Tag Archive for 'stock'

Space150 V26 Business Cards

Just launched this last week was the 26th version of the Space150 identity. These guys change up their identity every 150 days. They designed this business card with lots of production love. Here are the production steps:

1. Custom pasted triple layer stock. Black with a white middle, 330lb total weight.

2. Black foil on the logo side

3. Letterpress printed metallic ink on the info side

4. Die cut with little “snake bite” marks

See previous Space150 card versions we’ve printed here and here and here.

Slate Studio Card – Letterpress, Foil, Edge Color

Slate Studio in California does some really sharp interactive work.  And their business cards are all kinds of Hollywood too. They pulled out all the stops on the card design and we worked with them through the production specs. The stock is our thick 200lb Cover Wausau Eclipse Black. We letterpress printed them with clear varnish on both sides, then a silver ink for the info text. Then they were foil stamped in a bright blue on each side. Finally, they were trimmed to size and edge colored in a matching bright blue.

The Craftsmen of Fine Technology

These letterpress business cards were the perfect fit for web development and design company Ackmann & Dickenson. We like how these guys frame their business as “Craftsmen of Fine Technology”. They designed these cards and we letterpress printed them to reflect craftsmanship.

And this card did require some crafting. We started with the making of a custom duplex paper – 160lb Mohawk Loop Ivory Smooth pasted to French Construction Nightshift Blue 100C – totaling a thick 260lbC card. Next we letterpress printed them with two colors on each side, silver and tonal navy inks on the blue side, then blue and gray inks on the ivory side.  We printed a couple 8up forms to meet all the employee name versions needs and then die cut them with small inverted corners. Viva tactility and technology.

Shine Advertising Knife Wrap Ephemera

This ephemera was designed by the folks at Shine Advertising to dress up a pocket knife mailing sent to their clients as a promotional item. You might ask if that is really letterpress? Yep, actually that’s four color process plus two spot color letterpress printed one pass at a time. That means that lil’ piece of paper went through the presses seven times. (six color passes and a letterpress matrix score) Certainly not a typical use of letterpress, but that’s why it was so fun to print it. Laying down color one at a time means a little guess work as you build the color density for the final image, but fun to watch it unfold. The process printed picture was from CSA stock images and worked pretty well to break out into plates even though it started as a heavily line screened image. The plates were printed with a 90 line per inch screen on Mohawk Loop Husk 160lb Cover.

Also be sure and check out the flash light wrap we printed for Shine last year.

Luxury Bath Salt Labels – Rain Soaps

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.

Forward Blotter Business Cards

We made some new friends in London at a digital agency called Forward. They rebranded themselves recently and designed these cards that feel very undigital and textural, and that is what we do best. They are printed on Ahlstrom Blotter stock with custom duplexing to bring the thickness to about 50pt. This blotter board has an uneven pulp formation that gives the flood of ink a washed, almost denim feel on the soft paper stock. The cards are edge colored in a matching purple. And this was no small task, an office of over forty people is a lot of cards. We ran them 10 cards up on press five press forms.

Aphro Chic Blotter Business Cards

Abbie at Passing Notes is a master of refined print design. Her type is always exquisite and these cards for her client Aphro Chic were a pleasure to print. They are on a thick 60pt blotter stock with a flood of bold geometric pattern on the back and two color letterpress on the front. The blotter sheet has a pulpy appearance with lots of soft fiber texture. We printed the business cards along with a note card on the same press sheet so the print dollar went a bit further. The business cards were edge colored in a PMS match yellow for the perfect finishing accent.

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A Study In Black Letterpress Business Cards

In our custom letterpress work we see an almost daily request from designers for white inks and/or light colored inks printed on dark colored paper stocks. Since white ink and light colored inks are not completely opaque, the ink will print on the paper with some transparency. This ink transparency is more evident the darker the paper color. This issue represents a learning curve for folks coming to letterpress print production for the first time. White ink does not turn out bright white and light colors will not print lighter than the stock color they are printing on. Metallic inks are a notable exception and will print opaque on colored stocks.

These card design offers a look at what letterpress printing CAN do. These business card were designed by Aadvark Brigade, Chris Straley Photography, and JDH Group. The designs shown are printed on the same black paper stock – 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black.

- The Straley card is black and silver ink.

- The Aardvark card is Opaque white and silver inks.

- The JDH Group is black, silver and metallic blue overprinting the silver inks.

The final cards turned out great and offer a nice comparison of  how the various inks letterpress print side by side. Notice how the white ink has almost a blueish appearance. The black ink gives a nice tonal effect and a metallic color overprinting silver offers some additional opacity to the color.

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Letterpress Ninja Business Cards

Next time the public transit looks a little sketchy, you’re leaving the bar late and alone or your co workers simply won’t shut it – here is a gift we now ship with each custom project we letterpress. With tongue planted ever so firmly in cheek we present our very own 220lb, 100% cotton throwing star business card. It may not be deadly, but it will get the point across.

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NOTICE: It is all fun and games till someone loses an eye. Don’t throw it at anyone unless you intend to use deadly force.

Old Red Hat Letterpress Business Cards

Scott Ray uses his favorite lid as his design monicker. He designed these cards using a colored paper stock and two inks. This card represents a couple really good ways to use ink on colored paper stock.

Using a colored paper is a great way to get a solid splash of color in a letterpress project without laying down a bunch of ink. But moving to darker colored papers presents challenges in printing. “Opaque” white ink really isn’t a great option since it really isn’t very opaque. With the exception of metallic inks, letterpress inks are transparent. So we used a metallic silver to print the lighter colored text. The tone-on-tone effect of printing a dark red ink on red stock is another great way to use ink on colored paper. The stock is 100lbC French Poptone which was custom duplexed to a double thick 200lb cover weight for a sturdy “thump factor”.

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Flooding Letterpress Ink

This post shows a card we letterpress printed for Grass Fed Cattle Company designed by a good friend and design mentor over the years – Michael Skjei. We love the commitment to local farmers and free range meats. If you are local, give these guys a try.

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We seem to be getting an aweful lot of requests to print business designs with floods of solid color. It can work on letterpress – with a couple big caveats.

Will the color be consistent?

We will have a wider range of ink density variation in the print run than an offset press. We do not have computers sitting on press monitoring this, it is all by eye. We matching to a print at the beginning of the run and keep it as a target, adjusting as we go to keep everything as close as we can. But there will be variation.

The heavier the ink density, the more difficult it becomes to hold the detail of fine typographic detail. So if you are flooding, more robust type works better.

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Will my color print solid?

This depends on the type of stock and the color. Lighter colors and smoother paper stocks generally print with less “saltiness” in a solid area of coverage. Since letterpress prints with pressure, we are much more subject to the texture and formation of the sheet of paper to achieve an even solid.

Will there be impression on the text?

Generally, no there will not be impression. Letterpress works best with text and artwork that is pressing into the sheet. If you are looking for impression while flooding a color, this is not a great use of letterpress. Notice how the logo and gray ink have impression, the green flood of color does not.

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Is the cost the same?

A flood of color takes much more time to set up on letterpress than a card that has text only. Generally, this involves making ready the ink fountain and double the amount of makeready sheets to get color up to speed. Since we charge based on press time, printing a flood of color will cost more than  printing a text only design.

However, most small offset printers can’t make a 160lb or heavier sheet of paper run through their press. So that leaves letterpress as a viable method to print to handle these heavier stock thickness. You have to get on a much larger offset press to touch that kind of stock thickness, which means also means bigger quantities and costs.

So yes, we can print solid colors IF you are comfortable with the variations that are inherent to the letterpress process.

Black Tie & Black Paper: Wedding In Edinburgh

Setting the tone for a black tie event with rich black paper just seems logical. Black paper should actually be a requirement if you are having a reception in a castle. (insert jealous sigh here) This contemporary type and linear design is letterpress printed with silver ink on 250gsm Stonehenge Black Paper in a horizontal format. It’s nice to see the type arranged outside typical wedding layouts. These invites were designed by a fantastic design firm – Field - based out of Copenhagen and Dublin. Which goes to show we are happy to letterpress print custom work for designers everywhere.

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