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A drop of sunshine

12 Jul

A drop of sunshine

While the weather has been getting steadily worse outside, we’ve been fortunate to have been working on some special projects that have been keeping us busy (and warm!).
Here’s one that really bought some much-needed sunshine into the studio – business cards for Christchurch-based photographer Kelly Shakespeare. The fabulous companion CD covers pictured with them were produced by our clever friends at The Binding Studio.

Kelly Shakespeare cards

Letterpress meets digital printing

10 Feb

Here at Magpie we print a lot of wedding invitations, but we don’t often get to see how they are all assembled (if you’ve printed with us we’d love to see the final outcome). And although we are 100% letterpress we aren’t opposed to people mixing up digital with analogue, so we were doubly delighted when Gina Stevens, the designer of one of our favourite prints of 2013 sent through some follow up photos of the intriguing pocket design we printed, here is the process from print to post:

Mixing the ink…

The plate is made and ready to go!

The press at work.

Ready for the fold bar, then to trim.

The trimmed card, looking beautiful

How it all hung together, three digitally printed cards inside.

Names digitally printed on the flap.

In our beautiful Lettra envelopes, ready to post.


Splashing colour

26 Sep

A bit more on my favourite topics – paper and colour. There’s a definite wow factor having a little colour against standard black ink, it almostpops out at you like a 3D movie, surely you can see why I like to talk about this.

Jessica and Lance’s wedding stationery, designed by Gary Butcher, is a great example of this. Printing a pale minty green on our Lettra Pearl white stock, it’s a marriage made in heaven.

Another clever postcard print, spreading their minty theme across all elements in the most subtle and elegant way. Throughout the entire wedding stationery set the paper weight varied yet the paper stock and ink colours stayed consistent creating an attractive and uncomplicated set.



18 Sep

It’s been a while since our last post, we’ve had our heads down printing up a storm. This is just a little note to say hi, and what better way to say hi than debossed in bright orange into Fluorescent White 600gsm paper. Mmmmm

If you like that you should check out their website

A plush finish

3 Jul

It’s been a little while since our last Magpie post. We’ve had a lot of urgent jobs and finally we have a moment to catch our breath! Recently we decided to try out a new heavier weight of Lettra paper, and now have in stock Lettra 700gsm Fluorescent White ‘kid’ finish.  It has pleasantly surprised us with it’s beautifully smooth and very firm finish and it’s ability to take a plush deep impression. Here are a couple designs that worked really well on this paper stock:

Jackie and Michael created a eye catching design, with their names in a flourishing font face that elegantly spills off the card. Running your hands across all this text, it feels as if the text has cut into the paper, it’s so deep.   The freshness of the  bright blue sitting against the fluorescent white of the paper is heavenly. It’s not just the beautifully uncomplicated design of this card that I love, it’s the feel.

Si Moore at Bayly & Moore designed these wonderful thank you postcards. And I know in theory, a thank you postcard is still a thank you card (which is personal) but there is this feeling of specialness that makes this particular thank you postcard extra-extra-personal.  It’s not only the handwritten text that gives it that personal touch. At Si and Soph’s wedding bonfire – I didn’t actually attend but heard all about it–they had a huge 7ft ‘everything here is wonderful’ banner hanging between two trees (design was inspired by Best Made Co., and to me this has a very Portland/Nashville feel, I can just imagine devouring many s’mores over that bonfire…) So ‘everything here is wonderful’ became their motif and in turn came to represent everything about the occasion for them – no wonder this oozes the feel of a red-letter day! Don’t you think that deep red ink against the stark white just makes the wonderful the wonderful-est?

I have to note that double sided prints can be a little tricky with letterpress, especially when a deep press is required.  When the print placement is back-to-back it really highlights the physical nature of the pressing process and can pop out the previous side’s deboss making it a very uneven looking print. But with this very plush paper stock we are able to achieve printing both sides without compromising the impression on either side.

Tying it all together

10 May

Wedding stationery is my favourite aspect of a wedding… tied with the food! (After the beautiful ceremony part of course).

It’s one thing to have your wedding invitations beautifully pressed, but lately we’ve been getting orders for whole packages! From Save the dates, Invitations, Map and Info cards to RSVP slips (some very neat postcard ones!) and Love Notes, Menus and Order of Service along with Place Settings then Thank You cards (phew, there’s a lot you can get!) If you are going the full hog the most exquisite finishing touch is getting your emblem/name printed on the matching envelopes. It really personalises the mail and showcases your beautiful design and perfectly pulls together all elements to one. Even if you’re not getting the whole shebang, it’s a beautiful finishing touch that really says how much effort and thought you’ve put into your special day. It’s such an honour receiving an invite, what better way to award your guests than with beauty in paper? We stock a variety of sizes in envelopes that match our paper stock wonderfully. For such a small detail it really does make an enormous difference having the envelope match your invitation, an even bigger one having it personalised with your design. We only offer one colour press on our envelopes, as registration is impossible with no trim space for registration marks!

Printing on an envelope doesn’t have to start or stop at weddings! It’s a great for businesses and personal stationary. I have gathered a few photo’s so you too can see what a great personable difference it can make.

Jestine and Jake Envelopes beautifully designed by Jeanine Apoderado

These Arturo 165mm x 165mm envelopes perfectly match our Somerset stock, and this particular typeface (in this size) printed in a deep ‘jean’ blue holds the press very well (so very lovely to touch). Such a beautiful simple addition that really makes this invitation set stand apart from the rest. A very well thought out and wonderfully designed invites by Jeanine Apoderado!


Simple personal message to your recipients by Juliet and Clemens

The simplicity and lovely personal touch of printing a small message is such a wonderful idea!   The grey/blue looks so wonderfully gentle on the Lettra Pearl White envelopes. It is understated yet recognisable and what a way to make your invitation recipients feel like they are V.I.Ps.

Border design to tie your envelopes to your invite by Rebecca Mead and Christopher Dickson

This beautiful wedding set had a floral border throughout.  By drawing this element right through to the envelope it really made it feel like a whole, well thought out, set. Printed on our Lettra Fluorescent White 300gsm stock and matched on our Lettra Fluorescent White envelopes. I love all this matching!

Envelope print designed by Gwynne Davenport

A stamp-like logo print on the back of these envelopes is a great way to get your brand seen. It’s a great business plan, and free advertising (the posties will probably be your next client!) These were printed on Lettra 300gsm Fluorescent White USA6 envelopes to match the clean, fresh white of the Lettra 300gsm stock their greeting cards were printed on.



24 Apr

At Magpie Press, we are conscious of the world and it’s demise especially after the passing of 22.12.2012… (lame joke) but we are very serious about doing what we can to reduce waste and choose eco-friendly materials where we can. Most of our paper is 100% cotton, our Lettra stock using 100%  fibers reclaimed from the garment industry, even their factory’s power supply comes from municipal waste.  Our Colour plan papers and recycle board is FSC accredited. We stock two recycle boards, Muda 700gsm and the 610gsm. It is slightly difficult on such grainy stock to get a print to stand out but these designs in particular really prove that recycled board can be just as modern looking as our other paper stocks.

Printing a stark black ink against the greyish tones of the 700gsm Muda board really gives a clean fresh look—and since this is a card for Terrazzo + Stoneworks this stock conveys just that. The design for this, by Ginamarie Hufton, is modern using a font with thick and thin contrast which makes the press seem more obvious with a pleasing texture to touch.

Simon Thornley designed his own business cards, on one side a blind emboss (over white stock as well as a batch of black stock) with an illustration printed over the recycle stock. The press is light and the brown/grey ink gives an organic feel. Simon also had stamps made with his contact details (very clever in a world we are always moving about in!!) this stamp looks great against the recycle stock.

In all my time at Magpie Press I have never seen more than one colour printed on the Recycled stock and what a striking effect a three(3!!!!) colour print has. By using recycle board, designer, Stephen McCarthy achieves the point of ‘just the good stuff’ against the organic look of the recycle board and having the logotype pop in a teal blue and blood red. Brown bread isn’t a bakery but I really wish it was, I would visit them every weekend for fresh baked delights.

Laminating, with a grain of SALT.

17 Apr

Here at Magpie Press, we print many business cards that get us talking about both design and the construction process, but none so much as these SALT. business cards. When we were sent the job, I was so intrigued as to what these cards were for. There were two business cards, both laminated duplex (this means a lot of gluing for me to do, my favourite process *said with a tinge of sarcasm*), and a coaster.

Designed by Ben Ashley at Benzine for SALT. Eatery


Printed on our 500gsm coaster board stock is the word ‘SALT.’ standing alone. Because of the simplicity of this design, it showcases best the debossed effect that letterpress is famed for. The less information (image/inked area) the more ability for a deep press, and because of the thickness of the text this was easier to achieve. I absolutely love this coaster in it’s bareness, but I would never place my beer glass upon it (unless I wiped the glass clean first). CLUE #1 These items must be for a place that serves drinks.


Designed by Ben Ashley at Benzine for SALT. Eatery


Printing blind on black stock can be a nice little treat as in the right light all is revealed but in a little shade it can be concealed completely—almost like a magic eye game. These cards are duplex with black Colour Plan 270gsm on the back (again with ‘SALT.’ bottom left aligned) laminated with a fleshy pinky cream Colour Plan 270gam stock, they make me want to have a slice of Apricot Meringue pie accompanied by a glass of watermelon and mint juice whilst sitting in front of a fireplace at sunset with the amber glow tinting everything my eyes land upon. CLUE #2 SALT. cnr Beach Road & Castor Bay Road on the North Shore… (could do a drive by)


Designed by Ben Ashley at Benzine for SALT. Eatery


I know I should never pick favourites but this is my favourite. A little because it is the ‘little’ SALT. and I always try to back the underdog, but mostly because of this particular stock colour combination. The bright mint green Colour Plan 270gsm stock sits up wonderfully against the Kraft 410gsm speckled board. The emblem for ‘Little Salt’ is playful as it’s name and sits centered on the back as do the front details (in which I particularly like the use of fullstops as gaps in the phone number). Because of the back to back placement of the text, laminating these stocks together was done after printing as to not affect the press—which made alignment extremely important (therefore the gluing was extremely intense) The end result in one word: ‘amazingsuberbulouslygreat’ CLUE #3 It is described as an ‘eatery’.

After the weeks I had been curious, it came to me that SALT. was a new restaurant and these business cards and coasters were for it’s grand opening. All these wonderful designs were created by Ben Ashley at Benzine for SALT. and Little salt on the corner of Beach Road and Castor Bay Road in Auckland.


Beyond Cool, Nautical Themed.

27 Mar

One more summery post, as we begin to see/feel the not so bright hues of Autumn approach. -(although who doesn’t love a pile of crunchy leaves and good sweater/scarf combo – am i right?)




Brett and Clare’s wedding invitation and thank you notes are: fresh, cool, inspired and cool cool cool cool! Too much love for this nautical-themed invite. The couple chose a super clean sommerset 330 stock to help off set the gorgeous navy blue and aqua. (Two plates used)

It’s all in the finer details -  the scalloped border, anchors, and sail boat (the cutest one i’ve seen in a while) makes this design perfect for letter press. The text also feels amazing pressed into the subtly textured paper. I am positive this Yacht club wedding had a beautiful turnout – from the invitation alone it looks like it would have been a boat-full of fun times. (terrible joke..)


Happy Easter to all of our delightful readers! Stay safe and eat a lot.


Special mentions

2 Sep

It’s coming into wedding season and spring is in the air – we love this time of year! And we love special mentions – the Herald’s Wednesday lifestyle magazine, Viva, have recently published a guide to wedding planning “How to plan a wedding” beautifully collated and written by wedding planner Erin Lovich. Mentioned in the piece, is this invitation set designed by Kate Slavin at Cotton Wood Studios and printed by us at Magpie Press!

Annaliesa Folder

Annaliesa Folder

Annaliesa invitation

Annaliesa invitation

Another mention was made on Style Me Pretty (an online wedding inspiration magazine) which details, with plenty of photographs, the wedding planned by Erin Lovich for Annaliesa and Matias – a beautiful white wedding.  In case you’re wondering, the invitations are an elegant 160mm x 160mm, printed on the gorgeous 535gsm paper, with matching pointed flap envelopes.