Friday, May 29, 2009

Favorite Vendor Day 4-Peculiar Pair Press

Amy and Mary Beth are a pair of accomplished graphic designers who share a love for fine printing and are addicted to everything paper. Each earned their BFA in graphic design, and then independently decided to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area, Amy from the Lone Star State of Texas and Mary Beth from New York. eventually, their paths crossed while working in the same design department at a major corporation. as the years passed in corporate america and their creative genius became trapped, they realized a drastic change was needed, and fast! each afternoon, over their still favorite cups of earl grey tea, they imagined a better life in design. As luck would have it, the drastic change came in the form of downsizing, and they were soon free to build their dreams into a reality! With freedom came long drives up to Chandon and impromptu vacations to Mexico. On the plane back from Sayulita, Peculiar Pair Press was born.

Mary Beth has moved back home a few years ago to be closer to her ever growing Italian family so we are now officially bi-coastal and keeping the business flourishing.
With 7 years in the stationery business under our belts we enjoy getting our hands into many projects! We have several types of stationery lines that are all letterpress printed by hand – ours to be exact!! We’d thought you’d enjoy reading briefly about our distinct lines available and then seeing the entire printing process!

SIGNATURE COLLECTION - A collection of fourteen versatile styles appropriate for a bride’s fabulous ballroom extravaganza or a simple outdoor garden party. This line of invitations is available online at and at over 70 fine stationery stores across the nation.

EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE - Available only at these designs are perfect for bride’s planning a destination wedding. Invitations from this line accommodate any wedding day vision whether inspired by a private vineyard, an ocean estate or the love of travel, just to name a few. With thirteen beautiful designs to choose from, we are certain you will find the right style for your special day.

CUSTOM - Every custom invitation design starts with a piece of paper, a pencil and a conversation. We let the concept of the bride and groom’s wedding day guide us as we design the invitation suite specifically to their needs. Exquisitely unique and original, these invitations are always the most sought after.

BABY - Our simple & adorable baby announcements are perfect for every expecting couple. Fourteen different designs offer a wide variety wether they’re expecting a boy, girl or twins! Each design can be adjusted to accomodate a photograph of the new addition. Announcement collections are available online at or at one of our fine retailers.

STATIONERY - We offer a wide variety of everyday notecards for many occasions, single, blank, boxed or do it yourself! We have expanded our line over the years to include such luxuries as journals, wrapping paper and favor cones. Our partnership with Chronicle Books has also allowed us to establish an even wider fan club with our Paper Patisserie line featuring: gift wrap kit, enclosure cards, mini journal set, stationey box and an adorable box of labels.
Now for the Process!
Letterpress is a form of relief printing that was invented in the 15th century. Individual letters were cast into lead, arranged into words, rolled with ink and then pressed into paper. The impression of each letter creates a distinct printed surface filled with beautiful texture. Peculiar Pair Press continues this tradition using photopolymer printing plates. Here is a brief explanation of our extensive printing process:
Creating digital artwork and film output:
After the initial stages of design are complete, we begin to develop your design on the computer. These digital images are separated by color and prepared for output onto a film negative which is used to create the photopolymer printing plate.(

Making the printing plate:
The film negative along with the “blank” printing plate are placed in an exposure unit. The outermost layer of these printing plates are covered with a light sensitive plastic. Light passes through the clear areas of the film negative and hardens the light sensitive material on the plate. Once it is done exposing, the plate goes into a wash out unit that brushes away all of the soft, non-exposed area leaving only the hardened relief surface. Now we’re ready to go to press!

Going to press:
The ink is placed on the inking cylinder and distributed evenly throughout the rollers-we only print with one color at a time, let’s say its blue. The printing plate is registered on the press so that it prints in the proper position on the page. All components to your job that require blue ink get printed while we have the ink on press-we simply change out the plate when necessary. If your piece is two color, the plate is removed, the press is cleaned of all ink residue and we start all over again with the new ink color and the new plates.

Once your piece is cut to size, you’re ready to go. Sounds like a lot of work, but the beauty in the resulting printed piece is unmatched!
Thanks for letting us educate you briefly on our company and how letterpress printing works. We hope you see the attention to detail needed for such exquisite work and will be drawn to the tactile quality and handmade feel of our lines.

Ready to Order?
When you would like to learn more about how we can can work together to create your letterpressed wedding stationery, please contact us for a consultation.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

thanks - that was very informative -- i was always curious about letterpress. It seems like such an art form that produces such wonderful results!