A husband and wife photography team, Finessence Photography had just adopted a new moniker and was looking for a fresh look when they approached us to handle their rebrand and produce their print collateral. While we spend a lot of time (happily) printing for other designers, it’s always a treat for us to act as the design firm behind a project that hits our pressroom.
For the business cards we created a custom stock, duplexing Crane Lettra Flo White 110C and Beckett Concept Mohagany 130C. The rich mahogany stock was a great way for us to counterbalance the ultra-feminine flourish filled “F” we created for the main logo with something a little more masculine. A custom brown ink was mixed to match the mahogany stock for the crisp letterpress printed type sandwiched between two bands of a sculptural teal pattern. We were also able to use one of our favorite finishing techniques, giving the slightly undersized cards a splash of teal edge coloring.
After completing the business cards we proceeded to create a photo folio and gift certificate to round out their set of presentation materials. The structure of the photo folio is a call back to the flimsy paper sleeves drugstore prints used to come in, but this version is a bit fancier. A custom steel rule die line was created, which included an interior diecut to hold the business card, letterpress printed with two inks, hand assembled and kept closed with a velcro closure.
We’re also pretty proud to say this system was a winner in the 2010 FPO Awards.
An essential reason French Paper Company stands out in a world of large paper conglomerates is their unique design affair. They’ve had a longstanding relationship with Charles Spencer Anderson Design here in Minneapolis that has fueled and produced arguably some of the most visual ephemera to promote paper in the last decade. And trust us, here at Studio On Fire we see A LOT of promotional materials from paper companies. We were excited to be a part of that legacy with the latest French Paper promotion – a paper “Air Kraft” designed by the crew at CSA Design.
We worked closely with CSA to finalize the production. The sheets are letterpress printed in two colors on French Speckletone Kraft 140lbC. These Air Kraft are actually flight worthy, but you have to be sure to follow the instructions and tape a dime into the nose of the plane for a good glide.
Speckletone Kraft is one of those papers great for designers who fall in love with chipboard, only to realize that actual raw chip does not have color specifications. (In a batch of chipboard stock you may get some gray sheets or some dark brown sheets, it just depends on what went into the pulper) We like to use it especially when matching envelopes are needed.
We were excited to produce this booklet, designed and illustrated in-house at Target by Aaron Melander. This piece was created for guests of the Target Chalet as a field guide to the 2011 Winter X Games.
To begin the project, we worked closely on the paper selection. It needed to be thick and sturdy in feel yet thin enough to do some 180 degree folds to form the inside cover pocket. For the cover we duplexed two stocks after printing – off white on the outside and brown on the inside. The outside is 78lbC Canaletto Granna Grossa printed in tight register three color letterpress. A tonal pattern printed on French Poptone Hot Fudge 80lbC floods the inside.
One of our favorite commercial shops in town then helped with the interior printing and bindery. The gutt was traditional 4 color offset printed and saddle stitched at Shapco. Since the open edges of the cover are folded to the interior a final trim with the gutt in place was not possible. That meant the gutt pages needed to be stitched separately, trimmed to size, then stitched again into the cover.
What if you received a mailing from a company and it was actually something beautiful? With this card, you could even try planting it. This oversize postcard for Northern Lights Landscaping was designed by WestmorelandFlint and is letterpress printed on a plantable paper containing wildflower seeds. We would say they have easily surpassed the typical beauty threshold of your garden variety direct mail piece.
We letterpress printed this 10 x 5.75 card in two colors. The stock came from our new friends here in the midwest at Porridge Paper. It is their Plantable Seed Paper, Ecotan 110lb Cover, wild flower mix. This paper does produce a beautiful sculptural letterpress impression. A cautionary note on those wildflower seed inclusions – it also makes a really big mess inside the printing press. After running several thousand sheets through the cylinder press four times, we had enough wildflower seeds inside the machine to plant a small meadow. A fun mailer AND good times cleaning up afterwards.
Travis at Lifelong Friendship Society in Brooklyn designed these invitations for his wedding. We love the vintage-yet-modern style with beautiful art nouveau title typography details. The text for the main invite card is nested into the unique and detailed illustration. The elaborate illustration is complete with birds and bees, spiders web, stylized portraits, and lots of geometric love.
We letterpress printed with brown and gold ink on Pearl White Crane Lettra 110lb. The three cards were printed together (in really tight register) as a press sheet and trimmed to size. The linear artwork paired perfectly with the letterpress process, creating sculptural impression highly detailed press work.
Vista Caballo is a ranch retreat with a special connection to horses in Dove Creek, Colorado. We worked with Thinktopia to design this stationery system for the client. They already had a logo design and needed stationery developed using the existing mark.
One of the things often overlooked in design is the choice of materials. This is something we strive for in our own design work. Material selection can be a central component for building the look and feel of a brand. In this stationery system we use a variety of brown toned papers to compliment the tactility of the letterpress printing and echo the desert landscape of the location. Kind of like making a color palette, instead we made a material palette. Each piece is printed with the same brown PMS color.
Letterhead is French Paper Speckletone Kraft, Envelope is French Paper Speckletone Chocolate, Business cards and Note cards are Crane Lettra Pearl White 220lb, Labels are Strathmore Soft White crack and peel stock, Journal covers are Fibermark Suedetex Tan 25pt with Smart Genesis Husk 70lbT gutt.
Richness of materials makes this stationery unique.
The Studio On Fire 2010 Calendar is now available on our new web site. This calendar is a decade marker for us. Established the end of 1999, Studio On Fire began letterpress printing in a cold Minnesota basement. Our first press occupied a spot between the boiler and the litter box, and oh, how the studio has since grown. Now seven presses strong with a fully equipped studio space, we celebrate ten years as a bustling design and print studio.
This Tenfold Edition calendar is letterpress printed with four colors on a cotton-blend stock, each month beautifully illustrated by selected designers the world over.
Jan/Jul_ Studio On Fire
Mar/Sept_ Brian Gunderson
Apr/Oct_ The Little Friends of Printmaking
Jun/Dec_ Rilla Alexander (Rinzen)
Jeff Holmberg designed these labels for a new line of coffee from Bull Run Roasting Company to be served and sold at their new retail location inside the Rustica Bakery in Minneapolis. Top notch stuff! Bull Run wholesales their coffee into some of the finer restaurants in the metro. This Reserve Collection is the first offering of their coffee at retail and it had to look tasty. The label is customized by rubber stamping the coffee variety and hole punching the bean and weight information. The ripped edge of the label on the kraft bag balances a raw yet refined look. Nice work Jeff.
We letterpress printed in two color on Strathmore Ultimate White label stock. We kiss cut the labels with a steel rule die with several punches to add the coarse perforated edge when ripped and opened. Yum and Buzz.
When we posted the Save The Date card by designer Nick Brue a couple months back, we were super excited to see what he had in mind for the design of the actual wedding invitation. Finally, here is his design that just recently left the pressroom:
This invitation set is housed within a mini custom die cut pocket folder which neatly organizes the various cards. The folder is printed with a tonal custom woodgrain pattern using a clear varnish ink on letterpress with heavy impression. A belly band is fitted to the exterior of the folder with a Continue reading ‘Woodgrain & Crest Letterpress Wedding’
This invitation suite was designed by the bride, Stacey Averbuch. It is an elegant invitation in it’s typographic texture, mixing a coarse script font with a finely serifed engravers typeface. The ink is dark brown letterpress on Crane Lettra cotton paper. A cement green envelope color from French Paper was used for all the envelopes in the set. Email Stacey if you really like the design and would like her to work on a custom stationery set for you.
This a good wedding tip: Colored Envelopes. We like the simplicity of adding color to a wedding invitation set by using a colored envelope. It’s a great way to put some color in the set without the expense of letterpress printing more color.
The same dark brown color is printed on both the cards and the envelopes. We printed the invite cards together on a single press sheet and trimmed them to size after printing. That keeps the cost of all the cards more friendly. Also, don’t forget to include a thank you card while printing your inviations. That saves time and money in the long run. We specialize in printing custom sets brought to us by other designers and event planners. Thanks Stacey for a sharp looking invitation.