One of the best ways to get lots of color in a letterpress project is to print a colored paper. For these business cards Cricket Design Works in Madison, WI chose three colors for some extra vibrant variety in their design.
The paper is all custom duplexed from French Paper Poptone colors. We love the color options and small quantity availability of this paper line. These cards are printed on Gumdrop Green, Wild Cherry and Blu Raspberry each pasted to Poptone Sweet Tooth White on the opposite site for a 200lb heavy weight. The cards were printed with a metallic silver ink first, then overprinted in black. The same artwork and ink colors were used for all three business cards on the press sheets. (Everyone received all three colors.) This made the project more budget friendly since all we had to do was change out paper stock while running the prints – no extra wash ups or ink color changes.
Space 150 is a Minneapolis based company that has made some waves in the creative community by reinventing its identity every 150 days. This version was designed by Evan Nagan. We’ve produced many previous Space 150 business card versions as well – see some of them here and here.
Like the previous versions we’ve printed, these business cards take some tricky production. They are printed three color offset on one side (flood of black, purple and blue) and 2 color letterpress printed on the reverse (blue and tonal white). They have a unique two color gradient treatment on their edges. The paper is Wausau Royal complements 100lb Bright White which is custom duplexed after offset printing to a final thickness of 200lb cover. For a great edge color effect we recommend a thickness of 160lb or greater. The thicker the better.
It’s a big task! Each identity version is cards for nearly 70 people…
These two posters came to us from agency friends at Bailey Lauerman, illustrated by the ever fabulous Rilla Alexander of Rinzen. This TUNE project was sponsored via federal grant by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Bailey Lauerman launched TUNE which uses music to inspire young women to make better choices and live healthier lives. There are 8 selected artists out of 150 entries, and their music was written and recorded specific for this project. Songs are free to download from the TUNE website.
We printed the posters with a split ink fountain using florescent pink and blue inks which blended to a nice purple in the middle. We kept the lateral ink distribution setting at maximum spread for a good blend in the poster. It was printed on French Paper Poptone Whip Cream 140lbC.
This is an iphone video of the job on press. Lo res, but you’ll get the idea of how the fountain looks.
This poster was letterpress printed for the Artcrank poster show here in Minneapolis, which opened this last weekend. Since much of this show tends to be image and graphic heavy, we wanted our poster to stand apart with lettering only. It is an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Considerations by the Way, 1860. The full sentence is actually, “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air’s salubrity.” (But “salubrity” is such an odd word and just didn’t work well in the design.) The lettering started as a hand drawn sketch, then refined in Adobe Illustrator. We printed with a photopolymer plate on Crane Lettra 300gsm Florecent White at 18 x 24 size. They are on display now at One On One in Minneapolis.
They sold well at the opening night and are still available. There was some confusion about them being sold out. They are $30, to be purchased at One On One Bike Shop.
You can also buy one, now for sale on our studio site as well. Cost is $40.
This invitation designed by the groom Tyler Thiessen at Neuhaus Design and illustrated by bride Jessie Turner makes their wedding invitation into a fresh art print. It is nice to see a wedding invitation that is illustration centric versus type heavy. They put all the text on the web. You can check out the couples wedding website here.
The illustration is simple with just a little overprinting of bright red and light blue inks. Most of the artwork knocks out, requiring very tight register. (like the blue dotted lines on the hot air ballon.) It is printed on Crane Lettra Flo. White 110lbC The card is like a small poster and folds up to a 5.5 x 5.5 square.
We won’t mince words, this was a hard invitation to print with letterpress. Registration was tight, and the paper does stretch with heavy impression over a solid graphic area. Plus, large areas of solid color are not ideal for letterpress. Letterpress is definitely not like screen printing these kind of solid colors. Most letterpress equipment will not be able to handle this kind of press work. We printed this one on a Heidelberg Cylinder that has the impressional strength to lay down some pressure. Chances are if you send an invitation our way with a lot of ink going down you will get an email with our handy disclaimer that goes something like this. Once all this is understood we can move to press. And as you can see, we DO print areas of solid color and it can turn out very beautiful. Just realize there WILL be variation within the job that is inherent to printing this type of work with letterpress.
Feast is a recurring public dinner designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund new and emerging artmakers. We did a poster for the upcoming event here at Studio On Fire. The size is 18 x 24. It was a hand drawn sketch, scanned and converted to a bitmap tiff to preserve the sketch texture. It was printed with a split ink fountain. Our split fountain had fluorescent orange ink on one side of the press and light blue ink on the other side, creating a nice purple gradient in the middle.
This is a nifty little letterpress card and a7 envelope designed by Duel Purpose in Austin, Texas. It is printed in three colors, the overlapping bold graphics make unique areas of overprinting ink. The stock is 100% cotton 220lb Crane Lettra, with a matching Lettra envelope. Hand written correspondence on these are sure to any leave digital message in the lurch.
Jeff at Biklops Design created these note cards and business cards for catering and event planning company Culinaria. We love the simple line work logo and are a little amazed it actually printed. It is one of those “it turned out really cool but was a pain in ass to print” kind of projects. Inking a solid like this with letterpress is one of the more difficult things to print. There is a constant struggle to maintain minimal variation in the color density. With a large solid area the press sheet warps like a ripple potato chip, making feeding the sheets in register a challenge. And keeping the fine line weight of the logo from filling in made for a fun time on press. To help with the filling in on the logo we ended up shortening the exposure of the plate, which still hardens the plate but lessens the amount of base/neck material on the edges of the printed image. So good job on the design Jeff, we can even print your curve ball.
The cards are printed letterpress on 220lb Crane Lettra Flo White 100% cotton stock. The final trimmed cards were finished with a matching light blue edge coloring accent. The text is printed after the solid so it has a sculptural impression. If the text were printed first, the solid blue on the opposite side would flatten the impression down to near nothing.
This is a holiday card about appealing to the sense – it looks, smells and feels just right. OrangeSeed Design created this card for their holiday message plus a cup of orange tea. We letterpress printed the cards on French Paper Poptone Sweet Tooth, 140lbC. Also included were string tags for the tea bags on the same press sheet. The card was die cut with a slit to hold the tea bags and scored into tri-fold panels.
We worked with Vermont couple Dana and Katie to design and letterpress print their wedding invitations. They had a custom silhouette using their own hands to make a heart shape produced by Le Papier Studios. We used this motif throughout the invitation stationery. The soft cotton paper and bright blue silhouettes are contrasted with a simple recycled brown bag envelope and typewriter style navy typography – just the right balance of a raw yet refined style. The invites are printed in a square format with 2 inks on Crane Lettra, 100% cotton stock. All the cards were letterpress printed together on a 13 x 13 press sheet for cost effective production.
Dana and Katie are excited to be on the cusp of history, celebrating just after Vermont legalizes gay marriage on September 1st. Congrats!
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.
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. :)