We’ve worked with BAKER here in Minneapolis on a few really fun letterpress projects over the last year or so. And they’ve designed some beautiful things for pressing. Most recently, their second installment of the bird themed holiday ornament cards rolled off the press. It is a little bird (a good luck Cardinal) with an ornate frame that die cuts and punches out of thick 60 point blotter stock. It is printed two color each side.
Last years card for Baker was a die cut bird ornament as well. The same production specs, but featuring a punch out owl.
Also in the last few months, we worked through the letterpress printing of the new Baker identity on their business cards. And is was quite the undertaking. They have an interesting post about the process of icon development here. Each employee has their own icon and each card has four color ways. With over 60 employees that was a lot of icons and business cards! They are a custom duplexed 200lbC black and white stock in an undersized narrow card format. (1 x 3.5 inches) BAKER is printed in silver on the black side and the white side receives the four different color variations.
BAKER is a Minneapolis based Branding + Design firm specializing in package design. On the web: bkrdsn.com or tweet: @bkrdsn
Since pretty much everyone needs a paper saw blade, we figured it was time to deliver. These heavy duty paper blades pop out of our latest promo card to fly through the air as a dangerous incarnation of business cards. You can toss them at pets, logs and trees, use them as coasters or keep them on hand to contact us for your next custom letterpress printing project.
(these are an upgrade from our previous ninja version)
These letterpress business cards were the perfect fit for web development and design company Ackmann & Dickenson. We like how these guys frame their business as “Craftsmen of Fine Technology”. They designed these cards and we letterpress printed them to reflect craftsmanship.
And this card did require some crafting. We started with the making of a custom duplex paper – 160lb Mohawk Loop Ivory Smooth pasted to French Construction Nightshift Blue 100C – totaling a thick 260lbC card. Next we letterpress printed them with two colors on each side, silver and tonal navy inks on the blue side, then blue and gray inks on the ivory side. We printed a couple 8up forms to meet all the employee name versions needs and then die cut them with small inverted corners. Viva tactility and technology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.