Freshly Cut: Thank You cards for Sense Labs

Cut from Neenah Oxford in Blue Chip

Check out the blog post over at Sense Labs about the custom thank you cards I cut for them. They requested a video so I tried to shine enough lights on the work area to make it visible. I also had to temporarily defeat the overlock so that I could film the work area directly instead of through the safety door’s glass.

Etched iPad for Apparent Systems. They’re rolling out a bunch of these pre-loaded with a test version of their latest app.

The etching was pretty straightforward. I used my old iPhone as a material sample to get the settings right. Although it’s just an id mark the etching is quite lovely in person.

Freshly Cut – Little Floridas for cevd

Cut from Arturo in Grey

Christine’s studio cevd designs beautiful custom invitations.

These little Florida cut-outs will become part of an invite.

The cotton Arturo paper was a dream to cut. There was virtually no odor or surface discoloration from the heat of the beam.

I’ve recently added a set of cotton and bamboo papers from Legion to my swatch catalog. Let me know if you’d like to see a sample.

More photos are on flickr.

Freshly Cut – Amanda & Nate’s Wedding Invitations

Cut from Paper Source in White and Stardream in Rose Quartz with coordinating¬†5 3/4” square envelope. Ink-free etched text.

My brother-in-law Nate was recently married to his high school sweetheart Amanda and I was delighted to design their wedding invitations.

A vinyl aficionado, Nate brought up the idea of making a mock-record invitation. I photographed and emailed several choices of paper to match their pink and white theme and they went with my favorite, a pearlescent rose. Spending some time on record sleeve production websites I came up with a good template that just required two strips of adhesive.

Perfecting the etching took the longest amount of time. I ultimately developed a technique that first etches the text, then finely outlines it to increase the contrast.

Heartfelt congratulations to the newlyweds. It was a joyous wedding with many sweet details.

If I made this invitation again I would make a few improvements. First, I’d change the font for the date. Perhaps adding bridges to the font used for the monogram would be enough. Second, I’d reverse-cut the sleeve so that the slight yellowing of the paper around the cuts would be on the inside instead of the outside. When I first did the cut it looked great; it wasn’t until a week or so later that the discoloration showed. Last, the white paper etched great (I tested at least eight whites from several mills) but it didn’t feel quite solid enough. It was somewhere in the 80-100# range; 120-140# would be much more record-like.

More photos are on flickr. This design is available to be customized for your special event from $5 an invite. I’m happy to work with your design or a third party designer as well, just email for more information or a quote.

Freshly Cut – Business cards for Mod My LLC

Laser cut business cards

Cut from Mohawk Beckett Cambric in Blazer Blue/White. Stitch-effect edge and rounded corners.

ModMyi is an Apple news site with community forums and downloads. Kyle contacted me about creating cards to bring to the upcoming Apple developer conference in San Francisco.

Custom box for laser cut business cardsOpened custom box for laser cut business cardsLaser cut business card showing detail of etching and linen texture

Using a vector file of their logo I created five design choices and tested a couple of duplex blue papers. The thicker 130lb paper with its delicate linen texture was a clear winner. Why duplex? For my own cards I’ve used a wide range of papers. I found that the dark papers were frustrating because I had nowhere to write. With a dark/light duplex the problem is solved by having the back of the card to write on.

After a lot of testing I found the precise setting so that the laser would burn away just the blue layer of the paper, leaving the white to give high contrast for the text. Unfortunately this paper is relatively smokey; I had to clean the lens of the laser between each sheet to maintain the optimal power.

The duplex engraving isn’t as legible as printed text but it’s a very unique look. Additionally, there are no plates to make, no ink to use, and no nasty chemicals to clean up the ink.

To complete the project I designed a custom box to match the cards. (I’m eyeing a copy of The Packaging and Design Templates Sourcebook to make this process faster.)

Additional photos are over in my flickr photostream. You too can own a swanky set of laser-cut business cards if you just email to get the ball rolling.