the newest addition to our family: the heidelberg windmill letterpress! Jes & I went up to Los Angeles and attended a 2-day workshop here, to learn how to safely operate and maintain this piece of heavy machinery. (it weighs over 3,500 lbs!)

impressive maneuvering done by the machine movers!

can't wait to begin!!

...we're still undecided on a name for this press, yet we're excited for what's in the works. I'm in the early stages of branding & beginning a letterpress studio, design firm & stationary company!...there's alot to be done!

in the next few weeks we'll be converting the garage into a working studio. looking forward to the white bead board, paint, wallpaper, bamboo flooring (oops! :) dreaming!), storage units, ribbon racks, wrapping paper, drawers filled with antique type blocks, marble composing block, cupboards filled with jars of ink and paper! (oh wait!...I already have a "paper store" in my garage. some women have a weakness for shoes...mine is paper!...love it! I can not go to Kelly Paper on my own...I will walk out of that store with a trunk full of Neenah, Crane, and Fox thick cotton paper. An absolute favorite paper is Crane Lettra and I can't forget about Neenah's 80 lb. cotton laid.)

check back for occasional updates!...looking forward to sharing pictures of the "studio!" as it takes shape.

here's a little background as to how this letterpress won it's way into my heart!...and our garage.
Art & design have ALWAYS been a big part of my life. When I was nine, my aunt, Terry Graves, introduced me to typography and I pretty much knew then, that some type of design would be my career path. I went on to major in art at Ricks College, and then switched to Interior Design at Cuesta College. Following Jesse's graduation from Cal Poly SLO, we moved back to San Diego and I finished up with a BA in graphic design from SDSU in 2007.
While working in design firms both in San Luis Obispo & San Diego, I fell in love with how type, paper choices and color can intermix to create art...even in corporate design. Back in 2000, when I got engaged, I decided I wanted to create my own wedding invites. Countless invites/cards have been created since then, for friends baby showers, birthday & dinner parties, & events!..and I've enjoyed putting something unique into each one. In doing this, I learned about the various printing options available for invitations/stationary...and Letterpress is my all time favorite! It dates back to more than 500 years ago. The ink is pressed down into the paper leaving a beautiful impression with the color. It has a 3 dimensional feel that is unmatched by any other printing method! Here are a few examples of letterpress, created by elum designs (a local company).

holiday card (see specs here)

wedding invite package (specs here)

baby announcement (specs here)

wedding invitation (specs here)

There are so many talented letterpress studios scattered across the U.S. Two that I admire, can be found right here in S. California: Elum Designs & Delphine (Rancho Santa Fe). I hope to grow and one day be their competition! :) To learn more about letterpress, click here.


Peter Hopkins said...


Congratulations on your new set-up. I am completely jealous of the windmill!

Happy printing,
Peter Hopkins

Long Family Blog said...

I'm so excited for you! I enjoyed reading your "love story" with typography and design :). You are incredible Elisa! I'm amazed daily by your talents. You do what you love and people take notice. It will be fun to watch your studio progress. Congratulations! :)

The White House said...

That is so exciting Elisa! Congratulations on taking a BIG step towards your dream! I can't wait to see what you will create! Whatever it is- I know it will be beautiful!

Brandy-Blue said...

that is so neat! i love, love, love the invitations. you are so talented!

mg said...

Congrats on the 'new arrival'! ;) So... have you thought of a name yet? ;) That is a lot bigger than the picture looks like - wow. I agree, that type does look cooler than any regular printing. Way to go getting it! wedding invites, eh? *wink wink. jk. ;) lol. I can't wait to see the studio!

Elisa said...

Meg, as your sis, when you get engaged, you know I'll gift ya a full wedding invite package. :)

mg said...

wow that's nice of you! :0 thanks! ...now that the invites are taken care of, time to find a man... ;P