Yesterday we posted about our involvement printing the materials for AGIA MN’s 2011 Design Camp, but we thought it would be fun to share a peek into the event itself.
Ben (Principal), Selina (Studio Director) and David (Pre-press) were all up north participating as campers and Sam (Designer) was on the committee running the event, so Studio On Fire was well represented over the weekend. We had a booth up at the Friday night Business Expo where people were able to snag a paper airplane and pet assorted samples that we brought to show. Keynote speakers, a networking dinner, a variety of workshops, collaboration lunches and late night bonfires quickly filled the rest of the weekend.
Enough chatter, on to the pictures! David took some great shots throughout the weekend (on actual film!) and Phong Tran (of dblthink.com and official AIGA MN photographer) was gracious enough to share some of his photos, since we were too busy playing with wild cats to bust out our cameras most of the time.
This coffee label packaging was designed locally by Holmberg Design. Dogwood Coffee Company is a small coffee roaster based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota (and generously present at our last studio party.) They source, roast and serve some truly amazing coffees. And what is especially unique to the experience of Dogwood Coffee is the single cup brewing. Visit them and always expect a well crafted, fully realized flavor. And be sure to take beans home in one of these delicious bags. This is the good stuff, these guys love crafting coffee as much as we love letterpress.
We printed these with two colors – a red and a very light gray /nearly blind ink for the diamond texture. They are printed on our house label stock which is Strathmore Writing, Ultimate White Wove. This label takes a stiff impression and has a bit of tooth and texture that adds to the artisanal quality of letterpress. They are kisscut two up on an 8.5 x 11 sheet. They are cleverly designed to be end user friendly with use of simple rubber stamp imprints specific to the roasted microlots. Overprinting the stamp on the letterpress imprint gives the surface another layer of texture.
Also see the “Reserve” coffee labels we printed previously (when Dogwood was still a part of Bull Run Roasting) also created by Holmberg Design.
Adam Hoganson designed this subtle and beautiful poster for the Minnesota Rollergirls. We letterpress printed these for the bout that took place this last weekend. The poster is an 18 x 24 three color edition on Wausau Royal Complements Natural 100lbC. A big congrats to our press operator and MN Rollergirl “Lizzy the Axe”. She was a brutally wonderful jammer during the bout. (And she printed the poster on our Heidelberg S cylinder 21 x 28)
A word about letterpress poster image size… We get a lot of designers that are surprised by the cost to print at this size. This is not silk screen printing and comparatively, the costs are nowhere near similar. Printing poster size things with letterpress can be an expensive adventure. One way to keep the cost down is to limit the image area since plating is charged by the square inch. (For example, a single plate at 18 x 24 will run about $250, just in plating costs for EACH color) On this poster even though the paper trim size is 18 x 24 the image area is only 11.5 x 16 making plating costs a bit more reasonable.
The Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar is a favorite project in our shop for nearly ten years. It’s been worked on by many contributors from all over the world. Each year Studio On Fire puts together a loose theme, color palette and paper choices, then we invite 5 other designers / illustrators to participate. We design 2 months, and each contributor designs 2 months. Its always nice to have a large cross section of stylistic approaches within a little package that sits on your desktop. And this year is no exception. 2011 participants include Studio On Fire Adam Garcia, Brian Gunderson, Jessica Hische, We Make It So, and Aesthetic Apparatus.
This years calendar is a departure from the usual graphic illustration in our previous versions. Our theme this year was “Letter Form Genus”, with many contributors incorporating type and lettering. We’ve not had a distinctly type related theme before, so this was extra fun. Some favorite details you’ll find are: a moustache wearing a monocle, a spider wearing a thong, a monkey skull on a snake skeleton, a hidden giraffe, and bacterial letter forms spelling “grow kindness.”
The calendar is printed all together on a large 26 x 20 size press sheet. It is trimmed down into 12 months on 3.25 x 5 inch cards. This year, the paper for the months and the outer wrap was a light brown Wausau Winter Wheat 100lb Cover. We design the tri fold outer wrap using bits and pieces of each months design, all mashed together and printed in a long strip.
The stand was a custom duplexed paper made from dark grey Fibermark Eviva Stone 100lbC and copper Stardream 111lbC paper stocks. Our easel stand design has a clever fold-out angled leg that reveals the inner metallic paper color. The grey stock is letterpress printed in one color metallic silver.
We’ve been doing this calendar for almost ten years now and have been fortunate to have some really great people involved. See a couple previous years here: 2010 Calendar, 2009 Calendar, 2008 Calendar.
For their visit, we had a little project on press called “The Pressroom Creed” – printing on 220lb Lettra and will be available soon for sale on our site. It is an adaptation of the better known Rifleman’s Creed, but for letterpress printers. Seriously, everyone in our pressroom must memorize this and we say it together each morning.
Space 150 is a Minneapolis based company that has made some waves in the creative community by reinventing its identity every 150 days. This version was designed by Evan Nagan. We’ve produced many previous Space 150 business card versions as well – see some of them here and here.
Like the previous versions we’ve printed, these business cards take some tricky production. They are printed three color offset on one side (flood of black, purple and blue) and 2 color letterpress printed on the reverse (blue and tonal white). They have a unique two color gradient treatment on their edges. The paper is Wausau Royal complements 100lb Bright White which is custom duplexed after offset printing to a final thickness of 200lb cover. For a great edge color effect we recommend a thickness of 160lb or greater. The thicker the better.
It’s a big task! Each identity version is cards for nearly 70 people…
We designed and letterpress printed bath salt labels for Connecticut based Rain Soaps. This salt is hand harvested (by monks in France) and uniquely presented in its natural state in an apothecary-style sealed glass jar.
We ran the three labels together on a small press sheet. The paper is a crack and peel Strathmore Soft White label stock. It is printed in one color and kiss cut to final size. Ahh, I’m more relaxed just looking at them.
Last night we had a rockin’ time showing off our studio space and letterpress shop to Minnesota AIGA members. A big thanks to Minnesota’s AIGA chapter for giving us the opportunity.
We talked about the relationship of letterpress and design, did some Q&A, drank some Pabst Blue Ribbon and wrapped up the event with a little coaster project on press. Take a look at the coaster sheet – it’s 60pt Ahlstrom blotter paper. We pre printed a couple colors before people arrived. Then, we had a different color set up on both of our Vandercook presses. Everyone got to pull a couple prints, then we die cut the sheet into the set of four coasters. Lots of paper touching and good times had by all. Thanks Kayd Mustonen for taking some pics to share.