tips & trends: Autumn

Autumn has finally arrived and we couldn't be happier here at Spark. The crisper air means that all of the lovely fall weddings are in full swing. Some couples love the idea of an outdoor wedding but in some areas that means waiting until fall because summers are far too HOT! Fall weddings are charming and cozy and allow for a whole new palette of colors to choose from.   

The inspiration for this tips & trends board came from a wedding invite that we created for a lovely couple last year. They loved the AMELIE suite and wanted to customize it with brown and gold tones. They had their wedding out at Custer State Park in Western South Dakota where the buffalo roam freely and the trees create the perfect backdrop for an amazing fall wedding.  


Fresh off the press: Pulp/Ink calling cards

We're so excited about these new calling cards and gift tags we printed for one of our fabulous retailers, Pulp & Ink! These cards are letterpress printed on our 220# bright white cotton stock in black and custom blue inks. They are finished off with edge painting in the same custom blue ink.


Spark featured in MSW Fall 2013 issue!

This is the fourth time our work has graced the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings. Pinch me because I’m totally dreaming! Anyone who knows me knows that I typically have a hard time talking about the accomplishments of our business even though I’m extremely proud of what we do and our team that produces this work. I feel very fortunate to own a company that sits among some pretty amazing vendors who produce work for MSW.

Photos by Marcus Nilsson/Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2013. Copyright 2013.

Photos by Marcus Nilsson/Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2013. Copyright 2013.

The feature in the magazine is full of beautiful pictures of a beautiful couple. The invitations feature delicate artwork and type with a vintage appeal. All pieces were letterpress printed in gold on Crane Lettra 220# Cover in Pearl White for the invitation and 110# Cover for the rest of the pieces. All of the cards had gold edge painting as well – the perfect finishing touch.


Letterpressed Calling Cards make a statement

Spark loves our wedding invitations but the passion also spreads wide in the world of custom personal stationery. Over the years we have been creating amazing and personalized calling cards for our clients and their companies. A company makes its first impression on their clients with the cards they initially hand to them. Letterpress leaves a lasting impression that no other card could.  

If you're a designer looking for a printer or need a custom design created ... contact us at and check out our commercial website



tips & trends: nautical theme

Ahoy! A big trend that we've seen recently in wedding stationery has been a nautical one. Anchors, vintage maps and sea creatures of all kinds can be found on many a bride's invitation. Here's Spark's inspiration board to go with our new nautical themed suite, Georgina. 



It’s time to get excited!  Spark is proud to introduce our brand new letterpress wedding album, Bliss, featuring 40 invitation designs plus save the dates and wedding day items.   Bliss design suites are fresh and on-trend, not to mention printed on eco-friendly papers and sold at an affordable price.

The Carola and Rosalie suites featured below are just a taste of the new collection.  Carola is printed in our taupe and creamsicle inks on soft white recycled paper. Rosalie is printed in our steel ink on cream recycled paper.


We are currently accepting applications for stationery dealers to sell this line.  Contact for order form and details.


My OTA Experience

Have you ever been involved in something so amazing that it is hard to put your thoughts and feelings into words because you are worried that some small, but ridiculously important detail will be overlooked? That was OTA for me and Spark.


OTA is a collaborative of creative catalysts and community changemakers that connects the social and creative capital of South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. You can learn more by visiting the OTA website. OTA founder and curator, Hugh Weber, was kind enough to bring Spark on board as a production partner for this year's event, which means we were able to be a part of the fun printed collateral created for the event.

On March 15 the people of OTA converged on the Augustana College campus to take in a killer line-up of speakers. I'm not sure if I should refer to this group of fantastic individuals as speakers because they really were something far more exceptional. They didn't come to rattle off a few statistics or blandly sell a product or idea. They came to engage, entertain and inspire, all the while exceeding our expectations. Throughout the course of the day I was taken to lands near and far, provoked to think about abstract ideas and concrete solutions, challenged to live my life with more everything-that-is-awesome and less of the ordinary and expected.

Some of my favorite quotes from the day:

"Exceptional people can tell you why they are." -Ricardo Crespo of 20th Century Fox

"Do good work for good people." -Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co.

"You can't A/B test your way to a vision." -Karina van Schaardenburg of Foursquare

And pretty much everything that was said by Dave Brown of Holiday Matinee and MKG

Be sure to check out:

Pencils of Promise: What Adam Braun has accomplished since 2008 will astound you. The world needs more people like him who are willing to do what it takes to make a difference in the lives of children around the world.

Ferocious Quarterly: How could I not love what Nate Utesch has done to beautifully capture the talents of current artists? The power of print is alive and well in this publication.

Pre-Session Mailing

The first pieces we designed and printed were for a pre-session mailing to the speakers that they received two weeks before the event. The two pieces were wrapped in kraft paper, and tied with baker's twine and a note welcoming them to the OTA family.

Inside we had a card that asked the speakers to tell OTAns what they had  in store for them. The cards said "Hey OTAns, preapre to be ______________ on  March 15, 2013." Here are some examples of what was received. Fun,  right?


The other piece in the mailing was an art print we designed of the OTA region  including a vintage map in tone-on-tone transparent white, custom  opaque red and black inks. We outlined the states with the speakers'  names and used the intersections language from the OTA manifesto to tie  it all together. Both pieces were printed on 29 pt. chipboard on the same press sheet on our Heidelberg KS Cylinder. 

Stay tuned for my next post about the OTA manifesto and class of 2013 prints and the other pieces!


Stay tuned for my next post about the OTA manifesto and class of 2013 prints and the other pieces!