Studio On Fire Steamroller Print Fair

We like to make things. it’s one of our shop mottos. On a daily basis we make things by pushing the limits of modern letterpress: using the photopolymer plates that we fabricate in-house to produce hairline strokes and the tiniest of type. In an effort to push our boundaries and break free from our routine (tiny type be damned), we recently decided that we were going to go big. Steamroller big.

Intrigued by the steamroller events we had seen pop-up around the country, we wondered what would happen if we incorporated such machinery into one of our notorious open houses. This was going to take more than just a sketch, we decided the only way to find out if we could pull this off was to actually rent a steamroller, take to the parking log, and run some shit over.

A design announcing our future print fair/open house (currently scheduled for the spring of 2015) was designed, sketched onto a sheet of plywood and turned into an oversized wood plate. A team effort, the plate was hand carved in just under a week using a dremmel and hand chisels.

Ever the historical nerds, we wanted to throw a nod to Gutenberg and the origins of letterpress by integrating moveable type into our parking lot shenanigans. Knowing we were going to run things over with a steamroller, this type was going to have to be big. Really big. In the end we had custom 19” tall letters CAD cut, adding the backer boards ourselves by hand. Creating the type was only half the battle, how would all this type sit on the asphalt? How would it all lock up? The final solution was building a massive, 16’ x 4,’ custom wooden base with rails, which would allow us to screw down the oversized letters and move the type on the fly.

Once the prep work was completed, we spent two days typesetting and inking in the parking lot of our northeast Minneapolis studio with two steamrollers (renting those is a whole other story). In addition to our hand carved plate, we printed several panagrams (sayings that include all the letters of the alphabet), really getting the most mileage out of our custom moveable type. Family and friends floated in and out, acting as extra hands when needed; the weekend wrapping up with us having the confidence that we can pull this off (or at least attempt it) in a public arena. We’re currently planning a print fair for the coming spring, we’ll loop you in when we have more details.

The prints from this test are on display in the gallery at the Hamilton Wood Type museum, where we’re also going to be teaching a workshop this weekend.

To top everything off our buddy Brendan Lauer came by and made this video for us as part of his 50 Videos/50 Weeks project. So rad.

Studio on Fire’s Steamroller Print Fair from Brendan Lauer on Vimeo.

SOF_steamrolling__0000_IMG_3477_samtracing.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0001_IMG_3485_samtracing.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0002_IMG_3495_traced.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0003_IMG_3830_precarve.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0004_IMG_3842_carvingMPLS.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0005_IMG_3844_stevemsamcarve.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0006_IMG_3846_handcarve.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0007_IMG_3849_samstevencarve.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0008_IMG_3899_basementinking.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0009_IMG_3916_basementpullzoom.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0010_IMG_3927_outsidesetup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0011_IMG_3943_bigLittle.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0012_IMG_3947_happyJason.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0013_IMG_3982_silverinking.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0014_IMG_3993_KelseyInking.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0015_IMG_3995_layingdownplate.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0016_IMG_4027_lockup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0017_IMG_4040_steveDrive_jasonGuide.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0018_IMG_4043_stevenDrive_popup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0019_IMG_4046_firstrun.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0020_IMG_4051_setevenDriving.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0021_IMG_4052_firstpull1.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0022_IMG_4055_firstpull2.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0023_IMG_4059_firstpull3.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0024_IMG_4060_firstpull4.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0025_IMG_4062_silverbrayers.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0026_IMG_4065_lockup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0027_IMG_4066_lockupcloseup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0028_IMG_4068_spelling.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0029_IMG_4073_SOFinking.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0030_IMG_4082_laydownply.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0031_IMG_4085_laydownply.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0032_IMG_4086_laydownply_overroller.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0033_IMG_4096_jdriving.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0034_IMG_4110_jdriving2.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0035_IMG_4117_silveronkraft.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0036_IMG_4124_silverAndSOF.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0037_IMG_4125_swearJason.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0038_IMG_4130_swearInked.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0039_IMG_4165_jdrive.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0040_IMG_4179_glam.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0041_IMG_4185_glampaper.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0042_IMG_4194_levitzkidz.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0043_IMG_4199_glamprint.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0044_IMG_4202_glamdone.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0045_IMG_4226_spelling.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0046_IMG_4231_groupspelling.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0047_IMG_4234_BenAndKids.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0048_IMG_4249_Jeanine.jpgSOF_steamrolling__0050_IMG_4268_SveaBenInk.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0051_IMG_4294_bossdriving.jpgSOF_steamrolling__0053_IMG_4379_samdriving.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0054_IMG_4381_teamworkInking.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0055_IMG_4385_inking.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0056_IMG_4392_DontKillTheBoss.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0057_IMG_4405_morgandriving.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0058_IMG_4408_twocolorinking.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0059_IMG_4418_twocolorlockup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0061_IMG_4437_kelslineup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0062_IMG_4440_kelseydriving2.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0063_IMG_4465_cancrusher.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0064_IMG_4474_crushedcans.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0065_IMG_4478_twocoloreveal.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0066_IMG_4520_carving_blk_reveal.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0067_IMG_4544_childrollup.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0068_IMG_4548_tealprint.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0069_IMG_4552_tealprint2.jpg SOF_steamrolling__0070_IMG_4560_theScene_sunset.jpg

Honey Labels

This spring we were approached by Turkey Hill Apiary, located just south of us in Lakeville, MN, to redesign and letterpress print labels for their wildflower honey. This isn’t just any honey, either, it’s natural honey that is aged in micro-distiller barrels! There are two flavors, bourbon and rye whiskey, both of which we can confirm are just as tasty as you’d hope they would be.

We designed the labels to have the aesthetics of an old liquor bottle or newspaper, mostly typographic combined with some clean line work. Once the design phase was complete the labels were letterpress printed on Strathmore Soft White Label stock in two inks, black for the bourbon and a maroon for the rye whiskey. After printing they were kisscut, meaning we diecut through the labels, but not through the backing of the label stock, allowing them to be peeled from the backing during labeling process (done by hand by the beekeeper at the apiary).

 

SOF__0000_TurkeyHill_01_bourbon.jpg   SOF__0003_TurkeyHill_04_bourbonSide2.jpg SOF__0004_TurkeyHill_05_rye.jpg

Pub Pass

Do you like beer? How about an excuse to try a lot of different beers? How about a guide to bars around the Twin Cities? Behold, the PubPass was practically created just for you! The concept is pretty genius: you buy the Pub Pass booklet for $25 bucks and then at each bar included in the book (25 of them) you get a free beer! If we did the math correctly (we’re not usually here to do math), that works out to a dollar a beer, what a deal.

Not to mention, you get this oh-so-perdy passport book to keep track of your adventure. We were stoked to produce the covers, stamping 1 metallic gold foil and 1 pigment white foil onto a 20 pt chipboard before scoring and sending off to Shapco for binding (also where the gutt was offset printed).

SOF__0002_pubpass_coverclose_03.jpgSOF__0000_pubpass_back_04.jpg

Studio On Fire Capabilities Journal

Another goodie that we created to take with to the National Stationery Show was this pocket sized journal. We wanted to make something that not only explains all of the different process that we offer, but shows them. We sent the cover through the press over a handful of times to letterpress, foil stamp, engrave, foil emboss, tonal letterpress, emboss, deboss, and diecut. (We’ll do some additional posts in the near future to outline each of those processes in more detail.)

The cover is French Steel Grey 100# Cover with a French Banana Split 70# Text flysheet. For the gutt we letterpress printed a variety of text weight stocks with a tonal grid. To finish it off everything was saddle sewn together with a bright red thread and the corners rounded.

We had several people ask about getting these on our Instagram, so we’ve put all of the extras up in the store for only a dollar (plus shipping).

studioonfire_journal__0000_front studioonfire_journal__0002_back studioonfire_journal__0003_insidefront

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

2015 SOF Special Edition Letterpress Calendar

When we started planning what we were going to take to the National Stationery Show we decided to create a desktop calendar with all 12 months illustrated by Studio On Fire (no need to fret, we still plan on making our traditional calendar with a slew of illustrator friends). This special edition for 2015 features illustrations of some of our favorite things around the shop (though we must admit we struggled to make the entire thing not about food… we love food).

As for process, we sent the calendar stand into production first, giving ourselves enough time to duplex the stock (French Steel Grey 100# cover and French Banana Split 100# cover), letterpress print, diecut, and hand assemble each one. Simultaneously, all of the pages were letterpress printed with four inks (including one fluorescent and one metallic) on one press sheet (French Sweet Tooth 140# cover). The pages were then cut down, nestled into the stand, and packaged in the final letterpress printed wrap.

We ended up depleting most of our inventory at the show, however we do have a handful of these available for purchase in our online store.

SOF_2105_Calendar_overviewSOF_2105_Calendar_janthruJune SOF_2105_Calendar_julythrudec

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

Custom Diecut Wedding Invitations

Whenever designer  Priya Patel, of Pomegranita, brings us a design to produce we know it’s going to be stunning (remember this?), and this invitation suite is no exception. Clean typography, a limited color palette, and a dash of pattern all show off the sexy custom diecuts. An important design detail to note is how the thin gold border on the invitation is a decent distant from the diecut edge, allowing for minuscule shits in registration during production without the border looking completely off kilter on the finished product.

A single gold ink was letterpress printed on French Poptone Pink Lemonade 140C before the pieces received the final diecut.


All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

Studio On Fire Ink Knife Promo

When you have a pressroom full of gadgets (and more importantly, people who know how to use them) the possibilities for self promotion pieces are endless. Recently we decided to make an oversized business card based on one of our most used pressroom tools, the palette knife.

Orange ink was laid down first, followed by an overprinting of blue ink on the handle to make the brown woodgrain handle, in addition to giving it a dirty ink spattered quality. French PopTone Sweet Tooth 100# Cover was used on the outside, with a 100# Tangy Orange triplexed down the center, ending with a total thickness of 400# cover. A custom die cut finished the piece off nicely.

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

Dogwood Zamboni Print

We drink a lot of coffee around here (more than we should probably admit to) and it’s all from our friends over at Dogwood Coffee. We regularly print their labels and last summer they asked us to create a poster to commemorate the release of their cold brew, named after the legendary ice resurfacing machine, the Zamboni (for those of you who don’t live in hockey central like we do, here’s a little video that explains exactly what a Zamboni does).

Dogwood was able to obtain the original patent for the machine and asked that we use it as the focal point of the design. We were only too happy to oblige, as the line work in the schematic sketches was ideal for letterpress printing (line work prints much cleaner than flat areas of color). The final design was letterpress printed using two inks on Crane Lettra Ecru 110# cover stock.

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

supr. Slim Wallet Packaging

Founded by brothers Aaron and Erik Melander, the Supr Good Co created “Slim,” the thinnest wallet ever. We’ve worked with Aaron on some past projects (remember this awesome Target Chalet piece?), so we knew this project was bound to be cool.

Letterpress printed with a single metallic silver ink on Cordenons Wild White 166# Cover before receiving an interior diecut, the packaging is simple and clever, just like the product. The guys even came into the shop during production and posted a great writeup and video on the Kickstarter project that started it all.


Slim – The Thinnest Wallet Ever. from Supr Good Co. on Vimeo.

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

 

Mode Set Bus Cards

These business cards designed by Amy Kitt for Mode Set are a great example of how to sucessfully incorporate a splash of metallic foil into a project.

A single grey ink was printed on both sides of a French Durotone Steel Grey 200# cover stock. To finish things off a small metallic foil icon was imprinted on the front of the cards. Subtle. Classy.

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

Slate Business Cards

You might remember Slate from this earlier version of their cards that we produced in 2010. Years have passed, but they still know how to design a beautiful card using multiple processes; this latest version incorporates foil, letterpress, and a peekaboo die cut.

A white foil was used on both sides of Mohawk Via Vellum Cyan 80# cover. A separate sheet of Crane Lettra Flo White 90# cover stock was letterpress printed with black ink before receiving an interior circle die cut. Now for the fun part: after all the printing and die cutting was completed the stocks were custom duplexed, allowing the foil “S” to show through the peekaboo die cut.

Chromebook Sleeve and Swag

We’re extremely proud to finally share this project that we worked on a few years back.

Spring of 2011 Make Retail brought us in to partner on a project for Ace Hotel New York and Google for a special release of the Chromebook. You may remember, Ace Hotels partnered with Google to put a Chromebook in every room of their New York hotel that entire summer. It was free to use during your stay and had a custom app (designed by Superfuture) for those who needed a little supplementary New York knowledge.

We custom designed the sleek wool sleeve (can wool be sleek?) to give the Chromebook an easily transportable home. A coordinating mini-sleeve to houses the power cords was created to effortlessly keep things together on-the-go. With a wrap-around cording closure, meticulously chosen buttons and  contrasting top stitching, the details really made this an enviable accessory.

You can find more of Studio On Fire’s handiwork tucked into the interior pockets of the sleeve. An instruction card filled with a cheery welcome message and helpful tips was letterpress printed with a cool gray ink on 110lb Crane Lettra Flo White cotton stock before being scored, folded and inserted.

In another interior sleeve pocket, letterpress printed journals are graced with a quote from John Milton, “A sable cloud turns forth its silver lining on the night,” that we pulled from wood type on our proof press before digitizing for final production (BONUS–guests were able to keep the journals after their stay was complete, whether they purchased the Chromebook or not). The covers have a tonal ink impression on a Mohawk Beckett Concept Wood Spice 130lb cover stock, while the interiors were offset printed on Domtar Cougar Opaque Smooth Natural 60lb text. Finished off with some curvy corners, we’re sure these were stolen by jealous friends when not guarded properly.