Foil Favourites

Credits: Dauphine Press via Sweet Paper (left); source (right)

I honestly thought that all my stationery-loving heart had beat its fastest when I discovered letterpress, especially when we started seeing letterpress combined with hand drawn calligraphy fonts. Amazing. But the latest big trend in wedding invitations has taken it one step further. Foil, you guys. It is the gorgeous-est. And from a few beautiful collections last year to an absolute explosion of foil stamped goodness for 2013, this is one trend that is absolutely made for brides. It’s pretty, it’s tactile, it’s classic… and every time I see a new foiled invite I have the urge to run my fingers over it and go ‘ooh, shiny shiny!’. I’m a magpie, what can you do.Read More

Q&A with Essie Letterpress

Happy Friday, my lovelies! And time for me to introduce you to another fabulous South African service provider. Essie Letterpress is one of SBB’s sponsors, which I’m thrilled about because I love their work so much – not just the beautiful letterpress printing they offer, but the designs they produce as well. It makes me want to reach into my screen and stroke the invitations (is that a publishing thing? an obsession with paper?) just so I can feel those delicious indentations and smell the ink. My love affair with letterpress aside, Vanessa and Ben of Essie Letterpress are just the nicest people to work with, so I asked them to share some behind-the-scenes info and advice with my readers.

Hi Vanessa – thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions about your business! How did you get into letterpress?
I was living in San Francisco twelve years ago, whilst studying interior design, when I first came across letterpress, as one of my housemates was doing a part-time course. I immediately fell in love with it! I went on to work as an Interior Designer, but when I moved to a farm from Cape Town two and half years ago and wanted to do something creative, I instantly thought about starting a letterpress printing company. There was also a gap in the South African market for letterpress, so it seemed like the perfect venture.

As well as straightforward letterpress printing, what other services or products do you offer?
We offer a design service, and on the printing side we have just started doing hot foiling as well.

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Guest Post: The Letterpress Comeback

Sometimes I think I overuse the term ‘love’ here on this blog. What can I say, there’s a lot to love in the prettiness hitting my inbox every day. But in the pantheon of loveliness, there are some details that get an extra special amount of awe. You know, for example, how I feel about proteas. And tulips. Calligraphy. Long tables. Baker’s twine. Cherries. Topiaries. Vera Wang. Romona Keveza. Shoes. LETTERPRESS. Oh, letterpress. Just the word is enough to put a smile on my face – the thought of such beautiful paper – not to mention actually holding it in my grubby little hands. Oh yes, there’s something very special about letterpress. But until recently, few South African couples went down this road for their invitations (or knew about it). Trust me, folks, that is about to change. And once you fall for letterpress, there’s no going back. It really is love. SO, I thought this was the perfect time to tell you more about it, and to help me I’ve enlisted the fab Vanessa Grib of Essie Letterpress in Cape Town (thanks guys!). Once you’ve had a read, be sure to head over to Vanessa and husband Ben’s website to see more of their gorgeous work, and give them a call about your own invitations!


I still remember the first time I held up a letterpressed invitation. It’s a difficult feeling to explain. Think of the sound coming off a record player. Think of the excitement you used to get when developing your film photographs. Think of that bite into your grandmother’s homemade bread. You get the essence of holding something that has undertaken a long journey to get to this point. And you are the destination.

Letterpress is an interactive experience. Instead of it being just a picture of a word, it becomes a physical entity, something solid. It’s something you can touch. Letterpress puts a bite into the paper. It has a three dimensional quality that no other printing can equal.

But what is it? Letterpress is the act of running cotton rich paper over raised typography and images, creating an impression in the paper. You can feel it the gentle inclines and declines with your fingers and see slight shadows being created on the page. It is truly different.Read More