Friday, November 20, 2009

Self Promo Part 1

Recently, I started working on a self-promotion piece to take with me when I visit clients. I want a hand-crafted feel and I want to use environmentally-responsible materials.

As always, I start with a few pages of sketches. The plan is to take a trip over to BRING Recycling in Springfield to find some wood for the cover. I originally considered a top-hinge with screw-post design, but it started looking a little cutesy/ scrapbooky in the sketches. Now I'm thinking more along the lines of two boards and a piano hinge. Inside, I want a pocket for a cover letter and a pocket that will hold a mini- portfolio. I'd like to burn my signature into the cover or maybe do a wood inlay, but I think I'll let the type/condition of the wood help me with that decision.

Friday, November 13, 2009

First Impression

Last Friday, I visited Twin Ravens Press here in Eugene. For those of you who don't know, Twin Ravens is a letterpress shop run by one of the least-surly press operators that I've ever met, Kristin. I approached Kristin about a month ago to help me with my new business cards. The contact information on my old cards (printed by was outdated and the design left a lot to be desired. The conditions were perfect. It was business card time.

I was as interested in the process as I was in the final product, so I passed along the information I wanted on the card and then gave Kristin carte blanche to design the cards. I was so incredibly pleased when Kristin came back with nearly a dozen designs, 3 of which were so spot-on that it took a while to decide which was the most awesome.

I went with a 2-color die-cut design printed with soy inks on handmade, custom, seeded, 100% recycled, 100% cotton paper by Porridge Papers. Once we fine-tuned the design, Kristin ordered the plates. The plates are made out of a photopolymer material. The cool thing about the plate maker, Boxcar Press, is that they have a brilliant recycling program for the plates after they are printed. Usually, these big chunks of plastic get tossed in a landfill. The used plates are recycled into car parts and consumer goods. How cool is that?

On Friday, Kristin invited me over to watch the printing process, start to finish. My inner print-nerd was stoked! I brought my little point+shoot camera along to watch the 1912 Chandler & Price letterpress spring into action. I was not disappointed. I'll post a short video and a handful of pictures below. If you want to see more pictures from press day at Twin Ravens, check out my flickr set.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Welcome to Ampersand!

Hello everyone,
I'm Keith, the Owner & Creative Director of Vespagraphics, a sustainability-minded, multi-faceted graphic design company located in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. We design a lot of interesting stuff for our awesome clients. It's been tough to keep the portfolio section of up to date with our latest and greatest projects, so I decided to start this blog to give folks a quick look at what we're up to. Hopefully, you'll also see the creative process at work through sketches and alternate designs. I'll also introduce you to some of our clients and the hardest-working print and design vendors this side of the Willamette River.