An Alphabet of Sorts

Back in the Spring, I put together this little print for the Legion Paper Scavenger Hunt at the National Stationery Show (you can read all about that here), and never had the heart to put away the M form. That sparked the challenging idea to create an entire ornamental alphabet that could potentially be turned into stationery and more. metaltype1So I started in random order to develop other letterforms. Most measure about 21 picas high (about 3.5") with varying widths based on individual letters. I sketched rough layouts for each letter, with some being considerably easier than other. The L is unique in that I specifically used many of our ornaments originally designed for the Lanston Type Company.

lOnce I got into the flow, the letters practically designed themselves.

hdAnd then suddenly there were 26 letters, comfortably living on 3 galleys.

typeforms3I wanted to include an ampersand because they are perennially popular and it would serve my ideas for the end result of the project. But this form proved to be quite difficult; it looked as miserable as this image while I walked away from it for a bit to revisit ampersand designs that might better inform the outcome.

ampersandfailAfter a break, this is what came together. Getting all of the angles was pretty killer but the final form was solid. It even includes a tiny 'and' catchword.

ampersandOccasionally taking a break from the typesetting, I started printing the actual folded note cards. These didn't necessarily go in order, but the first three did. They are all printed in silver on Stonehenge cotton paper, and include 100% recycled kraft envelopes.

abcAnd here the M, slightly updated, makes another appearance.

McardA few of the details...such lovely ornaments.


RdetailThe stationery is sold in sets of 6 by the letter, so you can pick your favorite. Great for gifts, too! And of course there's the ampersand if you just can decide.

compiledstationeryIt struck me that the forms themselves were really beautiful and that they could perhaps be used for another purpose. So after printing each run, I left a little silver ink on them and grabbed the camera. I digitally cleaned up the images to adjust the contrast to best show the ornaments and then flipped the images so they could be read by all.


QThen I had these printed digitally as postcards on thick, recycled card stock.


EpostcardAnd they're fun to play with! Sold individually, it's easy to mix and match and spell whatever you like. Or, of course, send them as postcards.

yo3We also had some fun punching holes in them to make banners. Here are the adorable and lovely Will and Sido from Ravenswood's own Beans and Bagels.

willsidoBeautiful box sets all ready to go. These are available on our etsy site now.

cardspackagedAnd if you're interested, we can sell letters individually so you can use the actual printed cards as a display. Given that Mr. Starshaped and I will be celebrating our tenth anniversary this week, I put together this grouping for him. See the importance of that ampersand?


A Story of Class

It's not often these days that we have an opportunity to build an entire stationery identity, so it was a delight when Jeff Story called in need of pieces to represent his new law practice. He loved the simple red and black sans serifs often used to represent the work of poet Kenneth Patchen and sent this image for inspiration: patchen

Here are the three pieces we created, printed on lovely Oxford textured paper from Neenah.


jstoryfullset2Bernhard Gothic is the typeface that played a big role in this design, in various weights. I often refer to this as the 'house' typeface at Starshaped, as there is a large run of it in the studio. It was a favorite back at Fireproof Press as well.


The disappointing part of this project was that we were one 'L' short of setting Jeffrey's full name in this particular size. We played around with similar options but none seemed quite right, so we had to bite the bullet and order a magnesium plate. Hopefully we'll have more of this particular font the next time we're printing this job! I love this image which shows the mashup of new technology (the plate) and a very old (19th century) set of ornaments. In this photo, the ornament appears to be in pretty rough shape; it actually prints quite well despite its age!


Tjstory1I find really traditional cards printed in the studio to be particularly enjoyable as they blur the lines of the time period in which they were created; these could have been done last month, or 50 years ago. Clean lines are always in style!


Holiday Sneak Peek

Sure, it's May, but on the stationery calendar, that means it's time to present the year's holiday offerings. We've been busy designing, setting and printing fresh new cards and will be showcasing them very soon. This year we're featuring a number of hand carved multi-colored linoleum cuts, as well as intricate and layered patterns. We've also got two fabulous 2014 calendars which we can't wait to share. In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek of some of the fabulous type and ornaments used for our new collection. Both single cards and boxed sets will be available this Fall... we don't blame you if you want to wait until then!