Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Flowers

Above are some photos of a few thank you cards that went with a custom wedding order that we printed last week (photos of the full suite to follow). The bride wanted a nice yellow that wasn't too mustard-like, or too pastel, so this was the happy medium. The cards and envelopes are from Crane's Lettra in Pearl.

Speaking of Crane paper, I am once again at a loss for what to do with this supplier. They certainly seem to want to burn the people that buy their products. We are located in Canada, which means that there are not a ton of fellow letterpress printers up here buying Crane Lettra products. This means that when I phone the supposed "distributors" of Crane Lettra in Canada, I am repeatedly told that they don't carry the Lettra line because of lack of demand. These are the same companies that are listed by the Crane rep as being distributors, and are also listed on their website (oh, and I've tried the Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto distributors and none of them carry Lettra).

So for a long time, we ordered directly from Crane because there was no alternative. This stunk - plain and simple. I had three orders in a row get screwed up - items were left out of orders, customs paperwork was incorrect so I was charged double the duties upon import (two cases were never resolved), you can't order online if you are Canadian, packages would arrive damaged because they were not properly packaged, etc. So after much research and trouble we FINALLY managed to find a wholesale distributor in the US that was willing to sell and ship to us. We were so happy!!! Life was good! We also finally no longer had to pay retail pricing and orders arrived undamaged with all the items inside!

But, it was not to last. A few weeks ago we tried to order a large amount of Crane Lettra from our new distributor and they told us they were out of stock because Crane would no longer be selling Pearl Lettra in the size we use to them (the distributor). What the devil?

So now we have no choice but to buy in a larger size (which is a true pain, and results in higher shipping costs), or buy direct from Crane again. I am so frustrated with this whole situation I may have to abandon Crane products entirely because it shouldn't be this hard to get supplies in. I realize many letterpress printers are not HUGE consumers of paper like some other printing sectors are, but c'mon. Why make paper specifically for letterpress printers, and then make it so gosh darned difficult to order that we get frustrated and give up? I know we're in Canada, but don't punish us for that!!! At the risk of sounding like John Stossel - give me a break!

Happy letterpressing!


  1. These are really gorgeous!

    I feel your pain with Crane Lettra, but I use such small quantities that I order direct.

    I'm curious how you get this to fold so nice without cracking?

  2. I totally understand - I do live in the states, but I've been more frustrated by their changing prices. I've been doing research and have decided to change to a recycled paper. I know how great the impression is for lettra and for high-end invitations I'll still use it, but for my cards and stationery I've decided not to rely on them anymore. I usually buy my crane's lettra from keldon paper in california. They always seem to have plenty. Good luck. Maybe smock paper of boxcar press will start to sell their bamboo paper.

  3. Check out Keldon Paper in California. They are incredibly helpful and their pricing is online. I'm sure they would ship to Canada. Also, Kelly Paper in Seattle just started carrying Crane due to my request. They have a small quantity of 8.5x11 reams right now, but the more demand there is, the more they will carry. I'm sure if you call and inquire about shipping they would love to help you out! - Stephanie

  4. Hi erin! Your blog is an inspiration!

    Could you help me with a few questions?

    When you have a plate made with Boxcar and have several small images (say of your famous little bird, snow flakes, etc)- do you get them printed at the same time and cut them out of the plate to use? I'm trying to maximize my money here...

    also, how do you create your fabulous images (of the bird, tree, flowers, etc.)? Do you use a SW program to help you, or are they images from someplace else that you've bought the rights to?

    Thanks so much!! I look forward to more posts!



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