Designed by Priest + Grace for Howler magazine, these oversize business cards are an amazing example of what a good design and a little tonal ink can do. Howler magazine is a quarterly publication for soccer enthusiasts in North America, so it only made sense for these cards to reference the size and color of actual penalty cards used in soccer.
There are several production techniques we used to successfully produce these cards. First, instead of printing all of the information blind we used a tonal ink color (a red ink on the red, yellow on the yellow). When something is printed blind it relies solely on good lighting conditions to be legible. Our solution is to print using a tonal ink, which creates just enough contrast between the artwork and the paper to make your contact information visible. Secondly, these cards were printed with fronts and backs up on the same sheet, duplexing the sheet after printing. This allowed us to run a heavy impression on press but then conceal the impression show through by duplexing the sheet back to itself.
The red cards are printed on Mohawk Via Scarlet Vellum 80C (duplexed to make 160C) and the yellow cards are on French Poptone Lemon Drop 100C (duplexed to make 200C).
Yael Miller, from Miller Creative, designed these gorgeous business cards for Olli Salumeria, a salumeria that makes dry-cured salumi in Virginia. Though the outcome is, dare we say stunning, these cards posed several production challenges along the way.
As a general rule, we don’t suggest using letterpress when the design uses floods of color and require clients to agree to our Solid Areas Disclaimer before we will proceed with their job. To achieve a nice solid coverage of color we had to run the ink heavy across the card, thankfully we had added some additional stroke weight to the artwork in the pre-press stage so the line work would not fill in on press. Another trick we used was lightly wetting the sheet before running- this cuts down on the appearance of saltiness and variation across the color.
Flood aside, take a look at that red. Yael refers to it as “Ferrari red,” and we can’t say that we disagree. The design actually specified a Pantone GOE color, which is not a Pantone book we match to, but since we custom mix all of our colors we were able to match a swatch that was mailed in for reference. We took one of our base red inks and pumped it up with a hit of fluorescent red to really get the color to pop.
These cards are printed on Crane Lettra 110lb cover that we custom duplexed after printing to make 220lb. By duplexing after printing we were able to run the flood without completely flattening the text on the other side of the card (not to mention we love any excuse to make a business card thicker). A custom diecut, shaped to reference a ticket or label, finished off the cards in an unexpected, yet refined way.
This project can also be found on FPO, DesignWorkLife, and Miller Creative.
An essential reason French Paper Company stands out in a world of large paper conglomerates is their unique design affair. They’ve had a longstanding relationship with Charles Spencer Anderson Design here in Minneapolis that has fueled and produced arguably some of the most visual ephemera to promote paper in the last decade. And trust us, here at Studio On Fire we see A LOT of promotional materials from paper companies. We were excited to be a part of that legacy with the latest French Paper promotion – a paper “Air Kraft” designed by the crew at CSA Design.
We worked closely with CSA to finalize the production. The sheets are letterpress printed in two colors on French Speckletone Kraft 140lbC. These Air Kraft are actually flight worthy, but you have to be sure to follow the instructions and tape a dime into the nose of the plane for a good glide.
Speckletone Kraft is one of those papers great for designers who fall in love with chipboard, only to realize that actual raw chip does not have color specifications. (In a batch of chipboard stock you may get some gray sheets or some dark brown sheets, it just depends on what went into the pulper) We like to use it especially when matching envelopes are needed.
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.
We were excited to produce this booklet, designed and illustrated in-house at Target by Aaron Melander. This piece was created for guests of the Target Chalet as a field guide to the 2011 Winter X Games.
To begin the project, we worked closely on the paper selection. It needed to be thick and sturdy in feel yet thin enough to do some 180 degree folds to form the inside cover pocket. For the cover we duplexed two stocks after printing – off white on the outside and brown on the inside. The outside is 78lbC Canaletto Granna Grossa printed in tight register three color letterpress. A tonal pattern printed on French Poptone Hot Fudge 80lbC floods the inside.
One of our favorite commercial shops in town then helped with the interior printing and bindery. The gutt was traditional 4 color offset printed and saddle stitched at Shapco. Since the open edges of the cover are folded to the interior a final trim with the gutt in place was not possible. That meant the gutt pages needed to be stitched separately, trimmed to size, then stitched again into the cover.
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.
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
This is a new letterpress print from Rilla Alexander. She’s been a part of our annual calendar project for several years, so we were super excited to be part of her Sozi character launch this month. This beauty as well as other well crafted Sozi items are available in her shop and also at Collette through the end of December.
We letterpress printed an edition of 100 in red ink on Pearl White Crane Lettra 110lb C. Actual size is 40cm x 30cm. Get one while they last.
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
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)
This wedding invitation design by Project o3 channels the lettering stylings of illustrator Ralph Steadman, (think movie logotype for Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.) There is hardly any text on this invitation, just the most basic info. We thought it was certainly one of the more free spirited invitations we’ve seen and loved it for it’s departure from the more typical ornate weddings.
It is printed on 220lb Crane Lettra Ecru with black, red and light gray ink. The die cut belly band that holds the three cards together is printed with black ink on French Poptone Wild Cherry 100lb cover.