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.
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.
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!
The first weekend in October marked the 31st annual AIGA MN Design Camp. We have been involved for several years now, in 2008 we designed the conference materials and last year we hosted a letterpress workshop. This year we worked behind the scenes with Ideal Printers to produce the impressive system of materials that were designed by Target inHouse.
First off the press were promotional materials which were mailed out to over 1300 AIGA MN members. We printed the cover of the promo book on Domtar Colors Green 110 Index stock. To achieve a consistent solid black in the pattern while still holding the type crisp we split the black plate into two passes- one pass with heavier ink density for the pattern and lighter ink coverage for the text. After adding a hit of silver those covers ended up running through the press three times. The promotional poster was printed on Cascade Rolland Natural 70 lb text weight with a run of black and a custom green ink mixed to match the green Domtar stock. All of that was shipped out in a kraft envelope we imprinted with return mailing address and indicia.
Upon arrival in Nisswa campers received a tote bag filled with goodies such as tee shirts, pennants and more letterpress printed event materials. The guidebook, full of interviews with speakers and details about weekend activities had a Domtar Colors Salmon 110 Index cover that we letterpress printed in two passes of black and a hit of silver. The partner guide, detailing all of the event sponsors, had a cover produced in the same manner but on Domtar Colors Blue 110 Index. A special bonus this year was a custom sketch book, state facts and suggested uses were printed with black ink on Neenah Environment, Desert Storm, 80C. A map of ‘Navigating Up North’ was also produced, a poster style piece printed in two colors on Cascade Rolland Natural 70 lb text.
Of course we couldn’t resist adding a little extra letterpress goodness from Studio On Fire, so we whipped up a set of four coasters, printed with 2 fluorescent colors on an Ahlstrom blotter stock, that were slipped into the bag of each camper.
This business card was designed by Webb de Vlam as part of their new identity launch. With design offices in both London and Chicago, they wanted a card that would surprise and delight clients and employees. The variety of bright accent color truly brings this project to life. The overlapping colors in the logo mark also create dimension by overprinting ink colors – a nice print interpretation of the online media logo.
The business cards are letterpress printed on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 165lb C with four spot Pantone colors. There are three spot gray colors common to all the cards – that was the easy part. What made things interesting were the ten additional accent colors that switch out on the logo and edges – each person in the company receiving a palette of four color versions.
There has definitely been a trend toward larger companies using letterpress printing in their identities. We manage business card projects for companies with one person, or several hundred employees. These type of projects are most effective when they are planned with shell sheets in mind. A shell is a sheet with multiple cards ganged up that has all the common colors and logo already printed. That way, when a new hire or reorder occurs, we have those sheets on hand and ready to imprint on future orders. Typically, this works best and is most cost effective when the variable information on a card is planned in only one color. We advise companies to think about their card needs inside the next 18-24 months when ordering shells. Contact us to establish a letterpress business card production plan for your company.
These cards were designed by Brew Creative as part of a brand upgrade for Neve, a premium ski and fashion sportswear company based in Boulder, Colorado.
We letterpress printed these cards on two sides using Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 165lb cover with red and gray inks. The cards are finished in a matching red edge color.
Letterpress seems pretty far removed from the slickness of the iphone. Yet even the most technically focused business can benefit from the tactility of letterpress business cards. In fact, we would argue that they are the perfect counterpoint. Marko Karppinen & Co is a software developer in Finland specializing in iphone and ipad applications. We designed and printed this card for their ten person company.
The back of the card is printed with a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression. The front side is printed with gray ink plus accent yellow bars. A key production step to virtually eliminate show through and have heavy impression on both sides was to print two separate sheets and paste them together after printing. For this step we use Potdevin pasting and rotary presses. The pasting machine applies glue to the back of a sheet. That sheet is then paired with the sheet for the reverse side of the business card and run through the rotary press to firmly squeeze them together and eliminate any air bubbles. The stock is 110lb Neenah Classic Crest Solar White custom duplexed to a thick 220lb weight. Special finishing is a yellow edge color. A well crafted card indeed.
The simplest looking things can be deceptively complex. This is a tricky little business card and a typographic poster for Squarespace New York. Designed by their Creative Director Tyler Thompson. The design shows restraint, making the logo treatment the hero. And the format is a square card of course.
So why is the business card tricky? It is custom duplexed stock, letterpress printed, laser die cut and edge colored. We custom duplexed Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110lb Cover up to a 220lb thickness. Then we letterpress printed them several up on a press sheet. A larger press sheet means we can economize the laser cutting by doing more at a time. The laser cutting can leave some scorch marks, so the sheet is masked with a paper tape that peels off after the cutting is complete. Then the sheet is trimmed up into cards and edge colored in black. That 220lb thickness shows off the edge and has a nice smooth surface. The poster is on Crane Lettra 110lb Flo white, pressed in a single PMS blue.