Tag Archive for 'printing'

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.

Target: Design United

Earlier this year we were asked to participate in Target’s Design United campaign. Target made use of the massive street level windows of their corporate location to showcase their bullseye logo as interpreted by 51 local artists. We were thrilled to be included and submitted a dozen prints for them to choose from. The display was up from April to October in downtown Minneapolis.

Our process started with a hand drawn mehndi inspired pattern that we scanned in and cleaned up to create a photopolymer plate. We also created a plate of the solid Target logo which we used to lay down some background colors, allowing us to utilize the transparent nature of the inks and achieve some great overprinting. Our pressman went to town and applied most of the inks by hand directly to the plates or paper, resulting in dozens of completely unique pieces. Some of our favorites are below, along with some shots of the installation that we took while it was up this summer.

Oooh, Ornithology Overprinting

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.

 

 

Letterpress Open House TONIGHT

Final reminder for our Love Machine Open House Party tonight. Hope to see you soon.

Leaving you with a beautiful thought about machines from Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin:

“Machines challenge certainty so well. They should not be able to move. But they do. They turn, and move, and never cease — there is always an engine going, somewhere — like generations of silver hearts they keep the faith of the world and stoke imagination in its continued and splendid rebellion.”    Quote from “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin ©1983

Letterpress Love With Baker Associates

We’ve worked with BAKER here in Minneapolis on a few really fun letterpress projects over the last year or so. And they’ve designed some beautiful things for pressing. Most recently, their second installment of the bird themed holiday ornament cards rolled off the press. It is a little bird (a good luck Cardinal) with an ornate frame that die cuts and punches out of thick 60 point blotter stock. It is printed two color each side.

Last years card for Baker was a die cut bird ornament as well. The same production specs, but featuring a punch out owl.

Also in the last few months, we worked through the letterpress printing of the new Baker identity on their business cards. And is was quite the undertaking. They have an interesting post about the process of icon development here. Each employee has their own icon and each card has four color ways. With over 60 employees that was a lot of icons and business cards! They are a custom duplexed 200lbC black and white stock in an undersized narrow card format. (1 x 3.5 inches) BAKER is printed in silver on the black side and the white side receives the four different color variations.

BAKER is a Minneapolis based Branding + Design firm specializing in package design. On the web: bkrdsn.com or tweet: @bkrdsn

Paper Saw Blades

Since pretty much everyone needs a paper saw blade, we figured it was time to deliver. These heavy duty paper blades pop out of our latest promo card to fly through the air as a

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dangerous incarnation of business cards. You can toss them at pets, logs and trees, use them as coasters or keep them on hand to contact us for your next custom letterpress printing project. (these are an upgrade from our previous ninja version)

Open Studio For MAPC Attendees

Lots of printmakers are sauntering about Minneapolis / St Paul this week for the Mid America Print Council conference. We welcome these attendees to visit our studio during the conference on Friday this week from 5-8 PM. Studio On Fire is one of the largest and most vibrant commercial letterpress shops in the Midwest. We produce custom letterpress work from designers around the world. Join us during these hours to talk shop, see the presses and ask questions. Sorry, our production schedule will not permit other visiting hours.

Our Address:

Studio On Fire, 1621 East Hennepin Avenue Suite B10, Minneapolis MN 55414

phone 612 379 3000

Note: make sure you map us for EAST Hennepin Ave.  – We are on the edge of Northeast, at 16th Ave SE and E. Hennepin. It’s about a 10 minute ride from downtown Minneapolis.

Letterpress at AIGA MN Design Camp Workshop

This post is a recap of the fun we had this last weekend leading a press free, hand style letterpress workshop at AIGA Minnesota Design Camp. We were located in the wine cellar at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. Over 300 designers attend this event annually. We did three sessions of this 1.5 hour long workshop with over 120 total attendees. The process was about putting down lots of ink quickly, creating textures, layers and happenstance in the layout and printing. No press required, no two prints alike. Studio On Fire brought in lots of good stuff: 10 large cases of our woodtype collection (about 400lbs of type, mostly Hamilton faces) Tape and cardboard (served as the bed of the press, tape held type in rough position) A wadded up paper towel was the “printing press” (used with hands to burnish the back of the sheets) Several dozen CSA images supplied on photopolymer plates (permission of CSA archives) Wood grain background textures (blasted with a powerwasher, then relief carved) Lots of good ol’ French Paper to print on (poptone sweet tooth and many many remnants) Ink and brayers (oil based inks and soft rubber rollers) It was a fluid process and a good chance for everyone to step away from the computer. A huge thanks AIGA Minnesota for having us and to the AIGA volunteers that supplied a steady stream of nature wash solvent to clean up and redistribute the wood type and images. And thanks

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to Phong Tran for his photo contributions. If you would like Studio On Fire to do a workshop with your group, let’s talk. Please do contact us for more information.

Hatch Design Lecture At CVA

Hatch Design created these invitation cards for the upcoming leaders of design lecture with Joel Templin at my alma mater, College of Visual Arts. Should be a top notch talk.

We letterpress printed these 4 x 6 sized cards on French Muscletone Construction Pure White. One of the things we really like about this sheet is that it is a single ply 140lb Cover rather than a pasted, multi ply sheet. Most other commercial papers from other mills achieve a thicker paper by pasting a 2 ply sheet for thicknesses of 130lb and up. That makes the sheets stiff. Since the French sheet is a single ply, it is a bit softer and less rigid – both qualities desirable for letterpress. However, since French is achieving that thickness with a single ply, there is more evident pulp formation within the sheet. This means that the pressure needed to print a solid area of color is significant and results in a “salty” more textured printed appearance. That texture in large inked areas is something we like and embrace in printing with letterpress. HOWEVER, read this disclaimer before you send us art with lots of ink going down.

And letterpress printing isn’t just for small runs. Twenty thousand cards just rolled off the press. But, it is important to understand that for letterpress, each color is a separate pass through the press. This job was able to print both of these cards two-up on a press sheet. Still, these sheets had four separate passes for 3 color /one color. That’s a lil bit of printing.

Modern Graphic Type Wedding

This wedding invitation for Andy and Drew is certainly a unique format. It was designed by Drew Hodgson for his wedding in Palm Springs, CA. The bold colors and contemporary shapes make the design both modern and masculine. The invite is actually a folder enclosure that opens to reveal the invitation text on the flap. The folder opens further to Continue reading ‘Modern Graphic Type Wedding’

Stitched Booklet Wedding Invitation

A good narrative is behind good relationships. That’s why a booklet telling a little bit of the couples story is extra special as a wedding invitation. This invitation was designed by Craig Duffney at BBDO in New York for his friends Amy and Adam. He did excellent work making two sets of illustrated capitals and graphics. One corresponds with the bride, the other with the groom and they co-mingle in the invitation layout.

Planning out the production of a little booklet takes some extra finesse beyond the standard wedding stationery. The format here is an A7 size booklet with a soft cover and french folded pages. The cover is a heavier 110lbC Pearl White Crane Lettra. The gutt is lighter weight 80lbT Pearl White Crane Lettra. Both were letterpress printed in two colors, a lighter green corresponding with the bride and an olive green with the groom. The pages were scored, collated and top stitched inside the cover with a cream colored thread. Then a final trim was taken from head and foot. We also produced an RSVP card and matching folding thank you cards. This is certainly among the more elaborate invitations we’ve produced, yet the final appearance remains simple and striking.

Let’s Get It On – Platen Press Tip

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.