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Jun.16, 2015
Friends, travel


Tess at Pop Up Portland

As we've recently returned from Pop Up Portland, a Portland-themed tradeshow in Tokyo, we thought it would be fun to do a blog post about our ongoing and evolving relationships in Japan...


Aaron preparing cards for the show.

The love between Japan and Pacific Northwest makers is a strong one. Personally, we've always been inspired by Japan and there's a shared interest in craft and attention to detail that goes both ways. Our first trip was endlessly inspiring and we spent our off time combing through books stores for Japanese lifestyle magazines and craft books, buying up gifts from the 100 yen store and marveling at the beauty and detail in everything. We visited every Muji store we could find and favored the Muji café for meals. Our biggest takeaway from this trip is that Porland is HUGE in Japan--it's like its own brand and some people came by JUST because they were curious about Portland. ​


The food is always a highlight for us. Look at that sashimi!

This recent trip was our 3rd trip in 3 years and with each visit there's a growing momentum and we feel a little more woven in there. We're grateful to the relationships and friendships we've made. Relationships are so important in Japan and every time we go we learn more and connect more deeply. The venue of Pop Up Portland (in a beautiful old train station!) was great because it was less formal than normal tradeshows and we were able to take more time with conversations and visit with people. Plus, the organizers worked hard to really target invitees and match them up with companies that would work well together.


Venu Maache Ecute--the 100 year old train station.


Our booth, featuring Social Preparedness Kit.


Dan from Portland Design Works and Kara. In matching sweaters!


Egg Press postcards we recently designed for the Loft stores.

A few highlights from our trip!

++We had an introduction to a VERY cool organization, Tegamisha, who are also letterpress printers, ​publish books, put on very cool curated craft fairs, and even have a series of shops and restaurants.

++We chatted with lifestyle chain Loft about new projects. They're currently selling 3 different sets of postcards that we designed for them--one of them features a series of hand drawn NY Landmarks.

++We got to meet our friends at Box and Needle again (they came to visit us in Portland last year) whose family has been in the box and paper making business for over 100 years. We're planning to make some Egg Press designs for them which we're really excited about. The tradtional Japanese papers they make mean a totally new look and texture with saturated colors.

Jun.15, 2015
Friends

We're big fans of Mazama and are excited to provide Egg Press cards for their Father's Day open studio. Head on over this Wednesday and pick up one of their beautiful mugs along with an Egg Press card for Dad. They’ll even wrap it up for you while you sip on whiskey and get a rare glimpse behind the scenes of their headquarters!

OPEN STUDIO
Wednesday June 17th
2pm-6pm
216 N. Tillamook
Portland, Ore 97227

Whiskey/Beer/Snacks
Mazama Wares/Egg Press Cards

Jun.9, 2015
NSS

Every year we create a show treat for the National Stationery Show and this year's treat was a wacky series of "Eyes Supplies". They'll obviously transform your appearance but wearing them also transforms your day!
 

May.15, 2015
NSS

It's National Stationery Show time! Come see us at 'the Jav' May 17-20 at booth #1657. We will have the latest from our Egg Press greeting card line as well as our capsule collection, Social Preparedness Kit, which debuts for the first time at NSS this year! We're excited to share a new crop of cards that feature a bold use of pattern and color and introduce a new menagerie of funny animal friends as well as a collection of highly-giftable letter writing tools.


 

Mar.24, 2015

We recently had the opportunity to work on a really fun and creative custom job for Karen who commisioned an Eames-inpsired House of Cards style deck for her husband's 50th birthday. Read on for details from Karen about this amazing project and gift. We hope it will inspire you as much as it did us!

“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects.  The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.”
-Charles Eames

+++

John turned 50 on October 10.  I wanted to commemorate the milestone and honor him at the same time.  I hoped to design something that was personal, relevant to his interests and allowed his friends/family (near and far)  to express their wishes, thoughts and memories.
 

I started by thinking that 50 was really John's mid-century, which was relevant because he has always been drawn to mid-century design and, in particular, to the work of Ray and Charles Eames.  I remembered a fund development project that I had been involved with that used the idea of the iconic Eames House of Cards in a similar way. John and I had used the Eames cards to build "houses" with our sons when they were younger and had always enjoyed the connection between the unique nature of the individual cards and the texture that they brought to a single structure, once the cards were combined.

It was a perfect way to allow for the individual contributors to John's birthday project to express themselves in an authentic and unique way, but also combine their efforts to create a vibrant and beautiful structure.  Each card representing a part of John's life separately, but being an integral part of the whole.  (I've attached the letter of introduction/explanation that I sent out with the cards - which might do a better job of explaining my thinking - I hope anyway).

I commissioned the custom deck because I didn't have the skills to create what I envisioned in my head.  I contacted my friend and graphic designer, Carey Portzline, and pleaded for help.  She graciously agreed to help me and suggested that we connect with Egg Press (ALWAYS my favorite card "shop") to see what was possible.  We decided to create 4 different card designs, each  with a common birthday "stamp" on the reverse side.  The rest of the card diversity was to come from the creativity of our friends and family.  It was a crazy fun project.  Everyone was really respectful of the purpose and goal of the project, and seemed genuinely invested in making the idea into an even better reality.  I was ecstatic with the outcome.  The cards were exactly what I had envisioned - better even.

 

When the cards were returned, I was overwhelmed.  Each one was unique and told a different story.  I had a box made (by MADE, Inc) so that we could store the cards once the structure came down and that is how  I presented it to John.  His response was layered.  Surprise (which is huge because very little surprises him), appreciation for the beauty of the cards and the box, wonder and gratitude for all of the people who had taken part in honoring him, and celebrating his mid-century.  We also had a lot of fun combining all of the cards into a single "house", which we did in several different combinations.

All in all, it was perfect.
 

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