Thursday, September 3, 2009

success at the LA Printers Fair

On Saturday, August 29th, 2009, the International Printing Museum hosted its first printers fair. It was organized by Ms. Rachelle Chuang, a designer, book maker, and letterpress diva -- purely a passionate artist. With notable folks in the design, printing, and paper industry, such as AIGA Orange County, OTIS College of Art and Design, Envelopments, Sugarcube Press, Elum Designs, Lala Press -- and the list goes on -- it was awesome to see all the connections made in one hot day. Platen presses were sold even before the first visitors arrived and letterpress goodies were selling like hot cakes.

I set up a booth with my husband, Abram, to showcase bellz&whistlez' invitations and paper goods, highlighting invitations that were printed letterpress, offset and digital. To add to my booth and show a snippet of what we really do, I also dressed up each invite with a mini tablescape, complete with custom linen, fresh centerpieces, coordinating plate chargers and the matching bellz & whistlez. I think I was the only wedding designer/planner there, but nonetheless, folks got to see how our themed invitations and matching goods make a huge impact on the design of the wedding. It was really cool to explain my process and my reasons for choosing certain printing techniques over others to achieve a specific look. The highlight of our booth: the infamous Scrabble invitation. I explained how the bride was proposed to on a Scrabble board, and how guests RSVPed by adhering stickers to spell out their names, and showed how we tried to mock the finish of an actual game board. The whole idea made complete sense to everyone, and they thought it was a clever ensemble.

Above: our booth (6ft table) stretched with mini table presentations and details

This wasn't a bridal show, and I was completely aware of that, but I had lots of brides come swing by and compliment the paper goods. My husband joked about how each conversation involved printing and industry terms; this was definitely a fun place to geek out about paper and printing!

Above: Stationery by Sugarcube Press

Above: presses for sale

Many of the visitors got to see the art of letterpress as operators and docents manned linotype, letterpress windmill, and proof machines, even allowing guests to have a personalized linotype metal plate made. But this wasn't strictly for letterpress fans, showcasing were amazing artists, fine and digital, calligraphers, book makers and collectors, and paper connoisseurs. From hand made papers using the original pulp and drying methods to Japanese hand-stitched books to original illustrations mixed with printing techniques, I was brought back to my appreciation for the fine arts. This day was all about printing, whether it related to paper, ink or done by hand or by machine.

Above: Stationery by Sugarcube Press

B&W is honored to have been a part of the LA Printers Fair. To understand how printing is done and for what intent brings a greater appreciation for knowing exactly what it is you are paying for when you purchase stationery, invites, or business cards. There is a high degree of art and skill when it comes to printing -- until today, I still learn from all the printing verbiage I run into when taking my corporate and wedding projects to press. I love it! Come next year and dive into the world of printing -- it's extremely fascinating and will always be around.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Charmae and Abram, you were destined to be at the Fair! From the moment you came to visit the Museum I knew you would be a fabulous presence and I've heard many comments about you and your booth. THANK YOU for being part of it all and super blog post and pics. Please, please plan on coming next year too and be a printing geek like all of us :).