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.
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.
This is a letterpress printed invitation for a destination party, complementing a custom wedding system we printed a while back. These are also designed by the groom Scott Peiffer.
The card is a thick 200lb Wausau bright white. It was printed on a cylinder press with a light blue flood of ink with a red ink mixed to match the envelope color. We printed the same red ink on the envelope flap for a tonal effect. Note the nice pop through details of the paper left white.
Six Speed sent us this design for custom letterpress business cards. They are a specialized events marketing company here in Minneapolis. And what could be a better business card job really – crushing AND burning all on the same press sheet.
The cards were letterpress printed on 200lb Eclipse Black Wausau with silver ink, then the press sheet was laser cut. The laser cutting was used due to the complexity of the cutting die and the size of the print run. Laser cutting does a really nice job, especially on darker stocks were the edge burn is less evident. With lighter colored and white stocks, a mask is sometimes sometimes required to prevent burning marks on the face of the sheet.
Not that a heart felt email blast or animated web message for the holidays isn’t all well and good, but as you may have guessed we are suckers for a good old fashioned ink on paper. The next few days, we’ll show some previous custom holiday projects we’ve letterpress printed in the hopes of inspiring your own letterpress holiday projects. The holiday card seems to be one of those notorious last minute tasks for creative types. We are already heavily into estimating custom cards for many designers. And as much as we love rushing last minute projects, earlier is always better and leaves many more production options available. Word to the wise, ask us early for an estimate on your project.
Who says typographic characters don’t make delightful tree ornaments? This card was designed by Katie and Nate over at Eight Hour Day. The green combined with hot pink makes a unique holiday color combo. The card was die cut to produce two parts for a desktop Christmas tree, to be decorated further with objects on your desktop. It was letterpress printed on thick Fox River Blotter stock from Neenah Paper. Since the paper is produced without any surface sizing the blotter sheet has a more mottled appearance in how the textured surface accepts a large solid ink area like the green tree. This gives the printed piece some additional tactile quality. Fa la la la la, ooolala.
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.
Caryn Gutterman designed this business card for photographer Scott Regan. We are suckers for letterpress printing the unique, custom and out of the ordinary. And these business cards are no ordinary cards. If Scott Regan hands you a business card, you will KNOW he’s handed you a business card. The thick stock is 60pt blotter stock. It is a little more textured on one side than the other. The texture of this stock is deep – reminds us of the finish on an egg carton, kind of raw and porous in appearance. It takes some work to print a solid letterpress, even more work on this stock. It’s not a fine surface like cotton sheets, but it’s soft and takes a nice impression which makes it attractive for letterpress. The paper just drinks up the ink and leaves paper fuzz everywhere – guess that’s why it’s a blotter stock. But the result is really beautiful. There is an uneven nature to the way the ink lays on the heavy formation of the paper. We printed the gray ink first, then the tightly registered yellow logo. The card was trimmed and edge colored in a PMS matching yellow. We like the simple modern design combined with the raw material – people will hang onto this card for sure.
Last night we had a rockin’ time showing off our studio space and letterpress shop to Minnesota AIGA members. A big thanks to Minnesota’s AIGA chapter for giving us the opportunity.
We talked about the relationship of letterpress and design, did some Q&A, drank some Pabst Blue Ribbon and wrapped up the event with a little coaster project on press. Take a look at the coaster sheet – it’s 60pt Ahlstrom blotter paper. We pre printed a couple colors before people arrived. Then, we had a different color set up on both of our Vandercook presses. Everyone got to pull a couple prints, then we die cut the sheet into the set of four coasters. Lots of paper touching and good times had by all. Thanks Kayd Mustonen for taking some pics to share.
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.
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.