Monthly Archive for June, 2009

Birds of Sadness Letterpress Poster

We designed and letterpress printed this poster for the Sweet Hair poster show featuring 37 Minneapolis artists. All prints are hair-inspired, handmade and created just for this show. A portion of proceeds benefits Locks of Love. It hangs at the Art Minion Gallery in Northeast Minneapolis until mid July.  If you love hair, check out the Sweet Hair site.

Our 18 x 26 poster is a single color printed on 220lb Crane Lettra Pearl White. The type intertwines with a .30 point stroke that flows throughout the poster, making a nice deep impression on the cotton stock. The quote is a Chinese proverb that reads “You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.” If there are any left when the show comes down at Art Minion, we’ll sell them on our site.

birds_of_sadness_poster_studio_on_fire

_0000_birds_of_sadness_poster

Serious Foodies Business Cards

We just love folks that can blur the line between the disciplines of design and illustration. Jessica Hische is certainly one of those rarities. Be sure and check out her site for more great hand lettering and typography. She designed these business cards for new project by Mischa and Jacob DeHart called Culinary Culture – A Site for Serious & Aspiring Foodies.

We letterpress printed these cards on 220lb Crane Lettra, 100% cotton stock. They are printed three colors on the logo side and two colors on the text side. Additionally, the logo side needed the dark red run as two passes – something we often do in letterpress when there is a solid area of color and text on the same plate. The heavy ink density needed to cover a solid versus the light ink density for text lets the type remain crisp and the solid run as saturated as possible. (That means this piece of paper ran through the press six times – four on front, two on back.)

And of course they just wouldn’t be complete without some edge coloring. These have a contrasting green edge which is nice and noticeable on the thick 220lb stock. We usually recommend edge coloring be applied to stock heavier than 160lbC. Coloring can be applied to thinner sheets, but the effect is more pronounced with thicker paper._0000_culinary_culture_business_cards

Round Juggling Business Cards

Fuel is a great creative shop in Iowa that sent us this unique business card design for Whatsup Juggling. It is letterpress printed on thick 220lb Crane Lettra cotton paper. The inks are orange, blue and a custom contaminated opaque white. The card was then die cut into 2.5 inch circles. We then tried to juggle them. Business cards are really hard to juggle.

Some production notes: The original intent was to have the white printing be a blind (inkless) impression. However, where those blind areas of text line up to one another from one side of the card to the other, there is a push back on the impression. When there is no ink to even out the visual appearance, legibility can suffer where the impression overlaps from side one to side two. Putting a white ink down contaminated with a bit of silver ink helps even out the look and gives the general appearance of a blind hit. Check out the pics for comparison. Still subtle, but with a hair more contrast than a true blind impression.

_0000_whatsup_business_cards

_0001_whatsup_business_card_side1

Old Red Hat Letterpress Business Cards

Scott Ray uses his favorite lid as his design monicker. He designed these cards using a colored paper stock and two inks. This card represents a couple really good ways to use ink on colored paper stock.

Using a colored paper is a great way to get a solid splash of color in a letterpress project without laying down a bunch of ink. But moving to darker colored papers presents challenges in printing. “Opaque” white ink really isn’t a great option since it really isn’t very opaque. With the exception of metallic inks, letterpress inks are transparent. So we used a metallic silver to print the lighter colored text. The tone-on-tone effect of printing a dark red ink on red stock is another great way to use ink on colored paper. The stock is 100lbC French Poptone which was custom duplexed to a double thick 200lb cover weight for a sturdy “thump factor”.

_0000_oldredhat_cards

_0001_oldredhat_type_detail

Shine Flashlight Box – Ephemera Redux

Shine Advertising Co. in Madison, WI designed this flashlight box wrapper as a promotional piece for their agency. The look is a pretty sweet 1800′s ephemera inspired style and inside is a mini Maglite flashlight. We letterpress printed in four spot colors on Smart Genisis Husk 110lb C – 100% PCW. There are three tones of blue ink plus red ink.

Chad, the design director, came in and spent the day on press with us. Take a look at a few press room images he created with an iphone camera using an app called HiCon – kinda nice black and white effect.

A note on press checks -  We are always happy to have clients come in for press checks. And if you can’t make it, we often do a virtual press check and send along photos as we are on press. We schedule a press time and you can wait by your computer for letterpress goodness. That really gives no excuse not to letterpress with us. :)

_0000_shine_advertising_flashlight_box

_0001_shine_advertising_flashlight_ephemera

_0004_shine_advertising_shine_on_crest

Painted Pretzel Packaging – Kisscut Labels

Yael Miller designed these beautiful labels for a new company called the Painted Pretzel. She is also a contributor at another site we love – thedieline.com And these hand crafted gourmet pretzels are worth the letterpress labels. Here are some details on the production:

We printed an 8.5 x 11 sheet of Strathmore Ultimate White Wove crack and peel label stock. Unlike many kinds of label sheets, this stock takes a great letterpress impression. This sheet was printed with five spot colors and a kiss cut in tight register. (For letterpress, that’s six times through the press) The kiss cut is a die cutting process which is also able to run on the letterpress. The same as die cutting, but care has to be taken to cut only through the label and not through the backer sheet that peels away.

The printing of this sheet was an intensive bit of letterpress. With floods of color and fine type everywhere the ink density had to right on for everything to print crisply. Note how there is a salty look to the color, more so in the brown ink. This is so we didn’t over ink the fine type elsewhere on the brown plate. There is even a good example of a letterpress halftone on the pretzel in the center. Mmmm.

_0008_painted_pretzel_label_sheet

_0006_painted_pretzel_halftone

_0005_painted_pretzel_kisscut_detail

_0000_painted_pretzel_packaging

Patterned Bliss Wedding Invitation

A simple pattern goes a long way with letterpress printing. This is a design from the bride that uses a contemporary geometric pattern with a refined gray and yellow color palette. It is pressed on Crane Lettra 110lb Cotton stock with a matching Lettra envelope.  The pattern even comes across the flap of the envelope. A nifty little details card directs you to the couples web site and replaces lengthy printed information that can clutter up an invitation suite. Connect with the bride Sabrena if you like the design style of this invite and would like her design services . The right pattern produces such beautiful letterpress texture. We’d love to print more like this.

_0002_sabrenacasey_wedding_stationery

Botanical Garden Wedding Invitation

We recently finished this rather large letterpress wedding system designed by Priya Patel. Check out her fashion forward blog Love Made Visible. We asked her about the design:

Priya: “The background for the design is that the couple are to be married in a botanical garden and the bride Neerja was really inspired by traditional Indian miniature paintings which often depict figures in natural settings. She wanted to incorporate a painting with her invitation so we printed one on vellum as a cover sheet for the invite.”
_0001_neel_neerja_wedding_folder_enclosure

_0005_neel_neerja_wedding_vellum_overlay
_0003_neel_neerja_wedding_invitation_set

Priya: “We needed to design invitations for not only her wedding in Virginia, but also a reception the weekend after in Texas that is hosted by the groom Neel’s parents. We also wanted both events to be linked visually, thus the full color nature elements.”
_0007_neel_neerja_wedding_reception_card

Since the invite was sized for a large A10 envelope, that made for a very large 13 x 20 press sheet that incorporated all the wedding cards. In this wedding, there were two main invite cards – the brides invitation and the grooms invitation. Plus the other reply cards, direction cards and sangeet invitation. That’s a lot of letterpress! Producing multiple pieces on the same press sheet keeps the cost down.

_0008_neel_neerja_wedding_press_sheet

We produced the design from Priya with a combination of letterpress and digital printing. Digital printing is used for the vellum sheet and the back of the reception card. All of the navy text is letterpress printed. The paper stock is 111lb (300gsm) Canaletto Grana Grossa 20% cotton from Gruppo Cordenons. We also die cut the contrasting navy paper for the folding enclosure using French Papers Nightshift Blue and mixed our printing ink to cordinate with the navy paper. The minimal typography and ornamental detail of this design were perfectly suited for letterpress printing and produced a beautiful sculptural impression.

Falling Deer Cards

A little design and print job we just wrapped up. Robot Deer. Enough said.

Rotate an eyeball towards that real small type on the front- 1.5 point type, whew.

4

Lucky Cat

Fresh cards sent in from the good dudes at LovelyMPLS (who’ve got a real solid portfolio of design/screenprinted work). Two color print with ultra-bright day-glo pink and metallic silver on the good old 220lb Crane Lettra make for a very impressive and striking card, to say the least.

Check out that fine pattern work on the back- the envelope really got pushed with this one. A bunch of that line work is 1/4 point thick (literally as thick as a hair), tapering down, and on top of that the thing’s are reversed out!

01_luckycat_buscard

Black + Blotter Business Cards – Space150 v23

Space 150 changes their identity every 150 days. And with an identity process and look all their own, today marks the 23rd version of the Space 150 brand. This is a business card project we’ve managed the letterpress print production on for several versions now. Designed by Ned Wright at Space 150, this simple looking card still combines 4 production processes. Can you spot all four? Here they are:

250gsm Black Stonehenge sheet – FOIL STAMPED with gloss black foil.

22 pt White blotter  sheet – LETTERPRESS PRINTED with silver ink.

After printing, these sheets are DUPLEX pasted back to back for zero impression show through.

After trimming the cards to size, they are EDGE COLORED in black for a clean look on the edge.

We print these cards for around 70 people. For a large studio, value comes with quantity. It would be fiscally improbable for an individual to produce a design like this on a small run of cards. (If you have to ask, “How much?”…  )

_0000_space150_v23_stacks_2