Friday, January 29

Superbowl XLIV

Kick your Superbowl XLIV party off right with this amazing invite called "Kickoff" by Checkerboard!

Just like when you were kids, this origami football gets flicked across the field through the freestanding goal posts.

This invite is sure to bring every guest to the party raging about the invitation, and will also be used for quite a while after. There are a few here around the office that get some fair play. Two thumbs up to Checkerboard for this stellar interactive invitation. See you on the sidelines!

Wednesday, January 27

An Ampersand a Day

Check out this new project, 300&65 Ampersands, which showcases an ampersand each day of 2010. What a great way to discover new fonts and share ampersand love!

{L to R from the top: Poppl-Residenz BQ, Regular; Berthold Walbaum, Book; ITC Garamond, Ultra Thick Italic; Fat Face; Tall Films, Regular; Bernhard Gothic, Regular}

Sunday, January 24

New Reading

Over the weekend, I picked up a copy of Cabinet, a literary and arts magazine that I was not familiar with, until seeing it on the shelf of my local bookstore. It may be that I am the last person to find out about Cabinet, but nonetheless it is excellent. It is published in Brooklyn, NY and has run thirty-five issues (so far). It's published quarterly and runs about 110 pages! A subscription is surprisingly cheap at $32 USD per year.

The philosopher, Slavoj Žižek, said of Cabinet,
"[It is] my kind of magazine; ferociously intelligent, ridiculously funny, absurdly innovative, rapaciously curious. Cabinet's mission is to breathe life back into non-academic intellectual life. Compared to it, every other magazine is a walking zombie." (BoingBoing, September 2009)
I'm very pleased to have found such a magazine, particularly as magazine publishing is so dramatically on the wane. Due to its substantial size, excellent printing, and diversity of material, it doesn't seem like the sort of reading that would translate well to an e-Reader or other such device. I say this because most articles are about six to eight pages (letter size) long, much longer than many columns.

Given that it is nearly the length of a paperback book (200 or so pages, if you were to cut them to the size of a paperback), it isn't the sort of magazine you flick through. There are few advertisements, as Cabinet is a non-profit organization. The structure of the magazine is quite interesting, too.

If you're looking for something to put on your coffee table, and perhaps remove a sitcom or two from your nightly routine, I highly recommend it. Check out their current issue: Issue 35, Dust.

Thursday, January 21

Aurora: Pantone Top 10 Colors of Spring 2010

When you see how cute Michonne + Mike are in 100 Layer Cake's post, you may just become a fan of yellow. I am not really a yellow kind of girl, but the whole package is breathtaking, including her Carolina Herrera dress. Even on the hanger, that dress has a life of it's own. What I love about this wedding blog is that personal style and deliberate expression of personalities and stories are alive and tangible. The imagery is just so yummy.

When I saw the image of the bouquet, I thought it paired up so nicely with the Buttercup invitation that was recently featured in Brides Magazine.

Aurora yellow was forecasted in Pantone's top 10 Colors for Spring 2010. Yellow has been hot for a bit now, and I honestly did not think it would stay on top, but the optimistic feeling it gives you, just keeps it vital in design.

In the words of Nina Garcia quoted for the latest Pantone's Fashion Color Report:

“Designers have responded to the shift in the economy in one
of two ways: by using bold colors in comforting, familiar silhouettes; or by
creating eye-catching one-of-a-kind pieces that are completely irresistible. The
fashion constant, however, has been and always will be color. There’s nothing
like a vibrant hue of Royal Purple or Golden Yellow to make
us feel optimistic and hopeful for the future – just look at our first lady! She wears
color impeccably. I predict that we’ll see a lot more brights in spring 2010 to
inspire and uplift everyone’s mood.”
— Nina Garcia
Fashion Director, Marie Claire Judge, Lifetime’s “Project Runway”

Aurora PANTONE 12-0642

Monday, January 18

Typography in Advertising

I recently came across an article featuring great typography in advertising. Here are a few examples, but the entire article is worth checking out on noupe.




Sunday, January 17

Pelikan Pen Contest Still Going Strong!

I suppose this post is the equivalent of the "bump", since our last post was also a reminder, but you should definitely stop by our Facebook page and leave us a comment about your last letter writing experience (either a letter you sent or a letter you received)!

Pelikan m215, Black

Saturday, January 16

Tea Shirts!

Okay, so, these may be a *little* wasteful when it comes to package design, but they are adorable and the concept is very cool. Check out these "tea shirt" sachets by Soon Mo Kang:

With a little bit of work on the materials side, you might be able to make these a little less wasteful and still just as adorable. I love the concept.

Friday, January 15

Pen Giveaway Reminder!

Don't forget that eInvite is giving away a beautiful Pelikan pen via our Facebook page, in celebration of Universal Letter Writing Week. I took a couple of photos of the pen to share with you!

Pelikan m215, Black

All you have to do is write a note on our Facebook page: here about a letter that you have written or received, and you'll be entered in the contest to win either the m215 (above) worth $120 or the ballpoint version below!!

Pelikan r215, Black

A winner will be chosen at random from everyone whom comments on our wall with their memories of letter writing. As letter writing (and handwriting in general) becomes more rare, sending and receiving letters becomes so much more valuable and precious. Think about how you feel when you get a handwritten note, or how you feel when you send one.

Never sacrifice your loved ones for the sake of a little convenience!

Long Distance Love - Gift for Her

Is your Valentine going to be far away this year? While you are pining for your love, consider sending her a box of fine custom personalized stationery as a supremely romantic gesture. Flame Red Note, Vita, and Samba are feminine and sweet choices that will convey your wish to stay close.

Thursday, January 14

Floral Inspiration

{images via the knot, floral verde, and our the top left and
bottom two by our personal favorite florist, Sprout}

Designing a new line of watercolor floral invitations and considering what the trends are for 2010 brought me to our neighborhood source for all that is hot in florals. Cathy Walsh over at Sprout gave me some great input for what her brides are looking for in bridal bouquets. This is the first inspiration board I put together to get me going for day 1. Whites, and nautrals mixed with contrasting darks and subtle silvers. I just love the Mocha Roses (top left) mixed in with the baby green hydrangea and tones of white, those chocolatey red berries or dark brown uluhe fern curls. One of Cathy's favs are the phalaenopsis orchids, which she says are "so sexy and modern". I have to agree. White or purple, the petals have such a thick and sparkly magic to them. I will start with these and continue posting more of Cathy's suggestions and tasty images that I find.

Funny, I found some imagery from Floral Verde and what do you know ...she entered Sprout's 50 dollar challenge! The top piece was created for a client and the bottom piece was inspried from it.

I just love the wild grassy and multiple textures going on. A great little piece of eye candy.

Color Unleashed

{image via Neenah Paper}

Neenah Paper, one of our fav paper companies has just announced the release of Color Unleashed as a microsite! Great for designers of all kinds, check out the palette building site, or the iphone app, both developed by And Partners exclusively for Neenah. I am just loving the creative possibilities inspired by this cool tool. A must for designers.

{image via And Partners}

From Neenah's press release this morning:
The microsite will be especially useful to designers because it's a color visualization tool that bridges the screen and the printed page. Designers can build color palettes with features no other site offers. With the site, users can:

• Create custom color palettes based on three different
options: RGB and CMYK values; Neenah's paper colors; or the Dewey Color System®, the world's only scientifically-validated color-based personality testing

• Create and view color palettes of RGB and CMYK values right on the
screen and then with one click download the palette as an Adobe® Swatch Exchange
(.ASE) file and embed it into Adobe® Creative Suite®. This key element
saves users from having to hand-enter information and instead populates a
library of color swatches and Neenah Paper colors into a designer's personal
Creative Suite automatically and saves it for future use.
• Select from more than 30 Dewey scientifically validated personality attributes
from a word cloud and build custom palettes.
• Order sample sheets.
Designers can link directly to their Neenah Paper accounts making it easy to
order samples with just a few mouse clicks. And for a limited time, Neenah
is offering free sample shipping through the site.
• Import their own
photos or take imagery displayed from the Think Ink promotional book and play
with free-form type, change paper and ink colors to simulate real ink on
• View all saved color palettes and past paper sample orders.
• With a complete line-up of Neenah paper choices added to the site, users
can view their designs on CLASSIC CREST®, CLASSIC® Linen, ENVIRONMENT® Papers, as well as on other Neenah signature brands.

Monday, January 11

Write me a letter...

{image of Maria Thomas in her home studio shot by Adoniram Sides}

This stunning collage was created for our friends at Checkerboard by insanely gifted calligrapher, Maria Thomas as a promotion for Escargot Stationery. She is a lifelong letter writer herself who has shared wonderful stories of lifelong pen pal writings that took her to London to meet her friend that she had been writing to for years. She is a renowned letterer who collaborated with Checkerboard for the stationery line that features 8 exclusive alphabets designed by Maria.

To watch her work is amazing. To hear the pen on paper is extraordinary and to receive her work in the mail is a gift. I am sure everyone at the post office goes a little slower when her envelopes are processed. The personal feeling of receiving a handwritten note in the mail is pretty tremendous. Now more than ever, taking the time to write and craft a letter or a note makes so much impact on the recipient. No, we don't all have the skills of a calligrapher, but letters brought by mail are savored and cherished. The gift of your words on paper are priceless.

If you are a parent, try sending a note to your children, big or small. Encourage them to write to their grandparents and friends. The excitement of receiving mail is such a thrill to them, no matter what their ages! Not only is this Universal Letter Writing Week, but you know that red, hearty holiday is approaching and the world of consumerism will undoubtedly pressure you into spending and thoughts about what to give to your loved one...why not your words with that little something? That brings me to ...

I am so excited to have ordered the Greatest Love Letters of All Time this morning {yes I am a little dorky}, as I was thinking about letter writing and expression. Some of it looked pretty juicy, so maybe some pointers/exerpts are coming your way for the perfect Valentine's Love Letter. Some of the letters that caught my eye were Franz Kafka to Felice Bauer, Voltaire to Marie Louise Denis, Anne Sexton to Philip Leglar, Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, Frida Khalo to Diego Rivera, and Kahlil Gibran to Mary Haskell. {I don't know how George Bush was included in this mix, but there is a one in there to Barbara...random.}
This little note card , also from Escargot is so cute for an adult valentine message.

Making a Statement with Stationery

This amazing pen giveaway led me to think that is time to stock up on some great stationery! From an early age, my mother would have me write out thank you cards for each birthday or holiday gift received. I am thankful for the good manners, and can now appreciate both writing and receiving a personal note. I love seeing the stationery each writer chooses, and put a lot of thought into what my personal choice will be. You can imagine that working at eInvite, I have managed to acquire a large collection. But like all good things, there is often room for more! Here are a few of my favorites…

{L to R, Row 1: Fuchsia Card, William Arthur; Comfy Gal Notes, The Paperdoll Store; Teal Note, Crane & Co.; Garden Pattern by Kate Spade, Crane & Co. Row 2: Sweet Birdie with Blue Booties Thank You Note, take note! Designs; Fun Floral Thank You Note, take note! Designs; White Multimedia Card w/Motif, William Arthur; Vita, Checkerboard, Ltd. Row 3: Lali & Dan Thank You, Marsupial; Initial Impression Note Card, Carlson Craft; Double Frame (Green/Brown) corresp card by Kate Spade, Crane & Co.; Moab, Checkerboard, Ltd.; Dark Gray Card, William Arthur}

A Love Story...

This was originally posted in August 2009, but in honor of Universal Letter Writing Week, I wanted to revisit the touching story of Jaime and Jeremy. Enjoy!

Jaime and Jeremy, on their wedding day.
{image via NY Daily News}

If you have been reading any online news source in the past week or so, you have more than likely seen the story about Jaime Benefit and Jeremy Clayton. During the Persian Gulf War, Jaime (then 13 years old) decided to send a letter addressed to "any soldier" thanking them for their service. The letter ended up in the hands of 19 year old PFC Jeremy Clayton and the two became pen pals, writing back and forth whenever they could.

Fast-forward almost 20 years, and Jaime decided to try to find Jeremy.
After some unsuccessful attempts at trying to reach him through more traditional methods, Jaime used Facebook to sort through over 300 Jeremy Claytons! The rest happens only in the movies - Jaime and Jeremy met, instantly fell for each other and were married in July of this year. After reading an article about them, I knew I had to speak with Jaime about her extraordinary romance and how paper brought them together. One of the things that really got me about Jaime and Jeremy is that they still write each other little notes every day. She puts them in his lunch and he'll put them on the bathroom mirror for her - she says that they're as simple as "I love you" or "hope you have a great day", but that they mean so much to the two of them. Jaime says:
"Handwritten letters add a personal touch and it means a lot more when you take time to write someone, especially in today's society when emails and text messages have become the norm. With a handwritten letter you actually put your hands on it and they can save it to read at a later time."
Jaime actually kept all of the letters that Jeremy sent her during the Persian Gulf War, and Jeremy had to hide a couple of Jaime's letters in his truck so he could hang on to them. Most of us delete our emails or text messages or let them pile up in our inbox - Jeremy took the time to hide letters during a war. Jaime and Jeremy are just as technology obsessed as the rest of us but Jaime still sees the letter as a way to let someone know that you care about them.
"[It's] a way to show them that they are in your thoughts and that they are worth the extra minute it takes to write something out for them."
Who knows, that extra 5 minutes you take to actually mail a letter could make someone's day 20 years from now. So put down your cell phone, pick up a pen and piece of paper, and connect with someone special.

Sunday, January 10

World Class Pens

I have waxed poetic about pens before, but this time things are a little different. Why? Because is giving away a pen by one of my favorite pen manufacturers. We're not talking about the sort of so-called "fancy" pen you might find in a big-box store or office supply. We're talking a luxury writing tool from Pelikan. Free. Gratis.

Well, there is one, tiny catch. It's a contest. So stay glued to eInvite on Twitter, here on Blogger, or at our Facebook page. Lest you miss out on owning a great pen. Remember, there is more to writing than words on paper.

Image: Adoniram Sides, Pen Courtesy

Pelikan makes some wonderful pens. What makes for a wonderful pen? As it turns out, a few objective qualities and a few subjective, combined: mechanics, features, "write-ability", and aesthetics. Let's take a quick look at each quality in turn.


This tends to vary with regard to the style of pen you like to use. The popular types tend to be felt-tipped, ballpoint, and fountain.
  • Felt-tipped pens are commonly called "markers" and use a porous material as a membrane between the ink and the paper. The mechanical action is exceptionally simple, but leaving the cap off a felt-tipped pen will usually result in its demise, as the porous material allows air into the ink and will eventually dry out the pen.
  • Ballpoint pens apply ink to the page through friction applied to a tiny ball, often made of metal. The ball separates the ink, held in a case, from the elements outside the pen (paper, air, etc). As the ball spins, the ink flows past the ball, coating it in the process, and is applied to paper. This type of pen has a variety of mechanical benefits: they tend to inexpensive, they have great longevity, and many people enjoy the lack of attention required to write. A ballpoint pen will write in just about any direction, as long as gravity continues to feed the ink. Some ballpoint pens are pressurized to remove the gravity feed problem and allow you to write in any direction, even upside-down.
  • Fountain pens are, in my opinion, the most luxurious to use, but also the most difficult to use. Ink is fed by capillary action, through pressure applied to the nib (or point) of the pen. The design of fountain pens requires a more fluid ink that does not dry nearly as quickly as that of a ballpoint or even felt-tip pen. There are benefits, however, that the other two cannot reproduce. Greater pressure applied to a fountain pen results in a wider line, allowing for emphasis to easily be added to text, or allowing for beautiful flourishes and ligatures. Modern fountain pens are also easily refillable, making them a far more environmentally friendly choice than the mass-produced, disposable ballpoints.
Just like any tool, the quality of the design, materials, and machining have a huge impact on the mechanics of the pen. Metals and alloys make for durable, beautiful pens that write well and live long. Properly machined and fitted parts ensure the comfort (and quiet) of a fine pen. Have you ever noticed that, like a cheap car, cheap plastic pens squeak and bend as you use them? A good pen will not interfere with you as you write.


Oddly enough, pens have features, much like any other device. Grips, clips, tips, and a myriad of other design elements allow your pen to do more than just write. However, I am not a fan of generalism. I think you should excel at what you have been designed to do, rather than try and solve a bunch of problems that I don't have. Plenty of people like mediocre things, but if you're going to spend more than a few dollars on a pen, it should be exceptional. The two parts of this puzzle, in my opinion, are the remaining qualities: "write-ability" and aesthetics.


This term is not a real word, of course, but it does meet the need to describe how a pen really works. After all, a pen is really there to do one thing: write. When taking notes, I rely on a ballpoint pen, as it dries quickly but has an easy flow of ink to the page. It is not nearly as pleasurable as using a fountain pen, but it does the job admirably well (I use a Cross Century). Disposable pens, particularly those made by Bic, also write very well, though due to the sheer volume of manufacture, tend to be a little less reliable than a more expensive version of the same essential design. When you combine a well manufactured ink system with longevity, the only piece remaining is aesthetic.


This is the most difficult quality to quantify and a great deal of it is subjective. When it comes to pens, I like conservative design, where the appointments don't overwhelm the pen. I like a thin body, because I have a tendency to "crush" the pens or pencils that I use (I hold them with too much force). The smaller form forces me to use a lighter touch. Choosing the design of a pen is really up to you, but bear in mind that the size and shape will have a significant impact on how long you can use the pen and how well you can write with it. If you find a gigantic pen with all kinds of doodads and appointments that appeals to your tastes, try to imagine how it would feel to use. Similarly, if you're the utilitarian type, remember that there is more to the pen than how well it writes: rare metal and good manufacture can keep your hand cool and your fingers tireless.

Hopefully this has whet your appetite for more on pens, and writing in general. Leave your experiences and tastes below! We love to hear from you and always try to respond to comments quickly (so return often)!

Saturday, January 9

Turquoise Rising

I just had to post this: I've had some paint made for our various spring promotions, and Kevin (our carpenter) repainted some of my flats that I use for backgrounds, etc. Just look at this turquoise (Pantone's Color of the Year for 2010). Turquoise is coming!! Be on the lookout for some interesting features here and elsewhere regarding some of the colors in the Pantone 2010 forecast.

Thursday, January 7

Pantone Turquoise Wedding Inspiration

{images: Puerto Rico by me, Wave invitation by Checkerboard, peacock feathers via, and sach via the}

In many cultures, Turquoise is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. Through years of color word-association studies, we also find that to many people, Turquoise represents an escape, taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting – even if it is only a fantasy.

Whether envisioned as a tranquil ocean surrounding a tropical island or a protective stone warding off evil spirits, Turquoise is a color that most people respond to positively. It is universally flattering, has appeal for men and women, and translates easily to fashion and interiors. With both warm and cool undertones, Turquoise pairs nicely with any other color in the spectrum. Turquoise adds a splash of excitement to neutrals and browns, complements reds and pinks, creates a classic maritime look with deep blues, livens up all other greens, and is especially trend-setting with yellow-greens.

Turquoise is a color ever present in nature. It is the color of warm tropical waters that we gravitate to in cold winter months, especially if you are from New England! It is the color the conjures up memories of adventure and exotic locales. A perfect wedding inspiration. If you are having a destination wedding or a small town wedding in the backyard barn, turquoise is THE color to compliment your festivities. It is complimentary to so many others because it is found in nature, so let your imagination go and find which combination is right for you.

Great ways to add touches of turquoise to your floral bouquet, cake, and tabletops:
ribbons by Midori, turquoise beads, and turquoise feathers.

for modern turquoise and blue weddings, peek here
for destination wedding invitation inspiration, peek here

Wednesday, January 6

Iron Clad

When the Pantone Fashion Color Report indicated that Iron was going to be the "new black" for Fall/Winter 2009, I quickly got to work creating this color board to help inspire the art department here at eInvite. Strong yet understated, Iron makes traditional basics much more interesting. Neither gray nor brown, Iron is a grounding color that coordinates well with all colors in the palette. Looking for that perfectly sophisticated neutral for your living room? or perhaps your bridesmaid dresses? Go Iron's forever trustworthy!

Iron Clad
Iron Clad by Emily Quillen

MAMANOUK 120 SUEDE BOOTIES $1,000 $700 -
1780s Rose Cut Diamond Cluster Ring : Erie Basin Antiques $4,600 -
Erickson Beamon Painted Drop Necklace at Barneys New York $730 -
DKNY Organic Grey Steel Ring - Size M1/2 - H.Samuel the Jeweller $104 -
Erickson Beamon Painted Drop Necklace at Barneys New York $730 -
DKNY Organic Grey Steel Ring - Size M1/2 - H.Samuel the Jeweller $104 -
New Beauty Products and Innovations - -
Velvet Eyeshadow - Cosmetics, Fragrance, Salon and Beauty Gifts $18 -
Lavender hand cream 75ml $20 -
Mascara $25 -
Diesel Fuel For Life Unlimited 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray $58 -
Juicy Couture - Eau De Parfum ( Travel Size ) 30ml/1oz $50 -
Glimpse Eye Colour $20 -
background lipstick wallpaper -
Kate Moss Online - Gallery - US Vogue May 2009/2~6 -
Stars-turned-models -
Tutorial - Black Ore, Super Black Smokey Eye with Gold Pop -
Doutzen Kroes - Fashion Model - Profile on New York Magazine -
guitars black smoke design Layout Graphic -
Find Handmade Jewelry at $16 -

Tuesday, January 5

Paradise Found

Recently, one of our very special vendors had some wonderful things going on in her life, so we all got together and decided to send her these spectacular flowers from Teleflora. We went back and forth over several amazing arrangements, but this one came out ahead. I have to say in the middle of winter, this beauty would certainly bring warmth and tropical imagery to mind. We also wanted our message to be personal. Many of us here at know this spunky, sparkly girl and have worked with her for years.

{charicatures by Scott Boliard: Denise from Dinky Designs and her new husband Brent and one of our own, Dan Thiffault who is moving to....India}

So, we have a special inhouse artist, that we take full advantage of. He has the uncanny ability to "see" and know a person by looking at them. The little details that make each person special are "enhanced". If you are cute, you get cuter, if your ears protrude even slightly, oh, well then you own them. I happen to have one eyebrow that slants slightly higher than the other, something nobody notices, but Scott the "amazing card guy" can see it all! Each birthday, retirement, wedding, baby, each special occasion celebrated in the office is touched by one of these amazing cards. One person said that they retired just to get one!

So, with the fun that you can imagine we have, the idea popped in... to extend one of these special cards to our friend Denise. So with the help of Victoria from Victoria Flowers and Gifts, a designated Teleflora designer out there in Peru, Indiana we arranged something special! We sent the card ahead and had her deliver it with the bouquet. With her help we were able to arrange the whole thing and extend a little bit of ourselves from Massachusetts to be delivered with the bouquet we chose for delivery all the way out in Peru.

With heartfelt congratulations to Denise and Brent and our own Dan Thiffault, we hope this year brings amazing things!

Monday, January 4

Happy National Trivia Day!

{inject knowledge question mark by Chin2off via}

I'm all for ringing in the new year with some trivia to celebrate National Trivia Day! Below, a few little trivia nuggets about eInvite and paper/printing in general.

  • Our current building used to be a bowling alley. We think they should have kept a lane or two!
  • The original name for our IT department was 'elves': calls for help were often 'Please send an elf to customer service!'. Unfortunately they did not wear pointy shoes.
  • In Old English times, weddings would be announced to the public by a 'bidder' and everyone in earshot would become part of the celebration. That's one big party!
  • By the mid 18th century people started publishing wedding invitations and announcements in the newspaper. This has evolved into more popular engagement announcements, but wedding announcements are still around.
  • The US and Canada are in the top 5 paper and paperboard producing countries in the world.

Sunday, January 3

Ringing In the New Year... With Art!

Like many of you, most of us were away during the holiday layover (except a core staff of customer service and production, whom deserve a big "thank you" for their dedication to our customers!). I'm sure we all celebrated this break in different ways; I spent mine going to galleries and museums. Along the way, I picked up a wide variety of artists to explore, but one that really struck me was Barry Moser.

To illustrators and engravers, Moser is probably not new, but to me his work was a revelation. He has illustrated some of my favorite books, like Melville's Moby Dick and Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. I found some editioned prints of his at the R.Michelson Gallery in Northampton, MA.

Here are a few small examples of his work: