Letterpress Goodness: Parklife PressLetterpress Goodness: Parklife Press

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Letterpress Goodness: Parklife Press

Letterpress fans, welcome to day 2 in our Letterpress Goodness series. Each day, we are spotlighting a letterpress studio that is creating amazing letterpress fabulousness.

Today's spotlight in on Parklife Press. We gave you a sneak peek into Parklife Press last year when Parklife was sweet enough to sponsor a giveaway. 'Cause you girls love a good giveaway. Parklife is the brainchild of Travis Friedrich, who is another "one-man show." So here is his wonderful interview and gorgeous pics including pictures of the giveaway winner's notecards. Enjoy and you can contact Travis via the link above.

What is the name of your business? How long have you been in business?
I started my company, Parklife Press, in late 2005... so it's just over 3 years old.

What is your name, title, and role in the business?
I'm Travis Friedrich, the owner and sole employee (with occasional help).

What makes you do what you do?
I love being in charge of my own time and deciding for myself what projects are important. That, combined with the fact that there aren't exactly a whole lot of job openings in letterpress and/or printmaking in general, led me to start a business of my own.

What paper products do you offer? What is your price range?
Parklife offers just about any sort of custom letterpress work you can think of (wedding stationery, business cards, personal notes, event invitations, etc). That said, about 90% of our printing is for weddings. Our prices for wedding invitations tend to run between $5 and $15 per set depending on the details. In the world of custom letterpress, there's a huge range in prices from shop to shop. I think Parklife's rates fall at about the 25th percentile (we're more expensive than a few, but more affordable than most.... and MUCH more affordable than some).

What is your typical work day like?

Most of my time is spent at my desk, whether it's doing design work for a client, ordering supplies (plates, paper, ink, etc), or answering emails and phone calls from potential customers. About 2-3 days a week (often on the weekends when I don't have as many emails coming in) I'm in the studio printing.

Do you do custom work? Tell me a little about your custom design process? How long do custom orders usually take to complete?
Yes, almost every order Parklife prints is custom. Usually, a client will open an order with a fairly clear idea of what they want, whether it be a variation on something in our gallery, or something they've dreamed up. I then put a few preliminary proofs together to show them, and we go from there, honing the design until it's perfect. The design process usually takes a couple of weeks, although there's a big range. A decent chunk of my work is for designers who come to me with finished designs... I'm happy to print those as well. Printing takes 3 weeks or less once the design is ready.

What advice would you give to brides who want letterpressed invitations?

Two things: First, I'd steer them toward a company that will give detailed personal attention to your order. It's nice to work directly with a single person who will see your order through from start to finish. Second, see a sample of the work before choosing a printer. Not all letterpress is done well. There's sometimes an assumption that if it's letterpress, it's high-quality, however, there's a big difference between a shop that puts a lot of stock in the details, and one who doesn't.

What makes products created by letterpress so special?

First and foremost, I just love the way letterpress pieces look. A crisp impression on thick soft paper is wonderful. Secondly, there's something nice about the fact that the printing is done by hand, one sheet at a time, on an old antique press (mine is over 100 years old).

If you could design wedding invitations for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Besides Brangelina? Hmmm... I'm not sure that anyone's coming to mind... I'll get back to you if I think of someone.

Where do you go for inspiration?
It seems like I'm always stumbling on inspiration (in magazines, on TV, on signs) so I don't often need to seek it out. My customers are also a great source of design ideas. Most of the pieces that are now Parklife designs stemmed from a custom job for a specific client.

What trends do you see emerging in letterpress/invitation design in 2009?
It seems like sans-serif type has been quite popular lately, both in wedding stationery and in pop culture in general. It'll be interesting to see if it continues. I also think perhaps the popularity of pocketfolds and enclosures of that sort may continue to grow.

What is your favorite typeface and pantone color?
I've really been liking Century Gothic a lot -- especially in all caps with generous kerning. As for color, PMS 5503 (Parklife's Pale Peacock) seem to keep popping up in my work.


Here are pictures from our letterpress giveaway that Travis so graciously participated in. The winner won 40 personalized notecards and envelopes.


Wedding Invitations said...

Parklife Press does some amazing work. Love the freehand typography.