mnfx business cards


If you don't know about Rotor, you'll have to check out their web site. They are a wonderfully creative bunch and we were honored to print this business card for their client, mnfx. And mnfx is pretty awesome in their own right. Some of the projects they've done you will definitely recognize, and it makes you think really hard about how they did it.

mnfx Business Cards
Design: Rotor
Paper: 220# and 110# Crane Lettra in Fluorescent White
Ink: Custom Red
Quantity: 750+
Size: 3.5" x 1.75" approx.
Notes: I think we would print on 220# Lettra every day of the week if we could convince all of our clients to use it at least once. This design called for heavy coverage on the back of the cards and then just a deep impression of their logo on the front of the cards. After printing, they were die cut with a custom die. A label printed at Rotor customized for each mnfx staff member was the finishing touch.

Retailer Spotlight: Jenny's Paper, Ink in Atlanta




Tell us a little about your store/location.

Jenny's Paper, Ink. is a design studio/showroom located in the Brookhaven area of Atlanta. We specialize in invitations and gifts. We focus on designing and creating the perfect invitation for our customer's special event.

How did you get started in stationery?
I needed a job when I graduated college and there was a position at a local stationery store. I had no experience, but I was always good in sales so they hired me. It did not take long for me to fall in love with paper and all that came along with it. After 3 years I realized I wanted to do more of the design part and not just sales so I opened up my own invitation company!

What do you like most about working with your clients?
I love getting to be a part of the couple's big day! I enjoy helping them through the wedding process and providing them with the knowledge, creativity and experience I have with invitations. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a bride receive her wedding invitation and loving it!

What is your favorite paper and why?
My favorite paper would have to be Crane Lettra. I love a textured paper and my favorite printing process is letterpress which is perfect for printing on Lettra. It absorbs the ink perfectly and makes you just want to touch it! I love the colors it comes in and that they have a #220 weight. I also love the whole Arturo line, but I like to offset on it instead of letterpress.

What do you think is the most important piece of stationery (besides the wedding invitation) that a couple should consider?
The most important piece of stationery for a couple besides the wedding invitation is the save the date. I love save the dates and think every wedding should have them. They get your guests excited and they truly set the tone for the wedding weekend. With traveling being so difficult, a save the date is a stylish and courteous way to get friends and family thinking about travel plans and accommodations.

What do you offer that keeps your clients coming back to you for their stationery needs?
Jenny’s Paper, Ink provides outstanding customer service and only carries lines that deliver top of the line products and printing. We try to work with vendors who are not represented anywhere else in the southeast, giving us something truly unique. If a client does not find anything in our selected albums we provide complete custom designs specific to their needs. This is what keeps our clients coming back and referring us to their friends and family.

Notes from Spark
We just know that Jenny's clients must love her because we've had such an easy time working with her. Her passion for stationery is obvious and we're lucky to have her as one of our retailers. She's hasn't had our line for very long, but we've already done several orders for her including her new business cards (that will be printed on her favorite paper)!

Wedding Spotlight: Destination Weddings

Destination weddings are definitely a popular trend these days. Couples are tying the knot on tropical islands, in European villas or in the foothills of mountains – places that create magical moments amongst breathtaking scenery.

Creating wedding stationery for such an event takes a little more effort for couples, simply because there is more information to relay to invited guests. It is essential to set the tone and anticipation for the event by weaving the wedding stationery together to create a cohesive design style.

The following stationery pieces ought to be part of the destination wedding stationery suite (in addition to the invitation set).

  • Save-the-date. Please give invited guests ample time to make travel arrangements for a destination wedding. Save-the-dates are mailed at least 8 months to 1 year in advance of the event. Include travel and accommodation information as well as a list of all scheduled activities (date, time, location) during the wedding weekend.
  • Ceremony & Reception Program. Print a double-sided program, die cut into an interesting shape. We recently did a program in the shape of a scallop shell as the ceremony took place on the beach. Remember that this can be a keepsake for guests!
  • Place Cards, Table Cards & Menus. Keep with the design style to create these additional pieces that will make your reception memorable down to the last detail. We often die cut menu cards in the shape of a circle to fit nicely in the plate charger on the table.

Destination Hawaii



Wedding Stationery Suite:
4-piece invitation set, welcome cards, program and thank you note set.
Spark Retailer: Pulp & Ink, Chicago

The invitation panel and reply card is printed on Crane Lettra 220# cover paper in Fluorescent White. The design is based on our Meadowbrook invitation featured in the Spark Custom Album, except that the bubbles on our sample were substituted with sea turtles. Ink colors are navy and spring green. The A7 size envelope is lined with text weight navy paper to compliment the navy ink on the panels.



There are a set of five welcome cards that greet invited guests to the wedding weekend, recommend various activities on the island, map the airport and hotels and outline the scheduled date, time and location of the scheduled activities. The cards are printed on Crane Lettra 110# cover in Fluorescent White. Ink colors are blue and green (custom colors).



The program front and back cover is printed on Crane Lettra 110# cover in Fluorescent White. Inside pages are printed on Crane Lettra 80# text weight in Fluorescent white. Ink colors are navy and spring green. A double-faced satin ribbon in navy is tied bookmark style at the top to secure the pages. The program provides a detailed description of the Jewish wedding ceremony. Over nine plates were used to print the program on our Heidelberg Windmill press – this spent many hours on our press to complete!

The thank you cards are a flat, A2 size card with printed envelopes. Featured on Crane Lettra 110# cover in Fluorescent White. Ink colors are navy and spring green.

Many thanks to Colin at Pulp & Ink, Chicago, and to the groom who drew the wonderful sea turtles featured throughout the wedding suite. Let’s also not forget designer and artist, Cassie Medema, who created the Meadowbrook design featured in our custom album.

Conyers Design, Inc. Gift Tags


Each week I have a plethora of wonderful projects to review, both present and past, and for some reason I was thinking about these great little gift tags Conyers Design, Inc. (Des Moines, Iowa) had us print for them late last year. Maybe it is because of the major heat waves we’ve been experiencing, and I was just trying to remind myself of cooler weather. This was our first project for Conyers Design, and I remember the phone call from them after they received the shipment from us. They called just to say “woo-hoo” (or something to that effect). It’s always a great feeling when you make a client happy just by doing your job well.


Conyers Design Holiday Gift Tags
Design: Conyers Design, Inc.
Paper: Crane Lettra Fluorescent White 220# Double-Thick Cover (another of our tree-free house stocks)
Ink: Silver, Red and Aqua Blue
Run: 150+ on our Heidelberg Windmill, plus die cutting the tags into 3” rounds plus a small hole (done in-house).
Notes: The gift tags printed even better than we had hoped. I think these are an excellent example of great design meets letterpress printing. We ran all of the silver plates through our press twice to give it as metallic of an appearance as possible. The registration was tight on many of the designs, but it gives us a nice feeling of satisfaction every time we align something just so. After printing, we die cut the tags (on-site) and that made all the difference. It’s amazing how designs look great on-screen, but once they are printed and finished, they just look even that much better!

More images of this project and others can be found on our Flickr page.

Henry is a real dog!


Our Henry greeting card line is inspired by Valerie & Jim’s real life miniature dachshund, Henry. The original Henry illustration is based on one of the many photos we’ve taken of him over the years. Henry has been a great dog for us, and he even comes to the office every day to help out. Mostly he just barks at the UPS and FedEx drivers and many of our other unsuspecting guests. If his legs weren’t so short, I’m sure he’d be operating a press or working in shipping & receiving.

The Henry stationery products were a labor of love for us. We were planning to keep them simple, but as Henry is a complex dog, we felt it was only right to make his cards a bit more of a challenge as well. Each folded greeting card is printed in three colors – a transparent gold for the type and tail wag lines, Henry brown as it is known around the office which is really just PMS 4625, and then the different designs feature a third color to make the illustrations pop. We also have five different custom-printed envelopes that coordinate nicely with the designs. They come in Whip Cream, Red Hot, Banana Split, Sour Apple and Razzle Berry (paper from French Paper’s Poptone line).

Be sure to check out our complete line of Henry cards, invites, moving announcements and coasters, now available for sale in our online store.

Spark Custom: Kensington Invitation


The above invitation set, known as Kensington, joined the Spark Custom Album in the spring of 2007. We decided to feature this invitation, as it is a classic, popular design, not only for wedding stationery, but for personal stationery as well. In the spring of 2008, it was featured in all of the regional Brides magazines across the country, along with our Graceful Orchid invite.

The Kensington 4-piece invitation set includes the invitation panel, printed invitation envelope, reply card and printed reply envelope. This two color letterpress piece, shown in copper and black, is priced at $1210 retail for 100 sets. The invitation is a 5x7 card and is paired with an A7 square flap envelope. The reply card is 5.5x4.25” in size and is paired with an A2 square flap envelope. The reply card allows guests to write their own reply.

Our clients are able to customize this invitation set to suit their personal style. This includes more than simply changing the typeface or the color(s) on the invite. For example, the graphic pattern on the invitation may be substituted with a different graphic pattern from the Patterns page in our custom album. We are able to create a custom pattern upon request.

Clients may also change the format to a tall or large square panel card at no additional charge. Dress up this invitation with a paper backer, full paper wrap & band or place into a custom pocket fold. Ask us about our custom-printed envelope liners, as they are a stunning addition to any stationery set.

To receive a custom quote on this invitation, visit one of the Spark Custom Album retailers. A listing of our retailers is available on our website at www.sparkstationery.com. If there is no retailer near you, please contact us directly at custom@sparkstationery.com.

Otto Bock Advisory Council


We recently had the opportunity to work with IMAGEHAUS in Minneapolis for a project they designed for Otto Bock. There were five cards in the set as well as a round coaster. The crisp impression of the rich blue and subtle gray inks against the bright white cotton stock made this stunning.

Otto Bock Advisory Council Welcome Cards and Coaster
Design: IMAGEHAUS
Paper: Crane Lettra Fluorescent White 110# Cover (our house stock) for the welcome cards and 220# Double Thick Cover for the coasters.
Ink: PMS 661 and Cool Gray 3
Run: 165 on our Heidelberg Windmill, plus die cutting on the coasters (done in-house).
Notes: The cards were straightforward and toward the “easier” end of the spectrum to print. The coasters needed two runs through the press to achieve a really solid blue, but it was definitely worth it. The white type and details literally pop off the paper.

Cherry Blossom Wedding Suite



The above wedding invitation set was printed late 2007 for a couple in New York City. The cherry blossom artwork was created especially for their invitation set and thank you cards. The couple selected our favorite Crane Lettra 110# cover paper in fluorescent white. Crane Lettra is a 100% reclaimed cotton paper, so no trees have fallen to make this beautiful paper. The set is a two color letterpress piece in fuchsia and dark brown with small rounded corners. Pay special attention to the arrangement and detail of the blossoms, as well as the tight registration achieved.

We started the process with a phone call with the bride to discuss her design style, colors, typeface likes and dislikes and briefly discussed the invitation wording. After the first encounter, our designer provided the couple with a PDF proof of the invitation panel which included the cherry blossom artwork. This artwork went through a couple renditions before it reached its final format. The rest of the invitation suite was created and approved all in a matter of a few weeks. Rest assured, our bride enjoyed the experience as did we!

The cherry blossom artwork is not featured in our custom album, however we are happy to reproduce this artwork upon request. Please contact custom@sparkstationery.com for more details or simply visit one of our retail stores and mention this entry.

AIGA Wink Event Postcard and Poster

Last year we sponsored a talk by Wink for AIGA's South Dakota chapter, as well as donating the printing of the postcard and poster. As we were going through projects we wanted to share with everyone, this definitely had to be the first one as it continues to be one of our favorite projects that we've printed. The event was a huge success and a lot fun to attend. If you haven't heard them speak, we highly recommend it as they were both hilarious and insightful.

Wink Event Postcard for AIGA South Dakota
Design: Wink
Paper: Most of the postcards were printed on Eames Furniture 120# DTC in White, which was generously donated by Neenah. Just for fun we printed extra postcards for ourselves on Rising Museum Board 2-ply White (which is actually a beautiful soft white).
Ink: PMS 1775 (pink) and PMS 724 (brown). The pink was run first and the brown was semi-transparent so you could see it overlay on the pink cow background. Keeping the brown true to the PMS swatch and still transparent was a bit tricky, but worth the extra effort.
Run: 500 on our Heidelberg Windmill
Timing: This was a pretty easy job for us to run. Straightforward and to the point. The ink mix was the trickiest part, but all in all I think we spent about four hours total running it.
Notes: The Eames Furniture 120# DTC didn’t perform as well as we would have liked. This was our first time working with this stock and thought it would take a crisper impression, but we were a bit disappointed. They turned out nice, just not as nice when compared with the postcards we printed on the Museum Board.



Wink Event Poster for AIGA South Dakota
Design: Wink
Paper: Most of the posters were printed on an 80# cover donated by Duffy. Since we already had the press inked up, we printed extra posters on our house stock, Crane Lettra 110# Cover in Fluorescent White as well as Monadnock Astrolite 200# Cover in Bright White and Eames Furniture 120# DTC in White. It was interesting to see how the different papers fared with the same design. The 80# cover didn’t take an impression as we expected. The Lettra ended up with a beautiful "weathered" look. The Astrolite turned out the most even and probably showed the impression best. The Eames Furniture had the most "weathered" look of the bunch.
Ink: PMS 717 (brown), PMS 872 (gold) and black. The gold was used for his tooth only and it is hard to see in this photo, but he is sporting a nice little diamond!
Run: 600 on our Heidelberg Cylinder
Timing: We ran this job over three days to give the heavy coverage time to dry a bit in between plates.
Notes: The trickiest part of this job was the inking and feeding. The feeding shouldn’t be a surprise since we were running four different stocks and three different colors. The inking was hardest with the brown but we figured it out pretty quickly. In some ways, the posters with the uneven inking turned out the most interesting with their unintended artistic effects. Those of our clients that received the posters in a sample pack liked the weathered look and thought we had done something special to achieve it during prepress.

To see more images of this project and others, visit us on Flickr: http://flickr.com/photos/sparkstationery/