Friday, April 25, 2014

New Business Cards!

Just picked up my fancy new business cards from The Done Dept. and they look smashing! If any of you remember my previous card, the three color, tri-fold letterpress card with little blue envelope, you might say I've stepped down a notch but I'd have to disagree - I'm simply stepping back into reality. Those cards took a massive amount of time! It's amazing what you can do with quad-ply lamination and a digital printer these days...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter Cards (more)

Happy Easter!

Here are three more cards from my lil' collection of sometimes unattractive cards from long, looooong ago.

Just like the other card I shared with you recently, what's really interesting with a lot of these cards is the manufacturing process. Sometimes you can see just how cyclical design can be, other times you cringe at the ideas and the process by which they chose to bring a product to fruition.

Not sure when this American Greetings card was manufactured but I think it was in the early 90's. Not much to say, really - I just thought it was worth sharing... so much foil!

This beauty is from Hallmark. Time has not been kind to this card, no siree! It's like looking at an old photo album and cringing at the clothing styles - you just can't believe this stuff was considered good design. 

What's interesting though is the process by which they created the cover image. As you can see, they've printed the photo onto a piece of acetate which is then wrapped over and around a piece of white card stock. I should have taken a photo of the inside as well. It's very similar to the Norcross card I shared with you the other day. It's a 4/0 print job with a lot of careful folding. The interior is yellow with some VERY ROMANTIC text and then there's this white cover.  But because of the folding choices they've made and the acetate binding together the front and back of this quad-fold card, it looks a lot cleaner than other examples. Interesting choices...

I really like this card Norcross for several reasons. Firstly, the illustration is, to me, perfect for this era. It's just so darned loose, fun, and happy. Almost a little Mad Magazine in style.

Secondly, and more importantly, I love the added fold-out element on the inside. I don't know what this is called but it looks fabulous in person. I've never seen this specific type of embellishment on other cards, however, if you look back at my Victorian-era Valentine's Day cards posting(s), you'll see something very similar. I really do feel a lot of design styles travel in circles, especially when an idea is a good one. You want to see it in more than one generation!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Vintage" Easter Card

Happy (almost) Easter everybody!

I have a few Easter cards from the 70's & 80's and wanted to share one with you, today. Not only because of the design but also because of the manufacturing methods used at that time. It's very different than what we would consider "acceptable" today - especially those of us who are printing with painstakingly slow (and expensive) letterpresses. 

This particular card was created by the Norcross greeting card company. They are attributed with creating the first commercial Valentine's Day cards. The company was founded in the mid-1920's by Arthur Norcross, his wife June and their daughter. Sadly it went out of business once Arthur passed on in 1969 and was sold several times thereafter.

It's an unusual size for today - 8" x 4"

I'm guessing, but it feels like they used a 70lb. text weight stock.

Nothing to note about the yellow or text on the inside - it just looks like your typical 4/4 (or 4/2 if that yellow was a spot color) card, right? 

But here's the interesting part, not only is the stock pretty thin, but it folds open into one piece - 16" x 8" so when it's folded together (no tape or glue holding the pieces together) it feels thicker AND it's only printed 4/0... pretty clever, but also pretty cheap. I don't know the cost of this card at the time - maybe it was really inexpensive, but I notice this manufacturing style on a lot of cards from this era. Interesting to see how things have changed. And who knows, maybe we'll all be utilizing this cost-effective method in the future, recycling the idea with a twist to make it sound innovative or environmentally-minded? I can't imagine using it myself, but never say never, right?!

Friday, April 11, 2014

How Cool is This?!

Everyone knows how boring it is to receive mail except when there's a greeting card amongst those dull bills, flyers, coupons, catalogs, blah, blah, blah...

The moment we spot that colorful envelope, that signature shape, everything else is put aside. Our day is now at least three-hundred percent better, guaranteed, and we haven't even looked inside. But we know that whatever's in there, it's great... someone is writing to tell us how much we're loved, they're thinking about us, and our day is feeling very fine! 

Now imagine, if you will, that same boring collection of mail.. but this time, instead of a greeting card, there's a cute little box on top of that stack of envelopes. And this box is a little enigmatic. What, exactly, could be in there? It's pretty small, but you know what they say about things that come in little packages.

And that's exactly what happened to me the other day!

How cool is this little package?! Who knew that something in your mail could be more exciting than a greeting card? And how mysterious... I wonder what's inside?

This, my friends, is a brilliant new greeting card that quickly folds into an adorable gift box from Greetabl, a St. Louis-based company founded by Joe Fischer & Zoë Scharf. I looooove it!

Can you see inside? There's a little piece of tissue paper and a gift card! And when I opened it further and folded it flat, there was a message written on the interior of the card as well. It really is true what they say about big things coming in little packages - think of all the other amazing gifts you could mail in this innovative design.

If you like what you see, check them out at and order a few cards to send to your family and friends. I suspect anyone who gets one of these little cuties will be over the moon thrilled. There's no doubt, upon receiving a Greetabl card, their day will be at least five-hundred percent better than before!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Still Loving Star Wars

I listen to a lot of books on cd - mostly because I don't have much time to sit and read, plus it's a great way to spend time while packing orders or walking the dogs. I recently finished listening to Star Wars: Heir To The Empire by Timothy Zahn. I'd never actually read one of these books before, I just saw it on the shelf at my local library, thought it sounded interesting, and checked it out. I know there's a lot of books within the Star Wars universe but didn't know that Mr. Zahn is the master of this genre. Turns out Heir To The Empire is the first novel ever written in the Star Wars universe and this particular book on cd celebrates the 20th anniversary since that book was first published. For me, the writing isn't great. I'm not usually into Science Fiction, even. I don't think I'd mention this in the middle of a sci-fi convention but, nonetheless, it's still pretty cool. Turns out the narrator, Marc Thompson, is the Rich Little of Star Wars voices. He does them all and while he doesn't sound exactly like Leia, he gets the intonation correct. It's like you're listening to a new Star Wars movie, and hey, Jar Jar Binks isn't in it, so it can't be that bad, right?!

I found a sample on You Tube: