Tag Archive for 'hand'

Letterpress at AIGA MN Design Camp Workshop

This post is a recap of the fun we had this last weekend leading a press free, hand style letterpress workshop at AIGA Minnesota Design Camp. We were located in the wine cellar at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. Over 300 designers attend this event annually. We did three sessions of this 1.5 hour long workshop with over 120 total attendees. The process was about putting down lots of ink quickly, creating textures, layers and happenstance in the layout and printing. No press required, no two prints alike. Studio On Fire brought in lots of good stuff: 10 large cases of our woodtype collection (about 400lbs of type, mostly Hamilton faces) Tape and cardboard (served as the bed of the press, tape held type in rough position) A wadded up paper towel was the “printing press” (used with hands to burnish the back of the sheets) Several dozen CSA images supplied on photopolymer plates (permission of CSA archives) Wood grain background textures (blasted with a powerwasher, then relief carved) Lots of good ol’ French Paper to print on (poptone sweet tooth and many many remnants) Ink and brayers (oil based inks and soft rubber rollers) It was a fluid process and a good chance for everyone to step away from the computer. A huge thanks AIGA Minnesota for having us and to the AIGA volunteers that supplied a steady stream of nature wash solvent to clean up and redistribute the wood type and images. And thanks

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to Phong Tran for his photo contributions. If you would like Studio On Fire to do a workshop with your group, let’s talk. Please do contact us for more information.

Wild Air Letterpress Poster

This poster was letterpress printed for the Artcrank poster show here in Minneapolis, which opened this last weekend. Since much of this show tends to be image and graphic heavy, we wanted our poster to stand apart with lettering only. It is an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Considerations by the Way, 1860. The full sentence is actually, “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air’s salubrity.” (But “salubrity” is such an odd word and just didn’t work well in the design.) The lettering started as a hand drawn sketch, then refined in Adobe Illustrator. We printed with a photopolymer plate on Crane Lettra 300gsm Florecent White at 18 x 24 size.  They are on display now at One On One in Minneapolis.

They sold well at the opening night and are still available. There was some confusion about them being sold out. They are $30, to be purchased at One On One Bike Shop.

You can also buy one, now for sale on our studio site as well. Cost is $40.

Tongue Depressor Business Cards

Open wide and say aahhh. Great. Now turn your head and letterpress some tongue depressor business cards. We just printed these for MCAD design undergrad Matt Van Ekeren. The cards are for his soon to launch website designthattalks.com The simplicity of the idea here is brilliant. The business card object plays off the url perfectly.

For the production, we hand fed them on our Chandler and Price letterpress. We used a small block of deep relief Boxcar base in an unusual way. Instead of using photopolymer plates, we used a 16 gauge copper plate mounted with double stick tape adheisive. We used copper rather than polymer in this case so we could be a little more aggressive with the impression on the wood. To accomodate the thickness of the tongue depressor, we had to back the platen off a few flats. Then, since the artwork is so tight to the edge the big challenge was fitting the guides pins EXTREMELY tight to the print area and not crush them. But it worked! We printed a couple hundred on both sides. A real challenge to hand fed, press was on a pretty low speed setting. Not something we’d like to do everyday, but we are suckers for trying things that are unique. But we did have Matt open all the individually packaged depressors.

Also, take a look at our Chandler and Price hand guard. It is a window-shade-like device that opens up as the press closes and pushes your hand out of harms way. Kind of a nice safety feature.

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