Letterpress at AIGA MN Design Show

We stay active in the AIGA Minneapolis design community and are excited about the many projects printed in our shop that were in this years Design Show. With just over 90 pieces in the show – 11 of those had letterpress production in our shop. We are proud to be a trusted letterpress production partner for so many designers. Also notable – we took the AIGA MN Peoples Choice award for our own design of the Golden Rule poster. You can still buy one here.

But what does this mean for letterpress as a printing method? Why do designers and judges choose it? Why do the people love it? Here are a few thoughts…

Letterpress is a counter point to slick

The more prevalent digital printing and smart phones become, the stronger the counterpoint of a tactile production method like letterpress. The materials, the sculptural impression, the raw yet refined nature of it make a difference in your hand. We love our iphone as much as the next designer, but there is something in letterpress printing that digital media and digital printing can not touch.

 

Online Media Is Squeezing The Middle

A lot of the middle range print marketing is being cut out in favor of online business tools. The print industry overall has seen a pretty big smack down over the last few years. The remaining print budget for companies is going toward pieces that will work hard and stay memorable. Projects like business cards, invitations, and other highly visible print pieces get the budget with online media doing the heavy lifting.

 

Letterpress Simplifies Design

Letterpress makes designers simplify a layout. Pieces usually have just a couple colors, since each color is a separate pass through the press and costs add up quickly.  Things like gradients and drop shadows get kicked to the curb because they don’t plate well for letterpress. Artwork on letterpress gravitates toward type.

We’ll be doing some more in depth posting on some of these soon, but here is a summary of what we produced in this years show:

Capsule cards and covers for Blue Earth Interactive

Colle+McVoy an occasion card gift set for C+M All-Set Card-Set

Colle+McVoy Schwinn Calendar Poster,Studio On Fire design

Eight Hour Day cards and note cards for Eight Hour Day Stationery

FAME Annual party invitation and coasters FAME Fair Open House Invite

Loaf Nest LP record jacket, posted here Douglas Quin “Fathom” LP TAIGA records

Red Organic business cards, disc sleeve, folder for Gina Zeidler Photography

Holmberg Design cards and labels for Station K & Company Agency Branding

Studio On Fire our annual calendar, buy one here 2011 Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar

Studio On Fire our print for a poster show, buy one here Golden Rule Poster

ZYDECO design business cards and brochure for  ZYDECO design Image System