Last Thursday, the West Elm in Virginia Beach hosted our Hand Lettering class. This was definitely the swankiest place we’ve held a class. It was a small group which allows for a lot more one-on-one time with each student. Take a look after the jump for more photos from the class. If you’re interested in this class, keep an eye on us here, on Facebook or on Instagram for announcements. It will probably be closer to the end of the Summer when we do another. Also, since we’ve done a bunch of these intro to lettering courses, we’re working on a level 2 course for folks who want to continue their love of letterforms. If you have any suggestions or ideas that you would like us to pursue, send them our way at hello(at)mapleandbelmont.com.
Next time you see us in person, be sure to grab one of our new business cards. I was definitely ambitious with the two color design/screen print on both sides but they turned out pretty rad. Even the imperfections add character to each card. I’m trying to get better about documenting my process, so there are a few photos from the studio when I printed them. It was crazy hot that day and I was ready to be done with printing. The studio is coming along nicely and I hope to share a few shots of it soon.
Last Thursday I had a blast doing our Hand-Lettering workshop at Within Interior Design in downtown Norfolk. Below are a few photos from that event. You can’t go wrong with an awesome location and fun people!
This year we started getting requests for several private lettering workshops. From companies looking to do a fun event with their employees or even a group of friends that want to spend some time together learning a new skill. These workshops are different from our others because everyone knows each other, so the atmosphere is super casual. If this is something you’re interested in booking with us, shoot us an email at hello(at)mapleandbelmont.com.
It’s been a while since our last post because for most of June I was eyeball deep in code to redesign our website. “What?! You’re website is great.” This was something I kept hearing from everyone I mentioned it to. Truth be told, it just wasn’t the website we needed anymore. Our old website wasn’t bad but it only catered to a shop and we’ve become so much more than that over the past 3 years. We’ve been accumulating a great deal of custom projects that we had a hand in designing or lettering. Those pieces needed a place on the website to be properly displayed. So I’m happy to announce that you can now find a portfolio of our custom work on our website. Whoot! If you follow us on instagram or Facebook, you’ve only seen bits and pieces but never the entire story. We’ve also included a press page and we’re hoping to redesign the blog to fit in with the rest. Originally, I planned to do this big unveiling of everything but that was unrealistic because of well, you know, life. So I’ve been finding peace with taking small steps rather than doing it all at once.
We’re gearing back up to teach more hand-lettering workshops this year. The next one is just a couple weeks away on May 31st at Kitsch. It’s a morning workshop, so we thought it might be a good idea to provide doughnuts and coffee to get the day started right. Also, I kind of have a doughnut obsession. You can find more information about the class here.
I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoy teaching these workshops. We get to meet a vast variety of folks from the area and it’s fascinating that an interest in lettering is what brings us together. If you can’t make it to our next class, we’re going to have a few more throughout the year. Keep an eye out for those.
Sweet Tea Towels are back in the shop! Before screen printing this new batch, I took a moment to revamp the design to reflect the growth in my lettering skills. I also freshened up the illustration with a bit more detail. Just take a look for yourself below. It feels so incredibly good to see the evolution of my abilities.
Next month we’re teaching our classic hand-lettering workshop at the Virginia MOCA in Virginia Beach on the 14th! We’re holding it on a Saturday morning to make it more accessible to anyone who would like to attend. Per usual, bring your sketch book, a ruler, pencils and pens. It’s open to everyone but you get a discount if you’re a member of the museum. We don’t plan on doing many workshops this year, so now is the time to join us. Plus the MOCA is a pretty lovely place to be and you’re right next to the oceanfront. Register online here.
There we were in Phoebus on a rainy Saturday morning, sitting in our car and staring at the Prince Ink storefront for any signs of life. What a wonderfully awful morning for our first workshop of the year. The kind of day you don’t mind wasting indoors. We waited till a member of AIGA approached the door and also checked for life. Then finally Matt of Prince Ink, walks up and unlocks the door to their store/studio.
While we setup for the workshop, eight other AIGA members slowly trickled in. They were here to take our workshop, Designing Drop Caps and Other Junk and Stuff for Screen Printing. Long-ass title, I know. Once everyone was settled with their sketch books open and pencils in hand, we were off and running. We started with a short lecture about screen printing and what to consider when designing for this method of printing. Matt sat in his office that jutted off the long hallway we were using for the workshop. He was taking notes, but also served as confirmation for whatever we would discuss. Whether is was the specifics of overlaying versus trapping, or some technical aspect of printing that he could give more professional insight about. I like to remind folks that we screen print in our closet of our apartment. Hey, it works. Don’t judge.
We then dove into a quick discussion about drop caps. But despite the workshop name, they became just decorative letters since they had no text to drop into. I directed everyone’s attention to a example of a letterform exploration on the letter “M” that I composed to demonstrate various type treatments. Then we randomly assigned two letters to each person and let them get to work.
Drawing two letters in a hour might sound like an easy task but it’s not. I felt for our students because I know that struggle to be inspired when being forced to do so. While they sketched out various concepts, Derek and I made our rounds and would guide or encourage certain directions. When all was said and done, I was incredibly excited about the results! Luckily these letterforms will be put to use in the following AIGA workshop where Prince Ink is teaching screen printing. Before this can take place, I will need to piece all of these hand-drawn letters into a single graphic that will be screen printed on t-shirts in that workshop.
If you didn’t get the chance to take our workshop, you still have time to sign up for the Screen Printing Workshop on February 7th where you’ll learn the basics of screen printing and even get to screen print your own t-shirt. You need to be an AIGA member to sign up, but being a member is a good opportunity to meet other creatives in this area. Do it.
I didn’t make a big announcement about this through the site, but as of the beginning of the year I’ve taken Maple & Belmont on full-time. This is so I can focus on expanding the product line among doing a million other things. Whoot! So I started the year off by cranking out some new cards that can be used for Valentine’s Day or whenever you’re in a loving mood. And who doesn’t appreciate a little love note every now and then.
There are two different styles. The first is minimalistic but eye-catching. I screen printed black and white “xoxo” designs and paired them with bright persimmon envelopes. These came about from drawing a bazillion “xoxo’s” and just had fun coming up with a few variations. I thought these make the perfect boxed set since you get two of each design to send to whomever you like.
The second line of cards are a little more intimate and convey a loving message without being overwhelming lovey-dovey. I’ve been inspired by a lot of celestial and occult imagery so I pulled in some of those elements for the designs. Screen printing these in jewel tones just seemed fitting. Everything is up in the shop, cheers!
Wanted to squeak this in before tomorrow is here. We’ve partnered with AIGA Hampton Roads and Prince Ink Co. to teach a workshop on the basics of what to consider when designing for screen printing. The focus will be on drop caps but our tips will be applicable to anything you design. If you’re in the Hampton Roads area, join us tomorrow from 10am-12pm. You have to be an AIGA member to come, but that’s all the more reason to become apart of this creative community.
The workshop will start with a quick lecture but will heavily focus on designing drop caps because the drop caps you design at the workshop will be printed on t-shirts in the following workshop. Sign up here. Hope to see you tomorrow!