Handmade cards can be gifts unto themselves. We’ve found seven designers who use an array of papers (from eco-friendly to skin-soft cotton), and offer everything from blank cards and calendars to party sets and fully customizable stationery.
For Shannon Lowry of Round Robin Press in Austin, Texas, cards should have a second life. That’s why she chose 100% recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds for her letterpress designs. “It becomes an experience, a shared after-school activity, a holiday ritual,” she explains. Lowry’s playful illustrations take a style cue from her “Cakes,” 6×6-inch encaustic assemblages of paper, ink and resin. In addition to blank greeting cards, she offers custom announcements and invitations.
Want to help a customer throw a perfect children’s party? Recommend Carrie Fisher’s “Whale Party Kit.” It includes invitations and envelopes, paper napkin rings, place cards and gift-bag tags—and is fully customizable. She also offers animal-print note cards, a custom name print and bookmarks through her Kennesaw, Ga., Itsybitsystore. “My shop was born out of my passion for children’s design,” Fisher says.
Egg Press is a team of designers in Portland, Ore., who work in an old warehouse building to painstakingly craft letterpress greeting cards. Opened in 1999, the studio operates antique presses to bring their highly colorful and creative card designs to life. Also look for calendars, interactive “Let’s Stitch” kits that produce stuffed canvas animals, custom wedding and birth announcements, and personalized stationery.
“My mom still sends me an advent calendar every year,” says Penny Richards Eversole of Pinkerton Design. “It’s something I look forward to every holiday season.” It also serves as the inspiration for her “Mini Advent Calendar,” a more adult-friendly version of the timeless gift. Richards launched her Seattle, Wash., studio in 2004 to produce a small line of greeting cards. Today, she offers a diverse line of vibrant paper products along with a series of tote bags.
There’s a reason you won’t be able to stop touching Jackie Hall Robinson’s stationery—every piece is created from 100% cotton paper. She hand-prints delightfully modern letterpress invitation and announcement suites at her St. Augustine, Fla., studio 42 Pressed. She also makes a point to use soy inks. Want to add a little more flair to the designs? Ask about Robinson’s fully customizable stationery.
“In an era of mass-produced materials and electronic correspondence, I’m thrilled to be part of a handmade movement to keep the written word alive,” says Amy Gautschi of Simple Ink. Her design studio is the result of a childhood love of clean design and handmade papers. Although she launched the Bend, Ore., studio in 2005 as a custom wedding stationery business, her focus has switched from embossing and stamping to cotton-paper letterpress designs that include greeting cards and boxed sets.
Julie Belcher and Kevin Bradley formed Yee-Haw Industries in 1996 to design and print commemorative and promotional posters, stationery, greeting cards and fine art prints. The full-service Knoxville, Tenn., graphic design and artist studio handcarves the letterpress blocks and meticulously lines up the type and spacers for eye-catching four-color prints. If you can’t get enough of good typography, pick up their tiny “Je T’Aime” cards in assorted colors.