Browsing Tag

Greeting Card

Design

The Search Is Over

December 1, 2011

In November we put out the call for hand-printed holiday cards, and of the dozens that entered, we picked 14 beautifully letterpressed and silk-screened cards we thought would be perfect for holiday shoppers. By Cyber Monday, these 14 finalists had received almost 4,000 votes and it was time for the judges to pick a winner from the top five.

The moment guest judge Melinda Morris picked up Dolce Press’ Word Search Holiday Cards, she knew the search was over.

Senior Graphic Designer Rebecca Paull Marshall agreed.

Melinda, co-owner of Lion in the Sun, a custom card and paper shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn, loved the Word Search cards for their broad appeal. Who doesn’t love puzzles?

And voters agreed, saying these cards would be perfect for all ages and all holiday celebrations. One voter said, “WOW these cards are awesome! It’s always really hard for me and my wife to find cards that work for Hanukkah and Christmas, these ones definitely do the trick.”

Rebecca, who studied letterpress at the San Francisco Center for the Book, was impressed by their technique. She liked how you could feel the grooves of the letterpress in each card, because it’s a great reminder of the skill and art that goes into making them. “The letterpress added a level of sophistication to the simplicity of the game,” Rebecca added.

Alex of Dolce Press told us, “We like to keep things simple.” And it’s true! We love the clean and modern look of the Word Search cards.

But don’t let that fool you. Each card is hand printed on a Vandercook Cylinder Proof Press and each color is printed one at a time using hand-mixed inks, that allow Alex and her colleagues to achieve colors that don’t exist in the Pantone spectrum. Plus the cards come in an cleverly hand-printed box.

If you can’t wait to share these cards with friends and family, they are now available! Don’t worry, each set comes with an answer key, so your friends and family won’t be stumped for too long!

Design

Comments of the Week: Holiday Card Design Challenge!

November 25, 2011

We’ve been getting into the holiday spirit, and our Holiday Card Design Challenge is helping to make the season bright! We selected our favorite screen printed and letterpress designs and now our semi-finalists are up for voting. There’s still time to leave your feedback and cast your votes for your favorite messages of holiday cheer, but first, check out what our community is saying about these festive greeting cards!

Semi-finalist Laurie Okamura’s Porcupine and Reindeer cards, for example, are getting some great feedback.

While Lisa and Mary Margaret love the designs, they see these cards working better for another holiday.

Clara, however, thinks they’re perfect for a special couple on Christmas.

Rebecca also expresses love for the designs in our voting app this week, but isn’t a fan of the estimated prices.

After seeing this comment on her Fa La La La La & Pa Rum Pum Pum cards, artist Katie Daniels stepped in to say a few words about her process.

Many voters, such as Elinore, agree that handmade cards are worth spending a little extra.

Barbara expressed a similar sentiment for for Blackbird Letterpress’ Yuletide Yeti.

We totally agree, and can’t wait to find out which design wins! Would you send these little pieces of art to your loved ones this year? Visit our community voting app before Monday, November 28 at Midnight to help us pick which designs will go on to the final round. The top five cards with the most votes will be presented to our judges for the opportunity to win $500 and a vendor contract with UncommonGoods.

Happy voting!

The Uncommon Life

Why Letterpress?

October 26, 2011

If you haven’t heard yet, we’re hosting a holiday card challenge this year! Entries are due November 11, and you lucky shoppers, will be able to pick up fabulous handmade holiday cards this December to go along with your holiday orders.

Why handmade?

Today, everything’s going digital, but in the world of cards and print, we’re seeing a resurgence in traditional print techniques like letterpress, offset lithography and screen printing.

We want to celebrate this revival of one-of-a-kind handmade cards, and offer you the chance to send a really special season’s greetings to the folks you love. Printing cards on a letterpress, or using any traditional printmaking technique, is labor intensive. But when you hold a one-of-a-kind card in your hands, you know the work has paid off.

Toronto based Trip Print Press was featured on NOTCOT last week. Here’s a bit more about what they do.

Trip Print Press & The Making Of FreshSox from Brought To You By … on Vimeo.

Know a printmaking enthusiast? Spread the word, and tell everyone you know: holiday card entries are due November 11!

The Uncommon Life

Say What?

September 29, 2011

Shana Tovah! Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. We blow the shofar (ram’s horn), eat apples and honey as well as a ton of other food (like on all other Jewish holidays). Copywriter Nina Mozes offers tips for how to celebrate the first day of the new year with a thoughtful card.


Turns out, it’s pretty impossible to write a Jewish card without being stereotypically Jewish.

For example:

Happy New Year. May this year make you feel like complaining only a little bit.

That’s the card I’ll be giving my parents. Here’s the one I expect from them:

Happy New Year. Maybe this year will be a good year and you’ll make lots of money. And then you can move out of the house, marry a nice doctor and give us grandchildren.

If that’s too over-the-top for you, try a punny joke:

A congregation member walks into synagogue and asks the rabbi, “How is your New Year going?” The rabbi replies, “Shofar, sho good.

Thanks. That one’s all me.
(Look, I admit it’s not Torah-fic. I know better than to gefilte fish for a compliment.)

Have a happy and a healthy!

Have your apples and honey with a twist:
Giro Apple Slicer

If you get the clip, the money will come:
Yiddish Proverb Money Clip

No one says no to a little spiritual bling:
Shalom Necklace

The Uncommon Life

Say What?

September 20, 2011

Friend coming up on a big birthday? Are you? Copywriter Nina Mozes offers tips for how to congratulate that special someone who’s entering the fourth decade of life.


Everyone thinks that 30th birthdays are touchy. But I did my research, and it turns out it’s bogus. In fact, turning 30 is kind of awesome (it’s 40, 50 and 60 that can be the real bummers).

I’m 25, and, as far as my older friends are concerned, still in diapers. But at 24, I plummeted into quarter-life crisis mode: “I’m 24, which means I’m almost 25, which means I’m almost 30, which means my window to be young and successful is rapidly closing.”

Roll your eyes at me, go ahead – but when US Open Tennis Champions, Lady GaGa and Mark Zuckerberg are your age, it’s easy to feel like an underachieving 20-something. (On the flip side, Lindsay Lohan and I share a birthday, which kind of puts it all in perspective.)

So while I still secretly hope to make millions and/or achieve unprecedented success in the next five years, I admit that strangely, I’m looking forward to turning 30.

Sure, turning 30 means that weddings are on the rise (and divorces), and baby showers are popping up – and I think we all agree that watching your selfish friends put someone else’s needs before theirs is a bizarre experience.

But here are the facts: maybe you have better hair and muscles in your 20s, but your self esteem is much lower, as is the preoccupation with figuring out your identity. So when you present your friend with a fun gift and card, don’t give them a “but look on the bright side” note, tell them straight up what they have to look forward to. Pull from the following examples:

1. You figured out what you wanted to do in life and can now spend time actually living your life.
2. You have more money now than you did in your twenties.
3a. For a guy: You now make enough money to successfully date women in their 20s.
3b. For a woman: Your sex drive is way better in this decade.
4. This is the decade where having it all together and having freedom will intersect the most. Before this, you were clueless. After this, you’ll have kids or aging parents.

And if you just can’t help yourself:

1. You can use the word “early” in front of “30s” when describing your age.
2. When people ID you, it will begin to feel like a compliment.
3. You can get away with more stuff, because people think you are now too old to be irresponsible.
4. You can start to say “When I was your age” and not sound like a total jerk.
5. You can justify technological purchases like the new iPad as necessities to pave the way for professional ladder climbing and keeping up with social media trends.
6. If you gain weight, you can blame it on a changing metabolism.
7. At least you’re not turning 40.

Game-changing gifts for a game-changing birthday:

Can’t bring yourself to the party? Bring the party to you.
Beer Making Kits

Accessorize to emphasize your youth.
Crocheted Bow Headphones

If your life is all business, try some stow-away desktop fun.
Desktop Bowling

The Uncommon Life

Say What?

September 14, 2011

We all screw up. But men do it more. Well, at least they’re the ones saying “sorry” all the time. Copywriter Nina Mozes offers tips for guys to give that apology a ring of sincerity.


So guys, here are a few tricks to imbue your present apology with staying power for as long as it takes you to mess it up again.

This phrase is universally recognizable:
“I don’t want you to do the dishes, I want you to want to do the dishes,” she said.

And then the guy says, “Who wants to do the dishes?!”
And then the girl says, “That’s not the point! Tonight you’re sleeping on the couch!”
And then the guy says, “Baby I’m sorry. Do I still have to sleep on the couch?”

OK, maybe that’s just rough dialogue from the movie The Breakup, but don’t tell me you don’t recognize it from real life.

Now here’s where Vince Vaughn went wrong: he tried to apologize without having any idea what he might or should be sorry for.

That’s step 1:
If you don’t know why you’re sorry, either:
a. Pretend you do, or
b. FIGURE IT OUT.

Pick a line to write in the card:
a. I see how my actions hurt you, and I’m very sorry.
b. You’re so totally crazy, but I’ve come around to your irrationality and apologize for triggering it.

Vince should have taken responsibility for his carelessness and pledged to do better in the future.

In one of these ways, Step 2:
a. I could have handled the situation better, and from here on out I plan to be thoughtful of your needs and to think about the ramifications of my decisions.
b. It’s totally your fault, but now I know what pisses you off and there is no way I’m going to let you unleash that wrath again.

And of course, no apology is successful without an attempt to buy someone’s love.

Like buying lingerie, here’s a gift for her that’s really for you:
My Phone is Off for You Handkerchief

Nothing says “I’m cool with you moving in now” like a place to put her toothbrush:
Black Nickel Bathroom Holders

A stamp that literally says “I apologize” doesn’t replace the card, but it sure helps says “I’m thinking ahead to my future mistakes and saying sorry for my past ones.”
I Sincerely Apologize Message Stamp

Next time just don’t screw up in the first place.

The Uncommon Life

Say What?

August 29, 2011

Know a happy new employee? Copywriter Nina Mozes offers tips for how to congratulate that special someone entering the workforce.


In THIS economy? Celebrating a job?! That’s a big deal.
(In this economy, saving money by writing your own card? A big deal, too.)

Your objective:
To encourage aspirations and deliver the cold hard facts. No skills required! Par exemple:

The tiresome job search is over, hooray! Now you can relax and get to work.

You worked so hard in college! Now work harder. It doesn’t pay off until it’s literally paid off.

Or add your wisdom to the profound stuff:

Asha Tyson: “You never stop earning when you do what you love.”
But don’t quit your day job just yet.

From parent to child:
Robert Brault: “Treat a difficult child the way you would your boss at work. Praise his achievements, ignore his tantrums and resist the urge to sit him down and explain to him how his brain is not yet fully developed.”
Think about how I raised you and you’ll do great!

And of course, for those who are lazy but require poignancy:
Dana Stewart Scott: “Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later.”

I think I just got a little misty-eyed.

Here are a few congratulatory gifts to pair with your eloquent card.

For the desk:
What Would You Attempt Paperweight

For the suit:
Math Symbol Cufflinks

For the technology:
Patterned Macbook and iPad Cases

For the money:
Yiddish Proverb Money Clip

The Uncommon Life

Say What? Wedding Bells

August 23, 2011

Copywriter Nina Mozes offers sage advice on the most important of topics: what to write in that greeting card?


Chances are you’ve yet again spent too much money on an item that the happy couple pre-selected for themselves on their registry (unless of course you got something super duper cool and different from us!).

Why not save up a couple bucks and add your own personal touch with a card written just by you?

Here’s what you need to keep in mind for a wedding card:

1. Use words of encouragement.
2. No matter how much you’re dreading this wedding, the bride and groom are dreading it more.

So tell them something nice they can believe. Here are a few ideas:

Congratulations! You guys are so cute, you’ll have adorable kids. Just wait a few years to be sure it sticks, k?

You two are so cool. Relax, we all have in-laws from hell.
Wishing you good health and happiness, or at least good health.

And there are always famous words:

Gandhi: “I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage.”

John Lennon: “All you need is love.”
(And money and sex and – yep, that’s about it.)

Albert Einstein: “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”
(It is however responsible for people falling over dead. So don’t kill each other.)

Personally, I like to quote the wise words of comedian Myq Kaplan:
“Fifty percent of marriages in this country end in divorce. That’s one out of every two people. So, it’s either going to be you or your wife.”

Attach your snappy words to a classy gift:

Customizable Wedding Announcement Art Personalized Heart Anniversary Plate Card & gift in one:
Custom Message Grid Art

Pin It on Pinterest