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‘Tis the Season to Order Holiday Cards

Written by in Color & Texture, Features, Holiday, Inspire

Still the Best: Paper Greetings
From Your Hands to Theirs

Admit it. There’s nothing worse that an empty mailbox during the holiday season. Don’t let that happen to you, your friends, your family, or your business associates! Mail them a real card this holiday season. Choose handcrafted cards that reflect your hopes, wishes, or personal philosophy, and beliefs. Include a hand-written note, too. A simple signature is lame.

A few of  our favorite small shop and boutique printers and designers sent in samples of their most popular seasonal cards offered on their websites and/or ETSY shops.

Blackbird Letterpress of Lafayette, Louisiana

Blackbird Letterpress, established in 2003, is a small design and fine letterpress printing studio in South Louisiana that specializes in animal shaped stationery, paper toys, handmade notebooks, and calendars. “We strive for excellent craftsmanship with a small footprint,” says Kathryn Hunter of Blackbird. “Our current favorite inspirations are the colors in Wes Anderson films and the animals that live along our disappearing coasts.” Now, we know two of these are not exactly “holiday” cards, but you can send them as gifts — and put a little holiday glitter in the envelope.

blackbird-north star1

Making a donation to an animal conservation fund rather than sending gifts? Tell your friends and family in a personal note written on the back of one of these North Star Animal cards. They are letterpress printed in light gray and soft green on bamboo paper then diecut in the studio. Bear and Wolf have movable legs, and Owl has movable wings attached by small braids. Each card comes with a light gray A6 envelope printed with a white pattern. $8 each.

blackbird-ntl park2a

This holiday season, give your parents or grandparents an all access America the Beautiful pass with the National Parks Spinner, that illustrates 12 parks from all over the US. Learn about where they are, how big they are, and when they were established, as well as key features and wildlife. The included parks are: Grand Canyon, Denali, Arches, Yosemite, Everglades, Grand Teton, Olympic, Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, and Yellowstone! From Blackbird Letterpress: $9.50 each.


Blackbird’s Redfish Hooked is letterpress printed and diecut in Blackbird’s studio. The fish fin can hold money, a gift card, or a note for your gift recipient. Surely you know someone who loves to fish—or at least the fantasy of sitting by a lake. The card is printed in red-orange ink on pale pink 100 lb recycled paper. Here is the cool part: paper comes from a domestic paper manufacturer that uses 100 percent hydro-electric power. A No. 10 bright green envelope accompanies each card. $6 each.


Power & Light Press of Silver City, New Mexico

Kyle Durie takes a tongue and cheek approach to the holidays (and everything else) at her design-print studio in Silver City, New Mexico. These off-color seasonal cards are suited for those with a wicked sense of humor and a high tolerance for irreverence. They are available on Power & Light’s online card shop. Parental discretion advised.


Bench Pressed of MPLS Defunct Beer Factory

Since 2011, MPLS-based Bench Pressed specializes in hand-drawn and hand-printed stationery, printed one-by-one, by hand on antique equipment. It is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Andrew and Jane Shannon. “We like to say that our cards are ‘tongue in cheek with a little sweet,’” says Jane. Bench Pressed produces its own line of hand-drawn, hand-printed greeting cards, and prints wedding invitations, personal stationery, and fine printed materials. The print shop operates in the old Hamm’s brewery in East St. Paul, running a 1965 Heidelberg Windmill, a 1955 C&P, and a Standard tabletop from 1890-ish.  “Sadly,” says Andrew, “the studio is BYOB.”




Hey!?! What’d You Get Today?!

Send us your favorite cards! This year, when you receive a particularly wonderful printed greeting card, share it with Against the Grain. Take a digital snapshot (at least  300 DPI, (600 x 300 pixels/landscape format)) and send it to Against the Grain c/o Matthew Porter, Managing Editor at We will post the best of the best just before Christmas Eve.