Tag Archive for 'minneapolis'

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.

Cricket Design Works Herb & Spice Prints

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.

 

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 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

Fame Speakeasy Invitations

The fine folks over at Fame Retail hold an annual open house for industry friends and clients, building the theme around the booze and munchies they plan on serving each year (you may remember these bingo cards and these fair themed beauties). This year, with a nod to 1920′s prohibition, their team created a speakeasy theme across a set of cards that included mustachioed gents, pin-curled ladies, icons of delicate linework, and plenty of liquor lingo.

The card set was comprised of two stocks, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110C and Wausau Royal Compelments Eclipse Black 100c. The white cards were letterpress printed with a blind (inkless) impression before we ran them through the press for a pass of  black ink. Silver ink and a tonal letterpress varnish were used on the black cards.

To top it all off, these invites just won PaperSpecs Gallery’s Take Note Award. Be sure to check out the nice video posted on the PaperSpecs blog.

A Collection of Radii

Designed for the ARTCRANK MSP 2012 show, our newest poster is an ode to all the radial objects in our life. With a bicycle wheel at the hub of the design, a hindu goddess, a space station and even a nipple made it on to the final print (not to be confused with the aureole that also appears, but we digress).

These were printed on one of our six Heidelberg cylinder presses (insert bragging here) on Crane Lettra Flo White 110c stock with one ink. Every print also got a blind hit of our studio seal, which required a second inkless run through the press.

Yes, you can buy one in our store.

 

Vintage Vehicle Logotypes

We believe a logo is at its best with a little dimension. Combine typography and machines and you have yourself a real shindig. The custom lettering adorning the sides vintage vehicles is a design category all to itself.  At this weekends “Back to the 50′s” car show at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds, we collected this gallery of logotypes. For those with a serious script fetish, this might not be safe for work.

Linotype: The Film

We are proud to be teaming up with AIGA Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas to bring a screening of Linotype: The Film to the Twin Cities. April 13th, 7pm, St. Thomas campus. Be there. Details available over on the AIGA MN website.

“Linotype: The Film” Official Trailer from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.

See Jane Blog Business Cards

Jane, from the family/design/lifestyle blog See Jane Blog, approached us to design and produce some fresh cards for her before she headed off to the annual Alt Summit blogger conference in January.  Jane was great to work with, she had a few ideas and elements she wanted included but really lets us run and create something that would look great letterpress printed. Some of our favorite features include the custom diecut (designed to accentuate her signature asterisk) and the thin linework pattern (referencing back to her patterned blog header).

Production wise, these were printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 110lb cover stock that was custom duplexed to a 220lb weight after printing. With two inks, a blind impression and a custom diecut, the presssheet for these cards ran through the press a total of four times.

You can also read about these in a lovely post over on Jane’s blog.

 

AIGA Minnesota Design Show Call for Entries

We are very involved with the Minnesota chapter of AIGA and always try to enter their annual Design Show that comes around each spring. Last year we were honored to win the “People’s Choice” award (voted on by those who attended the show) for our Golden Rule Poster. As per tradition, the winner of the People’s Choice is asked to design the show materials for the following year–we gladly accepted the job.

Under direction of the AIGA MN Design Show committee we were challenged to make an interactive object in lieu of the usual poster. Charles Youel jumped into the project as writer and after several meetings, sketches and cups of coffee, we came up with an idea to send a pair of cards with punchouts that could be used to actually build something on your desk. We had to go through multiple rounds of prototyping to adjust the construction and functionality of the die, but we couldn’t be happier with the end result.

The set of cards (everyone receives two, for a total of 16 punchout pieces) were letterpress printed with two inks on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White Eggshell 100c, custom duplexed after printing to make 200c. To achieve the our final product, every card was trimmed down and run through the press two more times after printing to diecut with two custom dies–one used to create the slits and one to cut the shapes. A custom envelope was also designed and produced before the whole set was sent over to Shapco for insertion and mailing.

Be sure to check out the hash tag #designshow on Twitter as people tweet their creations and enter AIGA MN’s 2012 Design Show–online entry opens March 5th!

When Designers Wed

Local Mpls designers Ross Bruggink and Jessica Keintz were married last year and we were pumped to print their invites that utilized beautiful eclectic typography.

An arrow theme, which we have a hunch is based on the bride’s wrapping arrow engagement ring, runs throughout this two color suite. Printed on Crane Lettra Fluorescent White 110C stock, the cards custom duplexed after printing, allowing us to run a heavy impression on the flood of pattern without completely killing the delicate type on the opposite side of the card.

Can’t get enough? They also created one of the coolest wedding websites we’ve seen.

additional photography provided by Ross and Jess.