Rolling into our store just in the nick of time for Christmas (so would that be in the Saint Nick of time?) is our annual Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar.
Each year our studio picks a theme, a color palette, and paper stocks before recruiting crush-worthy illustrators to join us in creating custom art for each month. We claimed the January and July pages for ourselves before inviting Brian Gunderson, the Jolby dudes, John Malta, Sasha Prood, and Karolin Schnoor to round out our cast of contributors for 2013.
Artists were given the theme of Lucky Number 13 and asked to interpret it at will, resulting in a multitude of superstitious icons and ironic illustrations. We designed the tri fold outer wrap by stealing bits and pieces from the monthly illustrations, collaging them in a long strip to be trimmed off the press sheet and later used for packaging.
The calendar pages and outer wrap were letterpress printed with four inks all together on a large 26 x 20 size press sheet of Mohawk Milkweed 160C. After printing the individual months were trimmed down to a finished size of 3.25 x 5 inches.
To make the stand we first duplexed Mohawk Via Vellum Safety Yellow 80C to Decorated Paper Brilliance 12pt Tinsel Holographic to create a thick custom stock. After imprinting the stands with a tonal letterpress varnish they were custom diecut and hand assembled with the holographic stock on the inside (allowing a hint of holographic stock to peek out when the support of the stand is kicked out on your desk).
As a special bonus we are offering free DOMESTIC USA shipping on the 2013 calendars thru December 16. Enter coupon code FREESHIP (all caps, one word) in your cart.
If you’re curious, previous years can be viewed on our site: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.
Based out of San Francisco, Passing Notes designed this beautiful stationery system for Muhs Home, an online store retailing elegant home furnishings and accessories. Refined typography utilized two inks alongside chic illustrations. Since the illustrations were printed with no ink, what is referred to as a blind impression, we used a thick Crane Lettra Flo White 220 lb cover stock, allowing us to really go deep with the impression while reducing show through.
Other projects we have produced for Passing Notes include this Aphro Chic system and Patti Schmidt business card.
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.
These beautifully patterned, slightly oversized, cards for Julie Dasher Rugs were created by Minneapolis designer Laurie DeMartino. With a common brown and yellow footer on each card, each rug inspired pattern features a different color from Julie’s brand identity. The reverse of each card shares a common pattern with the front, but is printed using a tonal varnish, allowing the contact information along the bottom to spring forward as the focal point.
Letterpress printed on French Poptone Whipped Cream 140C, custom duplexed after printing to make 280C.
This suite, designed for Lindsay and Ben by their good friend Nicolas Carbonaro, is a great example of how to utilize overprinting inks. Since letterpress inks are not opaque, with the exception of metallics, a third color is created wherever two colors overlap–and in this instance, creating a great visual metaphor for love.
Another thing to note is the heavy ink coverage throughout the suite, so we required acknowledgment of our solid areas disclaimer before we proceeded into production. Printed with two inks, along with a blind pass, on Mohwak Loop Ivory Smooth 160c, the cards were duplexed after printing to create a hefty 320c stock.
Oh So Beautiful Paper also featured these, be sure to pop over to check out some additional pictures of the complete suite.
Utilizing their existing logo, we designed and produced these cards for Ilumini Photography Arts, a wedding and fine art photographer based out of Hawaii. After creating a type lockup for the contact information we designed a custom diecut that would elegantly frame the ornate “I” logo.
Letterpress printed with metallic silver ink on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110C and a tonal varnish on the Wausau Royal Complements Eclipse Black 100C, these stocks were duplexed after printing before receiving the final diecut.
These invites, designed by Douglas Behl for his upcoming nuptials, ooze summer. We can’t decide what we like more, the blazing split fountain color palette or the melty popsicle motif.
Split fountain printing is when we put two colors on the same roller, one on each end, allowing them to blend naturally in the middle, creating a gradient across the press sheet. This is a good way to get an extra color into your design without adding an extra plate. When planning a project that uses a split fountain across several pieces, keep in mind that the cards on either end of the press sheet end up being fairly one color. You can see in this instance the RSVP and Thank You cards were at opposite ends of the sheet, whereas the Invite and Details cards were placed in the middle where the color transition happened.
You can see split fountain printing in action in this video we took a few years back.
With Memorial Day weekend staring us in the face, it only made sense to share this bbq related project. If you live in the Twin Cities you have probably come across the stylish orange Natedog’s food cart, stocked with quality wieners, tasty hand crafted mustards, and manned by the friendly proprietor, Nate Beck. We were lucky to have him at our open house in February and recently letterpress printed the labels for Nate’s honey-spiced mustard, now bottled and available for purchase.
Holmberg Design Co, who we most recently worked with on these Dogwood Coffee labels, is behind the Natedog’s identity and label design. Letterpress printed with two inks on an existing label stock, these were kisscut after printing with a custom made die that mimics the bottle shape.
CBS recently ran a nice feature of on Natedog’s that can be viewed here.
A new product we’ve been asking for (for several years) has finally arrived. Crane Lettra is now available as a 90lb cover stock that is thick, but not so thick, and good for duplexing.
Being the paper nerds that we are, we busted out our calipers to compare the thickness of duplexed Lettra stocks. Our 220lb Lettra stock calipers at .039″ (40pt) and the new 180lb cover stock calipers at .031″ (30pt), roughly a 25% reduction. Available in fluorescent white, pearl white and ecru, we’ve added this to our list of preferred house stocks.
Our first project to hit press with this new stock was for director Nathaniel Freeman. Letterpress printed with a navy ink and a custom varnish, the 90lb pearl white stock was duplexed after printing–concealing the impression show through in the center of the card. The finished product features a nice sculptural impression, but with slightly less bulk to the card.
We’ve had the pleasure of printing several wedding suites designed by local Minneapolis creative Kate Arends. A full-time designer over at Cue, Kate also freelances and does a beautiful job curating her blog Wit + Delight.
Sized to fit in preexisting #10 envelope, the first suite is printed with three inks on Neenah Classic Crest Natural white 165C with a flash of metallic gold edge coloring. No checkboxes in sight, the RSVP is cleverly designed as one card perforated down the middle–allowing the guest to respond with a hearty “YES” response card or use the alternate “Regretfully Decline” postcard.
We love the bold graphic nature, humorous wording and great use of an inline font on this second suite. Printed on French Poptone Sweet Tooth 140C, the invitation card scores twice to z-fold into the envelope. Though the cards use only black ink, the fluorescent green envelope, Mohawk’s BridteHue in UltraLime, adds a punch of color.
Update // See Jon and Alecia’s entire wedding over on 100 Layer Cake.
Lastly, there’s a wedding suite and save the date Kate designed for an Australian bride out of Adelaide. Filled with elegant typographic lockups and textured backgrounds, this was printed with gold ink on French Poptone Whipped Cream 140C .
Jane, from the family/design/lifestyle blog See Jane Blog, approached us to design and produce some fresh cards for her before she headed off to the annual Alt Summit blogger conference in January. Jane was great to work with, she had a few ideas and elements she wanted included but really lets us run and create something that would look great letterpress printed. Some of our favorite features include the custom diecut (designed to accentuate her signature asterisk) and the thin linework pattern (referencing back to her patterned blog header).
Production wise, these were printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 110lb cover stock that was custom duplexed to a 220lb weight after printing. With two inks, a blind impression and a custom diecut, the presssheet for these cards ran through the press a total of four times.
You can also read about these in a lovely post over on Jane’s blog.
Today’s post is brought to you by the color pink! Rubine Red, to be exact. Created by the fellas over at Duct Tape and Glitter, these cards used almost every production process we offer, printing with three ink colors (one of them a flood) along with a blind impression, custom duplexing after printing and finished with a swipe of edge coloring.
Despite the multiple processes these went through, we were able to keep an eye on the cost by printing the fronts and backs up on the same presssheet. By setting up the sheet this way colors that were common to both sides (like the Rubine Red) only had to be setup on press once, rather than once for the front and then again for the back.
After printing we duplexed the presssheet back to itself which created a hefty 220lb sheet and also allowed us to conceal any impression show through (impression area from the front the shows on the back of the sheet) in the middle of the card.