Looking into Letterpress with Carolyn Fraser - Stationery and Invitations

Jenny Butler
Jenny Butler
11th of July 2011

This week we are Looking into Letterpress with Carolyn Fraser! Carolyn is a letterpress printmaker and runs her own Melbourne Studio, Idlewild Press. After interviewing Carolyn earlier this year, we're thrilled to have her back on the site this week giving us a glimpse into the beautiful world of letterpress. - Jenny x

An example of Julie Holcomb's work

There are very few really good reasons to get married in my opinion but a lovely set of stationery might sway even my hardened heart. The current letterpress revival owes a great debt to the institution of marriage, the growth of the wedding industry and an individual promoter of the craft – Martha Stewart. When Martha first showcased the work of Bay Area printer Julie Holcomb in the mid-1990's, it sparked enormous interest in a craft that was, at that time, the almost exclusive domain of fine press book printers and old school job printers. Julie worked with graphic designers to establish what would become a much-imitated line of botanically-influenced stationery printed from photopolymer plates. Today, letterpress stationery ranges across all styles for all kinds of brides and grooms. Here are some favourites, from two Brisbane-based letterpress printing couples.

Invitation by Simon and Jenna of The Hungry Workshop [for their wedding!]

Simon and Jenna Hipgrave run The Hungry Workshop in Brisbane. They write that they like making things – It's nice to get away from the computer, roll up our sleeves and get elbow deep in ink and oil and have something to show for our efforts at the end of the day. Amen to that. How lovely is this invitation they made for friends?

Invitation by  The Hungry Workshop

Here's what they wrote about the project: We worked up the typography, modifying the La Portenia into two shooting stars and illustrated the stars for the background. The scene was set with the rest of the type set in Archer Light. We printed the invitation on our favourite stock – Crane Lettra 300gsm. The envelope liners were printed from an old star map, found in the 'New Concise Atlas of the Universe' (picked up at the recent book fair) which we modified ever so slightly and letterpress printed.

Doily Wedding Invitation by Bespoke Letterpress

Alischa Hermann is a doily lover, and this invitation project proves it!

Alischa and her partner Hayden run another Brisbane letterpress studio, the Bespoke Letterpress. As their name suggests, their work is custom designed for each client, however, they also have a range of prints, cards and tags. Look at their gorgeous Heidelberg platen press!

Alischa of Bespoke Letterpress sits at her Heidelberg platen press!
Stunning Santorini-themed wedding invitation by Bespoke Letterpress
Wedding invitation by Bespoke Letterpress
And they house-swap too. How convenient for the 21st century journeyman printer! - Carolyn x

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