Smudge Ink is a small band of illustrators, printers, and wordsmiths brought together by a shared devotion to snail mail. Owner April May always had a love affair with greeting cards, so much so that she began her own company as a side business in 2002. She took over ownership of already established Smudge Ink in 2016 and has been responsible for their amazing letterpress greeting cards and custom printed pieces ever since. We caught up with the Boston-based maven to learn more about her and the Smudge Ink team.
How would you describe your style?
Casual and fun!
What’s the weirdest occasion you’ve ever sent a card for?
The weirdest card I ever sent was a thank you note to a former (difficult) boss. I sent it about 7 years after being laid off and although there was a lot that had been challenging about working with him, I realized that he'd taught me a lot. So I sent him a note to thank him and to recognize that the experience of working with him was valuable. The timing was weird and I have no idea how he received it, but I'm still glad I did it!
What’s one of your most favorite cards you’ve ever designed?
At Smudge Ink, we have a full-time designer (Ally!) on staff who does most of the design work. We both come up with lots of silly ideas and she brings them to life. I love lots of the cards, but I think my current favorite is either the Beret Party Birthday Card or the Musical Gnomes Christmas Card. As far as designs I've created myself, my favorite is The Berkshires Map because that's where I grew up!
Where do you look for inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere! But most of my ideas come from nature, music, and weird, partially-overheard conversations that leave me guessing about the people and the topic.
What’s your spirit animal?
Definitely a dog of some sort. Dogs know how to have a good time and the also love laying in a good sunny spot. That's just my speed!
If you got a tattoo, what would it be of?
I love looking at other people's, but I don't want one of my own! If we're talking temporary tattoos, then maybe my kids' initials on my inner wrist in their own handwriting.