When we started planning what we were going to take to the National Stationery Show we decided to create a desktop calendar with all 12 months illustrated by Studio On Fire (no need to fret, we still plan on making our traditional calendar with a slew of illustrator friends). This special edition for 2015 features illustrations of some of our favorite things around the shop (though we must admit we struggled to make the entire thing not about food… we love food).
As for process, we sent the calendar stand into production first, giving ourselves enough time to duplex the stock (French Steel Grey 100# cover and French Banana Split 100# cover), letterpress print, diecut, and hand assemble each one. Simultaneously, all of the pages were letterpress printed with four inks (including one fluorescent and one metallic) on one press sheet (French Sweet Tooth 140# cover). The pages were then cut down, nestled into the stand, and packaged in the final letterpress printed wrap.
We ended up depleting most of our inventory at the show, however we do have a handful of these available for purchase in our online store.
All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.
You might remember Slate from this earlier version of their cards that we produced in 2010. Years have passed, but they still know how to design a beautiful card using multiple processes; this latest version incorporates foil, letterpress, and a peekaboo die cut.
A white foil was used on both sides of Mohawk Via Vellum Cyan 80# cover. A separate sheet of Crane Lettra Flo White 90# cover stock was letterpress printed with black ink before receiving an interior circle die cut. Now for the fun part: after all the printing and die cutting was completed the stocks were custom duplexed, allowing the foil “S” to show through the peekaboo die cut.
The 2014 Studio On Fire letterpress printed desktop calendar, a project that has been happening annually for over a decade, has recently been completed and now ready for purchase over in our shop.
Each year we here at Studio On Fire select ink colors, paper stocks, and a come up with a theme before asking a slew of illustrators to join us in creating custom artwork for each month. This year we tackled January and October, the remaining months feature illustrations from the ever talented: Beeteeth, Lab Partners, Brian Gunderson, Jolby, and Kate Bingaman-Burt.
The theme for 2014 was “Happy Place,” playing on the concept that your happy place might be an actual place or maybe just something small in your life that brings you joy. From kittens to castles and coffee to burgers, this year is chock-full of delightful illustrations to keep you in a good mood all year (small disclaimer: you might get very hungry some months).
As for the nitty-gritty print specifications, there are two major components of this calendar: the easel stand and the calendar pages themselves. The production of the easel stand started with us creating a custom duplexed stock comprised of French PopTone Sno Cone 100# cover and French Construction Grout Grey 100# cover. After duplexing the stands were letterpress printed with a tonal ink before being diecut and hand assembled. Our favorite feature of the stand is on the back where the diecut allows you to get a peek at the Sno Cone blue paper.
The calendar pages were all printed at the same time on one press sheet, French Speckletone Starch White 140# cover, alongside the outer wrap that uses bits and pieces of imagery from the calendar months. Though the color palette is slightly more traditional than we’ve used in the past, (a pale blue, orangey red, mustardy yellow and a metallic champagne in place of black), we think the colors kept the everything feeling bright and cheery (and allowed for beautiful overprinting).
Available for purchase right now in our store, and for a limited time the promo code SOF2014 will get you one for only $20 bucks!
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.
Heads of State designed this identity and packaging for newly launched artisan confectioners Wondermade. They wanted this truly tasty marshmallow treat to be bold and fantastic on the crowded shelves at confection stores. With a unique assortment of flavors Wondermade needed a really special little box.
We letterpress printed this packaging assortment on French Papers. Using Speckletone Madero Beach 80lbC custom duplexed to six different Poptone 65lbC colors we achieved a 145lbC hefty box, still able to pack flat and fold up sturdy. On press, we used the same plates for all the boxes, just adding a color wash up on the diagonal strip plate as we rotated through the Poptone colors. That way the outside and inside of the package coordinate and the colors can be matched up with flavors. The boxes are sealed with a digitally printed label that Wondermade can add as they create new flavors. We think the letterpress craft of these boxes makes the ritual of opening and enjoying even more special. You should try them now.
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.
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.
Local Mpls designers Ross Bruggink and Jessica Keintz were married last year and we were pumped to print their invites that utilized beautiful eclectic typography.
An arrow theme, which we have a hunch is based on the bride’s wrapping arrow engagement ring, runs throughout this two color suite. Printed on Crane Lettra Fluorescent White 110C stock, the cards custom duplexed after printing, allowing us to run a heavy impression on the flood of pattern without completely killing the delicate type on the opposite side of the card.
Can’t get enough? They also created one of the coolest wedding websites we’ve seen.
additional photography provided by Ross and Jess.
Designed by Priest + Grace for Howler magazine, these oversize business cards are an amazing example of what a good design and a little tonal ink can do. Howler magazine is a quarterly publication for soccer enthusiasts in North America, so it only made sense for these cards to reference the size and color of actual penalty cards used in soccer.
There are several production techniques we used to successfully produce these cards. First, instead of printing all of the information blind we used a tonal ink color (a red ink on the red, yellow on the yellow). When something is printed blind it relies solely on good lighting conditions to be legible. Our solution is to print using a tonal ink, which creates just enough contrast between the artwork and the paper to make your contact information visible. Secondly, these cards were printed with fronts and backs up on the same sheet, duplexing the sheet after printing. This allowed us to run a heavy impression on press but then conceal the impression show through by duplexing the sheet back to itself.
The red cards are printed on Mohawk Via Scarlet Vellum 80C (duplexed to make 160C) and the yellow cards are on French Poptone Lemon Drop 100C (duplexed to make 200C).
Yael Miller, from Miller Creative, designed these gorgeous business cards for Olli Salumeria, a salumeria that makes dry-cured salumi in Virginia. Though the outcome is, dare we say stunning, these cards posed several production challenges along the way.
As a general rule, we don’t suggest using letterpress when the design uses floods of color and require clients to agree to our Solid Areas Disclaimer before we will proceed with their job. To achieve a nice solid coverage of color we had to run the ink heavy across the card, thankfully we had added some additional stroke weight to the artwork in the pre-press stage so the line work would not fill in on press. Another trick we used was lightly wetting the sheet before running- this cuts down on the appearance of saltiness and variation across the color.
Flood aside, take a look at that red. Yael refers to it as “Ferrari red,” and we can’t say that we disagree. The design actually specified a Pantone GOE color, which is not a Pantone book we match to, but since we custom mix all of our colors we were able to match a swatch that was mailed in for reference. We took one of our base red inks and pumped it up with a hit of fluorescent red to really get the color to pop.
These cards are printed on Crane Lettra 110lb cover that we custom duplexed after printing to make 220lb. By duplexing after printing we were able to run the flood without completely flattening the text on the other side of the card (not to mention we love any excuse to make a business card thicker). A custom diecut, shaped to reference a ticket or label, finished off the cards in an unexpected, yet refined way.
This project can also be found on FPO, DesignWorkLife, and Miller Creative.
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.