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It’s been over three weeks since Rosemary Rae Design Shop’s National Stationery Show adventure. New York City, as always, was bursting with creative energy and we survived our two set up days (not without some small hiccups) and the show itself, which lasted four days. Walking around the Javits Center, we got lost in the sea of paper-madness. It was reassuring, at least for me, that type and paper joy is thriving!

Immersing myself in this project was a full-time commitment of my talent and time, in the months leading up to May. Completing a card line was a dream! As a full-time graphic designer with other design obligations and looming deadlines, my project always became a secondary priority. Recently I read this great quote by Ray Bradbury: “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” It perfectly expressed my feelings about this endeavor. Attending this show motivated me to accomplish the design and presentation of 40+ greeting cards, gather feedback, and return to San Diego with a lot of creative momentum.

“What was your favorite part of the show?” I would have to say meeting all of the designers, bloggers, type-afficionados, and of course, the retailers who stopped by our booth. Everyone had a wise word to share and expressed their appreciation of my creative typography and good design. One blogger, Sonjia from bluebergitt.wordpress.com was super-complimentary and enthusiastic about my new card line and shared these kind words a few weeks ago on her blog: http://bluebergitt.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/best-of-show-rosemary-rae-design-shop/

It was also great to meet the other vendors who had booths in our row. We shared inspiration and learned more about each others’ product and businesses. I enjoyed meeting Sarah McCoy, http://www.thepermanentcollection.net, a graphic designer, who made the trip all the way from Des Moines, Iowa to present her collection of custom-designed letterpressed cards, and Monica Garrett, papercutindustries.com, a boutique wedding and event invitation designer based in Long Beach, California. Both of these women were friendly, talented and fun NSS “neighbors!”

Booth 1866 was cleverly constructed (pvc pipe painted silver with rows of taught wire to pin my cards) and we received many compliments on its simplicity and cheeriness. My cards definitely popped off the bright orange backdrop, their many colors reminding me of swirl candy! It was also an invigorating color for overwhelmed NSS buyers with fatigue! (A big thank you to Conrad Firestein, my handsome mate and partner through all of this. He was an amazing source of support, ideas and humor! I could not have done this show without him. xxoo!) Orders were written and lots of interest was generated for my unique designs.

Now I am in the midst of filling orders, developing new card designs, and completing the design of my website! And if you are reading this, watch for your happy fourth of July card!

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With less than 50 days to go, I am making progress on the designs of my cards for the New York Stationery Show. Inspiration hits at the oddest hours, and it seems 3:00 am is when my brain is most active, pumping out ideas for yet more letter pressed cards. My booth design is in process — metal pipes, wire and clamps are the integral pieces; a huge 10′ x 8′ “tinker toy” as my boyfriend has referred to it. Today, looking at NY Magazine’s Design issue online, I found a gray rug with fun letters scattered across it; perfect. Now I have to figure out the logistics of picking it up in Soho and getting it to the show. On Friday, I will be creating the exterior cover of my show catalog with various size letters — a random assortment of metal and wood type. I still have to design my business cards and get the final files to my web programmer so that my card site can be built. I am surprised, though, that I am not overwhelmed by all of these tasks — it seems I have been able to navigate my priorities, week by week, and even with the month of May waving at me on the horizon, I feel confident all will be completed and look great.

 

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After a weekend of mostly work (what else is new) I finally have two days to focus on designing more greeting cards for the Stationery Show in May. There is so much joy and freedom in designing these little letterpress creations— free to create the words and images I like without client intervention! The newest card to be finished is pictured here, my little spring bird paired with playful green text. A lot of cards begin as scribbles and doodles on paper, and then I sit at my computer and begin crafting the words into a typography/collage/visual. Adding in details such as punctuation, dingbats and other little elements make it dance. Spring is a time for reinvention and I am excited about my new business venture ahead. 

The National Stationery Show is in May (Booth #1866) and while that seems like a few long months away, time is advancing quickly. I have a tremendous amount of creative to accomplish between now and then! New cards are being dreamed up every day— my Valentine’s were just letterpressed in fireball red ink yesterday, and we will be busy pressing more! In addition to cards, I also want to design two calendars and small unique packages that house groupings of cards, which many friends and fans have requested. It’s exciting! I do enjoy the challenge and know my cards are beautifully different from most that are currently for sale in the retail universe. High-end boutiques and small shoppes are my target, where the hand crafted art of letterpress is truly appreciated by owner and customer alike.

My new website is in production — a simple, friendly online shop where retailers and individuals can purchase cards and fun little promos. Production of my booth begins soon as well — I have my color palette and an industrial feel seems to be what is evolving! Bursts of hot pink, yellow and orange will be sprinked throughout, but, of course, the main focus will be the product.

In the coming weeks I will be posting photos of more cards as they are designed and letterpressed.

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