Sydne + Tim’s rustic Wyoming wedding

October 22nd, 2012 by

Synde and Tim contacted us as med school students living in Minneapolis who were celebrating their recent Italian engagement!  Sydne grew up on a cattle farm in Wyoming and found herself looking back to her roots when wedding planning.

She describes the beauty of the Big Sky at the ranch.  “I love the idea of having wooden invitations to echo the gorgeous pine and oak forests around our ranch.  The ranch is in a very rural area that is full of rolling hills, grazing deer, and lots of sky.  There is nothing as beautiful as the night sky in Wyoming.  Tim and I love to lay out in the grass in the summer and ooh and aah at the seemingly endless display.”

The reception was held at Devil’s Tower, a huge natural landform several miles from her family’s ranch where the ceremony took place.  Since the area was rural it was very important to provide way-finding for the guests in the invitation.  We illustrated the map with icons for Devil’s Tower, the Clark Ranch, and the airport.  The wishbone graphic for the Clark Ranch is actually the family brand, how cool is that?!  Down the center of the map was the South Dakota – Wyoming state line.

We incorporated the brides hand-drawn sketch of the antlers throughout the set. She used antlers at the reception as decor.  The main invitation was printed on wood and the rsvp was a letterpress postcard.  A piece of black and white bakers twine tied the wrapped vellum map around the invitation to create a sophisticated, yet rustic wedding invitation for this creative, amazing couple!

Photos by Jessie at 5 Rings

Architectural Letterpress Invitation

August 9th, 2012 by

Knox Heritage is a wonderful group in Knoxville whose mission it is to protect this area’s historic structures and educate the general public to the importance of preservation.

Each summer they have a fundraising campaign called the Summer Supper series. It is a number of dinners held at historic places all around the area.  In most cases they are located in a building that is not open to the public so it is a treat to be invited in.  Peter and I {Dianna} volunteered to help host the Summer Supper that was held last weekend.  A is for Architecture was the theme and it was held at a beautiful 1950’s A-frame home that was recently renovation in 2009.  The home is full of architectural detail and rich materials that attracted design lovers from all over town.

Fourth Year Studio worked with Brian Pittman to create the invitations.  Brian Pittman, the head architect on the renovation and addition, drew an elevation of the Week’s House and added architectural dimensions and key notes with all the relevant event info.  If you are unfamiliar with Brian’s work, it is amazing.  Not only is he a top notch designer he also draws these cathedrals by hand!!  We letterpress the invitations in two colors – red + black. A top fold created an A-frame card.  The event was a lot of fun and I am glad to have been part of it.

Photography By Erick



Edge Painting is amazing!

August 7th, 2012 by

And so is John Shim!  He is a fantastic local photographer and a good friend of Fourth Year Studio.  He photographed Emily’s wedding and her most adorable proposal.  Her husband proposed while mountain biking and asked John to hide out and capture Emily’s very surprised and extremely happy reaction.  It really doesn’t get any better than that.

John came to us in need of a memorable, simple business card that spoke true to his brand.  The cards are printed onto either side of Crane’s 220lb cotton stock. We felt we needed to spice things up a little bit and the double thick paper gave us the perfect medium to use for edge painting.

We matched the letterpress ink tone and used an airbrush to paint the edges.  It was thrilling to see how well it turned out and it was truly the perfect pop!

Thank you John for allowing us to experiment on you!

edge detail

Photos by John Shim

texas wedding invitations

July 5th, 2012 by

We had a blast working on Emily & Robert’s invitations. They got married in May in Dallas, Texas. In our first meeting they described having a playful and modern wedding. They also loved yellow and gray, which is one of our most loved color combos. There was a ton of information to relay to their guests and when there are multiple pieces to an invitation set we work on a way to make it to all fit together in a package that the guests will really enjoy opening up.

The invite and rehearsal dinner card were letterpressed and tucked into a pocket that held it all together. The ‘eat, drink, and be married’ tagline reflected the playfulness of the couple’s personalities and the amount of fun the wedding was bound to be. Each pocket was tied with wax thread, the same kind used for book binding. The RSVP card and envelope were tucked behind the crisscross of the thread. The RSVP cards were printed front and back – one side for the wedding [yellow] and the other for the rehearsal dinner [gray]. The RSVP addresses were letterpressed with white ink onto gray envelopes. The effect turned out better than expected for a nice tone on tone quality.

My favorite part of the entire set is the map. At the bottom of the invitation is a small vellum envelope. Inside is a vellum map with directions to the wedding site. Removal of the map reveals a letterpress printed outline of TX with corresponding text ‘Map to our heart’. And finally, it was all packaged together with a matching envelope label with the same repeating floral pattern.

Photos by  5 Rings Photo





wooden outback wedding invitations

April 5th, 2012 by

How exciting…our first international client!!  Aimee and Timothy just got married in her backyard in Western Australia.  We incorporated a variety of techniques to achieve an invitation rich in texture.  The earthy hues were reflected in the outback wedding and reception with native vegetation.  The invitation is a sassafras veneer with a laser etched design.  We letter-pressed the rsvp card on 110lb cotton stock and address onto a kraft envelope.  It was all tucked inside a green recycled envelope with a kraft address label to tie it all together.  Although we were working long distance the process was as smooth as can be.  The most challenging aspect was scheduling a Skype video chat due to the 12 hour time difference!   Happy wedding Aimee & Timothy – thanks for trusting us Knoxville girls to get the job done well!

“We received our invitations!!  They are BEAUTIFUL!  I cannot tell you how much I love them!  I have showed a few people and they are so surprised when they find out that the invitation is made of wood!  Thank you so much for all the hard work and effort you put into these invitations.  I can’t wait to send them out!” -Aimee Vander Schaaf

*photos by 5 Rings Photo

bijou theater invitations

March 14th, 2012 by

David and Lorie came to us in search of a wedding invitation that matched their eclectic style.  They are getting married at the beautiful Bijou Theatre in Knoxville during their church’s Sunday service.  The rich colors and textures of the theatre lead to a steampunk theme that carried its way through their wedding and reception.  It was important that the invitation be rich and intriguing without being overly fussy.  A brown paper bag was used as the outer envelope and sealed with gold striped washi tape.  Each address was typed, by yours truly,  on my Mom’s vintage typewriter and placed on the front.  When opened, a vellum inner envelope was sealed with red wax to introduce another layer of texture and depth.  A subtle lace pattern was pressed into the creamy cotton stock framing the gold letterpress text.  It was so much fun to work with unique techniques on this job for such a fabulous couple – best wishes to you both!!

And a BIG thank you to Jessi at 5 Rings Photos for the amazing photographs. Typing out each address took longer than anticipated but it was worth it to have the typewriter included in these images – totally frame worthy!!





classic black & white business cards

February 10th, 2012 by

It was such fun to work with two extremely talented local photographers on their business cards.  Jessi of 5 Rings Photography is absolutely a blast and always we love Tara at Dixie Pixel!!  Each logo lent itself well to black ink on thick white cotton stock.  The 220lb paper is perfect for double side printing and the slight graininess of the solid fill adds character while maintaining a modern aesthetic.  We hope you LOVE them and thank you for the beautiful photos!

Calendars for Baby Tyson

January 11th, 2012 by

First off we want to say how very thankful we are for our success and growth in the past year.  A BIG thank you goes out to our great friends, family, clients and community for your support in 2011. Now lets get this new year off to a great start with a fundraiser for a truly remarkable baby boy!

Meg Wohlford is a fellow UT School of Architecute graduate and a good friend. Emily & I followed her blog throughout her pregnancy and were so happy when it was time for her and her husband to welcome their new son into the world.  Baby Tyson was born in August with a congenital heart defect called Shone’s Complex that affects his heart, the valves, chambers and ultimately the way his entire body functions.  His parents have been by his side at Vanderbilt for the past 4 months. It has been rocky but he’s proved to be strong through numerous surgeries and he actually got to go home for the first time at Christmas!!

Baby Tyson will be in and out of the hospital for many procedures to help him develop into a happy and healthy child.  This will be a challenge emotionally and financially for the Wohlford family. We are hoping 2012 will be a great year for Tyson, Meg, & Justin and to offer our support we are kicking off a fundraiser through the sale of our Letterpress Calendars.  When you purchase a letterpress calendar through etsy 50% of the sale will go directly to the Wohlford family!!  

To learn more about Tyson’s story visit his site & follow him on facebook. Find out more about Meg & Justin prior to Tyson’s big debut here.


animated + letterpress coaster cards

December 23rd, 2011 by

Emily & I each work at really great architecture firms here in Knoxville, Tennessee. We were very lucky this year to have the opportunity to work on our firms’ Holiday Greeting cards. You may remember my post from last year when I showed off the e-card I had worked on for Cockrill Design & Planning.  I have decided to stick with the forest animals teamwork theme to create a nice series over the years.  A family of deer have come together to decorate their woodland home.  This was a challenge for me, as I had very little support on the technical side and after several online tutorials I  learned Flash well enough to animate the scene.  I am very pleased with the way it turned out – turn on your sound and enjoy this slice of holiday excitement ENJOY!

For more information about CDP (Cockrill Design & Planning) please visit their site.


On the flip side to an e-card Johnson Architecture asked us to design and letterpress print a unique Holiday card that would be mailed out to all their clients, colleagues, and friends.

Our design incorporated a letterpress printed coaster that was attached to a flat card printed in silver ink.  After Christmas has passed we hope the coasters will still be used and enjoyed by their recipients well into 2012.  They were all sealed up into a red envelope with a matching label.  We are really thrilled with they way the turned out. Next year we hope to have the opportunity to work on these and other business’ cards too!

For more information about Johnson Architecture, Inc. please visit their site.

Which one do you like better – the animated e-card or letterpress coaster card? And which do you think is a stronger marketing tool for touching base with clients?

Thanks for checking out our work!  Happy Holidays + Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

knoxville holiday market

December 8th, 2011 by

Last Saturday we attended out first market as vendors!  It was a little intimidating, as we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  But, we were organized and ready and it turned out better than we could have expected.  There were so many friendly shoppers and we met some very talented vendors, it made me thankful to live in such a great place like Knoxville.  The best part was that we had our small table top press, Babe, for anyone to use to print their own holiday card.  It worked like a charm, and was a big hit!  Children loved it, Our goal was to be able to share a small part of what we do and how we do it and help educate paper enthusiasts on the craft of letterpress.

Look for us the next 2 Saturdays, the 10th & 17th from 12pm-7pm.  Our booth is across from Coffee & Chocolate adjacent to Market Square.  We will have Babe with us for you try out and will have plenty of calendars & holiday cards.  To learn more about the market look here.

A BIG thank you to everyone that has supported us throughout the year – you are amazing & we couldn’t do it without you!


1 2 3 4 5