Egg Press in Japan

Jun.16, 2015
categories: 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.

Japan, we love you!

Oct.24, 2013
categories: Inspiration, studio, travel

Our second trip to Tokyo was a blast! Our official mission was to exhibit at the Tokyo International Gift Show. We shared a booth with other Oregon based companies; one specializing in essential oils, the other in natural fragrant room sprays. Between the two we were smelling lovely all trip long! Our off-booth hours were spent exploring ramen joints in building basements, jogging around the Imperial Palace (where the Emperor actually lives!), walking around Ginza, gathering inspiration in Daikanyama shops, drinking Whiskey in Shimbashi and scouring the 100 yen stores for studio gifts. Not a moment was wasted and yet we barely scratched the surface! Sayonara for now, Tokyo. We hope to see you again next year.

Quick Trip: SF

Nov.20, 2012
categories: Friends, Inspiration, travel
Sol Food in San Rafael!

P-Town, we love you… but SF, what can we say – your town is a whole lotta inspiring. This last weekend we spent two quick days in The City by the Bay. Our first stop was a tour of the new Heath Ceramics Factory near the Mission. The huge kilns for tile production are not up and running yet but were impressive nonetheless. We ate well: Puerto Rican food in San Rafael, Mexican in Oakland, Belcampo cheeseburgers, sandwiches from Salumeria. We went to Old Oakland for pop-ups (yay for Umami-Mart!), and the Marin Country Mart to visit friends (missing the food cart round up by one day!). And lucky for us our trip coincided with the Heath Ceramics annual sample sale in Sausalito. Needless to say our carry-ons got heavier.

Hammerpress + little freshie

Nov.6, 2012
categories: Friends, travel

It's wonderful to have friends in town and to get the chance to see your city with fresh eyes. It's even better when they bring the good weather with them!

Lindsay Laricks, proprietor of Little Freshie and Brady Vest of Hammerpress came to Portland last weekend all the way from Kansas City. They brought good cheer and damn decent weather (we have the windows open in the studio even now!). Though 3 days is not nearly enough to eat your way through town, they did a commendable job. Big on the list were Cacao (spicy passion fruit truffles??!), Kask for cozy cocktails and Olympic Provisions. And on the shopping end of things Canoe, Beam and Anchor, and of course, Schoolhouse Electric did not fail to impress. Thanks for the visit guys – we wish you lived closer!

If you haven't seen their work, you should - and better yet, if you are in KCMO pop in and say hello! These are outstanding and immensely talented humans!

Tom goes to LA

Oct.11, 2012
categories: Inspiration, studio, travel

The Egg Press travels continue! Based on typical LA clichés, it's the last place you'd think to find Tom Sprenkle (Egg Press lead printer extraordinaire) who prefers walking to driving, the abstract over the obvious and wears a uniform of black most days. Once we heard how he spent his time, it all made a little more sense….

Portland was starting to feel like a bubble, so it seemed like a good time to go visit my sister Meg in Los Angeles, which is perhaps the Anti-Portland (or as close as one can get without leaving the country). Los Angeles is a huge and crazy sprawl of different and not always intersecting realities, offering a variety of new perspectives.

Each day we set out on a new adventure. For example we started Thursday by winding through the hills on Mullholland Drive and Sunset Boulevard, on to Malibu for fish tacos, a stop off at the pier and beach in Santa Monica and ending up at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a disorienting and labyrinthine collection of seemingly random curiosities (a statue of Napoleon inside the eye of a needle; a map with lights showing the distribution of trailer parks in the world; a room dedicated to early 20th century neuropsychiatrist Geoffrey Sonnabend—who may or may not have existed—and his Theory of Forgetting. The place is hard to describe—you really must experience it yourself).

Other highlights include sneaking around in the partially (barely) renovated Alexandria Hotel and a visit to the Last Bookstore downtown; finding a row of small contemporary art galleries in what seems like a back alley in chinatown (with exhibits such as the Guns + Roses themed show at Coagula); a visit to the Watts Towers; the wonderfully freakish Venice Beach; watching pelicans fishing in the canal at Playa del Rey just after sunset, enjoying the slightly awkward way they would abruptly twist and dive into the water and then bob back up before taking off again, using their feet as paddles to help get going; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Griffith Observatory where after watching the sunset we saw a half dozen coyotes as we exited the park.

ISOT and Tokyo!

Jul.11, 2012
categories: Inspiration, travel

We are back from Tokyo - tired and inspired. The Egg Press team was busy! We explored Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Ginza, Ebisu / Daikanyama, and of course spent a lot of time on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay which hosts among other things, Tokyo Big Sight – the home of ISOT (the International Stationery Show)! We had a great time at the show introducing our line to fellow paper lovers and meeting local letterpress printers and folks in the industry.

We heart Japan! And we were inspired by literally everything - 100 yen stores, convenience stores, street signs, street fashion, bicycles, vending machines, the food... And we were blown away by so much thoughtful design and rich retail environments / experiences. Amongst our favorite were:

Tsutaya Daikanyama

If you are in Tokyo or planning a trip, go check them out!

Egg Press Heading to the Big Apple!

May.3, 2012
categories: NSS, studio, travel

Hello friends! We're getting ready for our annual NYC trip to the National Stationery show at the Javits Center May 20th – 23rd where we'll unveil our brand new designs. We love this annual trip out East where we reconnect with our friends and find inspiration in the city. If you're attending NSS 2012 come see what's new – we're in booth #1658. You can also check out new work from our great friends (and show neighbors) Hammerpress, Old School Stationers, and Studio Olivine.

Can't wait to see you!

Kansas City

Nov.22, 2011
categories: travel

Thank you to our friends at Hammerpress in Kansas City for being such amazing hosts a few weekends back. The trip to KC began at First Friday with $1 chocolate truffles by local hero Christopher Elbow and tacos from Port Fonda - a delicious taco truck parked out front. The main event was Hammerpress HQ where Matt, Jen, Britta, Katie and Eric shared beers and baklava along with advice for the best BBQ and second hand-shopping. It’s always fascinating to get a behind the scenes look at other creative studios and Hammerpress was no exception. Their vast type collection, array of presses, taxidermy, old signs and examples of work posted around the studio are some of the tasty ingredients that go into the magic they produce and print every day. Love you guys!

The KC hits: Hammerpress retail shop, Fresher than Fresh snow pops, Arthur Bryant’s burnt ends sandwich, drinking chocolate at Christopher Elbow, vintage treasures at Re-Runs and River Market Antique Mall, tug boats on the Missouri River!

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