The first weekend in October marked the 31st annual AIGA MN Design Camp. We have been involved for several years now, in 2008 we designed the conference materials and last year we hosted a letterpress workshop. This year we worked behind the scenes with Ideal Printers to produce the impressive system of materials that were designed by Target inHouse.
First off the press were promotional materials which were mailed out to over 1300 AIGA MN members. We printed the cover of the promo book on Domtar Colors Green 110 Index stock. To achieve a consistent solid black in the pattern while still holding the type crisp we split the black plate into two passes- one pass with heavier ink density for the pattern and lighter ink coverage for the text. After adding a hit of silver those covers ended up running through the press three times. The promotional poster was printed on Cascade Rolland Natural 70 lb text weight with a run of black and a custom green ink mixed to match the green Domtar stock. All of that was shipped out in a kraft envelope we imprinted with return mailing address and indicia.
Upon arrival in Nisswa campers received a tote bag filled with goodies such as tee shirts, pennants and more letterpress printed event materials. The guidebook, full of interviews with speakers and details about weekend activities had a Domtar Colors Salmon 110 Index cover that we letterpress printed in two passes of black and a hit of silver. The partner guide, detailing all of the event sponsors, had a cover produced in the same manner but on Domtar Colors Blue 110 Index. A special bonus this year was a custom sketch book, state facts and suggested uses were printed with black ink on Neenah Environment, Desert Storm, 80C. A map of ‘Navigating Up North’ was also produced, a poster style piece printed in two colors on Cascade Rolland Natural 70 lb text.
Of course we couldn’t resist adding a little extra letterpress goodness from Studio On Fire, so we whipped up a set of four coasters, printed with 2 fluorescent colors on an Ahlstrom blotter stock, that were slipped into the bag of each camper.
We’ve worked with BAKER here in Minneapolis on a few really fun letterpress projects over the last year or so. And they’ve designed some beautiful things for pressing. Most recently, their second installment of the bird themed holiday ornament cards rolled off the press. It is a little bird (a good luck Cardinal) with an ornate frame that die cuts and punches out of thick 60 point blotter stock. It is printed two color each side.
Last years card for Baker was a die cut bird ornament as well. The same production specs, but featuring a punch out owl.
Also in the last few months, we worked through the letterpress printing of the new Baker identity on their business cards. And is was quite the undertaking. They have an interesting post about the process of icon development here. Each employee has their own icon and each card has four color ways. With over 60 employees that was a lot of icons and business cards! They are a custom duplexed 200lbC black and white stock in an undersized narrow card format. (1 x 3.5 inches) BAKER is printed in silver on the black side and the white side receives the four different color variations.
BAKER is a Minneapolis based Branding + Design firm specializing in package design. On the web: bkrdsn.com or tweet: @bkrdsn
We made some new friends in London at a digital agency called Forward. They rebranded themselves recently and designed these cards that feel very undigital and textural, and that is what we do best. They are printed on Ahlstrom Blotter stock with custom duplexing to bring the thickness to about 50pt. This blotter board has an uneven pulp formation that gives the flood of ink a washed, almost denim feel on the soft paper stock. The cards are edge colored in a matching purple. And this was no small task, an office of over forty people is a lot of cards. We ran them 10 cards up on press five press forms.
Last night we had a rockin’ time showing off our studio space and letterpress shop to Minnesota AIGA members. A big thanks to Minnesota’s AIGA chapter for giving us the opportunity.
We talked about the relationship of letterpress and design, did some Q&A, drank some Pabst Blue Ribbon and wrapped up the event with a little coaster project on press. Take a look at the coaster sheet – it’s 60pt Ahlstrom blotter paper. We pre printed a couple colors before people arrived. Then, we had a different color set up on both of our Vandercook presses. Everyone got to pull a couple prints, then we die cut the sheet into the set of four coasters. Lots of paper touching and good times had by all. Thanks Kayd Mustonen for taking some pics to share.