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.
We are all moved in to our new subterranean space and feverishly printing projects with many talented designers. We look forward to getting back to blogging new work again soon.
Here’s how our press room is taking shape and some pics of the epic Heidelberg S Cylinder press installation. It was a little unnerving watching our “new” machine suspended mid air. The riggers used a big outdoor forklift to position the press and then four chain drops to lower it from the forks down a large hatch into the basement. It was then rolled into place and suspended again to slip an oil drip pan underneath. It is now glued to the floor and wired in. We are doing print testing to get it up and printing smoothly. This press will allow us to letterpress print LP jackets, pocket folders, and posters up to a 21 x 28 sheet format. We are excited to see what it will print first.
It is good to grow our shop a little bit even as other areas of the print industry are suffering. Magazines and newspapers are trying to figure out how to survive and adapt to the iPad publication model. Books are served up electronically. Large offset printing companies are cutting entire plants. Yet the tiny niche of letterpress printing is seemingly holding steady. We’ve built our reputation on unique custom letterpress work with demanding standards. It is interesting to stand here in a print shop at a historical time declared the “end of print” and see how craftsmanship still remains such a meaningful and critical part of print design.
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.
Feast is a recurring public dinner designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund new and emerging artmakers. We did a poster for the upcoming event here at Studio On Fire. The size is 18 x 24. It was a hand drawn sketch, scanned and converted to a bitmap tiff to preserve the sketch texture. It was printed with a split ink fountain. Our split fountain had fluorescent orange ink on one side of the press and light blue ink on the other side, creating a nice purple gradient in the middle.
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.
Atmosphere is heading out for their When God Gives You Ugly tour. We just finished a special edition letterpress poster designed by Keith Wiliams. It features a “1950′s Diner Vampire Fight Scene” watercolor painting by Minneapolis native Michael Gaughan. (If you check out Michael’s website, be sure and see the collection of guitar sculptures. But don’t look to long or you might find the Fart Tube Air Matress) Posters will be available from Atmosphere while they tour and also for sale on the Rhymesayers site after the tour, if there are any left. So get out there and support these guys.
From a technical standpoint, this poster was a real challenge to plate and letterpress print. We took the original CMYK image of the watercolor painting and Continue reading ‘Atmosphere Letterpress Poster’