Tag Archive for 'crane'

Page 2 of 4

Fantastic Philatelic Wedding Invitations

These invitations were designed by the bride Nichole Tremblay. You can visit her at Coral Pheasant. We worked with her on the letterpress printing of her custom wedding stationery cards. Then we were completely amazed when she sent us finished samples showing how she put them together. What a labor of love. She tied the various sized cards together in a stacked bundle using a textural gauze ribbon with golden string to wrap the pile. She produced her own lined envelopes and outer address labels that are carefully wrapping the edge of a large A10 envelope. Then she painstakingly picked her postage. She made beautiful stamp collages on the envelopes using specially selected vintage postage, different for each invitation, but little works of art unto themselves.

The invitations are printed in gray and pink inks on thick 220lb cover Pearl White Crane Lettra paper. We printed all the cards together on a larger press sheet, saving her money in the letterpress production. Large script type runs across the top of each card with small san serif type across the bottom. We used heavy impression with a lighter ink density on the gray ink so the printing could have a more textural and salty appearance on the cotton paper. These invitations are a tactile treat. And with bowling at the reception dinner, who wouldn’t want to go?

Split Fountain Wedding

This invitation was designed by Julia Kostreva. We felt this was a unique wedding stationery set in both it’s design and production. Julie worked with us to lay out the press sheet for her design in a way that could utilize a split ink fountain. (That’s were a couple colors are loaded in the ink fountain and blended together in a single color pass on press.) It is printed on Crane Lettra Fluorescent White 110lb cover. It also has a unique halftone applied to the floral artwork that made additional visual texture within the letterpress printing.

PS. This is featured today on Martha Stewart Weddings.

English Spanish Wedding, Pink Edges

These black and white wedding invitations dress up with a flashy little pink edge coloring. They were designed by the bride Laura Widmar. She incorporated both Spanish and English into each piece in the wedding suite by using the front and back sides of the cards.

We letterpress printed them on 110lb Crane Lettra Pearl White and pasted them Spanish to English after printing, making a thick 220lb cover stock. We then trimmed them to size and edge colored everything in a bright pink.

Burn and Crossbones Business Cards

These cards were designed by the Thorburn group here in Minneapolis. They are letterpress printed with a silver ink on both sides of a custom duplex black and white stock.

Custom pasting of a duplex of paper stock is a good way to make a project with look and feel unique. It’s very often the best way to get both the colors and stock thickness desired for a project. And lets face it – most of the stocks available from paper companies as pre-duplexed options are pretty fugly colors and/or texture combinations. This stock is Wausau Royal Complements Eclipse Black 100lb cover pasted to 100% cotton Neenah’s Crane Lettra Flo White 110lbC. For production, these two papers were pasted together, then letterpress printed.

As an end note, I worked at Thorburn several years before the jump to full time operations of Studio On Fire. Check out the Thorburn site here for some solid design work.

Modern Graphic Type Wedding

This wedding invitation for Andy and Drew is certainly a unique format. It was designed by Drew Hodgson for his wedding in Palm Springs, CA. The bold colors and contemporary shapes make the design both modern and masculine. The invite is actually a folder enclosure that opens to reveal the invitation text on the flap. The folder opens further to Continue reading ‘Modern Graphic Type Wedding’

Perfect Pressed Plaid

These over sized plaid pattern business cards were designed by our good friend Mark Saunders for his new solo creative venture PlaidLab. They use some great vibrant colors and the overprinting inks make rich and saturated secondary colors.

We letterpress printed them on heavy 220lb Cover Crane Lettra Pearl White. We usually run smaller custom business card orders two cards up on a small press sheet, so it was easy to provide some variety by including two different patterns. The magenta color is the same on both cards, but a color change from orange to blue on one plate gave the cards even more variety. One thing we did to keep the quality of the type crisp and punchy was to print it as a separate pass. By printing the same color in two passes we could run the large graphic plaid with heavy ink density and light ink density on the type. Mark was shooting for something about the size of an iphone, so the final cards were round corner die cut to an over sized 4.5 x 2.25. See comparison pic alongside a standard 3.5 x 2 inch business card for scale.

Stitched Booklet Wedding Invitation

A good narrative is behind good relationships. That’s why a booklet telling a little bit of the couples story is extra special as a wedding invitation. This invitation was designed by Craig Duffney at BBDO in New York for his friends Amy and Adam. He did excellent work making two sets of illustrated capitals and graphics. One corresponds with the bride, the other with the groom and they co-mingle in the invitation layout.

Planning out the production of a little booklet takes some extra finesse beyond the standard wedding stationery. The format here is an A7 size booklet with a soft cover and french folded pages. The cover is a heavier 110lbC Pearl White Crane Lettra. The gutt is lighter weight 80lbT Pearl White Crane Lettra. Both were letterpress printed in two colors, a lighter green corresponding with the bride and an olive green with the groom. The pages were scored, collated and top stitched inside the cover with a cream colored thread. Then a final trim was taken from head and foot. We also produced an RSVP card and matching folding thank you cards. This is certainly among the more elaborate invitations we’ve produced, yet the final appearance remains simple and striking.

A Narrow Elegant Business Card

These business cards are elegant and simple with an unusual format. Although the feel of the design is traditional, the 4.25 x 1.25 inch size presents as an untraditional business card size. The client, William and Mary, makes premium gift wrap collections, so the paper crafting of the printing was very important.

These cards were letterpress printed with 2 ink colors on each side. The cards also have a heavy blind letterpress impression graphic on both sides. This blind area overlaps type on the reverse side. To get an even type appearance and a heavy sculptural impression on both sides we printed a 110lb sheet of Crane Lettra Fluorescent White and pasted it together back to back after printing. By duplexing the stock to a thick 220lb weight after printing the impression show through is eliminated. It is a time consuming and more premium production step, worth it for the final look of these cards. The final step was a round corner die cut.

Q&A – Contemporary Letterpress Printing

Studio On Fire principal Ben Levitz answered some questions on contemporary letterpress printing last week for “letterpress week” over at Oh Hello Friend. Here is the Q&A exchange:
Just what is letterpress?
Letterpress is a method of relief printing. It is the process of inking a type high reversed image and then transferring that ink to a substrate, making a print of the positive image. While previous generations relied on moveable wood and metal type, most modern letterpress is achieved with a plastic material called photopolymer. Photopolymer has bridged the gap between the computer and letterpress printing presses. A digital file with correct specifications can be moved to water wash polymer plates and printed on letterpress in place of handset materials.
So why Letterpress? How does letterpress stand unique as a printing method?
Letterpress used to be the primary method of all printing. Nowadays designers have so many printing options – digital printing, offset printing, screen printing – letterpress as a printing method is such a small part of todays printing industry. However, we’ll give you three good reasons letterpress is alive and well.
#1. Tactile Design – Like to feel what you see? That sculptural impression is a primary reason for using letterpress printing. This heavy impression is how letterpress has reinvented itself over the past couple decades. Things like text, line work and patterns offer an impression into soft paper material. As a designer, if you get the artwork right and pair it correctly with a material, the resulting impression is unmistakably letterpress. It is an effect unmatched by any other printing method.
#2. Unique Materials – Just try running a toothy 600gsm cotton stock through a digital printer. Maybe some thick blotter paper for coasters? A thick duplexed stock business card stock perhaps? Even thin onion skin stock or napkins? Yes, letterpress will print it all. Lots of special stocks that just won’t run through modern offset and digital presses. Letterpress offers material versatility that is unmatched by any modern presses. Just don’t ask for slick coated stocks, they don’t like to take an impression.
#3. Upscale Presentation- The materials we print on for letterpress generally cost more than going to any local quick print shop. And the time consuming nature of letterpress printing process means it is not mass produced. It has that artisan quality which sets it apart. The cost of each color makes projects printed with letterpress have a certain simplicity. Generally letterpress projects are only a couple colors. There are no slick gradients or drop shadows. We hear all the time that anything looks better letterpress. We’d say this is because letterpress makes people simplify the design.
What is your heart and passion behind letterpress?
Speaking as both a designer and letterpress printer for the past decade, I’d say letterpress is still gaining momentum as a production method. When people get a letterpress printed business card handed to them and turn it over in their hand, they feel it, look at it closer and consider it . It literally buys extra seconds in their hands. It is this notable pause that exemplifies letterpress printing as a breath of fresh air. As our society increase our digital communications and the time we spend in front of glowing screens, letterpress printing becomes an even more unique counterpoint. It is something we both see AND feel. We are tactile beings and letterpresses tangibleness makes us connect.
My passion behind letterpress printing and starting Studio On Fire goes back to studying original masters like William Morris, W.A. Dwiggins and Fredrick Goudy. These fellows truly understood and merged both design and production. A critique of todays design reality is that fewer and fewer designers understand the production method for which they are designing. As designers we have so many options, we’ve become generalists. At Studio On Fire design and letterpress are dating again. We are committed to making letterpress printing one of the most premium and relevant production methods for contemporary design. Understanding our niche letterpress market and offering production advice to the designers that come to us how we work. Merging design intent with letterpress printing keeps our work exciting.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Biography – Ben Levitz, Studio On Fire
Company founder Benjamin Levitz received his BFA in Communication Design from the College of Visual Arts. He spent nearly a decade in the creative industry working with design leaders at Kilter, Larsen/California, and Thorburn design agencies. His creative expertise has focused on design as a branding tool for a large and varied list of national companies with work consistently appears in award shows and publications of AIGA, Communication Arts, Graphis, Print magazine and Type Directors Annual. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Visual Arts teaching advanced typography course work.
Ben’s tactile design sensibility led to the founding of Studio On Fire. The studio began in 1999 with a vision of uniquely combining design and production skills in modern letterpress work. Ben left the agency world in 2006 to run the studio full time. The Minneapolis studio currently produces it’s own design and letterpress projects in addition to printing custom work from for an impressive list of agencies and design firms across the United States.
See and read more at the company website studio on fire.

A Brooklyn Boathouse Wedding

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.

Blind (inkless) Letterpress Business Card

These cards, designed by Jacob Ward have a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression on one side and black ink on the other. A blind hit needs a substantial amount of impression since it is relying only on the change in paper surface without any ink color to define the graphic. The large type size really pops on this card. If you have a good monitor and click through the pics below, you can see that even on a 220lb cotton stock there can be small amount of impression show through on the reverse side.

Vista Caballo Letterpress Stationery

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.