EVERY SO OFTEN YOU FIND A STATIONERY DESIGNER WHOSE WORK MAKES YOU SMILE. LISA WILLIS OF MISSIVE IS ONE OF THOSE DESIGNERS. HER STYLE IS THOUGHTFUL, CLASSIC AND OH SO PRETTY.
When did you open your Etsy shop and what inspired you to do so? My Etsy storefront opened for business on August 30, 2009. I had been thinking about it for quite some time and through the encouragement of my supportive husband and a fellow artist friend, I took the leap. I had an awareness of Etsy for probably two years prior to opening my shop, so I decided that I would try selling some of the letterpress stationery I had been making as gifts for friends and family. Did you study design in school? How did you learn the art of letterpress? I was actually a studio art major—I loved all things art and design-related, especially art history. I was still exploring different career options in college and after I graduated I took a position as a graphic designer with a market research firm— I’ve been a designer in various roles ever since! I most recently left a freelance design position
at a large financial institution when my son was born, and during my maternity leave, I decided I would work on growing my letterpress business so that I could have the flexibility to spend time with my son. I learned the art of letterpress by taking several classes over the years at San Francisco Center for the Book as well as taking private lessons by retired printers. Letterpress requires lots of practice and patience. Now that I’m wearing several hats: mom, designer, letterpress printer and business owner, my husband has stepped in to help and now does a great deal of the printing in our Treasure Island studio, including production of my new greeting card line. How would you describe your design aesthetic? I would describe it as clean and classic with a twist. I’m a lover of simple elegance and I never met a script font I didn’t like! I have an equal appreciation for
vintage and modern and blending the two can be fun and interesting. What most inspires your designs? I’ve always been interested in interior design and I’m fascinated by patterns and classic motifs, so I think a lot of my inspiration comes from the that area. If I’m having one of those dreaded creative blocks, you might find me at a rare books fair or flea market in search of antique ephemera. I have a large collection of rare alphabets and 19th century engraving-style illustrations that are just waiting to come to life in letterpress, so It all depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I had actually never set out to become a greeting card designer, but once I began combining vintage imagery with text and doing some of my own illustration, card design became somewhat of an addiction! I now have three different lines in my letterpress card collec-
The summer issue. An online lifestyle magazine about home design, fashion, work and entertaining.