Rustic Leaves

We are now printing Fall weddings, so it felt appropriate to showcase this invitation as an option for our Fall and Winter invitation ideas. Our Natalya design featured in our wedding love album has been a popular choice by couples all over the country. Most of the rustic leaf artwork (some samples shown above) has been printed in darker tones such as navy, royal, purple, eggplant, gold and teal. The original Natalya rustic leaf design is a dramatic black on black and white look.

Take note of the pocket folds! Artwork printed on our colored paper pocket folds take on a subtle beauty when printed with transparent inks. So if you are looking for that tone on tone effect, just request the transparent ink for your printed piece.

If you are looking for other design ides, just send us a note at!

Welcome, Joy! Goodbye, Organized Sister.

Please join us in welcoming our newest employee, Joy Lussenden, to the Spark team. Joy is a graduate of Augustana College and worked for us as a marketing intern during her senior year. She recently completed a social media internship in Norway and is now back in the States to start her "real" job as she jokingly stated in her blog. We're thrilled to bring on board someone who is excited to soak up all that the stationery industry has to offer and to collaborate with our retailers in making them even more successful.

Joy is going to fill a much needed spot here at Spark as we say goodbye to Diedre Johnson, Spark's Organized Sister, when she and her family head to Hesse, Germany in September. Diedre's husband, Joel, is a professor of government at Augustana College and was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship as a senior lecturer at the University of Marburg. Joel and Diedre, along with their two boys, will make the trip to Marburg, a picturesque German town (see ridiculously beautiful image below).

All of us at Spark will miss having Diedre here as she has been the main contact for our retailers and helps out more than you know in our production area. Thankfully, she will be working with Spark on a part-time basis while in Germany, so don't be surprised if you hear from her! She plans to be a great resource to Spark in finding stationery trends and inspiration throughout Europe - so stay tuned!

On a more personal note, it goes without saying that the Creative Sister is sad to have her best friend be so far away for so long. I've shed more tears than I care to admit, but at the same time, I couldn't be more proud of Diedre and her family for embarking on this exciting adventure! For now, I am making goofy plans to buy extra clocks so we can have a visual reminder that she is seven hours ahead before we pick up the phone to ask her a few questions about pricing.

The next time you call Spark, please take a moment and introduce yourself to Joy. She'll appreciate it as she learns who all of you are.


Happening Now - New KSBA Press

Check out our new/old KSBA press being moved into our shop. We purchased it as well as another Windmill from Harold's Printing in Brookings, SD. Jim is beaming like an expectant father and Valerie is remembering the days when our children could ride their bikes in the shop (no longer possible!).

Retailer Profile: Pulp and Ink

Pulp & Ink
Chicago, IL

Owner: Colin Falco
Length in business: since 2001

Why did you choose to carry the new Spark albums: I liked all the designs and love the mixing and matching.
Favorite new Spark design: Margaret

Social Media
Facebook: Pulp and Ink
Twitter: @pulpandink

We've worked with Colin for four years now, and very much appreciate his business. Located in Chicago's Old Town, he has a wonderful storefront as seen in the photos above. Colin stays on top of the stationery trends, offering his clients a savvy design sense that speaks volumes. Many of the custom wedding invitations we've created with him are among our favorites. We encourage you to visit Pulp & Ink the next time you visit the Windy City!

Retailer Profile: a + z ink

a + z ink
(formerly Uhhleksuh Ink)
Birmingham, AL

Owner(s): Alexa Whitehead and Zane Place
Length in business: December 2009

Why did you choose to carry the new Spark albums?: Heard about Spark, visited your website, read the blog and received samples all of which really helped us decide that Spark would be a great company to work with!
Favorite new Spark design: Amelie (Alexa) and Lily (Zane)

Other thoughts about the new albums: Love them! We are happy to carry the line!
Average client: young professional, looking for modern and individualized stationery
Strengths as a retailer/store: No one else has letterpress in Alabama! We have very individualized service with bride going from helping her find her style to the delivery of the product.

We are thrilled to have a + z ink represent us in the great state of Alabama. If you are in there area, please stop by and tell them Spark sent you!

Trendy Award Winner - Thank you!

Our Amelie design is a Trendy Award winner in the bridal category!

This is the first year for the Trendy, awarded by Stationery Trends Magazine. Thank you to everyone who voted for our Amelie suite! We are honored by this recognition.

A lot of us here at Spark consider the Amelie suite among our favorites. We love the distressed wood type and the vintage maps. If you are wondering, the New York City map featured in this invitation can be adapted for just about any city or location. Contact us or a retailer new you for details.

Thanks again!

Chipboard? What were we thinking?

As a letterpress printer, we get wonderful samples of paper by mail. Luxurious cotton stocks, fun metallics, seed name it, we've seen it. So, imagine the surprise of our paper distributor in Minneapolis when we told him we were bringing in some chipboard stock (ranging 30-40pt). They know we print primarily fine stationery products, so they were a little confused by our need for a non-luxury, no thrills stock.

We first used chipboard back in 2008 when we came out with our Loop products, featuring artwork by a local artist, Kate Puetz. When she came up with the Loop animals, we just didn't want to print them on white paper. Valerie decided to print on chipboard. It performed very well and took a nice impression. The only "issue" we have with chipboard is that it dulls our cutter very quickly. You also have to be OK with the fact that chipboard will have flecks and vary from sheet to sheet, but that's the beauty of a recycled product.

We certainly can't forget to mention the above business cards designed by Flush Designs and printed by Spark. The Dirty Roots cards turned out wonderfully. These cards are a double-sided print on a 40pt. chipboard stock. The chipboard has enough heft to it that we could achieve a great impression both sides.

The Thie Custom Homes business cards were designed and printed here just a couple months ago for a local home builder. Our client has a unique card that makes an impression with his current and prospective clients.

If you are thinking of using chipboard for your next letterpress product, give us a ring. We are more than happy to send you a sample so you can see it for yourself!

Retailer Profile: The Paper Place

The Paper Place
West Chester, OH

Owner: Ann Schwartz
Length in business: 15

Why did you choose to carry the new Spark albums?: love all the color, modern, all the options, the pockets.
Favorite new Spark design: the love birds, and all the florals


Other thoughts on the new albums: fresh looking!
Average client: modern, looking to set themselves apart
Strengths as retailer/store: customer service, strive very hard to meet customer needs, attention to details, we work hard to keep clients budgets.

It is great to have someone like Ann representing Spark in Ohio! The pictures of her store speak loudly to her sense of style and appreciation for fine stationery.

Stationery Love: Stephanie Calling Cards

Our Stephanie design in the Stationery Love album is simply classic. One of our goals with the Stationery Love album was to show how a calling card can change from 1 to 2 colors, to different shapes - all without printing on the back side.

Adding text or artwork to the backside of the card is done time and again and adds to the cost. For you budget savvy individuals out there, stick to printing on the front only and still have a card that will impress. We often find that the cotton paper and letterpress impression will wow whomever receives your calling card.

Order 500+ quantity of calling cards and receive 15% off your order. This offer ends May 31, 2010.

Retailer Profile: Noteworthy, LLC

Noteworthy, LLC
Chicago, IL

Owner: Cindy Rudman
Length in business: 10 years

Why did you choose to carry the new Spark albums?: We were looking for new letterpress that was more affordable. Your prices are great!
Favorite new Spark design: Isabel

Social Media

Facebook: Noteworthy Notes
Twitter: @noteworthynotes

Other thoughts about the albums: really easy to figure out an invitation with the design book. All the colors are patterns listed together
Average client: Classic, Chicago is a pretty classic city!
Strengths as a retailer/store: We are flexible in working with our client's budgets. I think we read our customers pretty well to help them find what design fits them.

We are thrilled to have Noteworthy Notes selling our products in the Chicago area! She is no beginner at selling custom stationery. Cindy and her staff offer their clients outstanding service and stationery know how that keeps them coming back to mark all occasions with beautiful stationery. Stop by Noteworthy Notes and tell them Spark sent you!