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6646 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA, 90028
United States

(213) 223-6921

Stephanie Gibbs, a bookbinder in Los Angeles, CA, offers edition and fine binding, book conservation, custom boxes, and paper repair for contemporary and historic books, manuscripts, and documents to clients throughout California.

studio news

confidential cables

Stephanie Gibbs

Merry merry and all that. The annual holiday cards were squeezed into the season, a method of procrastinating from an over-scheduled and overwrought month.

Christmases past have produced cards that were high-effort and glamorous. This year the production focused on high-effort and dingy. Why not spend the same amount of time on fewer cards, and make those cards look care-worn and old?

This year represents eight or maybe nine years of holiday card production. Only the past six have been memorable, but the earlier efforts get points for enthusiasm. The most recent three were documented on DYP: the luminaria of 2009/10; origami cranes in 2008/09; and mobiles featuring the fifties family Gibbs in 2007/08.

It was actually a question of significant consideration whether the cards were going to be produced this year. Time was lacking and inspiration hadn't paid a visit, until it did, in the 'leaked diplomatic cables' released into the world. I love the idea of 'diplomatic cables', especially so-called even when they are just garden variety snarky emails. I love the predecessor, the 'diplomatic pouch.'

Originally, the cards were going to be diplomatic pouches. But that was too much effort. Researching cables -- telegrams -- though: that was fun and easy, and what better combination is there than fun and easy? And telegrams information proved plentiful in the research stage.

Research sites for telegrams: basic how to | pdf template | fonts

Then there was the envelope. Telegram envelopes are decidedly unexciting. The first thought was to use brown paper envelopes, which have a charm all their own, but then I discovered the British Postal Museum. Totally adorable. Wonderful pdf downloads.

While my anglophilia has paled to the point that sending actual British telegrams wasn't an attractive option, the lure of the Ocean Penny Postage Envelope:
"Britain! From thee the world expects an ocean penny postage to make her children one fraternity"
was too strong a lure to resist. And it roughly fit the artificial aging through using tea-dying theme.

And so all of the envelopes and telegrams were pdf'd, printed, tea-dyed, trimmed, folded, and posted. Stay warm and conquer the world!