What’s Fir Christmas?

After receiving such nice feedback from last year’s slot-together reindeer we’ve decided to give you all a sneak preview of our 2015 Christmas Tree Card. Not least because the amount of hand finishing required means some people might have to wait a while for it to arrive. Our illustrated tree design is printed digitally, with a white ink special, on a lovely craft board. Two pages are bound together on a sewing machine with metallic silver thread and each card is hand cut so that no two trees are exactly the same.

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Drawn Again

Its no secret that designers use tear sheets, pinterest mood boards, sketchbooks and collected scraps to build an inspirational library around them. Some of this is job specific research and some of it is just stuff you like and want to hold onto, visually, just in case. I was flicking through an archive folder today and came upon a few illustrations that inspired some of our work for Tala Originals and I thought we should post some of them for posterity. Of course the end result is something different - thats how inspiration works, it’s not plagiarism but the spark of a mood, an idea that sets you off in a creative direction.

Above The ultimate domestic goddess by the famous Jim Flora (www.jimflora.com).

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Seduced by Stationery

We recently produced some wedding stationery, a personal job, for one of our clients and we put almost as much effort into the envelopes as we did the invites. After all there is something very sexy about beautiful stationery and the anticipation of what’s inside a special envelope. In this case it was a wedding - but the same principals can be applied to any piece of direct mail or bespoke communication and so we thought we’d share the ideas and processes so you can think about how to use them for your own events and promotions.

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Bring Me Sunshine

If you received one of our letterpress sunflower seed packets in March and planted the seeds as instructed, this is what you should be seeing right now! Glorious dwarf sunflowers to cheer up any garden. We’ve planted ours in catering size olive cans for an added bit of graphic drama. Its been a self promotional direct mail campaign that just keeps giving. The full blog about the seeds packs is here.

Join the Dots

I just found this archived picture of our Dot Matrix cards and thought it might be interesting to share our experiences of greetings card publishing. The Dot Matrix cards are no longer in print – we sold a mammoth 6000 when we launched them a few years ago – mostly to the Design Museum shop. There have been a few copy designs out there since but ours remains the simplest and that’s what worked so well. We managed to sell directly into the V&A, the Royal Academy and Heals without a huge amount of effort, we simply sent samples to the buyers and they placed orders. This is unusual though and our publishing experiences since are far more common – so this blog is designed to share some of the nitty gritty with anyone who ever pondered the greetings card industry.

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Literary Lives

I discovered this set of cover illustrations in our cupboard - commissioned in 1985 by Thames and Hudson for their Literary Lives series. Each illustration is painstakingly cut out of layers of coloured tissue and sometimes torn for effect. This was my first ever commission and I was deiighted when the lovely art director Constance Kaine, left a note at my degree show asking me to get in touch. Thirty years later and a lifetime in design and i still get a thrill from that memory.

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