We printed these for New Found Original – a new online shop selling a carefully selected and ever changing collection of graphic products. They commissioned artist and designer Ryan Todd to design a set of four luxury letterpress coasters for their first collaboration project and introductory collection. The coasters are now for sale at NewFoundOriginal.com and Ryantodd.com
These were letterpress printed in two colors on extra heavy 60pt blotter stock. With the colors common to all four coasters, they were printed together and die cut four up out of the press sheets. We were really happy with how well the overprinting colors actually create a much darker third color. This is overprinting at it’s best – when the illustration is really planned to make use of that third color. Complementary colors do that best.
Sometimes it’s possible to get an oversize sheet on an undersized platen letterpress. What is important to keep in mind is the distance between the arms on either side of the platen. As long as the sheet is smaller than that dimension, it could fit.
This is a long 4 x 18 inch card that needs to fold in half to 4 x 9 inch and fit into a standard #10 envelope. We are set up in this photo to run a 3 point matrix score, but this works for printing as well. To fit this sheet size onto our 10 x 15 size C&P platen press required a special McGill gauge pin for the side guide that fits between the tympan bail and the side of the platen. It extends beyond the platen and adds the couple inches needed to get the sheet to land inside the working area. It is a good solution to handle smaller hand fed jobs.
These guides came with equipment we purchased several years ago and we can not find more. Although, it could be rigged up from hardware store material pretty easily. If anyone has a source for these guides, please share! Someday we’ll just get a bigger hand fed press, but then there will be an even bigger sheet.
Fathom, the recent release LP from Taiga records, is a subtle and textural object of beauty and a sensory experience. The drawings were perfectly suited for letterpress and translated crisply to the printed edition. This is the description from Taiga:
“Douglas Quin’s Fathom brings together four extended underwater soundscapes—two each from the Arctic and Antarctic. The recordings have been gathered over a period of 15 years, capturing an extraordinary palette of sonic voices, events, spaces, and textures. To the human ear, these soundscapes are haunting and otherworldly; yet they are very much of this world—out of earreach. The tracks are minimally edited and are his first field recordings to be archived in vinyl. Included with the release is a sealed envelope containing an insert with specific locations, animals, and other elements heard, giving listeners the option to absorb sound with or without association. The envelope is printed with liner notes and comments from Dutch journalist and music critic René van Peer. Mastered by James Plotkin, cut direct to metal and pressed on 200 gram virgin-vinyl, Fathom comes packaged in custom letterpressed materials and is presented as a limited edition of 1000.”
There was clear, white, and black vinyl versions released. Only the black is still available.
The packaging is pressed in gray and a tonal white ink. We letterpress printed the outer sleeve on a custom duplexed stock – gray on the interior, white on the exterior. We were able to print on a preconverted inner envelope which accompanies the vinyl and containing the insert.
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.
These two posters came to us from agency friends at Bailey Lauerman, illustrated by the ever fabulous Rilla Alexander of Rinzen. This TUNE project was sponsored via federal grant by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Bailey Lauerman launched TUNE which uses music to inspire young women to make better choices and live healthier lives. There are 8 selected artists out of 150 entries, and their music was written and recorded specific for this project. Songs are free to download from the TUNE website.
We printed the posters with a split ink fountain using florescent pink and blue inks which blended to a nice purple in the middle. We kept the lateral ink distribution setting at maximum spread for a good blend in the poster. It was printed on French Paper Poptone Whip Cream 140lbC.
This is an iphone video of the job on press. Lo res, but you’ll get the idea of how the fountain looks.
This poster was letterpress printed for the Artcrank poster show here in Minneapolis, which opened this last weekend. Since much of this show tends to be image and graphic heavy, we wanted our poster to stand apart with lettering only. It is an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Considerations by the Way, 1860. The full sentence is actually, “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air’s salubrity.” (But “salubrity” is such an odd word and just didn’t work well in the design.) The lettering started as a hand drawn sketch, then refined in Adobe Illustrator. We printed with a photopolymer plate on Crane Lettra 300gsm Florecent White at 18 x 24 size. They are on display now at One On One in Minneapolis.
They sold well at the opening night and are still available. There was some confusion about them being sold out. They are $30, to be purchased at One On One Bike Shop.
You can also buy one, now for sale on our studio site as well. Cost is $40.
This wonderfully typographic calendar is the work of Sonner, Vallée u. Partner in Munich, Germany. It is a true information architecture project, letterpress printed on thick cotton paper. Check out their online portfolio for some crisp and polished typographic
Feast is a recurring public dinner designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund new and emerging artmakers. We did a poster for the upcoming event here at Studio On Fire. The size is 18 x 24. It was a hand drawn sketch, scanned and converted to a bitmap tiff to preserve the sketch texture. It was printed with a split ink fountain. Our split fountain had fluorescent orange ink on one side of the press and light blue ink on the other side, creating a nice purple gradient in the middle.
Sublimio is a multidisciplinary design studio in Italy. They designed these cards for an engaging visual and tactile design experience.
We printed a larger message card and business cards. The message card is very subtle with a blind impression only on 110lb Crane Lettra stock. The business cards use blind impression on one side and black on the other, completed with black edge coloring. They are on 220lb Crane Lettra.
“Show Through” is a term we use to describe heavy impression from printing one side of the paper bruising the sheet and showing small distortions on the reverse side. Show through is an important consideration when a design will be letterpress printed. The double thick 220 lb Lettra is great for a project that is a two sided design because it offers virtually no show through. Note that “virtually” is a key word here. If a heavy impression is desired, there will be some show through. Generally the thicker the paper, the more minimal the show through. But even with a thick stock, impression can knock back the impression from a previously printed side affecting its appearance. In the case of this business card we printed the flood of blind pattern first with heavier impression, then the black text side of the card with a bit less impression. Balancing this impression on a two sided design depends on the nature of artwork being printed. Talk with us early in the design process to work through these production decisions.
It goes without saying, we like unique paper structures. This Bat Mitzvah invitation, designed here at Studio On Fire features two triangles with a hole punch that clips together making a six pointed star shape. The paper triangles unclip to open and reveal the invitation text. The paper is 110lb Crane Lettra Flo White 100% cotton, letterpress printed in hot pink and die cut into the two triangles. It was mailed in a large square Neenah Eames Furniture, Weave Finish, Pacific Blue envelope printed in one color on the flap.
Those little metal clips are something we get asked about a lot. They are called #2 Petite Fasteners, made by GEM Office Products here in the USA. They have a little point that pierces the paper and holds the sheets together. You can buy them wholesale here. ($7 per box of 100 clips, 10 box minimum) They come in two sizes – the #2 is the bigger one, the #0 is smaller. And no, we do not sell the clips. But if you are in need of some top notch Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah invitations we’d love to hear from you.