oh-so popular. For good reason too-- guests really relate to the diagram, it helps them see who is who.

This couple also wanted to be gracious and thank their family and friends for sharing the happiest day of their lives. Using the colors and design elements we already had in place, we recreated a trend-worthy thank you note that was placed at each plate. To contrast with the white table linens, we went with a navy blue card and white with a pop of hot pink to show off the newest monogram in the series.

A sweet ensemble for a very sweet couple.

Real Card Studio custom designed this wedding stationery suite for digital printing. Portfolio photos by Fresh Outtakes. Wedding photography by Azzura Photography.

Thursday

Rustic State Map Location Love Wedding Invitations on Wood

State Map Wedding Invitation on Wood by Real Card Studio
Location love wedding invitation with plum letterpress on cherry wood card.

State Map Wedding Invitation on Wood by Real Card Studio
Map of Washington State with a heart over the ceremony location and bride's hometown of Spokane.
State Map Wedding Invitation on Wood by Real Card Studio
Playful wording for the response card yielded fun comments from guests.
State Map Wedding Invitation on Wood by Real Card Studio
Custom map of the wedding venue and vicinity with directions and accommodations information on the reverse.

There is a lot to love about this invitation. The wood, of course. Real Card Studio's wood cards are letterpress printed on rustic cherry wood veneer with a heavy kraft paper backer. The gorgeous wood-grain pattern makes each invitation uniquely beautiful.

But I think my favorite detail on this invitation is, what I've been calling, the location love. Since this bride was from Spokane, but about to move away after the wedding, she was already becoming nostalgic for the image of her beloved Washington state. (And here's a like-minded wedding gift: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/48765608438941601/).

More of what I love about this rustic wedding invitation is the custom map. Even though it was mostly a grid, we added interest with simple icons to designate the Mirabeau Park Hotel, the backyard outdoor ceremony location, notable parks and of course interstate and compass map details. (A hand-drawn map would be nice for a Napa winery or wine country wedding, printed on wood of course.)

This invitation will be part of Real Card Studio's Wedding Collection album soon. The invitation featured here is letterpress printed in plum purple eggplant ink.

Wednesday

Sweet Sixteen Party Invitation in Teal, Black and White

Sweet Sixteen party invitation by Real Card Studio
Tag on the front cover with date and birthday girl's name is accented in teal.

Sweet Sixteen party invitation by Real Card Studio
Tri-fold opens to reveal party info and the guest of honor's pretty name.
Turning 16 is a big deal. When you've planned the perfect movie-worthy party, Real Card Studio's "Sidecar" invitation will set the tone. Shown here in black and teal, this design lends itself well to changing it up.

 Real Card Studio created this fantastic Sweet Sixteen party invitation for Little Black Dress Paperie in Bernardsville, New Jersey.


Modern Square Wedding Invitation in Black, Gray with a Pop of Hot Pink

Modern Wedding Invitation by Real Card Studio
Bold typesetting letterpress printed in black ink on bright white card stock.

Modern Wedding Invitation by Real Card Studio
Insert cards on white with pop of color for the direction card.
If traditional wedding invitations in Ecru and script are not your cup of tea, sip on this: bold black all caps type with black, gray with a bright pop of hot pink, for a modern wedding at the Allerton Hotel in Chicago.

This oversized pocket folder in black features the wedding date in bold numerals, in lieu of a more traditional monogram, on the front cover tag layered in metallic dark gray. Inside, the invitation is mounted with a repeated layer of gray, and peeking out of the pocket you'll find the direction card on dark magenta pink. Nothing makes me happier than the restraint of having just one item in a different color; it makes a statement that is at once both bold and simple.

Real Card Studio created this modern wedding invitation for Magnificent Milestones in Chicago.

Tuesday

Extra Large Wedding Invitation with Letterpress Printing on Coaster Paper

Extra special celebrations deserve extra-large announcements.  This 8.5x11" wedding invitation is letterpress printed in a custom bronze ink mixed to match the large over-sized metallic envelope liner. Classic Burgues Script is perfect for a traditional church ceremony.

Real Card Studio created this elegant wedding invitation for Signed and Sealed by Steph in Denver, Colorado.

Oversized Wedding Invitation by Real Card Studio
Oversized Wedding Invitation with Bronze Envelope Liner

Wedding Invitation by Real Card Studio
Custom Bronze Metallic Ink



Oversized Wedding Invitation by Real Card Studio
Letter-Size Wedding Invitation

Monday

Northwest Kiana Lodge Wedding Invitation on Wood Card

Wedding invitation on wood card by Real Card Studio
Monogram invitation wood card letterpressed in brown and chartreuse with pocket backer

Wedding invitation on wood card by Real Card Studio
Bollywood themed rehearsal dinner and traditional farewell wedding brunch

Wedding invitation on wood card by Real Card Studio
Response card with vegetarian entrée selections and multiple events
Nothing says outdoor wedding in the Northwest than a cherry wood card with letterpress printing in woodsy brown and bright mossy green. But you don't have to be getting married at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, Washington to appreciate the natural beauty of this wedding invitation by Real Card Studio.

But just because the invitation is made from natural materials, the typesetting doesn't have to be crunchy; we love the fresh surprise of clean modern type layout on this non-traditional Indian-Western marriage celebration.

Real Card Studio partnered with Paper Passionista to create this rustic modern wedding invitation ensemble. See our last collaboration on wood here.