Sunday, October 14, 2007

Have I got a deal for you!

In my last post a few months ago I promised to give the scoop on affordable cards printed by small manufacturers. I'm finally making good on that promise, so without further ado here are some of my favorites:

Great Arrow Graphics is based in Buffalo, New York and produces a huge variety of hand silkscreened cards, created in their own studio. Okay, maybe they're not such a small company now, but they were when they started and they've stayed true to their vision. Plus they have such a large selection that you can usually find a good card for everyone on your list. Cards typically cost $2.25 - $3.95.

Saturn Press is another of my favorite card lines, but they don't have an official website or even an email. They print on Swans Island, Maine using antique letterpresses, and their images tend toward the vintage/nostalgic/whimsical end of the spectrum. You can visit
If The Birds Knew to see some images from past and present cards, but if you want to find them you'll have to do a little digging around your town; the various Paper Source chains also occasionally keep them in stock. Cards range from $2.50 - $3.50.

B Designs is another New England letterpress line; they sell individual cards and boxed sets both online and in stores across the country. Their tiny size cards are perfect for thank you notes or holiday cards, and their collection of images ranges from classic (cherry blossom) to wonderfully weird (a frog conductor). Individual cards range from $2.00-$3.00 depending on the retail markup.

Seltzer is a newish line created and printed in Queens, using recycled paper and vegetable-based inks. Their cards are sometimes quirky, sometimes sweet, and they also have hilarious wrapping paper. Cards typically run $3.25 or so.

My newest favorite card line is
fomato, because the cards are simultaneously so bizarre and adorable. The only downside is that I can't figure out where they're printed, because every card has a different location ("Riscani, Moldova." "Ermeton-sur-Biert, Belgium"). I need to email them and ask, but in the meantime I just can't stop myself from buying them. Just look at this card to see why - they're awesome! We have a hard time finding fomato cards in Seattle, but Black Ink in Boston carries them so every time we visit we stock up. Cards are usually around $3.00.

Now I know the downside of sharing your favorite line is that it might not feel so special anymore, but on the other hand if it's too special they might not sell enough to keep printing! So I'm sharing these (particularly the lesser known lines) in the hopes that sustained business will keep them producing wonderful cards. What's your favorite small card line? Leave a comment and let me (and everyone else) know.


devlo said...

Hey there! Fomato cards are sold at Queen Anne shop, Stuhlberg in Seattle! I just bought some today and was looking for more info on them on Google when I saw your blog entry!

Rita said...

Hi! Fomato is my favorite card company of all time! I just Googled and found your blog entry, too. All their cards can now be bought off their revamped Web site.

Hooray! Thanks for helping to spread the word!

Kristen said...

Thanks for the tips! Here's the web link for fellow Fomato fans: