A Wild Rose

Every so often we get to pour a lot of effort into creating a single, special print, and it's usually commissioned as a gift from one spouse to another. In November I was approached for a project like this, using a poem that was read at the couple's wedding. The wife wanted something blocky, bold and straightforward with a little bit of ornamentation and ample white space. This is the result of the collaboration: kathy1Here's a close up of the 12x18" print, done in 3 colors on soft white cotton paper. It's a nice mix of both metal and wood type that, while slightly beaten up and rustic, mostly keeps to a straightforward sans serif diet.

kathy2The is the type in the final lock up. We usually set up the entire print if possible then pull a proof. If everything is spaced accordingly and looks well together, then we can go in and separate individual colors and print just one at a time.

kathytypeformSome of the wood type for this piece is pretty rough, as noted in the uneven and speckled forms. The catchword 'THE' is new, however, and is one of Moore Wood Type's laser cut pieces.

kathy3The print features two-color ornaments from the Keystone Type Foundry known as 'wild rose' ornaments. It's not every day that named ornaments tie in directly to the words being printing, but they sure did here. These are beautiful in their detail and include two different sized sorts, making it easier to fit them into any line length. I'm certain this charming print was a touching Christmas gift.


Emily + Frank

It's not every day that I get excited to print flowers, and our wedding invitation collections are decidedly devoid of them. But when Emily approached me about working from vintage Wizard of Oz book designs, these ones fell into place:

The flowers are actually from a border known as Wild Rose, which was originally produced by the Keystone Type Foundry around 1903. The studio has the two color variety, meaning that there are two sets of sorts, one for each color, in this case gold and warm red. With the success of the save the date cards, we moved on to the invitations. We tried options using the ornaments as is, and then considered enlarging the pattern to see how that would look. I would carve the two color image out of linoleum to give the invites a block printed feel.

The first set of linocuts went well, until I realized the trapping between the gold and red was sloppy. I carved the red color again to match it better, using a proof of the gold color as a stencil for this second set.

Then they were set to go, as was the type, a considerably simpler forme for us this time around!

Here is the final set, continuing the theme of warm red, gold and muted blue. The type is Canterbury, Della Robbia and Caslon.

Congrats to Emily and Frank, and a big thanks for being open to experimenting with our vintage type and linoleum cutting!