Case Study: Vickie & Rob's Wedding - 'building a life together'

Vickie & Rob approached us last year to design their wedding invitiation. They weren't really sure what they wanted at first, but knew they wanted an invite with a black line drawing, a style that they both liked.

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After talking for a while on the phone, the idea of 'building a life together' emerged as important, and, taking on board Vickie's passion for baking, I came up with a tiered wedding cake design, which incorporated important places (the church they were to get married in, their reception venue, and Edinburgh where they have set up home); Peonies - a favourite flower; Vickie's beautiful engagement ring; barrels to signify Rob's love of whiskey and craft ale;  trees to represent Kew Gardens; all topped off with a pair of 'matroyska' dolls, to represent that they met studying Central and Eastern European History.

The invite was letterpress printed on Gmund Cotton 300gsm with a lovely deep impression. They used  bright fuschia envelopes and we digitally printed a bright RSVP card too.

In addition we had the pleasure of designing lots of extras for their big day, taking elements from the original invitation. This included an eight-page Order of Service,  Menus (which doubled as place names), a table plan, and, my favourite item, a 'guest book' poster with room for the guests to add their names/messages on pink stickers.

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If you'd like to commission something for your wedding, whether just a simple rubber stamp, or a whole set of stuff for your big day, contact us by email on orders@bloomfieldandrolfe.com.

 

An Arts & Crafts Wedding: how a commission works in practice

Here I am pleased to show off one of my favourite commissions and have included information about the process to show how we work on a project like this.

Sophie sent me an email last year which began: "You made a book stamp for me to give to my boyfriend for Christmas last year. It must have impressed him, as we're now engaged and are getting married...."

While we can't seriously take responsibility for initiating their happy day, it was lovely to hear that Tim liked the stamp and that they would like us to create their wedding stationery.  They wanted a Save the Date to start with, and then invites and extra bits and bobs further down the line.

They provided some great images as inspiration (see below) - they liked the Arts and Crafts reference to William de Morgan in the Birds in Branches Ex Libris design, and also wanted to use the work of Henry Wilson (a remarkably under-appreciated Arts and Crafts architect, metalworker and jeweller) on whom Sophie happened to be writing her Masters thesis, and who was the creator of her spectacular engagement ring and the other images below.

I then did some preliminary sketches to check we were thinking on the same lines and to provide a starting point. I'm playing with ideas and compositions here to see what will work (and what the customer likes).

A small stamp for all those extra wedding details

A small stamp for all those extra wedding details

Following feedback we created the following:

- a Save the Date stamp (large enough to fit nicely on a standard postcard),

- a small tree stamp for extra details

- the main wedding invites which were letterpress printed with a deep emboss

- RSVP cards which were digitally printed

- An address stamp (that will be used long after the wedding)  

The main invite (letterpress printed), envelope stamped with address stamp, RSVP card (digitally printed) and the  Save the Date design which was the first design we did.

The main invite (letterpress printed), envelope stamped with address stamp, RSVP card (digitally printed) and the  Save the Date design which was the first design we did.

Detail of the main invite showing the luxurious deep emboss

Detail of the main invite showing the luxurious deep emboss

Text inside the main invite

Text inside the main invite

The text style was taken from the Henry Wilson bronze plaque image provided by Sophie - if the lettering looks familiar it's because I liked it so much I have used a modified version on our Filigree range.

The very same bronze plaque is echoed in the magnesium plate used to create the invites and that wonderful deep emboss. As these plates are one-offs we lacquered them and Tim & Sophie now have them as a wonderfully tactile memento of their day.

This project was a two-way process with many many emails pinging back and forward, and was completed in stages over a period of months. Hopefully it shows how a single idea can be expanded and modified for a variety of purposes and to create something totally unique.

If you're inspired and would be interested in commissioning something for your own wedding, please don't hesitate to get in touch via orders@bloomfieldandrolfe.com - we can help with anything from a single small stamp to a whole suite of stationery.

Bloomfield out-and-about: Small Town Ink print day, Leeds

Just in from a great afternoon at the Small Town Ink print day at Leeds University, and writing an uncharacteristically prompt blog post while I have half an hour to spare.

It was aimed at students, designers and creatives who lack knowledge of real old fashioned print processes. There was an emphasis on letterpress with workshops where you could make your own print on some large galley proofing presses and small Adana-style presses (Richard Lawrence made derisory comments about the Adana, but the name of his press made of 'proper metal' escapes me*).

Both Print Project and Richard Lawrence  (print engineer "My kicks is getting ink to stick to paper") gave informative talks and had their presses set up for everyone to have a go. They were both a mine of information and it was great fun, I got my hands nice and dirty.  (A great warm up for the Letterpress course Rolfe and I are booked on next month!!).

There were also some tempting prints and zines for sale and I easily disposed of my designated £20. 

Richard Lawrence showing off a  precious Thom Yorke special edition sleeve he printed... only one was ever distributed to some lucky so-and-so who has remained anonymous.

Richard Lawrence showing off a  precious Thom Yorke special edition sleeve he printed... only one was ever distributed to some lucky so-and-so who has remained anonymous.

My first print.... which was, incidentally, nicked by someone when I left it to dry (students, bah). 2nd go wasn't as gloriously bright.

My first print.... which was, incidentally, nicked by someone when I left it to dry (students, bah). 2nd go wasn't as gloriously bright.

on the 'non'-Adana

on the 'non'-Adana

The actual Adana

The actual Adana

Nick from the Print Project

Nick from the Print Project

Richard Lawrence with an Artists book he printed

Richard Lawrence with an Artists book he printed

Lino and wooden type combo

Lino and wooden type combo

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* I've since worked out it was a Sigwalt.

Hatch Show Print deconstructed: New 'Thank you...' stamp

Once I'd recovered from the sheer wonder that is Hatch Show Print (on my visit last October) I managed to pull myself together enough to raid their $3 pile. The events advertised were dubious in terms of potential wall display (a Republican rally poster anyone?) but I selected on the basis of the lettering with the intention to 'do something' with them at a later date. True to this internal justification, I got out the guillotine to create a new 'Thank you for your order' stamp for Bloomfield & Rolfe orders. It wasn't an efficient way of doing things, but it was a tactile and very satisfying one.

(Other uses are already being actioned... watch this space!)

Posters from the Hatch Show Print $3 pile

Posters from the Hatch Show Print $3 pile

Cut, stick, trace, embelish....

Cut, stick, trace, embelish....

....et voila!

....et voila!

Bloomfield out and about: Hatch Show Print, Nashville, TN

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Having reached Nashville, I stumbled over this gem yesterday - Hatch Show Print - a fully functioning letterpress poster studio that's been going since 1879, and is still creating hand-inked, hand-printed show posters for big acts today (or for smaller ones, someone's wedding 'save-the-date' was on the press).

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The whole shop was a bit of a print-enthusiasts wet dream - ancient cabinets stuffed floor to ceiling with wood and metal type; archive posters pasted to the rafters. Special images are traditionally hand-carved in wood, or more commonly these days, lino (but wood is preferred by one of the main artists who says she gets a better line and ink saturation with wood).
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As this is the second chance letterpress discovery of this trip the world must be trying to tell me something!
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