Fathom, the recent release LP from Taiga records, is a subtle and textural object of beauty and a sensory experience. The drawings were perfectly suited for letterpress and translated crisply to the printed edition. This is the description from Taiga:
“Douglas Quin’s Fathom brings together four extended underwater soundscapes—two each from the Arctic and Antarctic. The recordings have been gathered over a period of 15 years, capturing an extraordinary palette of sonic voices, events, spaces, and textures. To the human ear, these soundscapes are haunting and otherworldly; yet they are very much of this world—out of earreach. The tracks are minimally edited and are his first field recordings to be archived in vinyl. Included with the release is a sealed envelope containing an insert with specific locations, animals, and other elements heard, giving listeners the option to absorb sound with or without association. The envelope is printed with liner notes and comments from Dutch journalist and music critic René van Peer. Mastered by James Plotkin, cut direct to metal and pressed on 200 gram virgin-vinyl, Fathom comes packaged in custom letterpressed materials and is presented as a limited edition of 1000.”
There was clear, white, and black vinyl versions released. Only the black is still available.
The packaging is pressed in gray and a tonal white ink. We letterpress printed the outer sleeve on a custom duplexed stock – gray on the interior, white on the exterior. We were able to print on a preconverted inner envelope which accompanies the vinyl and containing the insert.
We designed and letterpress printed bath salt labels for Connecticut based Rain Soaps. This salt is hand harvested (by monks in France) and uniquely presented in its natural state in an apothecary-style sealed glass jar.
We ran the three labels together on a small press sheet. The paper is a crack and peel Strathmore Soft White label stock. It is printed in one color and kiss cut to final size. Ahh, I’m more relaxed just looking at them.
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 simplest looking things can be deceptively complex. This is a tricky little business card and a typographic poster for Squarespace New York. Designed by their Creative Director Tyler Thompson. The design shows restraint, making the logo treatment the hero. And the format is a square card of course.
So why is the business card tricky? It is custom duplexed stock, letterpress printed, laser die cut and edge colored. We custom duplexed Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110lb Cover up to a 220lb thickness. Then we letterpress printed them several up on a press sheet. A larger press sheet means we can economize the laser cutting by doing more at a time. The laser cutting can leave some scorch marks, so the sheet is masked with a paper tape that peels off after the cutting is complete. Then the sheet is trimmed up into cards and edge colored in black. That 220lb thickness shows off the edge and has a nice smooth surface. The poster is on Crane Lettra 110lb Flo white, pressed in a single PMS blue.
V2 Creative in Las Vegas designed this system for the Bennett Family Foundation. We just received the Strathmore Gold Award for our production of the system. Each stationery element is letterpress printed for the text and with a beautiful blind inkless impression for the logo initials. It utilizes one of the Strathmore sheets we really like for letterpress – 110lb Strathmore Cover Bristol. This sheet has a bit of tooth to the finish and takes a crisp impression. Plus there are matching text weights sheets. The business cards are scored an fold open to present the contact information. The warm gray flood of color was offset printed (inside of folder, back of letterhead and business cards and insides of envelopes). When we manage production of a business stationery system, usually any offset printing is sent out and completed first. This allows us to properly plan full size press sheets. For instance, this project was able to combine
the letterhead and envelope on the same offset sheet. Then we take the sheets back in house and complete the letterpress and finishing. And as this system shows, we do have the capability to letterpress print full size folders with our stationery system production.
So often, what we do for our clients in the graphic design profession is disconnected from personal passions. This project managed to combine both food and design values. The food our family eats falls into a traditional foods diet, as recommended by the Weston Price Foundation. Which is why we were especially excited when Rebecca and Ross Williams asked us for business cards for their new adventure called Many Fold Farms. Their must-read blog is smartly written and shows a true passion for food and land. I’ve been learning about fine cheese and feeling a bit envious of their farming adventure.
This was both a design and print project for us, which is where our company can truly shine. Not that we don’t love printing the custom work of other designers and collaborating in the production process. We also love owning a design project from concept through production completion.
The design for the logotype merges custom 19th century inspired decorative capitals with slab serifs. We combined typographic texture with a folk inspired pierced tin borders and an inverted round corner die cut. The letterpress printing is on Crane Lettra Ecru (Ivory) 220lb Cover stock for a thick and soft feel in a nice warm color. We produced two different sizes – an oversized card with farm information and a smaller card with personal contact info.
Happy New Year!
The Optimist is a self-promotional holiday wine bottle designed by Greg Bennett for Siquis. Each year Siquis shows their clients how much they care by designing a custom wine bottle label just for them. The label is always created by a different designer in their creative department. This year’s graphic was designed to play on “is the glass half empty or half full” concept. Obviously, once the recipient rotates the bottle to fill their glass, the glass on the label becomes half full. One of Greg’s many beliefs is that a design is only as good as it’s production. What that means is that you can have a great design but if it is produced poorly, the result will be a mediocre piece at best. That being said, this label was letterpress printed at Studio On Fire ensuring this bottle design is sure to delight even the toughest critics.
We printed on Strathmore Ultimate White Label stock with a kiss cut die for finishing that punched out the tiny glass area and gave the whole label a slight arc to compliment the curve of the bottle.
Not that a heart felt email blast or animated web message for the holidays isn’t all well and good, but as you may have guessed we are suckers for a good old fashioned ink on paper. The next few days, we’ll show some previous custom holiday projects we’ve letterpress printed in the hopes of inspiring your own letterpress holiday projects. The holiday card seems to be one of those notorious last minute tasks for creative types. We are already heavily into estimating custom cards for many designers. And as much as we love rushing last minute projects, earlier is always better and leaves many more production options available. Word to the wise, ask us early for an estimate on your project.
Who says typographic characters don’t make delightful tree ornaments? This card was designed by Katie and Nate over at Eight Hour Day. The green combined with hot pink makes a unique holiday color combo. The card was die cut to produce two parts for a desktop Christmas tree, to be decorated further with objects on your desktop. It was letterpress printed on thick Fox River Blotter stock from Neenah Paper. Since the paper is produced without any surface sizing the blotter sheet has a more mottled appearance in how the textured surface accepts a large solid ink area like the green tree. This gives the printed piece some additional tactile quality. Fa la la la la, ooolala.
Designing your own wedding invitations has to be a designers most challenging project ever. And these are some to be proud of. The groom, Jefferson Perky of Perky Bros., designed these with an elegant typographic flair. They combine textural wood grain photography and letterpress printed type.
We produced these cards together on a 13 x 18 press sheet. The wedding invite was printed along with a save the date card, a thank you card, an accommodations card and a die cut vertical belly band. The stock was 100% cotton 110lbC Pearl White Crane Lettra. The wood grain was digitally printed, then the black type was letterpress printed.
When thinking about doing a letterpress wedding invitation it is important to consider all the cards you need upfront. We ultimately print everything together – saving us time and our clients cost. (Example – if you know you need a thank you card, plan to print it with the main invitation set.)