Friday, January 23, 2009

An inauguration invitation grows in Brooklyn - it’s the real thing

I’ve been searching the web for images of the “actual” invitation to President Obama’s inauguration and guess what? It turns out that the invitation I received in the mail and turned into a Purple Raincoat sample inaugural keepsake is the “real” invitation, after all. One million of these invitations were printed in less than a month by Precise Continental, a small union shop in Brooklyn that worked overtime to meet the deadline. I learned a lot about this from the Red Stamp blog, which is dedicated to “stylish correspondence.” I can dig that.

Turns out that this inauguration invitation pretty much follows the traditional template that has been in place since Harry Truman was inaugurated. It is printed using a technique called “engraving”, which Red Stamp calls "the epitome of all things formal + tasteful”. But there are some 21st century updates - for example, the Obama people insisted that the invitation be printed on recycled paper. The Neenah “Classic Crest” Paper selected for the invitation has been called the “greenest premium paper in the world…completely FSC Certified, Green-e Certified as being made with 100 percent renewable energy, made 100 percent Carbon Neutral, and Processed Chlorine Free.”

Ironically, this invitation itself is less likely to be recycled than the invitations to previous presidential inaugurals. HOWDESIGN notes that “This invite, like others in history will likely become a collector’s item—perhaps treasured more than any other as America’s first black president” takes office. Of course, I hope many of them are "recycled" into Purple Raincoat keepsakes.

The fonts used for the invitation were designed in 1972 by Matthew Carter. Both of these fonts, Shelly Allegro and Kuentsler, are available through at 25 percent off through inaugural week. Here’s your chance to buy a piece of history and use these elegant fonts to create invitations for your own once-in-a-lifetime (well, maybe twice in Obama’s case – it’s possible) occasion. This is an interesting option for people who are making their own invitations.

I’m still waiting to get my hands on a “real” invitation to an inaugural ball or one of the infamous “purple” swearing-in tickets – come on, people, I’m counting on you! Give Purple Raincoat the opportunity to turn your once-in-a-lifetime experience into a one-of-a-kind keepsake. Senior Obama administration staff, I know you’re busy getting down to the business of remaking America, but don’t forget about your memories – put them in Purple Raincoat’s hands and prepare to be delighted.

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