The Instagram Series: Incredible Hand-Letterers I

Inspiration is all around us, especially in the age of social media. Through our Instagram Series here on Ecka & Pecka, we hope to bring lettering, calligraphy, photography, and illustration inspiration closer to you. Get to know new artists, go behind the scenes of their creative lives, learn from their works in progress, make friends, and be inspired.

This week, here are who you should follow:

1. Jon Contino (@joncontino) – A New Yorker with a recognizable style and a long list of distinguished clients. Some photos from his Instagram feed:

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2. Mary Kate McDevitt (@marykatemcdevitt) - Mary Kate is a genius at hand-lettering and at producing handmade goods. Her IG feed is a treasure trove of hand-lettering goodness. You’ll end up loving her work and buying from her Etsy shop.

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3. Sean McCabe (@seanwes) – He is one of the artists on Instagram who always elicits a “Geez, so GOOD!” reaction from me. Because really, his work is jaw-droppingly amazing.

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Dear World I: A Cheeky Greeting Card for Everyone

A showcase of Ecka & Pecka and A. Smyth Co. cards with messages to possible recipients. To whom would you send the following cards and what note would you write? 

1. To My Oldest Friend:


Message: In fact, we’ve been friends years before “friending” became an acceptable word. People will probably be able to tell how old we are by how uncomfortable saying the word makes us feel. Same goes with “Googling.”

2. To Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis


Message: Your baby would probably be beyond cute, though. Your baby will most likely inspire the creation of a new word that would mean “out-of-this-world gorgeous; the ridiculously beautiful result of the combination of Jackie and Kelso’s genes.

PS – Please don’t name your baby Kelso. 

3. To Rafael Nadal:


Message: The high five is not because you’re number 1 or for your recent victory at the Sony Open. The high five is for making the world happy since you graciously displayed your perfect shirtless bod at said Open. Thanks. 

Ecka & Pecka | Shenanigans Murphy


Funny Art Prints: The Lies we Tell from Daily Honesty

Trailing the interwebs for cheeky art prints led me to Lauren Hom‘s Society6 page. It was this particular print that caught my eye:


It made me go “HA!” and when I saw that it was posted under the account Daily Dishonesty, I knew that I have found a creative well of sarcastic, funny, and relatable dishonest “truths.” I was right. And apart from the scarily accurate lies, Lauren’s work is also fantastic because they are wrapped in a package of beautiful lettering and lovely colors.

Here are other Daily Dishonesty prints:

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I am certain that I have uttered a few of these repeatedly in my lifetime.


How to Prepare for the Cutest Hot Air Balloon Party

We are starting a new series here on Ecka & Pecka and I bet it will be a big hit for both stationery and party lovers. We’ll be giving you fun party ideas inspired by greeting cards by Ecka & Pecka, A. Smyth Co., and other stationery companies we love.

For our first installment, check out this gorgeous Anni Betts design for A. Smyth Co. She knows her cute illustration, that talented lady. And because this particular hot air balloon is as adorable as can be, it was only right that we think of a fabulous hot air balloon-themed birthday party.

The following links will lead you to independent stores, handmade tutorials, and several party ideas.

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1. Birthday cake – Project Nursery

2. Wafer Paper for Cookies – Cookie Pixie on Etsy

3. Hot Air Balloon Decor – Random Tuesdays

4. Photobooth – Oh Happy Day

5. Centerpiece – via Pinterest

6. Pinata – Hostess with the Mostess

7. Cupcakes – Good to Know

8. Favor Bags – Cherry Dreams Creations on Etsy



Step into the Magical Paper Cut World of Hari & Deepti

Joining the growing group of hand cut paper artists we love are Hari and Deepti. They are a Denver-based artist couple who creates magical papercut light box pieces. What makes their work stand out is the addition of LED light strips. The illumination add a cinematic effect to the works of art and showcase the intricate paper cutting involved to make them.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the subject of Hari and Deepti’s work also have an element of fantasy and good storytelling.



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Beautiful, right? I can stare at these for hours! In fact, in an alternate universe where I can afford any of their work, I can imagine living in a house with these pieces crowding the walls.

Check out more of their work HERE. It also appears that the couple has an Etsy shop but it hasn’t been updated in a while. In case they do list some items up for sale, you may want to fave their shop in advance.


Jane Berta of Happy Dappy Bits: I knew I wanted to pursue some form of art when I was very little

Happy Dappy Bits is a stationery company with the cutest designs. Obviously, it’s one of my favorites. Its owner and designer, Jane Berta, is also delightful and adorable. How do we know? Well, check out our interview below:

Why Happy Dappy Bits? What’s the story behind the name?
I’ve always been drawn to cute and happy things by nature (I also tend to find many things to be cute), and I have a tendency to rhyme a lot in my day to day conversations. After kicking around a bunch of names, Happy Dappy Bits clicked. I wanted something that would convey the spirit of my brand, and also give me flexibility if I decide to move beyond paper products. I chose the word “bits” because I’m also a big fan of computers and video games.

HappyDappyBits-OwnerWhat was the moment when you realized that you wanted to “venture on your own” as opposed to working for a company? What made you decide to create Happy Dappy Bits?
I had been a Graphic Designer and Art Director for years; working for various corporations before deciding to pursue more freedom in my design work. I still have a passion for corporate design and branding, but I do enjoy the creative freedom of being my own boss. I feel that whatever we do in life, it needs to be fulfilling in some way, and sometimes that requires a big (and oftentimes scary) change. Moving from the office and cubicle to the home studio was a shift but I have worked from home in the past so it wasn’t completely foreign to me. I feel empowered to be working on my own creative and, most of all, eco-friendly-focused designs.

Where do you find inspirations for your gorgeous card designs?
A lot of my inspiration comes from the things I say and do with my immediate family — my fiancé and our cat, a big orange Maine Coon named Bubba, as well as my dad and sister. I also find a lot of inspiration in nature, drawing from my childhood growing up and playing in the forest & woods with friends and family. Those things combine together to form playful designs filled with the colors of nature. They also influence the eco-friendly papers I choose, the water-based paint I use on some of my designs like my popular travel journal as well as the natural pencils that accompany all my journals — and my packaging materials, too!


Do you have a studio? What do you love about it?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have an encouraging and supportive partner; he didn’t mind arranging furniture in a way to set aside a work area in our living room — it has become a pretty sizable office area! Over the years it’s evolved into an office/studio space where I can do everything from design work on the computer to production on a crafting table just a swivel of the chair behind me! The studio itself has big windows with tons of natural light, and a view of the little city here and I just love it. The hustle and bustle outside is a nice complement to my quiet little studio.

Favorite color combos:
Oh, I have so many favorite color combos! Currently peachy pink corals and teals, with mints is my fave. In my non-work life I love to combine contrasting neutrals with bright pastel colors, lights with darks. Rich navy blues with pastel bright aquas. My plan this year is to include more of these types of combinations in my work.

Favorite fonts:
I absolutely love fonts, though I have been spending more time with my own hand lettering lately. There was a period in college during an independent study that I considered pursuing type design. So, naturally I’m drawn to fonts! I find myself gravitating towards simple, clean fonts. My favorite font at the moment is Intro, simple and lovely. Century Gothic is a good clean text font. Strangelove Text is a font I still really love because of its simple hand drawn quirky feel. My favorite place to look for fonts is, and I absolutely adore their newsletter — it is one of the few newsletters I actually enjoy reading regularly, it is so inspirational! And I’m always on the lookout for new and unique fonts.

If you didn?t work in the field of design, what do you think would your job be?
I knew I wanted to pursue some form of art when I was very little. There was never a doubt in my mind about it, it was really a matter of deciding between the genres of arts/crafts/fashion because I loved them all! But, I also had a few ideas in an alternate universe — singer (admittedly not the best at vocals, but it doesn’t stop me from humming along to a catchy tune), a backup dancer (I might be dating myself here, but do you remember In Living Color?), a stand-up comedian or a psychologist. My interests are wide and somewhat… bizarre!

If you could send one of your cards to somebody famous, who would the recipient be and what card would you send?
I would probably say Georgia O’Keeffe. She has always been one of my favorite artists and provided inspiration for the designer I am today through her many works. I spent many hours creating watercolor pieces influenced by her style with those bold colors. I believe modern art owes a lot to her work and vision, and I would be honored to give her one of my thank you cards, a small way to give thanks to such an inspiration in the art community.

Any new and exciting products to unveil to your customers this year?
I have a lot of new ideas and products that I am dabbling with this year. I plan to incorporate more contrasting colors, black & white with pops of color, as well as expand my small line of art prints, and possibly offer a few new products. I’m excited for what this year will bring!



10 Beautiful Snail Mail Design Fabric

We are always pushing all things snail mail here on Ecka & Pecka. This is, of course, not surprising since we carry great greeting card lines. But aside from actual greeting cards, we are also huge fans of anything inspired by this seemingly lost art of communication. Today, we take a look at some of the beautiful fabrics designed with stamps, postcards, and letters in mind.

Most of these are cotton and will be perfect for many projects. A couple are of cotton-linen blend and will surely look delightful when used to make bags and other home decor.

1. Michael Miller French Post

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2. Vintage Letters

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3. Graphic 45 Communique

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4. Postage by Stephanie Wright

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5. Neptune’s Garden

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6. Postcards by Stephanie Marie Designs

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7. Vintage-inspired Postage

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8. Airmail and Postage Stamps

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9. Gray Postage Stamps

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10. Vintage Stamps

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Relive Game of Thrones Death Scenes via Beautiful Artwork

One of the highlights of my summer* is the return of Game of Thrones to HBO. Typically, before the start of the new season, I do a marathon of the previous episodes. But considering how heavy the third season was, I am having second thoughts about reliving the betrayals, deaths, and wedding-related scenes. If I do, I might just need to send myself funny Ecka & Pecka or A. Smyth Co. greeting cards in order to feel more cheerful. 

I think I will have to settle with appreciating this series of artwork depicting the iconic deaths from Game of Thrones. These were illustrated by London-based artist Robert M. Ball and are showcased in the website, Beautiful Death.



From the website: Beautiful Death is HBO and illustrator Robert Ball’s artistic recreation and imaginative interpretation of the most iconic deaths from the first three seasons of Game of Thrones. Like the scenes these depictions are inspired by, each piece in the collection contains several layers of details, symbolism and lethal significance. 




Beautifully drawn and brimming with symbolism, these works of art sure let you see the gruesome ends of your favorite characters in a new light.

*I live in the tropics and summers start in March hereabouts.


Delve Deeper Into the Papercutting Art of Elsa Mora

Ever met somebody so talented and skilled that your initial thought, as far as building similar skills goes, is to simply give up. You think that there is no point striving to be better since you can never surpass said person. Elsa Mora is one of those people, in my opinion. She paints, makes jewelry,  takes photos, and writes books. And don’t get me started on her papercutting. They are beyond beautiful. Dream-like, intricate, and strange, her papercutting sculptures are truly fantastic.

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This is not the first time that we’ve mentioned artist Elsa Mora here on the blog. Several weeks ago, we linked to her shop in this post about papercutting kits for beginners. Grab a kit or two if you want to go ahead and learn papercutting. Do that while I sit here, paralyzed by the thought that I could not possibly achieve what the amazing Elsa can do with acid-free paper, X-Acto knife, and glue.


Show Your Love for Type via a Nice Specimen Poster

If you want to learn letterpress printing and you happen to live near Lake Michigan, the only wise thing that you can do is to join a Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum workshop. Not only will you be in the presence of one of the biggest wood type collections in the world, you will also become a proud student of an institution with a celebrated history.

For those of us who are nowhere near this printing wonderland, there is still a way to experience its greatness. We can get one or two or three of their posters. My favorites are the Type Specimen ones. Their new releases (listed below) are particularly amazing because they come rich in history. Each Type Specimen poster is printed using Appleton Coated papers. The style of the types used date as far back as the 19th Century, making each of these posters a true testament to the enduring powers of good type.

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Check out the store HERE. The museum also sells shirts and other items that are sure to make any designer drool. Happy shopping!