Letterpress fans, it is our last day of Letterpress Goodness! Awwwwww....
Today's spotlight in on Letterpress Light, run by the ingenious Heather Noss. Here is her lovely interview and wonderful pictures of her fab work. Enjoy and you can contact Heather via the link above. What is the name of your business? How long have you been in business? My business is called Letterpress Light. I have been in business for 4 months selling on Etsy. I use a process that reproduces the wonderful recessed texture of letterpress printing, but I don't use a letterpress printing press (hence the name Letterpress "Light"). I do make my own photopolymer plates from my original designs, but press them un-inked over prints produced by regular flat printing. The greatest advantage of this method is that there is no difference for me time-wise as far as the number of colors that can be used in a design.
What is your name, title, and role in the business? Heather Noss, Owner & Artist. I am a one-person business, so I do everything!
What made you want to start your own business, if applicable? I was in the Foreign Service for seven years, which I loved for the years I did it, but came to realize that moving so much and working for a large bureaucracy was not for me anymore. I also couldn't deny my creative side! I love having my own business because I am building something new, while providing a creative product that I hope makes people happy. I am a self-taught designer, so it's also been a joy to expand those skills and see the positive reaction to what I am producing in my clients.
What paper products do you offer? What is your price range? I produce cards, wedding invitations and other wedding stationery, party invitations, baby announcements, and thank you cards. Prices for wedding sets start at $4.50 per set, which includes invitation/envelope and RSVP card/envelope, both with return address printed.
What is your typical work day like? I'm still working out my typical work day, but generally I get up around 9 am and start work right away. Since my business is all online, I check emails and respond to inquiries while I am eating breakfast (I know probably not a good habit!). I spend part of my morning taking care of any business housekeeping that I need to do, and then work on orders until mid-afternoon. At that point I've been trying to keep my new year's resolution of going to the gym! After I get back, I work for a few more hours, perhaps making plates or doing more online correspondence. I usually call it a night by 9 pm.
Do you do custom work? Tell me a little about your custom design process? How long do custom orders usually take to complete? All of the designs on my website can be made done in any color and font combination. I also do custom designs, which involves getting an idea from the client about the look and feel they are going for, and if they already have specific ideas about what they would like the design to contain. For a truly new design, clients should allow at least three weeks for the design process, and after that my usual timeframe for printing an order (anywhere from 2-5 weeks depending on quantities needed and other factors).
What advice would you give to brides who want letterpressed invitations? I am not a regular letterpress printer, but from what I have observed of other shops, I think it really pays to shop around. Like any business, letterpress printers will vary in terms of their business costs and their skill level, resulting in differences in price and quality. I would find a printer who is going to work with you on an individual basis to give you what you want. Speaking for myself, I am always ready to work with a client's budget, and can offer mixed sets, such as a set of pressed invitations but with just flat-printed (non-pressed) RSVP cards for a lower price.
What makes products created by letterpress so special? For me, it's all about texture! That's what motivated me to create a process that reproduces the texture – there's just something about that depth that letterpress pieces have. For wedding pieces in particular, you know that the invitations people receive are not something they are just going to throw away.
If you could design wedding invitations for anyone in the world, who would it be? Oprah! But unfortunately, it doesn't look like she's marriage-minded!
Where do you go for inspiration? I get the best inspiration from my clients. I love how collaborative the process is, and I like having someone in mind when I'm designing. My most popular wedding design was the result of working on the design with a client, so I know that for me it's the best method to come up with new ideas!
What trends do you see emerging in letterpress/invitation design in 2009? Letterpress "Light" of course!
What is your favorite typeface and pantone color? I really like Windsong for people's names, and as far as pantone color, I am crazy for any shade of purple – lately I've had to force myself to produce samples for my site in something other than purple!