Lindsay’s invitations + The Bowe House Press

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Lindsay, a reader and fellow Richmonder, is here today to share how she made her own letterpress invitations at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Bowe House Press, a restored letterpress studio at VCU’s School of the Arts operated by professor Jamie Mahoney.

“I recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, and I realized this was probably my last chance to take advantage of the amazing opportunity the graphic design department offers – a letterpress class with Jamie Mahoney at the Bowe House Press. She has transformed the shop from an almost unusable disarray of metal type pieces to a working shop, full of learning, experimentation and inspiration. This is when I decided that my wedding invitations just had to be letterpressed.”

“We decided at the beginning of our engagement that we would aim for a “enchanted forest” feel for our wedding. The graphics on the invitations were actually a free vector I found and altered myself to achieve many variations to spread across the different inserts. If you’re doing your invitations yourself, then be sure that your imagery and your chosen fonts complement each other. We used Bauer Bodoni and the script Bellevue because they have dramatic thick and thin lines that went well with the flow of the flowers.”

“When it came time to print the invitations, I bought some luxurious paper and envelopes from Paper Source and had the designs made into custom letterpress plates via Boxcar Press. The process is pretty cool — the plate has photo polymer chemicals on it and you expose it with the design on top to leave behind a raised image. The invitation liner was found at Paper Mojo, and I hand cut them using envelope templates from Paper Source.”

“The days we printed, we had to have an assembly line – Jamie helped set up the plates and align them to where they needed to be on the paper, I pulled the roller across the plates to make the impression, and my fiancée transferred the printed paper to the drying rack. If you ever wonder why letterpress costs so much, it’s because of the manpower needed! I’m so happy with how they turned out, they are to be mailed out this week!”

Thank you for stopping by Lindsay! We loved hearing about your invitations. Best wishes!


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