I bet you thought we forgot, but have no fear, our annual calendar collaboration is here! We’re just wrapping up our busiest year to date (and recovering from a bout of plague that swept through the shop), so
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it’s debuting a little later than planned, but holy hell, did our guest illustrators really nail it. As it goes every year, we here at SOF choose a theme, color palette, and paper stocks before asking 5 illustrators to create custom artwork for two months each. The theme for this year is Folklore: Legends, Heroes, and Myth, so we ended up with some killer characters. Roman gods, fairy tales, literary heroes, and woodland creatures are just the tip of the iceberg. Huge shout-out to our illustrators: Valerie Jar, Brian Gunderson, Drew Millward, Tyler Gross, and Mattson Creative. As for the technical specs: these bad boys were letterpress printed with four inks on our largest Heidelberg cylinder press. We printed all twelve months and the outer wrap on one press sheet, French Poptone Whip Cream 140#, and then trimmed everything down to final size (the wraps also received an additional run through the press to get scored). The easel stand was letterpress printed with a tonal ink color (to give it that rad woodgrain effect) on a custom duplexed stock consisting of French Speckletone Kraft 100# and French Speckletone Chocolate 100#. After printing the stand was diecut and hand assembled. These are for sale now in our online store! As an added bonus, use the code SOF2015 to get $10 off! (Code valid thru the end of Jan 2015.)
We couldn’t wait until spring to see you all again, so we’re turning up the heat, opening our doors, and inviting you in for a wintery helping of letterpress goodness.
Friday, December 6th we are once again joining forces with our basement neighbors, Westwerk Design and Hennepin Made to host a basement block party of fabled proportions. Hennepin Made is holding their annual sample sale, Westwerk is partying down with their recently refreshed identity, and, as per tradition, Studio On Fire will be letterpress printing a poster for you to take home (possible holiday re-gift?).
Be sure to come hungry, as Natedogs will still be serving his quality wieners, Dogwood Coffee will be crafting beverages to thaw your Grinch-y heart, and we’ll have several beers on tap. It’s a family friendly-ish event (we’ll have a kids activity) that starts at 5pm and runs until we give up. So grab a coworker, a friend, and/or your mom and come on down.
1621 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55414
Enter the building on 16th Avenue SE, proceed downstairs.
We put this up as a Facebook event, too, if you’re into that.
That’s right folks, we’ve added hot foil stamping to our repertoire of specialty in-house processes.
One of the best things about foil is, unlike our letterpress inks which are transparent, foil is opaque, allowing us to apply a lighter color on a dark background (see this blog post to read about letterpress printing with white inks on black stocks).
As designers we love(!) tiny type, but as printers, we know there are limits to what is realistically achievable. With that in mind we created a set of specimen cards, exploring different type sizes using the two fonts we use for our identity. From the reasonable 11pt type all the way down to the petite 5pt italic Baskerville, the foil held up pretty well, though the fidelity at these sizes can’t always be guaranteed–it’s going to change from typeface to typeface.
With letterpress printing we recommend tracking out your type (at least to 25 or 50) to give room for impression between letters. For foiling we recommend the same, this keeps letterforms from merging into one blobby mess on press.
We found that the metallic foils (gold, silver, copper, etc) released a lot cleaner than some of the pigment foils (colored foils, such as the blue foil shown below). We definitely wouldn’t recommend getting too tiny with the pigment foils.
Cricket Design Works is a full-service visual communications consultancy based out of Madison, Wisconsin. We printed their multi-colored business cards a few years back and completed this tasty poster duo for them just this past winter. Appealing to both our eyes and taste buds, these illustrative posters were letterpress printed on Crane Lettra Pearl White cotton stock wtih three inks, a green, an orange, and a brown common to both versions. Nestled amongst a massive amount of foodie knowledge, the illustrations keep solid areas of
color to a minimum, really showing off the letterpress impression with some hand drawn line work.
Our latest print, which has also been added to our online store, is a poster created for the 6th installment of Poster Offensive (a bipartisan political poster show that happens every two years, coinciding with elections) which was hosted by Big Table Studio in downtown St. Paul this past November.
The poster measures out at 13″ x 20″, with four inks (three beautifully overprinting and a fourth offering some sage words of wisdom) letterpress printed in our Minneapolis studio on Crane Lettra Pearl White 110 lb cover.
Based out of San Francisco, Passing Notes designed this beautiful stationery system for Muhs Home, an online store retailing elegant home furnishings and accessories. Refined typography utilized two inks alongside chic illustrations. Since the illustrations were printed with no ink, what is referred to as a blind impression, we used a thick Crane Lettra Flo White 220 lb cover stock, allowing us to really go deep with the impression while reducing show through.
Other projects we have produced for Passing Notes include this Aphro Chic system and Patti Schmidt business card.
More and more clients are starting to request split fountain printing, where we put two ink colors on the same roller to acheive a gradient. Craig Duffney, a longtime friend of Studio On Fire, designed these cards for Nara, a web personalization tool. In this instance, the pink to purple split fountain is a direct callback to the gradient background of the Nara website. After two passes through the press and duplexing back to themselves, the cards were finished with a custom rounded corner diecut.
Letterpress printed on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 200C.
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.
With Memorial Day weekend staring us in the face, it only made sense to share this bbq related project. If you live in the Twin Cities you have probably come across the stylish orange Natedog’s food cart, stocked with quality wieners, tasty hand crafted mustards, and manned by the friendly proprietor, Nate Beck. We were lucky to have him at our open house in February and recently letterpress printed the labels for Nate’s honey-spiced mustard, now bottled and available for purchase.
Holmberg Design Co, who we most recently worked with on these Dogwood Coffee labels, is behind the Natedog’s identity and label design. Letterpress printed with two inks on an existing label stock, these were kisscut after printing with a custom made die that mimics the bottle shape.
CBS recently ran a nice feature of on Natedog’s that can be viewed here.
We’ve had the pleasure of printing several wedding suites designed by local Minneapolis creative Kate Arends. A full-time designer over at Cue, Kate also freelances and does a beautiful job curating her blog Wit + Delight.
Sized to fit in preexisting #10 envelope, the first suite is printed with three inks on Neenah Classic Crest Natural white 165C with a flash of metallic gold edge coloring. No checkboxes in sight, the RSVP is cleverly designed as one card perforated down the middle–allowing the guest to respond with a hearty “YES” response card or use the alternate “Regretfully Decline” postcard.
We love the bold graphic nature, humorous wording and great use of an inline font on this second suite. Printed on French Poptone Sweet Tooth 140C, the invitation card scores twice to z-fold into the envelope. Though the cards use only black ink, the fluorescent green envelope, Mohawk’s BridteHue in UltraLime, adds a punch of color.
Update // See Jon and Alecia’s entire wedding over on 100 Layer Cake.
Lastly, there’s a wedding suite and save the date Kate designed for an Australian bride out of Adelaide. Filled with elegant typographic lockups and textured backgrounds, this was printed with gold ink on French Poptone Whipped Cream 140C .