Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting picky about social networks

Hello to our crowd of followers! We decided that updating two blogs (this one and our website) was... well.. annoying.

We kindly ask that each of you follow our website blog if you'd like to keep updated on our endeavors.

There are a few other locations to be updated on Darling Press if one blog just isn't enough for you: Twitter and Facebook

See you on the flip side!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

koru stationery

Our friend, Portia, is a counselor/consultant here in town. Every year she sends out cards to her clients, and this year she decided to step it up a bit and have the cards letterpressed! She wanted 5 x 7 cards with letterhead on one side and her logo on the other with a matching envelope with her return address letterpressed on the envelope. She wanted the color scheme to match her website.

portia's stationery set

Photos by Alicia Carrier

For the most part, it was a piece of cake. The problem arose when we decided to die-cut the envelopes ourselves (as artists, we realize there are always problems -- sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse). We thought it would be easy and would save some money, to boot. As it turned out, our press is not big enough to hold the die we had made to punch out A7 envelopes! Of course, we found this out right before our deadline!

portia's stationery set

In dealing with this unexpected obstacle we practiced some creative engineering, and we learned a new trick! The die was too big to fit in the chase, but we realized that we could do a lock-up directly in the press instead of in the chase. Genius! They turned out great! By the time we cut out the envelopes, folded them, glued them together, and added the lick and stick adhesive to the top flap, we determined that it is actually a LOT cheaper to just buy the envelopes... but how else could we match the envelopes exactly to the cards? Portia chose a nice smooth Welsh Blue Neenah paper -- surprisingly similar to the blue Elie had chosen for her cards -- with recycled content and made from sustainably harvested trees.

blue envelope and stationery

Portia loved them so much, she has asked to print up the invites for her and her husbands annual holiday party, but that is a story for another time!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

cards for elie

Our friend, Elie, asked us to print her up some cards. Her friend, Patrice, designed them.

elie's card on the feedboard

Elie chose a nice blue laid paper by Neenah. Neenah offers recycled content and sustainably harvested paper that will be showcased again in our next blog post...

We got to play around with die-cutting again! This project was a little more of a challenge with the registration. There was only a margin of a millimeter around the black border.

These should drum up business nicely. In addition to her superb abilities in proofreading and editing, Elie is also a talented musician. You can listen to her music here. I am off now to draw her a show card for her next performance at the Jade Lounge!

a close up of elie's card, "proofreading & editing"

Photos by Alicia Carrier

Friday, October 8, 2010

one giant piece of furniture

Whew! What a busy week.

First, I just have to mention how nice it is to have a grocery store within walking distance! It's not the New Seasons we had hoped for, but we're happy to welcome our little Grocery Outlet to the neighborhood. We were all set to make some Chicken Alfredo for dinner, when we realized that although we did buy chicken yesterday when we went to New Seasons, we did not buy any pasta, heavy cream, or parmesan cheese! So, we walked over to Grocery Outlet. Let me just say I have never been to a Grocery Outlet before, so I was surprise to see that the "dairy" aisle contained such things as cheese and crackers, cheese spread in a can, and cheese flavored snacks... but no actual dairy products.The motto of Grocery Outlet is "Overshop. Underspend." How American is that?!

Anyways, check out our new type cabinet! We got a heckuva deal on it, and we just had to borrow our friends' truck to move it.

we found this sweet old type cabinet on briar press

A lot, but not all, of the assortrements in the photo came with it.

We can finally unstack our type cases for the last time! There are slots to hold our galley trays, and our extra rollers tuck away nicely in the slots on the left. Our studio is starting to look like one!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

mixed and matched

Well, the I Heart Art Mixer Match was a success!

photos from the etsylabs flickr site

It was held at a swank furniture/design store downtown called Design Within Reach.

We had an opportunity to practice our pitch and show our cards to sixteen local retailers. An exciting number of them expressed interest in carrying our cards!

Here, we are talking to Dillon, from the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

The whole event was pretty low-key. Based on the "speed dating" model, we had two minutes with each of the vendors to describe our cards and ourselves and to see if we could make a match. The event was sponsored by Etsy, I Heart Art, and somehow PNCA was involved, too. It was great to see so many familiar faces.

The Portland art community is fairly small, and as it turned out, we had already met many of the vendors at various boutiques, parties, and barbeques around town! (Hopefully, this will work to our advantage.)

We'll keep you posted if we get into any more stores.

Wish us luck!

Monday, August 23, 2010

it's the little things

Things have been going well lately, here at Darling Press.

We have been busy finishing up a bunch of small projects. We printed up some labels for a local sculptor and professor at PNCA,
Frank Irby, who recently has taken to making amazing, custom, hand-crafted ukuleles! Basically, without being asked, I took it upon myself to design him some labels and print them up.

Two good things about working at an art college are access to amazing artists like Frank and access to materials that we otherwise wouldn't even think of. Who knew that wine labels are printed from huge rolls of adhesive material five thousand feet long? Three entire rolls were donated to the school, and we were given permission to use what we need... woot! The result: fancy self-adhesive labels to replace the ink-jet-on-typing-paper labels Frank had been using. His ukuleles will be cherished for generations, I thought it appropriate that his labels should last as long as his artwork.

In addition to these tiny pieces, we have finished some business cards/hang tags for our friend, Ruth! Ruth made Alia's wedding dress, and last fall Ruth was awarded second place in Portland's Junk to Funk Trashion Show! She's pretty fancy, and we were honored to design something for her. This was our first attempt at die-cutting, and it was a crucial test for our press (and our ability to operate it). The whole deal was surprisingly easy, and we are very excited about doing more in the future. We already have received another request for some fancy business cards!

And finally, one more little announcement: we were selected to take place in the I Heart Art Mixer-Match next month at Design Within Reach! We will be given the opportunity to pitch our wares to twenty local vendors who may decide to carry our cards. Wish us luck!

All the best, Jason

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tisk tisk

Admittedly, we’re bad bloggers. I find myself with sudden writer’s block (blogger’s block?) when I sit down to write a blog. However, in this day and age, getting serious about starting a business means getting serious about updating and connecting to the online community around us.

Here is an update.

The biggest news is we printed up some lovely congratulation cards.

The inspiration came one day when I grabbed a chicken egg from our coop and realized how much work it must be to make an egg every day of a chicken’s life. Feeling thankful for the delicious eggs our chickens provide us, I said to our birds, “Good job!”

In other news, we’re starting to think about a 2011 calender, and we hope we can get it done in time! At first we tried thinking of grand ideas, but instead we’ve chosen to make a simple calender. Being fans of setting out birdseed and watching the wildlife join us in our backyard, we have decided to make a calender featuring birds of the Northwest. We hope the calender turns into a reality. Currently, sketches are in the works.

Soon, you’ll see images of our friend Ruth’s business cards. She requested something that would double as a business card and a hang-tag for her clothing. Our first experience with die cutting is upon us and we’re excited to see how it works!

On a completely unrelated note, look at how awesome our rabbit is! His name is Mumford and he couldn’t be more of a sweetheart.