Tag Archive for 'Letterpress'

Pub Pass

Do you like beer? How about an excuse to try a lot of different beers? How about a guide to bars around the Twin Cities? Behold, the PubPass was practically created just for you! The concept is pretty genius: you buy the Pub Pass booklet for $25 bucks and then at each bar included in the book (25 of them) you get a free beer! If we did the math correctly (we’re not usually here to do math), that works out to a dollar a beer, what a deal.

Not to mention, you get this oh-so-perdy passport book to keep track of your adventure. We were stoked to produce the covers, stamping 1 metallic gold foil and 1 pigment white foil onto a 20 pt chipboard before scoring and sending off to Shapco for binding (also where the gutt was offset printed).

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Studio On Fire Capabilities Journal

Another goodie that we created to take with to the National Stationery Show was this pocket sized journal. We wanted to make something that not only explains all of the different process that we offer, but shows them. We sent the cover through the press over a handful of times to letterpress, foil stamp, engrave, foil emboss, tonal letterpress, emboss, deboss, and diecut. (We’ll do some additional posts in the near future to outline each of those processes in more detail.)

The cover is French Steel Grey 100# Cover with a French Banana Split 70# Text flysheet. For the gutt we letterpress printed a variety of text weight stocks with a tonal grid. To finish it off everything was saddle sewn together with a bright red thread and the corners rounded.

We had several people ask about getting these on our Instagram, so we’ve put all of the extras up in the store for only a dollar (plus shipping).

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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.

Studio On Fire Ink Knife Promo

When you have a pressroom full of gadgets (and more importantly, people who know how to use them) the possibilities for self promotion pieces are endless. Recently we decided to make an oversized business card based on one of our most used pressroom tools, the palette knife.

Orange ink was laid down first, followed by an overprinting of blue ink on the handle to make the brown woodgrain handle, in addition to giving it a dirty ink spattered quality. French PopTone Sweet Tooth 100# Cover was used on the outside, with a 100# Tangy Orange triplexed down the center, ending with a total thickness of 400# cover. A custom die cut finished the piece off nicely.

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.

Slate Business Cards

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.

Wisconsin Cheese Poster

Cricket Design Works, located in Madison Wisconsin (the cheese capital of the world… at least in our eyes) designed this awesome poster for eatwisconsincheese.com. You may remember some of the other projects that Cricket has sent our way in the past, but this poster is probably one of the most coveted prints around the shop due to our over-the-top obsession with cheese.

This was letterpress printed using three inks on Crane Lettra 110# Cover stock, a cotton fiber stock that is one of Studio On Fire’s favorites due to the impression depth we can achieve on the soft surface. Be sure to take a a little time to check out the illustrations, they were created with a lot of attention to detail, however they’re pretty forgiving on registration due to their sketchy nature.

 

 

VŪHL Stationery

Blok Design, with offices in Toronto and Mexico city, have sent us several jobs over the years, but this stationery system for VUHL has got to be one of our favorites. Blok created the entire entity for what the VUHL website calls “a road-legal lightweight supercar.” You read that correctly, a SUPERCAR.

Blok always does a great job choosing materials and this was no exception. Two paper stocks were used, a rich Royal Blue and crisp Pristine White, both from the Colorplan line. The stocks started at a 270 gsm thickness and were duplexed after printing, making the final product a hefty 540 gsm. Silver ink was used for all of the letterpress printing and all the foiling was done using a transparent foil. The transparent foil created a subtle tonal shift and a slight change in sheen. The end result is both bold and elegant.

Weddingram Invitations

A few years back we were able to work with a great couple, Michelle and Brad, who wanted their wedding invitations to resemble old school telegrams. We went to town, turning small details from their life into design elements that really enhanced the suite; their dog was even incorporated as having given the “stamp of approval.”

Though the design is completely custom, we kept production costs to a minimum by using only one ink across the entire project (even on the envelopes, we used the same teal ink, which resulted in a great tonal effect). Letterpress printed on French PopTone Whipped Cream 1oo# cover, we duplexed these after printing to create a thick 200# stock. The envelopes are French’s Blu Raspberry A7 square flap.

Pivot Interiors 2013 Letterpress Calendar

Pivot Interiors once again embraced their California heritage when designing their 2013 desktop calendar that we produced for them. In 2012 they featured classic California architecture and this year they showcased some of the golden state’s most notable cultural treasures.

All of the monthly pages were run at the same time on one large press sheet, which helps keep some costs down (we only had to set up and wash up each color once), but can also cause some challenges on press. As sheets are run through the press over and over, the paper can begin to warp, wreaking havoc on registration. Taking the time to properly trap all of the artwork in the prepress stage and watching the amount of impression while on press can help quell this.

The pages and outer folding wrap were printed on one of our large cylinder presses with four inks on Mohawk Via Vellum Bright White 100# cover. The desktop stand was letterpress printed with one ink on a custom duplexed stock comprised of Mohawk Bright White 100# cover and French Poptone Blu Raspberry 100# cover. After printing the stand was custom diecut and hand assembled.

Summertime Poster

Sure, it’s technically only spring and there may still be snow on the ground (okay, there is for sure still snow on the ground), but our thoughts have turned dreamily to the hazy days of summer. Inspired by our favorite parts of the season, this poster is hand illustrated and letterpress printed with three inks. Printed on Mohawk Options 130# cover (a 100% post consumer waste sheet), the poster measures out to final size of

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13″ x 20.” It’s available for purchase in our online store, so go ahead and “get some fun!”

Letterpress Open House

It’s time again for us to throw open our doors, hand you a beer and show you all that our letterpress studio has to offer. March 22nd we’re teaming up with our basement neighbors, Westwerk Design and Hennepin Made to host a basement block party. Glass blowing demos will be happening at Hennepin Made, Westwerk is flush with games (foosball anyone? darts? bubble hockey?) and of course we’ll have a poster on press as per tradition.

It’s a family friendly-ish event (we’ll have a kids activity) that starts at 4 and runs until we give up. So grab a coworker, a friend, and/or your mom and come on down. Oh, there’s a Facebook invite you can RSVP to, if you’re into that sort of thing.

URGENT: Help Keep College of Visual Arts Open

This is a call for your help. As a reader of Beast Pieces you may have wondered where a crazy letterpress shop like Studio On Fire began. Here is a little background story from company principal, Ben Levitz:

I went to College of Visual Arts (CVA) as a kid right out of high school. I choose it because of the small campus size and the fine arts focused BFA degree. I wasn’t sure what on earth I wanted to do with an “art” degree, but I knew I loved making things. And I liked that CVA wasn’t the slickest or fanciest campus. It seemed like a place for focused art exploration with an amazing faculty. I enrolled with my mother still skeptical. ( I think she was just nervous about sending her son off to do nude figure drawing. ) I embarked on a four year arts journey that taught me fancy words like chiaroscuro and gestalt. I learned about everyone from Hieronymus Bosch to Paul Rand. I even did my nerdy typography-based senior thesis on a fellow named William Dwiggins who designed typefaces for letterpress printing. I graduated with a BFA in Communication Design and a passion for visual culture.

I struggled during my schooling choosing between a design major and a sculpture major. I ultimately chose a design major because I wanted to eat. But after graduating CVA in 1998, I quickly found in my first design job a very different experience than the one I had as a CVA student. Most of my work day was locked into the glowing screens of design, not making stuff with my hands. And most of the stuff I did make, ended up in trash cans of clients. I sought change. I wanted to make stuff that people would love and keep. I wanted some outlet for craft that related back to my college experience. So, in the fall of 1999, my and evenings and weekend were spent beginning a letterpress printing space in my home basement. I called it Studio On Fire, named for the Typographer Frederick Goudy who twice lost his lifes work to studio blazes. Fast forward 14 years – the company Studio On Fire is  a best-in-class letterpress shop with a dozen employees and clients all over the world. Gestalten even published a recent book of projects that were printed in our studio.

Learning at CVA was one of those amazing life experiences that was so formative to my valuation and passion for craft and design. As Studio On Fire grows as a business, this is what we value. Craft. Design. It was that simple framework of learning that provided a chance for me to focus my passions and ultimately build a unique business that reflects the things I love.

The sudden announcement in January of CVA’s  closure was a bombshell. In addition to running Studio On Fire, I’m now busy as President of a group called CVA Action making the case to our creative community that CVA deserves a chance to stay open. Yes, it is going to take some big changes. It is going to require vision beyond what the current Administration and Board of Trustees could offer. This change is big and we have an amazing team of people stepping in to surround this effort. I believe those changes can be made and I am stepping up to play my part. This is vital to the Saint Paul community, vital to Minnesota, and vital to creativity. But we need your help.

I’m going to the mat and asking you to consider a gift of money to this vital part of our creative community. If you love what we do at Studio On Fire, you already recognize the value a creative education brings to business. I am hoping you care enough about this cause to contribute.

For more details about our fundraising campaign, visit our website CVA Action. Time is of the essence. This is our last, best hope to save our beloved school and make the needed changes so we can put CVA back on the path to a successful and sustainable future. Please make a donation in any amount today. (UPDATE: no longer taking donations, thanks to all who donated)

You can make this happen, and we are so grateful for your support.

Thank You.

Ben Levitz, Principal, Studio On Fire

2013 Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar

Rolling into our store just in the nick of time for Christmas (so would that be in the Saint Nick of time?) is our annual Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar.

Each year our studio picks a theme, a color palette, and paper stocks before recruiting crush-worthy illustrators to join us in creating custom art for each month. We claimed the January and July pages for ourselves before inviting Brian Gunderson, the Jolby dudes, John MaltaSasha Prood, and Karolin Schnoor to round out our cast of contributors for 2013.

Artists were given the theme of Lucky Number 13 and asked to interpret it at will, resulting in a multitude of superstitious icons and ironic illustrations. We designed the tri fold outer wrap by stealing bits and pieces from the monthly illustrations, collaging them in a long strip to be trimmed off the press sheet and later used for packaging.

The calendar pages and outer wrap were letterpress printed with four inks all together on a large 26 x 20 size press sheet of Mohawk Milkweed 160C. After printing the individual months were trimmed down to a finished size of  3.25 x 5 inches.

To make the stand we first duplexed  Mohawk Via Vellum Safety Yellow 80C to Decorated Paper Brilliance 12pt Tinsel Holographic to create a thick custom stock. After imprinting the stands with a tonal letterpress varnish they were custom diecut and hand assembled with the holographic stock on the inside (allowing a hint of holographic stock to peek out when the support of the stand is kicked out on your desk).

As a special bonus we are offering free DOMESTIC USA shipping on the 2013 calendars thru December 16. Enter coupon code FREESHIP (all caps, one word) in your cart.

If you’re curious, previous years can be viewed on our site: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.