Happy Wedding Weekend, Joy!

All of us at Spark would like to wish Joy and Adam well as they are married this weekend! What better way to acknowledge their grand affair than by showing off Joy's wedding stationery.

Featured above is their save the date, printed on bright white cotton stock in royal and fuchsia inks. The photos were supplied by their photographer, Despres Photography, and Spark did our magic to make the photos letterpress ready. We love how the finished save the date looks - showing off the happy couple!

Their invitation stationery was inspired by our Margaret design and printed on Lapis Lazuli metallic paper (pocketfold and envelope liner), soft white cotton stock, and fuchsia paper - all in royal ink. The pocketfold is printed with the Margaret pattern on the front flap in a tone on tone look and tied off with our string and button closure (button in silver metallic and string is fuchsia). We especially love the icons used on the wedding day weekend card!

Best wishes to Joy and Adam from all of us at Spark!

Photo credits: Sara D Harper

Mother and Father's day gifts

I don't know about you all, but I always have a really hard coming up with a truly unique mother's day and father's day gift. I think my mom has all the garden tools she could ever need, and my dad has definitely had his share of ties and golf accessories! Have you ever considered gifting custom stationery? Add the ultimate personal touch by designing a card with their name, initials or favorite motif. We have a great selection of ink colors - choose their favorite and you have yourself a very thoughtful gift. By visiting one of our many retailers around the country, you can view the Spark Design Book, which contains our selection of fun fonts, patterns, and other ideas to help you create the perfect stationery for your parent or grandparent.

Create a custom folded or flat card, letterhead, or calling cards. Order ahead of time! Orders take 15 business days to ship, so:
For delivery in time for Mother's Day - order should approve by April 13th.
For delivery in time for Father's Day - order should approve by May 25th.

Happy customer!

We just shipped out these business cards for My Turtleneck. This was Catherine's first use of letterpress as a designer. Take a look at her reaction. We typically do not get many requests for gold ink on our Steel paper and we are happy to see this look come together. We are so glad she loves her new business cards!

Even though we are in the heart of wedding season, we love that we still are getting many social stationery requests which we feel we have a specialty in. Please ask us how we can turn your idea for your business stationery into a reality.

Floral Weddings

After a long and cold winter nothing seems more welcoming and beautiful as flowers! Naturally, flowers have become a top request for the upcoming spring wedding season. They are perfect for bringing out small pops of color and textures while still bringing a delicate element into your wedding. Spark has various flowers to fit in with any wedding. Some of these include: a daisy, poppy, hydrangea, orchid, dogwood and roses to name a few. Below are a few examples of floral stationery.

Please contact a retailer near you to see the wide variety of flower artwork we offer. And, of course, we would love to create something custom to make your wedding day even more special!

Why Wedding Stationery Matters

Valerie on Wedding Stationery in 2011

Oh how wedding stationery has evolved. I was married only seven years ago and I can't believe the changes that have taken place. Gorgeous, tactile, exciting, elaborate changes!

We didn't do Save the Dates for our wedding, but I did have invitations that still hold a special place in my heart. I also had lovely programs and place cards, embossed labels for our favor tins, and some special manzanita branches with individual cards handing from them instead of a traditional guest book. I paid attention to the details of our wedding while remaining mostly on budget. I will admit that I had four different lipsticks and three pairs of shoes by the day of our wedding because I became increasingly indecisive about these personal style details!

Even though I thought I was into the details, now that our new custom albums are out there I can't believe all that I missed out on. I'm not that into dwelling on how things could have been different for my wedding because what mattered most was being married at the end of the day. And now I have a new found passion for helping our clients make something truly special for their weddings.

We have couples who want something entirely all their own and we have people that get the designs as they are shown in our album because it fits their wedding day style. No matter what category you fall into, we developed our albums to help everyone find the right stationery for their event.

As I endlessly peruse wedding blogs, there are many showing gorgeous stationery and others that do not. Nothing makes me cringe more then when I see every other detail of the day attended to and yet the stationery is lackluster. Of course it bothers me in large part because I am a custom stationer, but what I've learned about stationery over the years is that even the smallest paper details can make an impact. Sometimes it is the quote from your favorite author on the tag of a gift you are bestowing upon each guest, or it could be the special thank you to your parents and remembrance of a loved one you've lost too soon on your program.

The paper goods you create for your special day are the first tangible item a guest receives and one of the few things about your wedding that your guests can hold in their hands and get up close and personal with. From a save the date through the thank you note - the paper, colors, printing, design, and words - they all come together to help convey emotion and make a personal connection between you and your guests.

I hope you will review that lengthy list of must-haves for your wedding day and make sure you have your paper goods accounted for. I know we'd love to help you make them special!

Custom Save the Date : Meet Laura!

Meet our sparkling bride-to-be Laura DiLorenzo and join her on her journey as she creates completely custom stationery for her big day. We met Laura through our retailer, Judy Paulen Designs in New York City. Below, read how her vision unfolded into these charming, vintage inspired Save the Dates:

"It was important that Zack and I create a save the date that would set the tone for a fun, whimsical wedding and would also properly invite people to spend a mini-weekend away with us! When choosing our destination we felt Cooperstown, New York offered something for everyone, so we tried to embrace that by including a range of the different events that we would be hosting on our save the date.

We really wanted to embrace the history of Cooperstown and its various landmarks throughout the planning of our wedding- the village lent itself naturally to the rustic, vintage aesthetic that Zack and I both appreciate. Our ceremony is taking place at the "Farmer's Museum", which is a historical village made up of 18th and 19th century buildings that were curated from all over New York State. The church we will be married in looks like an 18th century meeting house; it's quaint, historic, and simple. Because of the connection to this museum, we've looked towards farmer's market themed ideas for our favors, welcome baskets, menu's, table decorations....and of course, our Save the Dates!

Throughout the entire planning process we've made an effort to gather any items that "catch our eye" (whether they be a cutout from a magazine, a menu from a coffee shop, or a cool vintage postage stamp), we'd then edit and organize the inspiration pieces into something tangible as it came time to make a decision. Most of our save the date inspiration came from a farmer's market poster that I found on Etsy.com. We found the antique Cooperstown map on Ebay (it was published in 1813!) and the lilac design on a vintage French postcard. Once we had these three items gathered, we sent them to Spark with our preferred text, layout, and color ideas- the rest really evolved from there.

When I received the first proof from Andrea, I realized just how creative and invested the company really was. Andrea didn't just show me a version with the fonts I had asked for, she went above and beyond to show me 3 or 4 ways to say the same thing- whether it be by showing different color and font options or tweaking a small part of the design. This was especially important for Zack as the options Andrea provided made it easy for both of us to see the potential possibilities - and we enjoyed making the final decisions together. The process was such a free flowing, all hands on deck exercise - and I really felt safe in their hands.

When the final Save the Dates ended up at our front door, we were ecstatic - they looked even better in person! I emailed the Spark team the next morning and joked that they must have heard me screaming with excitement all the way in South Dakota! We mailed them to our family and friends a few weeks ago and the response has been amazing! People are most excited about how it shows a lineup of the many events that we have planned. The map has also been a huge hit as it really plays up the history and traditions of the village. We overwhelmingly feel that the font and general design set our guests up for the whimsical, unique, and playful tone that we were hoping for!"

Here's a photo of the couple - aren't they adorable?! And the finished piece, complete with calligraphy and vintage stamps that Laura and Zack collected - talk about the total package, we think they look amazing!

Watch for more of our *INSPIRE* blogs to see the unique ways we help to perfectly blend our brides' wedding day inspirations to their custom stationery pieces. We truly enjoyed designing this charming piece with Laura and look forward to other custom stationery endeavors!

Spark Goes Global

We've had a few international clients in the past, however nothing like what we have experienced this past month. With the arrival of our new website and wedding designs, we've been getting more international queries for our letterpress printing services as well as for our custom stationery products. Thank you for your interest!

Please visit our FAQ page under the About section of our website to learn more about how we do business. Provided in this section is our announcement sizing converted to millimeters, as this has been a common question.

Questions may be directed to spark@letterpresslove.com

Spark Retailer: Pulp & Ink, Chicago

Check out Spark's favorite Chicago retailer...

Tell us about Pulp + Ink.
Pulp & Ink is located in the vibrant area of Chicago called Old Town. For more information about this historic area, visit http://www.oldtownchicago.org.

Colin Falco founded Pulp & Ink, a trendsetting stationery and invitation boutique in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood in the fall of 2001. Prior to opening Pulp & Ink, Falco began his career directly out of college working with small to mid-sized adverting agencies allowing him to quickly learn all aspects of marketing, design and printing.

Continuing this path he began to work for the second largest printing company in the country in the marketing services group. There he was responsible for managing the creative, printing and mailing of millions of direct mail pieces per day for mid-sized and fortune 500 corporations. Wanting to explore an entrepreneurial itch Pulp & Ink was born. His vast knowledge and thirst for design, printing and client service translates perfectly into the success of his business.

Pulp & Ink has been recognized in Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Social, CS Brides, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Suntimes, Brides.com, NBC Chicago, Chicago Magazine and Today’s Chicago Magazine to name a few.

What do you like most about working with your clients?
We enjoy working one-on-one with our clients to create unique stationery for their events.

What do you think is the most important piece of stationery that a couple should consider?
Thank you notes are essential. For example, it can often times be more economical to print the thank you notes at the same time as the wedding invitation set. This allows our clients to utilize their thank you notes before and after their wedding.

What do you offer that keeps your clients coming back to you for their stationery needs?
We always offer our clients personal service and strive to exceed their expectations.


Visit Pulp & Ink's website at pulpandink.com
Located at 1344 North Wells Street, Chicago IL 60610
phone (312) 475.1344
email pulpandink@aol.com

A final note from Spark...

Quite simply, Colin at Pulp & Ink is an authority on stationery. He and his staff are adept at helping their clients create unique stationery for any occasion. We encourage you to visit the Old Town area of Chicago and check out Pulp & Ink. You won’t be disappointed!

Die Cut Shapes for the Holidays

Who doesn't love a die cut shape? The two die cut cards shown above are just a couple of the fun shapes we have available this holiday season. We also offer a snow globe, modern tree, penguin and other interesting shapes.

Die Cut Snowman: This fun die cut comes in a large and small size to fit into either an A7 or A2 envelope. The above snowman was printed on Pegasus Brilliant White 130# smooth cover on our Digital Indigo press last holiday season.

Die Cut Ornament: This die also comes in a large and small size to fit into either an 7" square or a 5.5" square envelope. The ornament above was printed on Pegasus Museum White 130# smooth cover on our Digital Indigo press last holiday season. It is a double-sided piece, with a photo of the family on the other side. The envelope is Crane Lettra Pearl White 5.5" square and has a Stardream Vista envelope liner. Although not shown in the photo, this holiday card was tied off with a light blue organdy ribbon, so family and friends could hang on a tree.

If you would like to know more about our die cuts and how it all works, check out our Holiday Handbook for more information.