Tartine Paperie Spotlight + A Gatsby-Inspired Invite
February 27, 2013
I am SO excited to share this LBBer spotlight with y'all today! First off, because Mark + Stefanie, the designer couple behind Montreal-based Tartine Paperie are THE sweetest and not to mention, pretty darn talented folks. My crush on these two is further proven by their love for letterpress, travel + amazing food, all of which inspire their elegant Wedding Collection designs. We're getting a detailed behind the scenes look into a few of our favorite designs, how they came to life and mood boards fabulous enough to inspire any soirée. See all of the prettiness right here!
1. What is the story behind Tartine Paperie?

We were working in branding and design for years, and Stefanie is a great illustrator as well, so it seemed like a great chance to expand on what we were doing and have fun with it. We had friends asking us to set up their wedding stationery a few times and it went great - starting the studio seemed like a natural thing to do. We like to think we’re doing something that’s not being done in Montreal right now - keeping things light and elegant, letting the couples’ personality shine through. We always knew that letterpress was the best option for us - it suits our aesthetic and allows us to reference the mid-century design that we’ve loved for so long.

We were in Paris a couple of times in early 2012 and started planning Tartine Paperie while there - it was actually over coffee at the Café de la Paix that the ideas really took shape, mixed with a conversation about how Hemingway supposedly wrote parts of ‘The Sun Also Rises’ at that same spot. It was a good way to start!
2. We love the Gatsby Collection! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this design?

Going back to the Paris theme, we loved the portrayals of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’, which of course brought up the fashion and literature of the 1920’s. It’s a decade we’re fascinated by and the Gatsby design was our way of celebrating it. There’s a real interest in that period right now with the popularity of shows like ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ - both of which we love. What makes it a perfect theme for parties and weddings apart from the striking fashion is the proliferation of cocktails during Prohibition - we love seeing a great signature drink selection! The Gatsby collection is a promise of a great party, the bee’s knees.
1. Hydrangea bouquet by Oak & the Owl / 2. Serpui Marie Divine Glitter Minaudiere with Tassel / 3. Christian Louboutin Very Galaxy Mirrored Platform Pumps / 4. Monique Lhullier Resort 2012 collection / 5. Gatsby Collection from Tartine Paperie / 6. A cocktail of sparkling wine, sour beer, and sake created by mixologist Jane Lopes of the The Catbird Seat Restaurant / 7. Hair Comb / 8. Cake by Erica OBrien

3. How did the Soapbox Collection come to life?

Montreal is a food city, and one of the things we do really well are bakeries - this collection is inspired by bakery signage, or at least how we wish they looked! A trip to the bakery is a morning thing for us, especially in the summer before the day really heats up - so we decided to keep this design bright and airy. Our city has a somewhat European personality, so there's a bit of that in the Soapbox collection as well.
1. Dusty pink rose / 2. Purse: Chanel / 3. Soapbox Collection from Tartine Paperie / 4. Elie Saab Pink Cap Slb Beaded Top Silk Gown / 5. Cake from Layered Bake Shop / 6. Grapefruit Margarita

4. What inspired the Birch Collection?

With this design, we wanted to reference wood type posters - basically a style of printing that is very closely related to letterpress. Wood letters were very popular at their time because they were easier to manipulate and produced better printing surfaces than metal. This type of design really emphasizes the typographic element and the form of letters - something we're very much aware of when illustrating letters or using type. The Birch collection became our most formal, classic design.
1. BHLDN Bouvier Column Gown / 2. Bottega Veneta Nero satin Knot Clutch / 3. Kate Spade polka dot pumps / 4. Birch Collection from Tartine Paperie / 5. Anemones by Kate Holt of Flowerwild via Jessica Claire / 6. Cake by Maggie Austin Cake


5. What are your favorite places you’ve traveled to and how have they influenced your designs?

We spent a month in Vietnam last year, which was an incredible experience. The flavours, sights and sounds are unforgettable. There's an amazing kindness at the heart of the culture that made us feel at home even though we halfway around the world. Thailand, Malaysia and Panama are some of the other highlights. We tell people to travel as much as possible because there's nothing like getting out of your comfort zone, and of course there's the food! We grew up watching and reading Anthony Bourdain promoting a type of travel where you don't have to be a 'tourist' - just go as far as you can and explore with respect and curiosity. That's the key to great traveling - you have to be open to everything and taste everything that comes your way!

Specific design influences from our travels have been the illustrated propaganda posters in Hanoi and the variety of beautiful hand-drawn type that you can spot all over South America and the Caribbean. The biggest design lesson in travelling has been that trends come and go, but quality and details always come out on top. We're seeing that with a resurgence of craft and heritage-themed weddings, which we love. American southern culture is a huge influence on us mainly because of the emphasis on traditions and craftsmanship, dedicating yourself to doing something as well as it can be done.
6. Do you offer custom invitation collections and how does this process work?

We do offer bespoke designs and love working with couples who want to communicate their personality in a very unique way. It's a very natural process for us having worked on many branding projects in recent years. We start by meeting with our couple at our office, over a coffee or tea, to get to know them and talk about their wedding plans. We then put together a mood board to narrow down a design direction before proceeding to the actual design portion of the process. If the couple aren't in Montreal, we're happy to chat over Skype or Face Time.

7. What is your favorite part of a wedding?

It would have to be the dinner, especially now that food at weddings is becoming such an important extension of the couple's personality! I think there's a fantastic shift away from banquet 3-course service meals at smaller weddings that allows for exciting catering options - why not a smokehouse barbecue theme or a taco bar? Expectations are high these days and your choice of food can speak volumes - pair it with a great cocktail menu and you'll have a night to remember!


Wedding Invitations: Tartine Paperie / Photography: Monique Simone Photography