“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
Housed in the Pearl Street district of Portland, Oregon is an urban paper mill, letterpress print shop, bindery, custom invitation gallery and design studio, and a fine European paper boutique. One might think we are speaking of six different businesses, but in fact, it is all under one roof known as Oblation Papers & Press. Here, they also design and produce their own line of wholesale goods that are warehoused and shipped from this very same location. (more…)
After almost seven centuries of near vanishment, letterpress stationery and art has begun experiencing a renaissance of sorts, particularly in the US, Canada and the UK, but surprisingly very little has changed since the first days of letterpress.
Letterpress is a form of relief printing in which the raised surface of text and images is inked and then pushed onto paper. The resulting print can be a deep impression, easily felt and seen on soft paper. Although the impression was not initially a desired effect by trade printers, today it is one of the most charming and interesting characteristics of craft letterpress.
As far back as the eighth century, the Chinese were performing woodblock printing. In fact, it is believed that a Chinese man named Bi Sheng (c. 990-1051) invented movable clay type in the 11th century—a painstaking process that involved placing thinly cut pieces of baked clay upon an iron
plate covered with heated resin and wax, and then pressing a board upon it to form the print. (more…)
Be careful not to overlook an important aspect of the gift-giving season: thank-you notes.
The thought behind the thank-you should be equal to, or greater than, the thought that went into the gift. But it does not have to be the chore we all dread. In fact, if you follow the “3” rule, you can have this chore beat in no time.
In 3 days… Ideally the thank you note should be written within 3 days of receiving the gift. However, even if it’s much later, it is still special.
On 3 lines… That’s all it takes. (Not including the salutation or your signature)
Make 3 statements…
· Acknowledge the gift, (“How thoughtful of you to remember that I love teapots.”)
· Explain what you will do with the gift, (“I have a box of Earl Grey that I am dying to try.”)
· Express a future meeting or hope of a meeting, (“Looking forward to seeing you at Jack’s party in a few weeks.”)
That’s it. Sign your note. How easy is that!?
Now, there IS one thing more thing that must be done…but this is the fun part! No matter the occasion, start with the paper, the actual card.
When choosing the perfect stationary, look for one that’s elaborate in detail and intricate in design. Envelop lining and artwork, heavier card stock, decals, embellishments and gold leaf script, always boast well. Once retrieved in the mail, it will stand out from the mundane and make the recipient feel special.
Emily Post suggests,” the letter you write, whether you realize it or not, is always a mirror which reflects your appearance, taste and character.”
What a joy to receive a rare treasure —a handwritten thank you note from a family member or friend. No one has to know just how easy it
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
For many of us–whether we choose to admit it or not–Christmas is about presents. Children eagerly wait in anticipation of Christmas morning. Far-sighted adults start stockpiling on-sale gifts early in the summer. The procrastinating multitudes flock to the mall in the week or days before Christmas. However, gift-giving did not become the central Christmas tradition it is today until the late 18th century. Stores began placing Christmas-themed ads in newspapers in 1820. Santa Claus, once and still known in some cultures as St. Nicholas, the increasingly popular bearer of gifts, started popping up in ads and stores 20 years later. . But despite the Christian roots of gift-giving, the practice ultimately steered Christmas closer to the somewhat secularized holiday it is today. By 1867, the Macy’s department store in New York City stayed open until midnight on Christmas Eve, allowing last-minute shoppers to make their purchases. Today, Christmas is the ultimate gift-giving bonanza.
Holiday gift giving began long before Christmas. The Romans would give gifts to one another on pagan festivals like Saturnalia, the winter solstice, and the Roman New Year. The tradition of gift giving became associated with Christmas because of the Three Kings’ offerings to the infant Jesus. The magi traveled to Bethlehem to present the gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. Early on the Church discouraged the practice of gift giving because of its pagan associations. But by the Middle Ages the tradition had become so popular that it became a mainstay of the holiday season. It was during that time that St. Nicholas, a Christian Bishop in Turkey, known for his generosity, was giving to those less fortunate than he. He also gave to children of all backgrounds, simply because he felt they needed to savor their childhood, and have joyous times to remember. The most common gift given were homemade foods and sweets, oranges, a rare treat. It moved throughout the world very quickly, and before the 10th century it is known that nearly every country was participating in this exchange on St. Nicolas’ Eve.
Although the tradition of gift giving has a long Christmas history, those gifts being presented in colorful paper and tied up in curls of ribbon is a relatively new practice. While Christmas cards began to be sent in the mid-nineteenth century it wasn’t until many years later thatdressing up presents in Christmas finery caught on.
Early on gifts were wrapped in simple tissue paper or more sturdy brown paper. In the nineteenth century, gifts were sometimes presented in decorated cornucopias or paper baskets. The technology did not exist to mass produce a decorated, foldable, paper until the 1890’s, when developments in printing presses allowed colored ink to be printed fluidly on stiffer papers. Before the introduction of scotch tape in the 1930’s gifts were tied up with string and sealing wax.
Over the years the look of wrapping paper changed as well. The first wrapping paper was decorated in the ornate style of the Victorian era. Gilded flourishes of cherubs, birds, and flowers draped across sheets of popular wrapping papers.
In the 30’s and 40’s, patterns became more stylized due to the popularity of Art Deco.
Decorations moved away from nature to symbols we commonly associate with Christmas today.
Popular patterns included ice skaters, snowflakes, Christmas trees, and candles. It was during these decades that Rossi’s decorative paper was born, inspired by traditional Florentine designs of the Renaissance. Later on they included contemporary alternatives
featuring little details that add up to big impact: small hits of brilliant gold and silver metallic ink, finely detailed and multi-layered illustrations, delicate flourishes and stunning patterns and colors.
Aficionados rejoice! Next year’s Christmas papers are a combination of two techniques; letterpress and a heated application of gold, producing a very special outcome.
We here at Rossi are truly blessed to be able to do what we love and share our products with you. Thank you. Have a joyous Holiday season.
“We wish you light snows and twinkling lights. A home alive with cookie smells. A child to play with, a dog to pet and the hope of answered prayers.”
As you might have heard, letterpress has been enjoying a renaissance in the last decade or so. Beautifully tactile and simply exquisite, letterpress printing has a rich elegance that one can’t help but appreciate.
Last year, Rossi introduced a letterpress collection featuring 16 classic designs. That collection, which included Italian designs dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, surpassed expectations and now in 2013, has been expanded, this time with a more contemporary and modern feel.
Letterpress is both an art and a science. It’s just the type of printing that Rossi excels at because it requires a high level of craftsmanship and great patience to produce. To create the collection, Rossi’s own vintage printing presses were brought out of retirement and put to work.
Prints are made one-at-a-time with each print having its own unique variations of ink coverage and depth of impression. Registering the color on press is critical, especially when the motifs are tight and complex, as they are with the Rossi patterns.
A high quality and heavier weight paper that will not tear or collapse when pressed is generally used for letterpress. Rossi 1931 uses a perfect type of paper containing fibers that are soft and readily accept an impression. Needless to say, the prints are luxurious and the telltale impression the press leaves on the paper is sought after by stationery fans everywhere.
These distinctive prints are available in a large size of 20 x 28 (50 x 70 cm) making them ideal for invitations, book covers and albums, greeting cards, and personal stationery, even framed prints. Here’s a sneak peek of the new collection:
A large selection of Rossi papers are now stocked stateside in Florida, making shipping and delivery a breeze throughout the US. For a list of retailers carrying Rossi papers, please click here.
For more information, visit http://rossi1931.com