[Alyson Kuhn] The Dauphine Press booth at this year’s National Stationery Show (NSS) looked a bit like a tea salon. Papery confections, glimmery decorations and a luscious array of invitations, many of them combining letterpress and fancy foil. Yes, my heart did go pitter-pattern.
Dauphine’s new rules: a sea of green foil, bordering on brilliant. Choose from several dozen delicious colors, with names like Platinum, Mist, and Honeydew. Photo ©2012 StudioAlex.
Dauphine has specialized for over a decade in custom invitations with a high degree of mix-and-matchability: this floral motif in that color, with this border and that envelope liner. In 2010, Dauphine Press became part of DataGraphic, an 80-plus-year-old specialty printer in New York. Dauphine’s design department (and customer service) stayed in Petaluma, Calif., and the entire print shop — including house dies, a profusion of beribbonments, and other embellishments — relocated to DataGraphic on Long Island.
All’s “Fairfield”: Foil diamonds (in Mist) and letterpress-printed borders. Photo ©2012 StudioAlex.
Glenn Schuster of DataGraphic, fresh from his second NSS, says, “My DataGraphic life is elevated by my new association with Dauphine Press — because Dauphine brings to the table more creative resources. We’re not just a printer, we’re designers. I don’t think the ‘new management’ matters to Dauphine customers at all. And they are delighted by Dauphine’s expanded capabilities, notably foil and edging.”
We chatted with Schuster and Katrina McHugh, Art Director at Dauphine Press, about combining forces — and specialty printing techniques.
Receiving your sample box in the mail was a real treat. Can you tell us a bit about the design and production?
GS: The box is self-contained and super-sturdy. The pattern is offset-printed in metallic ink on Mohawk Loop Jute text weight, which is then laminated to e-flute corrugated board. This was not a major logistical or financial commitment. It looks like an upscale shipping box on the outside, but when you open it, the flap and the liner are like a luxurious envelope, to reflect our area of expertise.
KM: It would be most accurate to say the pattern was designed back in 1892 by Charles Derriey — though it wasn’t a pattern per se at that time. We scanned a very small part of a corner ornament in the Derriey Typographic Catalog and opened it up in Photoshop, where it was given much love and a few alterations. Then we created the repeat. The specific inspiration for the pattern was a vintage tin ceiling in a Victorian home.
On some invitations, it looks like you can use the same foil border on different sizes of card. I actually held a smaller card up to a larger one to make sure I wasn’t imagining this.
GS: Exactly — all the components in an invitation suite can use a single die. For cost savings, we engineered these designs to utilize “house plates” so our clients — primarily brides — get that extra-special effect without too much additional expense. And we tend to use extra pressure when foil stamping. This creates more “relief,” which is to say, more contrast height-wise between the foil-stamped and non-stamped areas. We feel this adds a touch of elegance and drama to our designs.
What was the thinking behind foil stamping the notebook covers on Jute?
KM: Opposites attract. The high shine of the metallic foil-stamped pattern paired with the rustic charm of the Jute was a fun and unexpected combination. It also felt in line with our values and identity. We strive to create responsible designs on green certified papers and to create luxury vintage-inspired wedding invitations. Besides the fact that the Jute makes the foil pop nicely, this is also the first year that Dauphine Press is foil stamping in house. We are so excited about it that everything is coming up shiny.
All photos, except as noted, courtesy of Dauphine Press.
DataGraphic recently printed The Feltron Biennial Report 2010/2011, and we interviewed information designer Nicholas Felton here. Previously, we reported key details of an invitation package DataGraphic produced for Restoration Hardware.