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Wedding Archives - Plurabelle Studio | Calligraphy & Graphic Design

Kelly & Michael’s Hollywood Deco Wedding



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In Calligraphy, Graphic Design, Invitation Design, Letterpress, Wedding

Kelly_and_Michael_1Kelly_and_Michael_14  Kelly_and_Michael_12     Kelly_and_Michael_7 Kelly_and_Michael_6 Kelly_and_Michael_5 Kelly_and_Michael_4 Kelly_and_Michael_9 Kelly_and_Michael_2

This letterpressed invitation suite was written entirely in custom calligraphy and printed on luscious 220lb cotton Lettra in a combination of black ink and gold foil. The wedding theme, which drove the design, was Old Hollywood Deco, with hints of Moroccan influence. Kelly & Michael were married at the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs, California, a location rich with patterns, textures, and colors that we used as inspiration. The envelope liner was a custom pattern based on the ballroom’s tiled floor, the black-on-gold foiling was reminiscent of the décor and the emerald green edge painting of each piece spoke to Santa Barbara’s lush greenery.

Printing by the fabulous Czar Press.

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Instagram Lately: May 2014



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In Behind the Scenes, Calligraphy, Teaching, Wedding, Work in Progress, Workshop


Clockwise from top left:

• Photography studio Vera in August applied the logo I recently designed for them onto wooden USB drives. (Photograph by Vera in August.)

• A peek behind the scenes: the process of envelope addressing from a pile of handwritten lists and Excel sheets to a neat stack of calligraphed envelopes.

• From sketch to polished calligraphy: lyrics from a client’s wedding song calligraphed in black with shimmering gold accents

• A snapshot of my May 17th boston workshop

• White on black – my all-time favorite combination!

• A passage by my favorite author, Virginia Woolf, from her book The Waves. When I took the snapshot of it outside on my porch, the railing cast a beautiful — and oddly appropriate — shadow across the paper.

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Behind the Scenes – Instagram Lately




In Behind the Scenes, Calligraphy, Color Inspiration, Graphic Design, In Pencil, Invitation Design, Letterpress, Rubber Stamps, Stationery, Wedding


Snaking down from top left:

• Dr. Ph. Martin’s Iridescent Copper Plate Gold ink drying on a navy place card

• An invitation suite I designed for a Bahamas wedding, letterpressed in turquoise ink and gold foil with a custom return address stamp

• Wet gouache in my studio’s evening lighting

• My sister’s favorite Leonard Cohen line calligraphed on a Moleskine notebook card.

• Bleedproof white on craft paper with one of my favorite vintage stamps

• A packet of Plurabelle samples headed out the door to a stationer in Virginia

• White on turquoise!

• From my sketching desk: refined logo sketches for a wonderful event company and an ex libris stamp in Spanish

• Precision light pad work

• Custom-mixed burnt orange gouache

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Avere e Tenere



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In Calligraphy, Photography, Wedding

On 12, Nov 2013 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Photography, Wedding |

On 12, Nov 2013 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Photography, Wedding | By Molly

menu_april_plurabelleshoes_april_plurabelletape_april_plurabelle avere_april_plurabelle

I love it when clients send me photos of my work in its intended environment. This petite order was done for Houston, Texas-based photographer April Tracton. She planned a surprise romantic evening for her husband on their one-year anniversary, and hired me to write all the little notes she left around the house, the single menu for their table-for-two, and (my favorite) two little place cards that said avere and tenere (“to have” and “to hold” in Italian). April’s website may not be live yet, but if you like what you see and are in the Houston area, you can email her for rates and bookings!

{ Photography by April Tracton  |  Calligraphy by Plurabelle }

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My New Book: Modern Calligraphy




In Books + Reads, Calligraphy, DIY, Press, Promotion, Shopping, Wedding

Many of you have already discovered that I’m coming out with a how-to guide to modern, script calligraphy. I’ve posted teasers for it here and there, and it’s made appearances in a few places around the blogosphere, but here is the official announcement! It’s been 2 years in the making, since the day I signed on with my amazing literary agent until today, a month before it hits the shelves. (I’ve had to keep my lips sealed about it until this month!) Advance copies are out to magazines, bloggers and retailers, boxes of it are being flown to stores around the country, and here I sit, brimming with emotions ranging from immense gratitude to all who had a hand in this endeavor, to nail-biting nervousness about how the world will react to my labor of love. (And that doesn’t even touch on how I felt when I got to hold a printed copy in my hands for the first time.)


What you’ll find within the 192 pages of Modern Calligraphy:


  • Complete beginner instructions from buying supplies to holding the pen to learning to write
  • Special instructions for lefties
  • 14 pages of lettering specimens in modern script styles
  • Guidance on how to create your own unique calligraphy style
  • Intermediate techniques like how to write with paint and digitize your lettering
  • 20 unique DIY projects for stationery, weddings, and home
  • Over 260 full-color photographs and illustrations

Don’t take it from me. Here’s what others are already saying:


“Molly’s book will not disappoint if you are a lettering enthusiast and have questions that you feel still need answering (for the modern calligrapher there is a huge need for a resource like this). At nearly 200 pages she has covered everything from getting started, utilizing different mediums (such as watercolor) to create stunning effects, to an extensive DIY section. Molly also divulges many of her resources (that alone should be well worth the price invested). As a novice to modern calligraphy I am always on the hunt for specimens to reference so I can build on them and hopefully one day create my own distinct style(s). Molly generously has created 14 pages of gorgeous specimens, multiple variations on each letter and in turn unlimited inspiration to try this yourself.  I am thrilled that this book exists and it will be my go-to referral for anyone that contacts me and asks, ‘help!, where do I start?’”  — Miss Tristan B. of Bestotted Brand*

*Among the recent features of Modern Calligraphy have been two write-ups by Miss Tristan B. on Besotted Blog. One is a review of my book and the other an interview with me where I share how I got started, my favorite supplies, and where I seek inspiration.

“I’m fortunate in that I work for a book distribution company specializing in art & craft titles so I receive advance sample copies of new books. I fell in love with Molly’s book a few weeks ago. Molly’s book reimported me to follow my love of calligraphy. I have since invested in pen nibs, ink and paper (which I’ve always swooned over!) and I’m practicing everyday. I also draw and paint so I am inspired to incorporate all of these skills to create stationery products and wedding invitations.”  — Kathy Glynn


Pre-Order Modern Calligraphy

If you want Modern Calligraphy on your doorstep on the very day of its release, September 24th, you can pre-order it from these online retailers:   |   barnes & noble   |   indiebound


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The Paion Society: Mystic Order of Dreamer Vigilance




In Calligraphy, Collaboration, Invitation Design, Letterpress, Stationery, Wedding

Paion_Society_Plurabelle_Calligraphy Paion_Society_Plurabelle_Calligraphy2


Every so often a project comes along that is so energizing and fun that it entirely reboots my creative drive and re-inspires me to be the best designer I can be. Very often, these projects are collaborations with other designers, where the meeting of minds proves true the old adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In the case of this invitation suite, I was lucky enough to join forces with two other creative minds: graphic designer Megan Knight Gonzalez of MaeMae Paperie and the bride, Shoshana Rosenberg. Our cross-country collaboration (from LA to Minneapolis to NYC) manifested itself as long email threads and brainstorming explosions, resulting in one of the most exceptional, unique invitations that I have ever laid eyes (or hands) on. It is as beautiful as it is absurd; as funny as it is peculiar.

Because photos really can’t do it justice, I feel the need to tell you about each of the items in this suite, which was actually a box of goodies sent to each guest:

  • Each invitation was packaged and shipped in an 8.5 x 11-inch kraft paper box, caked in vintage stamps, addressed in large black calligraphy, lined with navy tissue paper, and tied with red and white baker’s twine.
  • Navy #10 envelopes calligraphed with guests’ names in white and sealed with custom-made red wax seals that said “Ian & Shoshana” were the first elements recipients saw when they peeked inside.
  • Inside these envelopes were letterpressed invitations on 220-lb Lettra with a blind-embossed, patterned background and black text. 
  • After opening the invitation itself, invitees were presented with an array of curious and delightful “extras”:
    • The 14-page Paion Society Official Handbook — the secret society Shoshana and Ian created just for their wedding guests.
    • The Paion Society Official Membership Card (for the “Mystic Order of Dreamer Vigilance & Camera Alignment”).
    • A fold-over reply card entitled “Lettuce Know”.
    • A rubber-stamped reply card envelope with more vintage stamps and a custom-designed embossed seal on the flap that depicts a compass and reads “Clear Eyes • Full Hearts • Can’t Lose”.
    •  A metal decoder ring for guests to decrypt a secret cipher that Shoshana wrote inside the Official Handbook.

As Shoshana played a huge role in conceptualizing her own invitation suite, I asked her to give me a little background about her inspiration and the design process. She writes:

I am not sure I have ever been as excited about a project in my life as I was about these invitations. Ian and I both love comic books, and I actually began my vision for the suite with the altered version of the Kavalier and Clay cover. I worked with Dan Anselmi’s team at Imagecraft in NYC to lovingly re-work the book cover from Chabon’s brilliant novel. (I’m a bit old-fashioned and wanted to make it “Ian and Shoshana,” but the spacing simply doesn’t allow for it.) The original cover art was done by Henry Sene Yee, and it is really such a gorgeous and high energy piece of artwork and great design that I was struggling to find a way to create pieces that could complement and accompany our use of it without being overwhelming.

Once the cover art rework was finished, I contacted MaeMae Paperie. I had been to Megan’s lovely site again and again in my endless research, and as soon as I knew that I wanted graphic design…there could be no one but MaeMae. I sent her the “book cover” and the copy for the invitation and we started to talk in earnest. Megan was wonderfully supportive and open about my idea — I wanted to try to create something that felt like a “Secret Membership Kit” that a child might have ordered from the back of a comic book in the 40s. I had once sent away for similar kits from Bob the Sub-Genius, and from Bed Edlund at New England Comics. They had been absurd and elaborate kits, replete with all manner of clever nonsense. We agreed on several ideas for pieces and presentation and I went hunting for and, to my absolute amazement, found, those honest-to-goodness Secret Decoder Rings which are made and designed by Seth at Retroworks.

I wrote and drafted the copy for all of the pieces as we went along, and Megan came up with endless ideas, including the inspired idea of including games and puzzles. I giddily ran with that mission and wrote into the middle of the night for several nights, and more than once sent her far more than we could use. She found stunning graphics and picked perfect fonts for all of it. I am a pain in the neck as a client because I am a perfectionist with a thousand ideas and inputs and edits, but Megan is an absolute creative genius with wonderful acumen, and she designed the suite of pieces in complete harmony with everything we had discussed and that I had hoped for. They absolutely floored me.

The invitations really seem to have wowed everyone who received them, but the one item in the suite that was the most romantic of all was the piece that I wanted to be the true gift of the invitation, and it is the piece that most of my friends and family have kept and displayed and raved about: the box the invitations were mailed in, with addresses calligraphed by Plurabelle. In this day and age, the spectacular way the lettering was done on the boxes and the formal invitations, for most of us, is akin to seeing our names in lights. A friend of an invitee asked if the box had been commissioned as art just to show off their new address. My husband, an artist in his own right, was shaking his head again in awe a few weeks ago when looking at Plurabelle’s work and said “I still can’t believe this was made by a human hand!”

From the start I was set on very plain boxes with elaborate and personal stamps and gorgeous lettering — a keepsake that would look as though it truly was arriving in your mailbox from 1942. When Megan recommended Plurabelle to me I was immediately in awe. I had already swooned about the pieces Plurabelle did for prior MaeMae collaborations and I found the work on Plurabelle’s site to be absolutely breathtaking. I think my first email to Plurabelle sounded a lot like begging…or maybe it was my email to MaeMae begging that she make the inquiry on my behalf…but there was a great deal of willingness to beg, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I knew that Plurabelle’s artwork would be the first and most lasting impression of the whole endeavor. In one of those repeating and endless “chain FWDs from a decade ago about lovely things kids say,” I was always struck by this quote: “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” (This is currently being credited to the author of a book published in 2010, but I cry foul.)

When I was sending out these invitations, these months of everyone’s work and creativity, to everyone we truly love, I knew that their names were not only safe, but would be both unforgettable and treasured in Plurabelle’s hand.

{ Photography & Calligraphy by Plurabelle Calligraphy  |  Invitation design and production by MaeMae Paperie, with the exception of the altered comic book cover (originally designed by Henry Sene Yee) done by Imagecraft  |  Invitation suite copy by the bride, Shoshana Rosenberg }


I’ll take this opportunity to say…

MaeMae Paperie is the outstanding stationery studio founded and headed up by designer Megan Knight Gonzalez. Apart from being an extraordinary designer, she is a great friend, awesome collaborator, and valued design world peer who has inspired and motivated me (specifically in one memorable pep talk over a pizza dinner) ever since I’ve known her. MaeMae offers completely custom wedding and social stationery and recently launched a new collection of wedding stationery that is now in wedding and fine stationery stores nationwide.

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Rachael & Justin: A Montana Wedding



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In Calligraphy, Press, Wedding

On 06, Jan 2013 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Press, Wedding |

On 06, Jan 2013 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Press, Wedding | By Molly

Prepare yourself — this one is a real stunner. Back in March of 2011 I was hired by Rachael, one of the sweetest clients I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. She came to me with a rich color scheme of purples, greens, and blues, and a gorgeous invitation suite designed by none other than Rifle Paper Co. For the calligraphy, I mixed hues of gouache to match colors in the illustrations Rifle had done, and we ended up with hunter green envelope addresses and yellowy-sage place cards.

Just last month, Style Me Pretty published a three-part feature on Rachael & Justin’s Montana wedding (here, here, and here). I suggest taking a look at the expanded image gallery to see more of the amazing taste and talent that came together to make this celebration so jaw-dropping.

The wedding is also featured in Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration and Ideas for an Unforgettable Wedding, published last month by Clarkson Potter. This book is seriously beautiful so get a copy!

{ Photography by Jose Villa Photography  |  Calligraphy by Plurabelle  |  Wedding Invitation, Program + Escort Card Design by Rifle Paper Co.  |  Floral + Event Design by Joy Thigpen  |  Full wedding credits list here. }

As a final touch, I created a logo of the couple’s names that was printed in their wedding album.

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Merry Christmas



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In Calligraphy, Wedding

On 25, Dec 2012 | One Comment | In Calligraphy, Wedding |

On 25, Dec 2012 | One Comment | In Calligraphy, Wedding | By Molly

I finally snapped photos of these beautiful, fun, letterpressed Christmas cards created at the end of last year. Designer Kate Allen incorporated my spot calligraphy into her own card design, including the custom return address envelope wrap. I’m not sure which I love more: the contrast of outlined block lettering and lowercase script calligraphy, or the translucency of the red letterpress ink that lets the block lettering outlines show through.

{ Photography & Calligraphy by Plurabelle  |  Card design by Kate Allen }

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A Ginger Bandy



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In Calligraphy, Wedding

On 16, Sep 2012 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Wedding |

On 16, Sep 2012 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Wedding | By Molly

Signature cocktails! This bride and groom each designed their perfect cocktail and offered them to guests at their reception. Don’t they both sound delicious?

{ Photography & Calligraphy by Plurabelle }

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Walnut & Gold



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In Calligraphy, Wedding

On 20, Aug 2012 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Wedding |

On 20, Aug 2012 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Wedding | By Molly

Walnut ink with a touch of gold gouache – mixed to match the sparkly brown liners.

{ Photography by Plurabelle Calligraphy }

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