Home & Hartford Prints!

via pink wallpaper


Growing up in the West End of Hartford, we three sisters have a pretty clear house obsession. Our neighborhood is full of grand old Victorian homes with beautiful porches, shutters, columns, woodwork detailing, stained glass, and the like. With so many beautiful styles, it is hard to pick a favorite, and we are sure everyone in the 'hood thinks that their house is the best!

With that in mind, we have started offering beautiful, one-of-a-kind house drawings. We are so lucky that Addy is not only a very talented artist, but also enjoys working with very, very tiny details! Look at this gorgeous rendering she did recently of a neighbor's lovely home.

8 x 10" pen & ink drawing

Drawings are available double matted and framed

These drawings make a wonderful and very thoughtful gift for anyone who loves the unique, architectural details of his or her home. Or you can buy one for yourself and display it with love and pride!


Similarly, we also offer matted pen & ink drawings as fun and artistic guest books for weddings, anniversaries, vow renewals, you name it! This drawing below was done for a couple who were married at this incredible old barn in Vermont. Addy drew every detail perfectly and guests at the wedding signed their names and left "leaf" thumbprints on the trees! You can check out more gorgeous images from this wedding here (planned by our awesome friends at Whim Events). 

Photography by Hannah Persson Photo

Setting, inspiration, drawing. Photo by Hannah Persson Photo


There are so many wonderful things about being a letterpress AND design studio, one of which is that anything Addy draws or Rory designs can be turned into a plate! Once we have a house drawing completed, we can order a plate of the image and make custom personalized stationery. We can't think of anything lovelier (in this digital age) than sending a hand-written, thoughtful note on your own "home" letterpress stationery. Addy did this with her own wedding invitations, so we know first hand how beautiful the result can be!

If you are interested in ordering a custom house drawing or a pen & ink guest book from us, please email contact@hartfordprints.com. We would love for your house to find a home with Hartford Prints!

11.27.12 | The Language of Typography

The art of good typography is at the core of our design process. Often, we have clients who express strong feelings about certain fonts, but cannot verbalize what it is about the lettering they love or hate. Today's blog post is a basic education in the language of typography. So the next time you see some lovely letters somewhere, you'll be able to express why you love it and impress all of your nerdy design friends! We thank Red Labor for their wisdom on words.


Image via Inspiredology 

Serif font on wedding program by Hartford Prints!

Serifs are the "little wings" on the edges of type. There are two different kinds - bracketed serifs have gentle curves that lead into the character, whereas unbracketed serifs meet the character at 90-degree angles. Historically, serifs have been preferred for their elegance, as many believe they increase the readability of text by helping to move the eye across the letters.

Of course, others prefer fonts that have modern, clean lines without (sans) serifs, as they find serifs too distracting and old-fashioned.

Image via OK200
Sans serif business cards by Hartford Prints!

Literally, the height of the lowercase letter x. The character of x is what determines the height of all other lowercase letters, not including the ascenders (l, f, k) and descenders (j, y, g). 

Image via Web Designer Depot
Example of x height, calling cards by Hartford Prints!


These are characters that like getting fancy! They have flourishes at the beginning and end of the character to add elegance and whimsy to the letters. They are not meant to be used all in one sentence, but rather to add a decorative element.

Image via Kate Spade
Swash characters and their fancy pants by Hartford Prints!

These are specially crafted characters that combine certain letter pairs, as you can see in the "f/i" and "c/t" pairs in the example below, from I Love Typography

"E/S" ligature on a Hartford Prints! custom shower invitations

Pronounced like sledding, leading refers to the actual pieces of lead that used to be inserted (and in the case of letterpress, still are!) to keep lines between text in place. Too much or too little leading between lines in a body of text can have a great impact on readability.

Tracking refers to amount of space between all characters, while kerning refers to the actual spaces between letter pairs. The point of kerning is to create even spaces between all characters, so an uppercase G, for example, might need to be "kerned" closer to it's letter pair to make up for the large space at the right of the letter. 

Image via Outsmart 360
Leading and kerning, with thanks from Hartford Prints!
We hope you've learned a THING or TWO about the text you read every day. Now go forth and spread the typographical love! 

MONDAY | Life's A Picnic

Recently, we've been really into the idea of transforming engagement photo shoots into something more dynamic and fun! Some couples want something more out of the experience. But how do you spice it up, make it original, and show your style? 

We love the concept of announcing your engagement to close friends and family by sending out casual invitations for a mystery party. As guests arrive, the gathering organically transforms into both an engagement party and an engagement shoot! Back in September, we staged this picnic inspiration shoot in Prospect Park, Brooklyn with photographer Donald Darling. As you can see, the shoot reflects a personality, spontaneity, and style that is genuinely vibrant and positively a good time.


We took a lot of inspiration from Kinfolk, a magazine created and curated by photographers, artists, and foodies from around the world. The magazine promotes "a shared interest in small gatherings" and seeks a "natural approach to entertaining." Volume Five includes practical ideas and recipes for herbs to dry at home, fall camping, meals to take surfing, and new seasonal traditions.


Main invitation on kraft and cream paper, with gold stamping and hand-made envelopes, by Hartford Prints!
Signs, featuring polaroids of the couple, leading guests to picnic spot
Fall spread of cheese, rustic bread, figs, prosciutto, and arugula salad
Vintage boardgames for guests to enjoy
"Dark and Spicy" cocktails, made with balsamic blackberry shrub, black pepper, apple cider, and spiced rum
Vivid wild flowers
Polaroids for guests to take a picture and make a name tag!
Middle sister, as a guest!
Guest mingling, drinking, enjoying
Cocktail & ring
The happy couple!
Gorgeous, gold monogram pendant by K Kane. A lovely, one-of-a-kind gift for a bride to be! 
Lovely paper, beautiful friends, and a gorgeous day.

TUESDAY | Vintage Love

A recent, and we must say lovely, trend in invitation design is the use of vintage stamps to create a colorful and graphic statement. The right combination of colors, shapes, and sizes of vintage stamps creates a gorgeous and unique aesthetic that, combined with elegant calligraphy, turns your envelopes into art pieces of their own! 

Allie Ruth Design
 Atheneum Creative 

Sadly, our hearts sink every time we visit the USPS site hoping to discover some gorgeous re-releases of classic postage, only to find more "Flags of our Nation" stamps. Not that we don't love the flags of our nation, but the designers in us crave something more, well...designed!

So here's a collection of helpful websites we've come across on our hunt for those glorious and elusive creatures. 

Verde Studio: Through Etsy, this studio based in York, PA will style and collect the vintage stamps for 
                       your envelopes! Owner Virginia Sauder will look at your color palette and  
                       hand-select stamps to create a truly custom design.

Champion Stamp: Stamp collectors located in New York. They sell out of their store, located in 
                            midtown, or from their website. A good resource if you know what you're looking    

Ebay: There are a TON of stamp collectors selling vintage stamps on Ebay. Just make sure to shop 
          smart, some sellers only have portions of their collections that are unused. You don't want to end 
          up with stamps that can only be used for decor!

Keep in mind that wedding postage, depending on the weight of your invitations, can run upwards of $165.00 for 150 invitations + RSVP cards. Most vintage stamps are marked up 75%, which makes using vintage stamps a more costly (and time consuming) project. 

But if it's in your budget and on your radar, the end result is a beautiful thing to behold!


MONDAY | Singular Rings

New beginnings... a novel week, a fresh start, revived hope, and renewed love. We're thinking outside the box this Monday about love's metallic incarnations. White gold and white diamonds might not ever be passé, but maybe you find yourself wishing for something more... you? Here are some of our favorite jeweled bands for all of the "outside-the-(ring)box" lovers out there!

Alexandrite cluster ring from MOCIUN

Custom MOCIUN antique diamond, coral, and bi color sapphire set in 14K yellow gold

Bittersweets Brilliant Twig ring in 14K rose gold

1870-80s Turquoise & Rose Cut Diamond Ring, 10K Gold sold at MOCIUN

Wave Ring, gold with flecks of color, from Catbird 

From Satomi Kawakita, an 18K gold eternity band with black diamonds