ink in tubes!

We were really excited to receive our very first order of

Ink in Tubes

inks this week.

When we started Seaborn Press, we decided to print all of our designs in black ink for a few reasons. One of them was cost - if we only made a few sales a week and had to print them each in separate colors, it would be a lot of added time for us in set up/clean up. More importantly, we also wanted to make sure we weren't overwhelmed with possibility. It's kind of like how, in an intro drawing or painting class, you start by doing gray scale studies. You don't have to worry about whether or not your colors are right - just whether you're representing shapes the way you want to. Same with design - we didn't want to have an endless world of color possibilities available right from the beginning, when we were still figuring out our designs. We designed everything in black and white from the start - which probably made them stronger.

Now, however - we're ready to be overwhelmed! We've settled into our designs and can now introduce some color without focusing only on the color and forgetting the design. At first, we're only going to be doing wedding stationery in color - even though we have a steady stream of sales, we want to be sure our volume is high enough to be able to factor in the additional clean up time without raising prices. Maybe we'll just do colored stationery as "limited edition" pieces that are slightly more expensive. Either way, we're ready to start releasing our colored wedding designs - and there are a lot! So that's exciting news. Of course, first, we have to make it through the remainder of the holiday shopping period!

A Poem by Thoreau

In the spirit of branching out, we printed a poem yesterday. It's called "Friendship" and it's by Henry David Thoreau, a poet we both really like. It's just the last two verses of the poem (the whole thing is quite long). You can read the whole poem here :

http://poemhunter.com/poem/friendship-4/

. It's really nice, about love and friendship and all that good stuff. We want to make lots of little prints of poems and sayings and stuff like that - we chose this one to do first because it's almost Valentine's Day (in the retail world, anyway) and we thought this one would be really nice for a gift!

It's a two-color print, so that means we got to mix up some green ink!

And this is how it turned out! It's really hard to take photos when it's as dark as it was today - I might have to try again tomorrow. I'll leave you with a visual clue as to why it would be really nice to have a studio outside of our apartment:

Until next time -

x

Printing a Custom Stationery Set: A Primer

Hello. Today I'll go through a brief description of how we print one of our custom stationery sets, from start to finish. Here, I'm printing a copy of one of our newest designs for our shop.

First off, in the composing room we double-check the name and address before we start setting the type in the job stick (there's no delete key in hand composition). Since everything is backwards in a relief process like letterpress, you start building up the form upside down, one letter at a time.

Once the type is set, in this case a simple initial with a single address line below, we are ready to put the form in the chase (the rectangular frame that holds the type) to be locked up for printing. We place the form close to the center of the chase and fill the space around it with wooden blocks (called furniture) that are shorter than type-high, so they will hold the type in place, but not make contact with either the ink rollers or paper. After filling the chase with furniture, we lock everything up with small metal wedges (called quoins) that expand to hold it all in place. After that, we can finally put the chase on the press and get ready to start printing!

When we're about ready to start printing, we ink up the press and sight the gauge pins (guides to hold the paper in place for each impression) for proper alignment. After a few test proofs, we fine-tune the registration and make sure the impression is even and crisp, then we're ready to start the run. From here on, we can just crank away!

Finally, here's a shot of the finished product. Not bad, eh?

Let us know what you think. Thanks for reading!