Letterpress fans, welcome to day 3 in our Letterpress Goodness series. Each day, we are spotlighting a letterpress studio that is creating amazing letterpress fabulousness.
Today's spotlight in on Golden Rectangle Press, run by the dynamic duo - Beth and Peter. So here is their lovely interview and fab pics. Enjoy and you can contact Beth and Peter via the link above. What is the name of your business? How long have you been in business? My husband Peter and I are Golden Rectangle Press and we have been designing and printing invitations and stationery together for 2 years. Before Peter came along, I had been creating wedding invitations since 2003.
What is your name, title, and role in the business? Beth McGouran, co-owner, designer, letterpress printer. Peter is the screen printing extraordinaire, art editor, and the balancing influence in keeping a number of the designs male-friendly.
What made you want to start your own business, if applicable? We've been creating together since we met so the transition to our own company seemed like a natural step and we wouldn't have it any other way. When you work for someone else, you start to lose bits of your soul. For some people, it may be small bits here and there, but I always feel that I get very far away from myself. My design career has given me a lot– most importantly– invaluable experience working with tons of clients and different personalities.
But for a long time, I have had a very strong desire to design pieces that I have more of a connection to; pieces with more meaning and emotion. I love the idea of creating something that marks an historical moment in someone's life. Something that they will keep forever. I still have my parents' wedding invitation and I consider it a priceless piece. Whether or not the couple remembers me personally is unimportant. The fact that they'll have a part of something that I made for them is very exciting. And it's all about love. How great is that?
What paper products do you offer? We love the Neena line and use it a lot. We also favor Crane's Lettra, Mohawk and Strathmore. Our list is always expanding because we both love paper and the scope of products to choose from is enormous.
What is your price range? Our suites start at $8.50 per set and vary according to designs, number of colors and extras like metallic inks and lined envelopes. We are in love with lined envelopes! What is your typical work day like? What is a typical work day?! When you work for yourself, you learn to expect the unexpected and go with the flow, not the undertow. Cliche but true! Do you do custom work? Tell me a little about your custom design process? How long do custom orders usually take to complete? After initial concepts and ideas are discussed, it takes about 3-5 days to flesh out design solutions. From there, the couple chooses between the designs and can mix and match elements from one piece to the next. The length of the design process depends a lot on the couple. Some are very hands on which is great because they get to be a part of their invitation design, but it also lengthens the process so it's important to allow enough time. After design sign off, we allot 3-4 weeks for printing.
What advice would you give to brides who want letterpressed invitations? If you can afford it, do it! Letterpressed invitations are so magical, you can't help staring at them and running your fingers over the impressions. We fondle them constantly! You can't get that kind of timelessness and elegance from offset no matter how beautiful the design is.
What makes products created by letterpress so special? Letterpress provides both a human connection and a connection to a piece of history before technology depersonalized everything. Our connections to one another through email, Facebook, text messaging and the Internet have boiled down to pixels. Our links to each other are most predominant in computerland which makes them seem less real, and when one device makes another obsolete those moments of connection are gone with them. Computers and printers can be wonderful creation tools but when it ends there, the human element is removed. When you hold a letterpress print in your hand, you are connected to the person who made that print using their hands, arms, legs, entire body, their love, their patience, and the oldest method of printing. There's a lot of soul in that.
If you could design wedding invitations for anyone in the world, who would it be? If we could time warp into the past, we would create invites for any of the great artistic geniuses whose work could become part of the imagery or wording. daVinci, Picasso, Mucha, Klimt, Haring, cummings, Auden. Any of the classic type designers and patternmakers. John & Yoko!
Where do you go for inspiration? Everywhere- architecture, photographs, music, posters, screen prints, and nature. Creative souls are inspiring.
What trends do you see emerging in letterpress/invitation design in 2009? It depends on what the press says (no pun intended!). Someone will always publicize the latest trend and everyone quickly hops on that train. In work and in life, neither one of us typically follows trends but a good trend that is on the rise is the use of recycled and green products. Let's keep our earthly time capsule alive and breathing.
What is your favorite typeface and pantone color? We mostly work with the classic typefaces or anything that looks very classic and refined. We try to stay away from type with a major swank factor. Colorwise, we favor a lot of the warmer Pantones in the red and brown families. We also love metallics.