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Vintage Archives - Plurabelle Studio | Calligraphy & Graphic Design

En café




In Calligraphy, Food, Vintage

On 02, Mar 2012 | 4 Comments | In Calligraphy, Food, Vintage |

On 02, Mar 2012 | 4 Comments | In Calligraphy, Food, Vintage | By Molly

{ Photo & Calligraphy by Plurabelle Calligraphy }

Every day I feel so grateful and lucky that I’m able to make a living doing something that I love. With a mountain of work on my desk and the inevitable hand cramps from doing calligraphy for hours on end, I sometimes lose sight of how fortunate I truly am. The best way to remind myself is to take some time each day to play around and do a personal project. Last night, while sipping on my usual cup of evening coffee, I actually dipped my pen into my espresso cup instead of my pot of black iron gaul ink. In the words of my art school typography professor, it was a very “happy accident”. It sparked about half an hour of playing around with coffee calligraphy on a variety of surfaces, and I must say that I love the antiqued look of it! I want to try tea and pomegranate juice next….

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Typing In Script & Reading Woolf



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In Calligraphy, Design Love, Office Supplies, Vintage

{ Photos by Plurabelle Calligraphy }

Almost a year ago I was given this 1950’s Hermes 3000 cursive typewriter with the most beautiful – yet very strange and midcentury-looking – script typeface. In that time it has become my favorite office furnishing. Its condition is nearly mint, just like the color of its keys and knobs. Weighing in at just over 25 pounds, this was actually considered a portable, as opposed to office, typewriter. It took me awhile to get used to it because it has a number of features I’d never seen on a typewriter before, such as adjustable margin stops affixed to small springs and settings for changing the leading. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to refer to this original manual, which someone was kind enough to scan and post online in full.

Since Valentine’s is fast approaching, I brought her out (yes, it is a she) last night for some Valentine’s Day cards, but I was disappointed by how quickly I finished typing them. Once I get started, I never want to stop! So I chose to type out most of my favorite Virginia Woolf short story, The Evening Party (partially pictured in the first photo above) and found myself just typing away late into the night. It’s so relaxing to type without staring at a screen and being unable to delete or fix your mistakes. The sounds of the keys, the typebars striking the paper, and the bell at the end of every line are quite nice too.


The Evening Party has been made free online through Google Books, so you can read it for yourself here.

{ Hermes Typeface Chart, a scan from the original user’s manual, via Retro Tech Geneva }

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Recent Work: Bettina & Brian



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In Calligraphy, Letterpress, Vintage, Wedding

On 19, Jan 2012 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Letterpress, Vintage, Wedding | By Molly

 { Calligraphy: Plurabelle Calligraphy / Event planning & styling: Beth Helmstetter Events / Photography: Steve Steinhardt }

This is one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever had a hand in (literally). Bettina and Brian were married at Gull’s Way Estate in Malibu, California last August. When I look through the photos, I am most struck by the stunning combination of colors and textures, from raw linen to fresh white flowers, and pink Thai silk to bone. My calligraphy — all warm grey ink on cream paper — was used in the letterpressed invitation suite, as well as day-of items like place cards, menus, and dessert table labels.

View more photos of Bettina & Brian’s wedding at the photographer’s blog, here.

 { Calligraphy & Photo: Plurabelle Calligraphy / Stationery: Beth Helmstetter Events }

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vintage office: my new mail scale & a shipping tag project




In Calligraphy, Office Supplies, Vintage, Wedding

 { Calligraphy + Photography by Plurabelle Calligraphy }

A couple months ago I became the proud owner of this vintage mail scale. What a life changer! As with nearly all old office supplies (like my Victor stapler), it’s constructed incredibly well and still works flawlessly. I use it for all my shipments, from thick envelopes to large boxes. The metal, once painted green, is perfectly worn to reveal hints of brown underneath, and the face, once uniformly white, is flecked with acid burns and a few large stains.

The scale’s face shows not only the weight in ounces and pounds, but also the shipping prices at the time the scale was made. There’s no date on it but it was produced in a time when first class letters & sealed packages were “2¢ each ounce or fraction thereof”. It also shows a foreign mail rate of only 5¢ for the first ounce then 3¢ per ounce thereafter, but clearly notes that letters to Great Britain cost the same as those mailed within the U.S. Imagine that!

The overflowing stack of manila shipping tags were used as place cards for a late summer wedding. I love the shape of their brown paper grommets!

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The Museum of Obsolete Objects




In Design Love, Vintage

On 20, Sep 2011 | 2 Comments | In Design Love, Vintage |

On 20, Sep 2011 | 2 Comments | In Design Love, Vintage | By Molly

As a calligrapher and avid crafter I am naturally inclined to appreciate handmade products over their machine-manufactured equivalents. I also have a great respect for tools that are now obsolete because newer technology has replaced them. (You should see my desk — vintage stapler and scissors, typewriter, old mail weighing scale….) This YouTube channel, the Museum of Obsolete Objects, showcases just such objects with short vignettes about products that have been replaced but shouldn’t be forgotten. Of course one of my favorites is the quill pen, but all of them are great — floppy disk, rotary telephone, morse code, etc.

{ Visit the Museum of Obsolete Objects }

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victor: a new addition to the family




In Design Love, Office Supplies, Vintage

On 31, Aug 2011 | 2 Comments | In Design Love, Office Supplies, Vintage |

On 31, Aug 2011 | 2 Comments | In Design Love, Office Supplies, Vintage | By Molly

For a very long time I’ve been searching for the perfect vintage stapler. I love browsing the web looking at them in their various colors and designs. When I came across this midcentury, nearly-mint-condition, sea foam Victor from Olive & Frances, I knew it had to be mine. Sure, it was probably made thirty years before I was born, but it was still made for me. Just look at that etched metal hand press! I swoon. Stapling papers has never been so fun.

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