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Allison & Justin’s Wedding

Allison and Justin got married on beautiful summer day on Elihu Island, just off the coast of their hometown in Stonington, Connecticut. It was a dreamy day full of picture perfect details and sunshine, and the love between these two radiates in all of their photos.

Allison was involved with her stationery design from the moment we got in touch. We loved all of her ideas and had so much fun working with her to bring her vision to life!

Photography by Ali + Julie

Save the Dates

Allison & Justin’s save the dates were the first item guests received to set the tone of their wedding. We usually suggest clients use their save the dates as a place to be playful and have fun, since these pieces don’t need to be as formal or convey as much information as invitations. Allison was excited to showcase their beautiful engagement photos (taken by Krush Graphics), so we created a photo “collage” to include a few. Justin works for Amtrak, so their photos at the railroad crossing by Elihu Island were not only beautiful, but also touchingly sweet and meaningful.

Invitation Suite

Allison had a vision of the colorful peonies she was including in her floral arrangements, and was excited to feature them in her invitation suite design. Along with the florals, we incorporated a gold geometric element woven throughout each of the pieces. Paired with the same playful yet elegant typeface we used on her save the date, the invitation design came together.

As a special touch, the invitation suite incorporated an insert with the history and map of Elihu Island, along with a personal note on why the couple chose that location for their wedding. Everything was pulled together with a custom belly band for the pieces to stay together in their envelope. The florals were even carried through to custom postage stamps affixed to the outside. See, we told you the details for this wedding were on point!

Day of Details

The beautifully set tables covered in peony-filled flower arrangements brought the entire reception tent to life. We carried through the design elements from the invitation suite to create the menu, which was tied together with our hand lettered place card tags and set on each plate. Allison also DIY embossed tags with their wedding hashtag to complete the look.

There were geometric pieces throughout, including the gorgeous hanging lanterns that the bride’s grandfather (Voo) helped make. We love that aspects of the invitation design were mimicked in so many elements of the reception. The large format seating chart we designed sat within an ornate gold framed and was adorned with greenery. Can you think of a more beautiful way to help guests find their tables?

Using the map of Elihu Island we drew for the invitation suite, we created an image for Allison to have printed on tote bags. We love how the white on navy pops on these beauties screen printed by Poor Morgan.

We loved being part of this creative, love-filled celebration. Scroll on to see photos of Allison & Justin at their wedding!

Vendors

Photography – Ali + Julie
Planning & Coordination – Ruffles & Tweed
Florals – Stems Flower Design
Venue – Island Farm at Elihu Island
Beauty – Jennie Fresa Beauty and Posh Salon
Catering – Gourmet Galley Catering and Vesta Bakery
Stationery – We’re Into It

Pen Review: Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Tombow Dual Brush Pens may be the most well known brush pens on the market. They can be found in nearly any arts and crafts store, and even sometimes in specialty shops that don’t carry other products related to brush lettering or calligraphy. As such, they’re obviously very popular for their availability. We recommend them as a great beginner pen, and always give one to our students at our lettering workshops. But we also still love them as long-time brush letterers! Here’s a little bit about the pens themselves, what we use them for, and why we love them!

Size & Stroke

The brushes on the Tombow Dual Brush pens are a medium size, with a fairly flexible tip. The ink flows smoothly, dries quickly (no smudges on our beautiful lettering pieces please and thank you!), and doesn’t bleed. They also have a regular fine marker tip on the opposite end, which comes in handy for touch ups and swashes. The shaft is fairly long, which gives your hand a lot of room to pull back and create more expressive and gestural strokes.

Thick downstrokes using these pens can get up to about 1/4″ thick. The brush tip really has a good capacity for a thick stroke when you’re pressing in through the side of the tip! Yet thin upstrokes are still easy to achieve by applying less pressure. We like to use these pens for medium scale brush lettering, like short word combinations and quotes. It’s much more difficult to use these pens on a smaller scale, like envelope addressing, so we don’t recommend them for that.

Colors & Blending

These pens come in SO MANY COLORS! 96 to be exact! There’s not another brush pen out there with so many color options. And some of them are straight up drool-worthy. (Yes, pens make us drool).

The water-based ink is also ideal for blending. Aka creating varying shades and that ever beautiful ombré effect. In fact, most basic sets of these pens even come with a clear pen, called the blender. But blending can be done in a few different ways.

One of our favorites is by using one pen to apply color directly to the tip of a different color brush tip. Applying a color ink to the tip of the clear pen (like pink below), creates an ombré effect where the color slowly gets more translucent. Similarly, you can apply a colored ink to a different color pen to create a transition stroke through different color combinations (the blue ink on the yellow pen below created the varying green to yellow effect). To restore your pens to their original color, simply use the pen until the applied ink color is colored out.

The pens will also blend quite easily on top of paper. Start drawing with one color, and then layer over another. The lighter colored brush tips will pick up the darker colors and carry the color through as you continue to write. Another tactic is to write with two different colors touching, but not layered, and use the clear blender pen to combine the two. The blending possibilities are really quite varied. Just be careful – too many layers of ink can start to break apart the paper fibers!

Durability

We haven’t had an issue with the Dual Brush Pens running out of ink quickly, they have been very long lasting for us. However, we have noticed that the nylon tip can have a tendency to fray. You’ll start to notice on your thins that the stroke may begin to appear less smooth or have a wispy texture. Typically this will happen from writing on rough or toothy paper, but even regular computer paper can be tough on the brush tips. We’d recommend using smooth, coated paper to help keep your pen tips at their best quality (for these as well as all brush pens)!

In Action

And here are some examples of these bad boy Tombow Dual Brush pens in action. We often carry a few of these pens in our bags for lettering on the go. If you’re looking to do medium sized lettering in a variety of colors, then these are the pens for you! Do you love these pens as much as we do!?

All designs shown here were created by We’re Into It. All photography is our own except where credit is given.

Brush Lettering Tips & Resources for Lefties

So you were born left handed. You are one of the lucky 10% of the population! Did you know that you are most likely right-brained, meaning you have a good imagination and are drawn to the arts? So all this brush lettering you’ve been seeing all over the internet seems right up your alley. You may have even gone so far as to purchase some fun new brush pens. But some people still wonder, can lefties do brush lettering? The answer is yes, of course!

Before your blame your left handedness for making brush lettering more difficult, let me reassure you that learning to brush letter is difficult for everybody! I don’t believe that you are at a true disadvantage by being a leftie – you are absolutely just as capable to master the art of brush lettering, which you’ll see in the examples below. The beauty of brush pens (unlike calligraphy nibs) is that they’re round and can move in any direction. As with everybody who learns to letter, it’s just about figuring out what works for you. And we’re here to offer you a few tips and suggestions!

Tips & Tricks

The basic mechanics of brush lettering involve pulling the pen down and pressing into the side of the brush for thick strokes, and pushing the pen up with lesser pressure for thin strokes. Each letter is comprised of thicks and thins, and brush lettering is truly the art of mastering the transition between the two. No matter which hand you write with, this amounts to a ton of practice. Even if you start out unsure and your letters are shaky, keep at it regularly and you will improve.

In our brush lettering classes, we typically have 1-2 lefties in every group of about 15-20. Now, Natasha and I are both righties, so we can’t tell you exactly what it’s like to letter as a lefty. But we’ve worked with enough left handed students to start to learn what tricks help them to master brush pen. Here are a few:

Turn your paper. You’ll notice in the first image above that her paper is turned nearly 90 degrees to the right, while in the next image his paper is straight on. Most likely, your paper will be turned to the right to some degree (while righties will turn their papers to the left). But what works for each person varies, so make sure you experiment with your paper angle!

Adjust your hand position. You probably have a natural tendency for how you hold your pen, whether your hand curls over or under the pen, or goes straight across the page. But brush lettering is different than regular handwriting, so try adjusting your hand position and see if that helps.

Ease back on your grip. By pulling your hand further back on your pen shaft, you’ll have more room to get into your thick strokes, and you won’t be as tempted to press too hard on your thin strokes.

Use scrap paper under your hand. You’ve probably been fighting ink smudges your whole life, but it’s even worse to smudge your beautiful hand lettered creations! Slide scrap paper under your hand and adjust as you write to avoid grazing disasters. As a note: many brush pen inks actually dry pretty quickly (like Tombow Dual Brush Pens), but some of the inkier (or as we say, juicier) pens will cause you more trouble (like these Kuretake Metallic Brush Pens).

Resources & Inspiration

We’ve also found some great lefty letterers that can do what we can’t do: show you. We recommend following some left-handed Instagram accounts because they often share tips and information from personal experience. And of course the same community can be found on on YouTube, with lots of resources and examples. Here are some of our faves:


Have fun!

Again, don’t forget that learning brush lettering is tough for righties too. Repetition, practice, and finding what works best for your personally is key. We hope these tips will help you lefties out there, and we’d love to hear what works for you!