For Jamie and Allison Nadeau, the art of the handwritten note is not lost - it just needs the right canvas. That's exactly what they aim to provide at INK MEETS PAPER, a letterpress greeting card and stationery brand on a mission to inspire more genuine human connection through the written word. Honoring their mantra to "Text Less. Write More®," each card is lovingly handcrafted, designed, and printed on antique printing presses. From your happiest moments to your most difficult, INK MEETS PAPER hopes to connect friends and loved ones through all the ebbs and flows of life.
It All Began with Two Hearts, One Love Story, and an Old Printing Press
Meeting as teenagers, founders Jamie and Allison went on to become high school sweethearts and eventually get married. Jamie studied product design, while Allison was an English major. Then in 2006, Jamie and Allison realized they shared a love of stationery design while making custom cards for close family and friends.
After taking letterpress classes in 2008, the couple decided to track down vintage printing presses. They found their match with a 1923 Chandler & Price printing press that weighed over 1,000 pounds and brought it back to their home in South Carolina. Putting their skills in writing, art, and product design to the test, Jamie and Allison went on to teach themselves how to operate their printing press and eventually, started building INK MEETS PAPER.
Today, they have a number of printing presses (the oldest dating back to 1896!) and a team that works together to create their products.
The Inspiration Behind Their Designs
With each INK MEETS PAPER card being hand-lettered and hand-drawn, the pressure is truly on Allison (who handles the artwork and creative direction) to make each piece beautiful and each message meaningful.
According to Allison, her goal is for the consumer to see a card and be able to instantly think of who the card is for; to create a lasting memory for both the person giving the card and the recipient.
Jamie tells LoveToKnow that the words and phrases on their cards come from real exchanges between the couple as well as their family and friends and that inspiration can come from their relationships, places they've been, and things they've seen on their travels. It is important to both of them that the designs of INK MEETS PAPER are always fresh and changing as they uncover different inspirations throughout life.
Over time, they've expanded their products beyond greeting cards to art prints, social stationery, fill-in invitations, recipe cards, advice card sets, and postcards. Each fed through a letterpress one by one as special pieces to give, or keep for yourself.
The Power of a Handwritten Note
While the designs on the front of their greeting cards are all different, they have one thing in common: each greeting card is completely blank on the interior. Why? So that you have full freedom to express exactly what you want to the recipient. No disruptive text to write around on the inside of the card, or a message that may not fit the tone of what you're trying to say.
Allison, Jamie, and their team at INK MEETS PAPER believe that handwritten cards carry a more meaningful human connection than the typical quick text message.
"Getting people to connect with writing is something really valuable," Allison explains to LoveToKnow. "It forces you to slow down and be deliberate in what you're writing."
Jamie adds, "People can be so self-conscious about their handwriting … but your handwriting is uniquely you. For all of us, our uniqueness is how we connect on an interpersonal level - we love the vulnerability that comes from opening a card and reading words of love from someone who cares about you in their personal hand."
A New Collection Close to Their Hearts
INK MEETS PAPER is releasing its very first PRIDE Collection called Everyday Pride in June 2022. This collection will have 20 different designs and an exclusive PRIDE-colored envelope. As a queer couple, their goal is to encourage, inspire, and uplift the LGBTQ+ community and allies through this collection.
"Pride is about living courageously as who you are. When you make the choice to tell people who you are while knowing you may lose people that you love, it's a big deal We wanted to take this collection, include our own life experiences, and put a beautiful product out into the world," explains Jamie, who was born intersex and went through a gender transition in her thirties.
On the exterior of the PRIDE envelope, it reads, "You make the world more beautiful." INK MEETS PAPER wanted this to be a message not only for the benefit of the person giving the card as well as the recipient but for anyone who sees the card in passing.
"We believe in humanity," says Jamie. "We believe that everyone is unique and so important to this experience that we call life. If you are here, if you are breathing, if you are participating in our world for good - you do make the world more beautiful."
Products We Love
Jamie and Allison wanted to create pieces that complement their greeting card collection. These fill-in invitations allow the person to put their own personality into each invite with their unique handwriting. From baby showers to wedding showers, celebrations, and gatherings, INK MEETS PAPER wants to help you get your invitations to your guests with your own personal flair.
Allison's personal favorite from this collection, You Inspire, has a bright coral pink text on the front that reads "You Inspire People Just By Being Yourself." They created this card as a way to uplift and encourage someone and let them know that they don't have to change who they are for anyone else. It's a friendly reminder that while someone may not even realize it, they are inspiring people each day.
Jamie's pick from this collection, No Right Way to Grieve, speaks to the universal experience of loss and how differently it is felt by everyone. She shared that we all go through difficult times in life and as a company, they wanted to acknowledge that it's okay for everything to not be shiny and perfect and wonderful all the time.
"It's hard to know what to say and there are so many generic phrases out there," says Jamie. "When you see someone you care about, who is going through so much grief and hurting, you may think, What do I do? What do I say?"
Thankfully, when the words fail us, INK MEETS PAPER is there to help us find them.