Tag Archive for 'ink'

Target: Design United

Earlier this year we were asked to participate in Target’s Design United campaign. Target made use of the massive street level windows of their corporate location to showcase their bullseye logo as interpreted by 51 local artists. We were thrilled to be included and submitted a dozen prints for them to choose from. The display was up from April to October in downtown Minneapolis.

Our process started with a hand drawn mehndi inspired pattern that we scanned in and cleaned up to create a photopolymer plate. We also created a plate of the solid Target logo which we used to lay down some background colors, allowing us to utilize the transparent nature of the inks and achieve some great overprinting. Our pressman went to town and applied most of the inks by hand directly to the plates or paper, resulting in dozens of completely unique pieces. Some of our favorites are below, along with some shots of the installation that we took while it was up this summer.

SXSW Squarespace Skull Cards

This is a letterpress card designed by Jessica Raley at Bantam Design for Squarespace. They are busy handing them out at SXSW Music Festival in Austin this weekend.

And they took some time to print, seven passes through the press to be exact. Due to the card volume, we printed them on  larger 13 x 20 press sheet 15up. They are printed on two paper stocks. Side one on Wausau Royal Complements Eclipse Black, printed with black, varnish, dark silver, light silver. Side two is Mohawk Via Scarlet Red printed with varnish, black and light silver. To hide impression show through we pasted them together after printing, adding thickness and rigidity with another 100lb cover sheet in the middle. The final three ply paper thickness is 280lbC. We trimmed the sheets down and edge colored them in a metallic silver.

Also check out the striking Squarespace business cards we’ve posted about previously.

Matching Paper To Sand

Sometimes when you run an island in the Bahamas, you’ll need a business card that reflects the surrounding beauty. This textural business card was designed by island director Cathy Daly for Musha Cay, David Copperfield’s lush 700 acre tropical retreat.

These cards were letterpress printed in three colors on an appropriately sandy colored Mohawk Loop Antique Vellum Husk, custom pasted to a 220lb weight. Note how the island seal is printed in with just tonal transparent white ink. After the letterpress printing, these sheets were pasted back to back with digitally printed sheets (with the island beach image) for a 320lbC final weight. Those sheets were trimmed into oversize 4 x 2 inch business cards and edge colored in a matching blue.

 

Great Gatsby Business Card Poster

Heads of State designed this F. Scott Fitzgerald inspired poster, capable of bringing tears of joy to English teachers and designers everywhere. It is an epic layout project containing 32 calling cards of fictitious Great Gatsby characters. Each card is its own nugget of typographic excellence modeled after 1920′s social stationery.

This was an ambitious letterpress printing. (did we mention 32 card designs up on a sheet) With its large size, four ink colors, full dry back between each color, tiny type plus full solid areas, tight register and heavy stock this took some patience on press. We printed on French Poptone Sweet Tooth 140lb C – a massive 20 x 26 press sheet trimming down to the final 18 x 24 inch poster.

The poster is for sale at the Heads of State store

You can also check out our post on previously printed business cards for Heads of State.

Golden Rule Letterpress Poster

This poster is a father and son collaboration. All elements are hand drawn by Koen (age 6) with a Sharpie marker at the dining room table, then arranged digitally. The type is the “Golden Rule” as penned in the honest hand of a child. Maybe what we learned in kindergarten is most important.

It is 14 x 20 in size, letterpress printed in yellow and gold inks on Legion White Eco Rag, 600gsm. Available for sale on our site.

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.

Human Hand Varnish On Black Business Card

Straight from Hawaii, Human Hand sent us this fine business card design for letterpress printing. And we love the name. After all, human hands touching the tactile printing is what this letterpress card is all about. It is a subtle tonal varnish on one side and PMS 877 metallic silver ink on the other. The paper stock is our custom 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black cover weight.

50 Years Letterpress Invitations

We think getting letterpress printing is even better than a gold watch. It is a great production option for special corporate occasions too, not just weddings. This invitation to celebrate Dunhams 50 years in business was designed by Riley Hayes Advertising. The type driven design is accented with a matching bright red matching edge color.

These pieces were inked with 3 color on one side with a tonal varnish on the other. We printed an invitation and map card together on a new favorite sheet – French Poptone Sweet Tooth White 280lb Cover. We like it enough that we are now custom making it to keep on hand as a house sheet. The thickness is about 40 points (.038 inch) which is a matching thickness to Crane Lettra 220lb. The good things are that it is less expensive than a cotton sheet like Lettra and smoother in surface, not as toothy a finish. It takes a great impression and works great for edge coloring as well.

Slate Studio Card – Letterpress, Foil, Edge Color

Slate Studio in California does some really sharp interactive work.  And their business cards are all kinds of Hollywood too. They pulled out all the stops on the card design and we worked with them through the production specs. The stock is our thick 200lb Cover Wausau Eclipse Black. We letterpress printed them with clear varnish on both sides, then a silver ink for the info text. Then they were foil stamped in a bright blue on each side. Finally, they were trimmed to size and edge colored in a matching bright blue.

Split Fountain Wedding

This invitation was designed by Julia Kostreva. We felt this was a unique wedding stationery set in both it’s design and production. Julie worked with us to lay out the press sheet for her design in a way that could utilize a split ink fountain. (That’s were a couple colors are loaded in the ink fountain and blended together in a single color pass on press.) It is printed on Crane Lettra Fluorescent White 110lb cover. It also has a unique halftone applied to the floral artwork that made additional visual texture within the letterpress printing.

PS. This is featured today on Martha Stewart Weddings.

Burn and Crossbones Business Cards

These cards were designed by the Thorburn group here in Minneapolis. They are letterpress printed with a silver ink on both sides of a custom duplex black and white stock.

Custom pasting of a duplex of paper stock is a good way to make a project with look and feel unique. It’s very often the best way to get both the colors and stock thickness desired for a project. And lets face it – most of the stocks available from paper companies as pre-duplexed options are pretty fugly colors and/or texture combinations. This stock is Wausau Royal Complements Eclipse Black 100lb cover pasted to 100% cotton Neenah’s Crane Lettra Flo White 110lbC. For production, these two papers were pasted together, then letterpress printed.

As an end note, I worked at Thorburn several years before the jump to full time operations of Studio On Fire. Check out the Thorburn site here for some solid design work.

Photographer Business Cards, Flashy Edge

These business cards were designed by fashion and luxury photographer Zachary Goulko. (be sure and check his portfolio for additional inspiration) His layout is simple with diagonal linear pattern and a flashy metallic copper edge color.

We letterpress printed them with 2 colors – a copper metallic ink and a tonal white ink. We used Wausau Royal Complements Bright White 100lb Cover paper stock. The card press sheets were printed then pasted together with an extra sheet in the middle to produced a triplexed sheet for an extra thick custom 300lb cover stock. They were trimmed and finished with the metallic edge color. These are lux with a definite presence.