Now that I have clarity regarding my company's why, every decision I make has become easier, including how and where to manufacture my business cards and hangtags. I wanted something special that mirrored the sentiment of my brand and didn't have to look further than up a flight of stairs. On the 4th floor of cSPACE, Jess and Ian run Feast Letterpress, a cozy printing studio. Seeing their beautiful creations backdropped by a warm brick wall makes it hard not to run rampant with ideas for custom work, or reasons to buy a cheeky, pre-pressed card.
Both my cards and hang tags are printed on 220lb Crane Lettra paper. I had used the paper in the past, but never understood it's synergy with my brand until Jess pointed out its connection to the garment industry and sustainability. It is made from 100% cotton linters, which are fibres recovered from the manufacture of other cotton products, like clothing. This, along with its ability to be recycled with tree-based paper, makes it both beautiful and beneficial to our environment.
But the beauty of working with Feast extends far beyond the materials that carry their imagery. The cornerstone of the space is a 1920’s hand-fed, foot-treadle press, whose story Jess shared with me: "When Ian and I were traveling together in Australia we met a couple who ran a beautiful letterpress studio and we were so inspired by it. When we moved back to Canada we drove to Indianapolis to buy our press and spent a really fun summer diving into the whole process". The nostalgia and heritage of the machine charms, as does the rhythmic, tactile process of running it by hand.
They describe this so well when I ask about why people seem to be drawn to their analogue approach. "The beauty of really taking your time to create an object with your hands means that you end up with so much appreciation and pride in the end product. I love this community that we are a part of full of people who are passionate about doing the same. I think people are drawn to these kinds of processes because it is such a contrast to the endless array of disposable things we are surrounded by".
The care and craftmanship that goes into each of their projects is evidenced by the outcome, but they truly go the extra mile. They actually took the time to hand punch every last one of my hangtags. To get a look at their process, fall in love with their ethos, or just find a cute card for your next celebration, you've seriously got to visit these two.
Photos: Ken Heinbecker