Power of the Press | New England's Finest
1. Deb Bastien and Kate Saliba have a particular fondness for letterpress. Their staff includes a talented violinist, a portrait artist, and a mathematician. And in recent years, Smudge Ink has also created two lines of vibrantly designed cards whose proceeds benefit local charities: WE CAN, a Cape Cod group offering mentoring, legal counsel, and education to women in transition; and Circle of Women, a Cambridge-based organization that funds schools for girls in developing countries. $8–$13. Smudge Ink, Charlestown, MA. 617-242-8228; smudgeink.com
2. Shelley Barandes started her career as an architect, but her love of paper drew her in to letterpress printing. She first launched a custom shop that won accolades for its novel approach to wedding invitations, save-the-date cards, and the like. Now her series of greeting cards, coasters, note sets, and journals is available around the country. $5 and up. Albertine Press, Somerville, MA. 617-666-7395; albertinepress.com
3. Mike Biegel’s love for Vermont’s snowy landscapes and iconic landmarks shines through in his line of holiday greeting cards, which he first sketches in pencil and then embellishes with ink using an old-fashioned crow-quill pen. $28–$30 per box of 24 cards. Vermont Greeting Cards, Sharon, VT. 888-267-2300; vermontgreetingcards.com
4. Patrick Barrett’s family has operated the Sterling Name Tape Company (familiar to anyone who attended summer camp in decades past) in Winsted, Connecticut, since 1901, so when he decided to move his own printing company out of Brooklyn, picking the new location was obvious. Lucky Duck, indeed: Using his great-grandfather’s press and metal type, he creates high-quality cards with a nostalgic whimsy, like these clevertelegram blanks. $18/10 cards. Lucky Duck Press Letterpress Printing, Winsted , CT. 860-469-5580; luckyduckletterpress.com
5. Like many recent entrepreneurial ventures, Colleen Ellse’s business began when she lost her job in 2007. The layoff inspired her to find her passion, and she now prints cards by hand on a letterpress in Dedham, Massachusetts. This card, “Written in the Stars,” was inspired by an antique astronomy wheel. $4.50–$5. Letter & Lark, Dedham, MA. 339-204-1755; letterandlark.com
6. Peggy Lo came to the U.S. from Taipei to attend the Rhode Island School of Design and has made her home in Providence ever since. Her use of environmentally friendly dry-wax printing lets her create small batches of colorful and inventive designs with Asian, Art Deco, and Victorian themes, which she sells online and at her charming studio on the city’s west side. $4 per card. Figments, Providence, RI. figmentsdesign.com
Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.